Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Published Author... Check.

My Father-In-Law, Steve, writes a column for the Post Register (Idaho Fall's newspaper). When he was visiting us a month ago, he was trying to figure out a topic and write a column before he left to go abroad for a week or two. (Apparently, he owns the Red Cross or something. I'd be more impressed if I had any idea what he actually does and if I didn't beat him at Ticket to Ride so much.) Anyway, Steve was whining about his column and since we have kind of a bantering relationship, I bet him that I could write a column good enough for him to use in an hour. Weirdly enough, I actually did it and got 50 bucks out of it. The money is to be used on a Prime Rib dinner, since Prime Rib is all I crave during this pregnancy. I say that he underestimated the quality of Prime Rib dinner that my lifestyle demands and thereby he owes me more.

The column ran on November 27th. I looked online, saw that it had been published and froze. I couldn't (still can't) bring myself to read it. I went and sat in the shower for 45 minutes just completely embarrassed. I don't mind posting things on my blog. The majority of people who read this know me well or at least vaguely, with the exception of a weird bubble in Northern India who also tune in. I feel like I'm talking to friends. Now I know that the Post Register isn't the biggest paper in the world, but a lot of people read Steve's column. Basically anytime we're in Idaho Falls and we're out in public with him, someone stops him and tells him how they love reading his column. I know that at least SOMEONE who doesn't know me read it and that terrifies me. What if they hated it?

I've had a bunch of friends and family ask me to post what I wrote here, because the Post Register requires a subscription to see their content online. I know several of you want to see it, but I still feel dumb posting it because it is very specifically about Idaho/Idaho Falls and you really might not think it's interesting. Oh well, I  feel stupid, but there is also a part of me that's proud that I actually wrote something and that someone out there liked it enough to print, so I'll post it here too. But you are required to adore it or I am going to take an hour-long shower.

When I met my husband, I didn’t realize there was something terribly wrong with him. But on our second date, he told me over dessert: “I want you to know that I think Idaho Falls is the greatest place in the world.” He didn’t even soften the blow.

I went home to my apartment in Logan and told my Utahn roommates the news. “He has Pride-aho.” They were upset, of course. We had all had high hopes for Jeff, but now we knew that the state of Idaho had another fine young man in her potato claws.

I’ll have you know that Pride-aho is a scientific fact. When taken outside of their beloved home state, Idahoans become fierce defenders of the Idaho faith. The concept of Pride-aho (Pride of Idaho) is especially relevant at Utah State University, which lies less than 20 miles away from the border. At USU, Pride-ahoans walk freely among the students, ready to defend their Motherland at the drop of a hat.. Regrettably, these zealots don’t look like Napoleon Dynamite or some other famous person from Idaho (ha!). Shockingly enough, you can even end up going on a second date with a Pride-ahoan and never know.

Unfortunately, I am from Utah and I had already decided after our first date that Jeff and I were going to get married in May, so I was especially perturbed by the news that he was one of THEM.  Would that mean that we’d have to have our second reception in a potato field? Would he expect us to (gulp) live in Idaho?

After long thought, I realized that Jeff had a very specific genus of Pride-aho. Specifically, Jeff had Pride-aho Falls. I had never been to Idaho Falls and because of a pleasant Best Western continental breakfast in Boise, I knew in my heart that all of Idaho couldn’t be all that bad. Maybe Idaho Falls really was the mystical land Jeff thought it was? After I found out that there was in fact a Target store there, I was ready to give IF a chance.

We drove to Idaho Falls late one night in September. Jeff had wanted some Jack-In-The-Box (which Utah lacks) and was willing to drive a fair distance to get it. We drove to Pocatello and just as we were about to exit off the freeway, Jeff decided that he didn’t want Pocatello to be the first impression that I had of Eastern Idaho just as I was so recently willing to form new Idaho-opinions. So we drove the extra 45 minutes to Idaho Falls and suddenly the stakes felt higher.

He took me to downtown Idaho Falls. (“That’s what you need to see.”) It was past midnight and the only thing open was Ford’s Bar, but I was enchanted. Antique shops and small cafes were illuminated by the streetlight and everywhere I looked I kept seeing these cool artsy benches sitting outside retro-looking buildings. It was nothing like the Salt Lake suburbs I had grown up in where every new development looked the same.Even in the middle of the night, I could tell that Idaho Falls had a very specific, very charming character that I never would have expected. Then Jeff drove me around the greenbelt and the Falls and I was a goner. A Pride-aho Fallsian.

Listen, it’s not a perfect town. It is too cold. It’s easy to get lost. I still have never successfully turned left out of Target. But Idaho Falls, I was prepared to only tolerate you and somehow you charmed me into cheering at the Emotion Bowl; racing rubber ducks on the river; and watching the fireworks show on the Fourth. And that May wedding? We had it here and it was beautiful.


Shantel said...

Hooray! Congratulations. I loved it. I think that you are an awesome writer and I really enjoyed the article. I'm super impressed!

KC Crouch said...

Oh you made me remember some of Idaho Falls beauties, cause I have to admit Cory and I have started to gain some Utah pride. It was a really great article.

Lolita said...

Sarah, this was great! I started out laughing and wound up choked up. You go, girl!

Emily Jones said...

I've never met you, but Jeff was my good friend in high school and I just have to tell you... LOVED the article. I've never heard the phrase "pride-aho" before, but right away I could tell it described me perfectly. I haven't converted my husband to be a "pride-aho fallsian" yet, but it's definitely a paradise for me! Very well written! Nice job!

Jonathan and Linsi said...

Ha I loved that! Good job Sarah, you should really try to publish more often.... it would make lots of people happy. :)
And congrats on your girl! That's so exciting! So, I know exactly how you feel, we were initially told ours was a girl, but it was on a very unclear ultrasound on a tiny screen. I went home wishing it were a boy, even though I'd WANTED a girl. Well, turns out it WAS a boy! I don't anticipate that happening with yours since it was a good ultrasound, but it was funny to read that you felt the same way I did. Boys are wonderful huh? But, like you, we would like to experience both genders, too. Maybe someday :)
PS- Thank you for your kind words, your are so sweet and I love following your little family!
Also, are you going to see a perinatologist? They can measure your cervix every other week to make sure it doesn't get short too soon, and start you on a hormone to keep it from shortening early. Maybe it will help prevent what happened last time!

Sue said...

Now I know someone famous and we're even related. Loved the article!

thecuteone said...

Love it! I'm pretty sure my mom was one stranger who read this article. :) I'll agree with you that it's too cold and windy way to often but I'll admit I've got some Pride-aho Falls too.


Val said...

I loved it! I had a boss who was from Idaho Falls and he wouldn't stop talking it up. Now I know why.

Val said...

So I've been thinking about this since I read it, and I want to let you know that you have inspired me. I'm actually going to try to get published in the next year. I think I need a 45 minute shower just for making that decision. Thanks!

Anonymous said...


We always knew you could write. You know the rules and you have a wonderful imagination.

Since my book came out I find myself enjoying my own writing. Sometimes it seems like it was written by someone else.

I bet Steve gives you more chances to write his column.

Your Dad