Last night while falling asleep reading Tori's memoir, I had a realization: I am the polar opposite of this woman.
Tori's main premise is that she has dedicated her life to a battle against helplessness, a battle inspired by the countless attacks her developmentally disabled brother endured throughout childhood. In a very telling moment during her college years at Smith, she asked then Smith president, Jill Kerr Conway, how she could ever choose to become Catholic when women were powerless in the church and Conway replies: "Power is never given; power must be taken." And so, Tori has never rolled over and given up. If her strength, endurance, or dedication are questioned, she takes that as a challenge to prove her naysayers wrong. In high school, the guidance counselor suggested that she not apply to Harvard, Princeton and Yale. After graduation from Smith she applies to divinity school at Harvard, Princeton and Yale and is accepted at all three. At Harvard the field placement officer told Tori she wouldn't last three weeks at Boston City Hospital -- a hospital notorious for uninsured patients with gunshot wounds and the growing AIDS epidemic; she stayed a year.
How am I different? I give up easily and cry over my wounds. Endurance? What on earth is that? And if this gives you any indication, when thinking of my approaching trip to Buenos Aires, I have already started a mental list of all of the medications I will need to bring! I wouldn't have lasted an hour rowing across the ocean.
One thing Tori and I do share, aside from deep affection for my husband: we both detest cocktail parties and the small talk that is expected at them. We both lack pretense.