Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Dust Off Your Highest Hopes

"All I know is we said hello/ So dust off your highest hopes/ All I know since yesterday is/ Everything has changed."

So there has been a.....development in my personal life. Perhaps we can't even call it that. But it's a development for me, so shut up. Ever since we met a couple months ago all of our interactions have been more and more positive, and we've even been out of a date. (!) My past experiences are clearly being not that girl, and this continuation of awesomeness is terrifying. I don't know what to do in this situation.

I know he likes talking to me. Like, I KNOW it. He came to the Halloween party at my house and we talked for six freaking hours. I'm pretty sure he likes talking to me, I don't think he said twenty words to anyone else. I'm just not sure if he sees me as, you know, a GIRL or just someone who will talk about geeky stuff with him. I've been stuck in the Fictional Discussion Zone before. I'm trying not to get my expectations up, but my heart has no mind and insists on what it will. If this is going to not happen I want it to be horrible now when it's only a moderately high cliff.

He doesn't have to talk to me so much. And if he doesn't know that I like him, he's more idiotic than I thought. If he does know how I feel and he's doing it anyway, I'm going to hate him. 

Oh my gosh, feelings are just the worst and I want them to go away until I have proof that he's actually interested in me because right now they are making me wish I was dead. If he doesn't like me he needs to never talk to me again, not even joking.

It's gotta happen sometime, right?

I do love/ He does heartbreak/ I'll do love til he breaks my heart
I do love/ He does heartbreak/ I'll do love til he breaks my heart 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Dear Diary.... (Part Three)

Journal entries from March 2012
The opera itself was of the highest quality and very entertaining. My emotional state was not of the highest quality, and so watching an opera where a girl literally has the option to marry one guy to make another one jealous was perhaps not the best choice possible.

There are so many people at BYU! At one point we were stopped because we didn’t have student IDs, and I guess they keep the super secret BYU stuff back there, or something.

Sometimes I’m impressed with the wittiness of my past self. When did I lose that? I want to be like, look, [name]! Look at all this stuff that makes us similar and is the fodder of two clever people becoming an adorable couple!

I am making progress through War and Peace-- I’m about halfway through Part II. It’s gotten easier to follow now that they’re just mainly talking about the interaction of one character with the others. I just want to know what made Tolstoy be like, “I should sit down and write thirteen hundred pages about Russian people. Yes, I definitely should.” It’s brilliant, but, wow, man. That’s a lot of pages. 

I’ve started coming up with names for the seventy-three cats that I’m going to live with since I so utterly fail at attracting men. Utterly, I’m telling you. UTTERLY. Tolstoy and Tchaikovsky, for starters. Tristan? Tennant? Tabitha? WHO EVEN KNOWS?! One of the lovely things about cats is that they will never judge you for going downstairs to eat cereal in pajama pants and a bra at midnight. Thanks, cats. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


I read two very different books last week. One I didn't finish, the other I devoured in twenty-four hours. The first one was about a jewel thief in Florida, a tell-all memoir of crime, deception, and thievery. The second was about a Chinese peasant who has the one-in-a-billion chance to become a ballet dancer and how his life has unfolded.

I didn't finish Confessions of a Master Jewel Thief by Bill Mason for a few reasons, the main one being language. I'm not adverse to books with scattered swearing as long as it's tasteful or effective. This book wasn't like that, and I got tired of it. I thought learning about the life of a modern criminal would be fascinating. And it was interesting enough, I suppose. It made me aware of a few security risks I hadn't considered, especially for hotels. I wasn't bored. But I wasn't driven to keep reading. I had no desire to finish it, which is odd for me. I finish my books, usually just because I like them, sometimes just out of pride. It may sound naive and obvious, but crime is not as romantic as fiction makes it look. I put this one down.

Then there was Mao's Last Dancer by Li Cunxin. WOW. I really enjoy giving book recommendations when friends ask, and this is the book that I can see myself recommending more than any other. As it now stands, this is going to be my overall non-fiction recommendation of 2013. Everyone should read this book. EVERYONE EVERYONE EVERYONE. A basic description-- it's an autobiography recounting Li Cunxin's journey from an impoverished Chinese village boy destined to labor in the fields to a world-famous professional ballet dancer.

AHHHHHH this book is incredible. I can't even tell you how much this book moved me. There were points that I was nearly in tears, but it was such an optimistic and uplifting book. And it gave me a tiny glimpse of the culture shock that I would get if I ever travel to China. The focus is on duty, family, and honor. It's so NOT on the self it's hard for an American like me to comprehend. I understand what Li's saying, but my brain just doesn't work like that. It's not just an attitude of an individual, it's the attitude of an entire culture.

Another contrast between East and West became very clear. This man is only a few years older than my father, but their lives are night-and-day different. The culture of propaganda was all-encompassing. The poverty was inescapable. It's insane to think that people live like this and I complain that I can't afford a new car yet. I will never truly understand what it is like to grow up impoverished, because I didn't. But I hope to empathize anyway. 

These two books described two worlds with a gaping chasm in between. But I think the biggest difference, more than the East and West or Wealth and Poverty, was the difference in motivations.

Bill Mason wanted to steal jewels. He wanted to be rich. He wanted to take whatever he wanted without consequences. Li Cunxin wanted to help his family. He wanted to serve his country and make his teachers proud. He wanted to become the best ballet dancer that he could possibly be.

In short, Bill Mason wanted to be bad, and Li Cunxin wanted to be good.

Being good doesn't always bring happy endings, and being bad doesn't always end in tragedy. But reading about someone who strives-- goes out of their way-- to be good even when horrible things are happening brings light to my soul anyway.

I want to be good. Sometimes I need reminding of that.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

My Body, My Business

I work in the airport behind a counter full of chocolate. It's not glamorous, but it pays the bills. This post is for all the people who ask me, "How do you stay so skinny?" "Wow, I'm surprised you don't weigh more" or my personal favorite, "Thin girls shouldn't be allowed to sell chocolate."

I hear these comments and variants thereof every single day. To all those people: Who exactly do you think you are?

Where did you dig up the idea that you have the right to make any sort of comments about my weight? You wouldn't (I hope) tell the cashier in an organic foods market that she weights too much to sell vegetables. (Actually, I'm afraid there are more people willing to do that than I'd like to believe.) If my appearance is making you feel insecure enough that you can't buy a treat for yourself, that's not my problem, it's yours.

I am the only one who has to deal with my body. Trust me, I am one-hundred and eighty degrees away from being anorexic, not that you were concerned. I am gripped by very strong positive feelings about food-- if you want to get me somewhere just tell me that they'll be providing cake. I'm there.

That someone would make comments like these-- and I'm sure the majority are meant as compliments-- completely baffles me. I, believe it or not, spend too much time feeling fat and insecure and unattractive. Just because your comments are meant to be "positive" ones does nothing to change that. I'm not sure how I'm supposed to take "too skinny" as a compliment. What if I was battling anorexia or some other illness? This national obsession with 'thin' is giving us millions of women with eating disorders, warped self-images, and self-esteem that can best be described as non-existent.

And anyway, I'm not actually that thin. I'm average, and could do with being in much better shape. If you are surprised by the concept that someone can work at a chocolate shop without being morbidly obese, I think you really need to rethink your worldview.

And in a note to all those men who feel entitled to call me "sweetheart", "honey", "dear", and all the other little endearments because those are the words you automatically associate with women: Shut up. Seriously. You are offensive.