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.