Thursday, September 30, 2010

Confession: I'm a heathen

I have a confession to make. I did not attend the Relief Society General Broadcast on Saturday. I do watch it every year, even the Young Women's broadcast. But I'll watch it on the internet at home rather than with everyone else. And now that I'm married, I watch it while my husband goes to Priesthood the following week. But back to the big reason I didn't go this year.

The big reason - it would've utterly exhausted me and I would've been wound so tight that I wouldn't have been able to enjoy it or feel the Spirit.

I'm an introvert. Large crowds of people take a lot of energy out of me. I came home from our Visiting Teaching Conference earlier this month in such a fowl mood because I'd gone straight there form work/school and I was already exhausted. And then I had to be sociable for over an hour and it was far too much for me.

Visiting teaching I'm generally okay with once the appointment starts. That's only three people total. But I much prefer a half hour appointment to an hour long one. And getting me to set up the appointments is like pulling teeth since I sincerely hate the telephone. I set up appointments with one of my sisters through emails and I love her for that.

So when our stake planned a five hour day for the broadcast, I knew immediately that it wasn't something I'd put on my calendar. They did a three hour service project where they sewed aprons for women's and children's shelters before a light dinner and then the broadcast. FIVE HOURS!!! That would have me as emotionally exhausted as I am physically exhausted at the end of a five hour marathon. Especially since it was a stake wide activity. That's just way too many people.

One nice thing about being married is that my husband acts as a buffer for me at church now (he's an introvert too, we get along great). There aren't as many random people sitting right next to me as much any more (I've never attended church to socialize). And in Relief Society I've learned that if I sit on the aisle and put my bag on the chair next to me, I still get my breathing room and can enjoy the lesson. I've always known I was not someone who needed someone to sit next to them all the time to make me feel welcome.

Thinking about that recently I finally realized why I supremely struggled with Relief Society three years ago to the point where I walked out of the lesson a few times. The new president was a huge extrovert and wanted everyone to sit right next to everyone else and be shoulder to shoulder and all hunky-dory like that. She did that by only setting up enough chairs for the number of women she counted in Sacrament meeting (meaning half the room was empty space). And that just makes me far too uncomfortable to enjoy the meeting. Throw that in with the already amazingly tough time I was having then, and it was too much for me.

So there we have it. I'm a heathen. I didn't attend the Relief Society Broadcast with my stake. And I don't attend church to socialize.

Installing lightning pole now.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Oh Deer

Oh deer in deed. I saw this comic this morning while I was eating breakfast and I could relate all too well.

I remember different times in college when they had girl's choice activities and I looked around at the different guys in my life and there really wasn't anyone at that time that interested me. Which led to some interesting events that resulted in my roommate and I taking imaginary guys. Which in turn led to a bunch of girls who also didn't have dates deciding they didn't necessarily need a date to have fun and joining my roommate and I (although they didn't take imaginary dates like we did) and having a blast. Although my dad admitted that he was seriously worried about me when he found out what I'd done. However, so far that is the only time I've ridden in a limo (it was one of the dorm dances at BYU, the limo was part of the event).


Slim pickings in deed.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Ew! Get a room!

As a general rule, I have no problem with PDA. (Public Displays of Affection) I have engaged in it myself, and sometimes I even enjoy observing it. Ew, not like that. Weirdo.

But this week? It's getting on my nerves.

This first example doesn't exactly count as PDA, but it's close enough. A girlfriend of mine recently started dating a new young man. I've met him, and I like him, and I'm happy for both of them. But she could tone down the "I'm in love! I'm in love! I'm in love!" Today, it went something like this "Oh man, I just haven't had any time to myself, since Boyfriend takes so much of my time, but I don't mind because I love him." "He's making me a bookcase for my birthday! I love him!" All that, and I haven't seen her in weeks, because of all the time she's been spending with said boyfriend. Oy!

Last night, I went out with a group of my friends. Turns out two of them are dating, which is news to me, and good news at that. He had his arm around her for much of the evening, and that was fine. That is, until I looked over and he was licking her. Actually licking her. Whether on her cheek or her ear I couldn't tell, but he licked her. In public. Where people could see. Where I could see. She saw me see him, and announced it to him, and I got to actually say to them both "Well now, that was awkward for me."

Tonight, I was at the store and a couple was stumbling through that I could have sworn were surgically attached to each other, much like Richandamy from Zits. I say stumbling through, because they hadn't quite perfected the two arm hug walk.

It's not even spring!

So, couples of the universe! Get a room!

Or find me a guy I can lick in front of my friends because I'm so blissed out I don't even remember they're there.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


There are some things I like to be able to feel with my hands. I like to read paper books. I like to hand write my journal. It seems more real to me that way. There's something about holding it in your hand and knowing that one click of a mouse or a push of a button won't make it all go away.

However, sometimes, making all things go away that easy is rather nice.

It was about the time I was getting ready to serve a mission that I was going through my stuff from high school. I found several things associated with the guy I'd had a crush on back then. He wasn't good for me then. And he hadn't really gotten any better, although I hadn't really seen him since high school. I remember throwing that stuff away with a fulfilling finality to that part of my life.

After my mission I found the stuff from the guy I'd dated my freshman year of college. He didn't take it too well when I dumped him just before Christmas (I should tell that story some time). But it was satisfying to finally throw that stuff away too.

As I've been unpacking and arranging stuff lately (I unpack very slowly, it's not a fun thing to do), I've occasionally come across a note or card from a specific ex. Interestingly, I've mentioned him several times on this blog, but never given him a name. And I don't think I ever will. We had our good moments. That's where a lot, but not all, of the notes come from. But the bad moments have haunted me. So as I've been finding things associated with him in different places, it's been with a wonderful bit of finality to throw them away.

This week I was cleaning up the files on my computer and I found some documents, messages, and photos that were related to this guy. I paused for just a moment before doing what I should've done a long time ago.

I pushed delete.

And it felt so good.

It felt good to be at the point in my life where I could let it all go. It's gone. I don't need it back. I don't need it to remind me. I don't need those ties to the past to hold me there. I'm living in the now and I'm living for the future. The past happened. There are days when I wish it wouldn't have. But it did. But that doesn't mean I have to keep it. I can push delete. It feels good to unclutter my emotions and memories like that. A little cleaning can be a good thing.


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

If only it were this easy (click to enlarge):

[Image has disappeared, but, basically, a guy propositions a girl at a bar and she looks up his face on a date review app with her phone and he gets half a star and terrible reviews, so she leaves.]

But then again, I'm glad it's not. I wonder what kind of reviews would be left for me? I know I'm not always the kindest person who says the best of all the guys I've dated, so I suppose it's only fair that some of them may not have the best things to say about me. Sadly, I've even heard some of the more unfortunate things being said about me after the fact, and I can even understand why that person thought that about me. In reviewing my past and sharing the ups and downs of my relationships, I do try to remember that while things may have ended badly or they didn't always treat me the way I may have deserved, or I them, that it's in the past. We've both grown up since then (hopefully), and none of us are truly evil (at least from my relationship history).

What about you? Would you prefer a Yelp! for those you date?

Sunday, September 5, 2010


I have quite a few male acquaintances, and a lucky few I even consider real friends. I get along with them well, we can spend time together separately or in groups, and our time together can often be engaging and enjoyable, at least from my perspective.

Also, I may not be a supermodel, or even a size 6, but I do think I’m at least attractive. I’m not grossly overweight and I make an effort with my appearance – exercise, makeup, dress, hair, good dental hygiene, etc. I’ve even been told I look hot/beautiful/nice.

Forget why I don’t have a boyfriend yet, why can’t I even get a date?

It must me be, right?

I asked JT if there was anything glaringly obvious in my appearance or my behavior that I was missing that would be a turn off, and he couldn’t really think of anything.

However, considering that he has only rarely seen me interact with other people, since it’s usually just us, and he doesn’t really know my other friends, though he has met some of them, I realized that, while a helpful source (e.g. my crooked nose isn’t to blame), he wasn’t able to speak for a larger population than himself.
So, I put my big girl pants on and asked another trusted male friend, Lorenzo, what he knew about why I wasn’t dating.

His qualifications:

  1. He is a member of my faith, and has the same beliefs about marriage and its importance as I do.
  2. He actually dates.
  3. We have mutual friends, most of whom he has spent significant time with and discussed such topics.
  4. Our relationship has been clearly defined as platonic.

Using qualification number 3 as our starting point, I asked him, “What do you know about why I haven’t been asked out in the year I’ve been in this ward?” I made it clear I didn’t want details about who had said exactly what, just the things I should improve upon, as I’m the only one I can change.

I was afraid it was going to come out like this:

Fortunately, I really appreciated his answer.

“You can be intimidating.”

It makes a lot of sense. When you get to know me, you know I can be thoughtful, love engaging on a meaningful level with others, and will bend over backwards for the people I care about. However, upon first introduction, I can come across as a bit of a self-absorbed know-it-all.

“Yes,” said Lorenzo, “You’ve studied many things, and accomplished quite a lot, but you can present that in a way that makes you more approachable.”

When discussing the findings with my mother, she suggested that I could still admit to knowing something about a given topic, but not being a source of authority on it unless necessary.

For example:

What NOT to do-

Other Person: I’m studying Subject X.

Me: Oh I read about book about that as part of this non-fiction kick I’ve been on lately, with my friend Roxie. It’s amazing that Aspect Q and Aspect E are so alike! And then I realized how it affected my Thing and then everything just clicked.

Other Person: Um, yeah.

What TO do:

Other Person: I’m studying Subject X.

Me: Oh I read a book about that once. I really liked learning about Aspect Q especially. What do you like about it?

Other Person: Let me tell you!

Obviously, in that scenario Other Person will, hopefully, see that I’m more interested in them and their knowledge or experience than in my own, and that can’t be bad.

It’s much easier than my father’s suggestion, from a similar conversation we had long before I ever talked to Lorenzo.

“Well, maybe you don’t tell them you’re THE Person Who Does What You Do, just A Person Who Does a Broader Version of That.”

“It’s going to come out eventually. When I tell someone I’m A Person Who Does What I Do, they almost always say, ‘Oh cool, where?’ and I say, ‘The Whole Organization’, and they say, ‘Oh, like at This Department?’ and I say, ‘No, actually I work for That Department as The Person Who Does What I Do.“

It’s much easier to start with being THE instead of A, but it’s essentially the same idea that Mom and Lorenzo suggested – be personable and engaging, without coming across as a stuffy egghead. Yes, it may seem a little like a head game, which I’m very much opposed to as a general rule, but sending the right message about ourselves is important. We can’t use a Vulcan mind meld or Jedi “mind trick” to ensure we convey our message exactly as we intended.

I know exactly why I can come across as a know-it-all, which actually helps. I was taking 8th grade courses in 6th grade. I graduated from college early at 20, knew what I wanted to do with the rest of my career at 22, and started doing it. And I have read a lot about a lot. Jack of all trades, master of a few (literally, you can legitimately call me Master Jinxie). I’m the oldest child, and therefore destined to be a little bossy. I AM a well-educated, highly motivated woman, and have been for quite some time. Unfortunately, being that awesome at 22 (which is when I got the job I have now), you have to fight some age-ism and convince people that you really do know your stuff, despite your birthdate. Confident, disciplined, and self-motivated can easily be interpreted as arrogant, inflexible, and unapproachable, and I don’t want that.

Once, I had a roommate who was working on an engineering degree. We met a young man who essentially told her “Oh, I can do all that engineering stuff, but I don’t have a degree in it. I just read a few books. I could probably get an engineering job easy.”

We were appalled at his arrogance. I don’t want to be that guy.

So, I’m working on it. It hasn’t translated into anything tangible (like a date), yet, but it can’t be hurting my chances.

And, as Lorenzo reminded me as well, it never hurts to smile.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Lessons from Young Women's Basketball

Go ahead and laugh. I did. My mom did too when I told her. And I'm sure HP was just suppressing a laugh when he found out. I've been called as the Young Women's Athletic Director for our ward.

Now, I am active. I am a regular runner. But there's a reason I run. It requires very little hand/foot/eye coordination. My 7th grade year I decided to really get into school and I tried out for all the sports teams. I got cut from all of them, except track. And track didn't have cuts.

And now they want me to be in charge of the basketball and volleyball for the young women in our ward. It's worth a laugh.

This week we had a basketball clinic for the girls in the stake before play starts next week. It was to help teach the basic skills of dribbling, passing, shooting, and guarding to the girls who hadn't played before or who just wanted to come learn some more. Most of the girls were between 12 and 14.

Since the stake leaders were running it, I was able to sit back and watch. I made two major observations.

Observation #1 - There are two types of church basketball players (or at least there were this week).

The first group of girls was really carefree about the whole thing. If they made a basket, great. If they didn't, oh well, that happens, just try again. Their enjoyment of the activity did not depend on how successful they were. This was the group that made the most improvement over the course of the evening.

The second group seemed to take it as a personal insult when the basket did not move so that their ball could go in. They didn't miss because it just happens. They missed because the basket had a personal grudge against them. These girls did not look to be having a lot of fun, got easily frustrated (even though they might have actually been making more baskets than the first group originally), and actually got worse as the evening went on while their frustration level grew.

I think that first group is going to be alright in life. Bad things happen to all of us, but those girls have the ability to just let it roll right off their back while they keep going.

Observation #2 - The true point of the game.

There was one senior girl there. She's played basketball and volleyball in high school. She knows what she is doing. And she was amazing. And I'm not talking about her basketball skills. I'm talking about how encouraging and helpful she was to everyone. Nobody felt bad around her. During one shooting game I watched her purposefully miss shots she could do in her sleep so she wouldn't knock any of the other girls out of the game.

Her father came and I told him his daughter had an interesting strategy. He said she really got it. And she did. She knew that the point of church sports isn't to win. It isn't even necessarily to do well. It's to get out, try something new, enjoy yourself, and be part of a team. I told him that I admired her strategy and that he'd "done good" raising her. It was absolutely beautiful to watch her out there with the other girls.

She's not just going to be alright in life. She's going to excel. Great things are on their way with her. And not because she gets church basketball. But because she gets life.

And she gets to be on my team. I can't wait to watch how it unfolds.