Friday, May 20, 2011

Ode to that Evangelical Housewife

Someone told me that I idealize people too much, and once the Evangelical housewife told me that our friendship couldn't be stable if I had her on a pedestal. The friendship endured none the less. Idealism, pedestals, whatever, the point is if I love someone, I'll love them unabashedly for the rest of my days.

There are certain people who have stuck above the fray, and although they are too numerous too mention, I'll plug the-best-thing-to-come-out-of-France-since-stinky-cheese and the one-that-I-told-on-in-High-School. But that Evangelical housewife.... She is my muse for goodness, and I love her.

One day about seven years ago, I was at the neighborhood park with my seven month old son, and there was also there a grandmother with her toddler and a young mother with her one year old. Good conversation ensued. Luckily, a few weeks later, I ran into that same young mother, and she said, "I've got homemade potato soup and bread at home if you'd like to come over." Fuck Yeah. And she fed me so I was never going to leave her. If you don't like me, don't feed me because it is the gesture that will make me abide by you forever.

It was kinda magical. If I had met her at any other time, we wouldn't have been friends. The year before when I was taking drugs until my eyes rolled back in my head and she was at Bible college, we may have not struck up such a friendship. But that Spring when our babies were little, and we both admitted that we "used to be smart" before the babies came, it was a match made in heaven.

Her husband was a waiter. Mine was a chef. In lieu of spending every evening alone, we spent many of them together. Cooking, talking, challenging each other to be better people. Well, she challenged me; I'm not really sure why she kept me around.

She would do all these fabulous things like make amazing crafts and read classics and then watch the movies to compare and contrast, and I would be like, "umm, when my kids go to sleep, I'm going to smoke a joint, watch the news, and go to bed."

We broke bread before the birth of our next three babies. She was at my place until The Man arrived home seven hours before Boy Two was born. She was at my fourth of July BBQ having little contractions until a few hours before her son was born. Then, later when she moved to Wisconsin and wanted to have the baby in St Paul, she stopped at my house on her way to the hospital.

I'm not an expert, but I think if someone is willing to come to my dirty mouse ridden home with their family in tow and let me serve them left-overs (although it was some pretty great homemade chicken dumpling soup) for lunch while they're in labor on the way to the hospital that it's a pretty damn good friendship.

She moved to Wisconsin to have her homestead and her giant garden, and since she's unwilling to ignore the children (there's four now, and we didn't get to break bread before the last one) while she talks on the phone, I don't talk to her as much. But the phone isn't the same anyway because it doesn't let me see her mother her children, and it certainly doesn't let her cook me dinner.

The first time that I ventured to her homestead with my now three children in tow, she said, and it was literally the greatest thing anyone has every said to me in my life, "I made croissants for Easter. I wouldn't call them an unmitigated success, but they're pretty good, and I've got an extra batch in the fridge that I can bake." We ate the entire batch of croissants all the while exclaiming that they really were much too buttery.

When I left her, my mom said that I would never have a friend like that again, and three years later, I am coming to the conclusion that the universe let me have a friend like that to share my life with for a few short years and that was it.

As I understand it, my mom had a similar friend. In 1965, she was hanging diapers on the clothes line and she met Mary. Mary ultimately introduced her to my dad so without Mary there would be no Minger. They moved apart from each other, and although they had other friends, they never had anything like that again. Mary just turned 70 so in celebration, they rode mules down the grand canyon together.

Although I may never have anyone like that Evangelical Housewife, you can bet that I will be putting her ass on a mule when I turn 70 and all will be right with the world.


  1. I loved this blog ... For me, it was both nostalgic and thought-provoking.

  2. Is this the one in E, WI? The one you said you wanted me to meet? Because, if it is, I am actually right across the river from me. Twelve miles? We share weather warnings, I think.