Friday, December 26, 2014

Next year I'll read less; it will make a shorter blog post.

This year I found a study that stated,  
"As of January 2014, some 76% of American adults ages 18 and older said that they read at least one book in the past year. Almost seven in ten adults (69%) read a book in print in the past 12 months, while 28% read an e-book, and 14% listened to an audiobook." 
You can read more about the numbers of it all here. The numbers were lower than I expected, being a fan of reading myself. Then I wondered, "when was the last time I read a NEW book?" I have a tendency to find one book I like and then read it over and over and over again, rotating through a collection of about a dozen books within the year. How lazy am I? So, with the help of my iPad and Peter's library card from Seattle, I made a goal to read more new books this year. 

I made it to 52. Here's my list. I didn't include books I did not finish, but maybe I should have, because there were several that I tried to read but were not worth it. 

1. My Story - Elizabeth Smart
The memoir of young kidnapping victim Elizabeth Smart. The author manages to take something so horrifying and hideous and produce an uplifting story, a task that I did not know was possible. She explains her experiences with eloquence, but it is for sure a harrowing tale; I found myself needing to skip to the end, when Smart was recovered, before going back to read it through again. 

2. Looking For Alaska - John Green
You know those books where the words are just so pretty the way they are strung? This is one of those books. The characters are flawed and realistic, angsty but sympathetic. I took an emotional roller-coaster for the day that I read this, because I couldn't tear myself away from it. Does contain language and teen sexuality. 

3. Piece of Cake - Cupcake Brown
Another memoir (I adore memoirs, le's be real). Not for the faint hearted. Cupcake Brown (yes, that's her real name) tells her story starting at the age of 11. She faces foster care, child abuse, prostitution, gang involvement, drug addiction, drug dealing, and homelessness, however, is now a working attorney in the United States. This story... wow. I repeat, not for the faint hearted, you have strong language and horrifying situations from the very first chapter, but I felt an incredible sense of compassion for Cupcake and other children like her failed by the court systems, and gratitude for my own life. 

4. The Fault in our Stars - John Green
I honestly wasn't a huge fan of this one. Had I been a young teen girl, I am sure I would have been going crazy for it, though. Cute, heartwarming, but also crippling, teen love story about a girl with terminal Cancer who falls in love with (wait for it) another Cancer patient. I did really enjoy the fun quips and jokes that Green put in this book. 

5. Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn
Another one I could not put down. I essentially live tweeted my emotions to Allison my entire way through this book. Amazingly written so that every step of the way YOU JUST DON'T KNOW WHAT TO BELIEVE. My opinions of each character fluctuated from start to finish. Gillian Flynn captivated me, flipped me upside down, and continuously punched me in the gut, yet somehow in a really beautiful way. Contains language and sexuality. 

6. Before I Go to Sleep - S.J. Watson
Another mystery, although one which is less rapid and quick moving than Gone Girl. S.J. Watson does a good job at presenting several different possibilities for the reader to cling to without ever nudging you in one direction or the other. Twisty and surprising. 

7. Exposed - Jane Velez-Mitchell
An analysis and overview of the Jodi Arias murder trial. If you followed that trial, or you like court proceedings, you'll like this, if not, you won't. Contains sexuality - readings of explicit texts and emails. 

8. The Amityville Horror - Jay Ansen
Ahh!!!! This book put me on edge and meant that Peter got several easy scares out of me for the week I was reading it. Creeptastic, and full of supernatural thrills, I strongly recommend this book for a cold, windy, stormy night. 

9. Catch Me if You Can - Frank W. Abagnale jr.
Memoir of the famous conman, this book was intriguing and informative. I enjoyed being amazed by his audacity and tenaciousness, although I am pretty sure his tactics would be less effective in our modern day. Abagnale has a good voice for story telling, and his stories are unbelievable. 

10. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly - Jean-Dominique Bauby
Another book with truly beautiful language and prose. The memoir of a man suffering from locked-in syndrome. Short, but stunning. Bauby is a poet. 

Okay, and 10 book descriptions is proving enough for me for now. Here's the rest of my list. Gander through and if there is another book you would like to discuss, comment below! 

11. Sarah's Key - Tatiana de Rosnay
This narrative voice felt mildly pretentious to me. It was an interesting story concept, however, it did seem to drag in getting there. A dual narrative split between modern day and World War II, both discussing the Vel' d'Hiv Roundup of Jews in German-occupied Paris in 1942. Moments of beauty, but also moments of slow "why are you telling me about your failing marriage?". You win some, you lose some. 

12. Ava's Man - Rick Bragg
For a biography of the author's grandfather, a man whom he never knew, Bragg portrays a deep love for his family, and for a particular stretch of dirt road along the Alabama-Georgia border. Ava's Man is an intimate piece of American history as it was experienced by the working people of the Deep South. Granted, it took me a while to get into the rhythm of Bragg's voice, but once I did it felt like warm Campbell's soup.  

13. Between the Shades of Grey - Ruta Sepetys
Follows the suffering of a Lithuanian family in a work camp in Siberia under Stalin's communist regime, which is something I cannot say I have read about. An easy read, and one that still flirts with young romance, among the grit and the starvation, I enjoyed Between the Shades as educational yet guilt free story telling. While I was presented with pain and suffering, somehow I didn't feel entirely like a hideous human being or like I wanted to go cry forever. I appreciate it when I'm not made to suffer over things I can't control, so thanks for that, Ruta. 

14. Room - Emma Donoghue
Amazing, but frustrating. Told from the perspective of a four year old boy who lives (and has only ever seen/been) in "Room" with his mother. Room is his existence, and his reality. I was riveted and tortured through this entire reading. I felt so incredibly angry at the characters for their life choices. I think if you find yourself screaming at written words for being so helpless, the author has probably done a good job at writing a decent novel. 

15. Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock - Matthew Quick
Trigger warning for self-harm, there was a couple sections at the beginning regarding cutting that I had to skip. This book made me feel glad that I wasn't a teenager anymore, because I could remember feeling a lot of the emotions that Leonard feels. My sister recommended this one to me and after I finish we discussed. I found myself unfulfilled by the ending, but the fact that I felt that way was kind of horrifying and needed to be addressed. Read it, and talk to me.
Contains frequent language. 

16. Daughter's Keeper - Ayelet Waldman
Eh. I did finish this book, so the author at least captivated me, but when it was all over I wondered why I had been captivated. Characters seemed inconsistent to me, but maybe that means they are super realistic, because us persons are never all that constant. If you have phobias of being wrongfully incarcerated, like I do, maybe give this one a skip. Or just skip it because nothing really happens. 

17. The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald
I did not have the pleasure of reading Fitzgerald in High School, so this was my first exposure to his writing. Very eloquent and descriptive. I disliked that everything important took a long time to actualize, but instead we spent time just being told about the people and the scenery, however, when action actually began, I liked it a lot. I did not expect to feel depressed at the end. Definitely did. Poor Gatsby. 

18. Marley and Me - John Grogan
I love love love love LOVED this book! Have you seen the movie? The book is the movie but with hours of extra scenes slipped in. People say that Marley and Me is a sad book (/movie), but I don't think so. Yes, I did bawl my eyes out at the end, however, I laughed and had a genuine good time in celebrating the hilarious and well lived life of a wonderfully awful pet. If you adore the puppies, you should read this book. Warm, happy, butterflies, and lots of slobbery kisses. 

19. Until You're Mine - Samantha Hayes
Back to the mysteries and fun twists! I liked this book a lot. Another great book for live-tweeting your emotional ups and downs to your BFF. Extra plus, set in England so you have a marvellous voice writing it all. Multiple narrators all telling their sides to a story that you will try to piece together in every which way, and still probably be surprised when it ends (although, I totes guessed who dun it, and felt super proud). 

20. Water For Elephants - Sara Gruen
I can't say I've read a book about a turn of the century travelling circus. Well, I mean, now I can! I liked this. Romantic voice on the beauties and comings of a circus and all that entails. You've got class issues (performers vs. techies), forbidden love, and violent personalities who aren't above murder. Fun all around. 

21. Melissa Explains it All - Melissa Joan Hart
A memoir by our darling 90's queen full of fun stories chronicling her life. I was interested because I love Clarissa Explains it All and Sabrina the Teenage Witch, but I will admit, once she got into her extensive stories about football parties with her husband, I just didn't care anymore. Give it a miss if you aren't interested in celeb memoirs. 

22. Sharp Objects - Gillian Flynn
Dark. Twisty. Super dark. A lot of self injury stuff. I loved it, though. Gillian Flynn just has this magical talent of making you want to stop reading, but also want to never ever stop reading again. Incredibly cruel characters who I hope don't actually exist in real life, and a murder mystery that you hope you're wrong about, but you probably know it from the beginning if you're being honest with yourself. 

23. The Perks of Being a Wallflower - Stephen Chbosky
24. Life of Pi - Yann Martel
25. One More Thing - BJ Novak
26. Nineteen Minutes - Jodi Picoult
27. The Book of Unknown Americans - Cristina Henriquez
28. Orange is the New Black - Piper Kerman
29. What is Visible - Kimberly Elkins
30. The Casual Vacancy - J.K. Rowling
31. What Alice Forgot - Liane Moriarty
32. The Psychopath Whisperer - Kent A. Kiehl, PhD
33. Z - Therese Anne Fowler
34. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button   and Other Stories - F. Scott Fitzgerald
35. Wild - Cheryl Strayed
36. Slaughter-House Five - Kurt Vonnegut
37. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children - Ransom Riggs
38. The Weight of Blood - Laura McHugh
39. The Shining - Stephen King
40. Thirteen Reasons Why - Jay Asher
41. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius - Dave Eggers
42. Oryx and Crake - Margaret Atwood
43. Bad Monkey - Carl Hiaasen
44. The Hallowed Ones - Laura Bickle
45. These Things Hidden - Heather Gudenkauf
46. If I Stay - Gayle Forman
47. Lost Girls: An Unsolved American Mystery - Robert Kolker
48. Pain, Parties, Work - Elizabeth Winder
49. The Bedwetter - Sarah Silverman
50. Beyond Belief - Jenna Miscavage Hill
51. Mice - Gordon Reece
52. Dark Places - Gillian Flynn

Yay literacy! 

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Our year in review

Here's the MeGregorvy's first ever Christmas card year update. Enjoy ;) 


Peter began his last calendar year of undergrad and received a promotion at work. I moved into a new apartment and began my new job at Bayada Habilitation, making sure I stood out to my employers by fainting on my first day and spending time in the ER (but still was always completely fine). Yay for low blood sugar!

Valentine's Day was full of bacon roses, giant balloons, snuggies, junk food, and Friends. In other words, Peter and I shared the perfect date.
February also brought with it an abundance of rainy Saturdays, challenging our creativity as a couple and introducing a plethora of rainy-day games. Peter danced with a pineapple on his head for my roommates. The things rain will make you do.

I went through the temple for the first time, something very sacred and reverent in our church, and made new covenants with the Lord. It was a difficult transition for me, but I felt very supported and loved by my friends and family.
Later in the month I discovered (and introduced everyone I knew to) the game 2048, which quickly led to a manic addiction. Peter lovingly supported me and didn't insist on an intervention. He is totes adorbs.

We got married!! On April 12th, the 3rd anniversary of our first kiss, Peter and I were sealed for time and all eternity in the Laie Hawaii temple. Our parents and my little-big sister were able to come celebrate with us.
We spent a wonderful week long honeymoon on the island of Kauai, and moved into our new apartment.
On the 24th Peter turned 22 and we sang Taylor Swift. Obviously. He received Lego sets from his parents and me, and built some amazing things. He has a gift for Lego creations. It's super neat.

At church, Peter was called to be a Sunday School teacher at church. His lessons were, and continue to be, energetic, spiritual, and always inclusive of at least one short joke.
I began a second job watching an adorable two year old named Nash. I also reentered the blogging sphere in the hopes to actualize one of my (very real but probably not at all realistic) dreams to be the author of a well read and loved blog.
We hosted our 1st annual (as a couple) Battle of Hogwarts party. We played Quidditch pong, made wands, and drank Butterbeer. The only setback was having close to no airflow in our tiny apartment, leading to some serious sweating on all of our behalves.

My brother and his family visited island to baptize our nephew Benny on Temple beach. We partied hard and hiked even harder, and it was wonderful to be with them again.
Peter reached his one year mark of being home from his mission in Japan and began his internship for a local politician as the assistant campaign manager. *Spoiler alert* the politician won his campaign cuz Peete's the bomb.
He also took the LSAT (and did awesome) which is a pretty massive thing.

Peter and I had our first political debate that did not include hurt feelings. We felt very proud of ourselves for becoming adults. Kind ones.
I knocked off an item on my bucket-list by starring in an infomercial! Our very own "House Spouse" included bad acting, a continuous voice over, and black and white editing, but unfortunately lacked giant red Xs and Muzak. Next time.

Peter was able to relieve some of his Japan withdrawals by finding us a Yaku Niku restaurant in Kaneohe. We have returned several times, and I have learned to surrender all of my ordering rights to Peter, seeing as what he orders is always the best at the table.

Peter officially entered into his last ever semester of his undergraduate career and we began our grad school applications, choosing Penn State, BYU, Seattle Pacific University (me), and Seattle University (Peter) to apply to.

Peter indulged my fantastic adoration for Halloween and October by watching Halloween movies with me all month. We endured our first weekend apart since his return in 2013 while he went to Seattle to be reunited with all of his siblings for his little sister Shanna's wedding. It was a wonderful occasion, but also a horribly difficult one for me to live through ;). Luckily, I had friends who texted me and hung out with me all weekend, so that I wouldn't have to be alone.
I took the GRE and did a lot better than I expected to.

For Thanksgiving I taught Peter how to make homemade pies, and Peter made a masterful spread for ourselves and Azriel, equating to about 5 pounds of food per person. The leftovers fed us far into December.
At church I was asked to join Peter as a teacher in Sunday School. We love being able to prepare lessons together and feel we are finding just one more way in which we are a superawesomeneat couple. No one is as cool or as humble as us.

Peter graduated Cum Lade with his bachelors of arts in Political Science. At the department graduation banquet, he was awarded with a Legal Studies certificate, BYU-Hawaii's first ever Emergency Management certificate, was one of the this years three distinguished graduates in Political Science, and was recognized as the department's distinguished graduate in Public Management. He is twenty times cooler than I ever was in school.
We moved into our new studio apartment, which is teeny tiny, but has its pluses. It's fun being someplace new.
Peter received his first acceptance to Law School at Seattle University with a $12,000 scholarship.

So, there you have it! Our entire year in one blogpost. Thank you for reading and showing us your love and support all year. We wish you a Melece Navidad, a Mele Kalikimaka, and a Melly Christmas! (Poor Peter doesn't have any festive nicknames.) I hope you have a wonderful holiday celebrated with those you love. 

Saturday, December 20, 2014

The Boyfriend Test

One thing that dating can teach you is what you are unwilling to tolerate in the person you marry. With every person you date, you are able to see what characteristics you like and the ones you don't. It is kind of great, though; you're shopping for people!

Sometimes I find myself thinking about the deal breakers that I encountered in my dating life and wondering if I overlook those same important (and awful) characteristics in Peter. Obviously the only logical way to make sure you married the right person is subject them to a series of secret tests all based on the things you couldn't stand in your exes*.

Peter and the Boyfriend Test

1) Ketchup, please!

When I was younger and stupider than I was now, I entered into an infatuation with a boy more clingy than cling film itself. He was particularly upset with any time I spent away from him, which meant that my friends got sick of him relatively quickly. One day after school I was playing on an arcade game with some friends, and he was giving us no space. While he was in the restroom a friend of mine remarked that no matter what I asked, this boy would do, even if it made no sense or served no purpose. This mildly bothered me, and I denied it, because the idea of having a blind follower is kind of an unattractive one to me. My friends then challenged me to request the boy to find me ketchup when he returned, saying he would do so without asking, even though we had no food with us, nor would ketchup be of any use to me. I agreed, and casually requested later when he returned. To my discomfort, he did so unquestioningly.
I understand that many could see this willing and open devotion as sweet, but to me, it indicated a lack of individuality. I knew that I could not be happy being with someone who never questioned me. I needed someone who, yes, was willing to serve me, but also had a mind of his own, and could call me out when I'm being completely unreasonable. This little ketchup scenario told me all of that. Because I over analyse n' stuff.

Thus, requesting ketchup when I was clearly in no need for such a thing was the first entry on the boyfriend test. One Sunday, while we were lounging around the apartment, I called to Peter from the bed. "Will you bring me ketchup, love?" I asked.
His head appeared around the wall, "bring you what?"
"Why do you need ketchup?"
"I don't."
"Okay." Pause. "Do, do you want me to bring... It to you?"
"Nah, it's okay. Thank you, though."

One point to Perter!

2) Understand the Importance of Cherries

I had been only dating one boyfriend for a few weeks when we went to McDonalds together. I ordered my meal with a milkshake, and then went to the bathroom while he waited for the food. When I returned, he offered me my milkshake. The drink sat with its beautiful whipped cream on top, cup sweating drops of condensation, but was obscenely incomplete.
"What the heck??!" I exclaimed, "they forgot my cherry!"
"Oh! Uh...." My traitor boyfriend stammered, "I ate it."
"YOU ATE MY CHERRY?!" I screamed, pretty irate and loud for a public fast food joint. "What kind of monster eats the cherry from on top of another person's milkshake without being offered it?!"
The relationship was doomed from the start.

I am happy to report that, since marrying Peter, I have never had a cherry disappear from atop a milkshake.

Two points for Peege! Yaaaay!

There were other tests, but they aren't as funny, so I won't force you to read them ;).

Obviously, there are more things that my exes have done that Peter does not, which is so great, and I totally married the crap out of him when I realized how insanely amazing he was. I hope when you find the person who you love at their worst and their best, you do similarly.

I hear so many people justifying bad relationship decisions by saying, "but she's not always like this!" Or "but I know he loves me." That makes me all sorts of uncomfortable, because it seems a way to push unacceptable things aside for silver linings. I bet I could have married Peter had he brought me ketchup and eaten things I was saving for myself, but only if those things were things I knew I could live with easily.

So go out there, you crazy kids! Go make friends and then get married when you find someone who you love even at their crappiest.

I don't know if I have a point, but if I do, it's probably that I'm #soblessed.

*there is probably a bunch of better ways to do such a thing than this. Readers accept any misfortune that may come from administering the Boyfriend Test, and cannot hold Tiny Anxiety responsible for the actions of any angered spouses. 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Times in which I am enraged even though I have no right to be.

I originally drafted up this post the week of Thanksgiving, but then I thought it probably wouldn't be a good time for me to post about all the things in my life that I hate.

This isn't even necessarily an "I Hate Things" list, so much as it is a "Things that give me a disproportionate amount of rage when they really are small things" list. You can judge me. I totally understand.

1. Parents choosing to be illiterate when naming their children.

I have a strange obsession with names, this is no news to anyone. Sometimes I wonder if I am similar to adults who go through a traumatizing experience when they are young, then go on to be great ambassadors of change for others going through the same experiences. (See Elizabeth Smart and others.) I suffered through having an unusual name as a child, and now I use my (very limited power) to rant about bad baby name choices.
There seems to be this trend to slaughter common baby names beyond recognition in order to make the baby different from its peers. This bugs me much more than new, made up or unusual baby names, for the specific reason that you make your child look illiterate. Put yourself in the child's place: verbally, your name is exactly the same as many others, but then as soon as you try to spell it, you reveal your parents as adults who have never seen the English language written out.
Is this none of my business? Absolutely. Does it bother me? IT DRIVES ME INSANE.

2. Signs that stay up past their relevancy

Reading a flyer that tells me to "Come see the school play on October 14th!" when it is December, gives me an incredible amount of rage. Who in particular am I angered at? Surely not the sign, it is not its fault that it has been taped up and abandoned for months. Maybe the people who abandoned their signs. Even though I am sure that person has a job and a schedule and important things to do, removing their sign when the information it is offering is no longer pertinent apparently needs to be their #1 priority when asking the rage monsters in my brain.
Shockingly, this rage extends to decorations that stay up past their holiday. Forget your holiday cheer. Whether it be valentine's day, st. Patricks, halloween or christmas, as soon as that holiday is over, you better be taking down your celebrations.
Knowing this, one year my coworkers lovingly decided to decorate the entire Reading/Writing Center with paper hearts, jack-o-lanterns, shamrocks, flags, and christmas trees in order to try to coax me through this hatred through some sort of demented flooding therapy. Amazingly, they also managed to do all this within an hour, while I was in the center working on homework, and all without me realizing. When I got up from my computer, I rage-screamed and tried to tear everything down. It was traumatizing for everyone.

3. When apps aren't one defined colour, and other colour tragedies.

My apps on my phone and iPad need to be organized by colour. No other way makes sense to me. You think that app designers would realize that this organizing concept is the one true way, and thus all apps should be ONE COLOUR. Where am I supposed to place an app which is 5 colours at once? Tell me that, designers. Riddle me this terrible life decision of yours.
Recently my Heads Up app went from being blue to red, which was probably a smart marketing decision because now that app gets to be bumped up to one of the #1 slots, but having it change was a spark of immense anger in me. Who do you think you are, Ellen Degeneres?! Changing your colour on me! Geez.
Similarly, when colours of the rainbow are all present but not in their God given order, I blame the patriarchy for destroying America*. Where is the logic in having things going orange, green, yellow, red, purple, blue?! My heart rate is going up just considering it. I need to move on.

4. Click bait and Facebook like ifs.

Frequently I hold back likes on Facebook out of spite. I see a picture or a post that I enjoy and go to like it, then those fatal words hold me back, "like if you..." I don't care if that last word is "agree" "enjoy" or "love puppies" I am not your puppet and I will not like this! Disregard that moments ago I was ready and willing to use my mouse to tell you I enjoy your Facebooking, you are not my mother! You can not tell me what to do! Granted, if my mother were to post one of these things, I probably wouldn't like it either, because my rage at being told when and when not to like something is that unreasonable. Sorry, Mommifer. I hope you can potentially forgive me in the case this hypothetical situation occurs.
I also have a deep rooted hatred for click bait. "This happened and then YOU WON'T BELIEVE WHAT HAPPENED NEXT," "This post changed my life," "What happened in this video blew my mind," "You've gotta see to believe!"
Click bait leaves me feeling cynical and bitter. "I GUESS I WILL NEVER FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENS NEXT" I yell as I forcefully scroll past, proving my point to no one but myself. "I bet I WOULD believe what happens next! Don't tell me what I wont believe!"

All these things indicate that I have not quite yet made it to maturity. Or perhaps they show that I'm mature beyond my years? Older people are more likely to be grumpy and particular. I'm probably just super mature. Be jealous.

Shortly after this picture was taken, a psychological break was manifested. 

*while I do, in fact blame the patriarchy for many things, incorrect colour order is not one of them, but rather this is a hyperbolic statement intended to bring amusement and laughter.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

I am cool because I am thankful.

I wish that I could be like the cool kids, cuz all the cool kids, they seem to fit in... Jk. I'm cool already. However, I am going to do the cool I AM SO THANKFUL thing, because I am not afraid to be with the mainstream, that's how hipster I am.

Obviously, there are the classic things that all of us are thankful for. I'm very much grateful for my wonderful husband, for my family, and friends, but that seems like a waste of your time because, DUH (amirite?). Thus, I would like to use this post to write about the things that I really am truly wonderfully grateful for, but don't mention or stop to think about often enough.

1. People in jobs that I am not in.

The great thing about children in preschool is they have these dreams for their future occupations without any sort of social concerns. Little boys and girls have told me they want to be garbage truck drivers, or work at McDonalds so they can have burgers all day, and I love it. Not because I think these are glorious jobs, or heinous ones, but because I am grateful that people are willing to come collect my garbage cans each week, and that I am able to go get my tacos and burgers at any time. I am very thankful for our diverse interests and work areas because I am able to benefit from people's hard work and services. Thank you! I hope someday I can serve you in return! Please keep doing what you're doing. You bring my life joy. Srsly. Big hearts to you, Glen Coco.

2. People who are willing to let me pet their dogs.

Dogs are the greatest things on this entire planet. I'm not going to even try to convince you of this truth, because this is not the time, but I hope someday you realize how wonderful they are. These fuzzy little fur-balls of love and loyalty bring me so much joy, but unfortunately, at this time in my life, I cannot have one of my own. I have a personal rule, which is driven by a compulsion, that if I am passing someone with a dog, I will ask the owner if I can pet the beautiful wonderful creature they are walking. Most everyone says yes, and those people are glorious. There should be a national holiday for "Dog Owners Who Share Their Dogs" or something, because these men and women are warriors saving the days of people everyday. Bless you and your majestic canines. The animals, that is. Not your teeth... Although, those are probably pristine as well.

3. Funny things and funny people.

I love to laugh. I just love it so much. Sometimes, when people make me laugh, I feel so grateful for them making me laugh, I want to cry, which leads to a seriously confusing emotional state for my body to try to comprehend. Laughter is beautiful. Go find something that makes you laugh today, and then try the weird laughing, weepy thing. It's a mess, but still kind of fun.

4. Indoor plumbing.

Can we just slow clap it out for our wonderful pioneers of plumbing? When was the last time you were in a warm, running shower, and you thought to yourself, "gee, I just wish I could be using water I pumped (or gathered) myself to awkwardly wash my body. This is just too easy. Too hot." Or when you're on the toilet, consider, "man, this is terrible. I should be digging a hole in my yard right now. Who wants to poop inside like some kind of MONSTER?!" Well, if that is what you think, then, good for you and your efforts to conserve water and fertilize the earth, but for me, I just think indoor plumbing is neat. I probably would have chosen it over marriage before I met Peter. Come be my backup groom, shower pipes.

5. My snuggie(s).

Okay, this actually includes a deeper story. Or several. I adore my snuggies. I have two. I had previously mocked the snuggie, based alone on the infomercial which was made to sell it (#6, I am thankful for infomercials) and had never had a desire to own one, then one Christmas I received TWO and they changed my life. Seriously wonderful inventions. Big, fuzzy and with SLEEVES! Granted, the whole infomercial background which accompanies the snuggie, actually makes it an even better product...
 My red snuggie (the bigger of the two) has recently been titled the Feminism Snuggie, because it has brought equality to my marriage. Since we got married, Peter has always lost the blanket-war that rages while we're sleeping. I am a tuck-and-roller when it comes to dream time. I like to be enclosed in a warm cocoon of blanket safety, and do all it takes once I am asleep to assure I get said cocoon. From the start of our marriage I have worked hard to try and give Peter an equal share of the blankets. I will make the bed with only a tiny bit of the quilt over my end while he has almost a foot on his side. I will wake up in the middle of the night and try to return that which I have stolen from his poor body, but ultimately, I continue to rob him of warmth and comfort. Finally, however, I began bringing my snuggie to bed, and in doing so HAVE SAVED OUR MARRIAGE. Peter is covered and safe from monsters every night. Equality has been restored. And thus my gratitude for our feminism snuggie.  

There are dozen more things that I am grateful for, but for now my list ends. Honestly, because I am thankful for sleep, and right now it's calling for me.

Happy Thanksgiving, you beautiful people.

I am grateful for Skype and that my parents try to get Sasha to talk to me, even though she doesn't seem to notice I'm on the screen.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Trust issues

In 1996 I was 4. It was a pretty huge year for me. I moved to England, began my first year of school, made new friends, saw new places, and got my bedtime changed.
Previously, my bedtime had been a very strict 7:30pm. It was enforced by my older sister Sharah (who had clearly shown from an early age a great sort of defiance and bad behavior in order for her to receive such a terrible chore). However, as I was becoming a strong independent and grown 4 year old, my parents heeded to my prolonged, whiny pleas, and allowed me to stay up to a new and better bedtime of "half an hour to 8."
This new bedtime placated me for a good while, until I began to indignantly notice that I would be told, "bedtime! It's 7:30!" And then immediately after when I reminded them my bedtime had been changed, "uh, right, I mean, half an hour to 8! It's that. Now." You SNEAKY parents!

Consequently, from an early age, I was taught the value and success of manipulating young children, a talent which serves me well in my current employment. If this were a continued post about my marketability, you can guarantee it that "manipulating the blind" could be listed.

One large stumbling block for my client at work is his inability, or refusal, to eat regular food. Although he is nearing five, his parents still send baby food with him to school. Since I have begun working with him, his palate has expanded immensely, and he now eats chicken, fish, rice, fruit, bread, and other school lunch foods happily. However, this progress did not come immediately. I found early on that my client had a flat refusal to try any sort of new food, however, if that food found his way into his mouth, he would find that he liked it, and finish the dish. Such began the manipulation of a poor, defenseless blind boy. So many lunch times begin with my putting a new food behind a known food on a spoon, and offering the spoon handle to my client to hold, while my teacher looks on with fingers crossed. The spoon enters the mouth, we wait, he chews and pauses, we cringe, he continues to eat and motions for more. I get congratulated by the adults, and I wonder if this is some horrible form of betrayal. Sorry, buddy. We need you to eat!

Really, though, every form of relationship you have is some sort of manipulation. My sweet little puppy was easily manipulated from the beginning. The first trick we ever tried to teach her was a simple "sit." Sasha learned that if she were to sit upon command, she was immediately awarded with a delicious treat, and wonderful, kind praise. Unfortunately, she still hadn't learned to respond to any other sort of request. Therefore, my parents and I often found ourselves at the bottom of our townhouse's stairs, leash in hand, screaming for Sasha to come. At first we wondered if the poor puppy had some problems with her hearing, or if the house was just muffling our calls to her. Then father found a way.
One day as I stood in our foyer screaming for my puppy, dad came over and said, "watch this."
"Sasha!" He yelled up the stairs, just as I had done. Then, "Sashaaaaaaaa, sit!" We stood in silence for a moment before hearing a rapid "boom boom boom boom, click click click, thump thump thump" as Sasha jumped and ran from wherever she was hiding above us, skid down the stairs, and sat beautifully still right at my father's feet, tail wagging rapidly.

Of course, this is also, I think, how I have such a wonderful, serving husband. I have conditioned him into knowing that he will receive love, kisses, and praise when he feeds and loves me. I recommend you do likewise.

Moral of the story? Children, puppies, and husbands are essentially all the same.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Boasting about how cool you are is hard.

Good news in my life is that I have submitted my graduate school applications! I applied to three different schools, as did Peter. Applying to the three almost killed me, and applying to six put a huge strain in our finances, so the fact that some people apply to 10 or so programs makes me want to weep for their souls.

For me, the hardest part about the application process is having to pitch yourself to those all powerful and all knowing admissions gods. You are given a different set of requirements and page limit for each program, and within those requirements and pages, you need to universally show that you are the best candidate for the school. (For every school). Forget the people who have a perfect 4.0 for their entire undergraduate career, or those who won special awards for services to the school for closing the Chamber of Secrets, I AM THE BEST PERSON FOR YOU TO CHOOSE!

Maybe that would be super easy if I was confident that I WAS the best person for every grad program ever, but in writing these essays I found myself struggling to find things about myself that would be appealing to my potential mentors. Sure, I have talents and awards, but will those things be influential in assessing my application?

Thus, here for you, are the outtakes from my graduate school applications.

- Pursuing a PhD. is something which requires dedication and passion, two characteristics which I have displayed from a young age. By the time I was 12 years old, I had committed the first three Harry Potter novels, by author J.K. Rowling, to memory. Through study and dedication, I will come to know my course materials as well as Vernon Dursley knows mustache care and drills.

- As anyone who has experienced a stressful situation may tell you, pressure can feel like hot fire burning through your skull. Similarly, consuming 50 jalapeño peppers provides a comparable sensation. Luckily, as a seasoned jalapeño eating contest winner, I will offer your program the cool-headed expertise of a hot-tongued champion no matter how stressful times may become.

- In the animal kingdom, establishing dominance over those who seek to overthrow the peace of a tribe is crucial to survival. While I may appear small and of no threat, my belches are famous among my friends and enemies as being large and formidable, and may subdue a foe if met in a battle.

- It takes more than just thorough academia to make a successful therapist. In addition to studies, an extensive fluency in popular culture can assist to build effective rapport with clients. I myself have developed such a fluency, through hours of scrupulous internet browsing and Netflix watching marathons.

- I can text really fast.

- Thanks to new internet technology which allows Facebook likes to help save young orphans, or to banish child abuse forever, online popularity can provide incredible resources to a program. With this information, I also disclose that one of my Facebook statuses achieved 90 likes in only one day. So, I could be pretty valuable.

- Lectures are often long and important to sit through. My bladder capacity is incredible. I can hold urine for hours, and thus will not miss any important instruction time for bathroom breaks.

I could go on, but I won't.
Am I a fool for omitting all of these incredible talents?! Perhaps. Regardless, now all that is left to do is spend the next 5 months regretting my life until I can receive any rejection or acceptance which may be coming my way.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

You can tell I have never *actually* been tortured, because I complain a lot.

I think somewhere in the future many Getting-to-Know-You exercises will be outlawed, except in prisons for punishment, after scientists who study such things discover they lead to increased aggression and social ineptitude in those forced to participate.

There are some GTKY games where I leave the area or gathering feeling furthered in my journey through life. However, usually I experience forced and resentful social interaction because someone was holding brownies or other delicious refreshments hostage until I did so.

One of my least favourite of all such games is Two Truths and a Lie. You gather in a circle of strangers and tell everyone two truths about yourself coupled with one lie. Your new found fellow hostages (also only holding out for the promise of caloric joy) then need to guess which of these facts is a fabrication. The trouble with this game is no one really cares. Let me show you a simple example, pulled straight from the journals and documentations of College Life Anthropologists.

RA/Brownie Hostage Holder: Okaaaay! Stacie, it's YOUR turn! Tell us two truths, and one lie!

Stacie (victim of forced GTKY games): Okay, um. I have three siblings, I just graduated high school, and I love dogs.

RA/BHH: Great!! Who can guess the lie??

Other victim: *after prolonged silence* uh, oh, um. You don't love dogs?

Stacie: No. I have four siblings.

Other victims collectively: Ohhhhh.

Stacie: Yeah.


Why is this still a thing? I don't understand.

That being said, because I'm all abounding in logic, I am going to now play Two Truths and a Lie with ALL OF YOU! Yay!!! To find the lies, highlight the space next to "Answer:" with your cursor.

Round 1.

a) Peter is a male
b) I am a female
c) We attend a weekly support group for inter-height (specifically taller women) couples.

Answer: c) We instead bear our burden and shame alone

Round 2.

a) Peter has lived in Japan
b) I have lived in Russia
c) Peter is from outer space.

Answer: c) Peter is in fact from an INNER space. Specifically, his mother's uterus

Round 3.

a) My favourite animal is the dog, because the dog is the greatest of all the animals
b) Peter and I were married on the 3rd anniversary of our first kiss
c) I have a hair that grows on the left side of my nose named Earl and I murder (pluck) him about once a month.

Answer: c) The name of my nose hair is Carl. Earl lives in the middle of my wrist-mole and isn't plucked as frequently.

Bonus Round.

a) I love pizza
b) I love cheesecake
c) I regularly feast on the unborn.

Answer: c) I actually only eat eggs sometimes, not regularly. 

Did you win?? Tell me your scores in a comment and go eat brownies because you now have completed this GTKY orientation. Way to go, you beautiful space platypus. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Harry Potter: The Musical

In the summer of 2001 the world was a different place. America had not yet declared war on Iraq and terrorism, Dido, Shaggy, and Destiny's Child were collectively dominating the top 40, Warner Brothers Studios were in mid-production of the first Harry Potter film, I was 9 while my sister Sharah was 14, and together we were writing the beautiful, unpublished project entitled Harry Potter: The Musical.

Sharah and I kept our writings on lined paper in a two-ring binder. We used pre-existing songs from either Disney or our family's collection of hits from the '60s, in order to supplement pre-existing or plausible situations from the Harry Potter universe. It really was a work of genius. I do not still have the authentic papers, but I have the memories, and can only pray that the originals are protected somewhere in our parents' basement.

All these recreations have been done to the best of my ability and memory, and all ideas are the brain-rights of Melece & Sharah Meservy. A team so official I had to use an ampersand rather than the word 'and'.

Scene: The great hall. Ron and Harry are enthralled by the enchanted ceiling, floating candles, and hundreds of students. 

Harry: This, this is just, incredible.

Ron: I've never seen anything like it. It's like...

The two make eye contact before both breaking into song. 

H&R: A whole new world! A dazzling place I never knew! No one to tell us no,

Hermione clears her throat behind them.

H&R: Or where to go

Hermione clears her throat slightly louder behind them.

H&R: or say we're only dreaming.

Professor Mcgonagall appears suddenly to squash any dreams the boys may or may not have been having.

End Scene 

Scene: The dungeons. Dark and dusty. Severus Snape is stood at the front of a class of nervous looking first years, H,R&H among them. A fire is lit under a large cauldron which is bubbling ominously. Snape adds ingredients to the cauldron while mixing. 

Severus Snape: Fluxweed... knotgrass... lacewing flies, and skin of Boomslang are only the ingredients we need to complete this particular potion. Alone they are nothing to complete that which is needed in the subtle science and exact art of potion-making. To bewitch the mind and ensnare the senses we need... the magic words. 

Fog issues from beneath all the students' seats as music number appropriate lights flash. 

SS: Salagadoola mechicka boola bibbidi-bobbidi-boo
Put 'em together and what have you got

Snape sashays around the dungeon, robes swirling. 

SS: Salagadoola mechicka boola bibbidi-bobbidi-boo
It'll do magic believe it or not
Salagadoola means mechicka booleroo
But the thingmabob that does the job is
Salagadoola menchicka boola bibbidi-bobbidi-boo
Put 'em together and what have you got
bibbidi-bobbidi bibbidi-bobbidi bibbidi-bobbidi-boo

End scene. 

Scene: Ginny Weasley lays across her bed on her stomach, fondling a photograph of Harry while addressing Errol who sits crumpled on her pillow. 

Ginny: He's just so wonderful. I wish he loved me back, but he doesn't even know I exist. I would do anything to get him to notice me, (sings) but mama says,

In bursts Molly Weasley accompanied by bedazzled back-up dancers with beehive hair styles. 

Molly: You can't hurry love
No, you just have to wait
She said love don't come easy
It's a game of give and take

You can't hurry love
No, you just have to wait
You got to trust, give it time
No matter how long it takes

G: Muuuuuuum. Not agaiiiin.

End Scene. 

Scene: Harry and Dumbledore sit on a table in the empty classroom holding the Mirror of Erised. 

Dumbledore: The Mirror will be moved to a new home tomorrow, Harry, and I ask you not to go looking for it again. If you ever do run across it, you will now be prepared. It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live, remember that. Now, why don't you put that admirable cloak back on and get off to bed.

Harry: Professor Dumbledore. Can I ask you something?

D: Obviously, you've just done so. You may ask me one more thing, however.

H: What do you see when you look in the mirror?

D: I? I see myself almost exactly as I am, you see,

Dumbledore stands and begins to tap dance across floor. 

D: I got rhythm
I got music
I got my man
Who could ask for anything more?
I got daisies
In green pastures,
I got my man
Who could ask for anything more?

End Scene. 

These are the only scenes I can remember in detail. I faintly recall "How Much is that Broomstick in the Window" and a song featuring Moaning Myrtle. But, you'll have to ask my sister. 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

In the biblical sense

As a member of a scripture centered church, (well, Christ centered, but then also scripture... You underment what I stood), any sort of "Getting to Know You" survey that is sent around for whatever purpose in said church, almost always includes a blank space under the title "Favourite Scripture," for you to share.

Recently my best friend Allison and I were texting about just such a phenomenon and how little a scripture actually says about the person filling out the survey. Do the people reading the surveys look up the references? If/when they do do they then analyze the chosen scripture?

"Ah, yes, *this* person values Jesus the right amount," - all knowing survey distributor.

Or maybe, perhaps, there are well tested and developed algorithms in place to match a personality profile with the selection or preference of certain words or principals.

"Aha! This scripture says "thou" three times! We have found the perfect nursery leader!" - church leaders everywhere probably.

Usually, I assume, these references are accepted but ignored, maybe jotted down somewhere to look at during future times of trial. Rarely are they put to any sort of getting-to-know you use.

In discussing this, Allison and I decided to find the best possible verses to put as a favourite scriptures, to really help people get to know us. I hope they are inspiring and informative.
Because I assume all of you are as lazy as I am, I have written out all the verses. You are welcome.

Exodus 8:14
"And they gathered them together upon heaps: and the land stank."

Leviticus 11:30
"And the ferret, and the chameleon, and the lizard, and the snail, and the mole."

Leviticus 15:19
"And if a woman have an issue, and her issue in her flesh be blood, she shall be put apart seven days: and whosoever toucheth her shall be unclean until the even."

Leviticus 15:29
"And on the eighth day she shall take unto her two turtles, or two young pigeons, and bring them unto the priest, to the door of the tabernacle of the congregation."

Numbers 31:17
"Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him."

Lamentations 4:3
"Even the sea monsters draw out the breast, they give suck to their young ones: the daughter of my people is become cruel, like the ostriches in the wilderness."

As Christmas is fast approaching, as is the celebration of my birth, if anyone feels the urge to send me a gift, any of these scriptures cross-stitched onto a pillow, carved into a little block, or made into wall decals will be gladly accepted and presented proudly in our home.


Saturday, October 18, 2014

Ways my imaginary friend bullies me and ruins my life.

I have an imaginary friend known as Anxiety. Really, he is only imaginary in the fact that he has no body or physical presence, but he is pretty real in the incredible way he holds power in my life.
Every day Anxiety floats along besides me being the biggest and loudest dingleberry I have ever encountered. There are many instances in which Anxiety has made my life embarrassingly painful, but today I will outline just the one (with many sub-sections).

Graduate School Applications vs. Anxiety

Peter: Melly, we need to apply to graduate school.

Me: Yes. Yes we do.

Peter: You need to contact professors to write you letters of recommendation.

Me: Yes. Yes I do.

Peter: Will you do that please?

Me: Yes. Yes I will.

Anxiety: LOL JK WHO WILL YOU ASK? If you write someone, they will say no, and every time you see them ever you will need to physically hide under a table, because if you don't, and they see you, they will hate you and you will literally pee your pants.

Me: I will not literally pee my pants.

Anxiety: You might! When was the last time you peed your pants?!

Me: Not since I was, like, eight years old!

Anxiety: BZZZZ nope, that was the liar buzzer. You peed your pants earlier this year when you had a UTI because you hate peeing and hold it until you have the pee shivers. Fail! If you can't remember the last time you peed your pants, you probably can't get into graduate school.

Me: I can get into graduate school.

Anxiety: Okay, sure. Good luck with that.

Me: I think you should shut your face. You're not even real.

Peter: Please stop talking to your Anxiety, Melly

Anxiety: Shut up, Peter. You don't even know Melece. I know all of her pee secrets. What do you know? THAT'S WHAT I THOUGHT.

Later, I discussed my worries with my therapist. He told me we would conquer it together, and he would help me step by step through my applications, something that gave me incredible deja vu seeing as my therapist in high school had to help me through my university applications.

Dr: So, what will you have done by the next time we meet?

Me: I will have written to professors requesting letters of recommendation.

Dr: Excellent.

Anxiety: Well, that's too bad that you'll NEVER SEE HIM AGAIN.

Me: I'll see him next week.

Anxiety: Except not, because you cannot see him until you ask for letters of recommendation, but, unless you want to start wearing adult diapers, that's not going to happen.

Me: I'll do it, I will!

And that's the true story of how I stopped seeing my therapist.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

I'm sorry, but Kanye give it a rest?

At the 2009 VMAs a new pop cultural moment took place. Kanye West famously interrupted Taylor Swift during her acceptance of Best Female Video of 2009, and thus was born the social phenomenon "Imma Let You Finish" (or Kanyeing).

An Urban Dictionary entry of the custom explains it as such,
"What you say too look polite when you interrupt someone, put them down, and are not going to really let them finish.
Kanye West: Now Taylor, Im really happy for you, and imma let you finish, but Beyonce had one of the best videos of all time. One of the best videos of all time! (shrugs and walks away.)"
Obviously, this isn't a good thing to do, but there are certain times in my life where I find myself faced with the incredible urge to Kanye, and usually I do so, quietly to myself, in my head, or in a message to a friend so they can appreciate how important I am. I'm sure the suggestion that I do this at all has now revealed myself as a hideous person to all of you, but in an attempt to deter myself, I imagine gaining a characteristic of a (metaphorical) douche bag each time I choose to Kanye. So... that's something, right?

Times when it feels acceptable to Kanye

1. When someone tells me that their husband is the greatest. 

Me: Now, I'm really happy for you, and imma let you finish, but PETER IS THE GREATEST SPOUSE OF ALL TIME. Peace out -dons sunglasses even though it's night- 

2. When someone posts about selling Itworks, Mary Kay, Doterra oils on Facebook. 

Me: I'm really happy for you, and imma let you finish, but lemme just unfriend you real quick, cuz PUPPY POSTS ARE THE BEST FACEBOOK POSTS OF ALL TIME. *grillz magically appear on my teeth*

3. If I am told a certain new offspring is so talented and magical. 

Me: I'm really happy for you, and imma let you finish, but Jesus was the best baby of ALL TIME! (Polo collar pops) 

4. Any suggestion that a fiction book series is more worthwhile than Harry Potter.

Me: Yo, I'm so happy for you, and your limited IQ, but that boy wizard defeated the most powerful evil sorcerer of ALL TIME. -showers using only cologne-

It's hard to fight these things, but I try.

To make me feel like a better person, please comment with instances in which you think it's appropriate to Kanye. 

Friday, September 26, 2014

How my anxiety found me a perfect husband

When I was a 4 year old, someone told me that you needed to get married to get into heaven. This did not sit well with me, even though I was still 14 years away from being a legal adult. I faced, what I think in retrospect, was my first large bout of anxiety. My therapist tells me that the basis of anxiety is fixating on something that is beyond what we need to currently be concerning ourselves with. The fact that 4 year old me spent hours crying about the prospect of marrying and being a mommy sounds like a textbook case for such a thing.

My mom would hold me as a cried and promise me that I didn't have to get married and I didn't have to be a mom. Instead, I could stay at home forever, and be her little girl.

This apprehension towards marriage is something that stuck with me my entire life. While others around me seemed eager to bind themselves to someone else for the rest of forever, I couldn't think of anything except how utterly terrible that would be.
This meant that when Peter came into my life and I started to love him, I felt incredibly repulsed by myself and the thoughts that I began to have that indicated that marriage could be anything besides a horrendous mess. I was certain that he would leave to go on a mission, and I would recover from my temporary insanity and move on with my life.

Unfortunately, I found this was a more difficult thing to happen than I expected. One night I called my mother distraught over my situation, hoping for some solace. I tried to express to her how badly I was transitioning to Peter being gone. Before I could get very far in my explaining, Mommifer asked excitedly,

"Oh, are you still in love with Peter??"
"What? No..." I said, before quickly bursting into hot and hysterical tears.
"Oh, Melece, I know you're so sad right now, but I could just turn cartwheels! I worried and worried that I would have to watch my youngest daughter live without love!"

And thus my mother became Peter's #1 wingman.

Even though I was coming to accept the fact that I loved Peter, I could never go for very long without thinking about all the terrible aspects of marriage. In fact I would only have small lapses of reason in which I thought marriage could be sufferable, these moments overrode by a massive fear and distaste by the institution.

Fears I had towards marriage:

1. I would get sick of my husband.

This was a serious fear founded in the reality of my past experiences. I had never had a close friend who I spent time with on a regular basis for much longer than a year span or so. There were several people in my life who had always been present in the background, and who I had known for many years, but any close knit relationships I had sought in the past, both romantic and otherwise, usually burned bright and passionately for a season and then ended in awkward avoidances and "we should definitely hang out"s, which as everyone knows is almost legally a phrase that translates to, "I recognize that we at one point knew each other, and I want to be polite, but I have no intentions of ever spending time alone with you ever." The polite response being "yes, we really should," which in itself means, "I am glad you also acknowledge that we will never interact by choice ever again."

2. My husband would get sick of me.

These two items seem simplistic and repetitive, but they fully encompass a world of marital problems. I saw spouses bringing lunches for each other at work, and in my head I thought, "UGH, it's like you're legally obligated to feed someone other than yourself!" a problem that fits nicely under list item #1. Other times I would consider, "men only want you for your body," which caters to the second category, under the assumption that I will someday grow wrinkled, lined, and flabby, preferably not by next week.

All the ugly things that I knew could come from close companionship alarmed me; I worried that when Peter came home we would quickly find that a love letter affair is much easier to uphold than a close up and personal one. Thus, we had a long engagement. In that time we fought some of our biggest fights, which led us both to realize that we can handle the biggest of the fights.

There is a phrase I once heard that warns "you need to love a person at their ugliest before you can truly love them at their most perfect." I knew I was ready to become a wife when marriage no longer seemed heinous. I found someone who was able to be my exception to my rules, not someone I was willing to bend my rules for.

Someday (probably next week) I'll write you a post telling stories exclusively about how my mother helped me realize that I could (and should) marry Peter. She had so many wise words to comfort me during that odd 2-3 year courtship/friendship, and she loved Peter deeply before they even met. She once told friends that she didn't worry about me marrying someone who was a stranger to her, because, "Peter makes Melece happy, so I know he is worth while."

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Emojis, Peter, and me.

Today in church Peter started a conversation with me on my phone. Each new line represents us passing the phone.


Saturday, September 20, 2014

I was a normal child.

Marriage brings out a lot of secrets. You've bound your life to someone else's and, in spending so much time with this new human instalment, a lot of conversations happen.

If you're like me and you marry someone who you met as an adult, there is all of childhood and adolescence to discover and share. To me, this is a beneficial thing; although I share embarrassing facts of my past with him, Peter was never truly privy to personal crises I experienced as a youth.

For example, Peter did not witness the unfortunate year of my life which I spent as a Twihard (2007-2008, it was a dark time. I had just left my home town in England AND the Harry Potter series had ended. I think you can forgive me). Even though he now knows this terrible, dark secret, he can make fun of me based only on what I have told him, and thus what I myself am able to mock. I can confess that I printed off those really terrible Myspace style quotes all about Twilight, that I was involved in online groups where we tried to cast the Twilight movie (this was before such a thing existed), that I had not one, but two different Twilight hoodies that I wore regularly.

However,  if he was there witnessing it all, I don't know if our relationship would be able to exist.
Let's take a gander at the us in the parallel universe where Peter and I were friends as teens:

Peter: Heh heh heh heh. Remember when you used to compare everything in your life back to Twilight?

Melece: it was not that bad. I mean, yeah, I thought Edward was perfect, but-

P: I tried to ask you out, but you told me 'Real men SPARKLE,' and threw body glitter at me.

M:Yeah... that was... I thought I was funny. It was just a book.

P: No, I'm pretty sure you said that you would knew when you found "The One" when you woke up to find him standing watching you sleep.

M: I would never! I mean, well, maybe? I think I also experimented with hard drugs that year.

P: Yeah, okay. Whatever you say.

Thankfully, none of these things ever happened, and, thanks to extensive Facebook stalking on my part while Peter was in Japan, I know that he once harboured a crush on one of the Twilight characters, SO WE ALL HAVE FLAWS.

Still, thanks to my terrible habit of overindulging, Peter is often loaded with a plethora of blackmail worthy confessions from childhood.
One afternoon Peter was able to join me at my second job as a nanny to a 2 year old boy. The three of us were playing with Play-doh. As I loaded the classic Play-doh contraption where you push a lever and different shaped tubes of Doh comes out. This thing:

I think once you buy one jar of Play-doh, this materializes in one of your cupboards. 

The magical contraption loaded with fresh Doh, I pushed down on the handle and gleefully watched a star shaped strand emerge out of the bottom.

"You know," I tell Peter, "When I was little, I wished I had a giant version of the shape slide thing. You know this part?" I wave it at him, "That you put at the end." Peter looks at me inquisitively, but innocently, listening to my anecdote. I continue, "I wanted one I could attach to my bottom so that my poo would come out shaped." 

"What?" Peter chuckles almost breathlessly, like I have sat suddenly on his chest, "I don't- I, wow." He rubs both hands over his face.

"Oh," I say, now a little unsure of myself and this new confession which I had not thought would be two-handed-face-rubbing worthy, "Did you... not... ever want that?" 

"That is both the most amazing and disgusting thing I ever head in my life, Melly. I just, don't even know what emotion I should be feeling right now. Why did you want shaped poop?"   

"It seemed a worthwhile investment to me." 


For the rest of the time that we spent with the Doh, Peter would exclaim, "shaped poop!" to himself, as though he just had never heard of anything that revolutionary or strange in his whole life. 

I'm still waiting for his childhood revelation that will make me guffaw. Mostly, I'm just in awe of how cool he was. Did you know that my husband once made a suit, tie, and vest combo out of duct tape? I married so out of my childhood league it is inspiring. 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Secret life of beads

  • This week I was inducted into a secret society of individuals united in a cause of good. I would compare us to societies such as the Men in Black or the Order of the Phoenix, but even that is way too much information, and I don't want to have to kill any of you. 
  • Upon receiving my official invitation to join this crew of elite individuals, I was inducted into a group conversation. To quickly catch up on all items of business I had missed, I scrolled up to read all previous messages, and found a discussion of my worthiness to join the cause. 

  • MN: I like the idea of Melece. She's fun. And fair.

  • LA: Yeah I agree, I think she has a level head about things.

  • BR: She is very extreme on many topics, but level beaded.
  • Headed, lolz.

  • MN: She's intricately beaded.
  • It's nice.
  • I don't think she has a history of yelling at people.

LB: I second the Melece being intricately beaded 
  • MN: I messaged Melece and she hasn't gotten back to me yet. Soooo. But we may consider starting a new conversation since we talked about her up there and also I just said this so that's awkward if we add her. Hello. Just discussing whether you're crazy or not. Lalala
  • LB: Melece is a beautiful pillow. 
  • That should make it all good.

  • MP: The kind with beading around the edges that is uncomfortable to lay on but it is fine because it is so pretty and decorative.
  • Okay. We will just add her then. Melece, when you get in this group, know that we consider you in high regard. Also beads.
  • *MN added you.*

  • MN: Hello Melece. Awkwardness ensuing.
  •  You're an extreme, decorative pillow. I am an extreme snuggie. I like to think.

  • LB: Yayyyy Hi Melece!

I think everyone wonders what people say about them when they're not around, but I feel pretty confident with knowing that some people discuss whether I'm level beaded or not. 

I feel pretty, oh so pretty!