Sunday, March 29, 2009

Good weekend

This weekend, I had not one, but two guys "dippin' in my sauce", as someone once called it. It took me by surprise, especially the first. I went to the movies with a group of friends and halfway through the film, the guy I'd driven with offered his hand to hold, something I thought we'd only joked about before the film started. It was nice, the hand holding, even if I'm not sure I'm interested in him.

The latter, though not specifically "a date" was, for all intents and purposes, a date. And it was lovely. I've talked about him before. I was simply enjoying his company and then things took a turn for the physical.

Do I have any idea what's going on with either of them? Negatory. But things do look promising.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

We need to talk...

Good: Talking about your relationship and knowing where you stand and what each other is thinking so you aren't making assumptions.

Bad: Giving two days notice that such a conversation will be taking place to a woman who is experiencing the rollercoaster that is PMS hormones so she then has two days to bounce back and forth between imagining the extremes on both end of a relationship spectrum.

We're definitely going to need more chocolate for this.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

We're off to see the Wizard

Do you ever just feel like you don't fit in?

I'm not one of the girls here. I'm known and liked, but I'm definitely on the fringe. At least with the vast majority of people here. There are a few that I would consider close friends. Just about everyone else feels more like a good acquaintance, and I'm not sure why. I'm not sure what I did or didn't do that's left me on the edge. You'd think living in a place for a year you'd make friends, but really, the good friends are kind of limited here. There are good acquaintances, but it doesn't get deeper than that.

The other night at an activity I went to sit with a circle of three girls that I would think I should be closer to. But I'm not. It just felt real weird to sit down with the three of them. First it felt like I'd stepped into a secret meeting I wasn't invited to, and then to realize that I've known them all a year and yet I still don't feel like they know me or I know them.

So then I started wondering what was wrong with me.

And of course I started thinking about them too. And the more I thought about it, the more I realized who I'm dealing with - the Tin Man, the Scarecrow, and the Cowardly Lion.

First, the Tin Man. She's an amazing organizer person. I'm sure if physics would let her, she'd organize entropy. She's that good at it. But at the same time it's like she's emotionally disconnected from it all.

The Scarecrow is nice enough. But she's also disconnected in her own way. It's like only 80% of her shows up at any one time and you know that what you are saying isn't going much deeper than the ears. She's kind of just living her life willy-nilly with whatever comes up. There's a haze that surrounds her and I haven't found the fog light to see through it yet.

The Cowardly Lion has a huge heart. But she's always in the shadows. She's always behind others. She doesn't shine. She doesn't even approach anything resembling drama.

All three of them are similar in age to me. And all three of them are also single. And part of me wonders if it isn't the missing heart, brain, or courage that's holding them back. And if that's the case, then what am I missing?

So then I started wondering who I am. Am I Toto who's just there because and has no real role? Am I the wizard, using tricks and illusions to hide what a sham I am? I'm pretty sure I'm not Glenda. Could I be the Wicked Witch of the West? A flying monkey? Am I the Wicked Witch of the East and I just don't know that a house has fallen on me yet (although there are times it feels almost like that)? Do I represent the Lolly-Pop Guild?

Or are we all just Dorthy and haven't been able to find our way home yet? Will I get to the end of the road and realize it was as simple as tapping my heels together?

Just tell me I didn't somehow get turned around and I'm now going backwards on the Yellow-Brick Road.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

What we will say

I've known the boyfriend for several years now. He and I have talked many times and at great length about what we both think of relationships and the roles of men and women in a relationship. I say this so you know where I am coming from and that I know, as best I can, what I am doing in this.

It seems that we are both right on the verge of expressing our undying love for the other. But because of what I know about him and how he feels about relationships, I can't be the first one to say it. And for some reason, probably because for him it is the point of no return and he's not ready for that leap, he won't say it yet either.

So what do we say instead? I present here a list of things we have both said over the last couple of months as an example of our creativity. Also, I do this asking for more ideas. My creativity does have limits.

  • I love seeing you smile.
  • Your knowledge of grammar is so attractive.
  • I like seeing you get excited about that.
  • I love being in your arms.
  • It just feels right to have you with me.
  • I'm in a bit of heaven with you.
  • You make me smile.
  • I miss you.
  • I love watching your mind work.
  • You are wonderful.
  • You’re cute. / You’re manly cute.
  • Can I keep you?
And those are just the ones I can think of off the top of my head right now. There are a few others as well, but without the context, they'd sound quite weird.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Dá Para...

On my mission, "dá para..." was a phrase heard and used often. Literally translated it means, "it gives to..." This phrase was used when asking if someone understood what you were saying, "dá para entender?" (it gives to understand?), if they could see what you wanted them to see, "dá para ver?" (it gives to see?), and many other similar instances. Literally translated it sounds real weird, but that's how it works.

But they would also add the verb, "casar," to the phrase, "dá para casar," which would be literally translated to, "it gives to marry." I heard this phrase several times, just about all of them after I'd cooked sugar cookies for someone. Brazil loves my sugar cookies. And when they'd say that phrase to me, they were saying that I cooked well enough that I could get married.

Last week I cooked some homemade bread. As I was telling a friend of mine, I've known how to cook bread for a long time. I've also known how to ruin bread for a long time (getting impatient for it to cook and turning up the oven in the hopes that it will cook faster will indeed cook the outside faster, but leave the inside completely hollow and raw). This week I cooked a full balanced meal from scratch (except the brownies for dessert) for company. And today I made scones from scratch. As I was sharing the scones with the friend I'd spent the day with, she said I was amazing, (I'd mixed the scones and cooked them in about an hour) and that I would make a good wife some day. Basically, my cooking "dá para casar."

I remember setting a goal two years ago to never go to bed with dishes in the sink for a month. I hate doing the dishes, but I wanted to prove to myself that I could do the dishes and was good enough to get married.

Why do we do that to ourselves? I'm not saying self-improvement is a bad thing. I'm all for improving ourselves. But why would anyone want to improve themselves just so they "dá para casar," are good enough to get married?

I'm me. I am who I am. And I will always have faults and flaws. And I fully expect my husband to have them too. I'm good enough to get married right now gosh darn it! Even if my quiche (which I've actually never tried to make) doesn't "dá para casar."

And yes, there are dishes in my sink right now.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


According to our good friend, Wikipedia, maturity is a psychological term used to indicate that a person responds to the circumstances or environment in an appropriate manner. This response is generally learned rather than instinctual.

Whatever it is, it's attractive. I spent a great deal of time this weekend with a man in the condo that he owns, where he unabashedly has a dust ruffle on his bed, tampons in his bathroom drawer for female visitors, and a well-organized home. He has a reliable, steady job, loves his family, and is getting help for the things he needs to change that are beyond his control. He's a gracious host and an absolute pleasure to be around. Sure, some of his humor is off-color and his milk was sour, but the point is that he responds appropriately to things.

I was reveling in the fact that I'm friends with such a mature individual, as the things I'd noticed over the weekend were enough to make me happy, when he requested a video chat last night to discuss the particulars of our relationship, or rather current lack thereof and why, for now.

Wow. Just wow. No matter the outcome of our discussion, the fact that we he would man up and have that conversation as soon and as face to face as possible was astounding. Far too many boys I've been around lately would just slink off and get distant and weird about everything. We talk about being communicative and then actually ARE is just amazing to me. I know where I stand with him, where we stand together, and what our current future holds.

Other than this guy, I am apparently surrounded by morons. Sure, this guy isn't perfect, none of us are, but since he's so open to change and working on a better future and handling things with such class, he's far ahead of some of the guys I know who don't have the same problems and have been blessed with certain knowledge all their lives.

I'm duly impressed. Ladies and gentlemen, this guy is a MAN. I need to stop dating boys.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Learning Moments

It is often said that some of the best teaching comes in those unexpected moments that aren't planned, those moments that just come up naturally. People are usually speaking of teaching children when they talk of this. But I recently had one of those experiences on a date.

We were watching a cop type movie at my place. One of the good guys was having a real bad day and was blaming himself for what was going wrong and he was basically sulking about it. The boyfriend commented that was what guys do under stress, they withdraw. He also said slapping a guy, which is what the character's partner did, is not the way to get him out of it.

After the movie ended I asked him what are you supposed to do when a guy does that if slapping isn't appropriate. And that led to a good discussion about how we both respond to real stressful situations and what we want from those around us when we are stressed and withdraw like that. Oddly, we both said pretty much the same thing.

From a movie came an unexpected moment to learn more about each other. And learning how to help someone in a situation like that is easier done when you aren't in the situation. It was a wonderful unplanned moment.

He also said I seem like I handle mood swings real well. This man is the master of the weird compliment. But I say thank you no matter how weird they are.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Rings do not go in food

I realize that this is an old story, by news standards, but apparently a woman accidentally swallowed the ring her boyfriend had put in her milkshake in order to propose to her. They had to wait for it to go all the way through her digestive system and out the other end before she could wear it.

Um. Ew.

Whatever you do, do not propose to me by hiding my ring in my food. I don't want my ring to be all covered in food when I first see it. And I certainly don't want to wear something that's been in my digestive tract, which means the first time I see it is in the toilet. Covered in, well, you know.

No! Gross!

I actually don't have too many preferences for how I'm proposed to. Because the guy will have been dating me for a while, and will know me and us, I have no doubt that it will be perfect for us, somehow.

I do want it to be a surprise, if at all possible. We can have been talking about marriage, but I'd like the actual proposal to be a surprise. I also have a ring box I'd like him to use, for sentimental reasons. Other than that, just don't put my ring in anything I may accidentally swallow and have to wait two days for.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Reflections on a cool night

There is a soft rain outside right now. I love the sound of rain. I love the smell of it too. My window is open just slightly and it's making it a beautiful soft evening. It's making me a bit reflective.

Early March is an interesting time of year. It's not quite winter any more. It's not quite spring yet. You can't be sure what it is you should be wearing from one day to the next. I leave my jacket home one day and a cold wind blows all afternoon. I take my jacket the next and the sun beats down and I drain my water bottle. It's a time of transition.

It's been a year now that the boyfriend and I have gotten together every Sunday evening to study the scriptures together. He has a way of seeing them that fascinates me and I always learn something from our discussions. Part of me just likes watching his excitement too. Last year we read the New Testament together. Our ten pages a night some times took three or four hours. This year we are reading the Doctrine & Covenants. It's a shorter book so we only have to read 5.5 pages a night to read it all this year. Still, it took us more than twenty minutes to read the first verse tonight.

It has been a wonderful opportunity for us to talk about topics that might not have come up any other way, and to simply build communication skills. We don't always see things the same, or even necessarily agree on how the other sees them. Tonight we had to agree that we aren't seeing the importance of the directions associated with the Fall and the Garden of Eden the same (that was quite the tangent, considering none of the sections we read tonight talked about it). But the time sitting together talking has definitely been a blessing.

I'm also reflecting a bit on patience. A few days ago I wrote about how different things can play in to patience. A day or so later someone said they think I am a very patient person. And tonight as I reflect a bit on this particular date, March 8th, it's been 3 years since I first received the impression that things could very well work out with the boyfriend and I, eternally. There are of course a lot of variables that have to work out for that to work, and I don't believe in a "one and only," but I knew it was a possibility back then. Talk about patience. The Lord has his timing though. And I think one of the tests in life is learning to trust in and have faith in that timing. Because His timing will be the best in the end.

In elementary school we would make kites in March and do things with lions and lambs. If March came in like a lion it was supposed to go out like a lamb. If it came in like a lamb it was supposed to go out like a lion. There are aspects of this March that have started like a lamb and others that have started like a lion. There are other things about this March that have been on my mind as it approached. I wonder how this March will go out.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Goal substitution

In class recently we were discussing goal substitution theories. Looking at the graphs and hearing the description wasn't making much sense. Someone in the class asked for an example. Apparently I wasn't the only one who couldn't wrap their head around it. The professor explained that the best example involved relationships.

If you loved someone but could not longer have them, if they died for example, you would most likely fall in love next with someone who was very similar to that person. Your original goal was no longer available and so you would substitute a goal that was almost the same thing. But if you were in a relationship that was very bad, your next one would most likely be the exact opposite. You would substitute a completely different goal for yourself.

I'm sure the entire class saw the light bulb go off over my head. The boyfriend is almost the exact opposite of the ex in every possible way. I knew that wasn't the best relationship I could have at the time, but as time and distance have separated me from ex and brought me closer to the boyfriend, the contrast is just amazing. Of course I would find someone like the boyfriend after being with the ex! And of course the closer I get to the boyfriend the more I will realize how the ex was definitely not the person for me for all of eternity.

And there's even an academic theory to explain it all. Who knew?

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Do you stalk him?

I bet you do.

During my junior year of high school, I, of course, had a crush. So did, of course, my best friend at the time. Both of our crushes lived fairly close to the school, as did I, and, most days, our post-school route went something like this:

1 - Drive around My Crush's block. Honk as we pass his house.
2 - Drive around Her Crush's block. Honk again.
3 - Snacks at my house.
4 - Drive Best Friend home.
5 - Drive to work.

If we were really on one (sometimes fueled by how little or how much these boys were paying attention to us at school/social activities), we'd repeat steps 1 and 2 two or three times. Also, I drove a particularly obnoxious and obvious car that looked and acted like no one else's. Between my car and the honking, subtle we were not.

I actually got to date My Crush for awhile. I don't think Her Crush took her out more than once or twice. We were all good friends that year, though I have no idea if they ever knew about our stalking route. I don't even know if they were ever home. Either way, by the summer, we'd both moved on and were dating different boys entirely.

I didn't get much better as I got older. One day, the summer my missionary came home (and we were still figuring out what was going on between us now), I deliberately took my dog for a walk about the time I knew my man would be driving home (we were from the same home ward). I also deliberately started running down his street, so that I would look more impressive.

It worked. He passed me.

I STILL haven't gotten much better. Just last fall, after meeting an entire apartment of cute boys from my ward that live about a mile or so away from me, I decided a loop from my house to theirs and back would be the perfect running route. I've run that route more than once, around the time most people are getting home for the day, because it worked the first time. Of course, I was exerting a little more than usual around the corners I knew they might be lurking.

Even now, I pick my times that I walk through the building at work (mostly so I can walk to our mail drop) around times I know that a certain guy here might see me strutting past and looking amazing. We've already decided we will never date, but I pretty much just want to rub it in his face. I know Trixie does the same thing, planning certain errands around the time a certain male might be in the area.

Not only do we do it in person, but now we can do it online. On any number of social networking sites, primarily Facebook these days, we can see exactly what the object of our affection (or disdain, sometimes) is up to. If a picture is posted, we wonder why that one girl is in it. We wonder if his status has anything to do with your most recent conversation. If he hasn't been on for awhile, has he just been busy or is actually avoiding it because he knows you are watching? And, of course, if we're feeling witty or brave enough, we'll write on their Wall or comment on a recent posting or status. Just to get him thinking about us and how clever we are, or how well we know him because he would just love that one article about that one thing.

I'm sure I could think of even more examples. The point is, we all do it. We know that the more a guy sees us, the more likely we are to stick in his mind, and eventually ask us out, fall in love with us, and live happily ever after. At least that's what we tell ourselves. We don't want to be overly aggressive, but accidentally on-purpose running intos are completely kosher. They certainly don't hurt, provided they aren't done overtly and all of the time.

Really, it's a compliment. We want to know what you're up to, so that we know more about you, and we most definitely want you to notice us.

So notice us, please?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


I often say I am not a patient person. But that's not true. There are a lot of times when I'm quite patient. There are things that I will be very patient for. So it seems that patience is not a set quantity. And even if I am generally patient in one area, there are some things that can affect the level of patience I am currently experiencing.

As I recently noticed a dip in my patience, I decided that while I was wallowing a bit I'd try to figure out what causes these dips.

I seem to be less patient at night than I am in the day. I'm less patient when I'm tired than when I'm well rested, same thing with hungry and fed. I'm less patient when I haven't showered. I'm less patient if I'm sick or in pain. I'm less patient if I'm stressed of dealing with a lot of deadlines and things at once. And I'm less patient if the only people I've seen all day were people at work, if I've even seen anyone that day.

So all of that might explain why getting some information last night, when I was tired and needed to shower for the night, was in a bit of pain, the information made doing several big things at once a real big possibility, some other things had happened during the day that were really stressing me out, and the only people I'd seen were work people, I was just about out of patience with it.

Now that it's day again and I'm well rested, I'm going to exercise and get all dolled up because I can, hopefully we can knock some of those patience drains out and I can go back to being patient.