Sunday, June 24, 2012

A Porcupine and a Bunny walk into a bar..

Have you ever taken a step back from yourself for a moment and taken a good hard and thought...."Who the hell are you, and what did you do with that wonderful person I use to know?"

Since I can't hear your replies, I suppose this is more of a rhetorical question, and one that has been on my mind for some time now.

I know it's really easy to look back on our blissfully ignorant childhoods and lament the loss of that wonderland and everything that came along with being too young to realize the world sucks and then you die.

You see?! You see what I did just then?! THIS is what I am talking about, THIS is my problem. *Sigh*

I feel as though I should apologize. I know that many of my readers know me personally, but I am also aware that there is a smaller group reading this that do not. I can only imagine what you must think of me, given the nature of my posts, particularly as of late. Even I, in the midst of my funk am able to see how funky I am being. And frankly, I hate it. And furthermore, I want to not be that way. But unfortunately, it doesn't seem as though this storm is passing anytime soon.

Along with my apology, I guess I also wanted to...I don't know....assure those reading and maybe the universe in general, that this Thing/Phase/Eeyore  whatever I am going through is not an accurate representation of what I would consider the "real" me. Though, that being said, I fully acknowledge the fact that sometimes we don't like to look in the mirror and realize that the reflection, however unflattering, is accurate. So maybe I am just a bitter, jaded, angry, cynical, anxious, white, Mormon, virgin. But even if that is wasn't always the case. At least, I don't think it was.

I remember being a happy kid for the most part. Though, even at a very young age, I remember being extremely aware of the turmoil all around me. My Mom says that I have an "old soul", and others I have met in my life have made similar comments. In a way, I agree with this; in many ways, I have felt much older and acted much older than those my age. Maybe not even so much that one would notice it right off, but maybe more what I mean is that I didn't live long in the ignorance of youth. I don't say any of this to complain, just as a way of explanation.

I know that this is going to sound ridiculous, but lately I have found myself thinking, I am just too sensitive for this rough world. Silly right? And anyone who knows me is probably falling out their ergonomic chairs having just read that. After all, is this not the same sharp-witted and even sharper tongued gal we have come to know? The girl who most of time seems pissed off or otherwise annoyed in some fashion. Sure she can be charming, engaging, funny, and so forth, but to this I would also add, cold, detached, anti-social and even down right bitchy at times.

I know that the Internet and more specifically blogs are not really the place for airing one's personal angst, even if it is directed at themselves, however, I feel like I need to do this for myself. Call it a manifesto of sorts. Even if it is all bunk, I just want the record to reflect that there was another side to this girl we call Brittney. Not that it matters, in fact, I'm fairly certain it doesn't. Nor should it. Everyone is busy enough with their own lives, why on earth should they be burdened with the incessant whining of some frustrated virgin living in Utah? Answer: They shouldn't. But maybe this can at least be entertaining enough to merit a once-over. You know, like watching NASCAR in hopes you will see a crash. Allow me now to crash.

I don't know how to explain this exactly except for to say that the girl who lives in my mind and in my heart, and the girl that the world sees on a day to day basis are not the same. They are not total contrasts, for example, one isn't a 300lb black woman who secretly longs to be a plus-sized model and the other a small white virgin who is just bitter and moody. The best way I have to describe it is that it is more like a Bunny and a Porcupine trying to co-exist in the same body.

The bunny is the girl in my mind and in my heart. In fact, she is my heart. The bunny is who I would consider to be my genuine self. Unfortunately, this little bunny is so soft and so tender and so down right scared that she rarely comes out much these days. I think she came out a lot more in the past, but then she had what seemed like a series of rather horrible experiences with people that forced her into her little rabbit hole. She learned that people you love and are vulnerable with can hurt you, sometimes on purpose. She learned that people you love can be taken from you without even so much as a goodbye, and she became afraid to love anything or anyone. In her mind, it was better to not become attached to something or someone that was going to leave you one way or another anyway. I know that most "healthy" people realize this truth, but are still able to love and be vulnerable anyway. Unfortunately, that is an ability or trait or strength I seem to be lacking. Though the bunny could never deny that she longed for that love more than anything, she couldn't bring herself to put herself out there anymore. It wasn't as if she didn't want love, she just decided that love and longing and even wanting was just too painful and therefor not worth the risk.

Of course there was the part of her that felt resentment and an amount of bitterness because of it all. Even if she recognized that in reality, she probably had no right to. But still, in order to protect the wounded bunny, the porcupine was born. This porcupine was a perfect protector. She was clever and guarded and mistrusted almost everything and everyone in this world. The porcupine was born out of necessity for the sake of the bunny. But she was never meant to take over permanently, only to step in when protection was needed. But now it seems, the porcupine has taken up a permanent residence.

I don't know if any of that makes sense, but I hope at least the spirit of what I am trying to convey was caught. In essence, what I am trying to say is, I know and recognize that it feels like as the days go by and the years go by, I am getting further and further away from that aspect of myself, or the bunny part of me. I feel like she has been all but obliterated in the wake of this life and the weight of it all. In many ways, I feel as though whatever part of me use to be like that, is now so far removed from me that I can't even consider it my "authentic" self anymore. And that thought kills me.

I am not so far gone that it doesn't sadden me to realize what I seem to have become. But I feel like it is almost impossible to go back. Like trying to unlearn something or un-pop a balloon. How can that bunny ever come out again knowing how dangerous and painful the world can be? I think what it comes down to ultimately is just a combination of being beaten and  not wanting to get up again, and more so, probably, being a coward.

I still hope, but I don't want to. Because hope hurts. But I can't seem to kill it entirely. So usually what ends up happening is that the porcupine is sent out into the world like a battering ram to plow through and battle day to day. but then at night, when I come home and there is nobody around, and the bunny can no longer keep quiet and I cry alone until I'm cried out. Sometimes I don't even need a specific reason, sometimes I am just overwhelmed by it all. I don't think we were meant to walk to life alone, like the scriptures say, it isn't good for us to be alone.

But what do you do when you long for people and simultaneously shut them out for fear of how they will hurt you?

It's madness. It's self-fulfilling prophecy. It's my life.

I want people, and actually have a great love and compassion for people, but I am terrified of people, and more specifically, terrified of what being open to them means. And I don't even mean on a grand scale, I mean on an everyday sort of superficial scale as well. It is crazy for me to realize this and more than just a little embarrassing to admit. Maybe this is why I have always been more comfortable on stage than in the real world. The real world means real people with real agency who can really hurt you. And I just don't want to hurt like that anymore.

How emo.

My apologies again.

What else can one say when they have metaphorically stood naked in front of the world?.......


Friday, June 15, 2012

Insight into Parasite

Anyone who knows me very well, or has spoken to me for more than 5 minutes comes to learn certain things about me. One, I have a dry sense of humor, Two, I can be inappropriately honest at times, Three, I have a soft and tender heart that is prone to being hurt at the drop of a hat, Four, I think Bruno Mars's Grenade is THE most ridiculous song EVER written. I find this song so comical, that it has long been a dream of mine to write an entire parody of the song, complete with music video, and then post it on YouTube.  My version would include such alternative lyrics as..."I'd tell folks I was gay for ya".....and "I'd punch Thomas Kinkade for ya". Too soon? See what I said about the inappropriate thing?

However....and though I rail against this new insight with "every fiber of my being" (an expression particularly popular among Mormons), I have to confess...I think I am starting to get where whoever wrote this song was coming from.

In my last post I mentioned that I was overcome with some sort of feeling or emotion that I wasn't quite able to get a handle on. Well, now I think I might have a better idea of what is going on.

A few days ago, I made a cake for my boss at work. She is a girl younger than myself, and we have established a sort of new friendship since I became employed. She is a no nonsense kind of person when it comes to her job, but outside of work, she is a sweet tender hearted young woman who wants what we all want in life. The cake I made, was for her birthday. It was my speciality, an Apple Bunt Cake.  This cake takes quite a bit of time to prepare, including grating more than several apples. I didn't mind the effort though; I love baking, but I particularly love baking for other people.  Let's just say I feel like I am lacking in the femininity department at times, and baking is one area in which I feel...I don't know....domesticated?

Back to the story.

So I had gone through all the effort of baking this beautiful bunt cake, and I was very excited to give it to her the next day at work. As a new employee and a novice chef, I was particularly anxious for her to try it. Ever since I started working there, I have felt totally out of my league and eclipsed by these much more seasoned chefs. But if I am confident in one area, it's in baking. I couldn't wait to finally show that I was competent in at least this one area of food smarts.

When I presented her with the cake, she thanked me warmly for it and I informed her that there was certainly enough to share with the kitchen staff, but that sharing was not required. My hope of course, was that she would indeed share with my kitchen family and that maybe they too would be impressed with my baking prowess. That day turned out to be a particularly busy one, and by the time I left that afternoon, the cake was still sitting in the office untouched. I wasn't too worried though; I figured she would enjoy it as soon as she had a moment to breathe.

Unfortunately this was not the case.

Image my disappointment when I came in the next morning and there in the office sat my offering, now stale from sitting out all night uncovered, and totally undisturbed. Not even so much as a nibble had been taken out of it.

I don't know why, but my reaction to this slight was so intense that I almost broke down right there in the kitchen. I was suddenly hit with a flood of emotions ranging from deep hurt to scorching anger. Along with these feelings came a slew of thoughts include such things as, "Really? Really? Not even ONE bite?" and "Ok, ok, I get it, maybe you don't like apples, but could you not have set it out for everyone else to enjoy even if you had no interest in the thing?". These of course ran more along the anger lines, but the were also thoughts that stemmed from the hurt as well.  These included such gems as, "Wow, she must really hate/think very little of me", "I guess that shows how much I mean to her since actions speak louder than words". There were more, but I will spare you my mind vomit.

Brutal honesty time.

Was I really legitimately that hurt and pissed off by the un-eaten cake? Well yes, but I think the reason I got so upset had less to do with the incident itself, and more to do with a sort of Camel/back/straw thing. In other words, something else was and had been going on long before this occurrence, and this just happened to be the last piece of garbage that caused the whole tower of crap to come tumbling down.

What has been going on for a while now, is this feeling of being totally unappreciated and mistreated by people in my life who matter very much, and also by people who shouldn't really matter much at all. I'm in the food service industry, so being treated like garbage is kind of expected, though that doesn't mean it's any easier to swallow.

However, being treated this way by someone(s) who claim to love and care about you (I have come to personally conclude) is hurtful to the point of being destructive; at least in my case. Like I said before, I'm a rather sensitive soul, and because of this, I attempt to be as conscious and gentle with other people as I can; particularly when it comes to their feelings. This is not to say that I can't be a total tool sometimes, but in general, I think the word that I am going for here is conscious. Because I try so hard to treat people well, it always comes as an intense experience of pain when others do not extend this same consideration to me.

Look, I get it. We are ALL selfish creatures. By this I mean that everything we do is motivated by the self or by the "I". This doesn't have to be negative. If I give a homeless man $5 because "I" want him to be happy and fed, then the "I" still got what the "I" wanted. It just so happened that what the "I" wanted conveniently benefited someone else. Would you call someone who did this act selfish? Of course not, but that is because the word selfish has become synonymous with a negative feeling. I know this is semantics, but it is important to understand what "I" mean when "I" say selfish.

I recognize that we are all selfish, by my definition there is no way to act otherwise. So then if I were to try and sum up the behavior that I find particularly hurtful, I suppose I would call it more like thoughtless rather than selfish. Or flat out ignorant and hurtful work as well.

And so it has been. And I know that what I am about to say will totally invalidate pretty much every good deed that I have ever done, but the fact of matter is, I think I can still be upset by this situation and not negate the motivations behind the charitable things I have done for others. By definition, if you truly do something for someone out of the pure goodness of your heart and a desire to make them happy, then you are doing those things with no anticipation of anything in return. I wish I was this Christ-like, but sadly, I'm me, and when I continue to give and give and give and give, time after time, after time, after time, and don't receive the same level of consideration, awareness, charity, or action in return, I eventually start feel as though I must not be very important to that person.

Not only not important, but also not appreciated. And why the hell would a person want to continue to do nice things for people who don't even appreciate the effort? Never mind return it in like fashion.  If you are just in for "what's in in it for you", then please, be honest about it and we might be able to work out some sort of mutual beneficial agreement that is going to look more like a business plan rather than an intimate human relationship. I know this sounds harsh, but if someone is incapable of stepping outside of their own selfish (used here in the more common sense of the word) world long enough to treat the people in his or her life that are bending over backwards to make his or her life happier/healthier/more enjoyable/easier, then frankly they don't deserve an ounce of what they are getting.

At this point, the become something akin to a parasite; a selfish little creature who takes and takes and takes until their host is totally drained of resources. With a literal parasite this might mean the human body in which they are living will eventually die due to the parasites...parasiting. In the case of a human parasite, this could include anything from monetary resources to emotional currency, and even physical/sexual benefits. In both cases, the creature seems to have zero regard for the life and well-being of the one being leeched off of. Instead, they are thinking only about their wants, their needs, their well-being. The craziest part about this, is that often times, or at least in my case, the host for some inexplicable reason will continue to provide the very lifeblood for these vacuums, even when their parasitic nature seems blindingly obvious.

I would like to explore the "whys" behind why we allow this. But I'm getting long winded again. And so, as an act of charity, I will close. Don't worry, I don't expect anything in return.

As always, let me restate that I am in no position to be preaching to anyone. I have been a parasite and I have been attacked by parasites. Right now it just feels like the latter is happening with an intense and persistent frequency. To answer the question you might be thinking, yes, I did/do have (a) specific person/person in mind when I wrote, and surprisingly enough, my boss at work is not one of them. It is much easier to forgive a woman who hardly knows me and had made no declarations of care or stewardship over well-being. It is much harder to forgive someone who has taken on such claims. But usually, I still forgive them anyway.

And yet, and yet, for some reason, I can't just leave it at forgiveness. Nope! Not me! I  instead continue to not only allow this mistreatment, but I also continue to give of myself in ways that one could argue should be reserved only for those who are willing to return it in like fashion. I don't know if I would consider this behavior particularly "Christ-like" as much as I would consider it particularly stupid.

So here's to you Bruno! I know you feel me. Even if your song is still re-damned-diculos.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Have to be honest, I have no idea where this post is going to go.  All I know is that I have to write right now. I know I am feeling something intense though I am not entirely sure what it is. I think part of it is exhaustion. I have been working this new job for almost a month now and it is still kicking my butt. The days I have school aren't so bad because it means I am only doing back-breaking work for 4 hours a day instead of 8.

For those who don't know, I am working in an upscale cafeteria for one of the largest security companies in the US.  This company offers it's employees ridiculous perks, including free restaurant quality meals prepared fresh from-scratch by yours truly and a team of hard working chefs.  While I have worked for over 12 years in restaurants, most of my experience has been in the front of house. The people I am working with, on the other hand, are mostly trained chefs and back of house experts. They all own their own knives for heavens sake. Just one of these chefs knives can run you upwards of $300! Though I will tell you this, whenever I get a chance to borrow one of the chefs knives I take it, because the difference between their knives and the standard issue kitchen knives is night and day. There really isn't even a comparison.

Never mind the fact that I almost sliced the entire end of my thumb off last week. If not for the slight traction my nail provided, allowing me enough time to realize what I was doing, I probably would be without a thumb tip right now. I already look like a 12 year old cartoon; loosing an appendage can't possibly help my case.

I am starting to see these people I work with as a kind of family. I have discovered that chefs and actors aren't that different. I think because they are both artists. One with food and the other with words. But this also means that both kitchen and actor folk alike tend to be a bit...different. I think it's different in a good way, but others might disagree. Maybe I will tell you more about my kitchen family someday.

All day today I felt as though I was right on the verge of tears and I couldn't quite figure out why. Nothing dramatic has happened recently; in fact, things are starting to slow down and ease into a routine....

Maybe that's it. Maybe life is once more becoming routine, and this is exactly what is bothering me. This literally just came to me so let's see if we can work it out together.

When my relationship ended, I was devastated, but I also realized that life had to continue, and due to my financial situation at that time, I literally couldn't afford to stand still for very long. What happened after my relationship ended felt like a whirlwind. Within a week I had found a job, started school, and relocated my life to a new city where I knew nobody except my ex. In fact, I actually moved CLOSER to him (less than 5 miles to be exact). I didn't do this on purpose, it's just where I ended up. Isn't life fun?

Along with the move to a new apartment, I also began to attend a new ward, or, for those who aren't familiar with the Mormon speak, a new group of people that have been assigned a certain time slot and location to attend Mormon meetings. Joining a new ward is like starting a new job. You are suddenly bombarded by a hundred new faces and names and pre-existing clicks and circles of friends. Of course this also means that you also have a brand new pool of men to admire, (I am in a singles ward for unmarried Mormons between the ages of 18-31) though I have to admit, I haven't had the heart much for entertaining such thoughts. It doesn't help that I am about 5 to 8 years older than the average guy in the ward. *Sigh*

And even IF there was a guy I was interested in, it would appear that the interest is not returned. Maybe the giant BUG OFF! expression plastered on my face is detracting them. Or the fact that I reek of bitter angst from my recent heart break. Maybe they see the sadness in my eyes or smell the low self-esteem I seem to have taken on as of late. What happened to me? True, I would never have considered myself a particularly confident individual, but who does? I guess what I am saying is that if I was insecure back then, I was a frickin narcissist compared to where I am now. Attractive right? Everyone loves a person with zero confidence.

But it's not even that. I know I am a smart, funny, tender-hearted woman, and I know that I am not utterly un-dateable. My friends, family, and men that I have turned down are fond of reminding me that the reality isn't that nobody wants to date me, but rather, I don't seem to want the ones that do.  I don't think I'm alone on that particular boat, so I don't feel a need to have to justify the matter further.

Where was I going with this? Oh yes.

So when life becomes crazy, it is easy to become distracted. Then once life settles down into a routine, that distracted state of mind starts to give way to whatever it was you were running from in the first place. I think that what I have been running from is the cause of this sinking feeling in my heart. It is the reason that I come home after a long day and fall into my bed, (alone) and curl up into a little ball, and want so badly for the day to just be over already. Though I guess, this doesn't make much sense since the end of one day only means the most likely beginning of another.

Another day. One more day just like the day that came before it. Another day to wake up alone and go to a job that, while I am grateful for it, I wish I didn't have to work. Another day to be treated poorly by people who probably don't even realize they are doing it. Another day to come home to my little apartment and fall into my bed and curl up in a little ball and wish once more that the day would just end.

I feel as though my life has been in a holding pattern for...oh say.....the past 6 years. I realize it's all perspective, but I can't seem to shake this one. It's like Mormon Groundhogs Day the movie. The same damn thing over and over and over and over until what? To what end? Death? Marriage? At least one of those two is certain.

The ironic thing is, I'm acting as if marriage won't eventually land me in the same place someday. When the rush of the wedding day wears off and I realize that nothing fundamentally has changed, I will probably return to this default setting of .....what?.......restlessness? I almost want to say to God, just end it already!!! The anticipation is killing me!! Apparently not fast enough though.

Where does this feeling come from? This feeling of discontent, or restlessness, of unwillingness to just accept what life IS? Didn't I write a blog about this? Further proof that those who can't do, teach.

Well, I think I have ranted enough for one post. Sorry, I feel like this one doesn't have a nice little conclusion, but I suppose, it's fitting, given the topic t hand.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

I am Sushi

I remember the first time I tried sushi. I was 18 at the time and dating an "older" man who I felt totally inferior to in many ways. Not only was he graduated from high school (swoon), he also drove a shiny silver mustang (the swooning continues), could sing (triple swoon), and knew more about everything than anyone I had ever dated. True, he was pretty much the 2nd guy I have ever dated, (I was a late bloomer OK?), but even to this day, in my mind he remains one of my most favorite and cherished relationships.

Funny side story about this particular relationship: Eventually what ended it was the fact that I wanted a temple marriage (not that we were anywhere near that point), and he was no longer an active member of the church. We had reached what I like to call the inevitable Duel of the Faiths, or Temple Stalemate. I have found myself in just such a scenario on several occasions, and though every time the result was the same, it never seemed to stop me from diving headlong into it again when the opportunity presented itself. This would happen usually for one of two reasons; the first would be that the guy would convince me that it wouldn't be an issue and/or we didn't need to think about it until it got more serious anyway, (Dang gurl! Slow your roll! You're talkin' temples and I ain't even bought you FroYo yet!). The second rationalization was that either party believed that they would be able to "turn" the other; you know?, like a vampire turns a human into another vampire or a nice guy turns into a total tool after hanging out with those guys he met at the protein shop at the gym. Looking back I can see how foolish this was, and if this were the topic for today, I could spend a good amount of time relating my feelings and insights on it, but sadly it is not. So let us return to my original topic, namely me, myself and ME!

Where was I?.....oh yes! Sushi. Wait.....why was I talking about my ex?.....ah yes! Because he was the first to introduce me to it. Train. Track. Onward.

In general, I hate fish and pretty much anything that comes from the see. Crustaceans look to me like the insects of the sea and if eating a giant spider weren't enticing enough, I recently came to discover that I am allergic to shell fish. Not  the death-at-one-bite  kind of allergic, but enough that my throat will swell slightly and my ears will turn red and burn on the outside while itching like crazy on the inside. And when I say inside, I don't mean reachable with an ear swab inside, I mean wire hanger and probable trip to the ER inside. Plus, I simply hate the taste of cooked fish.

Like many stereo-typical Mormon kids raised in the US of A, I grew up on a steady diet of meat and potatoes, spaghetti and meat sauce, sloppy Joe's, mac n' cheese from a box, pizza, toast with Cinnamon and sugar, Ritz Crackers with thick slices of mild cheddar cheese, tuna casseroles, and cold cereal. Lest you think my mother negligent, there were also salads and veggies thrown in there, but normally they were drenched in ranch dressing or some other unhealthy condiment. We were Americans, and we ate American foods dangit! So when my then boyfriend suggested that I eat raw fish atop a bed of rice being held together by seaweed, I about had a panic attack.

In an attempt to not look" L 7" (Square) however, I played it off like it was no big deal and that I was excited to be introduced to this whole new world of food...The things we do for love right? I was determined to not have him see me as some naive little sheltered Mormon girl who wouldn't know culture if it slap her with a herring. Don't get me wrong, I was....but I didn't want him to know that. So I played it cooooool and told him that whenever he wanted to, I was game. Lucky for me, he was ready at that moment, and soon we were sitting in The Happy Sumo preparing to take my sushi virginity.

I can't tell you the exact roll we started with, but I'm sure it was something pretty tame. Even within a realm of crazy, there are still greater and lesser crazies that abide therein. A California roll would be on one end of the crazy scale, and a Death roll would be on the other. And so it is with people I find.

Within any given culture and therefore and more frequently, any subculture, there exists varying levels of extremes. This is certainly true of Mormons. On one end of the spectrum you might find a Mormon who never swears, (not even the bible swears which are OK because, hey, they are in the bible), goes to church EVERY Sunday, even if they are on vacation, ("Alright kids, I know our ship isn't scheduled to dock until tomorrow, but I will not stand by and allow us to miss Sacrament Meeting. Grab an oar!), and won't allow any movies in their home that aren't proceeded by the words Disney or  Living Scriptures. Even Disney sometimes isn't an automatic given, (Have you seen that Esmeralda? MmmmmmHmmmmmm). Then we have the "Mormons" on the extreme opposite side of this spectrum. I use " "s around Mormon in this sense because many will dispute their right to claim Mormon, due to their views and/or lifestyle.

As I have come to understand it; and in addition has also been affirmed to me by many in and out of the Mormon faith, this is not a passive religion. Whereas two non-secular Christians may find it easy or easier to come together and build a life together, the same can not usually be said about a Mormon and any other faith. This is a generalization and there are plenty of examples where this is not the case, but again, in general, when a Mormon and a Non-Mormon try and get together, there seem to be issues, one of the biggest being the issue of a temple marriage. I do not wish to discuss Mormon doctrine at this time, so suffice to say that in general if you are an active/faithful/believing/practicing (whatever the crap that means....."Are you Mormon?"..."I'm practicing to be a Mormon, maybe someday I will get it right".), then you will in general say that it is to be a temple marriage or no marriage at all  IN GENERAL.

But returning to our "Mormons", we find that these individuals, while claiming to believe the doctrine of the church, do not always live lifestyles that one might argue are conducive to the LDS faith. For example, they may think it's perfectly OK to go out to eat on a Sunday, or have a glass of wine with a nice meal, or don't feel it necessary to attend church every single Sunday. I have heard these members often referred to as Buffet Mormons, because they pick and choose the things from the church they like, including the rules apparently, and leave out or ignore the ones they don't. I myself have dated members like these, and I find them entirely fascinating. I remember one guy who claimed to believe everything the church taught and followed all the rules, with the one exception of the practice of remaining sexually pure before marriage. I can't remember how he justified it; something about nature and God made us this way, and hey baby why don't you stay over tonight?

I would have loved to study him like some sort of spiritual outlier, unfortunately however, I feared for the preservation of my virtue, and so I opted not to see him again.

So what does any of this have to do with sushi? And furthermore, what does any of this have to do with me? Well I'm going to bring it all home for you now.

Like sushi, I have often felt as though I was a bit, shall we say, exotic. Nowhere has this feeling become more apparent than in my dating life. If I am sushi, then the normal run of the mill Mormon girl is going to be a steak and potato dinner. For the most part, this is going to make her generally desirable to the greater majority of LDS guys. After all, they grew up eating the same Mormon diet I did, and these are the kinds of foods (and for the sake of our analogy, girls) that he is most comfortable with. It doesn't mean that if he tried sushi that he would automatically hate it, but getting him to try it is going to be difficult. And if you can actually get him to try it, and get him to admit that it wasn't an altogether bad experience, this doesn't mean that next time you ask him where he wants to eat he is going to leap at the chance to eat it again. He may say something like, "Sushi is something I enjoy once in a blue moon, but I would take a pot roast and mashed potatoes over raw fish any day."

 And so it is with me.

Many LDS guys tell me that they love spending time with me exactly because I am different than the average LDS girl. Some of the differences they have pointed out is that I am a deep thinking individual who doesn't just aspire to being a stay at home mother to 12 children (not that there is anything wrong with that). They also tell me that I am open minded in a way that many LDS girls and boys for that matter, are not. Though to be fair, this open-mindedness has also been a reason that some have cited as to why they don't see things working out. Apparently, even though I pretty much live every "rule" of the church, attend my meetings every Sunday, desire to be married in the temple, and maybe even someday serve a mission with my husband; the fact that I, for example,  think that maybe just, maaaayyyyyybeeeeeee we need to look at this whole gay marriage issue from the other parties perspective and maybe just maaayyyyyyyybeeeeeee try and see how it isn't as black and white as we make it out to be, this makes me totally 100% undatable. Wait, no, I retract that. They will date me, but they sure as shoot ain't tever gonna marry me.

I'm the girl they are going to go to when they need advice or are sick of the mindless ramblings of their 20 year old girlfriends. I am the girl who they know isn't going to judge them when they screw up, but that they would never want to end up with because it doesn't fit into their perfect little steak and potatoes meal plan. I'm sushi, and while sushi might be delicious, it is just a wee bit too strange for them. And not even just them; I have dated guys who loved my suhsiness, but who ended things because they knew their family were not fans of the fish. I get it, you want your family to like who you end up with, but still, it sucks to be sushi sometimes.

So what's a sushi to do in the world of red meat and starch? Well, one option would be to move out of Mormon Mecca and go instead to a more metropolitan area like New York, LA, or Boise. Maybe there I will be appreciate not because I'm "different", but because to them, I am actually normal. Another option would be to stay here and try to find someone who is also sushi, which is what I have basically been doing for the past 11 years. The problem I keep running into however, is the scenario where I find I am too conservative for group (A) and too liberal for group (B). In truth, I find myself feeling like I don't fit in anywhere.

Yes I will discuss the flaws of the church, No you can't grab my boobs,
Yes I will  on ocassion go out to eat on a Sunday, No I do not wish to "experiement" with alcohol,
Yes I swear sometimes when I get really upset or I am trying to be funny, No I have no desire to see the new Saw 15 movie,
Yes I think the church has some inconsistencies and possible falsehoods that may need to be looked at, No I do not wish to read your anti-Mormon literature that you found on Wikipedia,
Yes I have made a point to say that if I am never a mother than it won't mean that I failed, even if it is by choice, No this doesn't mean that I make it a daily practice to set fire to The Family: A Proclamation to the World and then throw the ashes up in the air like confetti while shufflin' beneath the proverbial snow.

There has got to be a happy medium out there somewhere. Maybe I am too sushi for potato, but maybe there is something in between. Indian food maybe or Thai. I like Thai, those fresh spring rolls are wonderful. Alas, I have no spring rolls to eat, so instead I will send out my hope and desire for the universe to hear. If there be any sushi enthusiasts out there who identify with what I have said in this post, and you find women who resemble 13 year old cartoon characters attractive, then give me a call, or look me up on the facebook, or whatever means by which you use to communicate these days.

And to all of you die hard steak and potatoers, let me leave with this final thought....

While it's true I may be sushi, if you gave it a chance, and found, like I did all those years ago, that you actually enjoyed it, then maybe you should consider the possibility that sushi isn't so crazy as you are making it out to be. And who knows, it might end up being the best thing you never knew you loved.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Liar Liar

Maybe I am just experiencing the side effects of withdrawal.

Maybe I am being moved upon by the universe.

Or maybe it has more to do with certain biological factors.....HOWEVER!!....

Whatever the cause, I feel a need to rant, and so rant I shall.  I haven't had a good rant in a long while and I think it's high past time I let off a little steam. Who's with me??????? *SILENCE*.........

Doesn't matter! I'm doing it anyway!


Let's be honest (irony), we all lie, probably everyday, probably even when we don't realize we are doing it.  Sometimes we come up with other words and terms for lying, such as: "Sugar Coating", "Embellishing", "Sparring someones feelings", "Spinning", and the list goes on.  The thing that all of these cute little quips have in common is that they are all justifications for why we LIE to people. After all, we have been taught since the time we were wee tikes that to lie is????....say it with me now....WRONG. Lying is wrong, and it doesn't matter how you try to justify or excuse yourself, when you lie, you are acting wrongly a word? Is now.

"But Brittney", you say, "what if you are only lying because you know telling the truth would hurt the person more? Are you not then justified in "putting it to them" in just such a way as to not offend their sensitive feelings? For example, isn't it more "humane" to say to someone you are simple not attracted to physically that you are just "not emotionally available" at the moment and therefore do not wish to pursue a dating relationship with them? That way, they don't feel like it's their fault. I don't like hurting peoples feelings and so I would rather take the blame for the decision so that they don't have to suffer needlessly. I am such a good person. Maybe TOO good. Yeah, too good, that's my problem. Always has been. I'm just too good a person, that's what always gets me in trouble. Nice guys finish last and all that. Well that's me! Dang, I guess it's true what they say....No good deed.....something something".

My turn.

I know that in your mind you truly believe that you are being a good person, but the fact of the matter is, you sir/madame, are a liar. Spin it however you'd like, but your argument is ridiculous for multiple reasons.  First off, you are making an ASSumption that you know what will and won't hurt a person. Not only that, but you are also ASSuming you know the degree to which your actions which effect the other person. You are treating human subjectivity like it is a simple science experiment. In essence, you are basically saying that you have some sort of empirical evidence proving that the Lie is going to have a measurable less amount of damaging impact then would the truth. So my question to you would be this.....what the crap are you basing your totally unfounded theory on? What makes you think you know the first thing about how a subjective human being is going to feel when exposed to any given situation? The answer is, in case you haven't caught on yet, that you don't. I realize that you can spend enough time with someone to get to a point where you can predict with better odds what the person may do, or how they might react in any given situation; however, unlike like the laws of nature and physics, people can not be so easily figured out. Simply put, if you are not living in my head, you have zero grounds on which to claim you did something because you knew it would be "easier" on me.

Speaking from personal experience, (because that is really the only kind of experience I can speak from), I detest being lied to. Do I lie? Of course I do. Am I a hypocrite? Of course I am! But let us not commit the sin of fallacy here by discrediting my argument based off of the fact that I am sometimes guilty of committing the very act to which I am objecting. This is what we would call "argument from inconsistency", and it is fallacious. (This moment of pompous intellectual self-stroking was brought to you by Philosophy of Logic 1250, and the letter H).

Returning to your argument. I think you may be a bit delusional when it comes to your motivations behind your justifications. Don't worry, this is perfectly normal. If you couldn't find a way to make it OK, then you probably wouldn't be able to live with yourself very easily.  You might even find that you would then have to change your behavior, and really, who wants to go through that whole process? Change is soooooooooooooooo hard. Best to stay in your mire and devise a clever explanation as to why a crap hole is actually optimal for human life and personal growth.  Sorry, no dice. You may have lied to yourself for so long that you actually believe your own lie, but this doesn't excuse you, and it certainly doesn't even come close to justifying you. What you call being a "good" person, I call, avoidance. The truth is, that as much as you want to believe you are doing it for their sake, you are in reality doing it for your own. Doing this does not make you a good person, it makes you a person who puts their own feelings/wants/desires above the feelings/wants/desires of somebody, and maybe everybody, else. I'm not saying this is wrong, but it is the truth. Right and wrong, for the sake of this particular argument, is moot. Where it crosses into the world or right and wrong is when you lie to yourself and other people about the reason or reasons behind why you chose to do or say what you did. There are a million and one reasons why you could argue that a person chose to lie instead of telling the truth. But if you are a generally good and decent person, most likely the reason you chose to lie was due to a sense of pride in whatever public/private identity you are trying to preserve. 

Nobody (unless they are depraved), enjoys being thought of, or wants to think of themselves as a bad person. For the most part, we all want to be good people, unfortunately, I don't myself know of anyone living human that is good ALL of the time. We are none of us all good or all bad. We are human, and therefore capable of doing both good and bad at any given moment. True, when all is said and done we may be able to point out that one side of the scale is far more weighted than the other, but until that day comes, results are suspended pending further evidence.

When I say that you are not be kind, but rather avoiding, what I mean is that you are willingly choosing to act in a manner that will absolve you from having to feel like you are being "bad" or that someone is going to think less of you based off your totally personal choice that you made with your own free will. Using the example above; if you were to come right out and say, "You know what? I'm just not physically attracted to you and therefore I have made a personal decision to not pursue a romantic relationship with you.", then some might conclude that you are a superficial jerk right? But here's the thing.....that IS, in reality, why you don't want to date them, so in this sense, you ARE a superficial jerk based upon your own definition OR the perceived definition attached to such a decision.  So then, the only difference between the lie and the not lie is you copping to fact that you are in reality a superficial jerk.

By the way, I do not personally believe that if you choose to not date someone because you are not physically attracted to them that this does indeed make you a superficial jerk. I think it makes you human. So the question I would ask would be, why are you so afraid of admitting that you are human? Maybe because you believe it to be a social taboo, a kind of unspoken understanding that we all have with one another like facing the same direction while standing in a straight line or not pointing out that your mother-in-law has put on a considerable amount of mass since last you saw her. OR, maybe it's because you have carefully built up this facade of goodness and propriety and you would rather not watch it burn to the ground. If you did admit that you are human, and at times "superficial" and, heaven forbid admit that you have certain personal preferences that have come not only from nature but also years worth of nurture and experience, then the world might see you for who you really are....human *gasp!* Perish the thought! No, much better to pretend like your poop smells of freshly baked cinnamon rolls. Breathe deep my friends, take it all in.

Again, I know you THINK that you are being a good person or doing the right thing when you attempt to spare someones feelings, but this is a delusion that you need to wake up from. While I can not speak for anyone but myself, I will tell you that there are few things in this world that irritate me more than being lied to. I personally would and do respect someone more for telling me the truth, then telling me something they thought would be easier for me to hear. Now I'm not saying that this means we all need to start walking around telling people what we think of them without regard, 24/7, including strangers we see on the street. What I am saying, is that in any given situation in which you are interacting with another human being in a personal or even professional setting, you might consider not trying to save face and instead trying a little honesty and just see how it goes. Sure, that girl might think you are a superficial jerk based off of the fact that you rejected her on the grounds that you lacked physical desire for her, but it's the TRUTH, and I'm sorry that the truth might not make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, but there is not a whole lot to be done about that. You can't control what others think about you anymore than I can control Shawn Ashmores conversion to the LDS faith. People are going to think what they think and act how they choose to act. The only responsibility you have is how you treat and engage with them, and this includes but is not limited to, whether or not you choose to feed them some cock and bull malarkey about why YOU CHOSE, based on YOUR DESIRES, to not pursue whatever romantic/social/business venture they were trying to sell you on. This obviously expands to many many other aspects of human interaction, but for the sake of simplicity, I have chosen to focus on these examples.

As the wisest of men once said, Come my friends, and let us reason together....and to that I would continue....Let us not continue down this ill-conceive path to hell, though it be laid with the best of intentions. Let us cease this senseless cycles of inserting smoke hither and thither into one anothers anuses. Let us instead owneth up to our own feces, stinketh though it may, and let us not be afraid of the stench thereof, for we know that there is not one among us who's fecal matter is sufficiently removed of pungent and pervasive evils. For I say unto you, it were better for the man who, in a crowded elevator, breaks his wind and yet with boldness, and notwithstanding the scoffs and scorns of the children of man, cops to his offense; then to be the man who, in fear of losing his standing before men, instead offends not only the contents of the surrounding area, but also the very character of his own soul by choosing to instead remain silent....or worse...blames the dude standing next to him.

Can I get an Amen?????