Our podcast today was recorded in front of a live audience on August 24, 2021, at Bonner Park Bandshell in Missoula, MT. 7 storytellers shared their true personal story on the theme “Forward to Better”. Today we hear from 2 of those storytellers.
Our story this episode comes to us from Rosie Ayers and Teresa Waldorf.
Teresa Waldorf and Rosie Ayers build a common story using their different experiences during the pandemic.
They call their story “March 22”.
Transcript : March 22
Marc Moss: Welcome to the Tell Us Something podcast. I’m Marc Moss,
Teresa Waldorf: March 22nd.
I’m not flying to Phoenix
Marc Moss: back in 2016, I experimented with duo storytelling. I had an outdoor event at the peace farm. You know how, when you listen to two people who really know each other and they’re telling a story and they sometimes interrupt each other and say, wait, that’s not how it happened. Yeah, it was, it was supposed to be like that.
Some of the night was like that. We put a little bit of a spin on that idea with Theresa and Rosie’s story.
Rosie Ayers: I had stopped all theater productions, all classes. I had no answers for.
Marc Moss: Thanks. Once again, to our title sponsor Blackfoot communications, they deliver superior technology solutions through trusted relationships and enrich the lives of their customers.
Owners and employees learn [email protected] Announcing call first storytellers. We are currently looking for storytellers for the next. Tell us something storytelling live event. The theme is stoned. Which pretty much leaves things wide open. If you’d like to pitch your story for consideration, please call 4 0 6 2 0 3 4 6 8 3.
You have three minutes to leave your pitch. The pitch deadline is February 7th, which leads me to tell you about the live event itself. We will be in person for the first time since August, 2021. We’re running at 75% capacity, which allows for listeners to really spread out at the Wilma. Learn more and get your [email protected], Theresa and Rosie built a common story using their different experiences during the pandemic.
They call their story March 22nd. Thanks for listening
Teresa Waldorf: March 22nd, and I’m not flying to Phoenix. I’m in a long distance relationship with a man who I think is going to be the next great love of my life. But we’ve been having an argument on the phone. I’m saying I have to cancel my flight. My mom is crying and he’s saying things like, well, at our age, I don’t think we do what our moms tell us.
And I say, but you don’t understand all of my friends, every single person I know who had a flight for spring break has canceled it. He finally acquiesced. And a little bit of a dismissive way. And instead invites me to spend the week with him as the week progresses. He gets a little bit more distracted and a little bit more disengaged.
And I head home at the end of that week thinking, well, it’s just because he’s so sad. He doesn’t know when he’ll see me again. And two days later I got a phone call explaining that he wasn’t going to see me again. He was not going to be able to. Put up with that kind of distance for an undetermined amount of time, obviously.
And so he was seeing someone else that’s who I was talking to and my heart was broken into tiny bits. About two weeks later, I was at blue mountain and I was, uh, what was that weird kind of frenzy time? Do you remember when we were all like, I didn’t quite know how to behave yet. And when we met someone even outside, we made like a big 10 foot circle around them.
And, uh, there was a run going on and this young woman came flying by me down the path and about 20 yards in front of me, she fell and she hit her forehead on a rock and gashed her forehead wide open. And I ran to her as quickly as I could. And I got just to her and I stopped up short and I reached out and I said, Can I help you?
Can I touch you? And she said no. And she staggered to her feet and she took off running and I said, wait. And she turned around and she said, oh, am I bleeding? And I said, yes, you are. And she took off again. And I said, are you going to make it? And she looked at me and she said, I
Rosie Ayers: guess I’m going to have.
Teresa Waldorf: March
Rosie Ayers: 20 seconds. And my best friend was not going on vacation. And I had stopped all theater productions, all classes. I had no answers for anyone. My oldest child had COVID in another state. And we couldn’t go to them and they couldn’t see a doctor. All the hospitals were overrun and we’re FaceTiming them every day, trying to monitor symptoms of a disease that we don’t even understand freaked out more than three children had been sent home from school with their backpacks full to the brim at spring
Teresa Waldorf: break.
Having no idea
Rosie Ayers: if we were going back or what that was even going to look. And that morning, I woke up feeling lost and alone with no answers for anyone. And I packed everyone into the minivan and I took them out skiing. We got to the ski hill and they took off doing discovery and I made the loop at echo lake.
And at the end of that day, they closed the hill down. Wasn’t even going to be safe to be there. And everyone was drinking their beers and getting in their trucks and I’m piling up my kids and we start down the hill. And as we’re driving down that hill, I’m thinking, what are we going to do? Who are we, are we going to be able to see anybody after this?
What, how are we going to survive this? And as we’re headed down that hill, I noticed that the two cars in front of me, the one coming towards me and the one right in front of me are not moving. And I can see it happening just right in front of me, time slows down. And I yell at my. Brace for impact. And has the head-on collision in front of us, comes to a halt and we screech up close.
We stop six feet from those cars. And I tell my oldest to call 9 1 1 and to keep his brothers in the car and try not to look out the windshield. I’ve got to help. And I run to the first car and I opened that door and make sure she’s alive and she’s breathing. And she knows her name and she knows my name and to stay still help is going to come.
I’m not at, but we can. I run around to the other side, the passenger is already out. I cover with the blanket. I make sure that she is alive and breathing and I make sure that she knows her name and my name. And I run to the next car and I freeze. I can’t even understand what I’m looking at, but what I do know is that one more time, I don’t have the answers, then I cannot help.
I can’t even understand what I’m seeing,
Teresa Waldorf: but I know it’s.
Rosie Ayers: And in that frozen state, looking back at my children with the car, looking for help, where are they? When are they coming? How fast can this happen? I hear that noise from the back seat. We break the window and as we pull that little three year old out and I get to embrace him, I can carry him to Mike.
Put him in the backseat with my boys and they surround him and we ask him all the questions and we talk about pop patrol. And the only thing I can’t do is ask the answer. The one question he keeps asking
Teresa Waldorf: about his mom.
Rosie Ayers: And later, as I watched those three life flight helicopters take off. All I can think is I hope they’re going to make it. I hope
Teresa Waldorf: they’re going to be okay. Spring 2020. Okay. So you guys, I’m an extrovert. I’m not going to be okay. The extroverts please. Okay. Let me see if I’ve got this. I have to spend all of my time.
I I’ve hardly ever been alone in my entire life. I’ve planned it like that. Okay. I do a very not alone art form. Uh, my husband has died in the last six years. Um, my sons have moved out and I’m pretty alone. Okay. So I can’t be more alone than that. And whoever named this socially distancing, there’s nothing social about it.
Rosie Ayers: I’m not going to be okay. I am a. On this microphone, I’m not going to be okay. I live with four men, Theresa you’re taller than me. I have four penises in my house and I am never alone. We it’s constant. They’re constantly around me. The only time I’m ever alone is sometimes very occasionally in the bathroom.
And even then I feel like they’re putting their fingers underneath or knocking on the door.
Teresa Waldorf: Masks. Let me see if I have this right. We have to wear masks. Okay. Okay. I’m a rule follower. I can wear masks. So I find all the right material. I do all the research. I find out the exact kind of little filters to put inside.
I buy all the elastic. I get my mom she’s 93 to so masks. She can’t really see, but she can apparently so, and she looks like 70 and I mailed them to all my friends and I hand them out to my neighbors and I give them to all my family. And guess what we are stopped short because there is an elastic shortage.
Rosie Ayers: we have to wear masks. Okay. And the one that Teresa’s mom. So for me, it looks like a giant maxi pad stuck to my face. Jesus. And now I’m trying to convince these other people in my house that they have to wear a mask all the time. These are people that won’t even change their underwear that I’m in.
There are laundry baskets on a regular basis. I’ve been lecturing to them about washing their hands since the date they were born. I know how disgusting they are and there they are
Teresa Waldorf: wanting to touch me or be next to me
Rosie Ayers: all the time with their disgusting masks and their unwashed hands. Don’t touch me, someone, please
Teresa Waldorf: touch me.
You guys met, Christians
Rosie Ayers: are
Teresa Waldorf: great. You know what I’m saying? But when you want something really, really badly and you can’t have it, when somebody kissed me, I want to be caressed. I want to be hugged. I really want sex. That’s what I’m trying to say here right now. I need a man. And I cannot have one. Okay. I need less, man, because I want to have sex.
I can have sex all day long. He is here all day. Nobody’s
Rosie Ayers: leaving the house ever. And that’s the problem
Teresa Waldorf: because we’re only on the same floor. All of us
Rosie Ayers: are way too thin and the only place I’m alone in the bathroom. And I’m not giving that up. Sorry.
Teresa Waldorf: Sometimes I’m in the bathroom and I feel all alone. There’s no one to even get me toilet paper. If I run out of toilet. It’s up with the toilet paper thing. You guys needs like me,
Rosie Ayers: right? And we’re out of toilet paper. Why is it that we’re always out of toilet paper
Teresa Waldorf: and you have got to find us
Rosie Ayers: some toilet paper.
What Theresa is going to have to give us
Teresa Waldorf: some Twitter. Luckily,
Rosie Ayers: my husband is working a commercial remodel in the middle of all this, and he scores
Teresa Waldorf: the mother load.
Rosie Ayers: He’s remodeling that McDonald’s bathroom and he comes home one day with his
Teresa Waldorf: prize pig. It is the toilet paper where three times the size
Rosie Ayers: of my head, industrial
Teresa Waldorf: scratchy toilet paper.
Rosie Ayers: We don’t even have like a dispenser to put this in, so we just put it on the bathroom
Teresa Waldorf: floor. Okay. Have you ever lived with people with penises? It’s supposed to be able to just be used over the floor.
Rosie Ayers: So now we have a giant thing of disgusting toilet
Teresa Waldorf: paper on the bathroom floor.
Rosie Ayers: And now it’s summer.
Teresa Waldorf: you guys. I’m so excited. It’s summer. Here’s why I can date. I could date. Yeah, I have this figured out. I’m going to get on match. I could just meet people. We could stay six feet away from each other. We could have coffee, we could hike. We can walk our dogs. We could go biking. We could go swimming. We could go kayaking.
I’m going to buy a kayak. I’m going to learn a paddleboard God. But all my friends are making me feel so guilty. Like it would be so unsafe. I haven’t figured out. They just don’t get it fine. Fine. I’ll make my own fun. I’ll do. Yard work, oppress those seeds down in the soil with my finger. I’ll fertilize, my own petunias.
And I’m going I’m.
Rosie Ayers: You cannot smoke weed. If I cannot smoke weed, you cannot smoke weed. I do not care that you are 19 years old, but home from college, we are
Teresa Waldorf: not slugging me. I got sober 25 years too early for this pandemic. Nobody’s smoking and everybody’s going outside. Okay. We can go hiking. You can go back and we have a kayak Pogo sticks.
Just get out of the house, please. God. Get out of my.
Rosie Ayers: I can’t have you in here anymore. Summer is not a time to bake inside. Please go outside. You know what you could do, you could
Teresa Waldorf: mow my lawn
or about this
Rosie Ayers: habit. You can just weed,
Teresa Waldorf: weed, the garden. And then the saddest thing of all. No summer theater camp for the first time in 24 years, there was not going to be a Theresa Waldorf summer theater day camp. We tried everything we could to figure it out. And a lot of parents called us to help us try to figure it out.
We just couldn’t. We were like, we, we could be outside. We could be in masks. We could sanitize. We could host down children. We, we just couldn’t do it. We just knew we couldn’t keep them.
Rosie Ayers: And we needed to keep it safe. We just need to keep them safe. We need to keep you safe when you keep them safe.
Everybody has to be safe. Okay. So we start be in safe. I have bought 695 masks. You know what? They’re even disposable. You don’t have to wash the many
Teresa Waldorf: more. We’re just putting.
Rosie Ayers: Okay. And we stopped seeing my parents. We stopped seeing my sister. We stopped seeing even the people that we used to stand in their driveways and wave at and talk to from afar.
We just stopped seeing everybody there’s no sleepovers, there’s no bike rides. There’s just us in this house together.
Teresa Waldorf: And everybody is safe.
Rosie Ayers: devices on my internet. I don’t have the bandwidth for this and you know what? I don’t have the bandwidth for this. Okay. In 10 minutes,
Teresa Waldorf: you’re on Microsoft teams in 10 minutes. Yes. You have to get our bed. It doesn’t matter. You don’t have to put on
Rosie Ayers: pants, but my God it’s middle
Teresa Waldorf: school. Just keep your camera up.
Rosie Ayers: I’m good at technology. You guys,
Teresa Waldorf: I suck at technology. I mean, anybody that knows me knows that if there’s a problem, And now they want me to teach my U M creative drama class online. You know what you’re doing? Creative drama class. You touch everyone, you hold hands, you hug. You piggyback, you get in you form worms and caterpillars and machines.
And everything’s connected. And everyone is connected. Cause guess what connection is the point. But anyway, I’m going to need your help.
Rosie Ayers: Okay. Just find the on button. Nope. That’s inter it looks like a circle with a little tab. Nope. That’s cute. That’s a cure. That’s not, Nope. Okay. All right. It’s around the site.
You know what? Okay. Let’s move on to lesson two. Okay. Right. Click. No. Yeah, no, uh, it’s there’s two clicks. It’s a left click and a right click surprise. I know you should’ve learned that 17 years ago. Two different clicks. Okay. All right. So let’s just, uh, let’s just close the window. They’ll come back to your computer.
That’s not the real window. It’s, it’s a square. It’s at the top. You know what? I’m just going to come over. You know what? I can’t come over. I just have to get through one more zoom with the kids. Okay. We’ve made it through almost an entire semester of school with these children online. Okay. And guess what?
Nobody knows how to do eighth grade math in my entire house. And that’s okay. Because who needs math? Turns out. We don’t need math because you know what, we’re not seeing my dad. We don’t have to tell him he is a math teacher, but you know what? Gus, Gus, all right. Gus, Gus, he’s 10. He’s made it through almost all of fourth grade.
All he has to do is one more paragraph in the weather report. He wakes up that morning and I say, all right, buddy, I’ve got all day’s zooms for suicide prevention. I cannot miss them because
Teresa Waldorf: people actually. So, all you gotta do is just finish a paragraph on weather and it starts to sob
Rosie Ayers: he says, I haven’t done
Teresa Waldorf: my homework for fun. Theresa, I’m going to need your help. Okay. Do you know how to work? That thing? That computer. Okay. Good. That’s your part? Here’s my part. I am not interested in your learning to spell it. Grammar, punctuation. How to form a paragraph. I’m going to talk, you’re going to type, here we go.
Capital H I C N E space, H R E. S spaced. Boom. I excavation bull. I hit submit. Okay. Next paragraph. Tsunamis T S oh, it starts with a T T.
And then it was winter, the winter of our discontent
Rosie Ayers: and my mom called she needs help. I can’t, I’m not supposed to. She has COVID. My sister has COVID. The whole family has COVID. My dad has COVID so I send all the packages. I, I bag all the people in Helena to drop things off in gloves and run away from their porch and we get scared.
But we get hopeful too. We also say, we’re going to make it through this. We get positive or we’re going to get to the other side. And here’s the great news is that if you get through this, then we get to see
Teresa Waldorf: each other. Again, we get to hug each other. We get to spend the holidays together. Your antibodies will be all up and we’ll buy the biggest
Rosie Ayers: Turkey.
So that’s what I do. I go to Costco. I buy that biggest Turkey ever. Right. I buy all the things. And the day before Thanksgiving, my mom calls and says dad’s in the hospital. Three days
Teresa Waldorf: later.
Rosie Ayers: I go to Helena and I sit with my mom and we talked to the doctors and we make signs and we hold them up to the ICU window and we put our hands.
Teresa Waldorf: He’s too tired to talk on the phone. If we wait and miraculously
Rosie Ayers: three
Teresa Waldorf: weeks of ICU. And he’s one of the very few people to walk out of there. And we set up that oxygen with the long lead and he’s not the same. But we get to hug each other and I go
Rosie Ayers: home and I wrap every present and I buy an even bigger Turkey at all the food for Christmas.
And I wake up Christmas Eve morning feeling like
Teresa Waldorf: shit,
Rosie Ayers: and I go get that COVID test.
Teresa Waldorf: And there I am quarantining
Rosie Ayers: from my family. Where did he hit the top of the stairs, trying to peek down, just to see my husband’s making the breakfast, that I, that I bought all the ingredients for and handing it out to the neighbor and my children are opening their presence and FaceTiming with the neighbor.
And I’m just, could you send, can, I’m up? Can you see me? I’m up here? I’m all
Teresa Waldorf: go back in my room and I’m all, I’m all alone. I’m all alone.
And I watched first seasons of the crown and it was delightful.
And it’s the holidays you guys, and I’m getting really good at this whole watch. 10 seasons of the bachelor. I like Claire. I don’t know why nobody likes Claire.
Rosie Ayers: Oh, we got
Teresa Waldorf: 30 seconds to bad.
Rosie Ayers: So we start getting good at this COVID thing. Right. We start getting better and better. We are, we are adjusting to COVID.
Yes. Ma’am. I started walking by mirrors and saying, yeah, Katko myself.
Teresa Waldorf: That 19 looks good on you. I start exercising while I’m watching the bachelorette.
Rosie Ayers: I take a cross-country skiing again. I start drinking alone.
Teresa Waldorf: I start eating alone. I buy really cool new patio furniture. Did you guys all try to do that?
You know, when you could still buy it. And then one of those really cool heater things for my friend,
Rosie Ayers: we sat around our fire pit and we accidentally burned
Teresa Waldorf: some of our new patio furniture. And then all of a sudden, you guys.
I think we made it, we made it. I think we made it. We might’ve made it. We made it. And guess what? We made it without falling prey to F O M O Nope. Nope, Nope,
Rosie Ayers: Nope. You just say FOMO, you don’t have to spell. You don’t have. The FOMO fear of missing out.
Teresa Waldorf: And we also didn’t end up with Jomo, the joy of missing out.
Don’t miss it. Instead. We’ve landed on something new. We call it. Gomo the gift of missing out
Rosie Ayers: because now we know we appreciated it. Even more
Teresa Waldorf: being here with you being
Rosie Ayers: outside every moment now feels like a gift. This is a brilliant gift.
Teresa Waldorf: It is for sure. And when we started planning this, um, like six weeks ago, we were going to end it differently, but tonight we decided we should say so I think that was probably the dress rehearsal.
The great news is we know how to do this. If we have to do it again,
Rosie Ayers: we’re going to
Teresa Waldorf: do it even though.
Marc Moss: Rosie EHRs and Theresa Waldorf were related in a former life. They met this time when 13 year old Rosie babysat Theresa son, Sam, then two years old. They crossed paths again, some seven years later at university of Montana, a school of theater and dance where Rosie was a student and Theresa wasn’t.
Working on plays together. They built a friendship that led to the creation of a team that has brought the following productions to downtown Missoula parallel lives. Wonder of the world, the three sisters of weak Hawkin and five lesbians eating a quiche. They also make up the comedy team Lucinda and the.
The home shopping girls who most recently performed from Zilla gives selling their own products, emotional baggage suitcases filled with embarrassing memorabilia to get your children to move out. And the Cougar kit for moms who want to travel alone to France, we’re not sitting around together. Laughing.
Rosie can be found at United way of Missoula county, where she is the project tomorrow, Montana. Or goofing around with our partner, Michael and their four kids. Teresa just retired from the Montana repertory theater and university of Montana at school of theater and dance, and cannot be found on the next telesummit podcast tune in to listen to a conversation that I had with Missoula author and rock and tear, Jeremy and Smith.
Jeremy N. Smith: it’s a trick with Marcela has on and I’m like, I’m going to make the thought and couldn’t take me awhile. Why don’t you guys make the pie? The good thing. If you’ve got a couple that’s visiting three. If they could make pasta from scratch to get the really good
Marc Moss: tune in for that conversation. Along with a story Jeremy told live on stage at a Telus, something he meant in 2014, thanks to our title sponsor Blackfoot communications.
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