Hey, Dad, I’m Going to Be a Star!

I called up my dad to tell him my exciting news. For the first time in my life, he was speechless. After a long silence, he spoke.

“The what?”

The Vagina Monologues.”


“You know, it’s…”

“What do you know about vaginas?”

“I have a vagina, Dad.”

“Now, the recalcitrant brother. He knows his way around a vagina. Nashville wants to know about vaginas, they should ask your brother to come speak.”

“It’s not pornography.”

“Is this one of those ‘Those who can–do and those who can’t–teach’ things?”

“No, it’s a theater thing.”

“You’re going to get on stage and talk about your vagina?”

“I already get on the internet and talk about my vagina.”

“That’s pretty stupid, B.”

“Folks seem to like it.”

“Have you told your mom?”

“I left her a message.”

“Well, that’s probably her right now on the other line calling to ask me where we went wrong.”


More on The Vagina Monologues

So, Plimco asked me if I was going to be in it, because I had neglected to say. The answer is, crazy enough, yes.

Loyal readers, let’s think back to that moment, not even a year ago, when Jon Jackson asked me to have some drinks and shoot the shit. Do you remember how nervous I was? I was dying. I was so nervous that Jon was shocked that I actually showed up.

So was I.

So, folks, let me just kiss your butt for a second and say “thanks.” Because, really, in real life, I’m an awkward person. Not exactly shy, but not really graceful in social situations. But y’all have given me a chance to practice being confident and self-assured and now, because someone read someone who read Tiny Cat Pants, I’m going to get up on stage in front of the whole damn city.

It’s pretty strange, but I’m thrilled.

Make Him Tell You in Front of Me

I really think Shaun Groves is one of the bravest people on the internet. And my heart has been breaking for him all week, as he writes about his great crisis of faith.

Recently, he wrote:”What are pastors supposed to do when they doubt or get depressed or crack up? There’s almost no one for us to talk to. There’s no one who would accept that their pastor is this jacked up, you know?”

How many times have I heard my dad ask this? How many times have I heard him ask other ministers or his District Superintendent or whoever he could get to listen this? I can’t even tell you. Too many.

Jesus sent his disciples out into the world in pairs, if not whole groups, and the Church sends ministers out one by one.

My dad tries, in each new town, to set up breakfasts (if they’re not already happening) where all the ministers can get together and just touch base with each other. Some folks refuse to come, but others really appreciate having the chance to talk to someone in their same boat.

I hated being a minister’s kid. To put it mildly. I hated feeling like I was the exotic pet of the congregation, that everything I did was on display for the whole church to discuss and pass judgment on. We lived one place where one of the church groups would regularly randomly knock on the parsonage door and demand to be let in–no matter what time of day or night it was–so that they could make sure my mom was keeping the church’s house up to their standards.

Yes, they let mold stalactites grow from the ceiling and never bothered to fix the giant hole in the front porch any better than just carpeting over it, but my mom had to put a shine on that turd or face their wrath.

And just when you get settled down some place, you get yanked up and moved again.

Plus, even though my dad was the only one who was called to be a minister, we all had to do it. If a song needed to be sung in church, up Mom or I went. If candles needed to be lit, send the boys to do it. If sick folks had to be visited, off we’d all go. I was at church doing something or other–from youth group meetings to confirmation to mowing the lawn to whatever–every day.

The toll it took on my family was excruciating. It’s probably not so bad for a lot of ministers’ families, but my dad isn’t cut out to be a minister. He’s not doing it because he wants to do it. He’s doing it because he got an order directly from his god and he’s following it.

Even if it means that he’s miserable. Even if it means the rest of us are miserable. I often felt like Isaac, taken up on the mountain as a way for my dad to prove something to his god. Sure, it didn’t kill me, but how the hell do you get over the sneaking suspicion that, if it had, it wouldn’t have altered your father’s choices?

I can’t remember what we were fighting about. Something shitty had happened and I wanted him to stand up for me to the church and he refused, said that, in effect, we just had to trust God that this was how things were supposed to be.

And I begged him to ask his god to say that to me. I said I’d go along with it if God said so, to me, or at least to him in front of me. But I wanted to hear that this way of living fit into some divine plan, that the toll it was taking on all of us was going to be worth it.

But you can’t question God’s will. You can’t ask Him to just show up and explain Himself. He does things in His own time and you can’t test Him.

I find that unbelievable and unforgivable.

When people are in pain and hurting, you don’t abandon them. You don’t hide silently when they need company. You do the best you can to be there for them, even if your best is kind of crappy.

If you need proof, real proof, it ought to come.

I don’t know Shaun Groves. So, I don’t know how things turn out. I suspect he’s found some resolution one way or another, or he wouldn’t be in a place where he can write about it.

And I hope his god came through for him.

It’s not too much to ask.

Cooter Talk

Tonight I went to an organizing meeting for The Vagina Monologues. That’s right, America, you spend enough time yakking about your cooter on the internet and eventually, someone’s going to ask you if you want to help out while other women talk about vaginas.

How could I say no?

The meeting started with an informal discussion of changing this year’s The Vagina Monologues to Brokeback Valley. This is funny for the nice yonic* imagery and because the director’s name is Vali. So, you get two laughs for the price of one.

However, since we already had the posters made, we’re sticking with The Vagina Monologues.

Then it descended into a bunch of us standing around Vali’s bathroom while she shot footage of us talking about our cooters.

The weirdest part? The chick from Martini Ministries was there.

Seriously. I blogged about her three days ago and Voila! she appears. Well, this is interesting, folks. Let’s talk about some good-hearted, smart, kind, witty man with delightful stubble and big broad shoulders and a fuzzy belly and sweet, soft kisses who’ll buy me dinner and fuck me so exquisitely the neighbors are embarrassed. Let’s see if such a man comes crawling out of the woodwork this week.

Oh, shoot. I’m late to go get the Butcher. Anyway–The Vagina Monologues. 9:30 p.m. February 25th at the Belcourt. $25. I hear there’ll be chocolate cooters. How can you resist chocolate cooters?

Mmm. Sweet, sweet cooters…

*Yep, yonic. I’m breaking out the high-faluting words on you now. Also, I stink. I’m sorry to the folks who had to sit next to me. I was the girl wearing her slippers and her pajamas with her overalls over them. It was just that kind of day. I took a shower and put my pajamas back on.