An unfiltered fire hose of flaming condemnation

Redder than red

My mother ended up keeping Leta overnight on Friday so that Jon and I could celebrate his birthday to the fullest, if you know what I’m saying. Interestingly, I have received a dozen or so emails from male readers of this site that said something to the tune of yes, sex is good, but it doesn’t come close to the iPhone. And then the signature of the email would say SENT FROM MY IPHONE 3G. Ladies, I think I just stumbled across our salvation.

It’s like, sweetie, I know how much you’d love to stand here and twiddle my nipples all day, but I overheard someone talking about a new application for the iPhone, and if you don’t hurry you’re not going to have ANY IDEA what all those guys are Twittering about.

(I just read those first two paragraphs to Jon to see if he would be comfortable with me publishing those details, and he suggested that maybe it was time he Twittered my nipples. I’m taking that as a yes.)

After my mother dropped Leta off Saturday morning, we talked only for a few minutes before she had to head back out. This is the usual interaction we have with my mother, and rarely does she stay for more than five minutes in our living room. At first I thought it was because she has ADD. But then I realized it was because she was looking at those five minutes in my company as five minutes she could have been using to conquer the world. Selling more Avon than anyone else on earth is not enough. There must be other records out there that she could beat, other scores she could trample. And now that she’s retired I get the feeling that all the avid bingo players in the world SHOULD BE VERY AFRAID.

After we hugged goodbye she headed out to our driveway to climb into her van, and then thirty seconds later she poked her head back inside our door waving our morning paper in her right hand.

“Here’s your liberal propaganda!” she said as she tossed the paper on the floor of our entryway.

That liberal propaganda is The Salt Lake Tribune, the less conservative paper of the two that are circulated in Salt Lake City. Less conservative meaning that inside it you might find an op-ed from a scientist that talks about how we might want to think about conserving water. Because, oh, I don’t know, we live in UTAH. A semiarid region. WHERE WATER IS NOT ABUNDANT. And then the following week you’d see an op-ed in the other, more conservative paper going THOSE LIBERALS WANT TO TAKE AWAY YOUR RIGHT TO HOSE OFF YOUR RIFLE IN YOUR OWN DRIVEWAY.

I wasn’t about to let her get away with that, so I ran outside, knocked on her window as she was about to back out of the driveway, and when she rolled it down I pointed out that this liberal newspaper? It endorsed George W. Bush for president. TWICE.

This is where I live. A place where George W. Bush is not conservative enough.

And that’s when she flipped me the bird. My mother, The Avon World Sales leader, waved her middle finger in my face. I sure hope she thought twice before she took the sacrament on Sunday.

  • Anonymous

    Back when I was Mormon Richard Nixon was president. I remember being a Mormon, and I’m thankful for the day I was ex-communicated. ** Melissa **

  • Dana

    What I wouldn’t give to be a fly on the wall for your family Thanksgiving.


  • Catchick6

    These comments are almost as funny as the actual posting! Is it possible to receive an iphone while having sex with your spouse? That might be the definition of celebrating to the fullest!

  • Bad, bad CAPTCHA!

    Was going to say that the thought of such a conservative rag being considered liberal sends shivers down my little BLUE-state Californicated spine!

  • J.

    Is she going to confess to the bishop? That she had the nasty, nasty thought behind the gesture?

  • That was very kind of your mom to get your paper to your door instead of you having to go out and get it. I guess it doesnt hurt to try and see the positive in things.

  • Kim

    Having grown up quiet similar to you and having left a similar religion I totally understand where you are coming from. Like when my mother first noticed my foot tattoo and promptly told me no one would ever marry me…and then was caught watching “LA INK” um…WTF?


  • I have to tell you one of my favorite of your mom-stories is the one about global warming. I laughed so hard and thought how unbelievable it was she thought it didn’t exist… and felt sorry for you in your plight of trying to convince her otherwise.

    Then I was on the phone with my dad recently and was talking about all the floods and crazy weather… and during the course of the conversation it was revealed HE DOESN’T BELIEVE IN GLOBAL WARMING.


    That was me, passing out. Just wanted you to know you’re not alone, you crazy liberal.


  • My mother hasn’t even flipped me off. I think I’d bawl in the driveway. I respect that you and your mother have that sort of relationship where a birdie now and then is just a further expression of love. 🙂

    *Sent from my computer

  • Cherie

    I was second in line to try to comment, but couldn’t get reCAPTCHA to respond in any way so I flipped it off and came back to see if it would work now.

    If you don’t already read the Ny Times may I send you a subscription? So sorry your week is off to a lousy start. But I bet Friday night was worth your mom’s finger . . .

  • For a minute there I was elated, thinking that Utah even HAD enough liberals to warrant a newspaper of their very own. I was picturing a thin, Pennysaver-type rag. Sort of like those grocery circulars that show up in my mailbox eight times a day.

    Next time you see your mom, remind her that their current candidate for president is a man who the conservatives didn’t think was good enough to be president eight years ago. A GUY WHO THEY THOUGHT WAS WORSE THAN GEORGE W. BUSH!

    I bet that will get you the double bird.

  • rb

    Here in Berkeley we always have two candidates for Mayor – the Liberal candidate and the Progressive candidate. So in our own way, we are cancelling out Salt Lake City.

    P.S. I love your mom.

  • I love the posts about your mother. She totally sounds like some of my family…except that they are mostly Irish Catholic. I would only be so lucky to find out our family trees are somehow inextricably linked… 🙂

  • Reading that your mother is Mormon made this ending even more hilarious.

  • TropicalPopsicle

    I love how you describe your relationship with your mom. My mom is just as conservative and doesn’t believe in global warming and I would LOVE to see her flip me the bird just once. That would be hilarious!

  • i do SO love your mudder! 🙂

  • And here I was thinking I was the only one who got the bird from her mom. I feel so close to you now.

  • Your mom is the most awesome mom ever. Flipping the bird? Hello!!? My mom gets offended when people on TV say the word ‘poo’. She’s one of those party animal Mormon moms, isn’t she?? I bet she drinks her Coke STRAIGHT at the parties. Hardcore. \m/

  • Instead of telling her the newspaper endorsed W twice, you could have just said, “Thanks, Mom. Jon would have gotten the paper this morning, but he was trying to sneak in one last Twitter of my nipples before you and Leta got here.”


  • I’d have paid money to see a picture of the Mormon Avon World Sales Leader flipping the bird.

    No joke.

  • I have to say, your mom sounds like the life of the party. I of course would have received the finger too for being too liberal–I let my little baby girl where a shirt that says “I love my gay uncle.” I certainly wouldn’t be invited over for Sunday dinner.

    iphone as sex replacement. Well of course, they can keep their porn in their pockets and don’t even need headphones to hear it.

  • Ah, Ahhh, Ahhhhh, AHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!! Sorry, what were you sayin? Didn’t hear. Having iPhone orgasms at the moment.

    Sent from my iPhone who is now smoking a cig.

  • Mike Norton

    Your Mom wasn’t flipping you off. That’s the newest FIFTH sign they are teaching in the Mormon temples these days. It’s totally biblical in origin. At least that’s what my Bishop told me when he showed me the new sign.

  • Anonymous

    Mrs Avon is AWESOME! I love the stories about your mom. I see where you get your sense of humor. I commend you both for staying connected regardless of your opposing beliefs.

  • Dana

    My husband and I stayed in Cedar City overnight on our way back to California from Montana. In the morning while sitting at the breakfast nook in the Holiday Inn, I took a gander at the paper. The front page was devoted to a section about a councilman named Chris Greenwood who had protested a subdivision going up in his area. In response to his protest, some yahoo tore down his trees in his front yard. Now, you can imagine my opinion of the general public in Utah when someone goes and chops down some guy’s trees in retaliation. Not really, but as we were driving through Utah, I had a hard time grasping why Cedar City needed seven Mormon churches. It seemed a bit excessive.

    But, I digress.

    The paper I was reading the article from was Deseret News (I thought it was a typo – I thought it was supposed to be Desert News and that somebody was going to be out of a job for that one…) so I have no idea if that paper was conservative or not, but it certainly seemed like it.

  • Maybe your mom wasn’t so much flipping you off as she was demonstrating a new hand cream from Avon. Could go either way, especially if she’s got an upcoming meeting with the bishop for a temple recommend. It’s called Subjective Sin.

  • I don’t have a husband but I’m saving for the iPhone anyway, because one day I just might NEED it.

  • Between that and the sunset picture, you’ve totally encapsulated what it is like to live in Utah. It’s like those moments when Mormons exhibit their faith by cutting you off in a car going 40 mph over the speed limit with one of those “Families are Forever” thingies around the license plate.

  • My husband would just text or type with one hand and play with my nipples with the other.

    …but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

  • As far as the iPhone goes, I can’t say I’m shocked to see that. But beware – here’s what happens after they get one:

    That would be my husband’s blog and that entry is all about how now he needs a Mac to program applications for the damn phone.

    And as far as your mother goes – good for her on the finger. J. Golden Kimball would have been proud.

  • I confused. I don’t have a husband so can I still get an iphone? Can I “twitter” by myself?

    i love your mom-i want her to adopt me.

  • For some reason whenever you are talking about your Mom, in my head the role is portrayed by a combination of Olympia Dukakis as Clairee from Steel Magnolias and former Texas governor Ann Richards.

  • Klate

    I simply can’t grasp what is going on in the space beyond the New Jersey border until you hit Vegas. (with the blip of Colorado in there). I admit, I grew up in a family of Irish Catholic Democrats from Massachusetts and now live and work in New York so my perspective is skewed but I just don’t understand how it’s possible that the great bulk of this country is 180 degrees from my position.

  • I’ve always said I don’t worry about my geek husband leaving me for another woman, unless she has a bigger hard drive than me.

    I suppose I need to add an iPhone to that.


  • There are places where W isn’t enough?


    Actually, last polling I saw, even in Utah his polling numbers had dipped below 50%. So your mom is in the minority EVEN IN UTAH. Feel free to flip her right back.

  • I did see a headline about a phone that “touches you back”. Might be something to look into. Kill two birds with one stone and what not.

  • Jenny

    Your mom cracks my shit up.

  • She should find more ways market the Avon Skin So Soft bug spray. It’s fabulous. Additionally, if ever you are in sore need of people watching, Bingo is the place to go. I am sad to admit that I have been a number of times. Mostly I go to watch the old people cuss each other out when their elderly arch nemesis wins the ‘big bucks’ on ball I-23. I’ve seen at least two wrinkly fist fights (one of them involving the use of a cane as a weapon), and believe me, the entertainment is well worth the embarrassment of sitting in a Bingo Hall.

  • ricanhavoc

    Wow, gee, you have me really looking forward to my own mother’s weeklong stay with me next week. Nothing like having your life’s values and principles cut down in the blink of an eye. Moms are good for that. Why can they push your buttons so? Because they fuckin’ installed ’em in the first place!

  • Speaking of getting flipped off… We were on the way back from the beach when our Tessa, who’s 3, said, “Mommy, Daddy! Look what I can do!!”

    We turned around, and there was our sweet sweet little girl. Flipping us off like a sailor.

    I got a picture of it. You can see it here

  • It’s a matter of degree……
    I am a “fuzzy little foreigner” (being born and raised in Italy) and after I married my Ninja husband with the Air Force I went to a small town in Alabama where they refused to sell me the NY times even though they had it because 1. I am a foreigner and 2. that’s about those wacky liberals and I sure should not be one of them.
    Not that it really relates to your mom just to the newspaper part…

  • Angel

    I just love your Mom stories!! My Mom is less than 5 feet tall, has the soft voice of a cartoon character, and ALWAYS hits us with something out of the ordinary. She’s an avid football fan, and was watching one of the half time reports where the guys were critisizing one of the players. “he should have jerked right; he should have jerked left” Mom added “oh, why don’t they just jerk off!?! They’re not on the field!”
    I love expressive Moms….

  • I remember the first time my mother did that. Not back out of the driveway, but flip someone off. Fortunately she did it on my behalf rather than AT me.

    Moms are great, including the Avon maven.

    I agree with other commenters that the captcha audio thing sounds a little like hell, if I believed in such a place.

  • Well then i guess it’s not a coincidence that the teenage boys i know who DO have iphones DO NOT have girlfriends.

  • How refreshing to know that even conservative Mormon mom-types still flip the bird! I’m very tempted to see if this generalizes to other traditionalist sects. Think I’ll go piss off some Amish…

  • Hello.

    I am a first time reader of your blog. I laughed numerous times which is rare – thank you 🙂

    I will be back to read more when time permits.

  • Your mom would “love” me so much that she would have her manicurist paint her middle finger with my initials.

  • I have an iphone, and while it feels really good, and looks very pretty… I say it’s not on par with sex. It might satisfy longer though… so maybe it’s a toss up.

    As far as politics go, ouch.

  • Anne

    Your mom is so her daughter’s mother.

    Hooray for you both, and Leta, Jon, the puppies, and better mosquito repellent with Skin-so-soft (the smell of a Southern summer).

  • Ah, sounds like a scene right out of a Norman Rockwell painting…

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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