Monday, November 29, 2010

Just Another Manic Monday

Dear Clean and Unfolded Laundry,
You have taken up residence on my sofa. The goal is to fix that this evening. I only said it was the goal. I made no promises.

Dear Grocery Store Peeps,
It was really uncool that you put Chicken with Rice cans in the Cream of Chicken soup dispenser. My creamy turkey enchiladas are going to be...fascinating tonight (no thanks to you).

Dear Adolescent Males the World Over,
Nobody (I repeat NOT A SINGLE SOUL) thinks you're as funny as you think you are. I would say I hate breaking that news to you, but the truth is I get a sick kind of pleasure from it.

Dear Boy Who Called Me at 11:30 on a School Night,
Who does that? Did it really take you that long to muster up the courage? Bless your heart.

Dear Purple,
I think I've fallen in love with you. You're a rather dreamy color, you know.

Dear Two Pounds Gained over Thanksgiving,
Do I just accept you until January or try and do something about it? It just feels like such a worthless cause with Christmas around the corner.

Dear Cancun,
I miss you and I've never even met you. April 16th, my love. April 16th.

Dear Snow,
You're like one of those mean girls: you look pretty but deep down inside you're cold, heartless, and bitter.

For Your Monday Viewing Pleasure:

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Thankful List

1. I am filled with gratitude for the people in my life. The friends, the family, the students, the co-workers, even the near-strangers I have "met" through blogging. I am rich with good people. How does one get so lucky, so very blessed?

2. I am grateful for my
faith, my beliefs, my knowledge about who I am. I am a daughter of a loving Heavenly Father. I know this to be true. This knowledge fuels and drives me to be better, to have faith in myself and my own potential. It gives me peace and comfort. It is good.

3. I feel so filled with joy knowing I have a career that isn't so bad. In fact, there are moments of magic. Seeing young people grow, feel inspired to do something with themselves is so rewarding. And I get paid to feel like sometimes I make a difference for the better.

4. I am thankful for the beauty of the earth, that on Monday mornings that make the body ache, the sun is rising over the eastern peaks with such breathtaking loveliness I forget I've the work week to face. That snow falls soft and pure and melts and the earth is reborn and flushes green then grows weary and turns vibrant and colorful and the cycle continues. The seasons, the earth, the sky. It is all so exquisite.

5. I am grateful for music and art and lyrical words. Beauty and the aesthetic can be found so readily if one only looks for it.

6. I give thanks for even the frivolous things of life: fashion, sparkly things, tasty food, movies, the internet, commercials that make me giggle.

My life is rich and lovely and full. It would be wrong of me to not step back from every day worry and recognize the blessings so evident. It would be sinful not to do so at Thanksgiving time.

*and thanks for the image found here

Have a lovely holiday, readers.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Celebrity Gone Wrong: In Which I Reveal Myself to Be a Pretentious Snob

Let's get something straight. Most celebrities these days aren't all that talented. But their lack of any true performance ability exists in mediums which I tend to avoid: reality television, bad movies, auto-tuned crap music. So I tolerate their presence and focus my attention on what I deem as real performers and artists.

But these individuals who have "the look" if nothing else cross the line when they wet their talentless toes in the sacred waters of the novel.

I'm referring, in case you wondered, to this abomination (discovered while perusing Borders Friday evening):

(Pretty cover, I'm going to go ahead and guess not much substance based on the "author.")

And don't even get me started on this girl:
(Really? I mean--really?)

I just don't think "Duff played the precocious Lizzie Maguire" or "Conrad lived in 'reality' television prior to..." looks so good on the author bio when others in the profession actually graduated with an MFA, understand the nuance within the written word, and can form a sentence without the frequent interjection like (as in "He is like totally like not like listening to like me"). I just wonder who in the publishing world is keeping the gate. Because their A$$ needs to be canned.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

*Brussels Sprouts, Beauty, Blooming, Attraction, and Other Musings Which I Can't Quite Make Sense Of

Last week, I caught the end of Marie Osmond's appearance on Oprah. She'd been talking about her son's suicide, but then proceeded to talk about her second marriage. She said something really insightful: "You marry at the level your self confidence is at."


Today I received an email from a friend with a link to a youtube version of "It's Raining Men." She was half-teasing/half-celebrating with me about my recent uptick in the dating/interested male department. But, oh. How I preferred the nonexistent dating life, the invisibility factor. If only because I was comfortable there. If only because my girlfriends are these incredible, accomplished, brilliant individuals. My dates and the boys who show interest are lost and wandering. Too frequently undereducated, "in between things," goal-less, directionless, without a place. Their potential, be it because of the economy or society or expectations or the subculture or the new iffy definition of "man," has been thwarted, misdirected, not achieved.


I have discovered recently that I'm not half bad looking. At 29 I've figured out this new layer of myself that feels simultaneously empowering and weakening. This was supposed to happen 15 years ago. But it is happening now. It is a gift, in a sense. At 29 I have a greater ability to process this phenomenon than my 15 year old self would have. It is also, at times, embarrassing. It is clumsy. Most women my age have this sense of self mastered. Most women my age figured this out long ago and have moved on to mastering motherhood. I'm blooming late.


My date--that date I told you about--he (teasingly, but that doesn't excuse it) called me a snob. And he was cheap. So cheap it was uncomfortable for me, for the waitress. He didn't perceive things the way I did--he didn't see that it was simply a not-so-good date. He called me back later that weekend. And texted. And it was so very awful and uncomfortable. And I couldn't help but wonder how one gets to 33 and still behaves as he does. I couldn't wonder how I've gotten to 29 and am still unsure how to let a guy down gently.


Sunday, a family came to hear one of the speakers in sacrament with their sweet new baby. The squishy, soft, fresh kind of baby. The kind of baby that makes you question why they're bringing him into public at this time of year when he is so new. They sat right in front of me. I ached.


My mother thinks I'm picky. She doesn't say it out loud, but when men come up in conversation she says things that let me know she thinks I'm too hard on them. I think she wants more babies in her life. All my siblings' children are grown past toddlerhood. No more babies. I'm her last hope. She once said she and my father don't worry as much because I have a career. But she does worry.


Last night at a Relief Society function, a member of our bishopric, an incredibly funny and clever dentist, talked about the parable of the talents. About how amazing we women are. About how men need women like us because they wander aimlessly, cluelessly without us. We are what they need to become men, not boys. It was a joke, but funny in its honesty.


I'm feeling my way through this new path that is also so old. It is strange and saddening. Exciting. Discouraging. It is wrought with sub-cultural quirks and expectations. I am convinced that it is, in so many ways, a gift that I've made it to this place in my life without marrying. I am more aware of who I am as a person. My priorities are more focused. I know what I want, which traits are deal breakers, which characteristics and baggage I am willing to let slide. I feel so blessed in a life rich with friends and family and lovely, lovely students (sans 9th grade boys). That fact alone means I am not panicked or rushed or willing to settle.


I am patient in so many ways, but far more impatient. The roommate spoke in sacrament recently all about having faith and that faith bringing us joy each day of our journey. She is my best friend for a reason--so much more wise and humble than I am. I am trying, always, to have faith that the Father in Heaven I so completely believe in is far more aware of what my life needs than I am. I am quite certain of that because I see this person I've become and she is beautiful, intelligent, kind, loving, open-hearted. She is nowhere near where I thought she'd be at this point in time. But she possesses so many of the qualities my young self wished her to have. She is surrounded by people she cares about. She is blessed. My little life thus far is nothing I would have designed once upon a time, and yet it is so correct, so right for me.

*For the definition of this reference, go here.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Dear Blogging Friends,

I am writing to let you know that I really, really, really wish I could throttle certain 9th graders. Particularly those of the male variety. I am weary of their inconsiderate choices, their troublesome behavior, their immaturity, and the messes they seem to trail behind them. You know how the news loves to portray these awful stories of teachers having indecent relationships with their 9th grade students? I am here to say these teachers are certifiably insane. There is nothing, I repeat, NOTHING that could behoove me to spend more time than is absolutely necessary in their presence. 14-15 year old boys are awful, awful people.

I also have a blog post marinating in my brain about men who used to be 14-15 year old boys. But I don't want to sound bitter and nasty. I'm debating how to broach this particular little subject. And my date last week. And what it means to be my age, female, LDS, living in Utah, and single.

In happier news, it is my 30th birthday in March. I only turn 30 once so the roommate and I have decided that a dream vacation to Cancun is in order. It will have to wait until my Spring Break in April, but we're definitely going. We've talked to the travel agent, we've looked (and looked and looked and dreamed and looked some more) at the pictures of our resort, I even dreamt about it last night. We are going for a week-long vacation of beautiful beaches, room serviced breakfasts of fresh fruit on our deck with a hammock, snorkeling, resting, reading, kayaking, ruins, bartering with the locals, and relaxation. And watching thousands of drunk co-eds drown all memory of their spring break. I can hold out until April 16th, right? Perhaps this demands a paper chain?

So there you have it. A snapshot of my brain's musings at this particular moment in time. Tell me, dear reader, what is haunting, frustrating, or eagerly awaiting you?


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Don't Fall Off Your Chair, But...

It is days like today that I understand why I'm single.

I have a date tomorrow night.

And, as you may have noticed, I very rarely date.

It is, at the technical level, a blind date. We've talked on the phone, he seems, well--normal.

At least so far.

But here is the thing about first dates--they are, as you probably well know, outright awful. One of my favorite things to do when going out on weekend nights with my favorite girls is to observe the first date awkwardness that others at the restaurant are enduring. I thank the powers that be that it ain't me. Because, while those poor kids are nervous and trying to impress or not send the wrong signals or not say something stupid or to ask plenty of questions and not hog the conversation, I am having a perfectly delightful, relaxed time.

Behold, Awkwardness Exhibit A:

Awkwardness Exhibit B:

But tomorrow night, it will be me in the awkward seat. Me sitting beside a stranger, watching a high school football game. Me thinking, "Did I really just say that?" Me trying to pretend like I know anything about football.

It is moments like this that I remember the
exact reason I'm single.

The truth is, I really hate to date.

This must be why I'm holding out for