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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Backwoods Referendum

Oh, the Hoosier state.  How you baffle me by showing you are what the rest of the country thinks you are, and Exhibit A is HJR-3.  For those of you who don't know, the fine politicians of my state have decided that when I vote next November, I will have to decide how I feel about HJR-3, because they have used their brilliant minds to decide that this little gem should have it's place in our state constitution.

HJR-3 is a proposed ban on gay marriage in God's Country, otherwise known as Indiana.  I call this referendum, the Backwoods Referendum or the Bigot Law.

Maybe this hits me closer to home than most, as I have spent my entire life around homosexuals.  My first grade brontosaurus costume for my elementary school play was fashioned by a drag queen, that to this day, when I put on a bathing suit, I curse that sorry son of a bitch for making a better woman than I do.

My niece.  A product of engineered fertility and a true gift of God.  I shudder to think of her growing up here, a place where we have decided to not allow her mom the same rights as everyone else,  ratifying ignorance into our constitution.

I'm not saying this from a religious point of view, I could care less.  Let people marry who they want to marry!  We let the President have near unlimited power and bug an entire country, so in the big scheme of things, I fail to see how this is what we worry about and pay politicians to argue.  Why don't they spend that time on a balanced budget?

While pondering the proposed Bigot Law, I recalled a time two years ago, when we had finally convinced Mamaw and Papaw to leave their beloved farm, and move into the brick ranch house of Mamaw's dreams.  The time had come where the house was too much, and the closer they were to us, the more support we could provide to Mamaw and to my Papaw whose progressive dementia and cardiac issues were just progressing much too fast.

On a scorching July morning, when the humidity was already at that Indiana point that three seconds outside leaves you soaking with sweat and gasping for air, we encountered a conundrum.

Months of preparation had went into this move, and now, here we are, semi in the lane (Indiana word for drive-way), and an 800-pound safe my grandparents were damned and determined to take with them.

Keep in mind, my mom is the youngest of five children at 54 years old, her three brothers, as you can imagine, aren't the spitting image of male strength at any rate.  My husband was also there helping out, as was my sister and her partner Christy.

At one point, someone said that the damn thing was too heavy, and they were just going to have to leave the safe for the estate sale.  Now, my papaw had busted his ass to pay for the farm, provide for everyone, and now he was leaving the home he swore he'd live in til the day he died, and you are going to tell him he can't have the damn safe?  My husband looked at me and knew the proverbial feces was about to hit the oscillating wings.

After watching these men struggle for about twenty minutes, complaining about future hernia repairs that would be needed, I had had enough.

"All of you, get out of my damn way!"

They continued pondering how best to move the safe from it's now precarious position on the ramp to the back of the semi, because women, especially one of twenty-something intelligence, should know their place and be ignored.

"Hey, I said MOVE!"

They all look at me, aghast at my unchristian outburst.

"Christy," I said, "Go get me that orange horse blanket out of the shed."

At this point, my uncle who is a preacher, decided that since my husband was going to just stand beside my Papaw's wheelchair with an amused look on his face, he should step in.

"Now, Amanda, if us men can't move it, then you aren't gonna be strong en-"

"Seriously? SERIOUSLY!  Unlike you dumbasses, I went to college and have an above-average understanding of the laws of physics, so back the hell up!"

At this point, Christy just hands me the blanket and a look that tells me we are all in. Meaning that if I don't magically get this 800-pound safe moved using just my 140 pounds and her 150 pounds, I will get my bad-ass card revoked, especially when the both of us know that these folks pray for my soul, because of my affection for beer and four-letter words, and for Christy and my sister, because they are gay.  And admit it, we all know that people choose to be gay, the same way we choose our eye color at birth. Cough, cough.

I can't afford to have my bad-ass card revoked, and I like proving points to ignorant fucks.  (See? Four-letter words are going to cast me into the Fires of Hell.)

So Christy and I proceed to put the blanket behind the safe, roll the safe back onto it's side and onto the horse blanket, and create a sled that enables me to pull and her to push, bringing the safe into the trailer.

I turn around, sweaty, in need of a beer, and see no less than seven sets of eyes on me, no one saying a damn word.

My mom is looking at me like I just won a Nobel Prize.

All three uncles are looking at me in a state of shock with a hint of disgust.

Christy is looking at me like she's going to gold plate my bad ass card.

The last set of eyes I see are my husband and Papaw.  Papaw is sitting in his wheelchair, looking at me with tears unshed and and a shit-eating grin.  Wood looks down at him, hand on his shoulder, and says, "Don't ya hate it that she's so damn smart?" and chuckles.  Papaw just keeps looking at me for a second, looks down at his lap, face-splitting grin apparent, and says, "No. but I can name a few men that do!" and pats my husband's hand on his shoulder.

I high-five Christy and say, "Not bad for a dyke and weak woman, huh?"

My bad ass card went solid platinum.


  1. Love this story! I too have many weak & many determined in my family. I only support those that are determined that make it work .... I don't give a flip what your religion or sexual preference is!

    1. Amen, DFW! I live by the notion that in putting my nose into others business, well that takes up too much time, and I'm a busy woman!