The Rumpus Mini-Interview Project #19: Karen Duffin in Conversation with Laura Stevens


Laura Stevens has great hair. The best hair in the room, 94.3% of the time. It makes me jealous.

She is the only non-adopted child of her parents’ six children. 

She does change management consulting for a living… I still don’t know what that means. I read her change management PowerPoint; I even took her to dinner to have her explain it to me in case it could help me with my job. It might help me, but I’m not sure. Laura likes food; I mean really likes food. Fortunately she also really likes exercise. On the top-ten list of funniest people I know, Laura hovers somewhere between two and five. I met Laura at church eight-ish years ago, back when I used to be a Mormon. She still is one. A sassy Mormon, though, which is why we’re still such good friends. You’ll like her too. You will.


Karen Duffin: What does it feel like to always know you have the best hair in the room?

Laura Stevens: I’ll tell you where my hair came from. My mom has sucky hair. You can use the word sucky, that’s fine. When she was pregnant with me, she prayed that I would get my dad’s hair—he has thick fancy hair. Which I always find interesting. I think most parents pray their kid will have all their limbs or a functioning brain. My mom bypassed all the essentials and went straight to hair. It came true. I got my dad’s hair.

I had to go have my gray hair covered today. All good things must come to an end.

Duffin: Do you feel at all responsible that your ex-boyfriend has come out as gay?

Stevens: Have you ever kissed me, Karen? If you had made out with me, you would not ask me that question. If he’d give me a shot, I could probably turn him back. You can’t win them all.

Duffin: What’s the hardest thing about being the only non-adopted kid in your family?

Stevens: Always being accused of being the favorite. And knowing it’s true. I mean, no, it’s just that I’m more like my parents than they are. So we just have more in common.

Duffin: On scale of 1 to 10, how shocked were you when you found out I decided not to be a Mormon?

Stevens: 8. Or a 9.

Duffin: What was the best part about being chased by a police helicopter [when you were sixteen]?

Stevens: The plan I concocted in my head. That I would go to Taco Bell where everyone was hanging out; we would ditch the car and I would blend in and the cops would never be able to find us.

Duffin: Remind me what the crime was?

Stevens: Trespassing on a golf course.

Duffin: Oh that’s right. Did your plan work?

Stevens: We never made it to the Bell. We got pulled over by seven cop cars.

Duffin: Just how bitter are you about not getting accepted by The Amazing Race?

Stevens: Well, this is the third time it’s happened. I really just feel sorry for them.

This isn’t the end. As a matter of fact, let me look up right now the next set of entries. It’s me and you, baby, you know that right?  Okay, here we go, Amazing Race 18. I’m joining the Facebook club. I’ll keep you posted.

Duffin: What’s the hardest part about living two states away from me now?

Stevens: There’s a lot.

Karen lives, writes, and produces radio in New York. More from this author →