Friday, August 31, 2012

Men Say the Darndest Things

Throughout history there have been men for whom the word was their sword in the battle of woo-age. Men like Shakespeare who, through their cunning understanding of language brought women to swoon at their siren call. This holds true today, though I feel they are more readily identified as songwriters more than the traditional poets. However....there are many many more men out there who, though their intentions are pure, their methodology might be a bit, shall we say, lacking? Dear sweet men who want nothing more than to impress fair maiden and gain her affections through unique and personal flattery, but more often than not, fall flattery on their faces.

This post is a homage to all those men. Please enjoy as I recant words that have literally been spoken to me by well-meaning men in an attempt of flattery...I think...For my part, I will try and interpret.

What he actually said: You have great birthing hips

What I initially heard: (I hear it in a hick voice) You seem like the kind of gal who could drop a litter in the field, stand up, and go back work to work in the same day....I likes that.  Don't get me wrong...brains is nice an' all, but I likes my women like I likes my toilets, with a wide birth.

After some thought: I think this was his attempt at complimenting my very feminine form. Without listing my actual measurements, I can tell you that hourglass pretty much sums it up. But I am also on the thinner side, so I think that men are often delighted that I have still retained my curves despite my slighter form. And, as I have come to understand, a lot of men appreciate that particular silhouette on a gal. So he gets points for the thought, but perhaps should rethink the approach.

What he actually said: You are totally the non-conventional opposite of everything I have ever dated, and I don't know why, but for some reason I want that right now.

What I initially heard: You know how there are those fetish websites out there? Some people really get off on watching balloons pop, while others like to be tied to things and hit with other things? Well...you're kinda like that....for me. I am both repulsed and intrigued by you, and I want you to be my weight watchers cheat day that I never tell any of my friends about....Ever. You down?

After some thought: I think what you meant to say was that you find my quirkiness refreshing. Try this line instead next time, "You are unlike any woman I have ever met before, and I kinda like it, a lot!" Yeah, that's the kind of stuff chick-flicks are sold on. Your version was a nice attempt thought too....

What he actually said: You have a unique face.
(Sadly, I have been on the receiving end of several different versions of this statement. I would direct you to my post entitled: Nobody Wants to Marry a Cartoon)

What I initially heard: You know how there are some girls out there that when they walk in the room, all the men in the room heads turn? The kind of woman you might see on the cover of a Victoria's Secret Magazine or one of those leading ladies on the big screen? You know what I'm talking about? Those kinds of girls? Yeah...that's not you. Your face is kind of like the sun or a terrible NASCAR crash, I feel guilty starring, but I just don't want to look away.

After some thought: Ok, Ok! I get it! I look like a frickin' cartoon! Yes yes yes, I look like that one chick from that one CARTOON! I get it! My face is very much under the influence of animation! Thank you! That never gets old. Other girls get told that they look like so-and-so the famous Hollywood starlet, but not me! Ohhhhhh nooooo, not this gal! But hey, who wants to look like Kate Beckinsale when you can look like the 12 year old viking chick from How to Train Your Dragon???? I'm the luckiest friggin' girl in the whole world! Everyone! Everyone! Come look at the luckiest friggin' girl in the whole world! Hurry up before this one woman freak show rolls out town! What they hell makes you think that a woman wants to hear that she has a unique face??? You know who else had a unique face??? Quasimodo! And we ALL know he totally ended up with the girl in the end right??? Oh wait, NO!!, that's right, he ended up rejected and dead! Dead and alone! Just like how me and my "unique" face are going to end up!!!.....*pant*...*pant*....*gasp*...*pant*...

After a little more thought: A UNIQUE face???? Really? Really???

After even more thought (and some kettle korn): Alright, so maybe what these men have been trying (and failing EPICALLY) to say, is that mine is not your average cookie-cutter, run-of-the-mill, dime-a-dozen pretty face. Keep in mind, these were men who wanted to date and/or engage in physical relations with me. So unless this is another case of the whole fetish thing, I am going to have to assume that "unique" does not mean "unattractive"; at least not in their minds. And along this line of reasoning, I become like a collectors item or a chicken nugget in the shape of George Washington's head. I am a rarity, and if there is one thing I have learned about people, it's that they love to have something that nobody else has. Yeah! That must be what they meant....yeah............yeah....

I hope my misfortune has once again been to the betterment of your humor. Join me next time when I will discuss the sky-rocketing cost of therapy. Good night all!



Sunday, August 26, 2012

Stop putting caring in my actions

You know those really annoying people who are always trying to finish your sentences? Sort of like..."Oh no, please, go ahead, apparently I was confused about the words that I was planning on saying. It's a good thing that you were around to tell me what I was really wanting to say....obviously....obviously."

Well, I have discovered this phenom-annoyment is not exclusive to sentence finishers. There is also a breed of individuals out there that apparently posses the ability to know the extent to which you care about them, without you even giving them the slightest indication of this fact. I know this is true because, sadly, I am one of those people.

Still confused? Let me give you an example.

I can't speak for everyone, but from what I have gathered from my numerous conversations with anyone who has ever been part of the dating/relationship world at any point in their lives, it would appear that, at one time or another, most people have found themselves in relationships where the object of their affections didn't so much return the sentiment. Here is the really sucky part about these situations...

Usually, and unfortunately, when a person find themselves in this situation, they tend to all become Harvard trained Lawyers.  In this, I mean to say that they become brilliant at justifying, excusing, and defending the actions or non-actions of the person they are convinced is totally in love with them, even though they have not a shred of evidence to support their theory.

"He only calls me at midnight to come over because he is so busy playing Call of Duty with his mission buddies."

"She takes at least 3 days to respond to my texts because she gets really distracted by her part time job at the Tan-Me-Now."

"He only says hurtful things when I do something to upset him. You know, like when I forget that he likes 3 scoops of Oval-tine instead of 2."

"She doesn't kiss me really....or cuddle with me....or touch me...or really even look at me; but she keeps accepting dates from me, so I know she is interested."

"He doesn't talk about the future with me because he is just "enjoying the moment".........5 years into the relationship."

*Sigh* Really?....Really?

You, girly. He only calls you at midnight to hang out because all he is wanting is a physical relationship from you. If he really truly cared, then he would be asking you out on legitimate dates during normal hours and possibly even in public where *gasp* he could run the risk of people seeing you together. Stop putting caring in his actions.

And you sir; the reason why she takes 3 days to reply is because she isn't worried about replying to you....3 days later! She doesn't worry, because she doesn't care. And I'll tell you something else; I bet you a shiny Buffalo Nickle that if it were a guy she was really  interested in, she would reply so fast that it would rip the very fabric of time and space. Stop putting caring in her actions.

Now you missy; he says hurtful things to you because he doesn't mind hurting your feelings. Let me say it another way; It doesn't bother him or cause him any noticeable amount of discomfort or even moment of thought to say things to you that are hurtful. Last time I checked, people who love us don't say hurtful things, and if they do, they apologize with much fervor, particularly over ridiculous trivial matters. Obviously little boy needs to grow up and scoop his own freaking Oval-tine. But in the mean time, stop putting caring in his actions.

And you my friend; she doesn't want to kiss, cuddle, or touch you because, more than likely, and I'm sorry to say this, but she probably  isn't physically attracted to you. She keeps accepting dates from you probably because you keep buying her food, or maybe she really does love you....the same way she loves her brother...or her father.....or her fridge. If the friend-zone is cool with you then by all means, carrying on. But do not fool yourself into thinking that this relationship is going anywhere....other than the next restaurant you take her to. As much at it sucks...stop putting caring in her actions.

Last but not least my sweet child; with all of the love in my heart...The reason why he won't talk about a future with you is because he doesn't see a future.....with you. It is painful as all get out to realize this. It hurts like hell to think that you have wasted precious time, energy, love, affection, and tears on somebody who ultimately never had any intention of making this thing permanent. I honestly can't think of many worse things than the feeling of pouring water into a bucket that you would later and suddenly come to find had a huge gaping hole in it. Particularly when you are in the midst of a desert where water is not easily come by.  It isn't fair, it isn't right, it isn't ok. But believe me when I say that it isn't going to change or get better with time. You aren't going to finally do or say the "right" thing to get him to suddenly treat you the way you have always wanted to be treated. My darling girl...think back to the dreams you had about falling in love, when you were still a hopeful child. Did it in any way shape or form resemble your current situation? If your answer is no, then as much as it is going to rip you apart and tare out your heart and send you into nights of tears on your pillow and days of wanting to call him every moment because certainly what you had was at least better than being alone.....you need to walk away. You need to find a person who can't wait to start a future with you. You deserve that....we all deserve that. Please, I beg you, stop putting caring in his actions.

These people we love, perhaps without due cause are not bad, they are not evil, they simply are not the people that deserve us. More than likely, they will find someone someday and they will be that loving person...for that person. But so will you, and so will I...or at least...that is my hope for us both. 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

One of Many Sparrows

Some believe that each person has an animal essence or "Totem" that travels through life with you or acts as a guide or sometimes even as a protector. In my life, I have met many people who seemed to have a very obvious animal essence. One friend in particular comes to mind. I swear to you, he was a panda bear in a former life. Everything about the way he moves to the way he eats, even the his physical form screamed PANDA!!

What animal do you feel most represents you? Have you ever thought about it? I have...

For many reasons, I have always felt a kinship with one of Gods most humble creatures, the sparrow. I could go on and on with all the metaphors and parallels between myself and these tiny birds, but that would take a long time, and I have a story I want to tell you instead.

Several months ago I moved into a new apartment. This apartment complex offers underground parking, which I always use. The structure is made of slabs of concrete and is ground level so that it still remains open along the perimeter. Because of this, it has become a popular place for birds to hang out, and I quickly became acquainted with two such squatters.  At first, I couldn't understand why I felt like I was getting dive-bombed every time I left my vehicle. Stupid little sparrows, didn't they realize we were kindred spirits? 

But  then one day, as I was again being buzzed like a flight tower by a most animated little bird, I happened to look up along where the ceiling of the structure met the wall.  I had never taken time before to notice the small shelf that extended along the entire structure, forming the perfect place for a nest; which was exactly what I saw just then. A tiny little nest with a small sparrow crouched inside.  The nest was far enpugh out off my reach, unless I had wanted to stand on the hood of my car, but not so far up that I couldn't see into it at all. "Ah haaa...." I said to the little F-16, "I understand now. You are trying to keep me away from your nest. Fear not my friend, You and yours will be safe as long as I am around. After all, we sparrows need to look out for each other."

Every day from that day forward, I would leave in the morning to the sight of one of the two parent sparrows guarding the nest while the other flitted about. In the evenings when I would return home tired and sometimes beaten from the cares of the day, I would again see my kinsfolk, keeping their watch like sentinels. And every time I saw them, I would think of a scripture that held great significance for me, and is part of why I originally adopted the sparrow as my totem....    

Matthew 10:29

29 Are not two asparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.

 31 Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more avalue than many bsparrows.

I loved my sparrows, and no matter how horrible I was feeling that day, coming home and seeing them there always did something for my spirit. As if God was saying to me, "Don't worry little Sparrow, you are not forgotten."

You can imagine my great excitement when, I was greeted one day, not by two sparrows, but by a nest full of tiny fuzzy sparrow children. They were so small and fragile looking, and Momma sparrow still guarded them with fierce intensity, as well she should have. I felt such joy to see their tiny little beaked faces every morning and evening. We now indeed had many sparrows! And as the days and weeks passed, I saw my little friends grow bigger and stronger and I wondered when they would be ready to strike off on their own. I knew the day was inevitable, but I hoped it wouldn't come too quickly.

Then a few days ago I decided to take an impromptu trip with some dear friends of mine. I was only gone a couple of days, and before I left, I remember looking up at my sparrow siblings and knowing that it was certainly almost time for them to give the whole flying thing a try; though I hoped selfishly that they would still be there when I returned.

Even though the vacation was so incredible and so incredibly needed; by the time I returned home this afternoon, I felt the weight of the world returning to sit like a rock in my heart. You can only escape from your problems for so long before they catch up with you again. And so it was for me. I found myself wondering once again, what was the point of any of this life anyway. And as much as I hate to admit it, I even found myself wondering if anyone would even notice were I to just disappear. What am I to world anyway right? Just one of many sparrows. Certainly nobody would take much notice if one so insignificant as I were to fall to the ground. 

 So consumed was I in my own worries, that I didn't even take notice of my feathered friends as I entered my complex. It wasn't until I came back down later this evening to leave again that I noticed that something was different. What was it? It seemed so.....quiet. And then it hit me. It was quiet, it was quiet because the cavernous concrete walls no longer rang with the voices of my tiny family. Instinctively I looked up at the nest, only to find it falling to shambles and totally abandoned. 

Where were the little ones? Had they flown off? All of them? Were they ever coming back? And where were the parents? Had they decided to build a new nest in another location? Would they rebuild this home and begin the process all over again?

I was in the midst of thought when out of the corner of my eye I happened to catch the sight of two tiny sparrows sitting, not far from the now decrepit looking nest, perched on a plastic light box. "What are you doing here?" I thought. "Why are you just sitting there?....looking at.....me?".....no....not at me.....near me....

My eyes gazed quickly around me and then above me and finally I dropped my eyes to the ground around my feet. It took me a moment to register what I was looking at, but once I realized what I was seeing, my heart sank into my stomach. There at feet lay one of the tiny sparrows. 

I was crushed. My eyes again returned to the two sparrows perched atop the light. I had never seen them so still before. There was no flitting, no darting to and fro. There they sat, eyes fixed on their fallen child, keeping their silent vigil. My heart broke again, this time for them.

As I brought my eyes again to the small broken body at my feet,  a tear rolled down my cheek, and then almost suddenly, I again heard in my head the words of those verses......"And not one of them shall fall to the ground without your Father...."

And here he was, one sparrow, fallen to the ground. But this time, God was not the only one who noticed.....

And in this way, we are all sparrows, and not one of us can fall to the ground without someone taking notice.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Huffing and Puffing

I feel like it's been a while since I used a good parable, or metaphor. So forgive me if this one is a stretch.

I have talked before about vulnerability, and my own struggles with it. Recently, it has become more clear to me why that is. This may seem obvious to some, but I am learning that the more vulnerable you are with a person, the more potential they have to hurt you. Simple right? Basic stuff, but for a person who has remained relatively guarded for the better part of their life, the shock of this reality can hit you like a cold toilet seat when you are running a fever.

It's kind of like.......

The story of the little three pigs.

We all know the story right? The first pig builds his house out of straw, the second twigs, and the third bricks. Then the big bad wolf decides to get all up in their business and blow their houses down...you know....like ya do. The first 2 piggy's find themselves homeless and wishing they would have invested in aluminium siding, but the 3rd remains safe inside his solid house of brick. For as much as the wolf huffs and puffs, he can't generate the wind power sufficient for toppling a home constructed by an animal that prefers to wallow in its own feces. Well done wolf..*slow clap*

We too are like the pigs, except for the poop part, well, speak for ourselves I suppose. My point is that metaphorically we are like the pigs, and our houses represent the level of vulnerability we share with the people in our lives or "the wolves". This is not to say that everyone around us is bent on the desire to bring about our total emotional/mental/physical destruction. However, from time to time we ALL do or say, or not, or not say things that hurt others. Usually not on purpose...except for when it's on purpose.

So let's start with the 3rd pig this time. There are some people who, for whatever reason, we choose to keep at an arms distance, as far as being vulnerable emotionally is concerned. So when they come around huffing and puffing and talking smack and spewing hatred, it is relatively easy for us to sit inside our well constructed house and brick and laugh at them as they attempt to bring it down around us. "Huff and puff all you want ya jerk, this house ain't movin." Though, that's not to say that it isn't still annoying, or that you aren't going to be bothered by it. More than likely though, it isn't going to ruin your day, and it will probably be forgotten by the time the cops drag them off your property. You always knew that Vivint Alarm System would pay off some day.

Now the second little piggy. The house of sticks are like the relationships in your life that go beyond superficial interaction. These people have a limited access of vulnerability and to an extent, you care about what they think about you, and how they treat you does carry a bit of wind power. In my life, these could be people I work with, or men I have dated casually, some friends, some family members and others. In fact, I would say that the better part of the people in my life would fall into this category. The difference between these relationship and the "straw house" relationships, is the amount of wind needed to topple it. If someone in this category says something hurtful, it is going to shale my foundation more than likely, and I will struggle to just let it go. But with time and some remodeling, there is hope for salvaging the property.

Finally, the 3rd little piggy. These are the relationships in our lives that we have allowed total vulnerability with. Honestly, it seems like these relationships are most commonly found in long standing friendships or more likely, romantic bonds. I would also add parents to this list and/or people who you look up to and respect like a parent. Our homes are so fragile around these wolves that all they really have to do is sneeze and the whole house seems to implode and explode at the same moment. One well placed comment meant only to shake our homes, instead brings the whole durn thing toppling to the ground. However, unlike the wolf in the actual story, I don't believe that the people we love and who love us are trying to bring our houses down with their comments or behavior. They probably don't even realize the force with which one single comment can render our once proud estates to mere rubble.

I think this is why for many years I have avoided building houses of straw with anybody. It is very similar to the bit where the wolf stands outside the door and begs, "Little pig, little pig let me in." To which I would reply, "Hell no!" I'm taking artistic liberties here, but you get the idea.  But despite my best efforts, sometimes houses of straw just get built anyway. I know this, because I have seen them fall at the mere exhalation of someone who I didn't even realize had the capacity to utterly destroy my home until I found myself standing in the rubble. It has made me realize again the great power our words carry. We must be aware of the houses we are standing in front of, and we must strive to contain our huffing and puffing, lest we blow down a house that, once destroyed, is not easily if ever rebuilt.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

You Bug Me

Dear Earwig/Centipede,

I did not kill you when I first I spyed you perched upon my bathroom wall because I though we had an unspoken understanding. You would stay where you were while I enjoyed a hot shower, and I in return would allow you a few more moments of precious life. You can imagine my disappointment where upon emerging from said shower to find you missing from the aforementioned spot. You can imagine my further dismay when I was unable to locate you entirely. I found this rather a rude gesture on your end and would have appreciated if you had left me a forwarding address of some kind so that I would know where to send the bottom of my shoe. Not to mention the extreme duress you have put me under from fear of my own well being. For though I did thoroughly shake my towel and my clothes, (which I laid upon the ground with the belief that you would do the honorable thing and stay on the wall as per our unspoken agreement) I now am left with the unshakable notion that you have hidden yourself away in one of the aforementioned garments and are now as we speak laying in wait for me to take to my slumber so that you may, under the cloak of darkness, burst forth from your place of hiding, penetrate my ear canal, and lay eggs in my brain.  I hope you appreciate what an inconvenience this becomes for me, and I would ask that in the future you give more thought as to how your actions may affect others around you.

Oh....and one more thing.

I may not have knowledge of where you are at this moment, but what I do have are a very particular set of skills; skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for insects like you. If you leave my apartment now, that will be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don't, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you.

Warmest Regards,

AWV

Friday, August 17, 2012

Pseudo Virginity

The Virgin and the Bloggersphere 
The time has come
The Virgin said
To talk of many things
Of sex and lust, and Nicmo's too
(That's what Mormons call a fling)
And while I have your interest peaked
There is one thing I concede 
Today's topic is only for adults
So please, don't let your children read

Let's talk about sex baby, let's talk about you and me....oh wait....I am probably the last person to be speaking on the subject of sex. This is mostly due to the fact that I have never had it, but even if I had, I still feel like I would be the last person anyone would want to hear talk about it.

It's true, I may not know jack-squat about the actual act of intercourse; outside of the literal mechanics I mean....durrrr....where does this thing go again? I passed my sex-ed class, I earned that B-, if for no other reason then I had to endure The Miracle of Birth video. I tell you what, that movie made Red Asphalt from drivers ed seem like a Disney film. Nightmares........nightmares.....

There is one thing I do know a whole ton about though, and that is the act of what I have coined "pseudo sex" or rather, all the things that Mormon kids do that isn't "technically" intercourse so that they can justify calling themselves virgins and avoid the consequences of any sort of church discipline or the condemnation of God.

Now, before I dive right in, let me add this one small disclaimer. Not ALL single Mormons engage in such activities. I am in no way implying this, nor should this be how you interpret this post. Secondly, I fully recognize that what follows could be a total pile of crap and so please realize this is coming my own experience/observations/conversations with other single Mormon people. The follow does not reflect the views of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and is not intended to be associated with their teachings or enforcement of said principles. We all good? Neat.

Ok, As I understand it, the act of intercourse serves many purposes, but it seems like a lot of those can be broken down into 2 categories.  The first, is what we would consider a strong biological/animalistic drive to breed and experience pleasure. The 2nd would be more a need for an emotional connection, or closeness and oneness with another human being. They don't have to be exclusive of each other, and they don't have to go together either. From what I can gather, much of what I see on the TV and in the Movies and on the Internet, would fall under the first category. Basically, it's just a bunch of horny individuals running around trying to satisfy their primal animal urges. But it seems that, not much unlike eating, (another normal healthy biological need) the need to breed isn't one of those things that you can just do once and then be done with. It is an ongoing drive, though it can be stronger and weaker depending on the individual, the same way appetite for food can vary from person to person as well. I hear tell that males tend to have a higher drive than women, though I'm sure that can't be true in all cases. Though ultimately, even though we may have different motivations for seeking it out, both men and women crave sex. It's normal, it's healthy, it's gooood.

So what do you do when all of the world and the media are telling you how goooood sex is and how much you are missing out on by waiting till marriage and oh by the way, have you stopped to consider the possibility that if you do wait till marriage you might find out that you and your partner aren't "sexually compatible", whatever the heck that means, and not only that, but that's like saying you are only going to eat spinach when there is an entire garden just waiting to be romped through???? Well, geez....when you put it like that....wait...nope...still a virgin.

But wait, I'm still human, I still have "needs". Maybe my needs aren't as needy as that guys needs, but we still need all the same. True, I think it might be the case that if you have never had sex, then it might be easier to abstain because "you don't know what you are missing", or something like that; but make no mistake, this isn't an easy road to travel, especially in our modern day where being a virgin at any age past 16 isn't as "cool" as it used to be.

Ok, so here is where we get really honest. Let's talk about what some Mormon kids are doing instead of sex. And then allow me to offer my opinion on the whole thing, and then you can email me and tell me how naive and ignorant I am, all while patting me condescendingly atop my head.

Sparking (n) The act of two individuals simulating the act of intercourse while fully clothed

There are many other names for this act, but they all make me want to vomit when I say them, so I chose sparking because it's clever, and it's funny to picture two people going at it in the dark and all you see is the sparks flying from where the buttons on their Levis are making contact.

Right, here we go.

This is very popular among the frustrated virgin community. The benefit is that it is easily justified since no clothing ever came off AND no hands ever wandered below the equator. However, upon further examination, I tend to think that this particular act is just as bad, and maybe even worse that wondering hands and the occasional missing article of clothing. Here is my logic....

What is one of the goals of sex? I'm not talking about the bonding and the spiritual/emotional aspect. I am asking what is the biological reward of sex? Other than children. The answer is for both parties involved to achieve orgasm. Yes? So far so good? Now, I may have never had sex, but let's just say I may or may have researched the topic through books and personal inquiries. I am a curious kind of cat by nature, who has a desire to know everything about everything and sex happens to fall under the everything category. Plus, it's interesting to learn about. From what I gather, it appears that a male orgasm is more easily achieved than the female orgasm. For a guy, orgasm is pretty much a given once everything gets rollin, for a woman, not so much. As I have also come to understand it, women are more likely to experience an orgasm due to external stimulation rather than internal. I know I read a stat about this somewhere I just can't remember where.

Nevertheless, returning to our sparking virgins, let's assume that the friction they are producing is sufficient for both parties to achieve orgasm; my question would then be, have they not just engaged in a form of sex?

Now I'm not so ignorant as to say that this means we should change the definition of sexual intercourse based solely off of both parties achieving orgasm. If that were the case, then there would be plenty of house wives out there that could legitimately claim they are still virgins. (Sad)

Though my intention is not to take away the virgin cards from all of those who are engaging in such activities and others like them including but not limited to oral and hand workings, I feel like we can't as honest people sit here and claim some sort of purity due to the fact that the round peg has not of yet gone into the round hole. This is what I mean by pseudo-virginity. True, there are those out there who refrain from any kind of sexual stimulation before they get married....but I have never met them. The problem is that this has become such a common practice among LDS youth and older singles to have become "normal" or just par for the course of casual dating. The way that a full fledged sexual relationship would progress out in the real world, a Mormon sexual relationship will progress in like fashion. The only difference is, the first will result in full on intercourse and the second will result in everything but or the varying degrees thereof.

 The most entertaining part of all of this to me, is the ways in which Mormons so easily justify their actions. "We aren't having actual sex...so we are ok." "I never touched you with my hand....so we are good." "None of our clothes came off...so we don't need to talk to our bishop about it." Or there is my all time favorite, "That's what repentance is for right?" Brilliant.

It is worth mentioning, though I'm not going to get too much into it,  the chemical aspect of this argument. The relevance being that if a woman experiences the same flood of chemicals after having achieved orgasm through sparking, her body is going to release the same bonding chemicals and she is going to feel just as bonded and emotionally attached to the man she had the interaction with. So now when the guy tries to use the justification that, "We never had sex, so I don't know why she is acting so clingy and crazy." Well....that is why. An orgasm is an orgasm no matter how it is achieved. Biology can be cruel no?

I would like to end by acknowledging that I have not even attempted to speak of the act of making love or real intimacy. I did this on purpose because like I stated at the first, I see this as something different from merely the carnal act of sex. I know plenty of good LDS kids who have fallen legitimately in love and have then fallen into these pseudo-sexual relationships for what one might call the "right" reasons....I suppose. What I am saying is that it isn't always blind lust; often there are real feelings behind the act. But even in these situations, there is little justification. If you truly believe that the act of being sexually intimate with another human being is an act that is meant to be reserved till marriage, then any act that elicits the same results or mimics the same outcome must be seen as inappropriate regardless of how much you love that person. If however, you believe that sexual relations are meant to be share with someone you love and marriage is not really relevant, then there is no issue, and I would imagine that you would opt for the real thing.

I'm not trying to call anyone to repentance or make those who have chosen a non-virgin-till-marriage path feel like they are "wrong" in any way. All I am attempting to do is to point out what I see as a contradiction in a culture of good kids trying to do the best with what nature has given them biologically, and what their faith has given them spiritually.  Do what you will, just realize that you aren't really fooling anyone, except for maybe yourselves.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Worth Considering

Normally when I write a post, I will spew whatever is on my mind and then leave it be. Not to be crass, but sometimes this all really is just like word vomit to me and once it is up, I do not not do as the dog does and return to it.

That being said, I have received quite a few replies from my last 2 posts, Why the Why Matters and Boobs and Mind Clutter. The responses have been both positive and argumentative, as you can see by the reply posts beneath them. I have no problem with people who disagree with me; on the contrary, even though it isn't fun for my pride, it is good for me to have someone point out any inconsistencies or hypocrisies I may be unknowing portraying. Like I have said many times, I am soooooo far from perfect it might as well be another planet.

Even though I haven't done this before, I would like to go back and look at some of the great points that have been brought up post post. I think they are worth discussing.

I have recently made a dear friend, who also happens to be a Marxist and a former member of the LDS church. I also should mention that he is one of the kindest and fair minded individuals I know. After my post Why the Why Matters, he brought up a point that I touched upon in my Boobs post. The idea is that the things we consider "normal" or even in some cases "sacred" have less to do with any sort of eternal concept and more to do with whatever social construct has been built around them.

Like I mentioned in my post about Breasts, a lot of times, or really, all of the time, a thing is nothing more than itself. A tree is nothing more than a stone or a park bench or a boob. These are all just physical objects which at the anatomic level are all made up of the same stuff anyway.We as societies, cultures, and religions have chosen to assign a certain meaning to these things.  To some, a cow is sacred, to others, it is dinner. A nude adult is a sexual symbol while a naked child is a representation of innocence and purity, unless you are a pedophile of course. But you see, even in that crude example we see how what a thing can mean to one person is not universally true for how all people are going to see it.

I find this is true even with my virginity. To some, virginity is a symbol of being young and inexperienced, and having sex becomes a right of passage and something one should try to accomplish as soon as possible. But to me, it means something different. I am not God, in case you hadn't noticed, and so I can't say what the eternal repercussions of sex are, if there are even any period. I don't believe that when someone has sex outside of marriage that somewhere in NeverLand Tinker-Bell dies, or some other form of eternal condemnation comes down upon your head. If this were true, then what is to be made of all the victims of rape? Certainly there needs to be a discussion about the difference between the carnal act of intercourse and the bonding act of intimacy. It's possible to have one without the other and it is possible to have them both at the same time. But maybe we can discuss this another time.

My point here,is that sex represents something different to me than it does to others, and sometimes it feels like, the vast majority, which includes a lot of members of the church. As much as we like to sit around say that we are not products of our society, this is simply  not the case. Am I a product of my upbringing in the church? Of course I am, how could I not be? But I am also a product of my family, and my socioeconomic class, the state in which I grew up in, and the Country in which I was raised. I don't eat dogs because to me dogs are pets, not dinner, but there are those out there who would disagree. Are they "wrong"? Or maybe I am "wrong", or maybe there is no Wrong in this situation.

Another reader made the argument that following the Word of Wisdom has less to do the specifics of the black listed items, and more to do with the concept of obedience, which at times have seemed more to me like blind obedience which is a concept I have a hard time getting behind. I hate being told to do something just for the sake of seeing whether I will or not. Now, give a half intelligent reason for why I am doing it, and I will most likely oblige. For this reason, I agree with what the reader said, to an extent. The words or wisdom are simply that, words of wisdom. If it were merely a matter of picking things just to see if we would stay away from them, then why not carrots or milk? Why not refraining from hopping on one foot or moon-walking or rock skipping? Some faiths don't believe in eating animals, so why didn't He forbid those too? I know several Mormon vegetarians who believe that God never intended for us to be eating animals the way we do. And to be honest, they make a pretty strong case.

Several things are in play here.

The first is that just because a thing seems random or even man made, doesn't nullify its relevance. I have heard plenty of stories that tell us that the reason that tobacco got put on the list was because Emma Smith got tired of cleaning up after the men when they would chew and spit it all over her house....understandably. I have also heard that it wasn't until well after the saints arrived in Utah that they stopped using tobacco and even alcohol. To say that these items have some sort of eternal damnation associated with them is just silly. However, no matter how much you want to argue semantics, the fact of the matter is that tobacco and alcohol AREN'T GOOD FOR YOU. Coffee isn't good for you, which is why DOCTORS tell you to limit your consumption of them. Will consuming them send you to hell? Ummm.......probably not I'm guessing, but will abstaining from them promote the health and longevity of your life? Um.......probably so. Though it won't save you from getting hit by a bus.

The second thing I want to point out is going to be a little crazy, so bare with me....

We live.....in a world.......of.....People.

Crazy right??? I know, I could hardly believe it myself when I first realized it. Nevertheless, it is so. We are utterly surrounded by other imperfect human beings. We are basically being overrun by creatures with biases, and selfish desires, and lusts for power, and so on and so forth. Unfortunately, because of this little situation, we have to concede that a lot if not most of what we have come to believe about this or that, has less to do with actual reality, and more to do with the stories that have been passed down from the time that stories could be passed down. Is it possibly then that the entire concept of God is nothing more than a bedtime story that our ancestors used to placate frightened children at night when they were confronted with their own mortality? I think so. It is also possible that the only reason that organized religion came about was as a tool for the few to control the many? Seems reasonable to me.

As long as there have been men, there have been men who have sought to gain power over other men. Whether through the act of rhetoric (my personal fav), or by brute force, they do what they feel has to be done in order to achieve whatever worldly success they are striving for. Countless individuals have been slain in the name of God or Gods or this religion or that religion. But let us not forget that numerous have also perished at the hands of Godless individuals who were essentially seeking the same end goal. I am not able to step inside the mind of those who have committed these unthinkable crimes, so it is impossible for me or anyone to say whether they truly believed that they were doing "Gods" will, or if they were merely using that as their cover to be selfish murdering bastards. Maybe they were so deluded that they thought they were exacting Gods will, maybe they were just evil people. I don't know, but I do know that the argument that ALL organized religion must be false, merely because of all the things that imperfect humans have done in it's name, simply doesn't hold water.

Consider it this way. We all agree that good nutrition and exercise will, for the most part, bring about a healthy and fit-looking body. The principles of eating right are very simple on paper, but how many of us follow them to perfection? I'm guessing not many, I know I don't. But that doesn't change the fact that the principles are sound and true. You wouldn't say that eating right is load of crock based on the reality that humans are inherently lazy and fail at following them. The problem isn't the principle, it's the people.

So did the word of wisdom come straight from God or straight from a frustrated house wife? Or both? Does it have to be one or the other? And if it did in fact come from a man, then does it make the principle worthless? My opinion, no. I say no because the things it is warning us against are things that we know are not good for us. So why does it matter where it came from? As far as it being a prerequisite for us being able to remain a card carrying member, I can not give an answer that is going to appease. Maybe it is simply a matter of obedience. Maybe God could care less if you drink or smoke or chew or visit Starbucks 6 times a day. Maybe this whole organization is nothing more than a bunch of wealthy men trying to control the mindless sheep of society. Or maybe they too are just buying into the great lie that was told long before we have record of. But that doesn't change the fact that at its core, the values of love, family, charity, and sacrifice that the church teaches are still beneficial to our society as a whole. Is it perfect, no, far from it. Doe it have a way to go? Yeah, probably. But do those facts make it worthless or a total load of crap? No.

And who knows, maybe we are all just lying to ourselves and our children, and our friends and neighbors. Maybe someday, when the end comes and we close our eyes for the final time there will be nothing waiting for us. If that is the case, then all those who were right are welcome to come do a victory dance in my face. Except for none of us will exist anymore so that would make a victory dance tricky.

I don't have any answers, I am merely one of many sparrows, and when I fall, nobody will notice much. I use to think life was all about finding the truth, whatever that means. And now, I still believe in finding truth, but I am also coming realize that truth is far more concentrated than what I had originally anticipated. However, I will say this; even though most of what we cling to may be nothing more than social constructs perpetrated by the rich and built on the backs of the poor, I still believe that there are some principles that are eternal. I know there are those who would argue with me on this, but it is what I have chosen to believe. This list of eternal principles are few, very few. So few in fact that you could list them on one hand. One of these principles is love. Love has become a vague concept to us because of its many meanings, but I hope you understand what I mean when I say love in this context. I don't know where it came from, God or evolution or biology, but I do know that every creature needs to feel it in their own way. It is like the battery that powers us all, and when you take it away, a person slowly begins to power down.

I also believe this. All this arguing about who is "right" and who is "wrong" is doing nothing but breeding resentment and hatred and it is driving a wedge between people, families, nations, cultures, races, religions and so forth. No party has clean hands.

Let me say this again.

No Party has clean hands.

 No person has clean hands. The Mormons have dirt on their hands as well as the Atheists and the Gays and the Catholics and the Suicide Bombers, and the Wealthy, and the Thugs, and the Blacks, and the Jews, and the Americans, and the Women, and the Democrats, Republicans, Right wing, Left wing, Foreigners, Domestics, Virgins, Sex Worker, White, Black, Brown, Yellow, Chartreuse and any other meaningless category that you want to throw people into in order to make yourself "different" or "better" or whatever helps you to sleep at night. But the fact of the matter is that we all are humans. We all eat, sleep, poop, love, hate, fear and dream. I'm not sitting here saying we can wave a magic wand and *poof* all of our social and cultural divides are just going to vanish and we can all sit together making smores and singing Koom-bye-yaw; but we can certainly do better than we are at the moment.  If someone is doing harm to another, then defend them, but starting wars simply to prove you are "right" isn't doing anyone any good. As cliche' as it sounds, what the world really does need are a few more loving people and a whole lot less "right" people.

Live and let Live. The truth will be made known eventually, but probably not in this life, so while we are all stuck here, let's try and make it as comfortable a trip for each other as possible ok?

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Boobs and mind clutter

The other day an acquaintance of mine informed me that she would love a chance to crawl inside my mind for a while and just observe my thoughts. My response to her was, "Oh I don't think that is a good idea." "Why is that?" she asked. To which I replied, "Have you ever seen the TV show hoarders?" She told me that she had and I then told her, "Yeah, it's kind of like that...only in my mind."

I have realized in my own life, that the people who I find to be the most interesting, intelligent, talented, artistic, and so forth, are also the most...shall we say....distracted individuals I have known. You know the saying, With great power comes great responsibility? Well I would say that in regard to people like myself, With great insight comes a whole heap of totally useless crap. True, every once in awhile you might strike pay dirt (intellectually speaking) and come up with some really insightful and helpful observation; but really, I attribute that more to a numbers game. Think of it this way; if all you ever do, day in and day out is throw darts at a dart board, then it stands to reason that at least some of those darts are going to hit the bulls-eye every now and again. However, that doesn't mean that there aren't plenty of other darts safely lodged on the outskirts of the board, or in the wall, or in the cat. Though in my case, the ones in the cat were my bulls-eye.

All of this I give as justification for what is coming next. Let's call them my pet-pseudo-philosophies. Who are they going to help? Probably nobody. Will you be better off for reading them.....possibly not. But you might laugh a little, hopefully.

Boobs.

Yes Boobs. They go by many different names, some of my personal favorites include:

Dirty pillows
Breasticles
Timon and Pumbaa
Bosoms
And so many more. In fact, two-hundred and something more. Wanna see?
http://mycampustalk.com/262-names-for-boobs/

You are welcome.

So we are all familiar with breasts right? Big mounds of fat accumulation that have become almost the very meaning of what it is to be a woman. The physical representation of femininity.   Though to be fair, there are the man-boobs or moobs, as they are sometimes called. But they don't see to excite the masses the way that their female counterparts do.

Have you ever really stopped to think though, what is so great about boobs? Not only that, but how is that these mounds of flesh have become so idolized? Some women flaunt them as a sign of power, while others cover them up in order to not insight men to riotous acts of scandal. Some women are taught to exaggerate them, while others are taught to be ashamed of them. Some women push them up, other women bind them down. Every year, thousands of women pay thousands of dollars to make them bigger and make them smaller. Some will remove the other after losing the first to cancer; some will opt to remove them both just to insure that the cancer never claims them.  In most developed countries, women cover up their breasts, unless we are at the MTV teen choice awards, or the occasion calls for a bit more flesh. But in other parts of the world, there are still cultures where women walk about bare chested and unashamed.

Have you ever wondered what would happen if the missionaries tracked into one of those tribes? Not only would it be hell-arious just for the awkward factor on the part of those naive young boys, but it would also be interesting to see what if anything about their dress would change if they were to convert. Can you imagine the bishop interview? "Um....so......yeeaaahhhh...I'm gonna have to go ahead and ask you wear this bra now ok?"

The thing is though, it seems like this idea of "appropriate" vs. "inappropriate"   has less to do with any eternal principle and more to do with the Dogma of the society. The reasons why we choose to cover up may not apply to cultures who don't. As a young girl in Sunday school, I was taught that the reason that I shouldn't flaunt my breasts was because of the effect that it would have on the young men. They almost had me believing that if I showed any amount of cleavage that I was basically asking for a guy to take advantage of me, and that really, it wouldn't be his fault. After all, he is "just a guy" and can't really help himself.

Hold on a tick....I seem to recall something about agency. Also, I do understand some things about biology and biological urges, and I'm pretty sure the "I'm just a guy and that's just how we are wired" has never held up in a sexual assault or rape case.  But that's neither here nor there, other than to say, I'm pretty sure if the sight of a line between two mountain ranges is enough to send a male into uncontrollable acts of depravity, then we need to be taking a better look at these guys hormone levels and impulse control centers.

I will give you this though, I agree that reality is all about the value we as a culture or society place on it. By this I mean, we are a culture of symbols, and we must concede that we have established certain meanings to certain symbols. Red lights mean stop, pine trees decorated in peoples homes usually indicate a specific time of the year, and boobs, well.....boobs seem to have taken on several meanings.

For the young single woman, boobs are a tool in man-catchery, or booby-traps, if you will. And even though we might wish it wasn't so, when a woman flaunts her breasts, she is sending a certain signal. She knows it, the men around her know it, and it doesn't even really matter if that wasn't her "intended" signal. That's like going into a pack of vampires and slitting your wrists and then claim that they are jerks for getting "the wrong idea" about you. True, they still have their agency, and true, if they attack then it is in no way shape of form your fault, but come on.....really, you are going to get pissed when they can't keep their eyes off the blood? Let us not be naive ladies.

 Once a woman becomes a mother however, they become less for aesthetic pleasure and more for functionality. Though in truth, I know plenty of moms who have opted for some sort of plastic surgery to get their breasts back to their pre-child glory. I think no matter how you slice it, boobs have become a critical part of how a woman feels about herself, and her perceived value as a desirable companion. I have to admit, I have never had a great need to worry in this particular arena. I have been blessed with ample endowments and even when I got super skinny, the "girls" never suffered much. So to be fair, I don't know what it must be like to be a woman who has gone through her life, without. But I can't imagine it has been easy. Not because there is anything fundamentally lacking on her part, but because our culture has indeed gone boob crazy and made such a fuss over something as neutral as your elbow, if you really think about it. Can you just picture a culture where knee caps are the pleasure zone of choice, or the 3rd rib from the top. I know, I know, it's not that simple. I know, I know, boobs are not elbows in anyway shape or form, but it is still interesting to think about.....at least....I think so.

Boobs. 

Friday, August 10, 2012

Le GRAND gesture

I've always thought of myself as more of a practical person. Also, I have sort of prided myself on NOT being a typical girl. I don't have a lot of girlfriends, most of the clothes I wear I have been in my closet for 5 or more years, I don't do the shrieky-jump-up-and-down thing whenever my friend returns from a long trip to the bathroom, and professionally, I hold my own on a stage surrounded by quick-witted men.

Lately however, I have seen some clear indications that I might indeed be more female than I had originally anticipated. And if not more female, then definitely more romantic than I allowed myself to believe. I would like to share some of the evidence I have found for this conclusion with you now.

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, may I present exhibit A for your consideration.

Exhibit A: The Grand Gesture

For those unfamiliar with the The Grand Gesture, I would ask that you consult the myriad of chick-flicks available to the public. Truly....watch just one...any one....seriously. When you do, be sure to notice how they all follow the same formula:

Boy meets girl
Boy falls in love with girl
Girl pretends to be unimpressed by boy but eventually falls for boy
Girl becomes vulnerable
Boy freaks out and screws things up
Girl gets pissed
Boy either runs away or is sent away
And finally, the Piece de resistance!
Boy puts away his foolish pride and in some elaberate show of affection, is able to win back the heart of girl

Why? Because that is all she was waiting for the whole time. In other words, talk is cheap...SHOW ME THE MONEY....er uh....show me the LOVE! Don't make me sing all the lyrics to More Than Words. Even though it is a perfect example of this principle. To sum it up, your words of devotion and adoration don't mean jack-crap if your actions don't follow suite.

In my life, I have used the actions of a guy to gauge his interest level. If I am only hearing from you at midnight every other week, then I am going to assume you won't be popping the question any time soon. But if you are consistently asking me out and putting off other things and making time to see me, then I am going to get a pretty clear signal that you are diggin me.

Let me tell you what this shows to me. It shows me that I am a priority in your life. Now, I'm not saying that I want your entire world to revolve around me, or that I expect that you are going to have no life outside of your relationship with me, but if I am repeatedly and consistently getting the silver medal in the Olympics of your time and consideration, then eventually, I am going to loose that loving feeling. Why? Because as lame as it sounds, everyone wants to feel like they are, maybe not their partners entire world, but that they are at least the most important part of that world.

This isn't that hard to understand. As people, we often feel so unimportant and insignificant in this great big world. Some of us work jobs where we get no respect and even less appreciation. It makes total sense then, that when someone is considering a partner for life, that they are going to choose someone who makes them feel, important, special, appreciated, desired, irreplaceable, needed, wanted, and yes, loved. And what is a great way to do that? SHOW them through your actions as well as your words. All the "I love yous" aren't going to mean much if you always leave her hanging whenever the boys call or your family needs you. I seem to recall something about a man leaving his parents and cleaving to his wife? Cleaving is a grand gesture. It says...You are the most important thing in my life and I am willing to cleave just to show you how serious I am.

And of course, this must be a two way street. This is part of the reason I have used this as a measuring stick in the past. Speaking of myself, I can always tell when I am really into a guy. I know I am truly into someone when I make them the priority of my life. If they call at midnight just to chat and I was asleep, I will wake up. If they need me to bring them lunch on the surface of the moon, I am going to charter the next space shuttle flight out there. Which, by the way, I gather will have to be a foreign flight...stupid NASA.

By their fruits ye shall know them....Who knew that God would be the greatest dating expert ever? Stupid question...please don't smite me.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Why the Why matters

The other day I was having a conversation with a group of people at work. I am the only active LDS person of the bunch, but have never felt like an outsider. I attribute this to my ability to adapt to different kinds of people, which is a skill I have consciously attempted to build over the years. I still don't know whether to be offended or flattered when this conversation happens:

Them: Wait, you are Mormon?
Me: Yes
Them: Wow...
Me: What?
Them: Oh nothing. It's just that, I never would have guessed.
Me: Why is that?
Them: Because you are so cool.
Me: Um....Thank you(?)

However, cool as I may be, I find myself in a position of having to explain myself and my life choices to these same people more often than I would like. It has happened so often in fact, that I find it easier to convey it in the form of scripted dialogue. Here we go!

Let's call my conversation partner...Tim

Tim: Hey, so a couple of us are going out for drinks later, would you like to go?

Me: Sure, sounds fun.

Tim: What do you drink? I picture you as more of a froo-froo girly drinks kind of gal.

Me: I actually don't drink much, and by much I mean at all.

Tim: Wait, you don't drink? Are you Mormon?

Me: Yes

Tim: Oh, well then. Never mind.

Me: Wait, why never mind?

Tim: You don't drink because you are Mormon.

Me: Says who? I know plenty of Mormons who drink.

Tim: Not active ones.

Me: You'd be surprised; but I want to know why you assume that it is because I am Mormon that I choose not to drink.

Tim: Uhhhh...because Mormons aren't allowed to drink, and you are Mormon...sooo.....

Me: Be that as it may, it doesn't mean that one is the cause for the other.

Tim: What do you mean?

Me: Look at it this way, there are people out there with diabetes right?

Tim: Yes.

Me: These people, they are put on very strict diets in order to manage their disease, which includes avoiding sugar right?

Tim: Right.

Me: Because sugar, could, in a very real sense, kill them.

Tim: Ok.

Me: In this sense, they are "not allowed" to have sugar. But the thing is, I don't know very many humans in this world who can turn down sugar, even diabetics, even when they are told flat out that they can't have it. However, I have known those who have given up junk foods entirely because they truly believe that junk food will make them fat, sick, and possibly give them cancer. So what then is the difference, from an outsiders view of someone who doesn't eat sugar because they can't and those who don't eat sugar because they don't want to?

Tim: From the outside looking in? No difference.

Me: Right, and you wouldn't know until you asked. And let me ask you this, would it matter to you why someone didn't eat sugar? Would it change they way you thought about them as a person? Would it affect whether or not you invited them to dessert parties where sugar was being served in mass quantities?

Tim: Probably not.

Me: And why not?

Tim: Because the why doesn't really matter.

Me: Not to you.

Tim: What do you mean?

Me: The why doesn't matter to you. But it might matter to them.

Tim: How so?

Me: If I can't have sugar then you might assume that secretly I am being repressed or restricted in some way, and that if I could or if I didn't have "the man" telling me otherwise, I would go out tonight and down an entire box of Krispy Cream Doughnuts and chasing them Pixie Sticks. But if you knew that I had done my research on sugar, maybe even gone to school to study nutrition, and also, I had watched the effects that sugar had on the people around me, then you might be more inclined to see me less as a blindly following sheep who secretly longs to stuff whole eclairs into my mouth, and more inclined to see me as a rationally thinking human being who has made a personal choice based on logic and understanding. One implies no thought and blind obedience, the other implies lots of thought and intelligent choice. And since I am a prideful kind of cat, and value my intelligence, however megar it may be, I prefer people not assume I am a sheep.

Tim: So you don't want me to assume that you don't drink simply because you are Mormon.

Me: Yes.

Tim: Ok ok, so why do you not drink then?

Me: I think it's silly, and expensive, and I am a starving artist and a tight-wad on top of it. Also, we have plenty of research to show that alcohol is damaging to your body.

Tim: Nuh-uh. Studies have shown that a glass of red wine ever now and again is good for you.

Me: True, but the alcohol has nothing to do with it. Red wine is believed to be heart healthy because of something called resveratrol, which is found in the skin of the red grape itself. Again, the alcohol has nothing to do with the health part. You could get the same benefits from eating grapes or taking a supplement. That's the same as saying chocolate is healthy for you because it has antioxidants. Nobody believes that the sugar, fat, and corn syrup that go along with it are doing you any favors.

Tim: Ok, fine. But I don't drink to get drunk, and I can do it in moderation. Isn't that what you guys believe? All things in moderation.

Me: True, and yes, that is what "we" teach. And I'm not going to argue that certain people can drink and not become sloppy drunk every time they do it. But again, that to me is like saying that I can eat junk food in moderation and avoid the long term consequences of insulin resistance, cancer, and overall health. Say what you will, but the fact of the matter is, drinking isn't healthy. Alcohol is not an essential nutrient. And yes, the frequency and volume of booze you take will serve to speed up the damaging consequences, but ultimately, whether it's slowly over the course of a lifetime of moderate drinking, or all in one tragic night of binge drinking, you can't save yourself from chemistry and elementary science. Bad thing go in, do bad thing to thing it go in.

Tim: Thanks Captain Caveman. So you are saying I am a horrible person for drinking then? You think that I am going to hell?

Me: Of course not. I'm not an ignorant jerk. If I believed that, then I would have to believe that every Mormon house wife that is slowly eating herself to death is also going to hell. Just because you happen to choose something that is specifically written in a scripture somewhere, and she feels justified because Twinkies don't appear as No-No's in the Word of Wisdom doesn't change the fact that you are both hurting your bodies and will be responsible for the consequences of your actions in this life. As for the next, I'm not God, so I have no say on the matter, nor does anyone else. I know Mormons who won't drink coffee because it is specifically listed, but will down a Monster or Rockstar which is probably a bazillion times worse, without giving it a second thought. Unfortunately, one will keep you out of the temple, and the other will not. I can't say why this is, and I'm not saying the system is flawless. But if Bawls had existed in the time the text was written, it probably might have been thrown in there as well.  Though to be fair, I have never seen a person fall off a bar stool and split their lip wide open after having one too many Redbull. Nor I have ever heard a woman who found herself pregnant after a one night stand blame it on her lack of judgement due to her consumption of Oreos. On the other hand, I have seen both of these scenarios play out when alcohol was the substance was the substance involved.

Tim: I don't drink because it's healthy. I drink because it's fun, and I like the way it makes me feel, and it's a social thing I do with my friends.

Me: Right. The same reasons I eat sugar. So you will end up with liver cancer, and I with diabetes.

Tim: But you will be good with God and I won't.

Me: Says who?

Tim: The church.

Me: Where does it say that? I was under the impression that we have been given stewardship over our bodies, and that we are all expected to do our best to treat them decently. Certainly there are varying degrees of harmful things we can do. A cupcake every now and then as opposed to unprotected sex every now and then are quite different you must admit. But when all is said and done, who is to say how much more or less you will be "in trouble" with the man upstairs if your drug or choice was cocaine rather than diet Coke? Or someone who died from complications of obesity or complications of anorexia? All of these things show a certain disregard to your body and the health and nurturing thereof. So in my case, saying no to alcohol and other things, has less to do with God and more to do with respecting my body and my desire to live a long healthy life. I'm not perfect though, far from it, I am horribly addicted to sugar, particularly when it takes the form of kettle corn. I also drink diet soda, which will most likely give me cancer. So this is not me standing in judgement, this is me saying, I pick my battles, and for me, alcohol is easy for me to say no to, and I have no desire to even experiment with it. I have no need. I have enough vices as it is.
Tim: That makes sense I guess.

Me: So.....?

Tim: So what?

Me: So am I still invited to come out with you guys tonight?

Tim: Sure, if you really want to. It just seems like it would be really boring for you.

Me: Oh no, quite the opposite. I love being the only sober person in the room....with a camera phone...*Knowing smile*

Tim: Oh geeze.. you're uninvited.

Fin

Monday, August 6, 2012

Define....Define





If you have ever taken a public speaking course, you might have been taught that it is cliche' and tacky to open your speech with the following: "Webster's Dictionary defines (blank) as..."  Apparently it's been done to death. That being understood, I have never in all of my years ever heard someone define the actual word define or definition. So I took the liberty of looking it up, and according to dictionary.com the word Define is defined as:

(v) To explain or identify the nature or essential qualities of

Very recently I found myself recording yet another fun-filled episode of The Cultural Hall with my good friend Richie T. Before we began recording, he leaned over and said to me, "By the way, you might want to watch yourself when it comes to how much you talk about being single. A couple of people have mentioned that you seem to do it a lot. I know that there is a lot more to you, and I would hate for your singleness to define you."

What's funny about this comment is that I had been thinking about this very subject pretty intensely for the last little while.  I know I have mentioned before that writing this blog has been a totally different experience than I ever could have imagined. In a lot of ways, it has been a really positive thing for me. I LOVE getting posts, letters, and feedback from people who tell me that they personally identify with the things I blog about, and that they are glad I am willing to share. Others though, have not been so complimentary, and I would be lying if I said it didn't sting just a little when people judge me and the person they assume I am, based merely off of my writings. But then I realized something; if I didn't know me, or had never had a chance to meet me in real life, and all I had for reference was this blog, then I might make some of the same conclusions that my anti-fans have as well. Namely that there isn't much more to me than my witty observations and my complete and total obsession with being single and my subsequent fear of dying alone.

Sometimes the truth hurts. I remember back in high school when I had to face the reality that I had gained about 30lbs without even realizing what had happened. It was hard to look at myself in the mirror and feel proud of what I had done to my body through poor nutrition and a lack of physical exertion. This situation that I find myself in today is like that situation back then; except now the reality that needs to be faced is more internal rather than external. The truth is, I do talk about being single a lot, because in reality, I HAVE allowed to become my identity in many ways. I'm Brittney, the funny performer who is single, or Brittney, that kinda witty girl who looks like a cartoon character who, also happens to be single, or Oh yeah, Brittney, that rather snarky   individual who seems to be pissed off all of the time due to the fact that she is....say it with me now..Single.

There is not one single driving cause behind this though. Far from it. In fact, I believe it is a combination of many things including my family, the culture in which I was brought up in, my religious beliefs, society in general, and my own personal longings that I have become the insecure mass of jelly you see before you today. After all, was I not raised on a steady diet of Disney Films and then later on in life Chick Flicks which have all but Stockholmed me into believing that Someday my prince will come and then hakunamatatah suddenly my life will begin out there in a whole new world with a man I danced with once upon a dream? Add to that the fact that since before I can remember this concept of Adam and Eve and Man is not meant to be alone and Eternal Families and big Mormon families and you need a partner to achieve the highest degree of glory or you are going to end up as an "attending angel", which, even though I have zero clue what the hell that even means, is starting to look like a pretty viable option right about now! 

But hey....no worries....you've got time....it'll happen for you.....and probably when you least expect it. The trick is to not look for it..THEN it will happen *wink*.

Oh yeah? That simple hu? Hey, do me a favor DON'T picture a naked Ms. Piggy right now. How well did that go over for you? Also, if you could ignore food when you are starving and everyone else around is eating I would appreciate cha sa much! *Chin bump*

So now, in front of you and the universe, I resolve to try and find a way to not allow my single status to define me as a person, or to define my worth, or my purpose in life. Got to be honest though, this sounds a whole hell of a lot easier said than done. This is 29 years of programming people, this isn't making the switch from creamy to crunchy peanut butter or from virgin to not-virgin. This isn't a physical state of being, it's a state of mind. And my experience has shown me that states of mind tend to change as readily as Ute fans to BYU endorsers. Not saying it isn't possible, just saying.....Heaven help me. I promise you this though; Im probably still going to blog about it. This is the place I can come and do that. You all have become my silent therapist. See! Doesn't it feel good to help.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Dating Adventures of an AWV! Episode 1



*Scene opens on a young couple seated at a nice restaurant. They are sitting in awkward silence trying to pretend that their food is really interesting*

Man: How is your chicken?
Woman: It's nice, really moist...
Man: That's good
Woman: Mmhm
*The man suddenly blurts out rather loudly*
Man: This is really freaking me out!
Woman: (Taken aback).....The chicken?
Man: No, the whole....you know...
Woman: (Blank stare) Um...?
Man: The whole virgin thing!
Woman: Oh, um....ok?
Man: Really?....I mean...Really!?
Woman: Um....yes
Man: So never?
Woman: Sex?
Man: Yes
Woman: No
Man: Really?
Woman: Yes
Man: Really?
Woman: Yup
Man: Really?
Woman: Last time I checked
Man: How is that even possible?
Woman: What do you mean "how"?
Man: No, I know how technically, but how is it possible that you are..a..?
Woman: Virgin
Man: Yes
Woman: Um....Be....casue?
Man: But you aren't ugly
Woman: Thank you?
Man: Were you abused as a child?
Woman: (shocked) Excuse me?
Man: You know, were you abused as a kid or you know, molested, or you know.
Woman: Not to my knowledge
Man: So no hang ups then?
Woman: No....no "hang-ups" (She does the air quotes with her fingers)
Man: Well then...?
Woman: Well what?
Man: What the &*$# ?
Woman: Why is this so hard for you to grasp? I have chosen to abstain from having sex before marriage, Why is that so mind blowing to you? Certainly you have met other virgins before. I can't possibly be the first one you have come across.
Man: Oh no sure, I have known other virgins....in Junior High!
Woman: (Unamused)

Stay tuned for the next installment where our story continues!

The Mormon Trump Card

I love some of these pictures I find. I hope I don't get sued for using them. Hmmm......

Raise your hand if this has ever happened to you:

You meet a nice guy/gal and you start dating. Things seem to be going well, and you feel as though you might actually have something here; you even allow yourself to start getting excited a little. You're chugging along down the path of happy-dating-ness,  you have picked out names for your unborn children, and then out of left field he/she informs you that the relationship is now over. You are shocked, you are blindsided, you are so friggin' confused.

Without even realizing it, you find yourself blurting out things such as, "But why?" and "I thought things were going so well", and "You bastard!"....that last one might have just been me.

The point is, you want answers, and you are not leaving till you get them. These past two weeks have been the most magical of your life and you will be horn swaggled if you are going to let your future husband/wife simply walk out of your life without a valid explanation.

Be careful what you wish for because ask and ye shall receive, two bird in a bush and a gift horses mouth.

So there you are (again) and he/she is looking deep in your eyes when they confess to you that the reason they have chosen to destroy the beautiful future you had together was simply this....."I prayed about it".

Ladies and Gentlemen.....The Mormon Trump Card.

Now, maybe other religious people use this excuse...er uh...logic as well, but I know for certain that it is a popular one amount the LDS crowd. I myself have used it, and have had it used against me. When you find yourself on the receiving end, you realize that there is not a darn thing that you can do or say after this card has been played. Truly, what could you say? "Oh ya?!, well. maybe you should go ask God again." The glory and the frustration of the Mormon Trump Card is that it can't be reasoned or argued with, hence it's popularity.

If you were to tell me that you didn't think it would work because I was too fat, I would be able to propose a radical tape-worm diet to rectify the situation. If she says it is because you don't make enough money, well, there are plenty of vital organs which can be sold on the black market. A single liver can keep you in Olive Garden meals for at least several weeks. But when someone tells you that they took the matter to God, and that God subsequently informed them that it wasn't "right", you pretty much have no room to bargain short of blasphemy.

Now I'm not saying that there isn't any legitimacy in this excuse...er uh....reason. Prayer and personal communication with God is just that...personal. So for the same reason that it wouldn't work to say, "So you know Brittney....I prayed about it and God revealed to me that you are meant to be my wife", Oh yes....that happened; it also doesn't work to say that they are "wrong" in their personal interpretation.   Maybe God did tell them not to date you. Or maybe, deep down, they knew that they were just not that into you but couldn't come up with any "legitimate" reason to dump you. "God told me to" sounds a lot better then, "I dunno.....I just felt like it".

For this reason though, I believe that the Mormon Trump Card is like calling in sick to work. For the most part, if you aren't really sick, then moral and ethical standards dictate that you not lie. However, I understand that every once in awhile the thought of spending even one moment serving free sushi to a pack of entitled jerks is enough to make you feel sick and therefore by self-fulfilling prophecy it is so. Just don't abuse the system ok. It kind of cheapens the whole thing. And nobody likes a cheap-O.

Friday, August 3, 2012

What put the Anxious in the AWV?

I have been wanting to blog about this concept for a while now, but have refrained due to the fact that since I am not a Nero-scientist or a MD, or a Psychiatrist, anything I say is going to come across as ignorant rantings to those who disagree or are far more qualified than I to speak on such topics. Though, I suppose that has never stopped me in the past. So let's start there, in the past.

Several people have asked where the "Anxious" in Anxious White Virgin came from. I have made several references to things that contribute to my anxious nature, and also...it was catchy. Cut me slack will ya? Some have interpreted it to mean that I am anxious to have sex...and while I look forward to that day when and if it ever comes (eeeeee ..eeee.eeeeee), that was never meant to be the interpretation. The anxious has more to do with my underline and over-all personality, and less to do with my sexual angst.

Though I can't say that I remember always being an anxious person, I know I have always been a particularly introspective kid.  I had a thriving imagination from a very young age that afforded me no end of entertainment and joy as a child, but I'm afraid that same imagination might have been used for ill as I grew...for example...every time I go to a public place, my imagination likes to tell me all of the horrible ways I could possible meet my end in this specific arena. Everything from terrorist attacks to flash floods. Yesterday, I found myself nestled inside of a beautiful canyon as I watched a dear friend marry her sweetheart. Though it never distracted me to the point of discomfort, I have to admit that the thought of the canyon collapsing in on us crossed my mind once or twice.

When I hit junior high however, is when my Anxious really came out to play. Maybe it was the new environment, maybe it was "the hormones" flooding my young body as I experienced "the change" into "the women hood" (I hope you visualized me doing "the air quote" gesture with my fingers). Or maybe it was because in the course of 1 year, I had to attend the funerals of my Fathers Mother, Father, Brother, and my young Cousin who died from a long standing medical fight, and to top it all off, a neighborhood friend who committed suicide. To add to this pile-o-pleasantness, life at home felt more like a battlefield than a safe-haven and also, did I mention that I was bullied relentlessly up until college, and junior high was probably the worst of it? I'm getting anxious just thinking about it all again.

Here is where I am going to make many many enemies.

I have found that there tend to be 2 kinds of people in this world. The first believe that conditions such as Anxiety, Depression, Bi-polar and the other more common mood disorders are merely and strictly a matter of nature. If you were one of the lucky ones to be born with enough chemical X then Yahoo-for-you! Smooth sailing, steady hands, and a generally optimistic outlook on life. But for those of us who got shafted in any one of the essential chemicals, (guess I must have been picking daisies when they handed out whatever makes a person clam) then too-bad-so-sad you are basically screwed. UNLESS! you can find that magical combination of happy pills that will restore your fracture and deficient brain to its original state or "normal"...whatever the hell that is suppose to mean.

I think I need some Prosac just from the reading of that last paragraph. That doesn't give much credit and/or personal responsibility to the individual does it? It makes Depression look more like Cancer, in that you pretty much have no power in the situation and nothing you do short of psychological chemotherapy is going to save you. Too simple? Me thinks maybe.

I personally tend to fall into the 2nd school of thought; that being that while I am not sitting here saying that brain chemicals and there subsequent effects are like unicorns in their likely hood, I am saying that I tent to believe that it has a lot more to due with nurture and the way we were taught to cope with real life. Simply put, we might have been sent out into the world ill-prepared to handle the twists and turns.

Interesting thought: I have a family member who is very much on the other side of this fence than I, and one of the points of what they would call evidence is that this legacy of anxiety can be traced back several generations. In essence, I was just a cake of anxiety waiting to be baked. They would say to me, "Your grandmother was anxious, and your mother was anxious and now YOU are anxious. Simple science." Thanks...I would have preferred the pretty blue eyes or ability to tan that so narrowly eluded me. But if I may, I would like to present another theory, for your consideration.

Daughter of an anxious mother who is the daughter of her anxious mother sees that Grandma might not exhibit the best knowledge or tools for dealing with tough or stressful situations. Daughter is a fairly bright individual and so she concludes that it is at least reasonable to believe that Grandmas poor coping skills got passed down to her little girl who saw it as something that was beyond her control to do anything about and so never went through the means to adjust or build better coping skills which, ultimately, led to the passing down of the poor coping skills to her own child.

I know I'm being simplistic; and by the way, my Mom and Grandma would both cop to their anxious dispositions, which the only reason I feel comfortable sharing. We all know we are a pack of anxious, we simply disagree as to how we came to be so. In this particular arena, I have learned to keep my mouth shut. And of course, none of this is intended to take away from the amazing women of my family. We all have our own crazy. What's yours?

The reality is, it's easy to sit here and write a glib blog, and speak of such things like they aren't a debilitating problem that affect thousands of people. And I would never want to make light of those who have lost loved ones to suicide or drug addiction or any other form of escape brought on by years of mental suffering by saying something as trite as, "They just should have tried harder". That would indeed be ignorant to a degree I hope I have not reached. Trust me, I have walked through my own valley, and there were times where the shadow of death seemed more enticing than frightening. Like many I believe, I have experienced sorrow beyond what I legitimately though I could bare, and yet, here I am. Here we are.

I could be totally up in the night on this one. And to be perfectly honest, I think the only reason that I fight so hard to defend my position on this is that I am terrified that I am wrong. The thought that my happiness and enjoyment of life, my ability to love and find joy in others, and even more, my relationship and attitudes toward myself and God, have more to do with brain chemistry then it does my perspective. In one situation I am powerless, save I find the right happy pills, in the other situation, I may never achieve Nirvana, but I least get to have hope that my happiness is ultimately in my hands. And maybe I don't quite know how to "do happy" or "do not-anxious" right now, but I can learn. I am learning.

And if that is a lie, then I think I would rather remain in ignorant on this one. Come what may.