Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Adventures of an inter-height marriage

Once upon a time, before his mission, Peter was in Seattle and I was in Austria and we Skyped all the time. This was the first time that my parents really got to know about Peter and how close we were. One time I mentioned that I had made a short joke in teasing Peter, and my dad laughed saying,

"Well, he's still taller than you!"
"haha, no he isn't!" I responded.
"He's not?" my father asked, a little confused now.

At this point I continued on with whatever I had been doing or talking about, but about 20 minutes later, after being silent for that time, my father asked,
"So, he's shorter than you?"

This kind of conversation became very common place once Peter was on his mission and I would mention I was waiting for him to people who knew us.

"Peter? Peter?" they would ask, usually gesturing with their hand somewhere near their shoulder and parallel to the ground
"Yeah. Peter."
"Oh... uh..." they would respond, and almost invariably, "is he, um... shorter... than... you?"

This kind of statement would strike me as funny because of the way it was asked, almost as though they weren't sure if I knew Peter was shorter than me, and that perhaps enlightening me to the reality of the situation would somehow change everything I felt about him.


Meanwhile in Japan, Peter was having the same conversation with anyone he discussed me with. Well, whether I'm taller than him that is.

Not to belittle the turmoil or stress of homosexual youths coming out to those they love, sometimes, in introducing ourselves as a inter-height couple, I felt we had a similar amount of pressure and societal expectations to overcome. Especially in the way that people just didn't seem to know what to say about the situation when they first found out.
"I'm in love with a man. A short man."
"What? Really? Since when? How much shorter is he than you??" - said everyone ever.

I am 5"5' and Peter is 5"3'. This hasn't ever struck me as a bad thing; I fell in love with Peter as he was because he was my best friend and my life was so much better with him in it. I have no regrets in the world in regards to our relationship. However, I do have a plethora of really funny anecdotes.

This last Christmas we flew to stay with my parents. The airline had messed our seats so we weren't sitting together, so Peter charmed the gate attendant to change our tickets to the only open ones on the plane - an exit row. As we loaded into our seats a steward was waiting across from us.
"Uh..." he stammers, watching us, "I just need to check, but, uh, are you two over 15?"

Later that same trip Peter, my sister Sharah and I went to a trampoline house. You have to sign a waiver in order to jump, and you have to be over 18 to jump without a chaperone. While Sharah and I signed up no problem, Peter was approached by a worker and IDed.
"I'M AN ADULT!" he later vented to me. Sure you are, my sweet.

I'd like to believe that people think that we both look incredibly youthful, but the reality is, it's just Peter. On Mother's day Peter found me nine precious puppies to play with. The seven year old boy who lived in the house with the puppies came out and talked to us while we played. He was particularly interested in working out who we are and what our relationship was.
"Do you live with your parents?" he asked us.
"No, we live just us together." Peter said,
"Is she your sister?"
Turning to me he asked, "are you his mom?"
"No, I'm his wife."
"His wife?" He repeated, looking very perplexed and demanding from Peter, "But, how old are you? You're too little to be married!"

Oh, great, kid, but I'm big enough to be his MOTHER?!

One Saturday Peter came back from doing the laundry walking like a dejected Charlie Brown.
"A little kid just asked me if I was a kid or an adult," he told me, as I tried not to laugh, "I said I was an adult, and he told me he had a friend his age who could pick me up."

While the struggle is real, and people (including our sister in law) like to ask us how we kiss, ("like, do you have to stand on your tip-toes??" "No, Peter has a special step stool.") I love and adore my husband more than anything else in the world and he is my perfect man. Plus, it means hiding presents or food I don't want to share is super easy (the cupboards over the fridge are far too high for him to reach). Those fruit snacks are all MINE, Perter, and you KNOW IT.

I vow to always take the high road.
Get it? Heuheuheuhe

Monday, May 26, 2014

Sometimes I'm really good at adulting.

There are many things that my childhood prepared me for in my adult life. I learned important skills and awareness of crucial situations that would someday appear in an attempt to foil me. Some of these things have been useful to me, but some have still failed to be relevant in my 22 years.

Trusting as I am of pop culture and children's television, these are situations I expect to emerge any day now:

1. Catching on fire.
Granted, fire is a scary thing, and definitely something to be prepared for, but "Stop, drop, and roll" was something that suggested to me at an early age that I would be combusting into flames on a regular basis. So far, I have had no need to drop and roll unless I'm hiding from someone and need to become a ninja instantly.

2. Going over a waterfall. 
Now that I'm writing this list I feel like a complete goose, because I'm sure that there's some people who have gone over a waterfall (AND caught on fire) and almost died in doing so, but cartoons suggested to me that I was always at danger of going over a life-threatening waterfall anytime that I stepped near water. I almost feel stripped of a rite of passage in that I have never panicked over an impending waterfall. I even live in Hawaii!

3. Detonating an explosive and dealing with dynamite.
In cartoons, everyone has dynamite. It's a fact. Through watching TV I learned many things that explosives could be used for and how to best put them out. Hint: Is is not effective to fan the light out, but it is effective to put under water. Well... sometimes. Also, if it's a bomb, cut the blue wire!

4. Strangers with delicious candy and/or razor blade candy. 
No stranger ever offered me candy, and I felt like an ugly child because of it. Every halloween I looked for razor blades and other surprises, but none ever showed.

There's also the tripping on banana peels, being knocked out cold for several minutes at a time, and crafting an emergency parachute midair to consider.
I also realized today that I have never fallen into my toilet. This wasn't something that childhood necessarily prepared me for, but something many adults warned me would be a large stumbling block in marriage. So far, no issues. I guess my eyes still work.

Something I wasn't prepared for in entering this married part of my life is how much panic the thought of pregnancy can stir in the heart of a young woman unready for motherhood. In retrospect, this shouldn't have been a surprise; I practised abstinence until Peter and I were married, yet every late period, unexpected craving, or swollen stomach would plant the thought


in my head. Even though there was literally no possible way for me to have contracted a baby, I would panic and stress that maybe I had, before remembering, "oh hey, that's not how babies are made!" Honestly, though, when you're a Christian you are taught that no one is safe from babies. If God wants you to have one, you will. *cough* babyJesus *cough.*

For now I'll just hope that it's God's will that I catch fire or meet a stranger with delicious candy, because I got those situations all sorts of covered. 

Sunday, May 25, 2014

My husband is dangerously close to mysteriously dying

A struggle of living in a feminist marriage is that I have no power or authority over my husband that he doesn't have over me. This means constant war, and Peter and I take our battles seriously.

For the past month TVA has been warning us about upcoming cleaning checks. They were finally supposed to happen yesterday between 7 and 11 am. I have many criticisms of this school, and the decision to do cleaning checks in married housing on a Saturday morning between 7 and 11 am is just about the dumbest thing I've ever heard.

Peter left to take a practise LSAT around 7am, and returned around 11:40. Meanwhile, I slept peacefully with the whole bed to myself until he returned. This was fantastic, but it meant that if any cleaning check happened, it was while I was unconscious and drooling. Still, we didn't see any indication that anyone had come in to assess our level of slobbery (can I use that as a noun?)
At first we tidied the apartment to make sure that if our RAs arrived on Hawaiian Standard Time, we would be prepared, but still no one came, so we had a wrestling match instead and messed up the apartment in the meantime.

Around 1:15pm, Peter left the apartment to go to the temple, and I went to the bathroom with the intent of taking a shower afterwards. Here I am, sitting pretty on the toilet, sans clothing, when I hear five fast and loud thumps on our front door. There is no way that I am going to answer the door, in fact, there's no way I CAN open the door, but this doesn't matter to my visitor, as moments later I head the key card click and the door open.
"Oh, heeeeeeeyyyy no" I think to myself, "They are hours late and they think they can just come into my home??"
Assuming the intruder is unaware of my presence, I quickly flush the toilet and turn on the shower, figuring the only way I can maintain dignity is to take my shower and wait for them to leave. The whole time I wash, I spew an angry inner monologue about the fail we are sure to receive on our cleaning check because SOME PEOPLE can't come when they SAY they'll come, simultaneously afraid that when I do leave in my towel, I will awkwardly be faced with a stranger waiting in my apartment.

When I do leave the bathroom minutes later it is to find Peter at his computer chuckling.
"Was that you??" I demand.
"Mmmmaybe" he responds with a smirk.
"I thought you were the RA!" I yell.
"Oh, I know," he tells me still smirking.


In the middle of the night last night I awoke to Peter laughing in his sleep. I chuckle and nuzzle closer to him, tying to make sure I can hear anything he says so I can mock tell him in the morning. He continues to giggle, then suddenly whips his body and arm around to roll on his side, fist making strong and painful contact with my nose as he does so. At the time, Peter awoke and said, "sorry sorry sorry!" before falling asleep again as I went to get ice for my face, but now he says he has no recollection of such a thing. Uh huh, sure you don't. I'm on to you, you night giggle-puncher.

This morning as I got pretty for church with a sore face and a grumpy disposition, I found that Peter had been possessed by the spirit of Speedy Gonzales with a exhibitionist fetish. This means that while I sat on the couch immersed in my makeup bag, Peter was running around the apartment giggling and lifting up his shirt to flash me his chest at random intervals, laughing, singing, and dancing when I would look up to see. We are mature adults in a mature adult relationship.

So maybe these aren't great example of our war battles, but they're funny stories, and I'm still butthurt about Peter's RA knocking to scare me, so the Speedy joke could be taken as a short crack too.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Sniff sniff, nuzzle nuzzle, lick lick.

Recently, there have been a lot of births in our building. Actually, there have been no births in the building; I checked the TVA handbook and home births aren't allowed, but, as it happens, when there are births in hospitals, babies return home with the parents, thus there are a lot of babies in our building. A lot of screaming babies in our building.

Somewhere in my DNA as a woman, I'm pretty sure I'm supposed to have a "babies are so great and I want to squeeze them out of my uterus and into the world" strand, but somewhere that strand got destroyed and replaced with something else. This something else is my love of dogs. 

As shocking as this may seem to some infant enthusiasts, I am of the personal belief that dogs are just better to have around than babies. For example, if you Google the term, "dog saves baby" you will find dozens, if not hundreds, of reports of dogs acting heroically to save their humans' spawn. If you Google the term, "baby saves dog" you will find no results, which really goes to show which the superior investment for a pet is.  

New babies drool and poop and scream and don't ever sleep. Puppies, on the other hand, sleep ALL the time, are poop and pee trained within months, and are desperate to please you, thus will not cry once you yell at them often enough not to. You also get the amazing plus of a puppy wanting to serve you as alpha pretty much immediately, while a baby thinks it is alpha until it's like 20 years old. Source: I was a baby, and had a terrible alpha complex for years. If a puppy cries, and it really bugs you, you can put a muzzle on them! If a baby cries and it really bugs your neighbours who dislike children you, you can't muzzle them without having to pay for therapy, which is ridiculously expensive. 

Recently, I've been finding my anxiety spiking ridiculous amounts. As it turns out, being an adult is a lot of work, and a lot of times it feels that all the work you've been putting in is being paid back in results at 50%. This is hard enough as it is, without the addition of my severe pining for my dog, and resentment for all my neighbours with babies, because somehow I feel their spawn is more destructive to the area than a dog. 

Postpartum depression is a serious condition. Depression is a condition which can be treated by puppies! Fix all the problems in the world! Legalize dogs in apartments! 

Okay, this is a dumb blog post. Blame my puppy pining.  

Thursday, May 22, 2014

My coming out story.

There are many people who I hold dear in my life that classify themselves as "Nerds."

Before beginning this post, I want to clarify exactly what these friends of mine love or do which causes them to associate themselves within the nerd category.

For the purpose of this discussion, nerds are those with a deep and intricate knowledge and love of any of the following either in combination or alone:

Comic Books (both Marvel and DC universes)
Dungeons and Dragons style role play games
Dr. Who (this is pretty recent, no one seems to watch the original Drs. that I watched on VHS in my home growing up)
Lord of the Rings (usually the Tolkien universe in general)
Pokémon (or is this also Anime?)
Sherlock Holmes (also recent)
Star Trek    
Star Wars
Video games

None of these things have ever been something I have enjoyed or sought out on my own (with the exception of Dr. Who when I was little). However, I seem to have a pretty extensive amount of information on each of these topics, due to the fact that I only seem to find friends who are usually themselves immersed in these cultures.

When I was a Freshman at BYU-Hawaii, a large portion of the group of friends I associated with was into a role play game called Realms of Glory. Many weekends they would gather and play tournaments for hours in the GCB. I had never been exposed to such a game, but luckily for me, many of the same friends hadn't either, so I always had someone to play with when these tournaments were happening.
Years later, most of those friends had left for missions for our church, or had transferred schools. However, I was still really good friends with the ring leader of the role playing group. In fact, we were coworkers, and a bunch of our other coworkers had gotten interested in role playing. We would meet for several hours on Saturdays to play. Well, I did like twice, because I really wanted to be included, but the activity held no interest for me at all, so eventually I stopped coming. Still! I know a LOT about role playing now.

Most of my large group social interactions throughout my life seem to function in such a way; I will try a bit of whatever nerdom my peers are passing around, indulge enough to know the way around it, and then excuse myself when I fail to find it appealing.
However, because these people are precious to me, I find myself defending their honour and ways.

Last Sunday Peter and I had our friends Dan, Sarah, Trevor, and Melinda over for dinner and games. We played the game "Celebrity" which is honestly one of my favourite party games ever. Educate yourself and thank me later.
One of the celebrities in question was Spock, a Vulcan from the Star Trek universe who famously salutes such. Throughout the game, Trevor and Melinda would Vulcan salute with their thumbs in, which is, in fact, an error. After doing it incorrectly several times, and having us all shout corrections, Trevor salutes, thumb in, only to have his wife yell,
"No! Don't do it like that!"
"Why?" he asks, confused.
"I don't know! But they all get very upset when we do!"

I do that all the time; I get involved defending a universe that I personally know nothing about, but have somehow picked up knowledge of through association.

Peter loves the DC world, and in looking for things to make our home more homey, I got very excited to see that someone was selling a Justice League rug, and tried to buy it for Peter. I have NEVER read a Comic Book in my life. I don't even particularly enjoy superhero movies, but I desperately wanted this rug, because I knew my husband would want it. I get excited over other people's nerdom, while quietly understanding something about myself: I simply don't care, and probably never will.

Somehow I feel like an A-Sexual person making sexual comments and joking about the topic even though privately holding the secret that I have no desire to mate.

Maybe my nerdom is nerds; I am attracted to those people who enjoy these things and want to be around them, even though I can't say anything about the topic being discussed, or do anything other than regurgitate shallow information I have heard from them previously.

So here I am, coming out to all of you, many of whom are probably super shocked by this: I don't enjoy Anime, Comic Books (both Marvel and DC universes), Dungeons and Dragons style role play games, Dr. Who, Lord of the Rings, Pokémon, Sherlock Holmes, Star Trek, Star Wars, or Video games. However, I like YOU. So, don't stop talking to me about these things, I totally wish I was interested, and I will fight valiantly to like it so that you'll still interact with me, but in my own time don't be surprised when you find me watching My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding or any other truly offensive TLC show.

I hope you all can still love me. Even after this lame blog post.

P.S. To those of you who keep trying to claim that Harry Potter is a nerd thing. Shut your beautiful face. Harry Potter is a human thing. Everyone reads and loves Harry Potter. Those who haven't, just haven't YET. It's a natural occurring thing, and is quintessential to the age we live in. Stop trying to act like you're superior because you enjoy Harry Potter. You probably enjoy pizza and ice-cream just like every other sane person on the planet.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

A compilation of true name situations that still make me cringe.

I have been blessed and/or cursed to have a unique name. Melece ranks absolutely nowhere on the Social Security Name Database, and is pretty much unheard of. My nickname "Melly" is usually just as unknown, and often takes a couple of attempts, and spellings to get people to understand exactly what I'm telling them they can call me. Here I have taken the time to write up 20 true life uncomfortable name related situations which have happened to me.


1. Introducing myself to a new person, who still hears/says my name wrong after five attempts.

2. Accepting that this is my new name, but only to this one person, so it's totally an acceptable thing no one will know about.

3. Being introduced to five other people by this first person all by said new name.

4. Adjusting to life as "Melody" "Molly" "Emily" "Elise" etc., and responding appropriately when called as such.

5. Having someone who I know appear in this group of new-name friends.

6. Hoping silently that no one will address me for the rest of whatever time is going to be spent in this group.

7. Cringing as someone new uses the name they know me by.

8. Begging silently with my eyes to the person who I actually know to take this new name with no comment and roll with it.

9. Dying on the inside as the so called "friend" throws me under the name bus, asking the others why they are calling me by that name, because my name is Melece.

10. Continuing to die as everyone demands to know why I didn't correct them when they were using the wrong name.

11. Attempting to laugh off the situation in a "hah! Gotcha!" kind of way, while everyone in this new/old friend circle is staring me and questioning whether I have always been this socially inept.

12. Finding that the original forced laugh I just faked cannot be stopped, and is rapidly becoming shrill and horrifying, with just a hint of villainous.

13. Searching for some quick exit from the situation, which is now people who used to feel comfortable interacting with me trying to begin a new conversation among themselves while shooting furtive glances as I continue to laugh like an axe murderer.

14. State, "well, this is awkward," making the situation 20 times more awkward than it just had been.

15. Pretending to receive a call on my phone, and answer it.

16. Whispering to the group, "yeah, I gotta take this," while gesturing to the phone, which is, in fact, upside down on my face.

17. Turning to walk away rapidly while praying no one is watching me.

18. Realizing I need to continue to fake this phone conversation, but have no idea what to say.

19. Awkwardly stating, "kay, bye" even though no conversation has taken place.

20. Returning home ashamed of another uncomfortable human- interaction.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Who needs autotune when you have autoimmune?

As already discussed, my drive to work is long and boring. I like to listen to music on my commute and regret all of the things I've ever done wrong sing.

An honest fact about me is that I don't sing anywhere other than in my car or in the shower. I don't enjoy singing around other people, probably because singing for no reason was always very discouraged in my home growing up.
"Who sings that song? Yeah, let's let them sing it." and "We don't have food for the band" (when my singing was at the dinner table) were famous family catch-phrases, and now years later, I find myself having the same attitude towards people who sing spontaneously now.
I love to sing along to my jams in the car, though. That's my time to shine and no one can stop me. My voice is decent enough; it's nothing anyone will ever pay to hear, but hopefully nothing anyone will ever kill themselves or others after hearing either.

Of course, thanks to this current sickness, my speaking voice is reminiscent of an 80 year old chain-smoker who just happens to also be going through puberty. This morning I hop into my car, start on my way to work, and turn my songs on loud. As the first song plays, I open my mouth and heart to join in and am horrified and hysterical to hear the noise exiting my body.

I find myself completely unable to create noise for some notes, five pitches off for others, and croaking and squeaking for all the others intermittently, and while this is somewhat frustrating, it's also one of the best things I've ever heard, because if there's anything that makes me giggle hard it's disaster.

In fact, I find my new singing voice so funny, that when the time comes for my drive home, I set up my camera and film the hour long journey home of me jamming out to every song that came on. It was terrible, but amazing.

I get home so excited to listen to this fantastic new sound I have discovered to find the video completely without sound. Wut. The. Heck. All other videos on my phone play with sound fine, but my hour long journey in musical travesty is in complete silence.

I honestly don't know what's more upsetting: that my voice is a disaster movie in all it's hilarity, or that my phone detested it so much that it refused to record any of it.


Sunday, May 18, 2014

You need an invitation to party at my house. If you don't have one, I'll probably blog about it angrily later.

My sickness is increasing seemingly in direct negative correlation with the volume and strength of my voice. Today I stayed home from church to rest and recuperate before work starts up again tomorrow and in doing so I realize something: none of these flies fear me.

After I tried and failed to kill any flies with my semi-nude screaming, and after Peter had composed himself and decided to help, he took to murdering the pests with his belt. We took turns hitting them and smooshing them, and tag teaming our hits, and it really seemed all sorts of effective. Here's a photo I took of Peter in action:

This morning as we were having breakfast, he noted that we seemed to have squelched the problem, cause there were no more flies. YAY! 

What has happened?? I was a fearsome beast capable of striking fear into the hearts of bugs, and now I am being bullied by flies. This is uncool. It seems that my help in killing the bugs was actually incredibly limited, and they are in fact only afraid of my mighty, belt wielding husband. 

Here's a picture I took of me unhappy in bed: 

This information that flies don't fear my wrath is upsetting, but for more reasons than you might think. 

It seems the longer we are married, the more I realize that I am NOT a strong, independent woman who don't need a man (I tried to write "no" man, but the existence of a double negative on my blog, even if ironically, was too painful to permit.) I'm all about feminism, and in fact I'm 100% sure that on a later date I will write a "Feminism Guide for Dummies: Misandrists and Misogynists Need Not Apply" because I'm so constantly amazed at how many people tell me, "Well, I'm not a feminist or anything." Really? You're not? I think you may be. Do you think men and women aren't equal? I'm sincerely interested. 

Okay, hang on. Need to work out my original point again. 

Right, I'm all about feminism. Since getting married, though, I find myself foiled by things such as stubborn jar lids. 

"I. Can. Do. It." I strain, pulling on a lid. "I. Can. Do. It." chanting determinedly while a vein bursts somewhere in my skull 
"Need help?" Peter offers, 
"I. Can. Do. It." I continue to insist, until I eventually give myself a friction burn on my hand, have an aneurism, or crap my pants, whatever happens first. 

Dozens of jars that Peter has opened for me and now these dumb flies attest to me I can't survive on my own, and in fact this marriage is one of necessity, not just romance. 

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Cockroches, murder, and flies, oh my!

I'm a big girl. I mean, relatively I'm actually pretty small, but I am grown up. I can also be pretty tough. Even though I often huddle in my bed and cry over social interactions, be they real or hypothetical, I am mighty against bugs.

When I lived in the Outback/Aloha house (our landlords changed the name at one point), my roommates called me The Cockroach Slayer. We would get beastly cockroaches in that house, and no matter how many times we bug bombed, or how well we cleaned, there were always plenty around. However, there was no need to fear if I was nearby. I would hear screams from the other room and run to the rescue, slaying that sucker so hard that all of its ancestors would cry and applaud simultaneously. I don't fear cockroaches, because my hatred for them overpowers any possible fear feelings.

One time, I came home from play rehearsal to an empty house. It was a Monday night and all my roommates were at Family Home Evening at our church. As I took my hair down in the mirror, I saw a cockroach the size of Texas wandering on the ceiling behind me above my roommate's bed. Now, I'm not entirely sure why I gain an accent when I slay, but like all good villains, I do monologue to my prey as I come for them. So, as I grab a shoe, I began to speak to this monstrosity,
"You theeenk you can come eento mai house, Meester Roach?"
and *WACK* I smack him. However, being a cockroach, and thus incredibly difficult to kill, it is not a kill shot, and he falls to the bed. My roommate's bed. What first started as a simple assassination, has now led to an angered cockroach in my roommate's bed, which I am pretty sure she won't appreciate. I continue to hit him, and he continues to live, and eventually escapes behind the mattress and the wall to hide. At this point, I'm enraged; I shove the mattress off the frame in order to finish my murder, and find that I can't find the roach anywhere. I continue my search, by monologuing death threats while yanking boxes and suitcases out from under the bed to find the bug.
"Yoo can rrrun, but yoo caaannot haide, aI weel find yoo, and then aI weel keel yoo." I yell while crawling under the bed.
"Uh, Melly?"
Slowly I back out from under the bed to find two of my roommates and a boy from our ward stood in the doorway to our now destroyed room.
"What are you doing?"
"Oh, hi, guys!" I say, sitting in a mess of boxes, sheets, a mattress, and papers, "there was a cockroach."
Eventually I DID kill the thing. The Cockroach Slayer leaves no survivors. Oh, and I cleaned up the room again. I'm a good roommate.

Two years later and in a new home, Peter and I have found our apartment infested with flies. We are remarkably clean people, and thanks to this influx of flies, have been scouring every surface trying to destroy any source, thus are now even cleaner than before, but STILL THE FLIES REMAIN. Last night specifically, the dozens of buzzing monsters were driving me insane. In the past when faced with flies, I have used rags to whip them dead, but none of the rags in our apartment were the right size for whipping. After trying and failing over and over, while getting more and more frustrated, I ripped off my shirt, screaming profanities and continuing to flail all my limbs in an attempt to connect to anything in a death hit. As I was already sans-pants when this situation begun, I was now an underwear clad, screaming, crazy woman, thirsty for fly blood, and Peter was in hysterics to the end of tears on our couch watching me.
We still haven't solved the problem, but we've put in a work order for new screens, hoping that trapping all entrances into our home will do something good.

Bugs. I loathe thee. 

Friday, May 16, 2014

Strife with Husband and Wife

There are a remarkable number of things that I do that absolutely infuriate my husband.

If you're reading this blog, I'm assuming you're aware of my distinct lack of maternal instincts. I'm sure that someday Peter and I will have children, but that day is far in the future. The idea of getting pregnant honestly gets me into ugly-cry hysterics, the most recent of episodes happened just yesterday while my husband stroked my hair and wiped my tears and told me I wasn't pregnant, and I will continue to not be pregnant until the time comes when we're ready for spawn.
That being said, the concept of names is so interesting to me. When you become a parent you have this overwhelming amount of power to give the child its identity! Therefore, I am CONSTANTLY looking up baby names. I had one girls name that I absolutely loved picked out for about 3 years, but it has been gaining popularity which only makes it my obsession and life mission to find a replacement favourite name.
"But you don't even WANT kids!" Peter will yell at me in a fit of exasperation after I have asked his opinion on another dozen possible names.
"I KNOW." I scream back, "YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND."
And, to be fair, he really doesn't, because I don't honestly understand it. It's just a thing.

Another aggravating thing for Peter is when I'll ask his opinion and do just the opposite of what he suggests. Last Sunday we were at a church potluck,
"Do I want more chilli?" I asked him, "or straight for dessert?" While this was a simple enough question, that I really truly wanted my husband's input on, as I asked, my eyes travelled to the dessert table where I locked eyes on the most beautiful cheesecake I have ever seen. This cheesecake was flawless, and it needed to be mine, there was no way that I could risk someone eating it while I was working on chilli and rice.
Faintly registering in the back of my mind that Peter had responded, "you want chilli first" to my inquiry, I firmly stated, "I need cheesecake" and headed off to cut myself a slice.
When I returned to the table, Peter demanded,
"Why do you even ask my opinion if you're just going to do what you want anyway?" and went on to have a conversation with the rest of the table about when their spouse does this to them, because apparently it's a common thing for all marriages to suffer under, while I ate my new found love.
Honestly, I can understand his frustration, but, Pagglecakes, it's CHEESECAKE.

This morning Peter realized that I had tried to end our marriage once and for-all when I was attempting to tidy our apartment.
I have been home sick from work since yesterday by the wonderful silver lining of my job which is: when your client gets you sick, he needs to stay home and you're not needed, so you both get to suffer from whatever plague you are sharing, but at least you're resting while you do so.
This morning I woke at 2am with a chainsaw hack of a cough and so moved to the living room to try and avoid waking Peter (hashtag: I'm such a good wife). When 5am hit and I was still awake I gave it up for a bad job and busied myself tidying the side of my bed where some envelopes and papers lay. I found a return-to-sender wedding announcement we had sent to a friend, my new car insurance cards, my pay stub, and something from the Honolulu department of health. I tossed the announcement, replaced my insurance cards, checked and filed my pay stub, and looked over the Honolulu letter. My brain told me, this isn't important, we're married now, because, honestly, the paper looked completely useless to me, so I tossed it in the trash.
Hours later, after Peter had woken and we had breakfast and snuggled and showered and all that fun stuff, he reached for the trash to take it out on his way to campus (how helpful is my husband?)
"Melly!" he yells at me. I look up to see him holding the paper that I had taken care of (with out even being asked, mind you).
"What?" I ask
"It didn't look... important?" I offer, while simultaneously laughing at the fact that I had attempted to dispose of the legal document proving we're husband and wife.
"There's something for you to write on Facebook," he mutters while he ties up the bag, "better yet, blog about how you threw away our marriage certificate."

So here I am, blogging about how my husband adores me. :) He really does. We're so totally happy. Minus the fact that I am obsessed with finding the perfect name, I never take his advice, and I tried to file for divorce today using our trashcan.


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Caution: May Contain Condom Water.

*WARNING* this post contains language and behaviour that may be too immature for some readers. Do not replicate at home, or, if you do, don't blame me when your kitchen is soaked in condom water.

The night before Peter and I got hitched I was temporarily homeless; I had just moved out of my shared apartment and therefore got to spend the night with my parents and sister who were visiting for the wedding. We ate dinner, toasted to the bride a mixed array of fancy-type glasses filled with fancy-type juice, and tried to finish a Ted's Bakery pie, but failed miserably.

Somewhere in that series of events my parents decided to talk to me a little about sex. I know and understand the facts of life, of course, and have for quite some time. However, in my faith we believe that sex is a precious gift of God and thus should be saved until marriage to bring the most joy and happiness to husband and wife. As such, I knew a lot more about the mechanisms of sex than the reality, and my parents wanted to prepare me for what was ahead.
Being a mature, responsible, and almost married adult I took their advice and wisdom, and then began to realize how little I knew about condoms, which is actually kind of funny, seeing as my parents didn't mention condoms at all.

When my curiosity and wondering could no longer my suppressed, I went to my luggage and opened the box of condoms Peter had purchased earlier that week. The next logical step, after poking and prodding at it, was to blow the condom up to see how large I could make it. My sister, who was wilfully helping me with this investigation of science, and I blew it up until it reached about the size of a human head - a lightbulb shaped, squishy, human head.

As we experimented, my father, who had so cheerfully been discussing such a sacred and wonderful topic as sex with his grown up and adult daughter a mere hour before, wandered past our room and asked, "are you blowing up a condom?" Never before have I heard such a strong pleading sub-context ("WHY are you blowing up a condom like you are 12 year old boys??") from such a simple question.
 It was at this point that I recalled that someone once told me that soldiers keep condoms in their packs as emergency water bottles because the latter can hold gallons of water. With this fun fact at our fingertips we went to the kitchen with our latex balloon and began filling it up with water to see how far it would fill.

I think we got to about 2 gallons before I decided that I wanted to actually play with the water condom, rather than just fill it up. Although this particular breed of condom was not lubricated, I found that it was still incredibly difficult to hold, and thus laid it on the floor to roll it back and forth and watch it jiggle. The more I explored, the more hilarity I found in the situation, and when my sister returned from a trip to the bathroom, she found me poking at my condom balloon and giggling heartily. Not wanting to hog all the fun, I hopped up and offered the toy to her (by pointing, picking it up out of the sink had proved difficult enough) and went to go retrieve my phone to take a picture. When I returned I found Sharah gingerly attempting to pick up the condom. I had just enough time to open the camera on my phone and yell "Wooooaaaahhh" (picture it in slow motion), before the condom had fallen from Sharah's arms, and exploded on the floor, smattering every inch of the kitchen in warm condom water.

My parents who were in their bedroom at the time, just adjacent to the kitchen, didn't move at all from where they sat/laid, but about 3 minutes after the initial burst and our shrieks, my father turned down the podcast they were listening to and said, "please clean up whatever mess you have made," before resuming the volume once more.

So that's how I came to send my sleeping fiancé this text at 1:30am the morning of our wedding:

"Fun fact: you can fill a condom up with about a gallon of water; when you do it's like a water snake and is super hard to hold. Also, if you drop it, it will explode and soak your kitchen. Just FYI"

Monday, May 12, 2014

I love all the children, because none of them came out of me.

I get pretty anxious around small children. "That can't be true!" You may be saying right now, chuckling to yourself, "you silly goose! You work in elementary schools. I bet you're quite the Maria Von Trapp, singing melodies and enchanting children like mice."
First of all, I must thank you, I dream to sing like Julie Andrews as well as be British and elegant as she, so your compliment is not lost on me, but you are, in fact, terribly misled. Children and I mix dismally.
Their tiny feet and sticky fingers are adorable to look at from far away and/or through strong sound proof glass, but up close and personal I get all sorts of anxious that I'm going to break their teeth or seriously scar their lil' bodies.
For church each Sunday Peter and I sit next to our BFFs Dan and Sarah who sit next to a couple with a year and a half old toddler. Every sacrament meeting this little girl wanders down the row interacting with all the adults in turn. Yesterday, it being Mother's Day and all, I decided I was going to have a solid interaction with this girl. The week before my attempt had been a feeble pat on the back as she passed. I accidentally tapped her harder than I expected and she wobbled a bit, but no casualties thus far. So, today I was ready. As she meandered down the row, she stopped to play with Sarah, then Dan, then surpassed me and Peter entirely to babble at the couple to our left. After she had waved and smiled at them nicely, I caught her attention by poking her lightly. In response she waddled over, grabbed the hem of my skirt, and lifted it up to look at my underwear. I swiftly pressed my skirt down into my lap to try and save some modesty, but she determinedly pulled and squatted lower on the floor to find a better viewpoint. All in all, another successful interaction with a child.
Children and underwear seem to be a running theme for scenarios in my life. This morning at work, while I sat on my Fisher-Price chair in the boy's bathroom, I heard I familiar voice say, "Hi!" and feel a tap on my back. As I turn to say, "Hello, Lucas," I'm met with my smiling friend standing with his little boy underwear up, but his pants down around his ankles. I wonder if we have an exhibitionist in the making.
Along with an exhibitionist we have quite the up and coming actor. My client, who I affectionally call Pinocchio due to the boneless way he seems to move his body, took a nap today. This is actually a pretty rare occurrence, but an exciting one. However, as most people are, he was grumpy when it came time for his nap to be over, and even more grumpy to start his after-nap sensory activity. This afternoon's activity was finger painting a paper bag that will, over the course of this week, turn into an octopus. The colour selected for him was red. I can't tell you how uncomfortable it is to try to encourage a screaming blind child to finger paint in red. While this task is normally an easy one, and one we do frequently, today he was crying like I had impaled him and doing anything he could to make sure that paint ended up everywhere but on his paper.

Thick, red liquid smeared and dripping across a crying, pathetic looking blind child, and a frustrated adult doesn't look so good, and I'm pretty sure the janitor we encountered in the bathroom afterwards was close to calling 911 over an assault case and/or attempted murder. Of course, it probably didn't help that my way of explaining the situation was, "he didn't want to do the sensory activity today."

I am grateful for all you mothers in the world. However, I am also truly grateful that I have not joined your ranks yet.   

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Driving Monologues

My daily commute time to work is an hour each way. The drive is long, but it is also incredibly uneventful. I realized the other day, that, although Wahiawa Elementary is 31 miles away from our home here in Laie, I could accurately give directions to my school by saying, "get onto Kam Highway, and drive straight. Turn left at the 7 Eleven, and the school will be on your left." Obviously, a lot has passed between our apartment and that 7 Eleven, but as long as you stay on Kam, you'll never get lost.

This incredibly boring and long commute has meant that I have spent hours and hours pondering over and analysing every relationship I have ever had with any friend, relative, or acquaintance I have ever known. With all honesty, if I have you in my friends list on Facebook, I can guarantee I have spent a good amount of travel time thinking about you.

This may sound like a truly heartfelt, sentimental, and romantic daily ritual, but I assure you it is not. I instead have rapid succession of numerous panic attacks while I consider every offensive and awkward part of our interaction.

At first I attempted to use music to distract myself from such awkward mental interactions, but that seemed to only heighten the experience, as music has such a strong connection with memory recall and storage.

Thus, I find myself rapidly shuffling through my iPod in an attempt to find anything that doesn't have a memory attached to it. Funny thing is, these memories don't have to be BAD to be an unpleasant trigger. Take my most recent example.

The song: Brighter Than the Sun by Colbie Caillat.

Inner monologue: man, I love this song. I used to run to it all the time. I was such a good runner. Hey, remember that one time that I ran with my friend and it was great, and she told me that she had seen Mr. Sexy-pants on campus recently? Remember how Mr. Sexy-pants was totally not into you, but you stalked him incessantly and tried to guilt you into interacting with him? OH MY GOSH, MELECE YOU'RE THE BIGGEST LOSER IN EXISTENCE! I bet Mr. Sexy-pants still thinks about how creepy you are. He probably has to go to therapy over you, his scary stalker who tried to get him to be interested in her. You are the reason someone is in therapy right now. You should probably contact him and apologize for putting him in therapy. I bet if you called him, though, he'd know you're still obsessed with him! How are you still obsessed with him, Melece? Woah now, I am NOT obsessed with anyone, especially not Mr. Sexy-pants! Really? Then why are you thinking about him. Right. Now?!

Oh how I hate driving, and that stupid little voice in my head.  

Friday, May 9, 2014

Stop running and let me seduce you, dang it!

I've always heard people say that marriage changes you. Having been thoroughly married for a month now, and thus an expert in all things pertaining to the subject, I can attest that this is true. At least, it has some strange power over your vocal chords and intonations.

Peter and I have always had a fondness for goofiness, but somehow vowing to be together forever caused us to throw all seriousness out the window, especially when addressing one another.

"Who's a good girl??" and "Who do I love?" all in dog-speak appropriate tones are something I hear multiple times each day, and, of course, being the tax-paying, money earning, college graduate that I am, I invariably respond, "Is it me???" in my best puppy voice right back.

Puppy voices aside, we have also grown fond of every form of alternate voice, dialect, or accent that we can muster, even though I have no recollection of ever deciding to add such things to our daily lives. On one occasion I can even recall telling Peter genuinely, "We need to stop using weird voices" while using a Russian accent. Peter only laughed. I suppose I am even harder to take serious as a Russian than I am as an American.

Sure it's fine if couples are weird with one another, however, sometimes Peter and I fail to remember that people are around and don't usually address each other in strange accents or Dogese (a variant of Motherese that is much more cool cuz it's for dogs and as we all know dogs>babies), which is a possible reason why people don't seem to come hang out with us much anymore.

Beyond voices, the name calling excels post-marital commitment. I've never been all that fond of the name "Babe" and therefore, Peter and I had never addressed each other as such. In fact, anytime I use the term "Babe" in endearment form, I am forcibly reminded of The Office episode in which Jim and Pam attend Michael and Jan's for a dinner party and the latter two spend the night fighting while saying "Babe" every other word. However, come to our honeymoon, Peter and I are saying "Babe" like it's the only name we've ever known each other by. Peter's use far surpasses my own, and I've found that there's a level to each stage of Babeosity: Peter's use prior to marriage: 0%, post marriage 50%, post marriage and with company present 90%.

Yet, in this story, Peter is shockingly not the one guilty of "pushing boundaries"...

In the glorious days of our engagement, I discovered I could produce a voice that was so off putting to Peter that he claimed it made certain parts of his body migrate to places that they are not supposed to be (heh look at me talking all fancy about testicles, you probably didn't even know that's what I was talking about). One night this week, I happened to stumble upon this voice again, causing Peter to make very unhappy noises and retreat away from me. Being the determined wife I am, I decided in that moment that I could conquer the world and persuade anyone of anything if I could woo my husband using the most off-putting voice I had.

So, that's how I came to be running around our small studio apartment in my underwear, armed with a Nerf gun, chasing my husband while calling, "Peeeeeeeettteeeeer" with my anti-sex voice, (which, for those interested, is an airy, whimpering, simper that includes chuckles every so often. It's fabulous. Trust me). For some reason unbeknownst to me, shooting Peter with foam and rubber bullets didn't seem to be helping my case, nor did me pulling out a nearby lightsaber, and I soon lost him. This was surprising to me, because, although my husband is small, there's a limited amount of places that a 5'3 body can be stashed in our apartment. Ultimately, while I stood, crouched and ready for attack atop our bed, my husband was curled beneath it hiding from the monster he had vowed to take and love forever.

Come on, Babe. Eez not dat baaaad, let me lav yoo.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Lucas, lover of butts.

I work in the Special Education section of an Elementary school.
Other schools I have worked in have terrible Sped departments, but this one is delightful. The staff are more than qualified, there's enough staff, and an abounding amount of resources for every child.

In a classroom that I do not work in there is a little boy with Downs Syndrome. His name is not Lucas, but I am going to call him Lucas.

Lucas is adorable. Seriously, the cutest little boy I have ever seen. All the kids in the school wear name tags and even if they didn't, I've seen Lucas around campus so many times that I know him pretty well. One day in passing he stopped in the hallway and said hello to me.

"Hello, Lucas!" I responded cheerfully.
Lucas stops in his tracks, staring at me, "You know my name." it isn't a question.
"What's your name?"
"Miss. Melly."

At this point the adult accompanying him in the hall reminds Lucas he has somewhere to be. Although he continues along on his journey, he keeps his eyes set on me as he walks past, somewhat like a very confused, but determined vulture.

Since this initial interaction, my meetings with Lucas have become more frequent and flavourful.

My client has a specific cubicle he uses in the bathroom. Partly this is due to the fact that my client is blind and we're working on routine and familiarity with surroundings. It has a little cubby which we keep spare clothes in as he's working on being potty trained. I sit on a Fisher Price sized chair at the door of the stall while he works on deciding whether or not he wants to go into the toilet, or just hold on long enough to get as far from the toilet as possible to mess his pants and then fuss as I try to change him. Now that we were friends, Lucas has made it a point to visit me at this chair anytime he enters the bathroom himself.

"Hello." he'll say, invariably, staring at me and my client.
"Hi, Lucas."
"Is he using the toilet?" he asks, pointing at my client on the toilet.
"Yup. Do you need to use the toilet?"
"No." At this point usually an adult calls into the bathroom to remind Lucas that he does indeed need to use the toilet and that he better hurry up and do it.

One day as I guided my client to his stall, I was surprised to find Lucas squatted on the toilet.

"Hi." he greets us.
"Oh, hi, Lucas" I say, surprised, because as far as I'm aware no other child uses this specific toilet, as it has been set aside for my client. This is not a difficult situation, however. I grab the cubby, and continue on to another stall.

That's when the sermon began.

Some of you may say that a four-year-old boy with Downs Syndrome giving a Born-Again Christian sermon from the toilet is an everyday occurrence, and if that's the case, I'm truly glad for you, because this was my first time hearing such a thing, and it was fantastic. Lucas, in his sweet little mildly lisped voice praised Jesus and harkened the world of sinners to repentance. I listened while trying to keep from chuckling, because I'm sure that would be considered unprofessional. According to my teacher, sermons and hymns are a pretty regular happening anytime sweet little Pastor Lucas has a BM. I almost want to feed him laxatives to hear more, but I'm sure that one is considered even more unprofessional than chuckling to some people. Some people, clearly, need to reconsider their priorities.

Today Lucas decided that our relationship had developed further and it was time for me to receive hugs. Specifically, butt hugs. To be fair, my butt is the highest part of my body that he can reach, however, why he wanted to attempt the hugs from behind, I'm not entirely sure. Regardless of my flawed logic, however, I was blessed to receive three butt hugs today, much to the amusement of my teacher who liked to say, "ooooh, better tell your husband!" after each one.

Just as I suspected, Peter had very little to say about a four year old getting frisky with my butt. For shame, I need to get a more actively jealous husband.

Lovers 1 & 2

This five letter word is my life.
We first fell into our love affair when I was 16. While I had always been pretty indifferent about this nightly ritual, suddenly, something happened inside me which made me understand how fantastically beautiful sleep is. Since then I have never turned my back on it.

Another beloved five letter word of my life.
We first fell into our love affair when I was 19. This spunky little man with a golden Jew-boy afro who was constantly rapping and/or dancing was always indifferent towards me, but I thought he was adorable. Four years after meeting each other, we are now married.

Two lovers of mine. Close to my heart. Close to my soul. Who knew that one would murder the other so brutally?

Okay, I'm totally lying, sleep isn't dead, it's just been stolen from me.
I always considered that sharing my bed with someone else - my main hook-up spot with sleep - had the potential to scare the latter away, but people told me I was crazy.

Okay, so it's still partly me.

Let me back up.

While Peter and I were dating, he had already known me for two and a half years, and so he knew that I would climb mountains, or more realistically, refuse to climb anything besides my bed in order to sleep. Most Friday nights I was in bed by 10pm and every weeknight by 9:30 or earlier. Peter, on the other hand, never got to bed at a decent hour, no matter how much I urged him to.
Flash forward to our honeymoon and Peter is asleep EVERY NIGHT BY 8PM. In a cruel twist of irony, the lovers who I had been two-timing for 8 months had now fallen into each others arms, leaving me alone. However, the time I have been spending awake in our bed each night has enlightened me to fun observations about my little husband while he embraces my lover sleep.

1. While everyone twitches as their body falls asleep, my husband thrashes violently. If I am holding his hand, he will karate chop it away, while other times he will rapidly kick the bed with full force. Once or twice, I have been close to sleep when a dosing Peter will gasp in air as if he has been drowning and I spend the next fifteen minutes trying to ask him if he is okay, but of course

2. When Peter is sleeping, he will not be awoken. There have been many times when, as a bored wife, I poke, prod, tickle, and call to my bedmate, but to no avail. That being said,

3. A sleeping Peter is a delicate Peter. Any bump or graze is at risk to whimpers and "owwwwwwwww"s while he clings to whatever body part I have offended and curls away from me like an injured puppy. YET STILL NOT WAKING UP TO PLAY WITH ME.

This sleep thing is a struggle, but is slowly improving; I haven't spent a night on the couch or the floor in over a week! HOW EXCITING IS MY LIFE?