Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Neck High in Familiar Waters Pt IV

So to continue

The Preside Question –

Women in The Church are praised and generally thought of as being the more capable and spiritual sex, so the funny situation remains why, when there is this amazing resource of thought, insight and capacity are we not situated in callings and roles (ie: Leadership positions) where we can affect the most good?

As a secondary idea a gent from my ward gave a paper at the conference essentially stating the Silent(ced) Heavenly Mother roll/dynamic is a source and platform for male dominance in the Church.

All of my thoughts on this, I’ve realized, come from how, where, and with whom I grew up. I don’t know why but even being the only girl among boys (yet another aspect to my Other complex) I never once felt dominated. I don’t know if it’s just because of the metal that I’m made out of but it’s never once entered my brain.

To inform you better on my conclusions let me introduce you to the Men that I grew up with:

My Father:
convert to the church
Attended West Point
Married my mother at 21
Had is JD from J. Ruben Clark, worked full time, passed the Bar in two states on the first try, and had 3 kids by the time he was 30
When he and my mother were dating she realized that he was essentially a comic book geek that lived with his Grandma but had a good heart. One date she gave him a stack of books including Tolkein and CS Lewis and said “If we’re going to keep seeing each other you need to read these. We’re going to need something to talk about.” He did. He one upped her and enrolled in an Art History course as well. He married her and has forever counted himself blessed.

My Brothers:
There are 3, 2 younger one older. All of them are more intelligent than is probably good for them. Their minds never stop working. They’re all as big as buildings and have testosterone levels that could choke a bull at 50 paces. They’re also conversationalists, they were brought up by my hyper verbal mother. They’re all hilarious and socially literate. They were deeply affected by my Grandma Child as well. They have Southern manners and sensibilities. They open doors, carry luggage, scoot out chairs and do the dishes not because the women were too weak to do so, but because that’s how they show respect for us. They talk and talk and talk about everything. They have the capacity to articulate thought and angst and every so often their feelings. They know who Fellini and Chaucer are but they’re also what I lovingly refer to as Mountain Men. Scouting is a psudo-religion to them. They make jerky and carry knives and tie Australian mystery knots and know ju jitzu and read the tides and the stars and all that. They’re bulldogs of the best kind. Whenever I’m dating someone it’s a considerable effort to keep them at bay but when I ask something of them they do it even if they don’t like it. I don’t ask often because I know whatever I ask for they won’t stop until its done so when I *do* ask they know I mean it.

My cousins:
Everything I just said about my brothers but throw in even more charm, a bit more red hair and there you go. They’re essentially my brothers too.

Those are my best friends in the whole world in a nutshell.

I’ve already outlined the gents that I was surrounded with in the ward I grew up in and I could go on about my uncles (one bow hunts for fun) and the elders in my mission (there were many more like Elder Hughes) and my ex boyfriends. Those are better left alone actually…

But like I said, this is my sense of normal. These are not boys. These are Men. My mother raised my brothers to be Men. I would assert that the only way for relationships between men and women to work is if the men are Men and if the women are Women. Squabbles between grown boys and girls are responsible for about 99% of the dysfunction in this area, in my opinion.

I think that men can’t be Men unless they associate with women who are Women. I think the rolls are symbiotic, complementary, and inseparable. Likewise I don’t believe women can be proper Women without proper Men. My feminist compadres might grill me for that but it’s what I think. I credit a good portion of the confidence, poise, and intelligence I have to the influence of amazing Women obviously, but also to the Men in my life. They expected little else of me. That along with the respect they have for me and the safe places they provide for me to grow and learn have all been key to my success and development.

Men are called to preside in marriages, meetings, families and the Church in general. I don’t have a problem with that because I have always felt in capable hands. Also, like I said before, my take on things as a missionary hasn't changed much since I've been home. I like being free to do what I need to do and what I feel called to do and that is be on the ground talking, helping and loving people. Like the rest of the conscious world I work better when my mind is free of distraction. I’m a capable decision maker and don’t shy away from leadership opportunities but I breathe a little easier when I'm not in one. When I have been called to leadership rolls I have felt a double load. One to keep up the pace I want with The Work and two, the administration thereof. I think it shows great insight on the Lord’s part that His greatest resource (the Women) are completely free and at liberty to do the most good in the places He needs it done. We are mobile, capable, and powerful. Why wouldn’t you want that kind of person at the front of your efforts?

I know there are a large amount of douche bags that don’t get this and say its a woman’s job to shut up, make things pretty, and just essentially be a pretty thing. I would direct him to DC 121 and say men’s job is to keep themselves from being assholes and wish them luck at finding their amend Priesthood. And I have once. Or twice…

I think that kind of ignorance comes from simply not knowing yourself or being too lazy to try to do so. Not understanding yourself as a Man or a Woman is a cantankerous state and is further complicated by being ignorant as to how they fit together. No pun intended even though it is funny and odds are if a gent is of that temperament he probably has no clue about that either.

I have chosen not to be jaded by said sad individuals who I lovingly refer to as "works in progress". I choose to see and believe in the better parts of people. Men become Men as women become Women, they aren’t born that way. This means that there is a long and sometimes painful learning curve. It’s a tall order to be a Man. Men know how to listen. Men are honorable. Men are consistent and patient. Men understand that their strength is fleeting and dependent on the people around them. Men are grateful. Men communicate differently. They express love differently. Their greatest happiness is to make the Women in their lives happy. Women find their greatest happiness by being adored (meaning respected, listened to, and loved) and safe. Men let themselves openly adore their Women. They work to protect them. That is their basic primal and spiritual programming. What better way to play to the eternal identity of His sons and provide for His Daughters than for The Lord to give Men the Priesthood which only exists or has potency when it is engaged in the service others? It makes perfect sense to me.

So I would assert, in turn, that Women should let themselves be protected and provided for. Just as Men make space for us we need to make space for them. It’s never an issue that we couldn’t do that for ourselves, it’s the fact that we understand that that’s how Men communicate and show love and so we should let ourselves be loved. We have a hard time with this but that’s a whole different post.

I went hiking on Saturday. A few of us set out and I went up with my friend who is a Marine. A gun toting, battle scarred, eating snakes in the wilderness Marine. He is one of my best friend’s brothers and I’ve known him for forever. We’re pretty tight. We had to leave early and go back to the car and were hiking this really mellow trail with a lot of people on it. Threat level from people, flora, and fauna was somewhere between Chuck E. Cheese and the McDonald’s PlayPlace. However, whenever we passed someone on the trail he would get in front of me and stare down whoever was passing even if they were a girl scout troop. True story. Did he do this just to be dominant? No. He was protecting me. Even though I felt I didn’t need protection, he was doing his job. Did I take umbrage at him walking in front of me? No. Its actually something I expect from whomever I'm with. It's what my brothers would do. It's what my dad would do. It’s what I think any Man would do.

Also, I don’t see things the way some people might. To me, The Church is a construct. It’s a vessel constructed of doctrinal principles to carry us where we need to go. The ship isn’t the issue, it’s where we’re going and how well we're sailing it. We have to sail the ship and if it’s sailing poorly it’s not the ship’s fault, it’s the sailors. I think laziness is one of our greatest enemies. The more we exercise it the sooner it’s best friend selfishness pops around the corner and THEN the ropes pop up, the gloves come on and the bell rings and the only way it ends is with a broken heart or a hospital trip. Or both.

I say all of this as someone who has had a long road to Womanhood. I used to be a feisty over zealous scrappy Feminist. As a teenager I took issue with almost every little thing. Like why Primary, YW and Relief Society were called “Axillaries”. I found it diminutive and wrong. Polygamy was almost a deal breaker for me. It was a serious struggle for a long long long time. It took my mission to talk me down off of that ledge. Secular wise, I was totally convinced that I had the faculties to make my way in the world on my terms and didn’t have to answer to anyone. I was hungry for a career. Marriage and family would be nice but they weren't at the top of my list. The longer I spent in the work force, the longer I was on my own, the more I honestly pondered what I saw in the temple and my life, the more I let go of all that pride (cause that’s what it is – that umbrage is pride) and the more things clarified for me. I surprised myself one day realizing that I was an educated woman, a successful woman, that found myself wanting nothing more than simple domesticity. I'd like to make baby clothes and have a garden and reenact Where The Wild Thing Are to my hearts content. I don’t feel tamed by it all or that I’ve compromised or diluted. I just feel enlightened. However, I think that if I hadn’t been allowed to carve my own path and just jumped into marriage at 19 (like I almost did) I would have spitefully resented a lot of things and been a very different person.

I realize that a lot, if not all, of this is crazy and disjointed and I apologize if its fuzzy. I desperately hope that I've addressed something cogent. In summary, yes men have the Priesthood and Preside in the church but I assert that this is a good thing, a necessary thing. I think as a Feminist we got the good end of the bargain. When I say preside I define in two main components. One – in an administrative sense they take care of the running of The Church. This is a blessing because we as women, in turn, are free to do the hardest and most rewarding part of the Lord’s Work without out distraction or dilution of our faculties or energies.

Secondly I take it to mean protect, make, and keep sacred spaces and people so that growth can happen. The Priesthood has many other rolls in men's lives. It teaches accountability, charity and love in a way that men will learn but I only say and know this as an echo of my brother's voices. I have no experience to back that up.

However, progress – it's the real and material point isn't it? All of this hubbabaloo is working towards that. It’s the Lord’s bottom line. This is His ship so its our bottom line too. Men and Women alike are expected to come home better than they let, not fighting about who walks in the door first a they arrive.

Trying to define and see things like gender rolls and the construct of The Church through academic or historical eyes and ascertaining a divine agenda from it seems a little short sighted to me. Like 2D comic book short sighted. God's constructs are designed according to His norms. Judging them by man's measure seems fruitless. It comes across as trying to use a yard stick to measure the temperature of the sun. We're supposed to elevate our thinking to His not insist that He come down to ours. There are powers and works in play that it will take us a lifetime to understand and appreciate and I’m just glad that I do know what I do and that I’m at liberty to love what I do and am very confident and content with where and how I’m doing it.

The End

Monday, March 30, 2009

Neck High in Familiar Waters Pt III

The next thing that I want to address is the relationship between men women.

Within in the context of Heavenly Mother the question was raised at the conference if her silent roll is a platform in which male dominance takes root in the construct of Church hierarchy and within marital rolls. The issue of women being the purported more capable and spiritual sex yet being kept from positions and callings in the church that they could affect the most good was raised as well.

In Kate Holbrook’s paper she brought up the concept of “bishopric” and proposed the idea of taking the term from a noun to an adjective thereby making it accessible to everyone. Like by finding a way to truly do good you are finding your personal bishopric and not limiting yourself to what you think is your conventional roll. She sited a few opportunities that she has had to be a female voice of council to formal Bishoprics (as in governing bodies in a ward) as well as of women that have carved out their own.

Both of these concepts exist in very similar spaces in my brain and there was something I wanted to say when we were discussing Kate Holbrook’s paper that I didn’t get a chance to. The discussion at the time was surrounding the plausibility of reconstructing Bishoprics to include a female voice and Mary clarified that that wasn’t her assertion at all and that she didn’t want to get excommunicated. I gathered that she was just trying to clarify her meaning. I got when she was presenting and got lost in my head about similar experiences I’ve had a female voice of council to leaders which I’ll get to later.

This exchange saddened me because 1) the person that was feeling strongly about reconstruction must have cause. Meaning they must have had one or a number of Priesthood holders or Bishoprics that didn’t understand their calling and abused their position. I was talking to my dad about the conference and this topic this morning. Watching my dad assimilate information is fascinating. He will listen to a room full of people discussing ideas and be totally silent. Then he’ll sit and you can practically see him classifying, sorting and considering information through all his lawyer filters in his brain and then he’ll come back to you with one sentence or thought that makes it all make sense. His thought on all this was “Well they (meaning Bishoprics/husbands) don’t understand the scriptures then. They need to read DC 121” I agree with him. 2) because of this angst they (meaning people arguing about reconstruction), and probably a lot of other people, are missing the mark.

This is the comment that I wanted to make – power dynamics is a sexy fun topic. Insomuch that it painfully seduces and distracts from the real issues at hand. Women and men arguing over bishopric assignments and titles are wasting precious time and energy. The point is (and this is the welfare missionary in me talking) there is a lot of work to do! like, A LOT. There are a lot of people that need real help and they need it right now. Testimonies are failing, children are hungry and people are scared. Sitting in an office or classroom sparing about who is in charge doesn’t help ANY of that. Also, this is The Lord's work, not our own. We get the opportunity to have a part but those people in need are His first and last thought and I would assert they should be ours as well.

We all have a called Bishop and if he is a good Bishop (if he understands the scriptures as my dad says) then his first and last concern is everyone outside the office, not inside and I would optimistically assert that a Bishopric true to their calling would love and welcome any earnest voice and pair of hands that is looking for their own personal bishopric to use Kate’s term. Kate’s voice was probably welcomed on the Bishoprics she served on because she earnestly wanted to do some good. The job of a Bishopric is almost overwhelming. I think it would be silly to assume that they would refuse an honest intent to help. If someone was approaching them (male and female) alike with a “desire to help” but they really just want to is a chair in a meeting and to feel in power then it’s no wonder that they, the Bishopric, would delicately decline. The Spirit has a way of giving those mal-intended types a certain odor and, speaking as a former leader, you can smell them a mile a way.

When I was a missionary I reveled in the fact that I didn’t have to worry about getting called to leadership. I LOVED the fact that I free to do the work that I came to do without distraction or stress. With my leaders that I was close to I was impolitic to gloat over the fact. I would assert that a real leader is one who is committed to the grass roots effort and nothing else. There was an elder in my mission who I was very close with and learned a lot from. His name was Elder Hughes. He was an English missionary and me a Spanish one but he was a leader of mine from practically my first transfer. He was either my roommates District leader, my Zone leader or my Assistant my entire mission. He was a stand out missionary and that’s why he was trusted with what he was. When my first president was going home he was pulled into the office as an assistant after being in the field for a little more than year. This was unheard of in my mission. He stayed there for 9 months and when he was looking at the end of his mission he begged to be go back into the Field and he did. He came to my zone as a ZL and it was some of the most productive time everyone in my zone had on their mission. He never stopped being committed to his call or was seduced by the allurements of office. I consider him to be a real gem and a great example of true leadership. Someone who understands the scriptures.

We’re building a kingdom here people. Stop arguing over who get a shovel and who gets a wheelbarrow. Just get to work and cut the Adversaries puppet strings yeah?

I think it's this attitude that got me pulled into my mission president's office. I was being the best missionary I could be at the time and being blessed with success. I had mastered my assigned language despite being called to my own country and was looking at finishing strong and free of distractions.

It was then that President asked me to "help him out". The DC South is a fascinating mission. We had a lot of sisters. We weren't the visitor center mission, that was the North mission but we had more sisters in ours. At one point there were 200 missionaries 75 of which were sisters 14 of which were Spanish sisters like myself and 6 of which were Vietnamese sisters like my roommates for my whole mission had been.

President was dealing with a few problem sisters. Ones that he just didn't know what to do with and he had exhausted all his ideas. He called me in to "do what he couldn't do and help him where he couldn't help" so I became what they call a Traveling Sister. I had two principle assignments - one being my comp and the other being my roommate. I flitted about my last transfer helping and juicing up other sisters that needed a booster shot as well. I felt super inadequate to the task. I had been in the best area of the mission for 6 months with the same comp for 6 months who I adored. We had gotten to the point that we didn't really know how to function without each other. All I wanted to do was keep working where I was till they shoved me kicking and screaming on the plane. But there were sisters that President felt that I needed to help so that's what I did. There were some that I dragged kicking and screaming out of the apartment and made them talk to strangers and get to work. There were others I sat down with and said in no uncertain terms that they weren't being missionaries, they were just waiting for their boyfriends in the wrong place and they needed to pray about going home. There were some that we got to the Dr and got them the anti-depressants they needed (that was fun) and they finished well. It was a roller coaster of a transfer, I'm not going to lie.

The strangest part wasn't getting ready to go home, it was being an extension of the office for the first time as a missionary. To talk to my mission President like an equal and not missionary to President. I spent a lot more time with him and his wife and staff than I ever thought I would because all I ever thought or wanted to be was a missionary. The sisters I worked with changed me and I hope that I changed them. Some shaped up and some didn't, some finished, some went home early. It was all a cluster but a didactic one. I think President had a more functional mission because he had to good sense to see and address the needs of his sisters and I for a brief moment felt a part of council. Sitting in on meetings with the Assistants and President was something else. I felt at home though. I spoke their language strangely. I credit this to my upbringing as well

Which leads me to the second half of this set of ideas - the supposed Silent(ced) Heavenly Mother and the Priesthood Preside/domination platform. More on that tomorrow...

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Neck High in Familiar Waters Pt II

Mother in Heaven is a tip toe subject for a lot of people. Not much has been revealed about her. We're told its out of an awed reverence that our Father in Heaven has for Her. We, as a general human population haven't treated the revealed portions of Father in Heaven we've received with much reverence. Thinking what might happen if that was double complicated with a revealed Mother in Heaven might be disastrous.

Here's my thinking. If there is a fast track to anger my father it's to disrespect my mother. There are no second chances or appeals for grounding if us giving mom guff is ever involved. I can't imagine the consequences of that emotional dynamic on a divine level. I sometimes think that its in God's mercy that we don't know much about Her and thus have less of an opportunity to incur the wrath of God. Cities could be obliterated by fireballs from the heavens on a regular basis.

Also, the men of the earth (in general) haven't even received mortal women with the respect they deserve. What makes us think that we're deserving of a Divine knowledge as well? I think that She is entirely available on individual levels, but institutionally its a whole different story. Men can't even judiciously ask women out or stay away from porn. Asking about Mother in Heaven seems very ambitious.

Individually I think She is very much involved. We pray to our Father in Heaven in the name of Jesus Christ and humble and love both of them with everything we have. That's revealed doctrine and commandments.We don't pray to Her but that doesn't mean that we don't have access. I think that that's very closed minded thinking.

At the conference they talked about a number of different personal accounts of women in traumatic or dire situations that have received divine comfort that was distinctly feminine and maternal in nature. They claimed it as a communion with Mother in Heaven but I'm not so sure.

All I have are my personal experiences along that vein. They were just as powerful but of a slightly different savor.

Its about families right? The whole Plan is Families.

I would submit that The Plan is set up in families for many reasons and that those families play a MUCH larger part that we're aware of. My great Grandmother was a sassy, bright, and hard working Southern girl from Baton Rouge, LA. She moved west to find a husband after she joined The Church because Priesthood holders were (and still are) in short supply in the South. She ended up in AZ (she wouldn't go to UT) and lived an amazing and full life. He last husband's surname was Child so she was my Grandma Child. She died when I was very young but she meant the world to me then and now. She was very important to my mother too. She was the warmth, love and disciplinarian you'd expect from a Southern girl and then some. That kind of potency isn't diluted in death and especially if she felt she had work to do, namely "bringing up her Ladies". She never stopped in life and I'm sure she hasn't stopped in death.

Both my mother and I, in moments of deep thought and need have felt her very strongly. She has been intimately involved in both of our lives on the other side of the veil, on a divine mother's errand. My mother has felt her at every birth and for a good while thereafter. She's been to every baby blessing. I'm positive she was with me as I went through the temple. She was a temple worker in the Mesa temple for 15 years till she died.

I had a very distinct experience in the MTC with her. Practically a conversation. The veil is very thin there anyways but there was one day I was going a bit stir crazy and decided to run some stairs in the girl's dorm to get some energy out and grab some time to myself. Mom gave me Grandma Child's wedding ring before I left on my mission to "keep me safe". I know mom was terrified at the idea of me leaving but wouldn't show or say it but there it was, on my right ring finger with me on this work out and all of my fear and insecurity about my calling was coming out during this work out. I was feeling the too big bite I had taken. Tears started to come and right then I felt her. She was there running every step with me and loving me and holding me up and reassuring me and pumping all the positive energy and hope she could through whatever opening I gave her. She hasn't left me since. Sometimes I feel her censure, sometimes her approval, sometimes I practically hear her yelling at whatever boy is trying to talk to me that she doesn't approve of. In whatever is going on she is there.

She is a feminine divine in my life and a conduit into my better parts. I would suggest that that be considered when reflecting on these other women's experiences. Not that I'm accusing anyone of mellow drama, just that there might be slightly more logical solutions. I'm sure these women had concerned, capable and loving women in thier ancestry that wanted to help and love them.

I've also felt my Grandad (who has been dead for 20 years) potentially throughout my late teen and young adult years. I'm humbled that I'm able to feel more than just a heavenly presence but an identity and connection to these amazing people, that my relationships with them are strong and personal. They're my friends as well as my guardian angels. They're on the errand and doing the wishes of my Father and Mother in Heaven, I'm sure. They're made out of that love and I feel it. Almost everyday.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Neck High in Familiar Waters

My initial jumbled and disjointed thoughts on the CGU "Mormonism Through the Eyes of Women" conference

CGU put on this amazing daylong symposium/ conference today. They flew in these rock star LDS female scholars and theologians; Laurel Thacher Ulrich, Kate Holbrook, Margaret Toscano... It was almost overwhelming, I'm not going to lie, and even though I'm not a grad student I went, it kind of felt like the underage kid that snuck into the rock show. It’s a feeling I’m very familiar with. My love for the music always won out over the tiny detail that I was too young to get in the club and today was little different.

My mind is cluttered with so many thoughts and reflections on what the discussions of the day contained that I kind of just want to get them out and down to start the digestion process.

We went everywhere:
* Mother in Heaven
* Presiding vs. domination in male/female relationships
* Cultural contradictions in women's church rolls
* Expanding the concept of "bishopric" from a governing trio to a personal accountability/relationship for the world around you
* LDS's women's rolls in the Feminist Movement, just tons of meaty, sensitive, and imperative concepts.

I have a lot of thoughts on each and there were so many informed opinions in the room that I was so curious to hear I kept my mouth shut for the most part.

The first thing that I mused at was how aware I have always been of all the concepts we covered and how little I felt that I needed to be liberated. There were earnest and agendaed individuals there from whom I felt a righteous and constructive discontent. This is something I've seen a lot as a woman in The Church but it never stops being new to me.

I realize that this is because of how I was raised. I think I talk about my background a lot but just the bullet points. I rarely get into the nitty girtties of it for a few reasons:
1) because I realized today that I treasure my life and I irrationally feel that if I talk about it, give it away if you will, that a part of me will go away, like a picture taking away part of your soul. I realize this is silly but it's also true.
2) If I let people know me I open myself up to ridicule and = scary. blah
3) I fear I might run the risk of boasting. At the risk of being cliché, the older I get the more I marvel at the bubble of awesome that I grew up in. The more I realize that the less I talk about it because, well, people don't really have an ear for the rosy and I don't want to be that girl.

But the truth is my rearing was pretty singular. I'm the daughter of a faithful, educated, Feminist hippy mother and a dedicated, brilliant, wife-adoring lawyer. How they got married I still don't know but they did and out came me and my 3 brothers. Mom had us in books from the time our hands could grip something. She read and read and read to us. We practically took up residence in the museums and theaters of Pasadena. She taught us to think with our hearts and dad taught us to think with our heads. Our house was literally covered in art but not anything you'd find at Deseret Book neither was a single craft or quilt to be found. Mom didn’t have a testimony of crafts like some LDS women do. Mucha, Vermeer, Georgia O'Keef, and Diego Rivera is what we saw everyday. All artists she loved who humbled and loved women and painted them with reverence and awe. We were all talking in complete sentences by 1 and a half, reading by two and writing by 3. I won't go into the 20-year argument about how every one of the kids thinks they're the dumbest one because we're all amazement at the talents and capacities of the other 3 but there it is. That's my home - absent of wall space between the art and the bookcases, full of love, mom's hippy folk music, and my champion dad making time and space for it all.

Growing up surrounded by brothers I was shameless tomboy. I don't think I owned a purse till I got home from my mission or wore a skirt for more than 3 hours till then either. It was all about bikes and the Lakers and sword fights and all that awesome stuff. I was a strange tomboy though. I enjoyed getting dirty and climbing on stuff but I was still a lady. I liked cleaning up and had a dedicated vanity in my room complete with powder puff and a cut out of Audrey Hepburn jammed in the mirror frame that I put together of my own accord. I liked being comfortable and just being me. I was comfortable in my own skin. I wasn’t the token girl or sister. I was seen and treated like a rational and respected individual.

My life wasn't angst free by any means. We were the poor family in an affluent ward and neighborhood. We were a liberal family in a conservative religion, members of a scant religious congregation in a big city, usually one of the only white kids in a very multi-colored room and the chubby family among the beautiful people. The rest of my cousins and friends were models, actors, scholarship athletes and Rose queens. Mom was a hyper verbal, strong willed lady and Dad was a passive aggressive genius. Communication was NOT their strong suit. Painful overheard conversations were as regular in my childhood as Star Wars and Legos. I can’t remember a time not feeling like an Other.

My mom and I always discussed the topics we covered today but in quiet moments and the small space between each other. I wasn't ashamed of them or anything, they were present working ideas in my mind that I felt at liberty to think and talk about, I just chose to make that a conversation with my mom. Principally because she is one of the most interesting, informed and insightful people I know.

Also, Pasadena is a gem of a town. In our tiny highly functional East Pasadena Ward I was never once taught or remember feeling submissive or subversive to anyone. The ward was FULL of what I now recognize as healthy feminist women. I was literally surrounded by A-MAZING individuals. A single self-made millionaire was our Relief Society president; lawyers working on Whitewater were my Young Women's leaders. My mom's best friend was a published and successful author who regularly went globe trotting. Ivy league graduates, CalTech grad students, and professional dancers and costume designers peppered every meeting. These were outspoken, highly educated, returned missionary type women who were married to strong, ambitious, successful men who adored them and encouraged us as YW to be the same. None of them were loud or alienating with their dogmas or accomplishments - they just were. It was easy and real. I don't remember any ever even claiming to be a Feminist; they were just their best selves and I hopelessly loved all of them and, despite my Otherness, I always felt loved in return.

It was a fairly regular thing that when couples were assigned to talk that the husband and wife came up together and gave a talk. Together. Standing at the podium for all 40 min giving a talk.

I remember extensive discussions about Alanis Morissette with my home teacher (who was married to that ivy league returned missionary wonder) and talking about Feminist theory and meaning when he came to pick me up to baby sit. My bishop regularly sat us down as a YW group and discussed hard and "taboo" topics with us all the time with total love and respect; polygamy, sex, marriage and sex - the whole schabang. He had monthly firesides (in his home, with a fire) with all of us. Discussions were regular and candid. He never favored male thought over female thought. We had equal responsibility with meetings and activities. I never once felt less than, condescended to or negated. I now recognize that this kind of environment is the exception, not the rule.

I went to a high school of over 3000 kids. 7 of us were LDS, 2 in my graduating class including me. As a youth we were alone in a lot of ways but I never once felt lonely or isolated, not with that ward behind me.

It never ever occurred to me that serving a mission was a social misstep as a woman until I was on my mission and someone (from Utah might I add) pointed it out to me.

So now, in my academic wanderings here I am, almost amiss at how people can think like this, feel as angsty as they do because I didn't come up from that kind of environment at all. It's a double wonder to me. Learning and relearning that 1) dysfunctional conditions persevere and 2) what is proposed to remedy or discuss.

So, explaining the ears with which I heard all of this may inform some of my reaction, non-reaction or thoughts on the day.

I’m beginning to think that Academics are just hyper educated theater types. They live for and adore shock value as much as any thespian. They’re hungry for unexplored concepts and mediums. They have an earnest and honest desire to affect the masses as thespians do too. In turn, they use similar tactics, principally shock value.

LDS theology is singular in a number of respects but one of the most alluring ones is that we are a Christian construct that contains a Mother in Heaven as well as a Father.

We’re all literal spirit children of a Father in Heaven and if God works by patterns (DC 52:14) like He says He does and we live in family groups where He’s revealed that parents are equal partners then a 5 year olds logic would conclude that we must also have a Mother in Heaven as well as a Father. Eliza R Snow wrote about it in one of her hymns that we regularly sing as a church and Joseph Smith later confirmed the idea. She is not someone we worship or pray to but She is definitely involved in things.

There are tons of questions about Her and recorded personal experiences people have had with a distinctly feminine divinity including my mother and I.

... More to come.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Wednesday Giggles

Yes this really happened. People who take care of sheep seem to have a lot of time and imagination. And I need to get me one of the dogs. Holy Cow.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

I Have Very Little to Complain about

List of Necessities for Awesome Weekendness

gut busting hilarity - check
comedian surfers all-up-ons - check
spiritual enlightenment and rejuvenation - check
fantastic conversation - check
ukulele - check
amazing friends - check
delicious food - check
adorable outfit to do it all in - check
live rock band 80's karaoke - check

Let me elaborate.

It started earlier this week. I went to a show last Saturday called Point Break LIVE that my friend Molly had found. It was in this tiny random club/bar on Santa Monica called The Dragonfly. When we first got there we walked in and saw a room full of people on fold out chairs in plastic rain ponchos. Not exactly the scene you'd be expecting when you're out to see a show. They were selling "survival kits" at the door with a poncho, a napkin, and some Monopoly money. From the smell of the place and the sea of plastic people it was obvious water was going to be involved. We were right. It was this HILARIOUS over the top show of improv actors reenacting the complex and gripping plot of Point Break. The trick is that Keanu, or Johnny Utah, (the main character) is someone they just pluck out of the audience. So naturally he'd be a bit disoriented and totally lost, much like Keanu in the movie. It was perfect. There was tons of water, we went to the beach (read: blow up automan with a brown sheet thrown over it), through a monsoon (read: Super soakers and wind machines), saw blood spilt and gun fights (read: cap guns and Hawaiian Punch) and pretty much laughed our butts off.

So, come Monday, as I was reporting the hilarious antics of this show to my old housemate Emily and she got more and more excited because, apparently, Point Break is one of her favorite movies ever. So Friday night we went back and though I didn't believe it was possible, it was even funnier. We suited up in our cute little blue ponchos, made friends with the people around us, gawked at the very very hot guys that were the surfers, and generally had the time of our lives.

We got home relatively early and lolloped around my room talking and laughing and playing with my new Sephora conquests (best idea ever btw). It was just like old times. She's a keeper and one of the best people ever to laugh with. Ever.

Saturday was our Stake day in the temple. It was life changing. I saw more people that I love that hadn't in a long time. I was totally rejuvenated, taught, and loved.

The day would have been fantastic if it ended there, but oh no, it was just getting started.

I had two friends getting married that day with receptions both that night. The session went long so the chapel session went long and there was traffic on the way home so I was late to both but that didn't really matter.

The first was was my friend Tess'. She opted to have it at her home instead of a church building and it was a wedding for the books. Her parents are pretty well off and they live in this amazing home in the hills of La Verne. There was a fresh crepe bar and twinkle lights and fresh flowers everywhere and fish swimming in the water they were in. There was hot chocolate (complete with marsmallows), heat lamps, a good amount of screaming children and white chairs and tulle. In other words, a capital "W" Wedding. I had my first non-sweet crepe. They had a dessert bar and a single layer red velvet cake. It was amazing. Whats awesome though is that my friend and her now husband are very non-traditional types so amid this perfect, fresh flowered ivory candled and gardenia flotating in the pool Wedding was my gorgeous friend in her bead encrusted wedding dress singing a song she'd written for her husband on her ukulele. Don't worry, she can sing and it was cute and sweet not awkward like some musical attempts by couples at their weddings can be. The daddy daughter dance song she chose was Mushaboom. Pure awesome.

It's hard to imagine something that cool and that gorgeous but it was. There was balance to the Force. It was also hard to leave but on my way out I found another friend of mine in a teary mess. She was upset about some things so I gave her a hug and sat with her in her car for a bit while she talked about what was bugging her. After about 20 minutes when she had finished crying it all out I realized I had nothing I could say that could help. There was only one remedy I knew so I said

"You know what you need? Live Rock Band Karaoke and a Diet Coke. Lets go."

So she became my impromptu date to my other friend, Courtney's wedding. Now I had been excited about this party for about 4 months. Courtney is one of the coolest people I have ever met. Her whole family is just insanely fun. She lives in the Bay area, works at a museum, and was my punk rock Relief Society President. I love her.

She told me a while back that she'd hit up this joint down in Long Beach that did karaoke but not with machines, oh no, with a real band. Real players jammin and having a good time behind you and you get to wail on a mic just like you were a rock star. She looked up the band and booked them for the wedding. It was going to be at this fun place in the Claremont Village and her family are famous cooks so it was going to be great food too. It was a perfect party storm. The exact kind of party my teary friend needed.

We got there at a very conservative 9:30 and the police had just been called about the noise so to keep the peace the band set up inside and kept going. Now let me tell you something, I have been to A LOT of weddings, Mormon and non and this party was the most fun I have ever had at a wedding. The endorphins were pumping everywhere and they were contagious. The band could not believe that no one there had had a single drink. We partied and sang along and rocked out to every awesome 80's tune you can think of.

Don't Stop Believing - check
Livin' on a Prayer - check
Walk Like an Egyptian - check
Sweet Child of Mine - check
Let me tell you something else. Seeing one of your bishopric members rock out Sweet Child of Mine is one of the coolest sights possible in this life. I'm convinced.

We went loud and hard till 11:00, then we finished with Free Bird and Courtney and Cameron had their first dance in front of everyone in their insanely cool wedding outfits dancing, jumping and jamming like the rock stars they are. Then the band packed up and the guitarist said what we were all thinking;

"I have played 100s of weddings but this is by far the funnest one I have been to"

There is just a magic that happens when a bunch of naturally crazy people, some good food, a few ties and dresses, and an electric guitar all come together in the same room and it's called Courtney's Amazing Wedding

I was so busy having fun that I forgot to take pictures but believe me, it was epic.

My teary eyed friend had the time of her life, we all had an amazing party and a little more happiness entered the world.

If that's not an amazing weekend I don't know what is.

Getting tailed by a lurking Claremont cop, being pulled over for "the lights around my license plate being out", and making me do the follow the tip of my finger with your eyes drunk test and asking me if I've had anything to drink 4x was pretty funny. When I told him the hardest I ever went was Diet Coke and I had had two of them he laughed and told me to I was good to go and I thought "Yes. Yes I was".

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Wednesday Giggles

My cousin pointed me at this earlier this week. I laugh harder every time I see it.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Make it Simple to Last Your Whole Life Long

My recent musical cross section:

* I read this music blog called Obscuresound.com and it what you'd expect from an indie music blog, lots of newsie caps, soft spoken singer/songwriters, and political and personal angst.

So imagine the refreshing awesome when I clicked on their latest sampling and found THIS!! Amazing. Just amazing. Threw me back and I liked it.

*My friend Kathleen pointed The Dears out to me and I could barely believe my eyes/ears

*It was a Smiths reprise if I'd ever seen it. So THAT led me to being all nostalgic for The Smiths and realizing that I lost most of that music when my laptop got stolen so the amazing Brett came to my rescue and sweetness continues to only be joking

*Bon Iver has had a regular spot

*Along side Imogen. How can you not love how original she is? Enough to overlook her man hands, that's how much.

*Just to be totally weird and, well, Liz, Lady Gaga and some of Britney's stuff is highly addictive but rather formulaic. I giggled through this whole illustration of it. Its literally Britney's Circus laid over the music track from Gaga's Poker Face.

*Ne-Yo is quickly gaining a permanent spot in my musical heart. He's blindingly talented, does all his own writing and production, knows how to wear a suit, his latest album is called "The Year of the Gentleman" and he makes hypnotic positive stuff like this.

I've been a fan since his first album in 06 but he just gets better and better. Totally amazing.

31 Days till Coachella! Woot!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Big Love Hubbabaloo

I have stopped keeping track of all of the emails and Facebook requests that I have gotten charging me on all that I hold sacred to protest the episode of Big Love where they will depict a temple ceremony.

I haven't responded to a single one for a number of reasons.

One, I wanted to do my own research instead of being a reactionary. I read the TV Guide Article that has a picture of the main character in full temple garb. I read the Church's official release about it. I've read a few reputable blogs just to get my feel for it, and essentially I totally agree with what The Church said.

It's lame. It's super lame and irreverent. HBO essentially has broken its word with The Church over and over and there isn't anything we can do about that. HBO is a business, a facet of show business at that. Bottom lines are the only gods they worship or respect.

I'm not OK with it, but I'm not incensed either.

For one, grandma always said "Never wrestle with a pig. You just get dirty and the pig likes it". In this case pig = HBO. They're promise breakers and the more dander we get up about this the more people are going to start sniffing around the series and shaking their heads at our collective Rachel Lynde and Merryweather tendencies.

We have nothing to hide. These ceremonies are sacred, not secret. We have open houses for months before a temple is dedicated. The whole world is invited to see and walk through the building and ask as many questions as they want. And lets be honest, there is so much Anti literature and entertainment out there that temple clothing and the workings of the temple are already on full display in the public domain. Members don't see it much because, well, we have better things to do than pay attention to people who hate us. Truthfully, I think the biggest tragedy in this whole issue are them. HBO in their TV guide article said, in defense of the episode

… “We researched it out the wazoo,” says [executive producer Mark] Olsen, who along with executive producer Will Scheffer hired an ex-Mormon consultant to help the set and wardrobe designers re-create even the tiniest details. “We go into the endowment room and the celestial room [areas of the temple], and we present what happens in those ceremonies. That’s never been shown on television before,” says Olsen. Adds Scheffer, “But it’s not for shock value. It’s really a very important part of the story.” The decision won’t be without controversy: According to a church insider, “If they are in fact trying to emulate those rooms in any way, that would be extremely offensive. The general public is not allowed in our temples yet. Not even all Mormons are. We consider them very, very sacred.”

They've employed an ex-communicated member of The Church, someone who has made sacred covenants and totally violated them in whatever hideous, unapologetic fashion, and to further Gollumize themselves they're making money off of it. That's who I cry for. That covenant breaker and their sad state without a scrap of honor or dignity in their entire character. Not the fact that there will be a few more questions in the world about temple ceremonies.

Because, truly, I believe that those with an instinct for truth will find it and that things like this only propel those instincts. Questions will abound, people will wonder, and as the returned missionary I am, I think that's beautiful. Small minded people will always ridicule what is strange or what they don't understand but that doesn't scare me and this depiction of a temple ceremony doesn't make it any less real or sacred to me.

This is just a depiction of a ceremony, it isn't a real. There aren't any priesthood holders on set and its a set, not a temple. If this were a temple ceremony being subversively filmed in the temple and publicized then that's a different case. I would be going Xena on those people's arses but that's a different topic for a different day.

I think the reactions over the last week have been grossly out of proportion with the rest of the stuff that is out there that we as a group seem to have missed, almost to the point that it feels a bit hypocritical to me.

You know what is sacred and has been depicted in popular movies but no one seemed to mind much?

- Priesthood blessings
- Prayers
- Baptisms

All extremely sacred things. They're not the temple no, but that begs a really interesting question. Why the temple? Why do we turn into a collective stomping, frothing, hissy fit when this comes up but not other things that are holy?

Yes, its the symbol of everything we believe in, work for, and hold sacred. I think a lot of people are standing fairly on that box of indignation. They feel belittled, insulted, and blasphemed by a TV show invading sacred places. I would like to believe there is a place for me on that box.

But I think that's the minority in this situation. I think that the sacred nature of the temple and the fact that it's reverenced by those who have gone and is not spoken of casually is bended and demented, by members with limited understanding and/or experience into dangerous forms of elitism. I think that there are some members (oft times loud ones) who feel kind of smug and a tad sanctimonious about the fact there are places we go and worship, not because it's one of the best places in the world to be, but because other people don't.

I hate to burst whatever Primary balloon some may have banked on but other people not going into the temple isn't what makes it sacred. It's what goes on inside that does.

I personally want everyone I know and love in the whole world to go to the temple, to be able to see those rooms, to taste and know the truth and beauty that comes from it, to be worthy, and have all the amazing covenants, blessings and knowledge that's offered there. Can you image everyone you know standing in white greeting you in the hallway? I tear up at the thought, and anything that gets their minds wheeling in that direction can only be a good thing.

I think it's a bit hypocritical to stand on such righteous indignation too calling for Time Warner's head when we're barely worthy to hold our own up at Sacrament meeting. We may have the temples but how worthy are we to truly have them? Why are we selective with the sacred things we fight for?

You know what else is sacred? People and their feelings
- Mormon Culture has some of the worst gossip problems, classism, materialism, and racism I've ever encountered or been exposed to.

You know what else is sacred? Marriage
- Divorce has been on a steady rise for the last 15 years in the Church. People are getting married for the wrong reasons and giving up the second it gets hard.

You know what else is sacred? Sex
Do you know what state in the US is #1 for porn downloads? Yup, good ole Desert

I adore the temple. It is part of the inner most chambers of my heart. It is the measure of all things loving and worthy to me. Seeing it fought over like a lettermans jacket guts me. I kind of want to tell everyone just to shut up, let it be, and trust that there are powers at play bigger than Time Warner or Facebook groups, or anything else for that matter, that have seen worse things and conquered. Brilliantly.

My wish and prayer is that we could all be graceful, receptive, and respectful about it to each other and to the media.

That we could actually be the kind of people we profess we are and just aren't practiced at pretending to be

That we would get to work on whats in the mirror instead of whats on TV

And mostly I wish we'd all remember "Never wrestle with a pig. You just get dirty and the pig likes it."

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Its Not a Sacrifice if Its Not Felt

So my job search has led me to looking for different opportunities in different parts of this magical land called The United States.

This is a good thing and a bad thing. Good because a change of scene is always a good and productive thing, I love traveling, and there is still a lot of the world I haven't seen.

However, its bad because it means I might have to leave California.

California could possibly be the love of my life. I'm amazed by it everyday, it just gives and gives. It's the birthplace of almost all things amazing; Van Halen, Trader Joe's, George Lucas, The Hotel Cafe, Disneyland, happiness.

Like, take yesterday for example. My amazing friend Stephanie is on Spring Break from her arduous law school studies. We decided to get together and what did we do? Why go to the Huntington of course.

And we spent the day wrapped in this kind of light and wonderful

Not having this down the road will be heart breaking. Not to mention the blissful pastry at Federico's after or lovely that is Hamburger Hamlet. If I need to leave I will miss all of this dearly. That's all I'm saying. I know there are gardens and sunlight everywhere I could possibly go, even if I have to plant one myself, but my heart will literally crack a little. That's all I'm saying. I'm not afraid of it or not willing to go do it, but it is what will happen if it comes to that.

At least I have my wall paper worthy pictures right? I swear - Microsoft should hire me for their stock options. I'm awesome.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Wednesday Giggles

Bless that little sweet monk's high jumping heart

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

High Adventure

Being unemployed has taught me a lot of things.

1) It's far too easy to apply for jobs.

At the end of my dedicated 8 hour days I look back through my Sent file and see I've placed maybe 50 resumes that day. Now I'm careful and read every description I come across and think about cover letters and am attempting to do a thorough search. What I've seen in people's responses and what I've been told at interviews is that people are literally buried under 100s and 100s of resumes for a single Craigslist position, just after 24 hours and about 90% of them might as well be written in crayon. It complicates everyone's life that it takes 3 seconds to shoot off a resume from Craigslist or Careerbuilder. If it was more of an effort I think it would bode easier for everyone.

2) There are a large number of very dim people in the world.

WHO are applying for these jobs? I was interviewing for an Office Manager position and they brought me in for a "computer test". I thought I was going to have to build a database, write a program or put a power point together so I was kind of nervous but I was ready. I got there and the girl placed her business card in front of me with her info and a post it with the name of an elementary school.

The test (I am so NOT kidding) consisted of:
1 - opening Outlook
2 - sending an email
3 - opening Explorer
4 - logging onto the company's website
5 - creating a list
6 - putting items on the list
and the kicker
7 - looking up the Elementary School's phone number via search engine
8 - and making sure it was in LAUSD

about half way through logging on to their website I was suppressing the need to giggle and had to shove down the snarky desire to ask if I could do this from my phone instead. In my sleep. With gardening gloves on.

Then I've interviewed at a number of other places where they tell me in the verification phone calls to "dress business professional, bring a copy of your resume and no sandals or jeans please". No sandals or jeans. PEOPLE!!! This is a job interview. Nothing short of an attack of the Nocturnal Clothes Eating Monster, an appointment before the mall opens and a world wide paper shortage would cause me to show up in jeans and sandals without a resume for a JOB INTERVIEW! Why is this necessary? What kind of idiots are applying for these jobs?

Send me an email??! I'm still baffled by it.

3) There are a lot of gawkers on the 57.

I've been down to Orange County about 3x a week for the last 3 weeks so me and the 57 have been getting cozy again. However, I don't remember the strange amount of people who pace your car and try to talk to you in traffic, ask for your phone number or just stare. Now, I've had this happen to me before but just once or twice and it was on the 101 which is freak central anyway, and the 210 after church, which was just funny. From a car viewpoint I'm a knock out, I'll admit it. I've got red hair and a great rack. What more can a commuter want for eye candy? But seriously people, I'm a stressed out unemployed college grad. I don't want to deal with the distracted male driving an audaciously large truck right next to me at high speeds. Focus people.

4) Receptionists need to read For the Strength of Youth

I don't need to see your naughty pillows coming and going nor do I want to. You're sitting down at a desk all day with people coming up to you that are standing. They have what is scientifically termed the "bird's eye view". If you look down and see something your mom wouldn't approve of then so can ALL of us and if that's the kind operation you're running you should mention that in your job description "self respect desired but not required".

5) Job Hunting is just an endless bunch of awkward. Not the entertaining kind, oh no. It's the blind date, slightly humiliating kind.

Sitting in a waiting room with 3 other people that you know are interviewing for the same job and are just as worked up as you and its taking forever and you think about striking up a conversation but you know you're just getting sized up and they look more terrified than bored so you decide not to - awkward
Talking about yourself and telling your story over and over - awkward
Not knowing who will be interviewing you and where they're coming from - awkward
The same strange dusty silk plants and ficus trees in every waiting room you go that are sometimes poking you in the face and make you have to sneeze through your whole interview - awkward. Freaky even

6) Interviews are either a Recruiter's favorite thing or least favorite thing.

I've been in 45 min interviews with men who look like a Muppet (including mannerisms) that are in love with the sound of their own voice and ask every. single. obscure question or personality assessment tell they can think of "Describe to me you're ideal day, environment, problem, and how you'd solve it and what color the walls might be and what animal would be there?" I've also been in 5 min interviews consisting of 5 questions that were answered by my resume sitting right in front of them that they spent the majority of that 5 minutes studying in silence.

7) Some recruiters have a God complex.

For kicks and giggles I was sniffing around the Phoenix Craigslist and opened up this ad looking for a Personal Assistant for a Scottsdale Marketing firm. It literally made me shake my head and want to go hug my mother. Make the bad man go away!

8) When putting an office environment together a Fung Shui type should be consulted or some kind of professional.

Purple is not a color that should ever be make up file cabinets, light fixtures or desktops.
Wallpaper does not belong on the ceiling.
6th grade science project boards is not the best way to introduce people to your company.
Yellow paint doesn't make people feel better, it makes them wonder what you're hiding, especially if you're a guy.
Swap meets or auctions from dismantled hotels are not the best places to go art shopping.

The funniest thing is I'm still in the thick of it. I cannot wait till this episode is over and I'm back to work, wherever that may be. I'm not sure how many more of these interviews I can weather before I just get up on the desk and Riverdance my way into the heart of those around me.

Pray for me people.

Oh - and I told him the walls would be pink with white trim.

Monday, March 9, 2009

In Response:

So sometime last week my friend pointed me at one of the newest gems in the ever growing string of Mormon Culture Satire blogs Why Mormon Girls Stay Single.

At first it was king of funny, but as I read on (I couldn't help myself) it wasn't a gut wrenching haha funny like the Fug Girls deliver or a Demitri set provides. Oh no - there was something that kind of bugged me along with the haha.

I mean, who doesn't like talking about and pointing out how goofy girls are and how this YSA state of things is 8 shades of ridiculous right?

I ended up reading the whole site - well - all 2 months hes been posting - hoping that it would get better or lighten up a bit, but the more I read the more it just seemed like something was off.

I've never claimed to be a quick one so I slept on it for a few nights and I realized what the pebble in my shoe was about it.

It was the voice of the author, given there are multiple people that post, but the voice is distinctly the same one, and that voice is everything I find loathsome about modern LDS gents.

First off, I don't like being negative, I fall into it more than I like to admit. I don't think it accomplishes anything. People get defensive and feel ridiculed and everyone just gets further ensconced in their own way of thinking as this passive aggressive act of defiance that our generation has gotten so good at. So nothing comes of it except more negativity and less communication.

However, these ideas and passages from this blog have been floating through my mind for the last 2 days and though I wouldn't dignify "Peter Priesthood's" blog with a reactionary email that I know he probably craves, I kind of want to talk about this and air some things out.

Firstly, all of Peter and his posse's ideas come with the tone and from the point of view that girls essentially get up, breathe, get dressed, and live to be approved of by a boy.

Now, this is 80% true. Most of that blog is 80% true. What seems to be lost is that PP-dog seems to have put himself on his bloggy throne and is just ridiculing the parade of girls hes ordered ("And let me guess - you have a great personality"). Not everything a girl does is to snap up a boy. I know that's hard for some guys to admit and growing up in places like Utah with all their bride worship I see how it can happen. But the world is a big place and there is a lot more to take in that Heleman Halls' yearly rounds of Freshman 15.

This is one of the things that I have consistently been disappointed in the men of the church about, where they got this crippling sense of entitlement. Did they forget that, by compulsion of nature, you need to impress US? You need us A LOT more than we need you. Yes, men do the asking but they also have to convince us to put up with you from here to eternity. Sputtering on about grooming rituals ridiculing women who dress their best is just revelatory of a sadly insecure and angry male.

From different allusions I'm gathering P-dog lives in the Washington DC area and I've been there a lot. He has a lot of material because YSA silliness is at an all time high yonder. From certain depictions he might even know my cousin. Heck, I could have even met him.

I'm so saddened by how he unceremoniously outlines the social dysfunctions of Mormon and YSA Culture, makes you feel that it's important and the ONLY way to marriage, happiness and being hot, and then tries to make you feel stupid and hopeless if you think otherwise.

My uneducated but observant guess is this is a VERY smart guy who was strung along by a girl that was way above him for a good long while but then got dropped. In his attempt to salvage any clout, pride or presence he pretends he doesn't care, is taking a cynical back seat and doing the third person assessment thing to stay away from the pain and maintain a bit of face. He employs his amazing powers of observation and fantastic pen and proceeds to belittle any kind of guy that may have thwarted and dating attempts after his break up and gets frustrated with girls that don't play by the script hes already written in his head of how it has to be or else it doesn't count or isn't valid. I'm guessing hes a bit of a control freak, like washing hands every half hour or so, always a bit over dressed, works in either an engineering or technical field, possibly law or political science (verbally technical). He's not as successful as he'd like to be and is harboring a lot of insecurities about that too (see his NY post).

Hes so used to being right that when there is something out of his control (like the feelings or workings of a girl) he has to essentially brow beat you with how ridiculous everything is and how silly you've been and why that's why you'll always stay single.

There is no hope to this voice, no love. None. I refute that. No good can come out of something void of love, no matter how much veracity or humor it may contain.

I would rather spend my days single and happy than coupled up and miserable, doomed to a lifetime of not-good-enough glares, comments and jokes from someone who operates from such dark places.

He, however, has some very good points;
I agree with all of his Facebook observations and courtesies.
Texting relationships are a joke.
Overly physically affectionate girl to girls is creepy. When I went to DC this last time my cousin's friends tried to make me feel welcome at dinner by feeling on my leg all night. WEIRDNESS.
Burberry Brit rocks (I've had it on and off for years).
Yes people should shower once a day.
Rings bigger than your knuckle should be thrown out multiple story windows.
There are A LOT of very silly girls out there. They should be thrown into the depths of finishing school immediately.
And yes, older YSA women can be petty and catty towards the munchkins that come in and out, but in all honesty, insecurity inducing guys like himself have made us this way. Society first creates criminals and then punishes them and the same principle is glaringly in play with modern YSA social dynamics. I do my best to befriend all the "spring chickens" because it's the right thing to do and my job as an "old hen". Being in a new place with new people is scary. It has NOTHING to do with teaching them good eating habits so that they can stay trim and fit for the peanut gallery. Its offensive to me that that assumption would even be out there.

In essence I kind of feel sorry for this guy and for the girls that take him seriously but I digress. There are too many wonderful and amazing things to get to. But that is my 2 cents on the matter.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Wednesday Giggles

Yay Demitri

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Food for Thought

So a friend of mine posted this article on Facebook and I found it fascinating. I was wondering what my brain trust (read: the 7 people who love me enough to read my blog) think too.

I've been a recycler since Captain Planet. I've used canvas bags for grocery type endeavors since I was 12. I'm a life long environmental enthusiast. I love this planet. I've tried to be responsible with the tiny portion of it that I've been entrusted. If I was a more apt gardener and had a bit of earth to make do with I would grow as much of my food as possible. Perspective is powerful and I think that is what carries most of the weight that this discourse has.

It makes me want to go back to Anthropology. Or rather to it in the first place instead of the hobby that it is.