Sunday, October 16, 2011

Proper Worship

Today I find myself inordinately frustrated with the people attending my friend's ward. Typically I find myself quite proud of the conduct of those with whom I share my beliefs. With only a few small, negligible exceptions I feel the vast majority of the LDS population acts with some level of propriety. Certainly, in most cases, that propriety is at least seen to in church functions and settings where the members are worried, if not of disturbing others, then at least what their fellow church goers will think should there be some sort of a disruption in the gentle facade of quiet and reverence.

Such facade does not seem to be the stumbling block of the ward I am currently attending. Where normally parents would quietly excuse their presence from the room if their children act out or becomes disruptive, such does not seem to be the social protocol of this group. Screaming and yelling children are accompanied by only slightly quieter screaming and yelling parents.

So here comes the question: what is the appropriate course of action? For myself, I find myself so distracted by the noise and commotion around me that I resort to blogging about my experience, having given up minutes ago all hope of feeling the spirit. But, just because I am unable (or perhaps unwilling?) to feel the spirit through the noise of it all, does that give me the right to begrudge the parents of said noisy children their chance to stay in the room and feel the spirit also? I, obviously, don't have children of my own, but I do have two sisters who are children and I cannot imagine my mother or father EVER letting us make that amount of noise in the chapel no matter how much they were personally in need of some spiritual enlightenment.

So again, what is appropriate? Do I, as a single working girl, need to continue to exercise outward patience for a situation that I have no personal part in, or should I have the expectation of being in an atmosphere when at church of being able to feel the spirit?  (Spot the fallacies in that statement! :P)  And, also, when I do someday (assumptive) find myself in that situation, will I have the right to let my children scream and carry on so that I, too, can attempt to feel the spirit?

Monday, October 3, 2011

My Revelation

Today has been a ridiculously long day.  It's been full of smiles and tears, hellos and goodbyes and miles and miles of driving.  There are so many thousands of things that I could write about my experience today driving through and changing in the world...but the only one I want to write is my greatest thought and epiphany of the evening. 

I'm sure that a lot of people have discovered this thought already as I am positive my personal revelations are not new.  I often wonder if one can, truly, have an original thought--or if all the good ones or any worth having have already been acknowledged somewhere else, some time else, by someone else.  To whomever first thought this one and sent its rays out into the universe, thank you.  You are, without a doubt, correct in my mind.

Today, I realized that demanding perfection of others does not make them perfect, or even desiring them to be so.  Demanding perfection in others only makes them seek to hide their imperfections from you, so as to still win your love under false pretenses and facades that crumble with poor maintenance.

I know, it's a "duh" statement.  Tonight, however, it hit me with a clarity that it hasn't before.  To an extent, my self love and what I view as general acceptance of other viewpoints, has been a measure of this statement...but tonight it feels personal.  Tonight I believe it. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

My Addiction

I have an addiction, and it's called "moving". (I thought this was going to be a Diet Coke post, didn't you??)

In five short days I will embark on my third move in the last 15 months. After only six sort months in Portland, my feet have decided that they've grown restless with the view here and that it's time to return to move familiar ground. It seems that every 6-8 months I begin to get this same itch. It starts at the base of my spine and works its way up to my shoulders before becoming trapped in my brain. Over and over again it says, "What else is there? You're missing something? Best move on now before you get yourself stuck." And so I do. I make plans to attend yet another college, or start looking at jobs and apartment in a different state. Since I graduated from high school, I haven't lived in any one place for more than 10 months.

This time, though, I've decided that I need to go back to somewhere a bit more familiar. Portland was an eye opening experience for me. (all three times...) I met amazing people who helped to mold my perception of myself and of the world--people who both made me question and view who I am and what I believe in and also who reinforced a confidence that I was afraid to let shine. For these people, I will be forever indebted. Boise was wonderful. I loved going to Boise State and I made one of the best friends that I've ever had in my life there! Living alone, I learned more about who I am without the influences of roommates or parents in my home and I loved it. And so now, with a new set of values (or, rather a slightly different perspective on my old ones) and a fresh zeal for life, I'm returning to the closest place I have to home: Utah--a variable Mecca for the single LDS girl.

I have to admit, one of the things that I like the most about leaving is knowing that I'm going to be missed. Sometimes, when you leave a situation, it makes you evaluate just what you really like and dislike about it. In the case of this current move, I'm realizing that maybe I'm not as alone here as I thought I was. I have a family who I love and adore, and more friends than I realized at work. Each and every one of whom will be missed.

The other thing that keeps me addicted to moving is the promise that it holds. I know, I sounds cheesy, but seriously. It's like starting a brand new relationship each time. You have the anticipation, the sense of wonder, the expectations, the desire for new things, and the unfailing faith that everything will be all right.

Perhaps my inability to settle on a place to live is indicative of my inability to find a committed relationship and, perhaps, going "home" will be just like running into the loving arms of a close friend.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Phone Calls

A few weeks ago, and friend at work and I had a rather interesting discussion on taking on the phone. We both related expereiences where we had given a guy our number and had carried on rather extensive texting conversations before the dreaded "you should call me" comment came up. We both whole heartedly agreed that talking on the phone--especially to a near stranger or someone you don't often interact with, is incredibly uncomfortable. So why do it?

I have another friend who I frequently exchange text messages with . They're casual and fun but, after about 20 minutes of texting, almost always he'll say, "call me". I haven't seen this friend in over a year, and even then he was just one of a larger group of acquaintances that I belonged to, so talking to him on the phone always feels out of rhythm and oddly personal. At that point, I help the awkwardness reach a boiling point by making all sorts of excuses not to and eventually the conversation goes away for a week or so until one of us opens up the conversation again. Why do I do this?

For years now, we have lived in a society that uses our technology for alternate means of communication. I was 15 years old when I got my first cell phone. When I was 18, my parents finally decided they needed to get an unlimited texting plan because, apparently, my brother and I weren't about to stop. Now, if I don't have my phone on me to text, facebook or otherwise be "locked in" I start to wonder what I may have missed. But, no matter how close I keep my phone, unless you are one of two or three choice people, you can bet your call is being screened.

Why is it that we want this, though? It's true that our conversations that are on phone (or even better, in person. *gasp!*) are more personal, more maybe that's the cause? Maybe, after it all, we don't want to be close to others around them? Keeping them at arms length is safe and convenient. Maybe we really just don't want to be bothered with stopping our lives for longer than we choose to give attention to another person. (And, let's face it, we've all had that friend or known that person who can talk on and on and on about absolutely nothing....gee...I wonder what that would be like...)

As I was thinking about this topic, I turned to my good friend Mr Google to see what other people had to say on the subject. As it turns out, most girls seem to prefer when guys call instead of text. Or, that is to say, girls who like receiving phone calls are louder at acknowledging their comfort (or "dis") than girls who feel differently. Perhaps my friend and I are among the minority of women--those who are easily content with the impersonal texting but not so easily placated with hearing a voice attached on the other end. Maybe we are both more independent thinking and like to have our space and our time to respond when and how we want with proper thought. Or, maybe we're both control freaks.

To the right I have added a poll, and I'd love to know what you think be you man, woman or six-legged octopus. What is the best way to communicate given the choice?

Saturday, September 3, 2011

When are extensions more than just that?

Let's talk extensions.

For the past six weeks, I have had beautiful, long, dark brown and maroon extensions in my hair.  They were a fun shade of maroonish-pink and hung all the way down my back.  I'm sure it's taboo to write about something artificial that one has attached to one's body...but heck, I'm not shy about such things! Girls do all sorts of things to enhance, heighten or otherwise alter our appearance.  With all that effort, we may as well talk about it and get five more minutes worth of use out of the experience. 

Putting the extensions in took EIGHT hours.  That's right.  Eight.  My amazing friend Clarissa Chatterton laboriously put them in, strand by strand, piece by piece.  When she was done, it looked incredible!  And, even better, with long, thick hair like that all over my head, I felt pretty dang (feel free to insert a stronger word than dang...because pretty sure that's how I felt..) sexy. 

The problem, though, with having all that extra hair on my head comes with the maintenance of it.  It wasn't too awful to comb, and when I wasn't out and about I would keep it in a braid or a pony tail.  I thought I was doing really well with keeping it all clean and combed and arranged (and if you saw it and thought differently, don't tell me, I don't want to know...).  The last few days, however, I've been feeling like it was about time to call my hair extension adventures quits.  Lately the sewn in ones have been sagging, the keratin ones yanking out clumps of hair, and the hair in between rows matting.  So, tonight on my way home from work, I stopped at Sally's Beauty Supply and bought myself a bottle of pure acetone.

Now that they're out (2 1/2 hours later....), I'm amazed by how little hair I actually have--and how short it is!  Already, I'm looking for ways to fluff and spray and puff it up to at least make it look a little fuller.  I'm thinking about going for the sexy "just out of bed and a little messy" look. 

So, now, here's my question:  What lengths does the average woman (you) go to to feel beautiful?

I consider myself a to be a fairly mid-maintenance woman.  Beauty and extras beyond fixing my hair and a quick spritz of makeup are recreational--I definitely enjoy it, but it's not necessary to my existence and happiness.  I know that some girls spend hours each week painting their nails or with face masks or other things--which is awesome if you choose to spend your time that way...but at the heart of it, what are we hoping to gain? 

For me, I love feeling sexy.  I know...I know...that's kind of awkward coming from a girl my size...but I feel that every single day of your life you should, as a woman, feel sexy and beautiful and desirable no matter how your hair looks or what you're wearing. 

Another question: At what point does "trying" become trying too much and turn attractive into "un"?  And what can a single working girl do to combat such ill-fated choices in beauty?

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Try Me

There is a sign posted on a table at work that reads very confidently "Try Me".   It sits on a table full of boards and nails, all of which are battered and abused beyond thepoint of being effective.  The autohammer that you're meant to try is currently packed away, haphazardly stuffed into its complementary carrying case--it, too, has seen better days.  On days when we are slow, I stand behind the row of self-propelled lawn mowers and stare blankly at the sign and its surrounding display (which includes a TV with a visual display fir you to follow along with).  A few days ago, I was standing behind my favorite mower, day dreaming as I sometimes do, when I had the image of myself laying on the table with the "Try Me" sign strapped to my neck, waiting for someone to ask fir a demonstration on how I work exactly.  Were I laying there, would anyone stop to see what deal they might be getting by trying me out?  What features and benefits could they get with me as the tool in their hands?  Would anyone take the time to take a second glance?

At the age of 23, I am old for an unmarried LDS woman.  Not quite to the point of being a spinster, I am definitely in that "be weary" category.  In another year or so I will graduate into the "something's wrong here" grouping, shortly followed by the "stay away" club which I will join by the age of 26.  There is no fault in this assumption, whoever makes it and no matter how untrue it may be--for me or for any other LDS young adult found in a similar situation.  I belong to a culture that values very highly family values, and the creation of such family is viewed as a high priority.  I, myself, would love one of those families for my very own.  However, here I am, at the age of 23, single and without many options, not even cool enough to have a basement to live in at my parents house.  I intend to put all of those mistaken ideas and impressions of what a single LDS girl is to rest.

This blog will chart the adventure of being a single LDS girl and the discovery of what makes my life happy.  A sort of Mormon girl's Sex in the City, I intend to touch on every topic--from love to lust to fashion to humor.

So now comes the part where I have to ask: "Try me"?  Just for a while walk up, read my sign, and see what all I can do.  You may be surprised by what you find is displayed before you.