Saint Telemachus and the Harper Valley PTA


Now, y’all without sin go ahead and throw that first stone…

I come from a small town. (Cue John Mellencamp music.) It’s a great place to live, if you like majestic mountains, winning sports teams, and knowing your neighbors. If, however, you’re an outsider—and act like one—you’re liable to find yourself on the wrong side of an angry mob, and that’s just what happened to my local newspaper editor.

Mr. Editor has a habit of evoking strong emotions from the townspeople, and many of those emotions are not the warm and fuzzy variety. In fact, he’s downright despised by many for his editorial style, and his sheer lack of what proper folk refer to as “good manners.

So, after his most recent insensitive op-ed, the villagers rallied and organized a (Facebook) protest—which quickly escalated to personal attacks, finger-pointing, insults and threats of violence against Mr. Editor.

Lord, I love an underdog! Perhaps that’s why I inexplicably threw myself on the proverbial sword, taking a stand for the First Amendment. I fired off a letter to the publisher, threatening to rescind my contract and never contribute another column if he fired Mr. Editor. Then, I posted it publicly, for the entire (Facebook) world to see.

“Mom, how do you think this is going to work out for you?” asked Pockets.

Well, actually… I’m not really sure. What I do know is I witnessed a modern-day gladiator fight and, like Saint Telemachus, raced into the arena, crying, “Stop! Don’t you people see what you’re doing?!” knowing full well I may be stoned to (professional) death.

The response was swift. I lost followers. Protestors posted about me in groups and forums. Childhood friends blocked me. It was the equivalent of all my years of high school rejection, rolled into a few torturous hours.

I practiced great restraint in not fingering the man crying foul over ethics as the married Mr. Taylor, who’s asked me seven times for a date. I didn’t out the business owner yammering on about professionalism as Shirley Thompson, who’d clearly had more than a nip of gin last time I was in her store. I even held back when Mr. Baker, whose secretary mysteriously had to leave town, suggested someone delve into Mr. Editor’s past to find any dirty secrets buried there.

I deserve a medal, y’all.

True, I had to pry Mr. Wright off the ceiling when he found out what I’d done, as he was certain our businesses would be forever ruined, and we’d end up homeless. “Martyrdom does not pay well,” he reminded me.

But Pockets’s question brought it home. I realized, no matter what happens to my column, my livelihood, or my reputation, I was doing exactly what I want my kids to do when they see injustice in the world… Take a stand.

Surely, this winter when we’re huddled around a campfire under a bridge, eating beans out of a can, the kids will be proud of their mother. Right?


About Christina-Marie

Christina-Marie Wright is the manic mother of seven, wife to a real estate professional and political activist (the same guy—Mr. Wright) and author of the hilarious "Everything I Need to Know About Motherhood I Learned from Animal House," available on Amazon. After giving birth to one child—just to see if her body worked—she picked up four full-time stepchildren and two adopted children along her zigzagging path to (near) self-actualization. Her family isn’t “blended.” It’s “pureed.” That frothy blend of maternal mayhem includes: Princess (stepdaughter, b. 1990, Veterinary Medicine student), The Dude (stepson, b. 1993, employed, living on his own), Pockets (bio son, b. 1994, attending college), Pepper (stepdaughter, b. 1996, high school diva), GirlWonder (stepdaughter, b. 1997, middle school over-achiever), Curlytop (adopted daughter, b. 2005, special needs child allergic to Red Dye 40) and Snugglebug (adopted daughter, b. 2006, diagnosed Sensory Processing Dysfunction, also allergic to Red Dye 40). A vegan for over 15 years, and a Washington state native, Christina-Marie makes her home along the Columbia River, and the view from her living room is better than yours. She's also a sexual health consultant, and absolutely capable of teaching you how to find your G-spot. You can find Christina-Marie hanging out with a snifter of Southern Comfort at and

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