Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Knickers and Guilt

Underwear is not a crime. Underwear is NOT a crime.

This is the mantra that I have recently begun repeating to myself, ever since I started working (fourth job) at a popular women's undergarment boutique. I think you know the one I mean. Anyway, two days later (or was it one?) I decided I was going to break the news to the one person that I somehow KNEW was going to make the biggest hubbub about this, thing. No, not my bishop. My Mother. (With a capital M, because in the world of my Mom, NOTHING is ever downplayed) Anyway, so the Mom was the first to go, I figured I might as well say something because she was probably going to figure it out eventually anyway and wouldn't it just be best if I casually mentioned it first, like it's no big deal, etc...

In short, no worky. I mean, she pretended that it was only a mild shock until she hung up the phone, had about 15 hours to think it over, and THEN all of the sudden I was rudely awakened at 8am to a self-righteous (and child righteous) diatribe on the choices I make that are going to absent me from integrity, righteousness, the gospel, and basically heaven. (Okay, I went a little far on that one, but you get the basic idea.) Words like "provocative" and "disrespectful" were thrown around quite liberally, as well as much blame content. In short, I think I might be in danger of disownment by association to unspeakables. It really is quite bizarre.

Which brings me unto the actual subject of this rant. (We'll call it a rant for the sake of drama, when it's really a quite hilarious social commentary) Digression... Anyway, the subject this brings me to is why this event struck me as bizarre:

In a world where things are constantly changing, where every ten years things that are "cool", "normal", "right", and acceptable completely change--why the hell do we have such a hard time looking at things with an open mind? Thirty years ago, yes, it might have been considered quasi-pornography to show a woman on the cover of a magazine wearing only her bra and underwear. (Actually, no that was more like 50...80 years ago?) But at that point, it was also okay to say hell, damn, ass, and possibly shite in a rated PG movie. It was also "cool" and acceptable for women to wear shoulder pads the size of a Honda and get knocked up when they were 16, provided that they did it after scoring the hottest Senior guy in school. (For references: see Pretty in Pink, Sixteen Candles, Breakfast Club, Labrynth, Ninja Turtles, and the Goonies, etc) hehehe he. But my point is this: We couldn't even make up our minds THEN about what was skanky/scandalous/conservative, etc Let ALONE fashionable/cool/manly/classy/good music

In some aboriginal cultures, women walk around topless. Top. Less. Would some people's mothers be completely offended and refuse to allow them to do foreign service or humanitarian work in said countries? Mine wouldn't. But PARADOX of paradoxes, it's not okay to even admit to shopping in a place where they sell (gasp!) lace? I really don't get it. Especially because I happen to KNOW that she's not the only one who feels this way. It's disgruntling how many women/men/young adults in America (and let's face it more commonly Utah) who judge something they know almost nothing about for reasons they can't even really explain.

Homosexual tendencies. "Well, I don't know anyone who's like that, and I can't tell you why it happens, but dangit that's just WRONG." Well geez, I really feel like you're the smarter party of this discussion, and I'm going to choose to believe your side.
Politics. "If Hilary Clinton gets elected, I'm leaving the country." Okay, I'd understand if you felt like that and you had researched her political platform, or hell, even if you knew ANYTHING about her politics. But just because you hate her and forget why? You know what, I really won't miss you when you move. Good luck in Mexico by the way, moron.
Office Gossip. "That girl is such a b*tch, and I totally hate her. I heard she totally stole so-n-so's boyfriend at the last Christmas party." Alright, well that's uncalled for. First of all, hate is a very strong word, it wasn't your boyfriend, in fact you don't even like so-n-so, so WHY do you even CARE in the first place? And PS-have you even verified that information? I think not.

The point I'm trying to make here is that judging based on unexplained and unproven principles is W-R-O-N-G. And I'm not just standing up for a job that I believe in because I really feel that I am the only one who is right. In fact, I might just be staying at this stupid job because I have something to prove. BUT, in a way, for me it has something to do with keeping an open mind, and living that way so that when I encounter close-mindedness and false-relativity, I can be immune. I can say "no, I think I'm gonna figure that one out myself, thanks."

And if undies are wrong, then I don't wanna be right.

(Besides, I'm pretty sure that NO underwear is way more wrong than the alternative, in the very first place. But it's cool if you disagree with me, I guess.)

Friday, March 23, 2007

Today's Thoughts on Love...

***My problem? I think too much. "His" problem? Seems to be, not thinking enough. So here we are. I've arrived at a conclusion, which is as yet untried but I truly believe that with a little thoughtful experimentation on my part and the parts of others, this rule WILL stick.

True love doesn't just happen one day out of friendship. At least not to me. Any relationship I have ever had that even came CLOSE to love has started out of pure lust. Simply put, the physical attraction was there and nothing more. Eventually, it builds until you just can't help but come together, and it is AFTER that point where you get to see if there is anything else there. A few months go by, making out becomes only 95% of a relationship instead of the whole thing, and somehow you actually start getting to know each other instead of just getting down. (In the most chaste sense, obviously) When you do, you find out bit by bit whether that person is someone you could spend your whole life with, or if it really was just a fling. (In which case, you quickly move on to the next, no broken hearts necessary) That is how love (in EVERY SINGLE Disney movie, Shakespearean Comedy, and most romantic comedies) works.

The other school (ie the Old School) says that relationships begin slowly, trust develops, mutual affection happens one day and then you get married and live a life of quiet mutuality for the rest of ever. The only problem with that one, in my mind, is what happens when you're 3/4 of the way down the road to twin souls and you realize, "Ew. I really can't see myself sleeping with this person every night for the rest of my life. Do we really have to do that, or can we just skip to the growing old together part?" Therein, my friends, lies MY problem. You see, I'm not one of those girls who goes through life thinking lah dee dah, one day soon I shall be married and then I can begin my lovely wonderful life. No, unfortunately for my demographic minority, marriage is more like an end clause in a contract, something that you HAVE to do if you want all of the rest of those things that makes you complete. For me, I always pictured getting married as a side effect to falling in love. Someone will seriously have to hit me over the head with a shovel and drag me away Caveman style, I promised myself. Of course, I'm speaking figuratively here. It's not like I'm saying that the only way I'll be stupid enough to walk down the aisle is if I have severe brain trauma. And yet... perhaps.

Or, I could be stupidly in love. Which has yet to happen. And honestly, I really think it's going to take a strong dose of Ruhypnol or for me to be totally not paying attention. And even then, you'll need a freaking huge shovel. Either way, I've realized something. I don't think I'm one of those people who can get on the Friend Train and halfway there realize you're accidentaly heading to Marriageville. No, for me I think it's going to end up being one of those "NCMO...who knew we would both accidently fall for eachother!" trips.

And isn't that just so picturesqe. Happily Ever Freaking After.

***Disclaimer: I'm actually really pissed off as I write this. Not like you couldn't tell, but I sometimes have these manhater moments; a few scattered specs of anger and occasional thoughts of gendercide thrown into an otherwise uniform and pleasant fabric. Like Tweed.
So please don't judge me based on the fact that right now all I really want to do is make war on an entire generation of factory fault miscreants that we in this day and age call "Men". Idiots.

When Do You Know?

So, recently (actually since about last Sunday) I've been facing a precipice that I'm really not sure if I want to go over. I have this friend, and we've been really close for what seems like forever. Really it's been a little less than a year, but you know how you meet those people and all of the sudden it's like they're just another part of your life, and it goes without saying? But lately, I've started to see this person in a new light, in a way that I never had before. Maybe I wasn't looking correctly, or there was a blind spot there. I'm not sure. All I know is that now I'm anxious, edgy, and confused a lot of the time, ironically when I'm NOT with this person. Is it suggestive of deeper feelings that I have yet to face? I'm not sure. Am I in denial, or just bored and reading more into everyday normalities than I should? The problem is I just don't trust myself enough to make a decision and go with it, because I've been burned in the past.

So here is my question: In crucial matters of life (and especially matters of the heart), is it okay to simply wait it out and see? Should I ask myself where this is going, and then sit around and do literally nothing about it until someone makes me decide? In my experience, I usually have to be actively pursuing some kind of conclusion before the answer is made clear, but in this case I'm not sure if that will help. I can try to keep it simple, yes, but short of extracting this someone from my daily life, I can't escape the feeling that there is something that needs to be said. Or done. But should I be the one to do it? Can I really trust my fate or the fate of a relationship to circumstance? Or, in my mind worse yet, can I trust my own magnetism enough to continue on normally and expect him to be the one to bring this up? Will it simply go away if I let it? I can't decide, I can't speak up, and I can't be honest with myself unless I have some kind of evidence!

Is it possible to know whether or not you love someone without dating them at all? I've heard people say that "we were best friends, and then we became more" but I'm pretty sure it wasn't overnight and there had to be a middle ground, right? So when, WHEN do you decide that it's worth the risk to throw yourself onto that middle ground and see what happens: either it's true, and you kiss and realize you were meant to be together forever, or it's not and you end up awkwardly stepping back onto firm ground and apologising...or parting ways forever because you can't ever go back. WHEN is it too late to try? Is it before or after you realize that you'll be friends forever? Is it after you've seen them be sick and nasty looking in the morning, or heard their deepest secret? Is that when it really does become too late for love to grow? Many prolific speakers have shared the thought that it's never too late, but I'm not so sure. Just ask yourself if you could have romantic feelings for a roomate, who you've actually seen pick their nose. Or a friend of your sibling who you have it on good authority that they play Nintendo six hours a day? The choice is still yours, but I have to wonder if there is a point where that choice is gone, and it is impossible to turn back. True love might not have an expiration date, but I think the onset of love definitely has a window. So is it true, or false?

And When do you Know?

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Spring Fever

One of my favorite jazz songs of all time (as sung by Sarah Vaughn) perfectly describes my mood this week: I'm as restless as a willow in a wind storm, I'm as jumpy as a puppet on a string, I'd say that I had Spring Fever; but I know it isn't Spring. I am starry eyed and vaguely discontented, like a nightengale without a song to sing. Oh, why should I have Spring Fever, when it isn't even Spring?
It is most unfair when other people take my feelings from me and put them to music. Even...before I was born. Yeah. I know. So okay, it's not an original idea. However, I do feel that poetry and lyrics are some of the perfectest (I love making up words!) forms of expression for those otherwise unexplainable emotions or humours that would go unexplained without the help of people like George and Ira Gershwin, or Alfred Tennyson, or Emily Dickinson. And so, in the absence of further logical explanation, I'm just going to conclude my thoughts with a few of my favorites.

It's not the pale moon that delights me, that thrills and delights me,
Oh no. It's just the nearness of you.
It isn't your sweet conversation that brings this sensation,
Oh no, it's just the nearness of you.
-Hoagland Carmichael

However, my heart and head rule my emotions jointly,
And they are not to be trifled with,
So I suggest my friend that you tread lightly,
Because fury of woman scorned is not a myth.

'O miracle of women,' said the book,
O noble heart who, being strait-besieged
By this wild king to force her to his wish,
Nor bent, nor broke, nor shunned a soldier's death,
But now when all was lost or seemed as lost--
Her stature more than mortal in the burst
Of sunrise, her arm lifted, eyes on fire--
Brake with a blast of trumpets from the gate,
And, falling on them like a thunderbolt,
She trampled some beneath her horses' heels,
And some were whelmed with missiles of the wall,
And some were pushed with lances from the rock,
And part were drowned within the whirling brook:
O miracle of noble womanhood!'
-Lord Tennyson's the Princess
(This is what I do to men who mess with me)

But someday, one will come who will brave the thorns and thunder,
Taking only that which is most prized; my heart.
Unlike others, mistaking beauty wealth and conquest for true plunder,
He, being worthy, will receive the better part.

Don't ever try to change me,
I've broken hearts for less
And please don't rearrange me,
I'm the me that I like best
I'll alter if you want me to,
Those things that don't define me
All you really need to do
My love, is ask me kindly.
(Or, as Emily would say...)

ALTER? When the hills do.
Falter? When the sun
Question if his glory
Be the perfect one.
Surfeit? When the daffodil
Doth of the dew:
Even as herself, O friend!
I will of you!

-Emily Dickinson

Monday, March 19, 2007

What's So Funny

You know what's funny? Everything.

It's funny how you think you know your best friends, and then in one day they can completely shock and awe you. How you can fight with your Mom and then realize five minutes later that you'd die without her. How jelly beans never seem to make you full. How the second you start to feel sorry for yourself, a friend calls you. How dancing can cure even the most severe illnesses. How laughter can actually be narcotic. How one day can change your entire life, and journal entries from just a year ago seem so completely stupid. How journal entries from a month ago can actually teach you something new.

It's funny that no matter how many times you see babies, they're always cute. And sometimes the person you thought was grumpy and mean turns out to be hilarious. It's funny how you can laugh at someone for being dumb, and then ten minutes later you do the same thing. It's funny how you can love someone and not even realize it until you hate them. How legos are always diverting, even when you're way too old. How you can discover money in your pockets that you're almost positive you didn't put there. How the stupidest movies can make you happy. How the smartest people can do something idiotic. It's funny how drivers license pictures never actually look like the person in them. How first impressions are almost always totally wrong. How turning over a new leaf is harder than turning over a car's engine (ha ha). It's funny how a lot of juice doesn't actually have juice in it. How a chance meeting can change your destiny. Or your density. It's funny how people think that words don't matter, and money does. It's funny how a nerd can become a millionare, and a beautiful girl who is perfect in every way can be unhappy. How the world never changes, but our view of it always does. How you can dream of what you want, but pray for something else. It's funny how people change lanes in the middle of an intersection, but always walk on the same side of the stairs.

It's funny, sometimes. Life is funny.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

First Dates.

Yeah. These are two words that hold infinite potential, and for many people a generous helping of nerves, potential for disaster, awkward silences, and fear of rejection.
OR, if you're me, first dates are also a perfect opportunity to get to know myself a whole lot better. This is because for some reason being on a first date is like sitting in the back seat of a car that someone else is driving. Only, that someone else is me. Date-version me. This person, who I have only ever seen once or twice, emerges at the oddest times and seems to have problems behaving herself in a normal and socially desirable fashion. Usually, Dateme has two distinct sides:

a) The "Mutual Attraction"/Potential hot boyfriend date persona: This one is alternately reserved and brash, coquettish AND sassy. She says things that the normal me would never think to say under first meeting circumstances, somehow managing to actually appear cool and collected, but also disinterested. This girl often sends mixed messages to men, confusing them so they think I'm apathetic and occasionally causing them to give up chase.
b) The "I'm too comfortable for my own good"/"Let's be Friends" date persona: For one reason or another, this persona has obviously decided that she has no interest in said boy, other than as a friend/hangout buddy, and so she completely removes the filter on her words, especially random thoughts and opinions that no one should probably hear unless they are a fellow female...or gay. This is probably done to remove potential for relationshiphood even before that potential is realized. Though extremely entertaining and good for thrilling conversation, the word vomit that comes out to disguise awkward silences is often quite shocking. Streaming discussion pieces have been known to include: past boyfriends, sexual tension, bikini waxing, thoughts on stupid men, and PMS. (All subjects normally placed in the strictly DATE TABOO category.)

Unfortunately, I have had the distinct pleasure of being reacquainted with BOTH of these ladies in the past week, on two different dates with (thankfully) two different people. Our meeting didn't go well.
Let's just say, next time I'm going to have to exorcise them BEFORE a date, either with meditation...or lots of Vodka.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Not Just Waiting...

It’s 1am, and I’ve just put on my mud mask. My linguistics study materials pretty much cover my bed, but I’ve only given them about 20 minutes of collective attention. The midterm for that class is tomorrow, but right now I’m considering dying my hair with this lovely little box sitting on my desk. I’ve had about a quart and a half of Diet Pepsi, and it’s finally starting to kick in, so why study, I tell myself. You have ALL night. Not to mention that presentation for your research class is probably going to be postponed, anyway. Good thinking, self.
For some reason, my imagination buzzes at this time of morning. Thoughts for books; plotlines that have only begun to unfold in my head come alive. Others that have been knocking around in there for a while grow more complex and flesh themselves out. And I wonder why I have trouble sleeping, ha. I KNOW it has absolutely nothing to do with all the diet coke I drink. Occasionally, my thoughts drift to Prince Cocky (Prince Charming would be too grandiose a title for this particular male). At this point, he’s really only a possibility. A supporting character in the tapestry that is my real and imagined life, not without promise, but still a vague inclination. Friday was great, but I’ve been around in the world of romance long enough now to know without question that one good date does NOT a relationship make. Still… I can’t help but picture it. It must be that whole psychoanalysis thing that we did. The cube and the horse…so silly and yet so frighteningly close to, reality? I’m not so sure, but it seemed pretty close.
Anyway, as I sit covered in mint green gelatinous goo, I begin to write a story in my head, where my Prince suddenly comes to the door at 1am, and sweeps me off of my feet, (completely disregarding the fact that I am actually wearing mud, obviously) saying something along the lines of "I can't stop thinking about you." and "I just couldn't wait to see you again." Quite perfect in my head, really.
But... although my imagination can be quite vivid at times, I am reminded of one very spectacular truth. Unlike many princesses who sat in towers and brushed their hair or did needlepoint until their specific hero decided to grace them with his presence, I am NOT just WAITING. I am not content to merely exist until circumstances collide to make me happy, I'm going to make my own. So men, watch out. You might have to break a sweat if you want to catch me.

That is, if you can recognize me through the swamp goo...

Saturday, March 10, 2007

A Splendid Day

Some days on the calendar seem to laugh at you with their endlessness. Others, frankly suck. Then there are those that seem innocuous to immediate scrutiny, but after a few (or even 20 or more) hours they become magical. I'm not talking about the "perfect day", mind you, but merely one that is so full of ups and downs and surprises that it reminds you of the whole of your life. When the ups finally come together to make the downs seem worth it.

It could just be a moment. One second during which your eyes are opened and you experience just a little bit of peace, and you can see what your trouble is going to earn you. One day, where at the end you look at what you've got and realize that you still have money in the bank, you've still got hope for tomorrow and even next week, and you still feel like smiling after everything else. Something I've come to learn in my life is that one day can change everything, either for better or worse, but I don't really think it goes that way. Instead, it should be for good or for better...eventually. All things that happen must come full circle, and it is days like these, as precious and few as they may be, which remind us that eventually, everything will be okay.

Not at once. Each thing has a time to be resolved, and that doesn't mean that EVERYTHING will one day be perfect. But some day soon, every thing will come out right. Take one step at a time. Rejoice in each small conclusion, each miniature happy ending. Because life isn't like a fairy tale, where people live happily ever after and that's just it. No more work, no more pain. Instead, we can stop and realize that each day can have a happy ending, no matter how it starts. And when we have one of those, we can say tonight I will live happily... for today was a very splendid day.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

I don't think it's that bad, after all.

Suffer On --- By Ronny Park
March 8, 2007

When times are short of mellow
And traffic gets you down,
When you turn to friend or fellow
And instead of smile, they frown,
Remember that I love you
Across all the miles and days,
And find the strength to suffer on
In a million different ways.

Suffer on with gladness
For the lessons you are learning,
Suffer on with dignity
For the self respect you're earning,
Suffer on with charity;
Many can't, but you are stronger,
Suffer on, because I'm watching you
And now I'll suffer on a little longer.

Back in ancient days, before modern usage changed the syntax of the word "to suffer", it was used to mean "endure", "last", and even "triumph".
So when you think of all of the things that you suffer through, don't forget that others like me are watching, thinking that if you can...maybe I can, too. And remember that everything you are are enduring.

Sunday, March 04, 2007


I am an old soul.

While others my age are out binge drinking, having unprotected premarital sex and exploring the limits of their physical bodies, I am sitting at home listening to Ella Fitzgerald and contemplating my life. Why can't I just go out and live it and forget the consequences?

My friend Pinetree is afraid to fall in love because of what might happen in the future, five or ten years down the road. Whereas I am afraid that I am incapable of falling in love. What happens when a person lives too much pain before their time? When someone is forced to live not only their own mistakes but the mistakes of their parents and theirs, learning from experience far before the experience presents itself? I almost think it is unwise to learn too much from someone else's mishaps. It takes all the fun out of doing it on your own. One day, you will wake up and realize that you haven't ever done anything worth punishing yourself for. Instead, you've been punishing yourself in advance. Instead of learning from love, I now avoid love because I have seen what it can do to people. The pain isn't worth it, I tell myself. I never drink, because I have seen what happens to those who do. I don't make out with strangers. I'm safer that way, I suppose.

However, my friends, it seems as if there is one consequence that I might have overlooked. Yes, I have saved myself the pain of making the wrong decisions. But I have also deprived myself of the fun that can be had in recklessness. I am a spinster at 21, and it is because I haven't drank, haven't felt, haven't been stupid, haven't lived in the moment. My whole life has been like this, a series of prudent saves. But from what? From living? From doing those things which everyone else does, the stupid and rash decisions that make us human? Yes, I am wise beyond my years. But perhaps wisdom can be another word for fear. I am an old soul. And I mourn for the premature loss of my youth.