Friday, April 29, 2011

Marriage - True Love or a Business Decision?

I think my ability to love a man in an eternal, selfless, unconditionally loving more-than-friends way is broken.  I listened to the general authorities council that they encourage us to get married young because the older we get, the more we develop tendencies that are not conducive to a happy marriage.  I don't believe those were moral-issue tendencies to which they referred.  I believe those were issues such as being overly independent, which in a relationship can translate to selfishness.  And I believe I am very guilty.

Every man I date I have a great time with.  But have I thought, "Holy cow!  What an amazing life partner he would be!?"  Like a team, you know?  I instead think, "He'd be fun to have around, but would my life really improve personally, professionally, spiritually from having him around forever?"  The answer is always, "I don't know."  Then it makes me think maybe I think too much of myself and no one will ever be that man whom I would "go into business with."

Are any of the men I've dated men I would, in the business world, go into business with?  Can I go into the business of eternal marriage with them?  Of building a life together?  Of creating life together?  I mean we are talking the BIG time.

I hear the men being counseled over and over again to get married, date, etc.  I hear them being reprimanded.  And I feel guilty because it isn't strictly their faults.  I try to give them a chance, I really do, but I just don't feel sure about any of them.  Then I wonder if maybe I should just pick one who is a good man and stick with him.  But doesn't he deserve that woman who is as head-over-heels unconditionally in love with him as he is her?  I've heard some say this doesn't matter to them, that he will take the woman he loves any way he can have her. I have loved, but I want to love my spouse as unconditionally as he loves me - it is only fair, isn't it?

I feel as if my capacity to love a man just isn't there.  But why?  It's not as if I was severely abused or damaged in some serious way in my childhood.  And my parents have the most romantically wonderful loving relationship anyone could ever hope for. 

I don't like going to people for help (I do love giving the help), yet a huge part of relationships is letting someone help you and helping someone else, compromising on daily schedules, making decisions based off of what is best for "we" instead of what is best for "me."  I have thirty years of decisions based on ME....just up and changing that is not going to be a simple task.

I worry I'll never find that person I just know is the right person.  Why?  I know I could have married two or three of the men I've dated and been happy, but I just can't bring myself to make that decision because I don't feel as if I know.  Is there someone out there who would be a better life partner?  If so, will I ever find him?  And when I do, will I feel there is someone yet who is a better match for me?

Do I demand way too much from men I date simply as an excuse to never have to take that leap of faith?  The easiest choice is to run away.

When will I ever just sit back and say, "My life is blessed, and you are a blessing in it, and I want to share our lives together?"

We, as human nature, fear the unknown.  I was unhappy once many years ago and I fear a decision that leads me into an unknown place where I could possibly have hurt again.  Marriage lets go of my independence - my choices are no longer my own and I lose control over my own life.  And it freaks me right out. 

I need to heed the words of the Church of England from today's big event, "people have forgotten God today and rely solely on each other in the marriage. The only way to make it work is by having faith in God." Oh, and George Michael - "You gotta have faith (a-faith-a-faith)."

Is marriage a business decision or is the fairy tale of true love real? 


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Singles Ward Hopper: What is Wrong with Women in Singles Wards?

I happened upon this intriguing site yesterday while doing a search to see if the new boundaries for the singles ward restructurings were published.
(by the way, if you need to know what singles ward you are in, go here)

I have no idea how current the site is.  What I do know is that it is hilarious.  And harsh.  

The author, an anonymous thirty-two year old single male lawyer living in Salt Lake City, has been to every ward in the Valley and offers some answers to interesting questions:

How do you know you are at a singles ward?
What do you think of singles wards?
What do you think of singles ward Bishopric's?
Are you inactive? Do you have a testimony?

And, my favorite question, "What is wrong with the girls in singles wards?"

His answer is a slap across the face and I'd like to see what you all think (I've pulled only excerpts, go to his site for a full read-through):

"Two thirds of the young women are overweight.  These girls all think that because they have good personalities, or good jobs, or are well-educated that guys should care more about who they are than how they look.... young men will never want to be intimate with them if they're ... heavy...While beauty isn't the only important thing in a girl, it is the gateway to the other qualities which no man cares about exploring without the attraction...  Like men, women have an obligation to be happy, to procreate, to start a family, to experience humanity and love...Nobody would have wanted to kiss Sleeping Beauty if she were a fatty with a Ph.d.  ...you can't start a fire without a spark."

"The other third of the girls who aren't overweight have a different problem, which I'll illustrate by describing what happens when I go to dinner with them.  We sit down at a nice dinner, and they begin to talk about somebody who's suffering some medical or emotional problem.  They then begin to extol the virtues of holistic/herbal medicine and animal rights, which apparently this person who's suffering doesn't understand.  I nod in increasing frustration as they begin to praise vegetarianism...seems like many LDS women who aren't married seek to identify with bizarre belief systems, as if these beliefs have become their spouses, to the point they become blind to real life.  I am amazed how many women spend all dinner telling me about pharmaceutical companies conspiring to cover up a cure for cancer that holistic doctors have discovered, or who refuse to eat because they are doing "cleanses" with exotic fruit juices, as if somehow these fruit cleansers form covalent bonds with all the toxins in their bodies and clean them out...All of these beliefs have somehow replaced these women's testimonies and retarded their ability to appreciate and interact with traditional, non-artsy, down-to-earth males..."

"Then, there is another pervasive problem that I observe across LDS women before going on dates . . . pride....The girls start behaving in YSA wards like they did in high school, forming clicks, and deciding which groups of people they'll socialize with and which they won't...in which many of the best men in the YSA wards are overlooked because they refuse to participate in the superficiality, or lack the time or inclination to do so."

"The men, of course, have problems too, but not as many in my opinion.  They're overweight also, and some are generally losers...I don't think weight matters as much for men, though, even though I recognize the double-standard...  The biggest problem I've noticed with men as they get older in singles wards is they begin blaming their unhappiness in life on their parents rather than trying to change whatever is causing it themselves."

Interesting, no?  What do you think?  Feel free to comment anonymously;-)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Young Frankenstein



What do you do when some of your besties come up to you and excitedly ask, "Do you want to get season tickets with us for Broadway Across America at the Capitol Theater?"
Don't think.  Say, "YES!"

For those of you who don't know, Broadway Across America is the organization that brings us the touring Broadway shows of everything from "Wicked" to "Les Miserables" to "Legally Blonde."

We bought these tickets what seems like forever ago and last night we were finally able to experience our second show - "Young Frankenstein." 

I've seen this Mel Brooks show on Broadway, starring the likes of Sutton Foster (my fav!), Roger Bart, Megan Mullally, so I wasn't quite sure if another company could win me over.  Especially considering I will see any show for Sutton Foster or Megan Mullally, but shows with jokes from a man missing a leg and an arm saying something cost him "an arm and a leg" just don't typically tickle my fancy.  Mel Brooks' style is so over-the-top with blatant puns and innuendos thrown in your face - subtlety is non-existent.  "Roll in the Hay," anyone?  I like a pun to be so clever you feel particularly clever yourself if you catch it.  Or just so so so ridiculously cheesy that you can't help but laugh at the person trying to make it funny.  Ends up the humor was more of the latter than I remembered. 

Melissa's favorite part of the show was the character Igor (eye-gore).  Which, consequently, leant itself to my favorite part of the show, which was listening to Melissa laughing at Igor:-)

Jon was dreaming the entire evening of someday playing Dr. Frankenstein - even choreographing his own tap number while we descended the stairs after the show.  The dance numbers in this show are big, impressive, entertaining, and involve real dance - from tap to ballet to my favorite type that is more of a gymnastics endeavor.  If you enjoy *big* Broadway production numbers, you'll enjoy this show.

Chris?  Well, I'm not sure what his favorite part was...the lady in front of us almost laying her head on his knee during the entire show, the couple on a date behind us, trying not to laugh at the innuendos, sitting next to me, or fantasizing about turning into "the monster" with accompanying deep love.

I think a highlight of the evening for all of us was being escorted backstage after the show.  Seeing all of the magic deconstructed back there - the costumes, the props, the sets, the make-up stations, the quick-change areas, standing in the wings...talk about being on the very cusp of your dreams!  Never, in a million years, did I imagine I'd be part of a circle of people so closely involved with an area of my life that has always fulfilled me more than any other.  I am blessed. 

Three of my biggest blessings? Melissa, Jon, and Chris - I love you all and thanks for another fantastic evening at the theater!





NCMO Caveat

Looks like NCMO is a hot topic for all of you.  Gee, I wonder why?  ;-)

Ends up, after some discussion and psychoanalysis if you will, my friends have helped me to discover it isn't necessarily always the act of NCMO I have trouble with. Haven't we all dreamt of being swept away by a handsome romantic (or exotic beauty) on vacation?  Or meeting someone thrilling at a party and becoming enraptured in each others' presence even though you know you'll be in different states the next morning?  Or finally giving things a shot with that long-time friend to see if this is the magic moment where it all changes? (sometimes it does!)  I gotta tell you, I would probably fall victim to NCMO in scenarios like this.  Why?  There is a difference between a one night hook up/giving things a chance and a NCMO/repeated booty call.

If both parties involved know it is just for physical gratification, the act is habitual, and there is no hope or intention on both sides, I continue to have all of the aforementioned issues and continue to find emotional and physical destruction. The real sticking point for me is that NCMO typically involves only one of the parties secretly wishing or hoping for more.  One party who continues to believe that eventually one of these encounters will lead to something more.  The other party tries to kid themselves into believing that repeated encounters are not resulting in any feelings of attachment.  The circle of pretending, the lack of communication, is the crucial root of the destructiveness as I see it.

One of my friends also pointed out, "I think these people should be congratulated they are keeping NCMO's within the law of chastity!  I say GOOD JOB for not having one night stands"  Ha.  Too true. I have to say, I thought about how extremely silly my thoughts on this may seem because, in many other cultures, kissing would be the least of my worries.

The best gem I received on the matter?  Well, read it for yourself:

"I say enjoy life, kiss strangers but if that stranger keeps staring at you then they may have realized what they just ran into... and when that happens smile and stay a little longer in that moment. And believe that God created that moment for you. For you to experience love, because you are worth it, because you are beautiful, because you are a good kisser and your talents should be shared :)."

Monday, April 25, 2011

NCMO


I do not approve of NCMO*.  The act disgusts me.

I don't understand what makes a person either:
a) think so little of themselves that they have to stoop to the level of believing the only way they will be able to have someone of the opposite sex is to give away physical affection without mental connection, or
b) think so little of another person that they use that individual to gratify physical desires - have they no more respect for the person than that?  How selfish.

Neither of these situations shows the respect and love for Heavenly Father's children as He would have us show.

The ironic part to me is that most LDS singles are having these NCMO's within the law of chastity**, which basically means they are getting themselves all worked up with nowhere to go.  Not only are they either abusing themselves or someone else, the end result is somewhat...frustrating to say the least.

So why are you doing it?!  I love you more than to use you or see you be used like that.  Why can't you love yourself enough?  Why can't you see you - the beautiful, respectable purity of you that I see when I look into your eyes?  Why can't you just be true to who you know you are?

I am so saddened by this and I will no longer pretend like it is okay.  You think you are going to find the kind of man or woman you want to spend eternity with through NCMO?  Your quest for companionship is the reason you are degrading yourself to that level, and, yet, I do not believe that what you are doing is realistically going to find you the kind of partner that you long for so deeply, sincerely that you have shed tears upon your pillow countless nights.  I wish I could hold you and share with you how much I love you and how much Heavenly Father loves you and how much the remarkable person you are has touched my life as well as many more than you could ever know.

Please stop.  Please know you are better than that.  Please know I love you.  Please know Heavenly Father loves you.  Please know there is a man or woman out there waiting to be held in your arms.  Someone who wants more of you than to know you selfishly gave away the affection they have been longing for and waiting to have from you.  Please know there is someone waiting to be held in the arms of the individual with whom you are using for your own physical gratification.  Please be as selfless in this quest as I have seen you be in so many others.  Please be true to who you know you are.

This is killing me inside.  I have witnessed potential-filled relationships destroyed by this type of behavior.  I will not tolerate it any longer or pretend as if it is okay.  It isn't.  You deserve so much more.



* Non-Commital Make Out
** Chastity is sexual purity.  Those who are chaste are morally clean in their thoughts, words, and actions.  Chastity means not having any sexual relations before marriage.  It also means complete fidelity to husband or wife during marriage. 



Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Day I Stayed Home

I made a goal for myself, a strange goal that took three years to accomplish.

I wanted a day at home.  A day when I did not leave the confines of my lovely condo all day long.  I don't even remember the last time I stayed in one location all day.

For those of you who know me, this is a pretty impossible task.  I hit the gym six days per week and have church on the seventh day.


I devised a plan.  Every six months the LDS church has Semi-Annual General Conference.  I can watch these broadcasts on TV.  I'm a sucker for invites from friends to watch at their homes, however, so for 2.5 years this wasn't quite working out.  Six months ago on a Sunday during Conference, I thought my goal would finally be met, but woke up with Vertigo and had to be taken to Instacare for a nice shot in the butt.

This past General Conference (Sunday, April 3) I had my mind made up to turn down all invites and stay in my hillside haven.  And I did.

Not nearly as spectacular as I had hoped, but relaxing.  Pretty anti-climactic, isn't it?  Yeah, that's how I felt, but one more goal check-marked off the list.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Facebook Deactivation

Some of you may quickly notice I no longer have a presence on Facebook.

The world has not ended, no need to panic.  I have just found that, the past two weeks, I want to be that person updating my status with negative details about my life in order to get attention.  I don't want to be that person. I've also found myself wasting a bit too much time there recently.  Last, but not least, my heart hurts and I would best be served not seeing the daily details of a few of my friends' lives for the time being.

With all of the elements combined, I decided it was best to simply deactivate.  Maybe for a week,  maybe for a month, but not forever. 

But lucky you guys!  You know where to find me;-)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Dear Diary: May 26, 1993

Dear Diary,
I have lost 33 pounds and I've kept it off!  I have problems keeping a diary because I'm so busy.  I just started gymnastics in November 1992 and I can do back-handsprings, front-walkovers, back-walkovers, cartwheels on the beam, handstands on beam, back-hip circles on bars, almost front-hip circle on bars, on pars: pullovers, single leg cast squat through, almost cast squat on, sole circle, and lots more!
I weigh 97 pounds and I feel great.  I don't have a crush on any boys.  We got lists in school of 10 people we would be most compadable with.  Guess what?  I'm 65% compadable with Joe L.  Remember him?  I have lots of friends that I know like me but some of course think I act a little weird now and then.  Here they are: (not in order) Tricia S, Trisha C, Alicia M, April B, Jenny C, Kari B, Heidi N, Katie N, Sarah M, Renee P, Amber B, Stacy W, Joanna W, Natasha W, Joan B, Tracy B, Erica C, Tiarra C, Katie I, Katie G, Sarah R, Amanda M, Renee W, Molly R, Nicole W, Kim W, Emily N, Kelli R, Jenny S, Becky T, Nichole R, Katie P, Kelli O, Amy V, Amanda W, Brittany P, Chrissie B, Joy W, Jessica C, Bethany S, Amelia L, Rebecca H, Bethany K, Emily M, Michelle B, Bethany R, and lots more my mind just went blank.
I got contacts.  I hate glasses I've had them since 3rd grade and now I'm in 7th.  I get out of school tomorrow, Yes!!  I've gotten straight A's all year and I have Pre-Algebra!  My teachers are nice this year, and everything seems easier.  Last year I missed the last two weeks of school because of an ear infection.  I am trying out for a baton team and I hope I make it.  Well T.T.F.N., Ta-Ta-For-Now.

One Dating Rule

I will not date a man whose moobs are bigger than mine.
That is all.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Since I Fell For You

You asked for more dating stories.  Be careful what you wish for.

My date and I returned home from a lovely winter evening at the theater.  We began to trot across the parking lot to my hillside condo for brownie baking bliss.  I spied with my little eye a puddle.  Of course I took this opportunity to be all cutesy and dainty and fearless, hopping from one pointed toe to the other across this black abyss.

Little did I know the dark mass of puddledom was equipped with camouflage, which some might refer to as ice.  With all of my mass on my tip toes, there was not enough gripping surface area to prevent the inevitable. 

Swoooooooosh!

Down on my bottom.  Right into the depth of the icy puddle. 

My date flung his hands out of his pockets as he tried to catch me.  Only in a good story does an attempt at chivalry backfire.  This is a good story, don't you worry.  He ended up flinging out all of the pocket-contents - keys, wallets, whatever else, and still not coming anywhere near to rescuing me.

In my attempt to heal my wounded pride and tenderized rump, I stood up and laughed.  What else can you do?  If you don't laugh, you'll cry.

He asked if I was alright, and my brilliant mind decided on this:  push him and yell at him, "Why did you let me fall? You jerk!"  Poor, confused date.  Once he realized I was laughing, he caught on to the joke.

Now I can say I have wet my pants on a date.


Dear Diary: December 30, 1992

In the summer we went to Yellowstone.  My friends in order are now Amelia L, Renee P, April B, Stacy W, Chrissie B, Joy W, Katie N, Amanda W, Brittany P, and I have a lot more.  I'm 1/2 and 1/2 in school everyone knows me but about 1/2 don't like me or use me.  I don't like any boys.
BYE!
L.V.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Oklahoma!

You all have asked for more show reviews, so here you have one.

This past Saturday evening, I had the opportunity to see the latest Empress Theatre production: Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Oklahoma!"

Most of the shows I see these days because I have a friend or two or ten to support, but I secretly love the excuse to see just about anything or something I perhaps would not have otherwise seen.  "Scarlet Pimpernel" at Hale Center Theater Orem is not a locale to which I thought I'd journey, but my friend Erica was performing and - wow - very likely my favorite local show of last year.

I find it hard to write objectively because I honestly don't care much for Rodgers and Hammerstein.  I've never even seen "Oklahoma!" until now because of this.  I only attended to support Amy, Jeremy, Rossy, and Perry.  Any show with a 16-minute "dream ballet" (two words that should never be together unless they turn "Inception" into a musical) isn't really for me. But ya know what?  This production won me over.  Maybe the best of the half dozen or so shows I've seen there.

Back to the Empress - a place I called home for about four months.

I've seen some spectacular and some not-so-spectacular performances here.  I've worried about The Empress.  This place, in the middle of nowhere (Magna, Utah), is an intimate, out-of-ordinary venue, and doesn't facilitate all the glitz and glamor a lot of folks want when they spend a little dough for a night on the town.  But the place has got heart, not to quote one of their/my recent shows.  I love the unique history of the building, the way they redecorate the entire building for each show, the friendliness of the staff, the out-of-traffic city, the small-town feel of it all.  You know The Empress is fighting for, and dedicated to everything it has and is.

"Oklahoma!" opened with this angelic voice wafting from the rafters.  "Oh what a beautiful morning" indeed.  Methinks to myself this voice sounds BYU Music Dance Theater program if I ever heard one.  A quick glance through the program confirms my suspicions about Johnny Hebda as Curly.  Not only did his voice bring a smile to my face, but his smile did also - I love when the male romantic lead of a show is aesthetically appealing.  Seems like the ladies always are, so a darling lady doesn't catch me off-guard.

Aunt Eller sat on her stool churning butter (which makes me laugh), soon enough welcoming in the enchanting April Tritchler as Laurey.  Maybe her red hair gives her a "stereotype" advantage, but she had a magnetic presence - feisty, yet gentle and somewhat naive, yet intelligent.  Hard to put my finger on, but what a fantastic, fully convincing performance.  She did sound as if she had a little cold or was simply a wee bit exhausted from "hell week," as it was opening weekend.   

The show continued, and continued, and continued.  That would probably be my only complaint.  I didn't even mind the reconstruction scene-change that took 5 or so minutes in the dark (it was rather hilarious).  The show is simply too long.  But that is in no way the fault of the performers.  Ask anyone to sit still for 3+ hours and they are going to get a little restless and weary, no matter how great the production.  If the storyline were more complicated, this would be understandable, but we have the classic storyline of girl and aunt live together, boy falls for girl, bad boy employee of aunt falls for girl, boys fight, good boy wins.  Ah well.  Love conquers all, even three hours on my tuches. 

Throughout the show, we met Ado Annie (Jessica Lee), Will Parker (Curtis Nash), Gertie Cummings (Rossy Moreno), Ali Hakim (Jeremy Heaps), Jud Fry (Dave Mecham), and an ensemble of townsfolk.  

My eyes widened in amazement a little as soon as the girls began singing, "Many a New Day."  I have never heard an ensemble sound so tight, so gorgeous, so harmonious at the Empress.  These ladies hands-down won me over.  The dance numbers were a little slow, but clean.  I've come to appreciate clean dancing in the community theaters around here - the kind where everyone is in sync, no one stands out, and the few more impressive moments are put together well.  I've also come to know that this is a feat not just anyone can accomplish...even just one dancer off can upset the aesthetic of the whole number.  No such occurrence here.  The two shining numbers are "The Farmer and the Cowman," and "Oklahoma." 

Speaking of the cast, I wanted to mention a few others who truly impressed me.  My favorite character of the night is Ali Hakim because, let's face it, that guy makes me laugh.  Jeremy is a dear friend of mine and I don't know if I've seen him shine more.  He's definitely found comfort in his comedic chops.  He may have been able to shine so well because of the chemistry he shared with his on-stage "love interests."  Jessica, as Ado Annie, stuck the quirky antics of her character over and over again in an old-school, classic Broadway style.  Rossy (another darling friend), as Gertie, had this laugh that made me jealous.  Not because it was adorable, but because every time she laughed, the whole audience erupted.  Who wouldn't want to make people laugh like that?  

"Oklahoma!" runs every Monday, Friday and Saturday through May 14th.  If you've been wondering about giving The Empress a try, go ahead and test the waters on this show.  I think you'll find yourself willing to jump in.


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Dear Diary: June 27, 1992

Dear Diary,
Today my friends in order are Erica C.

(How sad and destitute is that coming from an 11 year old?)

Dear Diary: January 25, 1991

Dear Diary,
Today I had fun.  I will name my friends in order.  Chelsea R, April B, Melissa C, Renee P, Melissa S, Nicole D, Trisha C, Karma K, and Serra J.  I just counted my ponies, MLP.  I have 111 and I'm sure I counted right this time.  Muzzy has been missing for 2 1/2 months. By.

Whisper

Have you ever noticed that anything said in a whisper is that much more exciting?

I hear people whisper and I think, "Ooooo this must be gooooood."

I lean close and overhear, "The cat shredded the toilet paper again."

Must be some top-secret code talk I am now privy to as part of some special elite club.

Maybe you don't get excited about whispers, but I sure do.  Everything is exciting in a whisper.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Bless You

When someone sneezes, you say, "Bless you."  Right?

What do you say when you sneeze?  I say "Excuse me."  Seems pretty common, no?

My little sister, for as long as I can remember, has said, "Bless me," when she sneezes.  I tried to explain to her how the whole "Bless you/Excuse me" thing is supposed to work, to no avail.  That squirt makes me giggle.
 

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Dear Diary: August 14, 1990

Dear Diary,
Today we went to Americana and I got a New Kids mirror, poster, a ketsup squirter, cloth stuffed hanging rainbow, and a stuffed seal.  new Kids still have their way.  Donnie Wahlberg might quit the group.  All five names are Jordan Knight, Joey McIntyre, Jon Knight, Donnie Wahlberg, and Danny Wood.  6-16-90 Muzzy, our cat, got hit by a car and crushed his leg, he's alright now though.  He acts as if it never happened!! Well, GOTTA GO!!  Write ya Later!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Stereotypes

I somehow manage to feel pigeon-holed by my stereotype way too frequently.  What is my stereotype?  Being a woman.

Amazingly enough, I've often heard, "You aren't the stereotypical theater person."  Little do those folks know that only about one of every twenty theater people I meet is actually that person.

Back to womanhood.  There are simple differences that make women women and men men.  There is a multi-billion dollar industry based upon trying to understand these differences.  I am a huge advocate of embracing the positives about the things that make us who we are.  Yet, the media and society has now included this whole realm of things that make a woman that are not naturally a part of "womanhood".

Naturally and unnaturally, there are a lot of things about being a woman that I adore and things that I abhor.

What are some of these things?

Negatives
  • I have no desire in my body or mind at this time to produce babies.  The thought of being pregnant or having a baby is probably of what I am most afraid.  Because of the stereotypes I feel like people think there is something wrong with me because I feel this way.  Maybe there is, but I like to think there isn't.
  • I have a problem with crying.  It means I'm weak.  I am not weak.  Or it means, "Oh she's just crying because she's a girl," and people think I'm crying over nonsense because I'm a girl.  You cannot discount people's emotions like that!
  • I do not like scrapbooking, quilting, sewing, or any other types of craft. I don't have a problem with people who do, I just don't get pleasure from cutting out letters or taking an hour to label three photos.
  • Married men refer to their wives as "the old ball and chain."  Media has put forth this stigma that wives nag, prevent men from doing what they really want to, don't enjoy physical affection, are merely "putting up with" men, and many other negative traits.  I never want a man, especially the man to whom I am married, feeling this way about me.  My insecurities already abound, I'd rather just not get married at all.
  • I have no desire to plan a wedding reception.  If I could afford, with no pain at all, to hire a planner, I'm all for a rockin' party.  But I hear the word "wedding" and automatically become stressed.
  • TMI, but I don't suffer from PMS and have never had a cramp in my life.  I HATE it when a man says a woman is in a bad mood because it is "that time of the month."  Maybe it is just a bad day! 
  • Weakness physically.  Yes, mother nature made us a physically weaker sex, but I work out every day.  Don't assume I'm weak or not good at frisbee just because I'm a girl.  I love the shocked look on their faces when they realize I can bring it.
  • Cooking.  I love to cook, seriously.  And bake.  But I don't want to be expected to.   Men are often seen as not good at cooking, but I've encountered several who are quite tasty...their food that is.  I cook the way I like my food.  Given my affinity for fiber, whole wheat, "fake meat" products, and extremely hot/spicy foods, I'm pretty sure most people's palates don't agree with mine, but I sure love it.  And my homemade oreo's and chocolate chip cookies are pretty much famous.
  • Professional success.  I love that I have a great job.  I hate that I feel guilty when I let a chivalrous young man pay for my fun evening.  I don't really make more than your average bear, yet I've never dated a man with a higher salary.

Positives
  • Dresses.  Particularly cutesy, girly dresses.  I'd wear a dress every day if I had more casual wear.  So, I guess you can say I enjoy fashion. 
  • 4-inch high heels.  I feel powerful, confident, sexy, stylish.  I love the compliments from men and women when I wear them.
  • Being cute.  
  • Being short.  This makes me feel more protected in a man's arms. And gives me a great excuse to climb on the shelves in the grocery store.
  • Curves.  If I were a man, I'd definitely want me a curvy woman.  
  • Incredibly soft skin.  I loved this about my grandmother and my mother.  I thank them.
  • My long, flowing blonde tresses that will let me style them any way I want.  I lucked out.
  • Having a nurturing, caring instinct.
  • Nail polish.  My friend Amy once said that God must have known we women are attracted to all of the wonderful colors His world has to offer so he gave us lots of colors of nail polish to experiment with.
  • I love my kitty.  A lot.  I've literally had men tell me this means I will be a single, old cat lady.  Seriously?  Not allowed to like cats now?  I maintain my philosophy that 80% of all cats are indeed evil.  Mine is an angel whose only flaw is not coming when her name is called.  Unless this one man calls her.  She's in love with him and he has this odd power over her.  I'm non-existent when he's around.  But I know who she's going home with.
  • Smelling good.  I love clean, fresh smells.  I love that I am expected to smell that way.
  • Being asked on a date.  How wonderful is it when a man asks you if he can share an evening with you? 
I'm sure I could go on and on, but there are your surface-level frustrations or lack thereof.  And when it comes to the man I end up with?  He will appreciate the nurturing and compassionate nature I have as a woman and respect me for those things that make us different - appreciating the gentleness that he does not himself possess naturally.  He will not be that man who feels women suck the life out of men.  We don't.  We give it to them;-)

What stereotypes about men/women do you like/not like?

Friday, April 15, 2011

Coconut Twix

I stopped into a 7-11 the other day and low and behold, taunting me in a fancy display - Coconut Twix! I'm a sucker for trying new flavors of candies. If you wanna know, odds are I've tried it, so go ahead and ask.

What did it taste like?  At first bite, I knew this treat had tickled my taste buds before, but it couldn't be - the flavor is brand new.  After a few hours, pre-sleep relaxation brought to mind the comforting childhood memories of my hidden stash (in the my little pony playhouse) of Girl Scout Cookies.  Ding!  Coconut Twix is a Samoas, only without the shreds of actual coconut..  I'm not a huge fan, although it certainly wasn't bad, I prefer original Twix deliciosity.






Since I'm writing about a new coconut candy, I may as well tell you about the other recent coconut treats I've tried.

Dove is always delicious.  The cream in the middle is divine, but my palate was expecting  real coconut too.  Dove Almonds have these tiny little pieces of almonds instead of whole chunks, which is what I was hoping for with the coconut. 


Tastes like an M&M with a drop of coconut extract.  Not much else to say.


These.  Mmm.  These.  Almond Joy Pieces taste like M&Ms only with actual tiny bits of coconut and almond.  This one is definitely my favorite of the new coconut treats.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

TV Movies and DVDs

Why is it that when you see a movie on TV, you get sucked in, even if you own the DVD and can watch it anytime you want?  Or even if you've seen the movie a dozen times? 

I decided to do an hour of cardio with Gym on Saturday and found myself torn between "Back to the Future" and "Wedding Planner."  Both of which I own.  One clearly better than the other.  Yet, I found myself mesmerized, wanting to stay on the treadmill until I knew Marty McFly's parents united happily ever after. 

I did manage to escape the clutches of the TV movie, but tell me I am not alone - Does this happen to you?


Dear Diary: August 11, 1990

Dear Diary,
New Kids have more fame than ever now.  My favorite is Jordan Knight (cute).  My favorite song is Funny Feeling.  Their song Step by Step was on top for 3 weeks WOW!!  My birthday is in 1 month and 9 days I'm going to have a slumber party.  I have 105 My Little Ponies I love horses I've been collecting since I was 3.  School starts the 28 I can't wait to go and meet new friends and see my old good as gold friends.  Here are my friends in order from 0 to 10 the first six I will invite to my slumber party.  Melissa S, Amelia L, Nicole D, Trisha C, Melissa C, Audra D, Chrissy B, Misty B, Sandy M, Karma K, Kelli R, and Joy W. That's more than 10 but their all good friends.  Joe's fine I don't know he's nice and all but he never pays any attention to me so I'm getting ready to break up with him unless he starts paying attention to me.  I called him and he didn't even know who I was.  Well GOTTA GO

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Facebook Invites

How many idiots are there who don't read the Facebook invites before posting on the wall?

"Sorry I can't make it, I have a birthday party that night."
Really?  You have a birthday party from now until May 10?  That is one loooooong party...

Almost every event to which I am invited, I scroll down, I think to intentionally frustrate myself, and see these people posting they are out of town that weekend or walking their dog or whatever. Over and over and over.

Folks.  Look at the event details.  Please.  You are making us all question your intelligence.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Dear Diary: January 10, 11 & 12 1990

Dear Diary,
Today at school we were talking about wills.  When I die, my will will be, I don't know what it will be.  Today we were studying fractions with a candy bar and when it got cut into 32 pieces our whole class got to have a piece.  Well, Joe is fine, our plan hasn't failed.  I never ever want to break up with him.  He is so very nice and cute.  My sister still thinks he's a dork, but I, I disagree with her.  I don't think I draw good, here's a picture of one.



Dear Diary,
How are you?  I'm fine and really tired today the dentist checked my teeth they're fine.  Mom locked the keys in the house and it was cold outside.  By.  I'll draw one more picture.


Dear Diary,

I Don't Feel Pretty, so Why Pretend?

While flipping back and forth between "Wedding Planner" and "Back to the Future" at the gym on Saturday, I caught a TLC ad for "What Not to Wear" or some like-minded makeover show.

The young lady snapped at the makeover team, "I don't feel pretty, so why pretend?"

I felt so sad for her.  Then I realized I am terribly, all-too-often guilty.  Most of us are.

I think back to ten years ago when I wore baggy jeans and t-shirts almost every day.  Or I *gasp* wore my pajamas out in public.  Why?  I didn't feel pretty, so why wear nice clothes and pretend?

I feel most confident and capable in my gym clothes.  I wear dress clothes 6-7 days per week, but I also wear my gym clothes 6 days per week.  That being said, I am still so self-conscious that, until recently when a friend had a talking-to with me, I wore Large gym shirts when I should have been wearing Smalls.  I literally forced myself to throw out (aka donate) all of my size large gym shirts and all of my "I feel ugly" dress clothes.  I will not give myself excuses.  And I've already caught myself rummaging through my hangers for those large shirts.

Think back on all of those days when you felt "ugly."  Haven't you felt so much better when you have cleaned up, fixed your hair, and put on a nice outfit? I know nothing cheers me up quite like a compliment.  I may not believe the compliment every time, but it sure helps.  Don't let the ugly you feel inside creep outside too.  Stop that beast where it started and slap yourself with a pretty stick. 

Sometimes the thing that makes me feel pretty is actually going to the gym and pushing myself to the sweaty, out-of-breath point of exhaustion.  The equivalent for someone else is anything that puts you in your element.  Perhaps an act of service, singing a song with all your heart, dancing, going for a drive, whatever it is - do it.

You are beautiful and you are definitely worth trying - for yourself and for others.

Monday, April 11, 2011

My Smoking Problem

I don't know what to do about this problem I have.  My whole condo smells like smoke.  My clothes smell like smoke.  My lungs are infiltrated and I can't stop.



Why?

Because it is my neighbors! I recall having a very slight version of this problem in previous years - how when the air or heat first kicks on for the season, some backed up smoke-smell emits through the vents.  My side-by-side neighbors smoke on MY side of the landing (a much better view), which then comes around the corner and in through my balcony doors and kitchen window if I have them open.

Now, however, the smoke is attacking me from all sides.  If I leave my bedroom window open - to which there is no landing near, no place for someone to be outside smoking near, smoke FILLS my room morning and night.  I have gone so far as to walk out behind the building to see if I can find the source.  No luck.

So what's a gal to do?  I wake up physically nauseous and the inside of my nose cracks/bleeds and my throat hurts.  If I leave my windows shut, the vents spew forth the smell all throughout the house (particularly the bathrooms).  If I open the windows, the acrid smoke fills my bedroom and two bathrooms.

I understand smoking is an addiction, my grandfather died from lung cancer and the second-hand smoke gave my grandmother emphysema and chronic bronchitis.  That's the kicker.  I choose not to smoke.  I choose to keep the air around me clean.  Why am I being forced to give up my agency on the matter?  I fully support a person's right to smoke, but why can I not support my right not to smoke at the same time?

This is my home.  MY HOME! And their smoke is tainting my life and health.     

Disgruntled.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Dear Diary: January 9, 1990

Today was nice.  Joe L., he's my boyfriend, anyway, people are making fun of him and me so we are going to say we broke up but we'll still be going together.  I think he is so cute!  Yet some people think he is a drag.  I think he's nice, very nice.  He gets average grades.  Today we watched "Ghostbusters 2," it's good. "Batman" is boring and stupid.  Well, time for bed!  Bye, tell more tomorrow!!!
-age 9

Friday, April 8, 2011

What NOT to Say to a Theater Person

It happened again.

I try to control myself.

But it gets me every time.

Some well-intentioned person comes up to me and says, "Oh I'd love to see one of your shows sometime, but life just gets soooo busy, you know?  Keep me posted."

SERIOUSLY?

I kept you posted for eight months last year, each show with two - six weeks of performance dates, at least two months in advance every time, and you still couldn't find three hours of your "busy" life to come to a show?  I'm pretty sure you've spent more time telling me you want to come than you would have invested in actually coming.  At this point?  I don't believe you.  If you really wanted to come, you could have planned for it time and time again, no matter how busy your life is.  You think you are busy?  Let's try adding rehearsals from 6-10 every night and who knows how long on Saturdays on top of everything else you are doing.  I feel no sympathy for your "good intentions."  You know to where those pave the road, right?


One more thing not to say?

"So, when are you going to do another show?"

I find most folks around me think that just because you want to be in a show - BAM! you are in a show.  Not just in the show, but with a leading role.  Au contraire.  You actually have to audition, audition again, audition again, callbacks, more callbacks, then the director has to have you in mind in their vision of the show.  The odds of all of that coming together for you?  Not high.

When I respond with, "I'm not sure."

They ask, "Why not?"

I explain.

They pretend to listen and then ask me the exact same question the next week.  Don't ask if you really don't care, people.  And just always know that if I am in a show, you will know. 

End rant.  End over-use of italics.

 

Fun Size

Fun size?  FUN SIZE?!

Who are the trying to kid?  I prefer to call these miniature candy treats, "torture size."

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Survey: What do YOU want to see on Larissa Explains It All?

Basically, what I'm looking for is to share more of what you really enjoy about my little world.  I have been contemplating, for awhile, bringing you regular features of which you can't get enough.  Perhaps those things unique in nature from what you get elsewhere or simply the things you enjoy most.   My ideas of what I think you like could be extremely different from the actuality.

The only topics I write on regularly - at least title-wise - are my strange dreams, odd confessions, and funny search terms people use to find my blog.

Some thoughts:
  1. Stories I overhear. I spend a lot of time in the gym locker room.  I overhear quite a few conversations that thrill me to the very core of my giggle center. 
  2. Dating Tips/Personal Dating Stories
  3. Fitness Tips/Healthy Food findings
  4. Tips on the products I love most in regards to makeup/fashion
  5. More reviews of shows I've seen
  6. Weekly Day-of-the-Week feature, such as "Friday Funnies" for funny quotes or stories
Additional Suggestions? Comment.  And take the survey in the sidebar.  Please:-)

Facial Composites and Nationalities

What an interesting site!  I've long heard the research that if you take the average composites of the people in an area, you will come up with a generally attractive physique.  Based on these photos, true.

I then found myself perusing through these trying to see what nationality my face most matches.  I came up with: Finnish, French, Welsh.  What do you think?  What nationalities do you think you most resemble?

 
 
 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Dreams: Britney Spears and Sharks

I haven't shared with you any of my fantastic dreams lately.  How dare I!  We are talking a new epic adventure every night.

A couple of weeks ago, I had a dream that I was watching Britney Spears from the front row of one of her concerts.  This was prior to her new album release, which I didn't even know was happening.  As an on-looker, my reflections indicated I was clearly part of her publicity camp.  She was fit to the max, dancing better than she ever had, and singing her heart out.  I was so proud of her for being back on top and proving the world she can do anything.

Two nights ago, I dreamt of sharks.  Isn't it always the sharks?  We were on a boat, next to a dock.  By "we," I mean a lot of people whom I couldn't begin to identify.  I kept trying to tell everyone that a shark was trying to get us from underneath, but they didn't believe me.  Then, a smaller, about 8-foot shark jumped onto the dock and slid across it like a slip'n'slide.  He couldn't walk on land, but he could jump up to just about anywhere and slide.  He didn't seem too intent on eating any of us for lunch, he was more into the thrill of the chase and scare.  Everyone was screaming and running, but I let this big guy slide right on by me, even jumping over him, because I knew he would have already eaten me if he wanted.

I blame my second dream on this commercial: 

Refrigerator Squats

Apparently my father is into squatting refrigerator's now.  Geez.

But mainly I just wanted you to see his awesome workout clothes.  I just can't get enough - the gloves, the socks, the over-sized shirt/shorts...and this is one of the less-incriminating outfits.  He is so not wearing any of his gnarly sweat-band collection.  I do believe those shoelaces are neon - that's gotta count for something. Don't worry, he loves the attention - I am my father's daughter.


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Friends Who Look Like Celebrities

I have had these funny look-alike stories in my head for awhile, then my darling Kristie made a post about look-alike's today and I figured it was all rather serendipitous and I should follow suit.

First, when "Glee" came into my life, I couldn't help but feel as if Matthew Morrison were an old friend.  Then I saw my buddy from freshman year at BYU and I realized why Mr. Schuster was familiar.


Old friend
Matthew Morrison



















When I was home for Christmas, I saw, out of the corner of my eye, a wedding announcement with all of the Christmas cards.  My mother is all up with the celebrity times, so I thought it strange she had a picture of the prince and princess displayed, but not too far a stretch.  The curious part would be why.  So I asked, "What is a picture of Prince William and Kate Middleton doing with our Christmas cards?"  Ends up the guy was a grown-up version of the child I'd known since he was born and his wife.  Can you see why, just glancing, I was confused?
 
Long-time Family friend and his wife

Prince William and Princess Kate


















Then there is one of my current besties from performing whom some refer to as "the one who looks like Liv Tyler." I didn't see this one until I heard someone call her that and now this is all I can think of.

Liv, Friend, Liv, Friend
I feel much better now that this is off my chest.

Love Should Make You Happy

My mother once told me this when I was 19 and crying to her about my first love: "Love should make you feel happy, not miserable.  You are crying all the time."

I have found that if I am anxious or sad more often than I am happy when I am in a relationship, then that isn't a relationship I should be in.  Then I have to gather strength to pull the plug, which is sometimes harder than the anxiety.  I have found that if my friends are fretting about their relationships, asking, "What should I do?  What should I do?"  Then they already know the answer.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Confessions: Lateness Anxiety

No, I'm not talking about a preggers scare, people;-)

I've got this real problem.  I refer to it as "lateness anxiety" and I've only recently come to grips with the reality of this madness.

When I am going to be attending an event with friends, I calculate the travel time, the time meandering to the car, parking, etc.  I usually give a five-minute grace period so we arrive to our seats with five minutes to spare.  People's time is valuable and I don't want them to waste much more than five minutes of it, right?

What I can't account for is the fact that my friends are always late.  I can never know if they will be five minutes late or twenty-five minutes late.

What do I do?  I don't want to just sit here and accept the fact that, despite my on-time-or-else policy I impose upon myself, I am always going to be late to anything that involves anyone other than me. 

Here's the thing - I sit back and try to convince myself:
  • Being late doesn't matter
  • Shows usually start five to ten minutes after the designated start-time
  • The world will not end if I miss ten minutes
  • My relationships with people are much more important than time
  • Obeying traffic laws is important (I never actually violate this one, but I contemplate it)
  • My friends I am supporting in the show don't care if I'm late, as long as I make it
  • (if not a time-constrained event ) I can reschedule my after-plans
  • Don't get upset with that person for making you leave your last location - if you had known they would be twenty minutes late, you could have stayed at the gym/work/a friend's house twenty minutes longer, but you probably wouldn't have
  • The individual is not trying to be rude or inconsiderate of your time

But you know what?  No matter how hard I try, my pulse quickens, my thoughts start to blur, my body temperature starts to rise, I can't concentrate on conversations.  Why?  Because I'm late.  Goodness gracious, just writing about it is making my heart pound.  Serious.

The only things I have found that alleviate this condition are when I am not the one in charge of the activity, am not driving, don't care about the event, am really trying to charm my date, or am having a bout of extreme self-control.

Lately I have taken to warning my friends that I suffer from "lateness anxiety" and they should be prepared for adverse side effects if they run late.  This serves no motivation at all.  In fact, I think some of them quite enjoy watching my body and mind rebel.

If you ever hear me say, "Take your time," or, "We are in no rush," either I am lying or you are having a very lucky day.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Worthless Men and the Women Who Make Them

Awhile back, I read a post from "Single Dad, Laughing" regarding the way men treat women and the resulting feelings of worthlessness.

I agree with every word of his post.  Then, I couldn't help but wonder, "We are always reprimanding men for the way they treat women.  But what about the way women treat men?"

I'd like you to read these statements that we would find so appauling when referring to women, only slightly tweaked from Single Dad Laughing's originals (no plagiarism intended) to apply them towards men.
Men are ugly.

Men are fat.

Men are bad fathers. Men are bad husbands. Men are bad sons.

Men are lousy cooks. Men don't keep their houses clean enough.

Men have too much cellulite in their bellies. Their abdomens are too flabby. Their bums are too non-existent.

Men are terrible singers. They are terrible dancers. They are terrible private talkers.

Men are dumb. Men are too hormone-brained.

Men are too egoist. They are power-hungry. They are defensive.

Men don't dress well enough. They don't have clear enough complexions. They have too many scars.

Men don't have full enough lips. They don't have skin that is soft enough.

Men are too dominant. Men are too passive.

Men are too mean. Men are too nice. Men are nothing but manipulators or push-overs.

Men aren't good enough. Men will never be good enough.

Men are, simply put, worthless.

Women say these words to themselves.  Women believe these words about themselves.  Women say these words about men.  Women believe these words about men.


Men seem to let these words roll off their backs if they hear it, laugh about it, almost as if it is humorous, as if it is okay to be told he is never good enough.  If a woman says these things about herself, everyone immediately becomes uncomfortable, wanting to ease her pain, and most likely believes she must have been degraded by a man.  If a man says these things about himself, he's an over-emotional pansy.  Men do not say these words to themselves, yet are forced to let women say these words about them or be told he is losing his man card.

To para-quote Single Dad Laughing (my additions are in italics), "Worthless. What a concept. To hold no value. To be less desirable than a can of dirt. Are you freaking kidding me? Every single statement on this list, including the worthless comment, was a declaration that at least one woman has made to me about a man, for whatever reason. I bet there isn't a statement above that we all haven't heard at least once; most likely hundreds or thousands of times. Why would any of these horrible, degrading beliefs spill across the lips of any woman about herself or a man?"  

Why is it NOT okay for a woman to say these things about herself or another woman, but perfectly acceptable for her to say them about a man?  Is it okay for our insecurities to be blamed on men for them saying these exact words about us and then justify our returning the sentiment because they made us feel bad first?

"Get real for a moment, ladies. How many of these statements have you yourself said or thought? Be honest. Go through the list, one by one, and admit to the number. I'm genuinely curious. I'm genuinely sick about it. How many of them have you said or thought just since you got out of bed this morning?" SDL said this in regards to what women think of themselves, but I believe it also applies perfectly to how some think about men.

I am upset.  I echo SDL's frustration and sadness that we constantly let ourselves degrade each other. 

Women, it is our fault if we continue to live with the "eye for an eye" philosophy.  We cannot control the actions of anyone but ourselves. 

Do these words effect men the same way they effect women?  I don't believe they do.  But they do set the bar, the standard of expectation.  What have we done to the men of this world?  Expecting no more of them than for them to be lazy and mistreat us?  


We must not place a standard that is so low they can never hit bottom.  We must decide that men are capable and can live up to positive expectations.  No man (or woman) will ever be perfect, but doesn't everyone deserve to know that they can do something right?

I cannot sit here and say what men do or do not notice about other men or the way women treat them.  What I can say is that men deserve to be treated the same way by women that women want to be treated by men.


Men deserve to be looked up to.
Men deserve to be admired.
Men deserve to know they are handsome inside and out.
Men deserve to know they are capable.
Men deserve to know we believe in them. 

Do these things make you nervous?  Do they make you feel as if you are becoming some backwards 1950s woman if you believe them?  Tell me, what is wrong with showing respect to the gender you ultimately hope you will share your life with?  

If you are told you are something over and over again, you stand a good chance of ultimately believing those things.  Let's make a stand and give these men a fighting chance to be more than what society has expected of them.  Let's make it okay for a man to be sensitive, loving, caring, ambitious, proactive, loyal, faithful, athletic, fun and all of those other attributes you know he has had inside of him since he was a young boy.

I've heard men say they feel that women are the weaker sex.  I have no grasp of how to begin to address this.  Does being sensitive make you weak?  Is that why sensitive men are not tolerated or accepted?  What is wrong with a little understanding?  

We, as women, are constantly defending ourselves and feeling attacked - by society, media, men, ourselves.  Those men who have belittled us are perpetuators of our own worthless feelings.  But aren't we as guilty as they if we beat them up in return?  Is it okay just because it won't hurt their feelings as bad as it hurts ours?

Yes, I agree with SDL.  Men do have some things they need to work on.  But how can they do this with no support from our end?

Single Dad Laughing said, "You'll remember that I started this post with a list of the execrable things that women often believe themselves to be. Do we not realize why women think, believe, and say these things? Are we really that daft? Are we really that stupid? Are we really that stubborn?...  It's our own da*ned fault that we're all screwed up."

SDL, are you really bashing yourself like this just after telling us women to stop the same type of behavior?

Looks like neither sex is feeling as if they have enough support.  Too much pressure is placed on women to simply change their frame of mind and realize society expects unrealistic things of them.  Too much pressure is placed on men to simply stop listening to their carnal impulses.

You know what we all need?  A little support.  A little love for each other.  Respect for our differences that make us balance each other out so well.  The differences that make us men and women - the gentle, the rough, the strong, the weak, the emotional, the logical - we need it all. 

We all owe each other apologies.  We all owe it to ourselves to change for the better, to stop expecting less of each other and stop expecting unrealistic ideologies.     

"We need you to be you. We need you to be beautiful (handsome). Because beautiful you are."

I echo Single Dad Laughing (my additions in italics), "What do you say, fellas? Can we take a step back, cordially give the media the finger, and start seeing "real" women as beautiful, just as they always have been?  And what do you say, women? Throw us a freaking bone? Give us something we can believe in?... And, never, not even once, let those self-loathing statements listed above enter your thoughts. Certainly never let them escape your lips about yourself or about men.  Let's do this already. Men, own up. It's time. Women, help us do it."

I'm sure I've opened a huge can of worms.  We must quit pointing fingers and help each other.


PS - Share this post with your friends.  Let's hear what everyone has to say.