In this chapter we get (not necessarily in this order):
-meeting that hot piece of manmeat, Todd
-Palin’s college years
-fun with baby names in the Palin household
So apparently for Sarah Palin, meeting her future husband depended a lot on praying to God to bring her a suitable mate. “When I saw him, my world turned upside down. I actually whispered, ‘Thank you, God.’” (34) Here are the things Sarah liked about Todd: (1) he owned TWO cars, (2) he was a total dreamboat, (3) his family was wealthy & (4) he was very independent. Well, actually, Palin manages to contradict herself on point number 4 pretty quickly. “He didn’t come from a wealthy family, but from a hardworking family,” she writes on page 34. Then, she brags of all the businesses his family owned in Bristol Bay: “the town’s hardware store, hotel, mechanic shop, and other businesses, ultimately employing scores of people.” (35) And I think she’d at least attempt to camouflage her contradictions a little better. Sarah also goes on & on about how they “weren’t into fancy food, fancy clothes, fancy anything.” (37) That is, until the RNC was footing the bill at Neiman Marcus.
I also think I discovered the truth before my earlier post about the sexy-time phone conversations Todd & Sarah were having.
Todd and I discovered we could close the five miles between our homes if we stood on our back porches and used the handheld VHF radios he used on his fishing boat in Bristol Bay. For months, we snuck whispered nighttime chats until we discovered that the commercial truckers barreling through town could hear us. (38)
I guess that shows us how I got a hold of that sexy chat between the two of them while dating—some commercial trucker must have leaked it! Poor Sarah!!!
Palin also speaks of her self-determinism, saying that hottie Todd “would be rewarded according to how hard he worked the waters.” (38) Now, I thought you were rewarded according to how much money you coughed up for Jesus…
We also learn about beefcake Todd’s DUI and how it shaped him. “It was a humiliating mistake, a big wake-up call to be charged with drinking and driving in his hometown. He’d later tell an employer in a job interview that it was his most critical lesson, because it woke him up to the danger of making stupid decisions. He said it changed his life.” (49) I guess he didn’t really learn his lesson because he still married and impregnated this woman 5 times.
Palin writes of her mavericky decision to elope on a whim—I’m going to assume it was because they were horny and Jesus wouldn’t want them to have sex outside of marriage. Afterall, I cannot imagine them having sex outside of marriage—Palin would NEVER do anything hypocritical.
In this chapter, we are also treated to Palin’s beauty pageant past, which is particularly interesting to me, considering she said this of Levi Johnston when he decided to pose for Playgirl: "Consider the source of the most recent attention-getting lies -- those who would sell their body for money reflect a desperate need for attention and are likely to say and do anything for even more attention." Now what does Sarah say when it comes to her participating in Miss Wasilla. “There was the scholarship money. I knew I wasn’t a good enough athlete to get a Division I scholarship, but I did want to graduate debt-free. Was there some way I could make this work?” (42) And later, “I shocked my friends and family, put on a sequined Warrior-red gown, danced the opening numbers, gave the interview, and uncomfortably let my butt be compared to the cheerleaders’ butts.” (43) What’s the word for when it’s okay for you to do something but not for another person? I can’t quite find it.
Palin speaks of what makes her a Republican in this section. Among other things it is: “a believer in individual rights” (unless it’s a pregnant woman who does not want to be pregnant or a gay man who wants to marry his partner), and “a belief that America is the best country on the earth.” (45) She seems shocked that anyone can question the awesome-ness that is America. About President Carter, “why did he allow America to be humiliated and pushed around?” (45)
Then we get into Palin’s embrace of the cult of motherhood and this is where I want to dry heave. “On April 20, 1989, my life truly began. I became a mother.” (51) Because, of course, no woman is complete until she has pushed an 8 pound baby out of her vagina. Upon holding Track, she realized that she “knew [my] purpose.” (53)
But probably the most hilarious section of the chapter comes after this. Where Todd & Sarah found the name Track.
“Track, right?,” he said. “Like tracking an elephant?”
“I explained that no, it was because obviously we loved sports, and the baby was born during the spring track season.
“What if he’d been born during wrestling season?” Dad asked. “Would you have named him ‘Wrestle’?”
“No,” I said, smiling, “we’d have named him ‘Mat.’”
“And if he’d been born during basketball?”
“We could’ve called him ‘Court’.”
“What’s wrong with ‘Zamboni’?” (53)
Good Christ, I hope these people were joking around. Then, Palin gets pregnant again, and they decide to name the child Tad, a combination of Todd and Track. I’m not kidding. And how on earth is that a combination of Todd and Track?
Sadly, Tad is not to be, as he loses his heartbeat at three-months. This is where I actually have a little bit of sympathy for Palin, as I have had many friends who have suffered the devastation of a miscarriage. “A miscarriage is often dismissed as something a woman needs to shake off quickly, but it’s impossible to explain the devastation and loss until you’ve experienced it.” (56) This is one of the few times where I have any sympathy for Palin. I only wish that she could have some sympathy for other women facing tough reproductive decisions.
Bristol is named after Bristol Bay, the bay that Todd grew up in. For some reason, the reasoning behind that name makes the most sense out of all her children's names. Now, that is sad.
The rest of the chapter deals with the Exxon-Valdez oil tank running aground and its effect on Alaska. I will pick up tomorrow with Chapter 2.