Sunday, December 6, 2015

Life Facts According to Baymax.

For anyone still not in the know, Peter and I are dog owners.

I'm assuming most have figured out that I have anxiety, due to the title of this blog, so this isn't a surprise, but guys... I have anxiety. (whew, so good to get that off my chest!)  I am also a heavily medicated individual. Since 2010 I have been on Effexor with sometimes other pills being pulled into the mix. This summer I started having multiple daily panic attacks, and so when we got to Utah I met with a psychiatrist who added Gabapenton to the routine. Through our meetings he found out that I have always had nightmares, which recently had been triggering middle of the night panic attacks. Thus a new pill was added. Welbutrin was also added to balance out some bad side effects of the Effexor, and now I'm a pill guzzling junkie.

Before all these pills were added, my psychiatrist and I tried to decrease my Effexor to see if I would be able to function on a low dose. This experiment crashed and burned very hard. My racing thoughts, panic, deep depression, and compulsive hair pulling doubled, so we put me back to my original dose.

There is a purpose to all this, I swear, even though I am getting very distracted from the point of this post.

Peter and I are not trying for kids; we really can't right now. My high doses of multiple medications mean that any pregnancy would be very very dangerous for that foetus. We have decided we will start trying once we finish our Masters and I begin my PhD. Doing so means that I will need to be off my pills, and that means I will likely be a mess. I am terrified of doing this, but I want to be able to give Peter a child that he so desperately wants, and I know I wouldn't be able to forgive myself if I chose to stay on meds that significantly hurt a baby.

Enter Baymax. 

I adore dogs. If you don't know this about me, you probably are a stranger that just somehow stumbled onto my blog. Through the help of my therapist, the university accessibilities office, and Wymount housing, I was approved to get a dog as an emotional support animal. Animals and tending for animals, has been linked with lessening depression, anxiety, and also PTSD, (although I do not have that). Our wonderful puppy Baymax, who we adopted last month, is stepping in to help me both with my current issues, and the ones that will arise when I go drug free. Peter says I already seem a lot better.

Wow, okay, so I did not intend to write any of that, but I figured I might as well explain things. Why not? I'm gonna be a therapist, and we're always encouraging people to own their mental health struggles. *Power fist!*

Life with a puppy has been wonderful. The dog we brought home from the store was timid and did not like us touching him, but now that Stockholm syndrome has fully taken affect, he is a happy and playful puppy. Every day Peter and I learn a new life fact according to Baymax, and in honour of his first bath, which he’s still mildly upset at us for, I present to you some of his top ones.

  • Leaves are awesome. As many as can be collected should be chewed on and brought inside where they belong.
  • Hair is equally as important as leaves, whether on the floor or on the head of a person, it is the same.
  • People cannot know that you love them unless your tongue goes all the way up their nose holes. The farther up, the greater the love. Do not allow them to resist. 
  • Humans must be tended while they use the bathroom. You may either sit and wait until they are done, or check in every 2 minutes. Either is sufficient.
  • When you poop or piddle outside, you get a treat. To make sure the human knows you need your treat, maintain eye contact and lick your lips while you go. It isn’t creepy.
  • Anything put in the food bowl must be avoided at all cost. Food is good when it is held by a human, but in the bowl it is useless. Only if you are close to starvation can you touch what is in the bowl.
  • When you greet someone, you must touch their face. All faces should be touched frequently. (**Touching the face also helps them stop resisting the tongue in the nose.**)  
  • If someone has an easy time using a thing, they will not appreciate it. Steal brushes, socks, curlers, papers and computer mice (while they are being used) and run around until they catch it. Now they will appreciate what they have.
  • When someone is doing the dishes, help out by licking their ankles.
  • No one can make you take a walk when you don't want one. Straining against the leash long enough will help you slip out of the harness and run home. They will respect your decisiveness.
  • Deer poop is excellent for sniffing. Maybe even a tentative lick.
  • All strangers want to pet you and they need to be able to. If you see a stranger on a walk, sit down until they are close enough to run to (with your paws up and ready for face touching). Even if the stranger is walking in the opposite direction sit and wait; they could come back.
  • Vacuums are satan, but brooms are friends. Chase the broom whenever possible and scavenge the piles it makes for leaf bits and hair balls. Both are toys that should not be disposed of.
  • If a toy has been purchased for your use, ignore it. The true toys are plastic bags, ball pit balls, soft hair curlers, toothbrushes, clothes, leaves, and hair. 
This is definitely not my best picture, but I love how Baymax looks like he's saying, "Who meeee?" in a Betty Boop-ish voice.
Work it, boy. 

Sunday, August 9, 2015

I am only here out of guilt.

Aloha you majestical tyrants of the world.

I am writing this beautiful blog post in my new apartment in *drum roll* Provo Utah! *horn goes wah wah waaaaahhhhhhhh*.
After a fanciful adventure across the east coast, Peter and I have settled into our home for the next five years while I complete my PhD. in Marriage and Family Therapy and he does his masters in Public Administration. We're very excited.

It's obviously been a long time since I blogged which is due to a variety of things: discouragement that I'm a terrible blogger, sadness over leaving Hawaii, busyness in adventuring, and then guilt for not knowing how to summate my life into a readable post. So know this. I am here out of guilt. LOVE ME FOR IT.

Immediately after leaving Hawaii we headed over to Pennsylvania to reunite with the Gregory clan in all its entirety. Here's a fun fact about my life: I married into a family quite different from my own. Even though my father and father-in-law are incredibly similar to each other, and my two mothers seem like they could be distant cousins in many ways, the actual families function like two very distinct and unique cultures.

My family is a fan of things happening when they happen. Sure, we will have a brief concept of a meet up, but plans are rarely meticulously sculpted before they happen. You come here, and I'll meet you there, and life will go as it goes. This is the Meservy way. Not so the Gregorys.

Upon arrival to the reunion each family was presented with a swag bag containing chocolates, T-shirts, and a bound itinerary. As it turns out, I don't have a photograph of this itinerary, nor do I still have it, because blasphemy. Obviously. But, every day was planned out and organised in each page. Each of the 34 family members had a bio, shower schedules were outlined, daily menus planned, and activities had a timetable.

We interrupt your previously scheduled blog post for a poorly placed flashback. 

In 2011 when Peter went home to Seattle to prepare for his mission, I Skyped with him daily. Through these daily chats, I met his little sister Shanna. After he left for Japan, Shanna and I kept in touch, and through a series of strange decisions, I was invited to come to Seattle for Thanksgiving with the family.
Upon hearing that I flew out to meet my husband's family alone while he was on his mission and before we were even engaged most people say "Why?" To them I answer, "because I was insane."

The entire trip I received many texts from my sister and friends asking if I had broken the toilet yet, seeing as that was my biggest fear about the entire trip. I believe they were mocking me with their checkups, but honestly, who can blame me for being terrified?! Wouldn't that just be the worst impression to ever leave with the family of the boy you're in love with? Prior to my trip I spent hours talking with my therapist about my genuine terror of clogging the Gregory family toilet. Such a thing would have been especially terrible had Peter and I ended up breaking up and not being friends post mission.

Gregory family member: "Hey, Peter. Do you remember that one girl who was so in love with you that she came out to see us while you were on your mission?"

Peter: "Oh yeah... I remember her. She was fun."

GFM: "Yeah, she was... fun. Although she broke the toilet."

Peter: "She what?"

GFM: "We never told you that? Oh yeah. She went to the bathroom and then didn't come out for like an hour. We heard screams and water splashing, and when she finally came out she just begged us to forgive her. The toilet was totally busted."

Peter: "Busted how? Like, broken? or clogged?"

GFM: "Yes. Any way that a toilet can potentially be broken. The poop was everywhere, and the seat was just destroyed. We essentially had to completely redo the upstairs bathroom all because your girlfriend has toilet issues."

Peter: "Wow. Dodged a bullet there."


Anyway, luckily I didn't poop the entire weekend (just kidding, I'm pretty sure I had normal bowel movements (I know you were concerned)) and people loved me, and Peter and I later got all murried and stuff, so really this family reunion was amateur hour compared to my 2011 introduction.

Therefore, my nerves regarding this family get together had less about breaking toilets and more about whether I would go mad after a week and a half of close family time with the in-laws. Turns out, I will not go mad, and the Gregorys are a good clan to be a part of. I spent most of my time snuggling cute niblings and observing the adults interact, much like an anthropologist except I wasn't being mauled for touching the cubs. Here are my top five lessons learned about the Gregory folks.

1. If Fiddler on the Roof is playing, you sing along. It doesn't matter what time it is.
The earliest rendition of the musical I experienced was at 6:30am on a Thursday. I have high hopes that I will never hear Matchmaker this early again for as long as I live.

2. Dog piles are a constant presence.
I really have never witnessed as many dog piles in my life. Quick way to end one, is for me to get involved, seeing as I was new enough for people to still be furtive around me. First rule of dog piles: You must be a seasoned Gregory in order to participate.

3. Gregory women cluck like roosters/hens when they laugh together.
I can't believe I never audio recorded this phenomenon. I have only my own attempts to replicate it.

4. When playing a game, if you're not willing to lose all your friends, you're not playing hard enough.
Competition runs hard in the family. Don't start what you're not willing to give everything to finish.

5. Everyone yells. A lot.
This is something I assume most large families can relate to. With eight Gregory siblings, seven Gregory spouses, and several litters of Gregory spawn, voices get loud and stay that way. You must be heard to be part of the herd.

I am grateful to have married in to such a wonderful and loving family. Many people complain about their in-laws, but I'm blessed to have it pretty fantastic.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Boo, you horcrux

I have another illness. It's one that is ruining my voice and making me very sleepy but restless. Sick voices are pretty amusing, though, and so today's blog post is a video one. MY VERY FIRST VLOG, kinda sorta. Anyway, enjoy. We discuss horcruxes.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

I'm dyeing over here!

Wanna know how to look like a superfly rockstar? Lemme tell you.

I've been dyeing my hair purple since December of last year. Originally the plan was to dye my entire head of hair purple but then Peege was all, "I'd really prefer it if you didn't," and I said, "okay, darling, but that means don't grow a moustache" and he was like, "no problem, can't anyway." Communication, people. The best.

I have never been the greatest at dyeing my hair, (even though I enjoy doing it), and in trying to dye the ends of my hair every two months I found that I would magically turn my bathroom, chest, and hands all totally purple for a week afterwards. (TADAHHHH!) It was always totally worth it, but embarrassingly messy. Now, two dye jobs away from needing to stop forever with my purple ways, I have mastered it. Let me show you my punklovin' ways, my peeps.

Step one: Assemble your tools.
You will need the dye of your choice. I wholeheartedly recommend Punky Color brand, but whatever shade you choose is up to you. This month I have opened a new jar (seriously, just one jar lasted me forever, I bought two together in January) and it's Plum. Previously I used Violet, aaaand I think I liked it better. Both smelled lovely, but Plum seems to be pinker.
Aluminium foil.
Wax paper to hold your dyeing goods and keep your counter tops clean.
Plastic/latex gloves. 
A hair dye brush.  
A mindless TV show/movie to keep you occupied. 

Step two: Divide and conquer.

Separate your hair into small sections and begin. Using a square of aluminium foil and your brush, paint dye onto your ends. Just smother it in. Ohhh yeaahhhhh. Attempt to take a photo for your blog, but fail.

Use black gloves for added swagger.
The blurrier the picture, the more action packed the dye job. 

Step three: Foiled!

After applying your desired amount of dye to your desired section of hair, wrap that mofo up. Parcel your hair like it is a Christmas present to your future self. Take more uncomfortable pictures. 

It's hard to take modest pictures when you're secretly naked. 

Ah, yissss. Dye jobs. Foreva. 

 Step four: Treat yo'self!

Take some time to lounge around your house enjoying your guilty pleasures. Write an informative blog post on how to do something ridiculously simple. Let that dye sit and fester. Consider looking up better words than "fester" to describe things on your body.

I do recommend cleaning up your work space immediately after finishing your application process. A lot of the mess that I would previously get happened because I allowed my brush to sit in the drain, or left my gloves drip drying. Use your wax paper to wipe as much dye from your brush as possible (while still wearing your gloves) and then rinse off both gloves and brush in the shower or bathtub until the water runs clear. Allow gloves and brush to air dry on more wax paper. NO DRIP DRYING! You can do it. I believe in you.

Step five: Take a shower.

Hop in the shower and wash yo'self, removing the aluminium foil as you go. You will look sexy fine in no time. No selfie as I post this, because I am still enjoying step four as I type this. Maybe I'll post one later if you're lucky. MAYBE.

Go live your dreams, you majestic land narwhal.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

I'm Too Sexy.

2007 and 2008 were rough years for me. My family moved to Maryland, USA from Harrogate, England where I had lived for as long as I could remember. I missed my town, I missed my friends, I wasn't making friends in my new school, and I really really hated the new school where I had no friends. It was emotional. I also wasn't getting along with my parents. We were waiting for our visas to come through for us to move to Russia, but never knew exactly when they would be coming. Everyday hinged on a question of if and when we would be leaving Maryland to go to the next assignment. I was acting out at home and not being a very pleasant daughter. The fact that my parents didn't throw me out on my butt is a testament to their genuine goodness in itself. 

While I didn't love my school, I had one class that I really did enjoy. My U.S. Government teacher was eloquent and motivating, and his class was the only one I was in where the students were being truly engaged and challenged. One day he was covering unlawful search and seizure, and I was selected to help do a role play for the class. In this role play, another student and I were found in the girls bathroom with a lit cigarette. When asked if we were smoking, I confessed that yes I was while the other girl denied. My role ended with my being handed a referral and told to sit down. 

The referrals at my school were A4 sheets of paper with two carbon copies. They were handed out for any form of disciplinary action to take place. A troublemaking student would receive one, and be sent to the office immediately to get their punishment. The referrals themselves contained the name of the student, name of the teacher, and a description of the reason why the student was being punished. At the office, the principal would fill in the section that said what punishment would be given. I had never received a referral myself, and so being handed a genuine (and blank) golden ticket to the office was incredibly exciting. 

The girl next to me and I decided a prank could be had. We separated the two carbon copies from the main referral sheet and traded them, so we could fill them out for each other in unknown handwriting and show them to our parents. I cannot remember what we said she did, but I remember mine very well. 

"Melece Meservy has been sent to the office for disciplinary action after she started singing "I'm Too Sexy" loudly in the middle of class. When asked to be quiet, she jumped onto her desk, and began to hop from desk to desk across the classroom while swinging her hips in a suggestive manner." 

Under reason for behaviour, we checked the boxes for "attention" and "reason unclear." Action taken was immediate suspension from school and mandatory visitation with a school counselor. 

I knew that there was no point in me trying to trick my dad into believing that this had actually happened, but I was determined that I could con my mother. I worked hard all the way home on the bus to muster up fear and panic in my eyes and voice. I walked slowly into her room where she was laying in bed reading a book. 

"Mom." I said, "I did something bad." I handed her the paper, and watched her attentively. To my disappointment, she laughed. 
"april fools!" She said, handing me back the paper. 


I took my failed prank into the kitchen and chucked it on the table. I made myself a snack and busied myself with my homework (probably, actually reading Twilight or watching TV if I'm honest.) A few hours later, I heard a knock at my bedroom door where I lay reading a book (it wasn't Twilight, though, I remember distinctly.) 

"Hello?" I asked. 
My dad entered the room looking somber. I knew something bad had happened because he came in and immediately closed the door behind him before walking over to sit on my bed. 
"How was your day?" He asked 
"Fine." I answered, as eloquent and quick to share as most 16 year olds talking to their parents.
"Did anything happen?" He responded, still staring me down with the upmost danger in his eyes. 
"No...?" I said, now wondering what I have forgotten about. Catching on, I started to laugh. 
"What I saw out there did NOT seem like a laughing matter, Melece" insisted dad, now getting angry. 
"It was a joke, dad!" I laughed hysterically, "I was trying to get mom, but I NEVER thought I'd get you!" 

This is one of my dad's favourite stories to tell. From his point of view, he says that it was one of those days where nothing at all was going right. He had been faced with incompetent coworkers who really ought to have been competent, and was told once again that it would be a "couple" more months before our visas came through. He came home feeling dejected and exhausted, especially knowing that mom and I were struggling. He came into the kitchen to find an official document telling him that I had lost it. 

"She's gone completely insane," he thought to himself sad, and incredulous. "This is awful. This means I have to punish her, but I don't want to. She must have had a complete psychological break." 

And thus my father entered my room burdened with the task of punishing his officially insane teenage daughter, and I got a wonderful laugh out of a tired and lonely week. 

Monday, May 4, 2015

Caution: may contain condom water part II.

Thanks to sick kids and germs, I was home this afternoon. A Facebook notification came across my feed informing me that a friend had tagged me in a discussion on a post in one of my Facebook groups.

Nina: I just can't look at [condoms] without thinking of when Melece filled one up with like a gallon of water. Then I start laughing and I can't get it outta my head SO THANKS Melece for ruining my condom sex life.

Me (with deepest sympathies and great tact): Bahahahahahahahahahahahaha I regret NOTHING.

and thus began a great adventure. 

Taelor: Melece, did you take a picture of that!?

Melece: Just as I was about to it popped. BUT I AM HOME ALONE NOW. BRB.

Melece: Update: I have now burst two condoms and soaked my bathroom. YOLO.

Because I love and care for the happiness of my friends, I posted a video.  

Here are the resulting comments. (Some comments have been omitted for relevancy's sake, and one has been altered entirely to make sense without explanation/back story. Last names have been removed, but first names remain unchanged. Hopefully no one sues me.) 

Katelyn: This is the best thing I've seen all day.

Melece: Oh my gosh, this isn't even in the right group. Sorry, guys!!!
Also, I forgot to hide the condom wrappers. Peter got home a second ago, went to the bathroom to pee and goes, "WHY ARE THERE TWO USED CONDOMS IN THE TRASH? Melly, have you been playing with condom water?! AGAIN?!"
Me: "Oh, no... I forgot to hide those. I didn't think about you noticing them in the trash"
Peter: "You didn't think I would notice that there are TWO used condoms in the trash of the bathroom that I share with my wife?! I leave the house for three hours and come back to find that my wife has used not one, but both of the condoms that we had remaining in my absence. Well. Done. Melly."

geez husbands these days just don't understand hahaha

Melece: THEY JUST DON'T GET IT!!! Lawl, sorry this video is upside down for half of it. You all need to hire me to be a videographer for your weddings. CLEARLY.

Nina: Also "condom water" hahaha EW

Melece: Peter watching this video: "I love how funny you think you are."

Taelor: hehehehe thanks for the entertainment!

Nina: Also PSA: don't ask your husband if he has any condoms because he will think you mean sex when actually you just wanna copy Melece and play with condom water.

Melece: You're welcome! These condoms were both an extra challenge because they were lubricated, whereas the first time I did this was with an unlubricated condom. It was like playing in expert mode.

Taelor: HAHAHAHA Nina. Way to ruin Ty's dream.

Nina: Geez where were condoms when we were organizing elementary school SCIENCE projects?!

"Lubed vs unlubed condoms: which holds water better?"

Melece: Peter in response to Nina, "yeah, why would anyone use condoms for sex?! he says with a look of puzzlement. A LOOK OF MOCK PUZZLEMENT. It's supposed to look like a penis, but it just looks like a giant water balloon! WAAAAATER FIIIIIGHT. This one is studded for ultimate throwing pleasure. And this one is flavoured so that when it explodes it is delicious! The boxes shouldn't say 'ribbed for her pleasure,' they should say 'can hold three extra gallons of water!"
He is pacing around the apartment ranting at me. hahahahahahahahahahah I'm laughing so hard.

Me: "my hands smell like condoms."

Taelor: Bahahahaha this is the most hilarious thing I've experienced all day!
I need to go buy a condom.

Nina: Hahahahahaha I'm crying. Peter is the best I want to be friends with you guys

Melece: Buy a couple, they burst a lot.

Nina: Taelor considering your current situation that would be such a waste of money

Taelor: Heh heh heh you're right. But I WANNA FILL ONE UP WITH WATER!

Melece: bahahahahahahhahahahahha.
He's reading all these comments over my shoulder, and so he points to Taelor's and goes, "yes, just the one condom. Ask them to take it out of the box. Excuse me, sir, which condom would you recommend for inflation? and by inflation I mean filling it with water. Pretty sure your husband wants to fill one up with a penis."

Nina: "um yeah how much for just ONE condom?"

Katelyn: I need to be writing a paper but THIS IS SO MUCH MORE IMPORTANT!


Melece: bahahahahahahahha. Oh, so THAT'S how you got pregnant.

Nina: "Oh what do you mean they only sell them in multiples?? I JUST NEED ONE SIR! FOR SCIENCE!"

Laura: "Please sir, may I have some more?"

Melece: Peter, pointing to Laura's comment: "now THAT's what your husband wants to hear. *holds belly while chuckling* hah hah hah hah"

Taelor: Hi Peter.  I am smarter than I seem.

Nina: ^ there's an idea for spicing up the bedroom. "Oliver Twist" role play and position. We should write a book.

Melece: hahahahaha! It's okay, the only one he is judging here is me.
Peter: "That's not true"

Sara: Now we're all going to make Peter pace across the apartment and rant

Melece: Peter in a british accent: "I'm the artful dodger!"
now he is squirming around the bed going, "nope! you missed! try again, NOPE! MISSED! I AM SO ARTFUL AT DODGING."

Laura: I think I've found a reason why I need to come out to Utah

Sara: Why do you have to be so far away in Hawaii?!

Taelor: Yeah. Surrsly.....

Melece: Peter: "so.... she wants to come to Utah all because you inflated a condom and I made jokes about dodging a penis. Good day for us." :'D

Taelor: Party!!!!!!

Melece: Hahahahah, it's okay. We'll be there in like two months.

Melece: P: "the main activity? inflating condoms. awwwww yeahhhh."

Melece: P: you don't have to write everything I say.


Melece: hahahaha. I didn't have to. He's reading with me.

Taelor: Oh. HI!

Laura: ::shaking my head::

Melece: My head hurts from laughing. Good talk, ladies. Good talk. Now everyone go do your own experiments and film the results. FOR SCIENCE.

Laura: I will die if I go to a bridal shower this summer, and the question is posed about what the bride is most looking forward to about getting married, because this will be all that I think about lol 😇


Hilary: I'm so glad my serious post resulted to this! Best. Thing. Ever! Now I know what to really do with the 30 box of condoms lying around! :')

The end. 

Thursday, April 30, 2015

So, your husband is a monster.

There is a trend I see emerging in the beautiful sub-culture of young, married LDS women on Facebook. Like many things I don't understand, it angers me. I am going to try and discuss it here to vent my building aggression towards strangers. Bear with me.

Pornography is something that both science and religion disapprove of. Recently there has been an influx of people being willing to openly disparage the affects that pornography has on individuals and families. This is wonderful news. Hopefully with the recognition of the damage that is done by indulging in such a dangerous material, many people will be able to avoid ever facing a pornography habit or addiction in their life. Hearts and smiles, I'm totally with you here. 

Where I get lost is when I see a wife crying out for help with her husband's addiction. Yes, help is important in this instance! It is important for him to work on climbing above his addiction, and it is crucial for the marriage for both spouses to establish their communication and understanding of each other like never before. What I don't understand is this:

[Young married woman posting on Facebook]: HELP! My husband has a porn addiction :( :( :( I feel like I cant trust him anymore. He is a monster, and he has been cheating on me with this smut. What do I do???? 


Hold up. Let's just hold on to our knickers before we run around streaking here. Yes, porn is a terrible thing, yes your feelings of betrayal and hurt are valid and reasonable, but how in the world do you propose getting through this and repairing your relationship if you are slandering your spouse with strangers online? This issue is also not yours. It is primarily his (or hers, I realise I am being mildly sexist by using only male pronouns. Forgive me) and therefore, he is the one who is needing the most immediate help and support. The same as with any other addiction (drugs, alcohol, gambling what have you), berating the individual who is struggling, or handing them ultimatums as an initial response will only close any remaining communication that was left. If a spouse is abusing the other or engaging in dangerous behaviour, then an immediate walk away may be in order, but rarely is that a necessary first move. 

With the expansion of social media and the acceptance of sharing your entire life with everyone you have ever remotely known, people seem less concerned about the necessity for being discreet in marriage. There are things that deserve to be private, and the struggles and vices of your spouse are number one on the list of things that you do not need to be disclosing online. As soon as you invite others into your relationships, you face the danger of further biasing yourself against your spouse. Your own viewpoint is vindicated while people who are sympathetic to you, yet foreign to them attack and dehumanise the person who you have vowed to love, cherish, and respect. 

I also see girls asking other girls if they would like to discuss their trauma further, which is something that just leaves hypothetical chunks of my own brain matter on the wall. Isn't your spouse the one who is in need here? Can you not go attend to him? Work with him to step beyond this awful addiction? I understand asking "how can I help him?" but rarely is that what I see being asked. 
In discussing this with my best friend Allison she said, 

"Ask yourself 'am I asking for genuine help? Do I want to hear honesty? Do I really want to put some work in to making this better? Do I just not know how to do that on my own?' Because in all reality most of us know what could solve the majority of these issues, we're all adults who interact with people. It's good to genuinely need help with solving a specific problem, for people to provide alternative views, but that's so rarely what it is." 

This isn't to say that abuse isn't real. If you feel you are being consistently belittled, controlled, or abused in your relationship, seek help. Reach out and approach friends and professionals to assure you are safe. Reaching out to simply complain about your spouse or to get support for your side of the argument, however, will not end well for your marital happiness. 

I feel bad that I haven't managed to be even remotely humorous in this post, but the rage is embarrassingly real! Please do not interpret my irritation as me being someone who feels pornography is not harmful, or even that it has its place. I don't feel that way at all. What I do feel is the need for people to be aware of how little their relationships should revolve around themselves, and how much it should revolve around their relationship and their spouse. Putting yourself first leads to being selfish and easily offended, while putting your spouse and your marriage first helps you see how problems are never really simply polarised into "his" or "mine," but are almost always "ours." 

And with that, let's discuss ways to combat an addiction. Having struggled with my own addiction and going through the therapy for it, these are some things I have learned: 

1) Identify the problem, and the times and places it emerges. When are you most tempted to engage/to use/to lapse into the addiction?

2) Find ways to avoid those times and those things.

3) Establish an alternative coping mechanism to replace the original behaviour. If you need to keep your fingers busy, pick up knitting, Lego construction, a musical instrument, painting, anything that you think you will genuinely enjoy and will distract you from the original urge. That first behaviour has been established because it is pleasurable, replacing it with something dull and tedious will not do the trick.

4) Accept that you probably won't successfully stop forever the first time. You will probably slip up, but if you allow one slip up to destroy your resolve to continue improving, you will never come out on top. Keep moving forward.

5) Find someone who will check in with you and hold you responsible for your lapses while still loving you when you do lapse. For me, I am addicted to self harm. Even when I am happy, and even though I am currently clean, I still get urges. Peter has been aware of this addiction since we first became friends. He knows it, he accepts me despite of it, but he hates it. Knowing this leaves me with three options when I am faced with a temptation: I can cut and hide it from my husband, meaning I have let lying into our marriage, cut and have him disappointed and sad, or resist and have him shower me with love and affection when I tell him I overcame my moment of weakness.

6) Seek professional help. When in doubt, find a therapist you can trust and rely on. They are trained, they are licensed, and they can give support to both you and your spouse no matter the issue. 

Be excellent, folks. You and your marriages deserve it. 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

One score and three years ago.

My very first class of university was Acting I. It was a Wednesday, and class was brief as the teacher only went over our syllabus before dismissing us. I sat on the front row and attempted, but failed, to engage a conversation with anyone nearby. Acting was an awesome class for a Freshman in desperate need for friends *cough* me *cough*. While I didn't hang out with anyone from the class, I still felt like I belonged when I was there.
One day we played a storytelling game. A person would volunteer to tell a story while the class sat in a circle on the stage. Each time a new character or setting appeared in the story, students had to rush in to the circle to try and fill the roles. One story began, "once there was a beautiful fairy princess." Six or so girls surged forward, but were all beat out by a beaming boy with a head full of curls, who skipped around the circle fluttering his arms emphatically. 
"Wow." I thought to myself, while laughing hysterically, "that is one incredibly secure kid." 
Of course, that kid was Peter. 

Peter sat on the other side of the theatre from me each class period, but from my vantage point he always looked like someone who I wished I could be friends with. While we had never spoken, I was pretty sure we would get along and I wanted desperately to break the ice. One day before class he walked past me wearing a shirt I recognized from The Big Bang Theory, but didn't know what it represented. "Perfect!" I thought to myself, developing a cunning ruse, "I can ask him what the symbol means and also bond with him over good TV *maniac laugh*" 

"Hey!" I said, catching his attention. "That's Sheldon Cooper's shirt from the Big Bang Theory, what does it stand for?" 
To my surprise, I was met with a distainful look from this perpetually grinning boy, "uhhhh," he said, every word dripping with dislike, "this is the Green Lantern." 
"Oh," was my subdued response, but before I could try anything else, he had continued on past me. 

Thus ended my attempts to engage with Peter Gregory. We would run into each other on campus or the beach, and even spent time together in groups. Somewhere along the way Peter decided that he was passionately and madly in love with me and I fell in love with him too, so it all worked out. 
Tomorrow it's that silly little boy's 23rd birthday, so here, for you, are 10 things I love about Peter. 

(In no particular order) 

1. Peter pretends he knows what I'm talking about even when he doesn't. 
I don't do this as much as I used to, but as a Freshman I loved picking pretend fights. Peter knew this, and he engaged me in them. I would squint a certain way, or push him, and he would turn back, arms open and yell "WHAT?!" Or "DONT EVEN BRING THAT UP RIGHT NOW," or some other variation. Other times we would pretend to be able to read each others minds, even when we didn't know what the other person was even slightly alluding to. It made me feel like part of an exclusive club, and I adore that Peter would do that for me. 

2. He sleeps like a dancer. It's the cutest thing I've ever seen a human do while unconcious. 

3. He is passionate. Did you know that Peter taught a Lego class when he was a teenager? He legitimately got paid to teach kids how to do his hobby. What the heck. 

4. He raps and beatboxes in both English and Japanese. He has also told me, and I quote, "you don't understand, when I was a teenager I was the epitome of gangsterdom." 

5. He is an excellent cook. Without him I would starve. Without him I do starve, actually... 

6. He serves me. A couple weeks ago I came home from work with an agonizing migraine. Peter put me to bed, and then got me ready all while I lay there. He brushed my hair, dressed me, washed my face, and brought me my tooth brush and a bowl to spit into. That isn't a surprising thing, though. Peter is always looking for a way to care for me, and for anyone who he loves. 

7. His eyelashes are incredibly long and dark. It's revolting. 

8. We are equally yoked in how clean/messy we are. This is actually super important. Watch out for this when you're dating. It will save your marriage. 

9. He always smells fantastic. 

10. When he was a teenager he made a suit out of duct tape. 

There are a billion and one reasons why I adore my Peter. I hope if you meet him, you love him too. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SWEETHEART! 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Maybe don't read this one.

Recently I've been feeling super fantastically crappy about my appearance. This is something that is a vicious cycle of frustration for me.

Step one of cycle: Feel ugly.
Step two: Feel sad because feel ugly.
Step three: Feel angry because feel sad because feel ugly.
Step four: Become indignant because feel angry because feel sad because feel ugly.
Step five: Have berating inner monologue, reminding self that it doesn't matter what you look like. Are smart human. Are kind human. Are loved by husband. Are actually kind of stupid for caring what you look like.
Step six: vow to be smarter human who does not care what looks like.
Step seven: weep.

The cycle of self love/self deprivation is a really tough one to try and get out of. We're constantly seeing AcCemptanz blogz everywhere, and campaigns to try and destroy the "old beauty standard" or whatever. Us throwing harts and lurveee at each other to remind one another that IT DOESN'T MATTER WHAT WE LOOK LIKE. However, side by side with those things, is the desire and encouragement to put your best face forward and be a presentable human being who showers and looks appealing. So, really, it does kind of matter what you look like.

I don't have a soapbox that I'm standing on right now; I honestly don't really care one way or the other if someone puts a lot of effort into their appearance or none whatsoever. I have fluctuated between the two extremes since I first discovered makeup at 13. Ultimately, I think it's probably the attitude and circumstance of the individual that dictates which extreme is best for them.

Once in my Abnormal Psychology class, we were discussing body dysmorphia. My professor told us all that in order to attempt to try and understand the pressure that many young girls feel in criticising their own appearance, for about one week he took five minutes at the beginning of every day to look in the mirror and honestly critique and analyse what he saw. He said he has never felt so depressed in his life.  Hearing that, I took a personal challenge to not look at myself in the mirror ever. My days got roughly five billion times more wonderful.
Since then, however, my complete indifference to my daily appearance has started to make me a little bit sad. Usually, it's only when I see a photograph of myself that I realise how sad it makes me. So, I'm starting my own experiment again. Instead of refusing to look in the mirror, I'm going to try and take a little extra time at the beginning of each day to put on a bit of a face, and then work to not look in the mirror again until the day is finished. Baby steps into a new routine and all that.

Really, we all need to work on being fulfilled in our own way. If you aren't happy with yourself, that's a terrible place to be. Imma work on that. 

Friday, April 10, 2015

This post contains the word vagina.

In addition to my Skills Trainer job, I spend Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday babysitting. M/W/F I watch two little boys, Nash who is two, and Max who is six months. Our time together is made up of laugher, spit up, and lots of hugs and kisses. On Thursdays I watch a brother sister duo, M who is four, and her little brother A who is 2. Adventures with these two are readily more complex simpy due to M's age, but made doubly so by the fact that she is easily the sassiest four year old I have ever met.

Thanks to the fact that I am bffs with Nash and Max's mother, and she knows M and A very well, I have many stories stored away on my phone as I text her in exasperation and amazement for each new insanity that unfolds. Enjoy some texts, and some scary moments in child care. (Clarification, Jenna is mom to Nash and Max and Jen is mom to M and A.)

Thursday December 4, 7:34pm

Me: Oh no. Oh no. I think I just taught M the word vagina.

Jenna: Oh this made my night. What happened?! At least it's not the P word [laughing emoji that won't show up on my blog]

Me: She went to the toilet, and when I came to check on her she was investigating herself. She asked what the part in the middle was and I said, "it's all just part of your vagina" and she said "what's a vagina?"
So that was a scary moment. I tried to explain it as best as I could, saying that girls have them and they are private parts of our bodies, and she said, "so we should just pull down our pants if we need to prove we're girls!!"

Jenna: You can't make this stuff up!!!! Totally innocent moment. Jen will be understanding.

Me: I hope so! I didn't want to just say, "we don't talk about that," or anything, and I was kind of hoping she already knew the word. It's harder for girls, because technically, it's NOT her vagina... Penises are much easier to comprehend, I think.
Oh, my. Haha.

Jenna: I think by that age I called it my vagina... I'm sure they knew the day was coming.

This particular story has an even better follow up. At the end of my nights with M and A I talk with Jen and her husband Kyle and tell them everything that happened in their absence. This particular night had me incredibly nervous, as I wasn't thrilled about having to tell two parents that I had educated their four year old on her reproductive organs.
After telling them the story of what had happened, Jen laughed,
"She DEFINITELY knows that word. She was playing you." They then went on to tell me about life shortly after M had learned the words penis and vagina. Each time a male guest came into their home she would eagerly ask them, "Do you know you have a penis??" Which would then be followed up with a factual, "I have a vagina."
Kyle had been on deployment at this time, and was not sure how and when they would be teaching the V and P words to their daughter. Thus, when he had arrived home and was out driving with M and she quietly asked from her carseat, "daddy, do you have a penis?" He responded, "you know, I'm not sure, let's ask mommy."

I'm pretty certain she told them yes.

Thursday, January 29, 9:43pm

Me: Funny story.
I arrive at Jen's today and M is screaming, which honestly isn't too unfamiliar.
I come right as quiet time is ending and because M doesn't sleep as much anymore, she's often wreaking havoc behind her closed door. Jen asks me to play with A while she deals with M. When she comes out to tell me what happens she is super serious and says, "M pooped in a drawer. When I asked her why she was naked and if she had an accident, she lied, and so she has lost her book privilege and now I need to go clean everything." And I look at her, and I try to look solemn and serious but then I'm like, "oh my gosh, she POOPED IN A DRAWER?!?! BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Sorry. Sorry. No, but really? Bahahaha"

Jenna: Lololololololololol!!!!

But really, she pooped in a drawer?!

Me: Apparently!! I didn't ask the mechanics, but I really want to know them. Did she squat over the drawer? Did she poop and then move it to the drawer? Why didn't she go to the bathroom? So many questions, Jenna.

Thursday, February 26, 6:41pm

Me: Adventures with M #5638951

"What are these?" *lifting up shirt and pointing at her nipples*
"Those are your nipples"
"What are they for?"
"Well, everyone has them. You know how A has them too?"
"Yeah, but his are very small! How big are yours?"
"Uh, probably bigger than yours, because I'm bigger than you."
"Show me!"
"No. I'm not going to show you my nipples."
*grabbing at my shirt and then patting my breasts* "oh wow, yah, they are very big!"

I then explained that mommies feed babies with their nipples and she said "MISS JENNA DOES THAT FOR BABY MAX!!"

Jenna: I loveeeeeeeeeee your M convo recaps. They are THE BEST!

Me: We then moved on to belly buttons and I tried to explain that they are where babies are connected to their moms when they are inside and then we cut the chord when they are born. She told me she was there when you guys cut Max's chord ;).

Jenna: Lolololololol I do love that girl. She is hilarious!!!

The adventures with M are never ending, and I appreciate her peppering my life with spunk and stories. Hopefully this year of babysitting will prepare me for my own hobbit-haired children who are certain to poop in strange places of their own and ask to see my nipples. It's all just part of life. Right? Right. 

To send us off for the night, I give you an inspirational quote: 

"Ms. Melly, you should exercise. You're so slow." - M. 

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Now I can stalk everyone and drink soda.

A few weeks ago I did something bad. I allowed myself to get heated on a Facebook post and say something mean. The problem with mean words is that, even if you regret them as soon as you have formed them, once you have sent them out into the world, they cannot be fully recovered. I didn't call anyone any names, or attack someone's mother, but I snapped at someone very rudely, and was called out on it immediately. And thus, my Facebook privledges were revoked.
I mean, no Facebook gods stole my password or anything crazy like that, but I had clearly shown I was not able to handle the adult responsibility of stalking every person I've ever known. After discussing the situation with Peter, and recognizing that I have a serious Facebook addiction, I deleted Facebook off of my phone and iPad and vowed to finish Lent without it. (My original Lent sacrifice was soda. Just so you're aware. It was a big thing.)

My problem with Facebook was that it was dictating my entire life. The only daily social interactions I was having, besides Peter and children under the age of 5, were those on Facebook. Every day I was seeing the worst of every one I know. Facebook is like attending a party with hundreds of people, but the party lasts forever, and everyone is telling you everything that they think, do, and eat ALL THE TIME. Most sane people would become lunatics if trapped in a situation like that. However, most sane people would also just hide the people they can't stand updates from on Facebook, but NO that is just TOO EASY for Ms. Melece to do. Instead, I hide those people and grow increasingly anxious about what they may possibly be posting. What if they are poisoning others with their aggressive political views and rants about their spouse??!! If I can't see it, HOW CAN I STOP IT? 

Well, the reality is, I can't stop anything anyone says or does ever, but I can give myself a time out for bad behaviour. 

Someone told me I was stupid for giving up Facebook, because any social interaction is better than vegging out in front of Netflix. I have to disagree. When you allow your social (*cough* online) interactions to become toxic as I had, those conversations don't really allow you to improve or grow. They just live in your brain and fester until you're unable to do anything else without steaming over what someone said. For now, I am back, and I have very much enjoyed reading the wonderful things friends have shared on my wall in my absence, but this whole situation has been very enlightening to me. If I want to become a successful therapist, I need to be able to manage my own emotions and seriously reconsider how I interact with the people around me.

Monday, March 16, 2015


 This past Sunday morning I woke with a throbbing headache. Recently I have been getting frequent chronic headaches, and my doctor took pity and prescribed me drugs, HOLLA. I popped my pills, and went back to sleep. I was awoken abruptly at 1pm by someone pounding at my door. I ignored them, but then was forced to put on clothes and answer when the phantom knocker wouldn't leave and continued to pound. I opened the door to find Azriel Stinson stood on my stoop. He greeted me with, "Peter is worried because you haven't answered his texts all day."  
I felt mildly insulted by how little faith Peter has in my ability to adult in his absence, as Azriel was the second person to admit Peter had tasked with making sure I was fed and watered while he was gone. I did feel a bit better when Azriel showed me his texts and the conversation went:

Peter: I haven't heard from Melly all day, do you know if she is okay? 
Azriel: Want me to go over and check on her?
Peter: Yes please. Text me after. 

Azriel, Peter and I have a complex relationship. Almost 5 years after initially meeting in 2010, our relationships with one another are still well established, making both Peter and Azriel the longest, closest friendships I have had since I was about 13. Peter and I jokingly refer to Azriel as our "Plutonic Life Partner," which he agrees to, so long as the "plutonic" describes the relationship, not him as a person, because, as he puts it, "I am VERY sexual, thank you very much."  
Peter and Azriel met and started hanging out at the beginning of fall semester 2010, while I didn't meet Azriel until winter. Although we all hung out as a group, we each developed relationships indepedent of one another, especially the semester after Peter left Hawaii to prepare for his mission, as I then spent most of my free time with Azriel. I cared very deeply for Azriel, and saw him as a big brother, while I found myself falling in love with Peter. 

One day during spring term 2011 I told Azriel that I thought I was falling in love with Peter. To my surprise, he looked stricken. 
"Uhm, we should talk about that," he told me, as we both had to get to class at that moment (great time to get into a serious talk about love, I know.) 
Later he met me at my hale looking very somber. We sat on the couches and Azriel took my hands in his gently. 

"Melly," he started, "Peter isn't interested in you. He flirts with everyone. Really. Don't let yourself be strung on by him. I promise that it isn't worth it. He dates a bunch of girls, and he doesn't realize that he's leading them on, but he is. You're not special to him. I really think you need to move on." 

This speech was completely unexpected to me. I KNEW full well that Peter was over flirtatious, it had been a topic of great confusion when we first started hanging out as I honestly never knew what his intentions were. However, that had been cleared up, hadn't it?? Peter pretty obviously liked me. He had told me so! That being said, when your crush's BEST FRIEND who is also one of your closest friend and who you trust pretty completely to look out for your best interests is telling you your crush doesn't like you, that's a pretty big red flag. What would Azriel have to gain by SUCKING OUT MY SOUL AND CRUSHING MY DREAMS forever? Surely he would have some deep insight through his bro-ness with Peter on whether or not I was being "hearted" or not. 

I thanked Azriel and left to go to the beach, calling Peter on the phone as I went. 

"Do you even like me??" I demanded when he answered. 
"Uh...Yes..?" Peter said, mildly flirtatiously, like he wasn't quite sure if this was a new game of ours or not. 
"Oh really?!" I continued, with the kind of palpable sass and anger that 19 year old girls have aptly perfected and wield daily, "because YOUR BEST FRIEND just told me you're leading me on." 

I continued to rant at him while he denied all accusations of guilt and tried to soothe me. 

"i don't know why he would say that!" He told me, "I really don't. I'll talk to him." 
"Uh huh, sure," I said, before hanging up. 

The rest of the day I got several texts from Peter assuring me of how much he cared for me, and later, I learned, Azriel received a very stern lecture over Skype. 

I like to think about this story as a great indicator of how stellar Azriel has been to both me and Peter. The three of us still hang out, even now that Peter and I are old and boring and married and stuff. Azriel was there for me when I went through the temple, and there with us when we were sealed a month later. I know that he is there for Peter when I am away, and he's my replacement husband when Peter is gone. It works out. If you don't have an Azriel, I recommend you invest in one, they're a good thing to have. 

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Emotionz for dayzzz

I cried tonight. It was much needed. No, nothing happened; I finally got around to watching the film adaptation of John Green's The Fault in Our Stars. I was actually quite pleased that I bawled through about 50% of the film, as I read the book completely dry-eyed and it made me feel like a soulless monster. How can I be so cold as to not sob for the pains of fictional characters?!?!

I am of the belief that a good cry is necessary every once and a while. I don't feel like I cry particularly often, although I suppose in comparison to some people I'm sure I cry all the time. Recently, I've been feeling really stressed out and worried about a lot of things. When Peter asked me last week what it was I was worrying about (it sounds sarcastic when I type it, but he was genuinely asking to try and help) I started the text, "eh, nothing really" but then went on to list about 12 different things. Because I'm a moderately emotionally stable adult, I don't cry about each of those things every day, even when I'm obsessing about them. However, if you're stressing about a lot of things for a while, you start to get all emotionally constipated and you JUST NEED TO CRY. Right? It's like you've got this snot ball in your nose that is growing obscenely large and so you just gotta get one of those baby syringe things and suck that monster out before it suffocates you completely. I know you feel me. You're human. (Or.... PLEASE TELL ME THERE'S A CYBORG READING MY BLOG THAT WOULD BE SO COOL) In order to help snot-syringe my eMotTiunZ, I often have a list of things I can turn to that are infallible in being able to make me cry. They're tools of tears. Very handy to have.

1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

About this time last year, when I was living with four other wonderful women, (oh seriously, those girls were the best), I was always the first one in bed. I had early work to get to, while they were still young and cool and in school. Consequently, there were often fun gatherings in our house late into the night. A fun fact about me is I am dependent on audiobooks to get me to fall asleep. I can delve into that alarming issue at a later date, but let it be known that I have no memory of ever going to bed without listening to an audiobook or radio drama. (This is, in fact, how I came to memorize the first three Harry Potter books as an 11 year old.) One particular night, I was tucked in bed and listening to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, specifically chapter 34 "The Forest Again," where Harry goes to face Voldemort. I have never read or listened to this chapter without crying, even though I have now done so probably close to 40 times. Because I was crying so hard, I had to leave my room to retrieve tissues. I walked past a gaggle of girls on the couch, who quietened as soon as they saw my face.

"Are, you... are you okay?" my roommate Christy asked.
"Yeah" I sighed deeply, mopping at my face, "Harry is just going to go meet Voldemort in the forest and he resurrected his parents. He is so brave."

This statement was met with a moment of complete and utter silence from my friends, before they all burst into hysterical laughter.

I understand that my response was not one the expected, but they laughed at TRUE PAIN. Oh, man. The line that gets me:

“Does it hurt?" The childish question had escaped Harry's lips before he could stop it.

"Dying? Not at all," said Sirius. "Quicker and easier than falling asleep.”

AHHHHHHHH. Oh my gosh, this scene is just so wracked with emotion! First of all, this 17 year old boy has just realized that he is going to die. He is knowingly walking towards his death in order to save everyone he knows. In order to save the entire world. He calls back four of the most important people in his life, all of whom have died for the same cause. This line is what breaks my tear ducts, however, because it is childish. Harry is approaching something completely unknown, and his seeking for comfort by his parents and guardians, just crushes my little heart. YOU ARE SO BRAVE, HARRY POTTER. YOU ARE SO BRAVE.

2. Marley and Me (both movie and book)

I don't think that Marley and Me is a sad story. I actually think it's a wonderfully happy story and I get irked when people say it's depressing. If Marley and Me is depressing, then so is life! (which is a distinct possibility, I realize.) It's dedicated to celebrating the life of a horribly wonderful bad dog. There are so many moments in John Grogan's stories where I laugh aloud. Marley was a wonderful dog, who lived a long and loving life. If, after getting to know this beautiful dog, watching or read him die at old age in his master's arms, and buried in his favourite spot in the garden doesn't make you cry, then maybe you are a cyborg. It IS terribly sad, and it makes me sob every time, but it's also probably the best most wonderful way he could have gone. Why am I justifying this to you? I dunno, but anyway, it's flawless, and I cry and cry and cry.

Look, even reading through Marley and Me quotes on Goodreads is making me tear up again:

“A person can learn a lot from a dog, even a loopy one like ours. Marley taught me about living each day with unbridled exuberance and joy, about seizing the moment and following your heart. He taught me to appreciate the simple things-a walk in the woods, a fresh snowfall, a nap in a shaft of winter sunlight. And as he grew old and achy, he taught me about optimism in the face of adversity. Mostly, he taught me about friendship and selflessness and, above all else, unwavering loyalty.”

3. This Scrubs episode

Dr. Cox's brother in law has died of Lukemia, but we don't work that out until the very end of the episode ^ as seen here. Dr. Cox is one of those characters who doesn't allow himself to show emotion. Throughout the episode everyone is very somber while he still laughs and jokes with his brother in law, who we later realize isn't really there. I HAVE TO STOP TYPING BECAUSE MY HEART IS GOING TO CONCAVE ON ITSELF AND THAT'S NOT A MEDICALLY HEALTHY THING FOR IT TO DO. Anyway, you should watch it.

4. "I Died Today"

Okay, so writing this blog post just made me realize that I may have a problem with dealing with death? I dunno. Possibly. Maybe this should be something I discuss with my therapist. I'll let you know how that goes. Anyway, this story hits me the same way Marley and Me does. Read it. IF YOU DARE. I so far have never made it even half way through without blubbering.

So, anyway, if you were looking for a way to get that emotional snot ball syringed, these are my go-tos

Good luck with your sob-fest, and remember! Crying is okay! However, if you have a crying spell that lasts longer than 2 hours, please contact your health care professional, or, more preferably, your closest friend.

Whew, now I really need something happy.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Don't make baby Jesus cry

Sit down, folks. We need to chat. 

I don't consider this to be a Mormon Blog, but today I am going to be discussing a vastly Mormon concept. Although I'm pretty sure 100% of my readers are LDS, let me define this crucial term for anyone who may be confused. 

Personal Revelation. 

In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we are taught that every individual is capable of praying to God and receiving personal revelation through the Holy Spirit. It is through revelation that we are able to gain knowledge and understanding about things of God, or receive guidance about personal decisions and choices. We believe God has anointed prophets to receive revelation for the world, but that each person also has the capability and right to ask for personal confirmation that the things the prophets have spoken are true. We believe that we are only able to receive revelation for ourselves unless we have been specifically called and set apart to also receive revelation for others (i.e. called as an ecclesiastical leader to others). 

Growing up in the church I was taught to pray always, and to include God in decisions I make, however, I was also taught that revelation I received was for me; others must also ask of God in order to be given answers for themselves. 

Okay. Term defined and explained. Onward! 

In my Social Psychology class at BYUH we studied a section on cults and manipulation. My professor, Dr. Timothy used one lesson to outline a list of red flags to look out for in people we date. The final entry he wrote in capital letters across the whiteboard: "THEY TELL YOU 'GOD SAID YOU HAVE TO MARRY ME'!" 

He then told us sternly, "If anyone ever tells you this, you run. Turn around and book it in the opposite direction." 

I didn't stand up and slow clap it out that day in class, but inside my mind I totally did. This was something that I knew was true and didn't even feel anyone would ever question. Unfortunately, I have now seen dozens of people use this key form of manipulation and others listen to it. 


Saying that God told you that someone else has to marry you is a douche of a move. Every person in this world has their own agency. We are given commandments, but we can always choose whether we follow them or not. There will be consequences for good or for bad, but we still are given a choice. Therefore, I do not believe God will ever tell someone (*booming voice*) "YOU MUST MARRY HIM!" Instead, He will confirm if marrying someone is a good move, or confirm that we need to get to ello out of Dodge. Our choice remains. 

Secondly, who died and anointed you supreme leader of inspiration, Kemosabe? Chances are, no one did. Say you have prayed about someone and decided that they would be a good marital companion for you. That's great! Unfortunately, it takes two to make a marriage, and therefore, only half of the process has been completed. 

Trying to take religion out of this example is hard, as it is a concept that relies on a belief in a deity who cares about our wellbeing, but I am going to try. 

Timmy and Kimmy are dating. They love each other very much and are beginning to discuss marriage. Kimmy comes to Timmy one day and says, "it is settled. You must marry me. I contacted the President of the United States and he officially stated that you, Timmy Grindledore must marry me Kimmy Dumblewald." 
What should Timmy do? Should he believe that Kimmy is correct, and go start working on wedding plans? 
Realistically, the POTUS probably doesn't know Kimmy and Timmy inside and out and know if their relationship will work, so the analogy is mildly flawed, however, what about the fact that Kimmy sought help from an outside source and used that discussion to decide once and for all that a marriage was to be had? Shouldn't Timmy have a say in things? The way she brought it to Timmy was incredibly manipulative because she attempted to use a higher power and authority to dictate the behavior and choices of a man she says to love. 

*BUZZER NOISE* EHHHHHHHHH.  That's a red flag there, Timmy. 

When Peter first got home from his mission in Japan there was a time where we dated long distance. I was in Hawaii and he was in Seattle, and so our main form of communication was through Skype, text, and phone calls. One morning I got a text from Peter. It said, 

"When I pray about marrying you, I feel like it is a good thing. I hope that when you pray about it, you feel the same :). I love you." 

A sassy Greek muse chorus sang out hallelujah in my head. 

I felt confident that Peter was not going to try and assert his will over mine. While he made it clear that he had hopes to marry me, he also let me know that my own revelation was important. Ten points to Gryffindor!*

Anyway, please stop being douches to people you want to date or marry. It's not cool and it makes baby Jesus cry. Manipulation has no place in a marriage, so if you see signs of manipulation from those you are dating, run away fast. It is much better to be single than to be in an unhappy marriage. At least that's what I can tell from the 9 couples I know (who are my age) who have already faced a divorce. Know that you have a say in your relationships. No one can force you into anything that you don't want, and likewise, you have no right to force them. 

Be excellent, dudes.  

*in reading this to Peter he felt he deserved much more than 10 points. I think that if Harry and Ron can receive 5 points after conquering a troll and Harry and Hermione can lose 50 points (each) for being out of bed past dark, the point system is pretty much based on the mood of the professor or prefect, sooooooo, it could be debated either way.