Saturday, June 28, 2014

How-To's n' Stuff.

Last night Peter was criticizing me trying to hurt my feelings help me be a better blogger.

"Yeah, our conversations are hilarious, but in order to broaden your reading pool you need to do something to appeal to more people. How-to's are big in the blogging world. Start there."

This morning I was considering what How-To things there are right now in the blogging loop. One thing I have been seeing a lot recently is "My Beauty Regime"

"That would be easy!" I thought for a moment, "I could totally do that!" But then I remembered,
"Wait. I can do that because I don't HAVE a beauty regime. If I made a How-to-Replicate-My-Beauty-Regime post, everyone would read to know what NEVER to do."

Then these pictures happened.

You're welcome.

The end. 

Friday, June 27, 2014

Death and the DMV

Yesterday Peter and I took a trip to the DMV. It was unpleasant and inefficient as most trips to the DMV are, but we still had a good enough time because we were together. In fact, we had a conversation about our future funerals and dead bodies which was entertaining to the people next to us. I know, because they all made no effort to hide their laughter.

It begun when I commented that the Organ Donor posters that they have at the DMV are so forward. "Check the box. It's the right thing to do" is their slogan, and while I do agree with them, it still feels slightly alarming that someone is telling me so self-righteously (while I'm standing in line in Purgatory) that I should allow people to harvest my organs ASAP once I'm dead. Cool.

Me: I am torn between wanting to donate my organs, and wanting to donate my body to science. Do I save a couple people immediately? Or potentially save lots and lots of people in the long run?

Peter: That is a tricky situation.

Me: I'll probably just donate all the good stuff to people now, then donate my brain and bones and skin and what have you to science. You can keep my hair, though.

From here we discussed what our parents' wills say about their last wishes, which was interesting, because every one of the four has a different plan.

Me: Do you want to be buried? Or cremated?

Peter: Well, I think cremation is a lot cheaper...

Guy in line behind us: It is, by like, a couple thousand.

Me: Oh wow. But then, if you're cremated, there's no where for people to visit after you're dead.

Peter: I'll be dead. I won't care if they visit or not.

Me: But, they can't, you know, weep over your grave if you're cremated.

Peter: Let them weep in their own homes, it's much more comfortable for everyone.

Me: That's gracious of you.

Peter: Yeah, I don't care where people weep, just so long as they ARE weeping.

Me: I respect that. What do you want done with your ashes? Urns creep me out, I think I'd want to be scattered some where pretty. Then people can visit my scatter-place and possibly get me in their lungs. My last revenge.

Peter: Getting your ashes scattered is so cliché.

Me: It's not cliché! How is it cliché?? It's beautiful! It's like, I'm becoming one with the earth!

Peter: It is SO cliché.

Me: That is so rude! When I die I'm putting it in my will that my ashes are to be scattered as far away from my husband as possible because HE DOESN'T APPRECIATE MY DEATH WISHES.

Peter: I'll just have my ashes divided and put in like five different urns around the world so that you'll never avoid me no matter where you're scattered.

Me: What?! That's crazy talk! If I want to be scattered away from you I should be able to!

Peter: Nope. You will always be in scattering distance from my dead ashes.

Me: Gross. Then I'll have my ashes buried under the sea! Hah. There. Ooh, or you know what? Better yet, I'll have a Viking funeral! Send my body off in a burning boat into a lake. That's not cliché. I'd have the coolest funeral of anyone!

Peter: Okay, would you like me to fire a burning arrow into your body from the shore?

Me: Honestly, I'm imagining you as 80 years old with shaky hands, and you've never really used a bow and arrow, so definitely not. You'd probably kill one of the people at the funeral instead.

Peter: Wow. Thanks. I actually have used a bow and arrow.

Me: You can do a flaming Nerf gun bullet!

Peter: I'm imagining that backfiring big time. I'm trying to load up the bullet, and it just destroys the gun making it explode in my face.

Me: Hehehehehehehe

Peter: Glad my death-by-Nerf-gun at your funeral amuses you. Well, if you're going to have a Viking funeral, I think I'll have an Egyptian funeral. You have to build me a-

Me: I am NOT building you a pyramid. If cemetery plots are out of our budget I DEFINITELY think pyramids are as well.

Peter: You could just dig a cave into the side of a mountain. I'd settle for that.

Me: You know that if you're having an Egyptian funeral, that would mean that if I'm still alive-

Peter: You'd have to be buried with me. Exactly. heh heh heh

Me: You are sick. I refuse. You can have a full sized Melece doll instead. Plus, if you have a pyramid you run the risk of being grave robbed.

Peter: *rolling his eyes aggressively* that's why you have GUARDS hired to protect my burial site. Gosh.

Me: and I'M too cliché.

At this point the line moved forward and we moved on to other exciting conversation. Right now Peter is sitting next to me, (I needed to have him clarify that our conversation was accurate). He wants you all to know that when we first entered the line, we placed bets on what time it would be when we reached the front of it and he was right exactly to the minute. It really was pretty exciting.


Not pictured: Peter in flames on the shore with the remains of a Nerf-gun.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

The origins of a household psychopath

This past Sunday, Peter and I were lounging on our mattress (which we had moved into the living room area for a fun weekend adventure) doing very little. I was feeling bored and desperate for my husband's attention that he seemed very unwilling to offer me. As I lounged, I rolled and sang a song, which I can't remember now, but probably was just the words, "play with me, play with me" sung over and over to a classic children's song tune. Evidently, this strategic play which never worked on my siblings in the past, is still one that I cling to, because I am a creature of learning.
Turning from the show on his laptop Peter surveyed me calmly, clearly unmoved by plight.

"Chip?" he offers, holding out the bowl he has been snacking from. Excited by this friendly interaction from my loving husband, I agree, and reach my hand up to partake of the snack. From where I am sitting I can't see what is in the bowl, but I grope blindly with the faith and trust I have in my kind husband motivating me, only to learn that he has no qualms against calmly watching me dip my hand into queso.

"What the crap??" I scream, "What was that? You just watched me reach for dip!"
"Yes," he responds, still devoid of emotion and empathy, turning back to his show, "yes, I did."

Another dirty rotten trick of Peter has been to frequently hide the toothpaste from me. Seeing as he tries to spend a lot of time on my mouth, you'd think that he'd want me to know where the mouth-hygiene products are at every moment, yet each morning and every night I seem to be searching, dry toothbrush in mouth, for this elusive little tube.
Finally, yesterday morning I confronted him about it.

"Why do you always insist on hiding the toothpaste from me??" I demand.
"What are you talking about? It's always right here, on the shelf!" he says, picking up the tube from HIS shelf of personal toiletries.
"Just last night it was hidden under something on the kitchen table!" I yell, wandering into the bedroom to find clothes for the day.
"Oh. I'm sorry," he calls after me.
"Eez okay," I soften, "I know you don't mean to hide eet."
"No," he says, poking his head into the bedroom, "I'm sorry you found it. I'll do better next time."
*Melece issues angry animal noise while shaking fist* "Peeeeettterrrrrr!!!"

Last night, thanks to Peter's internship as an Assistant Campaign Manager to a local politician, (yes, he's political, so really these signs of psychopathology should be unshocking to me), we were treated to a wonderful dinner at Waimea Valley at the "Hawaiian Republican Party Party." Wahoo! Free food for me! A sneaky Democrat behind "enemy lines"!! (heeehee, I'm teasing, there is no enemy... EXCEPT SARAH PALIN (again, I'm joking), heehee) It was a fantastic evening, and I had so much fun feeling fancy and loving my husband, and eating FREE food. Then we returned home and begun our evening duties to prepare for bed.

I open the cabinet above the sink to retrieve my toothbrush and find both Peter's toothbrush and the toothpaste gone.
"Peeetttteeerrrrrr" I call, coming out from the bathroom to find him giggling with toothbrush in mouth and toothpaste in hand, waiting for me.
"Give. Me. The toothpaste," I say firmly.
"No!" he yells, before taking off for the couch where he jumps up on to the arm and holds the toothpaste up against the ceiling. "You can't reach it!!!"
"YOU THINK GUM DISEASE IS A GAME, GREGORY?!" I scream, climbing on the couch, only to have him jump off and begin to run around the apartment.

My husband is faster than me, smaller than me, and better at hiding than me, so within a couple minutes I'm tired and confused to how I cannot find him in an apartment that is essentially only one room. Then he emerges, smiling but sans toothpaste.
"I hid it!" he tells me proudly, continuing to brush his teeth.

At this point, I am tired and I am rapidly realizing that I will never win. Throwing what small remnants of dignity I had away, I advance on Peter.
"I don't have it!" he says, laughing, yet still backing up against the wall in fear, "you have to find it!"
"No. I don't." I say, and in one quick movement I yank the toothbrush out of his mouth and place it in my own.

Suddenly, this game isn't funny to Peter anymore, but disgusting, and he follows me saying, "no! Wait! It's right here, I'll show you! Just give me my toothbrush back!"
"I will give you this toothbrush when I have the toothpaste in my hand," I say, but not very distinctly, because, you know, I'm brushing my teeth with his toothbrush and all.

The moral of the story, Peter may be trying to be a psychopath, but I have very little fear of germs and grossness. Next time he offers me a bowl of queso, I'm smearing it on his face.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Oh, dating.

There is a deep dark time that most everyone encounters in their life: dating time. Granted, there are some incredible fun times that come when you're dating, but there is also a lot of dark murky crap that all of us have to wade in to try and cement some great and worthwhile relationships.  

When I was engaged, I felt as though I had outsmarted the dating world by pairing off with someone indefinitely. Never again would I have to worry about when or what to text, what to say, how I looked (oh, poor Peter, the effort I put into my personal appearance exponentially decreased lightning quick once we started dating. I should work on that), if my smile looked flirtatious or mildly threatening, holding in my farts... All the really stressful things that gives everyone stomach ulcers and headaches. Truly, I was right, and for a glorious eight months I had alluded dating. Then we got married and I learned a new fact: DATING NEVER ENDS. 

I'm sure for some people it genuinely does, but for Peter and me, it is still going on. Luckily, this time we know we're always going to be heading home with the person we love after every date. So there's that, but I digress. 

So, let's first discuss the ritualistic doings of dating culture. 

Step one: You find someone who you are attracted to. That attraction can be for their physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, financial, fertile, pet-owning-al, comedical... state, whatever you want. This attraction is super exciting! There is someone who you like and want to be around! Then suddenly emerges the first and most common dating dilemma: do they want to be around YOU? Sometimes you get lucky, and they do want to be around you all the time, and eventually want to kiss your mouth aggressively and possibly sign a legal document saying that they will continue to aggressively kiss your mouth and your mouth solely for the rest of their lives. However, even in cases where they do want to be around you, sometimes they just don't know it straight away. 
Herein many find the tango and sadistic game of dating communication. 

I have recently had a few friends turn to me for dating advice, surely thinking, "ah, here we find the all powerful and wise Married Woman in her natural and knowing habitat. Let us have her reveal all things unto us." Sadly, I have to disappoint them, because often I have no good advice to give. 
If you think about it, no one will ever be a fully successful dating expert. The people who have 100% of successful relationships aren't actually that useful to turn to, because they have, statistically speaking, only ever had ONE successful relationship (we're discounting polygamists here). Everyone has had a relationship end, many people have had a relationship go terribly, and most everyone has been rejected, those who haven't, clearly are way too privileged to matter at this point. So, does that mean it is better to receive advice from someone who has had a dozen break ups? Clearly that person must be terrible at relationships! They have had twelve relationships end. There simply is no winning. 
I can always tell anyone who wants advice what worked for me, but what worked for me was to refuse to be his girlfriend yet simultaneously depending on him for everything, get really over emotional and unreasonably angered when he leaves for two years, write him obsessively while he's gone, then get engaged immediately when you're reunited like there is no time to waste EVER AGAIN. Definitely something that doesn't sound even close to being a winning formula, but yet here I am with a ring on my finger and legal "Bet I Can Love You Longer" document signed. GUESS I'M A DATING GENIUS, GUYS. 

My original point that I was attempting to get at was how stressful it can be to communicate with someone who you're ridiculously attracted to, while simultaneously not being sure how they feel towards you at all. You don't know where their head is, so you don't know how they are going to respond to your advances. Will they find your banter endearing? Or worthy of getting a restraining order? The sad fact of life is that with the same exact behaviour and words you can simultaneously repulse one person while seducing the other. It all depends on how they feel towards you, which is ultimately completely out of your control. Whether you find someone's advances creepy, or romantic depends solely on how attractive you think they are.  

So here I am, married, thinking, "I have vanquished that foe Dating once and for all! Never again will I stare at my phone screen feeling like I may vomit and have violent diarrhoea repeatedly if that certain someone doesn't respond to my flirtation ASAP." The sad truth of the matter is the dating continues after marriage. Now Peter and I have become one person seeking after another couple to do fun things with. He definitely doesn't freak out over the possibility of rejection like I do, but we do have that same "getting to know you" awkward first dates and encounters just like the good ole' single days. We also have discussions of, 

"Do you want to text them?" 
"No. You text them, they never respond to me. They like you better."
"They like us both the same. I'll text them. What should I say?" 
"I dunno...." *suggests a text* "No wait!!! That's a terrible idea! Stop. Delete! Delete!" 
"I sent it." 
"Calm down." 
"We'll never have friends." 
"Not if you keep acting psychotic we won't." 

Ah, romance. Do you like how I left out names so that some can believe I am the rational calm one in our relationship for once? 
It's also a lot harder to date as a couple, because you have to account for both of your preferences, as well as the like-ability of both husband and wife of the couple you want to double date. There's all sorts of losing combinations (you like her, not him, he likes him not her; you don't like either, he likes both; you like both he likes one, and so forth) with only one winning combination (*DING DING DING* COUPLE SOULMATES 5EVER!!)  

So here's to a future of double dating. I'm lucky to have a husband who I like aggressively kissing on the mouth, so even if we never find another couple to play with us all the time, playing just us two is still pretty fantastic.

Now for your viewing pleasure: modern dating. If you're feeling sad, remember: this isn't you! 

Oh, online dating, you bring me such joy even without having to try it myself. 

Sunday, June 22, 2014

The Rich List

In being newly weds in Hawaii, one of which is a student, and one of us working a full-time job, there are a lot of things that you budget. Peter and I are blessed to be living so well thanks to generous parents, family, friends, scholarships, and grants, but we definitely live modestly and go without wherever we can.

Even before we were married, Peter and I enjoyed planning our dream home for when we are fabulously wealthy. On one recent night as I lay in bed, I found myself fantasising about some things that I would love to indulge in once we can afford it, and it wasn't anything that I had considered previously:

"We are going to have the BEST health insurance," I thought. "I'm going to go in and get a physical that addresses EVERYTHING, just because I CAN." I constructed this beautiful fantasy of a life with no fear of medical bills, a life that so few Americans know but yet still seem determined to stay away from (but that's a whole different issue). It was blissful.

Peter doesn't much care for our "Rich List" game, thinking that it focuses on all that we do not have currently. For me, the game makes me all the more comfortable in living within our means; I am able to easily justify saving any extra money that comes our way for our future, because our future is looking exciting.

Here is the latest written draft of the Rich List:

  • Super cool shower - high powered, lots of settings, radio, lights, large removable shower-head, endless supply of hot water.   
  • Big bed with nice mattress and frame, (some people say "but you'll be so far from each other!" Eh, we cuddle enough during day light hours. BRING ON THE CALIFORNIA KING). 
  • Fantastic health insurance  
  • Ear looky tool, nose looky tool, and stethoscope (I really enjoy cleaning and looking in ears and noses. I am so blessed to have a husband who both accepts and panders to my crazy) 
  • Neat kitchen knives (for Peter. I don't cook at all.) 
  • Fancy fridge 
  • TV! - large, easily connected to Netflix and computer, DVD player, no cable. 
  • Fun game systems for group activities - rock band, just dance, DDR, all those cool things. 
  • Hot tub and pool
  • Large bathtub for bubble baths 
  • ***A PUPPY!*** 
  • Soda on tap/bar 
  • Sauna 
  • Garbage disposal 
  • Dishwasher, toaster, kettle (those last two really aren't that hard to get, we're just reluctant to buy things that we don't have room for). 
  • Drum set 4 Peetah 
  • Treehouse 
  • Fireplace 
  • Big, fancy fish tank 
  • Deck/porch 
  • Hybrid car with awesome gas milage or electric car. 
  • Air conditioning 
  • Fast internet that allows us to Skype people without losing the call!! 

Every day I like to think of more entries to this fun, extravagant life. The bigger the better! It doesn't matter so much if we ever have it all, I just find it ridiculously fun to plan it (additional entries include a pet sloth, jet packs, a slip n' slide, a giant, adult sized ball pit/tube town like at Chuck-e-Cheese's). Plus, these days anything that helps me fall asleep is my friend. 

Saturday, June 21, 2014

My deep, dark confession.

A great deal of the happiness of my everyday life comes from my deep rooted belief that everyone has the same sense of humour that I have.

My Freshman year of University I spent a lot of weekends alone in my dorm room with nothing to do. I used that time by journalling my angst and watching Hulu while I ate junk food. On one such Friday afternoon I decided to try watching a show which had long episodes and five already uploaded. The Bachelor. I first began to watch due to boredom and curiosity, but I continued to watch out of slow creeping horror. I found the show so addictingly offensive that I even took the time to post a blog about it:

"This television show was thought up by a deranged BYU student, I swear. to. high. heaven. Premise of show: make an engagement happen by the end of season - uniting two wonderfully in love people in marriage and happiness. How?: by taking an eligible bachelor and 30 beautiful and successful bachelorettes and putting them together in a show ... and let him take two girls on one-on-one dates and 5-15 girls on a group date then kick out the 3 he likes the least per episode. At the end of the season he will propose to the girl he likes the best.
Can you not even understand how many things are wrong with this show? First, you're assuming that all of these girls are compatible with this ONE guy and want desperately to spend the rest of their life with him. What if you met him day one and thought "gross... I really don't want to marry him..."? Then! You've got the issue of the fact that all of these girls believe they have a "special connection" with said bachelor and hoping desperately that he chooses them, getting insanely jealous when they have to watch him snuggling and flirting with 29 other girls meaning that cat fights a-glory are taking place. It's just gross. Don't even."

The points that 19 year old me makes are completely valid, and in fact are the foundation of the reason that I love the show today. What I once simply did not grasp was that the base of all great satire is to create a hyperbole of real and occurring elements of the society it wishes to mock. To me, I find the same fantastic hyperboles of amusement in shows like the Bachelor. You came on public TV to find "true love"? Awesome. You classify yourself as a "Free Spirit"? Nice. You think you have a true "connection" with this man who you have now spent 1 hour with while being surrounded by 100s of crew members? Neat. Let me grab my popcorn and joyfully laugh because I have not made these same life choices, but hundreds of people have, and have done so purely for my enjoyment.

I once had a roommate who understood this love of mine and allowed me to rant to her excitedly every Wednesday morning after I had watched the spectacular show "Bachelor Pad." It became our personal motto anytime life seemed to be taking a sour turn that "no matter what, at least we're not on the Bachelor Pad. We have made good choices." Man, I should get that written in calligraphy and paint on my home wall someday... I would inspire the crap out of anyone who comes to visit.

Truly, this all probably makes me a terrible person; I am finding intense joy over the misfortunes and bad decisions of others. Before you condemn me, however, let me redirect you to my very first point: "A great deal of the happiness of my everyday life comes from my deep rooted belief that everyone has the same sense of humour that I have." Surely these people are amused by their own unfolding lives! I am!

If, on the internet, I encounter incredible unfounded bias or someone who seems to have not been burdened with a great amount of education, I laugh because this individual has artfully mastered sarcasm and are sharing their humour with the world!  

I believe that you too can find the same joy from reality TV! And if you truly can't, I hope we can still be friends regardless.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

For the love of your unborn child, please put clothes on.

I want to begin today's blog post with a hypothetical situation:
Imagine you're my friend on Facebook. You sign in to check your newsfeed and you see I have posted a new photo album. This is so exciting! What could that silly Melece be up to? You click on a photo to see me dressed in what seems to be an ordinary outfit, but I am entranced with my stomach. This is somewhat off putting, but perhaps that was a candid! You continue through the album and find that in no picture am I looking at the camera, but instead I continue to caress my midriff. You click through the album more rapidly now. Suddenly, my shirt is gone only to be replaced with a black sports bra, but still I hold my stomach. In another picture Peter appears. He also doesn't look at the camera, but instead kisses my stomach by awkwardly kneeling in front of me while I stand and smile down at his head.

What is your reaction to these pictures? I guarantee for the majority of you the reaction would be, "My eyes feel violated! I need an adult! I need therapy! This is overwhelmingly inappropriate!" Of course it is! I'm showing a lot of skin, I'm being moody and pretentious, I'm holding my body for no obvious reason, and I'm forcing you to view a very unusual and uncomfortable form of PDA.

Now back to our regularly scheduled blog post:
As I come of child-bearing age, and find the majority of my friends at a similar age, I learn more about the weird customs of first world mommies. Maternity photo shoots just seem to be one more step in the road to modern-day motherhood, and I wish it wasn't so. I do understand the desire to photograph a progression of your body and child's growth, but there's a truth I wish more people would be aware of: a picture with a wholly formed human is astonishingly more pleasing to look at than a picture with an enlarged belly.  

Each time I am faced with offensive maternity photos I ache to retaliate by replicating the photos with my own seedless womb to make everyone feel like they need to repent just for seeing such things.

Here I have examples of comfortable and uncomfortable maternity pictures:

Oh, you're pregnant? How very exciting for you!
You look happy, and that field is just lovely. 


What is the belly telling you? To put on clothes and stop trying to listen to it? What a wise belly.
Stop. Please stop. 

You're right. You ARE happy, expecting parents. I feel happy for you. 

Hi, I don't need to see you naked. I don't think your future child does either.  

Cardinal rules for maternity photos: no stomach kissing, no moody staring, no naked bodies, no naked caressing. Just remember, if the child inside you will be scarred as a teenager when they see this picture, you should probably reevaluate your photoshoot.

Granted, I may just be a grumpy blogger who hates happiness, so ultimately do whatever floats your boat. Just don't be surprised when I message you an exact replica of whatever terrible belly shoot you've decided to publish. I'm naked and ready to caress myself! 

wait... Maybe not.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Hogwarts, Hogwarts, Hoggy-Warty Hogwarts, teach us something please.

When I was 11 years old I had a sudden epiphany of a dark world that lay ahead of me. I was in my room reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix which had just been released that week. While I found complete and utter joy in the new words that our Queen J.K. had written and released for our reading ecstasy, somewhere in my literary feasting an evil voice spoke to me in my head,

"Soon this will end."

I could not even attempt to redirect my thoughts back to poor Harry fighting his corrupted government and vindictive school, because this thought filled me with more emotion and anguish than Umbridge ever had or would.  

Even though I was still two books away from the end of Hogwarts, I had finally come to understand a fact which had been impending since the beginning - that some day it would end. I struggled to find a way to make the series last forever, maybe J.K. could write forever! There will always be more Harry to go around! Even then I knew that all good things must come to an end, and it would be much better for Harry to conclude his adventures at 17, than live to become a crappy sequel, mocked for his fan-fiction-esque existence.

In that moment I became passionate about the parenting of my children that were still decades away from being conceived; they would hear the tales of the Potter boy from the beginning of their lives. In this way I could keep Hogwarts alive forever. My offspring would love Harry, they would would be dedicated to Dumbledore's Army, and they would laugh and weep as each book finished. Even though they would never know the painful agony of waiting for a book release, I would tell them stories of how it once was, and they would be amazed that I had been there for such crucial periods of history.

This moment of euphoric epiphany of my future Potter-head children was short-lived when another dark thought crept into my mind,

"What if they don't like Harry Potter?"

What if they don't LIKE Harry Potter?! Who are these children? If they have a heart and a solid brain they will like Harry Potter.

"There are things my parents like that I don't."

Oh my holy days, my children won't like Harry Potter! What's the purpose of having them as my children if I can't even indoctrinate them properly?! What if the more I expose them to Harry Potter, the more they work to rebel against me? That is too much. I can handle Voodoo, I can handle them choosing to become Goths or something else equally fad-ish and indicative of their time, but a dislike of Harry Potter?! It can't be. I will disown them. I will cry. It will be something that a young mother simply cannot comprehend or stand.

Remember that at the time that this inner monologue was happening, I was 11 years old and wandering around my room close to tears. No wait, if I remember correctly, I was in tears. Hogwarts hadn't ended yet, and I hadn't even begun to go through puberty, so who knows where all that emotion was coming from, but it was there, and kicking.

Now that it has been 7 years since the Deathly Hallows has been released, I find that the Harry Potter universe is never actually over. With the amount of people in the world as entranced by the series as I am, there's always parties to have and discussions to get heated over. Plus, books can always be re-read. At the end of the night, if it comes down to it and my children find no joy in my favourite fandom, there's always adoption to consider.


Saturday, June 14, 2014

Haiku Stair Kisses.

This week my brother and his family have been visiting the island. Because he and his wife are easily persuaded by the possibility of being arrested, Friday morning at 1am Peter, Robert, Jenny, and I ventured off to hike Haiku Stairs.

This was my third time on the stairs, but only my second time finishing. The first attempt was with Peter our Freshman year at BYUH.


At this point in 2011 Peter and I were close friends who everyone liked to ask if we were sure we weren't dating. We saw each other everyday and could both talk for hours or sit in silence for hours, which ever struck our fancy at the moment. During one of these moments Peter suddenly stated,

"If we were to kiss, I'd want it to mean something."
This exclamation scared me big time, because I thought I knew what it would be followed up with.
"What do you mean?" I asked.
"I'd want you to be my girlfriend." Oop, there it is.

Within this one moment, our happy relationship seemed at danger of being squished by the large ungainly elephant that had often so comfortably sat in the rooms we occupied together. The truth was I loved Peter. I loved him possibly more than anyone I had known in my life thus far, but his friendship had meant everything to me, and I had no faith in my ability to have a romantic relationship with anyone without destroying every last hope we had of being friends in the future. I had spent the first semester of life at university wishing for friends and happiness and now that Peter had provided me with both, I was in no way looking to dispose of that.
I tried to explain this to Peter, telling him that he meant too much to me, and I didn't want to just be an ex-girlfriend discouraged from writing him on his mission in the fears of being a distraction. He lied by telling me he understood (he totally didn't), and firmly told me in response,

"That's fine, but then you cannot kiss me."
"Okay, I respect that. You can kiss me, though."

He agreed and we went back to running my lines for The Winter's Tale.

Now that we had established this kiss stalemate, I became more relaxed than ever before in my relationship with Peter, and as the time for his departure from Hawaii ticked closer, I became sure that we were going to, at some point, share a first kiss.
Then one day a friend invited me to hike stairway and I saw a beautiful opportunity unfold before me. I would persuade Peter to join the group of us going, and on top of the mountain, as sunrise broke, I would manage to manipulate him to kiss me and think it was his idea. IT WAS A BEAUTIFUL PLAN.
As fate would have it, before we had reached the halfway mark on the hike a guard scaled the mountain and sent us home, so my plan was foiled, and then the rest of the week I watched my world crumble as Peter began to spend time almost exclusively with my best friend and I was caught in the crappy contradiction which is non-dating someone who you're ridiculously close with; I was so incredibly upset with Peter, but knew I had no legitimate right to be.

Three years later and a few days before our mid-night hike I told Peter about this secret kiss plan, and he agreed that we should make things right and kiss on the top of a mountain at sunrise. Awesome.

Let's take a moment to break down the pure naivety of my 19 year old self in believing I could create a sublime romantic moment after climbing 3,922 ladder-like stairs in the middle of the night. When you hike stairway you're consistently at an awkward purgatory between burning heat as you lose your body weight in sweat, and intense cold as you literally ascend into the clouds. Your legs are stiff and sore, you are covered in mud, plant debris, and scratches, and you are soaked from cloud matter and sweat. In addition, once you reach the top, you find yourself in a windy and ice cold WWI bunker which is muddy, rusty, and covered in graffiti and stray rubbish. Also, this is not a private place. You have anywhere from a dozen to a few hundred other hikers equally as sweaty, hot/cold, and exhausted as you. Nowhere in this situation will any socially apt 18 year old boy in a kiss stalemate with his best friend think, you know what I really want to do right now? Mack on that sweat drenched and sleepy face before me! Her hair is tangled, her face is wet, she smells of B.O. and I just want to use all my spare energy to kiss her!!

Don't get me wrong, I completely adore this hike, and have no regrets for the three times I have attempted it (and two times I have completed it), but I can't help but laugh at the things I will romanticise even when I am completely at fault in doing so. What else will I envision as being a tender moment between my lover and me?

Future dates of extreme romanticism with Peter and Melly:

  • Cleaning out a horses' stable that hasn't been cleaned for years, and sadly the horse has diarrhoea. 
  • Working in a taro field. 
  • Street sweeping. 
  • Picking up trash with inmates on the side of the highway. 
  • Cockroach mating or possibly cockroach racing. 
  • Climbing in the sewers. 
Do let me know if you have any other suggestions. And if you come to Hawaii, we will gladly help you break the law. 


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Drugs and how poorly I handle them

I've never used drugs recreationally. I've never even really wanted to, because of how poorly I make decisions when I'm constantly sober. I have had three surgeries in my lifetime, however, which required me to go under the knife and receive my own dosage of fun juice. These are my stories.

My first experience with surgery and noxious gas I was 13 and due for a tonsillectomy. I was incredibly emotional about the event; I've always been a huge cry-baby when it comes to needles and knives. I remember coming to afterwards in a bright room with loud voices, and dozens of women around me. My whole body was shaking as the gas wore off, and that terrified me, I also seemed to be unsure if the surgery had happened, or if it was still going to happen, and I was definitely not willing to allow these people to chop on me while I was awake. Logically, I began screaming as I sat up, "Mommy?! Mommy!! Please don't hurt me, please don't hurt me!"
Meanwhile, in the waiting room, my mother said she heard my screams and thought, "oh, look, she's awake."
I kept on my screaming, because my body was shaking, my head hurt, and there was a possibility someone was going to put a knife to me. While my mother says she didn't hear any of them shouting, it sounded to me like everyone was yelling, and I kept hearing, "give her morphine! Morphine!" which was irritating, because no one was realizing that I didn't need morphine, I needed to get off this bed and find my mother. However, none of my protests of "please don't hurt me!!" were doing anything and everyone seemed set on screaming for more morphine, so I devised a cunning ruse to get everyone to shut up.
"I'll just pretend to fall asleep!" I thought. "Make them think they've won. I am a champion"
Now I realize that what I thought was my own genius reasoning was probably just sneaky morphine taking me as its own. Pandering to whatever the cause of the thought was, I played sleep until I made it back into my hospital room, and for years harboured a resentment towards morphine.

My second ever surgery was years and years later for my suicidal appendix. For this one, I was more than happy to go under the knife because I was in ridiculous pain that everyone (other than doctors) kept insisting was just gas. When I woke from the surgery I was in the recovery room with a tending nurse who had a pin of the Swedish flag on her scrub. Drugged Melece apparently finds it incredibly rude to ignore a nearby person, and so I fought hard against all natural instincts to sleep, and tried valiantly to engage the nurse with my wit and humour. My first attempt at flirtation was to communicate to her over and over again that,
"You're Swedish!! I know Swedish!!" I only know one phrase in Swedish, and it is "I love you," back from my High School days in an international school where it was my goal to learn how to make as many people uncomfortable by professing my love in their native languages as possible.
When my nurse didn't seem to care too much about how much I loved her (I believe I told her over 10 times), I tried jokes.
"How much do I weigh??" I asked, probably pretty aggressively.
"Excuse me?" she asked.
"Am I lighter??"
"How much did my appendix weigh?! Am I lighter now??"
She never actually told me. In retrospect, I'm assuming that my communication, which I thought was clear and intellectual at the time, was probably slurred worse than an abstract Van Gogh, because she never responded to any of my queries with anything other than laughs and "what?"s

My last tale is from my wisdom teeth extraction experience, and actually doesn't include drugs at all.
As I sat in the chair before the surgery I talked cheerfully with my dentist and his hygienists, we had good rapport going, because I am clearly a social gem of a person, and it was grand. When it came time for cutting and yanking one of hygienists slipped a tube of gas over my mouth and into my nose while the dentist squeezed my upper arm into a rubber band to find a vein for an injection. They continued to chat with me and I tried to respond, but I began to feel dizzy and weak as the gas seduced me through my air-holes (how's that for a romance novel statement?). Feeling that this was no reason to panic, I did nothing to fight off my slow decent into unconsciousness. Five minutes later I find myself awake and bedraggled in the chair surrounded by worried voices, poking fingers, and beeping monitors. This was surprising to me, because, as far as I was aware, everything was going according to plan.
"Why didn't you warn us that you're a fainter??" My dentist was demanding of me.
"What?" I ask, truly confused by everyone's panic.
"You fainted. You collapsed and fell out of the chair." To this day this statement is really impressive to me, because dentist chairs are pretty much built to be falling-out-proof. I feel accomplished in knowing that when I faint I do so intensely enough to fall sideways out of a reclined dentist chair, even with three people administering to me. Nice.
What I had assumed was sleeping gas was in fact good old oxygen. True to form, I was terrified of the impending needle in my arm, and had gotten nervous enough to pass out, but assumed that I was adult enough for that to not happen any more, and had attributed my symptoms to gas that was not there.

After I really did get surgery, I wandered around Walgreens in a drugged attempted shopping spree while I determinedly hunted for something "fluffly." I also talked openly with people at McDonalds asking intrusive personal questions to the cashier and a family sitting nearby. Good times that I don't remember. Good times.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

A letter to my sleeping husband

Sleep is still a difficult thing for me to come by. It's actually the hardest part about marriage that I'm still adjusting to. I'm not good at waiting patiently for sleep to come, because I've always been so used to it just happening on it's own within minutes, so if I can't make it in an hour, I usually get up and go to the couch for a difference in scenery.

Here is a letter I composed to Peter in my brain at 4am last night shortly after I returned to bed, determined to sleep.

Dear Peege,
I adore you for opening your arms to me moments ago when I climbed back into bed. You pulled me into your body and it felt so nice, especially because you smell like a freshly cologned Greek god which is truly spectacular because it's 4am, and I'm pretty certain I smell like sweat and drool. I love that I can nuzzle into your neck right now and feel you breathing against my hair. This is great. This is so nice. Even when I can feel that spot on my head where your nose is slowly heating up until it could possibly compete with the fires of Mount Doom. I like it. It's like my head is on fire with your love. I love that our legs are intertwined right now, I feel like sexy clinging ivy with a really bad foot cramp. Seriously, though, this cramp is rough. If I try and move my foot will you still love me? You're snoring lightly, you lucky goose, and I've been awake since... forever, so you should definitely forgive me if I move my foot right now.
Okay, I know I just barely moved my foot, and you twitched slightly when I did so, but now my other one hurts too. I think you should allow me to move my feet.
Can you read my mind? Are you listening to me right now, Peege? Cause I specifically just thought that I wanted to move my feet, and you moved your legs. I think you may have been trying to help the situation, but you moved in the worst possible way. Seriously, the worst. If you can read my mind, I think you may be dyslexic when you do so. That's okay; I still love you. If you're still listening, please roll the other way.
I love you so much. Right now I'm a little bitter, because you're asleep and I'm not, and I'm mildly in pain, but that's okay; you're the greatest. I wish you weren't so insistent that sleeping with a fan blowing nearby gives you a sore throat, because your love fire on top of my head is making me sweat a little.
 I lied. It's really making me sweat. Can you feel the sweat dripping onto your neck? You may think that's drool, but it's totally not. I don't know if that makes the situation better or worse. Wait, no, there is some drool there.
Wow you're hot. I always knew you were an attractive man, but right now you are physically incredibly hot and I'm dying a little. Still, this is so sentimental, so sweet. We could just cuddle like this forever.
I lied, Peter. We can't cuddle like this forever. Not in this AC lacking apartment. I can't do it. Right now we're like the opposite of Rose and Jack while they try to survive in the icy Atlantic ocean surrounded by frozen bodies. If one of us dies, it will be from heat asphyxiation instead of hypothermia and I love you too much to allow that to happen.
You're a small man, and I have always promised to never assert dominance over you, at least not more than that which I can't personally handle in return, but I need to pin you. This sweet smelling cuddle has turned to my hair practically catching on fire, me sweating, my legs cramping and my left arm losing sensation. You've punched me in your sleep before, so I totally understand if that needs to happen right now, but it's time to roll. We can do this, we really can. We're not Rose and Jack, and neither of us needs to die, but it's time for us to separate. Please roll over.
Roll over.



How about now?

Thank you for eventually listening to me. I was too afraid to roll you, so I'm grateful for how caring you are to do so on your own. You pushed me away, not because you wanted to, but because you knew I was on the verge of death, and I appreciate that. You look so cute sleeping right now, even with my drool and sweat shining on your neck. You wear it well, and that's something not many men could do.

Sweet sleeps.


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

2011 meets 2014

This month marks Peter's one year return from Japan. This year has been fantastic - one of the best of my life, and somehow it seems to have gone a million times faster than the two years that passed while he was gone. Today for my blog post, I am recycling the post I first wrote in July of 2011 when Peter first left for Japan:

"So, for any of you who don't know, my dear friend Peter Gregory reported to the MTC 1pm MST yesterday.
Last time Peter and I said goodbyes, I walked him to the edge of campus and he finished the stretch to his sister's alone. I returned to the GCB to collect my things and go home and was met with the stony faces of the friends who had just, like me, sent the littlest Gregory boy off. I had a few approach me with faces kind of like those you see at cancer patient's bedside, some used hushed voices, as though loud noises would be enough to send me into hysterics, and even a dear friend try to pull me away to go "talk" and wouldn't relent until I had told him for the tenth time "I'M OKAY!"
Thus, here I am again to explain why Elder Gregory being gone is quite a relief.
Here is a short list I have compiled entitled -

Why I am glad Peter Gregory is going to Japan

1) I get more sleep.
Thanks to time difference Peter being gone but still reachable has interfered with my sleep cycle for months now! While in Hawaii I would get incredibly sad and lonely at night, because I'm stupid (I sat here for a really long time trying to think of a good logical reason, and that was the best I got, but as I am stupid, that would be a good reason why I can't think of a logical reason. Wow, I'm so smart!) (Wait...) I would wake up early to text him when he was getting ready for work even though I had spent most of my night sobbing pathetically into my pillow (because I'm stupid. Remember). Then, once I made it to Vienna it was all about staying up late to Skype before I was unreachable for hours while I slept, then getting up early to Skype before work and before he was unreachable for hours while he slept.
I can sleep early and sleep in?! Leave, child. Leave.

2) I will not be stressed out.
Lets be frank, (I've always liked Frank, he's a cool kid). Relationships are hard work! Sure, Peter and I never dated, in fact we went on one (1) date the entire time we were friends, but he was my best friend, and best friends is a relationship all the same. Now I don't have to ever worry that he is mad at me because I borrowed his shirt without asking, or he is secretly angry because I didn't notice his haircut and didn't mention that so-and-so was back together with her jerk-butt boyfriend even though she deserves better... you know, stupid friend things.
Woo, THAT's a relief!

3) I look popular.
What's more valuable to your popularity points than mail? Answer: NOTHING. How coy and special will I appear this next semester now that I have another pen pal to write to? Even though I will no longer have an on campus mail box I think I'll still sit by the mail room conspicuously opening my stack of letters from various admirers and fans and read them, laughing elegantly at how witty my comrades are.
I better go relieve my roommates of my fan mail before they shred them in jealousy!

4) I am immediately more well educated.
Have I ever been past the equator? No. Have I ever been to Asia? Technically, yes (and I fully intend taking that technicality as far as I can!) However, I have never been to Japan, but now with Peter on his way I don't ever have to! In classy dinner party situations (which I assure you I am in all the time) if Asian policies or politics ever comes into conversation, (you know, as it does) everyone around me is silently mocking me, "Oh, Melece" they laugh in their head "she has nothing to contribute to this conversation. Japan is way too exotic for her" and that's when I, sipping my champagne flute of Dr. Pepper say "My dear friend Peter is living in Tokyo right now, isn't the *important piece of information which Elder Gregory will have informed me on* interesting?" That'll shut them up. Oh, how snotty my imaginary dinner party friends can be!

5) I can meet potential lovers.
What is the best reason for having a missionary to write other than getting the contact information of other wonderful men? This is a note I advise for every young girl looking for her FEC. Smother your letters in seductive love concoctions, send periodic (shareable) "home baked" goods, (unless you're confident with your baking skills, cleverly disguised store bought treats are always better), and a heavily-shopped photo now and then, maybe with a temple in the background or with you wearing white (subliminal messages work well) and you're golden! Almost eligible Missionaries will be filling your mailbox (see reason #3) in no time.

And THAT my dear friends is why I am glad Peter Gregory has left me.
I assure you my eyes are red and puffy because I am unfortunately allergic to something in laundry detergent/puppy dander/Vienna air/excessive reading of Don't ever doubt me!"

This blog posts feels like it's a million years old and we are lightyears away from where we once were. It's nice to not have to belittle my feelings, or pretend that it doesn't bother me when Peter is gone for classes and work, instead I can embrace him in my arms and sob like we've been separated for years, because what is romance without a touch of melodrama? In all seriousness, I love my husband, I'm proud of him, and I thank God everyday that he is home in Hawaii with me.

We have less than 10 decent photos together from before his mission.
True story. 

Sunday, June 1, 2014

What did one brick say to the other as it hugged him? LEGO!

A fun fact about my Peter that some may not know is that he loves Legos. When he was in High School he taught a Lego class to kids in the community in Seattle, and at his parents' house he has gallons of Legos with which he has built incredible amounts of Lego sculptures and artwork.
Before meeting Peter I had no idea that Legos could be so exciting for some. To me what were little coloured bricks that children played with, and that could be used as torture weapons if left on the floor to be stepped on, are to others a part of a fantastic lifestyle which is not to be overlooked. 

Knowing this about my husband, and that here he has none of his Legos with him, I was excited for his birthday to come up so I could get him a good kit of coloured plastic joy. The day before his birthday I told Peter we needed groceries, and that I would go to Walmart after work to get them. I figured my task would be a simple one, and that I could be in and out of the superstore within an hour. 


I arrive at the Lego isle to find myself surrounded by hundreds of kits with special pictures and instructions of exactly what you can build with them. 


To me, an uncultured and informed woman, these kits seem infuriating because they are so inflexible; there is only so much you can build with so specifically intended designs, and the last thing I want to do is limit my sweet husband's creativity. That being said, it is my quest to find Lego for Peter, and I will accomplish this. After pacing up and down the isle for what seems like hours, but is really only 15 minutes, two boys of about eight or nine come browsing and gasping over sets. At the risk of seeming like a predator I approach them. 

"So, uh," I begin smoothly, "which one of these kits is the best?" 
"The best?" one of them asks
"Yeah, like, which one would you most want?" 
"They're all good." he responds, before turning back to gush over what ever kit they were investigating. 


Foiled by these children whose parents have clearly taught them the reality of stranger danger, I go back to my pacing. I eventually choose a DC set with Batman, Flash, and the Riddler. Peter is thrilled. 

However, my assumptions that these kits are a one-trick pony are accurate, and I notice my lil' husband stops playing with his creations shortly after his birthday. 

Yesterday I had a CPI training in Honolulu less than a mile from the only Lego store on Oahu. Certain that this store will have all of my answers, I go immediately after the training. 

"Do you like Lego?" I demand of a teenaged worker standing by the entrance
"Yes," he responds. 
"But do you like like Lego? Are you serious about Lego, or is this only a job to you?" 
"I like Lego," he assures me, laughing now, but cautiously, probably realizing that he's dealing with a deranged woman looking for a Lego coffin set to stow her latest murder victim. 
"I need your help," I say, refusing to be foiled by the Lego world again. 

I explain to him I need versatile bricks, that my sweet Lego-deprived husband has nothing and I need to get something he can build everything with, and he guides me to a yellow tub with 607 pieces inside, as well as to a pick-n'-mix wall where you can fill a cup with as many pieces as possible for a flat price. Seeing that the yellow tub is the last one in the store, I cling to it like a life preserver and begin pacing up and down the wall, determined to get as many useful bricks as possible. Of course, to me, nothing makes sense and I find myself demanding "what is this! Is this useful? Is this fun?" while shoving various pieces in front of shoppers' faces while they attempt to fill their own cup. 

Eventually another shop assistant comes to help me, most likely in an attempt to get me away from the other costumers, and I leave the store, a collection of Legos now in my possession. 

There is so much I still have to learn, but at least Peter has a much better starting kit, and I get to smile while I watch him Gollum-crouch as he builds his masterpieces.