Falling Apart

Well, 2020 finally broke me. I’m overwhelmed, worried about COVID, stressed about the election, climate change, immigration and poverty, and disillusioned to learn Ellen DeGeneres is an actress. It feels like someone shook Pandora’s Box 2.0 like a maraca, releasing sadness, greed and hubris.

I started this column dozens of times, but it feels like my funny is numb. I’d begin writing but devolve into an angry rant where I’m pounding the keyboard like a furious Elton John. I’ve gone feral.

During yoga, I asked my students for advice on how to find my funny. They suggested sharing recipes for Doomsday Survival beverages like Meltdown Mimosas and Disaster Daquiris. I’m afraid if I start researching drinks, I’d sober up around Groundhog Day. (If there is a Groundhog Day in 2021.)

I’m run through a gamut of feelings, enough emotions to create a second or third generation of Snow White’s Seven Dwarfs. I start each day with Hangry then work my way through Weepy, Lonely, Screamy, Worry, Panic and Gloomy. My husband never knows which Peri he’ll bump into when we pass in the hall. It makes everyday discussions a bit wobbly.

Hubbie: What sounds good for dinner?

Me: We’re on a spinning planet, slowly moving toward the sun where we’ll be consumed like a fly in a bug zapper.

Hubbie: So . . . enchiladas?

Americans are resilient, right? We’ve been through tough times, right? We’ll come together and make the best decisions for our country . . . oh, who am I kidding?

I started screaming at the moon every night like some kind of demon weredog. I’m sure my neighbors are terrified. (Sidenote: I hope someone who’s been living in a bunker since Y2K finally emerged this year to see if it’s safe to come out. Joke’s on them.)

My meditation practice has become a slow descent into madness.

But then.

I zoom in close and watch my grandkids teach a disinterested dog to roll over. I see myriad kindnesses in my life like chocolate, warm blankets and Disaster Daquiris. I zoom out and witness this beautiful world with its billions of people just doing the best they can. Compassion is abundant.

I talk to the trees (literally). I smell pumpkin spice (everywhere). I hike through gorgeous canyons, watching leaves release their grip on branches and freefall to the ground. The stillness settles my thoughts.

I don’t know if you’ll read this before or after the election. I don’t know if we’re facing martial law, a presidential coup or (finally) an alien invasion. But I know optimism feels better than despair.

We can continue to Catastrophe Scroll though vile social media posts, created by friendless trolls with no sense of humor and a serious case of ringworm, or we can turn off our phones and relearn what “community” means.

One day soon, we’ll have to acknowledge the friendships we’ve lost, the unnecessary arguments we waged and the times we refused to back down. It will be a political hangover of epic proportions, especially if you’ve been drinking Calamity Cosmopolitans.

Those who follow my social media platforms know where I stand politically, and it’s easy to look at the rage in the world and point fingers at The Other Side.

I can stop the blame game, but I won’t stop calling for equality, justice and inclusion in places it doesn’t exist. We must remember that Hope remained in Pandora’s Box. It’s our job to nurture it.

This column was originally published in The Davis Clipper

Just Here For The Boos

It’s been a decade since COVID-19 reached our shores, ushering in 45 years of hand sanitizer, remote learning and face mask protesters sporting apostrophe-addled signs like “Your an idiot” and “Parent’s against masks”.

But now it’s October. Halloween is at risk. S*** just got real.

Nothing could be scarier than 2020, with its earthquakes and hurricane-force winds and rising COVID infection rates and elections, but Halloween isn’t just about fear. Halloween is the one day conservative moms can buy push-up bras and dress like lusty dog catchers, guilt free. It’s the day Snickers for breakfast and Reese’s for lunch are appropriate meals. It’s the day politically inappropriate celebrities get tagged on social media.

But COVID changed everything. Los Angeles prohibited trick-or-treating along with haunted house venues, Halloween carnivals and other spooky activities. After a swift and furious backlash from parents who need to give their kids ONE thing to look forward to this year, the city backed down and “recommended” common sense. Like that’s a thing.

Even then, it’s gonna take a lot to scare our children anymore in 2020. They spent months locked in the house, learning fractions online and wearing face masks to the grocery store. Their stress levels are sky-high and adrenal fatigue has caused weepy breakdowns and heartbreaking acceptance.

On the bright side, COVID-19 ushered in a whole new series of costumes for the holiday, including coronavirus outfits, teachers in hazmat suits and the very funny Elsa in a plastic bubble.

I think I’ll dress up as a mail-in ballot since that seems to be the most terrifying thing in the country today. (Sidenote: Vote on Nov. 3. Vote by mail, vote in person, drop your vote off in a ballot box. I don’t care how you vote. Crawl through a lake of spiders, a graveyard of zombies – just vote!)

The CDC issued COVID-19 risk categories, pertaining to Halloween activities. The lowest risk is a virtual festival where celebrations are held on Zoom because we just can’t get enough of Zoom, can we? (Sidenote: Has anyone investigated the connection between the coronavirus and Zoom? Hmm??)

Moderate risk includes small gatherings where individuals stay apart from each other and wear those Halloween masks from the ‘70s because there is no way germs (or breath) will get through that thick plastic.

Higher risk activities will be your social distanced haunted houses where vampires and witches stand six feet away and snarl the horrible things they’d do if they could just get a little closer. That horrifying thing breathing down your back is the local Karen, screeching into her cellphone and looking for a manager.

Posing the highest risk are large, in-person, no-mask gatherings made popular in places like Utah and Washington Counties. (Sidenote: Idiots.)

People have tried to ruin Halloween for centuries. The latest attempt was the introduction of Trunk-or-Treat, which should be banned in all 50 states for its mediocre contribution to the holiday, so I don’t think COVID will stop Halloween enthusiasts. Some people find Halloween offensive, with its glittery bats and baby werewolves. But everything is offensive this year. If something didn’t offend someone in 2020, did it really happen?

I guess we’ll see if people party safely this Halloween when COVID results start rolling in two weeks later. I’ll stand outside your hospital room with signs like, “I wish youd listened” and “Your an imbecile”.

Originally published in the Davis Clipper

Social Distancing Activities for Fall

Take it Outside

For the last five months, we’ve been locked up with our families for 17 years. Each day is another long, hot trek to bedtime. Parents break their brains thinking up creative ways to entertain their kids during this “summer vacation” that started in March and threatens to continue through fall. The phrase “Families Can Be Together Forever” is now a terrifying prophecy.

Here’s what we’ve learned: Sometimes video games ARE the answer.

Celebrities share Tik Tok videos about being “stranded” in their $6.5 million log cabins where everyone has their own TV, floor, masseuse, trampoline and personal chef. I’m not belittling their suffering, I’m just . . . well, I guess I am.

For common folk, trampolines are as hard to find as Lysol wipes. Puzzles, board games and sidewalk chalk are valuable commodities on the black market (along with livers, since we’ve been day-drinking for months).

Everyone is heading outside to escape.

Extended families stretch the “No large gathering” rules to the max because COVID wouldn’t ruin the annual family reunion, right? Lakes, canyons, national parks and camp sites are packed with people who thought they were the only ones who needed a break from looking at the same dirty carpeting for one more day.

I’ve been on several hikes this summer, sometimes with the puppy, sometimes with the grandkids. Not necessarily relaxing, but at least we take the fight to a different location.

My latest hike was tackling Bell’s Canyon with my daughter and three of my grandkids, including a 3- and 4-year-old. If that sounds like something out of a Stephen King novel, you are correct.

Before we even started up the trail the complaining began. “I’m so hot.” “The trail is too steep.” “The dirt is too dirty.” “I’m so thirsty.”

My daughter told me to shut up and set a better example, but it was too late. The littles were soon echoing my whines at super-high decibel levels. I ended up confiscating water bottles after a good portion was dumped onto the trail to make mud. I explained to the toddlers what happens when you dehydrate. They didn’t care.

It took roughly five days to make our way to the reservoir where the kids splashed in the cool water, tossed wet sand at each other, threw crackers at the ducks, slipped on the rocks and screamed at the dragonflies.

I considered calling in a rescue helicopter, figuring the expense was worth not having to walk back down the trail. Instead, we bribed the kids with McDonald’s, promising processed chicken parts if they’d walk faster than a drugged porcupine. We made it back to the car exhausted, sunburned and grumpy – just like a normal summer hike!

Backyards are also being used to their fullest. Our luxurious backyard pool (a 6’ wading pool from Walmart) is usually a weird shade of green and full of dead bugs, but that doesn’t stop us from soaking in the probably dangerous water, eating popsicles. If I don’t get sick from COVID, malaria might be another option.

The grandkids set up a tent a couple of weeks ago, hoping to have a backyard campout. They roasted marshmallows over the grill and climbed into their sleeping bags only to be shaken awake two hours later by a microburst that threatened to carry them to Oz. Everyone was safe, but traumatized, which seems to be the status quo in these crazy times.

Returning to school is the big debate right now, followed by what should be a strange Halloween and holiday season. Sure makes eternity feel like a really long time.

This column originally appeared in The Davis Clipper

Om is Where the Heart Is

woman-meditating-in-the-outdoors-2908175In a subtle attempt to calm me down, my husband enrolled me in a mediation course. I love meditation, in theory, and had a random practice that included meditating in bed, grocery store lines and during TV commercials, but I didn’t have an actual sit-down meditation practice.

Now I do. Twice a day I sit for 20 minutes and watch the thoughts in my brain battle to the death. According to Instagram, nothing proves how spiritual you are more than sitting quietly with perfectly styled hair and make-up. The longer you sit, the better a person you are. Fact.

So now I’m a super-spiritual Zen person. I make sure I talk about my meditation practice all the time. The more you talk about how you’ve merged with your inner self, the more interested people around you become. They could listen to you talk about your meditation practice for hours.

You also need an expensive meditation cushion. Here’s a conversation I had with my husband, who just couldn’t understand the complexities of meditation.

Husband: Can’t you just sit in a chair?

Me: To be uber-spiritual, I need an $80 meditation cushion so I’m closer to Mother Earth.

Husband: Why don’t you just sit on the floor?

Me: Don’t be crass.

I tried sitting on the ground to meditate. I was in San Luis Obispo at a conference, and I went to the beach early in the morning. I listened to the waves, communed with my inner being and radiated calm as I left the beach to go back to the hotel.

As I ran up the trail from the beach, I tripped on a rock and fell face-first onto a wooden stair, nearly breaking my nose and spending the rest of the weekend with a bruised and swollen face. If I’d been sitting on a beautiful cushion instead of the ground, my inner being wouldn’t have been pissed off and try to kill me. Fact.

Meditation in nature is supposed to be super-relaxing, but right when I close my eyes I feel an ant crawl across my foot and I have to look to make sure it isn’t a spider because then I have to jump up and scream.

The only reason to meditate outside is so people can see you meditate and understand you’re a super-spiritual person.

I’m teaching my puppy to mediate with me, hoping my calm energy will soothe her. After 10 minutes of getting her to settle down, I’ll place my hand on her back, syncing our breath and heart rate. Just as I create an intense connection to her heart chakra, she jumps in my lap to lick my face and ruins everything. She’ll never be as spiritual as me. Fact.

blue-buddha-ceramic-head-figurine-1597017People ask what I do when meditating. First, I sit quietly on my expensive cushion, noticing the thoughts running across my mind. I spend several minutes trying not to notice the thoughts running across my mind. I achieve two seconds of stillness before the thoughts start up again.

Soon I become numb from the waist down. The more numb you feel, the more spiritual you are. I can’t feel my toes and my knees are screaming for help. But that just proves to the Universe that I’m dedicated to my meditation practice. Sometimes I fall asleep and jerk awake before I hit the floor.

I expect I’ll achieve enlightenment any day now since I’m so good at meditating. If there’s one thing I excel at it’s doing absolutely nothing. Fact.

 

Originally published in the Davis Clipper

Tomorrow is Another Day in Quarantine

ScarlettAs soon as COVID-19 hovered in the air we breathe, I went into full-on “Gone With the Wind” Scarlett O’Hara mode, ripping up bedsheets to make toilet paper and stockpiling moonshine for antiseptic. Of course, Scarlett was useless in an emergency. For the majority of the Civil War, she whined and married rich men.

I’m also pretty useless in emergencies. When I knew the shelter-in-place edict was coming, I didn’t stockpile food, I scurried to the library to check out all the books.

After hoarding four months of library books, I told everyone in the house (my husband, my daughter and her two children, ages 3 and 8) to check their 72-hour kits.

They responded, “What 72-hour kits?” Not a good start.

In the shed, I located an emergency essentials bag that looked like it had housed a family of weasels. Along with 10 years of dust, it contained an expired can of roasted almonds, a box of matches, a pair of underwear and a spatula.

We were doomed.

Tossing my hair like Scarlett, I tied on my shopping bonnet and sang out “fiddle-dee-dee” as I headed to the grocery store for provisions. By the time I got there, options were limited, unless I was keen on making a casserole with canned asparagus, creamed squid and buckwheat flour. I figured we’d just be creative with dinner. (Lesson learned: 3-year-old granddaughters don’t like creative dinners.)

Our meals usually consist of some type of egg for breakfast, leftover Easter candy for lunch and something with hamburger or chicken for dinner. Could be spaghetti, could be soup. Hard to tell.

This has been the worst staycation ever. I do not recommend.

Both my husband and I can work from home, so we take turns sharing the home office space. One person works in the office with a comfy chair every other day, while the other person sits on a workout ball at a TV table in the bedroom. It’s . . . complicated. And we’re adjusting to each other’s work behaviors.

Husband: Can you not leave dozens of half-empty water glasses by the computer?

Me: You silly scalawag! Are they half-empty? Or half-full?

Anyway, our attorneys are working out the final details.

My puppy, Jedi, is over-the-moon excited to have me around, LITERALLY sitting on my feet all day. She got even clingier when the earthquake rattled our home (not funny Mother Nature) and she made me carry her 60-pound furry body from room-to-room for the next week.

As life was boiled down to its necessities, I realized how often (in the before-times) I would bored-shop, bored-Starbucks and bored-TV-binge. Since March, I’ve narrowed that list down to bored TV binging. (Between “Better Call Saul” and “Ozark” I definitely know I should avoid the Mexican drug cartel.)

As warmer weather approaches, I miss shopping for new spring clothes. Looking back oncurtains how Scarlett made dresses out of her velvet draperies, I tried channeling her creative spirit again. It was tough to made clothes out of our window coverings since we only have wooden blinds. But I did my best. Pictures not available.

We’re still in lock-down mode. I replenish our milk and produce once a week. We walk the dog a dozen times a day. We work and eat and read and play games and get on each other’s nerves and fight and makeup and write hopeful messages on the sidewalk in colorful chalk.

Like Scarlett, there are lots of things I’ll worry about tomorrow. But if we have books to read, food to eat and our family is safe, I’m very content in my little corner of the world.

Originally published in the Davis Clipper

A Woman’s Place

susanbAs the mother of four daughters, and grandma to several granddaughters, I’m frequently asked (okay, twice) what advice I’d give to young women. Women are stronger than ever before, yet many men try to drag us back to the Victorian Era.

Men keep gettin’ up in our bizness, drafting regulations about our bodies, creating rules about everything from prom wear to breastfeeding, and making sure we’re slut-shamed if we behave out-of-line.

We’re called hysterical. We’re labeled as trouble-makers. We’re branded as unreasonable. We’re given a warm glass of milk, a pat on the head and sent to the kids’ table.

Men have had thousands of years to run the world – and I’m not impressed. Maybe it’s time they step aside and let women do the heavy lifting. (Which we can totally do.)
Here’s what young women (of every age) should know:

Own your voice. Don’t waste time explaining yourself and don’t apologize for being a smart, confident, breath of fresh air. Shout your brilliance from the rooftops and ignore those grumpy old men who slam their windows to block out the noise.

Live an authentic life. Travel. Get educated. Eat what you want. Drink what you want. Wear what you want. If a man’s morals are compromised because he caught a glimpse of your shoulders (or ankles, or earlobes) – not your problem. Instead of adding layers to our wardrobes, how about men get their minds out of the damn gutter?

Raise your standards. Life’s too short to be with someone who doesn’t appreciate your greatness. If your partner is fighting with you instead of for you, time to show them the door.

Think big. Remember that amazing idea you had? Remember how you set it aside because you thought you had to be something else? Dust that idea off. Shower it with love and attention. Don’t be afraid of big ideas. The world needs your creativity.

Plant yourself at the table. We’re tired of being dismissed. We’re sick to death of being talked down to (mansplaining, anyone?). We’re capable, functioning adults and we have something to say. Ladies, don’t back away when you’re described as “shrill” or “harsh” or “bitchy” or any other words men use to slap us down.

Give yourself permission to be human. We’re not robots who smile 24/7, tidy up after meetings and schedule luncheons. Don’t feel self-conscious if your expression isn’t “happy” enough. Look serious. Who cares? Men certainly aren’t smiling, cheerful androids.

Stand your ground. When you’re being pushed aside, refuse to budge. There are generations of women who fought for your right to stand tall, raise your voice and share your truth. They’re cheering you on. You can feel their energy, right?

Embrace your goddess self. The Greek goddess Athena is my go-to deity. She’s not only the goddess of wisdom, but the goddess of war. There are times you need to sit back and listen, and there are times you need to put on your kick-ass shoes and, well, kick ass.

Lift other women. Like a rising tide lifts all boats, a rising woman can lift an entire generation. Don’t gossip, it doesn’t serve you. Don’t be envious, it sinks your success. Link arms with the women around you and march forward celebrating each other’s triumphs. There is strength in numbers and our numbers are vast.

Listen up, men. We’re tired of playing small. Either join with us so we can move forward together, creating a world where our granddaughters and their granddaughters can thrive, or slink back to your Victorian mindset. There is no more middle ground.

 

Originally published in the Davis Clipper and The City Journals.

 

Scent of Mystery

I blame Love’s Baby Soft for destroying my archeological career. Up until I started spritzing the perfume popular with the seventh-grade girls in my class, I’d never given any thought to how I smelled. My mom was lucky to get me to shower, yet, here I was, dousing myself in baby powder-scented toilet water.

luvsThe perfume’s slogan should have been a warning, “Because innocence is sexier than you think.”

Seriously? Who came up with that? Hustler magazine?

My mom saw the signs and tried desperately to distract me. Basketball practice. Dance lessons. Piano lessons. But it was too late. I’d discovered this scent could lure 12-year-old boys to my locker better than a steak sandwich (which I also tried).

But this wasn’t me! I didn’t care about boys! I had planned a life of adventure!

In first grade, I decided to become an author. I read “The Little Princess” until I absorbed the ability to write through osmosis. I spent the day in my room, penning stories and jotting down poems then submitted my siblings to “a reading” where I’d share my work and they’d complain to mom.

Becoming Nancy Drew was my second-grade goal. I was ready to uncover ridiculous clues to break up the den of bank robbers living somewhere in Murray, Utah.

As a third-grader, I checked out library books so I could learn hieroglyphics. When the call came to go dig up tombs in Egypt, I’d be ready. I would trek near the pyramids, wearing khakis and a cute pith helmet, encountering mummies and warding off ancient curses.

Fourth and fifth grades were spent honing my dance skills. Ballet, tap, jazz, hokey-pokey – I did it all. I’d practice every day, secure in the knowledge I’d perform on Broadway. Or at least the Murray Theater.

In sixth grade, I discovered Paul Zindel’s “The Pigman” and my desire to write returned full-force. It was decided. In the future, I would be a writing, dancing, detective archeologist who spent equal time on the stage and the Amazon rainforest.

But seventh grade! Boys! Gah!!

Suddenly, I wanted to smell good. I became obsessed with every pimple, every pore and studied the beautiful girls who made glamour seem effortless.

I read teen magazines. I learned I needed glossy lips and thick eyelashes to attract the opposite sex. (I tried to no avail to create the perfect cat’s eye, which turned out fine because I’m not a cat.) I had bangs so high and hairspray stiff, they were a danger to low-flying birds.

shaun-cassidyI fell in love with Shaun Cassidy, which was crazy because, as a writer, how could I marry someone who sang “Da Doo Ron Ron”? Those aren’t even words!

I earned money for Levi’s 501 button-fly jeans and Converse shoes. I bought Great Lash mascara, with its pink-and-green packaging – and Love’s Baby Soft.

Sure enough, the glossy, smelly trap I’d set began attracting boys who were just as confused as I was. Just last summer we played baseball in the street and now we circled each other like strangers, unsure of what the hell was going on. Hormones raged.

Thanks to the distraction of the opposite sex, I never deciphered hieroglyphics. I never performed under the bright lights of a New York stage. I was never asked to solve the Mystery of the Secret Bracelet.

I blame Love’s Baby Soft. If it hadn’t been for that innocent aroma, I’d be a world-renowned expert on ancient Babylonia, accepting Tony awards for my depiction of Eliza Doolittle.

Seventh grade! Boys! Gah!!

The Prince’s Pride

vizzini

Are we laughing or crying? 

Over the last three years, I’ve often felt like Vizzini from “The Princess Bride” where he constantly says things are “Inconceivable!”

Trump pays off a porn star with no consequences. “Inconceivable!”

Trump ignores requests for stricter gun control laws. “Inconceivable!”

Trump is bringing back coal and destroying EPA regulations. “Inconceivable!”

Trump asks a foreign government to investigate an opponent. “Inconceivable!”

Trump blocked a rule that would cut industrial toxic pollution by 90 percent. “Inconceivable!”

Trump bullies a 16-year-old environmental activist/rockstar. “Inconceivable!”

Trump continues to insult public figures without remorse. “Inconceivable!”

Trump is impeached and Republicans bend over backward to justify his behavior. “Inconceivable!”

Trump has a Rodent of Unusual Size living under his bed. Okay, that’s conceivable.

Tom finally said to me, “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

I think he’s right. The inconceivable has become commonplace. Trump’s rants, antics, lies, disrespect and behavior have been normalized. No more are we surprised by the horrible things he says daily.

Just like “The Princess Bride”, good stories need a revenge plot. Trump has it covered. He threatens revenge against anyone and everyone who crosses him. He trolls his Twitter feed calling out the Fake News Media, former staff members and, hopefully, his stylist.

But no one cares. Inconceivable!

Social status is another theme of “The Princess Bride” – and the Trump Administration. In

humper

“I always think everything could be a trap, which is why I’m still alive.” –Trump or Humperdinck

the movie, Prince Humperdinck avoids the “commoners” while raising his status by trying to marry the most beautiful woman in the world. Trump also chooses status over leadership, cutting corporate taxes and avoiding places like Puerto Rico. Appearance is everything. If it’s not shiny, he doesn’t see it.

Nothing happens. No consequences. Inconceivable!

I’m sure he tucks his administration into bed at night with “Good night, staff. Good work. Sleep well. I’ll most likely kill you in the morning.”

The REAL Real Housewives of Salt Lake City

Unless you’ve been living in the Gobi Desert, hiding from the toxic political atmosphere, you’re well aware that Bravo will air the “Real Housewives of Salt Lake City” in 2020. As if 2020 wasn’t going to be terrible enough.

photo-of-woman-wearing-black-dress-beside-horse-2090704

Just a housewife. In a dress. With her horse. They’re so like us.

If you’re not familiar with the intellectual and thought-provoking series, executive producer Andy Cohen flies to town in his invisible helicopter, rounds up glamourous white women, tells them to act like idiots, then throws a diamond necklace into a swimming pool to watch them jump in wearing slinky evening gowns.

It started in 2006 with “The Real Housewives of Orange County” and then spread like the plague through New York, Atlanta, Beverly Hills and other unsuspecting cities. In any given episode, you can expect nanny drama, coiffed eyebrows, white woman problems, plastic surgery cleavage, mean gossip, pouty lips, cats, jewelry for cats, catty behavior and lots of big hair.

But why Utah? Well, the series tends to be overwhelmingly white, so I guess Utah makes sense. And I’ve heard that some women in Utah live glamourous lives in upper-class communities. That rules me out. My glamorous life consists of digging through laundry for a pair of matching socks.

What I want to see is “The REAL Real Housewives of Salt Lake City.”

Episode #1: Judy is late for church. She’s wrangling her seven children into their Sunday best while her husband spends the morning in church meetings. He calls to ask why she’s late again and she throws her phone into the garbage disposal and takes all the kids to Denny’s for breakfast.

Episode #2: Carol has been asked to plan a girl’s camp for a swarm of 12-year-olds. She hates camping. And 12-year-old girls. She reaches out to her friends to create a fun week-long adventure in the Wasatch Mountains. Carol hides a flask of “Holy Water” in her scriptures.

Episode #3: Brittany sewed matching pajamas for her entire family but no one wants to wear them for the family Christmas picture. Brittany locks herself in the bathroom to cry while her husband insists he loves the purple-plaid, footed pajamas that he’ll wear for the photo if she’ll JUST STOP CRYING!

Episode #4: Shelly is a wonderful cook. She makes cinnamon rolls to DIE for. Her best friend asks Shelly for her recipe. Shelly happily obliges, but changes all the measurements so her friend’s cinnamon rolls will taste like s***.

Episode #5: Alexa is in love. At 18 years old, she just wants her returned missionary boyfriend to propose so they can live happily ever after. There’s a lot of seductive hand-holding, late-night scripture reading and even a sleepover, which is actually just a New Year’s Eve party with six other couples playing Skip-Bo and drinking sparkling cider.

Instead of all these genuine Salt Lake City scenarios, the new show will feature your basic Housewives’ dilemmas. Boo. Here’s Stefon from Saturday Night Live to explain what we’ll see during the show (because I miss him and want him to return to SNL so much).

stefon“If you’re watching ‘The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City’ you can expect hysteria at the highest levels. There will be screeching, low cut gowns, pygmy goats directing traffic, Aquanet toothpaste, a jewelry heist, several cans of Pillsbury pizza crust, a lusty affair with a diesel mechanic, Spam, cabana boys with cowboy hats, Golden Retrievers wearing red pumps and a gala at Salt Lake’s newest club, Spork.”

Actually, that might actually make 2020 bearable.