[It’s Sunday night in the month of “Manuary”—the month my host blog at FeministMormonHousewives.org lets men run the show. And even though this is sacred basketball time, Mr. Mormon Girl is putting his shoulder to the wheel and pitching in. Which means, AMG is taking dictation as Mr. MG watches ESPN.]
Dear Mr Mormon Girl:
What is it like for someone not of the faith to be married to a Mormon with a public profile? Not just a Mormon, because that is complicated enough, but a Mormon in the public eye too . . . and a woman who has a full life of travel. I like to travel, attend conferences for work and fun and meet as many MoFems as I can. My husband is nowhere near as social as I am and he sometimes resents the intrusion into our life. How do you find a balance? What works for you?
Hi Gregarious: I’m watching my UCLA Bruins beat down the USC Trojans and looking up basketball coach bios on my iPhone at the same time, but because I’m an excellent husband and Mormon feminist ally, I’m happy to multi-task pitch in for Manuary.
Being a Jew married to a Mormon means tolerating the sight and smell of egg nog in your fridge every year for a month. Egg nog being Jewish kryptonite. It means constantly having to say, “Really, do we ned more sweets?” because of your people’s sugar habits. It means having to eat Sunday “dinner” with the in-laws at two in the afternoon and then assume that will be the only meal for the rest of the night. Being married to a Mormon means the humiliation of the small moments that remind me of my outsiderness—like never being able to figure out how to fold those damn folding chairs at church. It means figuring out a polite way to respond to Mormons who ask me to explain arcane ancient Hebrew stuff by saying, “Yeah, I know that’s in the Old Testament, but I have no clue what that means, or what that was.”
Being a Jew married to a high profile Mormon means proudly being able to tell Jews that yes, there are Mormon feminists who can take their rightful place alongside the long tradition of Jewish feminists.
Some might not be surprised to know that before she was Mormon Girl, Mormon Girl had a decent bit of notoriety and fame in her career as an academic. On one level, I’m used to her travelling and being “in demand” because that’s how her academic career has been, so this is just a new field where I’m not surprised she excels at. But Mormon Girl’s adventure into public Mormon life is of a different nature as well. I am her biggest fan and biggest promoter so I am always excited when she gets media attention or is asked to come participate in various liberal Mormon communities.
[Pause to hear commentator talk about new UCLA basketball who just transferred from somewhere.]
The travel itself has its challenges, but we have great friends and family that are always willing to help me out if I need free time while watching the girls. And Mormon Girl does an excellent job giving me opportunities when she gets back to do my own thing: playing golf, or having a dozen people over to watch the NFL playoffs.
I enjoy my role as a supporter as well, helping Joanna decompress and hearing about all of the wonderful Mormon people she meets. What really matters is how happy all of this has made her, how much happier she is now that she is able to do this. She is in a better place with herself, and her Mormonism. She is fulfilling something that I think she always felt was inside of her.
[And now, reader, you know why I married him. God bless feminist allies!]