My wife, the Beautiful AP, is my editor. A few days ago I handed her my latest article “The Righteous Outliers.” I thought it was a brilliant piece.
“So what did you think of my article?” I asked her, awaiting praise.
“I didn’t like it,” she said.
“No,” she said. “You wrote about two people in the club and about Thomas [not his real name] and I think you are going to hurt their feelings and our friends are going to be upset by this.”
“I didn’t make fun of anyone,” I said.
“You’re good with dialogue. I heard those two in the club actually speaking in your article. You don’t think everyone is not going to know who those club members are?”
“I gave them fake names,” I said. “I can’t believe you didn’t like it.”
“I hated it,” she said.
“I mean people who have certain beliefs sometimes go to the furthest ends of those beliefs and become intolerable. They lose their sense of humor and they are so critical of anyone who isn’t as fanatical as they are. You see it in religion, politics, societies…”
“Yes, yes, the idea is good. These outliers are everywhere in society,” she said.
“Righteous, righteous outliers. So that’s what I was writing about. I thought I caught it,”
“And Thomas? Do you think he wants you to share with the world the fact that he is being followed by his former religious friends because he’s converting to Catholicism?”
“I didn’t use his real name,” I said. “I mean his former religious friends have shunned him or are waiting outside his house speaking in tongues and trying to save him from the Satanic Catholic Church. Those people are all righteous outliers.”
“I hated the article,” she said.
Today I gave my wife my written analysis of the Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford’s Senate hearing from Thursday. I don’t know the truth of what happened and I am glad the FBI is looking into the allegations. My article was merely my attempt to show that a certain stereotypical pattern existed in the situation with Ford being the quivering damsel in distress while Kavanaugh was the beastly, sexually assaulting angry man. I claimed this stereotyping could be portrayed in a movie and the critics would say that this stereotyping was trite. My article was not taking either of them lightly.
She read the article, turned from the computer and glared at me.
I was smiling. “I hit on something that no one thought about or wrote about,” I said.
“I hated it,” she said.
“I hated it.”
“Seriously,” I said. “Come on, seriously?”
“This is a serious case and women are not going to be calm in the face of what you wrote,” she said. “This is a serious and emotional issue. They will not think of what you wrote as an ‘interesting analysis.’”
“What did I write? What did I write? I was just showing how you can see a stereotypical pattern in the event, that’s all. It was with both of them.”
“People are going to misunderstand what you meant,” she said. “You know and I know that people post absolute emotional garbage on the Internet. The reaction to your piece is going to be fierce and you will be mischaracterized.”
“Jesus Christ,” I said. “You mean I can’t write about hard-hitting issues?”
“Of course you can. But, you called Ford a damsel in distress and Kavanaugh the beer-bloated male bully but you’ll find that no one will understand you seeing a stereotypical pattern in this case. People will be outraged, thinking that you are trivializing the whole incident and what it represents—especially to those of us who can say, “Me too.”
“I don’t even know what you mean,” I said. Actually, I knew exactly what she meant but didn’t want to admit it.
“I mean: don’t publish it,” she said.
So I am writing this reaction at 2:30 in the morning. My problem is this: I know my damn wife is right about both articles. If it were ever Frank Scoblete versus the Beautiful AP testifying before the United States Senate—I would not be nominated as writer of the year.
Now comes the hardest part. I have to give my wife this article for editing. If you are reading this, it passed muster. If not…well, this will be the third article dumped on the trash pile this week.
Frank Scoblete’s latest book is Confessions of a Wayward Catholic! Available on Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, Kindle, e-books and at bookstores.