Oh, hi there. Remember me?
I have had the best intentions of keeping up my Friday songs all month long. You know what they say about the path to hell and good intentions?
But, here I am, anyway. (Notice I didn't write "anyways"? Still bugs me, like it did three years ago when "I" wrote this post!)
This song by Céu (pronounced: say-oooh, which I do a lot when I listen to her music) makes me smile every single time it plays. It makes me think of vacations, beaches, piña coladas and maybe even getting caught in the rain.
I love it so much that I share it, and I won't regret it.
Have a great weekend. Are you ready for Halloween? Our costumes are mostly store bought this year, with the exception of Maggie's which a friend of mine made for her. Wait until you see it... it's ridiculously amazing. It hasn't been the most involved Halloween of my life, but I hope to soak in as much as we possibly can this weekend. The weather should be nice.
Bon week-end, mes amis!
Friday, October 25, 2013
Oh, hi there. Remember me?
Sunday, October 13, 2013
|My new garage full of trash... er I mean treasures. Anything catch your eye? It's YOURS!|
I love a good yard sale. Sure, sometimes I silently laugh at the "value" people put on the items they no longer deem good enough for their own homes, but I also love finding a good deal. There are items I try to sell at my yard sales that I know will go right back into my home if they don't sell for the price I am asking. So, I get it.
What I learn every time I sell my stuff is that nice people are so much easier to be generous with. Duh.
Crabby people shouldn't even stop by.
"These prices are way too high. You'll never sell anything!"
OK, thanks. I'd rather give it to the thrift store.
Deal makers are rude, too.
"What if I gave you $20 for these four pieces of china."
Well, I was selling them for $50, because they are selling on eBay for $250.
"There is a small crack. So, I'll give you $20 and you can throw in this lamp, too... because of the crack!"
Again, I'd rather give it to the thrift store.
But, you get some nice people and I am giving my stuff away. One guy was playing with our Operation game I was selling for $1. He claimed he had never played it before. Could he have been pulling my leg (or my "Ankle bone connected to the knee bone"--bad Operation joke, sorry)? Sure, he could have. He could have been working me like a fiddle. But he was really kind. He was nice about all of the items he was buying, so I told him he had to take the game. And the old rug he liked--no extra charge. I think he left with six items and gave me $5.
Last year, some lady was trying to get me to come down $1 on a really nice dress shirt that I was asking $2 for. She was hemming and hawing about this crease and that dirt spot, walking around my yard deciding if the weight of the world was worth carrying on her shoulders for this dress shirt decision. She was trying to work me and being kind of insulting about it. So, I told her I was firm at $2.
I think I gave it away for free to another buyer not an hour later.
Am I a horrible person? Perhaps. But, not because I dislike being mistreated and insulted. Flies love the sugar and I am just another insect wanting a little sweet.
I know I am not alone. Last week, Rhett and I went to Einstein's for a bagel. There was some deal about a bagel with shmear and a coffee. I asked if we could substitute a hot chocolate for the coffee. She told me they couldn't. No big deal. I ordered anyway and Rhett kept being his cute self.
When we went to pay, she smiled and offered us the deal with a hot chocolate. I thanked her and told her how great that was. She brought us out the largest hot chocolate they had, with whipping cream and an extra cup for Rhett. People just want to be treated kindly. I had no expectation for her to do anything, but she did and I was grateful.
Imagine that. People react in kind to general niceness.
A Yard Sale piece of advice: It never hurts to ask for a better deal... but it might. Consider being kind instead and the flies will be all over you, you sweet thang!
Thursday, October 10, 2013
Or a home. Practically the same thing, though. Right?
wait. What? We actually bought an actual home?
I know. We're so grown up.
Which explains my absence on the blog of late. Like most other adults purchasing a home, it doesn't come without twists and turns and unexpected dips. And now we're in the midst of fixing this old lady up. She's a sweet ol' thing, but needs a lot of love.
Keep you posted.
Friday, September 13, 2013
How is it hangin'? Staying dry? I am hoping for a bit of a dry spell tomorrow, as I will be hanging outside selling some rad stuff at the 9th and 9th street festival in Salt Lake City. Come on down and say HI! Mention my blog and I'll give you a special treat. Huzzah! (Like a dum dum? Who knows!)
Last year I was at a concert and the opening act was Mideau. I was sitting fairly close to the front and I was almost embarrassed, because I knew the lead singer. She lives in my neighborhood and goes to the same church. And I was all, "Hey. What?"
Turns out, this band is LEGIT! Like, I will be super shocked if they don't get pretty huge. I backed their Kickstarter, so I got my CD early. And, friends, it is AMAZING. I have listened to it almost nonstop for two weeks. It is just so easy and comfortable and rad. Alan let me play it on our last autumn canyon drive on Sunday and he was surprised at how much he dug it. (I think he was expecting something alternative-girl-pop like I also trend toward.) He said, "This is a really great autumn album. Something you could play on repeat." (or something like unto it)
I said, "Exactly!"
I don't know where you can buy their album. Ain't I a tease?
Check out this tease:
I am not suggesting this album because I know someone in the band. Like, at all. I am suggesting it because I sincerely have loved this album. Every time it finishes and my car stereo moves on to the next CD, I push the button for Mideau's album again. I kid you not. It is my soundtrack for this fall. Check it out.
Have a great weekend. Maybe I'll see ya?!
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Do you like puns?
Good. Now we are real friends.
I have a thing for puns. Always have. I remember a campout when I was in grade school and our neighbor who was/is an anesthesiologist was talking with me and my sister, Amy. My sister saw that I was taking a lot of the water from our cooler and told me to slow down. Our neighbor chimed in with, "Water you worried about, Amy?"
I laughed for days. Months, really. Who am I kidding? It is over 25 years later and I still think that man is a pun genius. He always could make me laugh.
My dad tells a joke that his mother used to tell:
Did you hear about the cow that jumped over a barbwire fence?
Sometimes Alan and I will try to one-up the other on a certain pun. Maggie has a boy in her class named Hans. Alan told her that when he isn't at school one day, Maggie should say, "Look Teacher, no Hans!"
Ok. Maybe it was funnier around our dinner table. But then we kept going. I suggested that when he was a baby, everyone would lovingly say to his mother, "I wanna hold your Hans."
No? Keep it in the family? Oh well.
Here are some of my favorite puns via Pinterest right now. The first one might be my favorite.
Any good puns to share?
by ANNAM at 6:13 PM
Friday, September 6, 2013
Oh, you wanted an actual music suggestion that you wouldn't be totally embarrassed to have on your iTunes playlist?
Well, bah humbug. You know you loved "The Fox" so, whatever.
Nina Nesbitt is going to be big. I don't know when, but I am putting my bet out there that she will be. (I mean, I kinda called Ellie Goulding 2 1/2 years ago. So, there's that.)
Well, whaddya think? Do you love a little accent in your songs as much as I do? Adorable.
Thursday, September 5, 2013
Ready to be the coolest person on your block, maybe even your whole neighborhood? Watch this music video NOW. Download it. Memorize it. And before you can say "Gangam Who?" you will be communicating by mo-o-o-o-o-orse.
This is so bad, it is good. I take that back. It's amazing. You're welcome.
We love best the line "And the elephant goes toot" because that is what our family calls farts when we are trying hard not to be crass.
The secret of the fox... what is your sound? Will we ever know?
It's all too good.
Tuesday, September 3, 2013
I will admit fully that it took me some years to forgive my parents for putting me on diets and letting my brothers call me "extra large and in charge" and "wide load" for much of my youth. I used to blame them (inwardly) for the low esteem I had for my own body. "If only they hadn't put me on all of those diets while my brothers got to eat--nay, were encouraged to eat--everything they could put their hands on." I remember going to early hour high school at 6:55 a.m. with a piece of whole wheat toast with cucumbers and fat-free ranch on it for my breakfast and thinking, "I must be really fat to deserve this."
It took me years to realize that my parents were actually really kind to care about me and want me to be physically content with myself. They were putting me on diets because they were sincerely trying to help me. I was never thin, but I was never large. If only I could wear the pants I wore in high school when I thought I was "fat!" Wait, scratch that. It was the 90s and those pants were not awesome.
So, I don't hold a grudge against my parents any longer. What I put into my body now is totally my own choice. I cannot blame them for my desire to eat three scoops of ice cream or half a loaf of french bread with a hefty wedge of brie cheese. I can blame them for giving me really big quads and boobs, though. Because I know they planned on handing down those genes to me. Right?!
I spent so much of my youth worrying about my pant size and my weight. I will never forget in elementary school when the teacher had us all stand up and pinch our bellies. She said if we could "pinch an inch" then we needed to eat less. I was mortified. I don't even think I knew how big an inch was, but I was sure that I needed to eat less.
How do I give all of my children the right tools to deal with their bodies and self image? I've been trying to figure that out for most of my adult life.
HERE'S WHAT I DO KNOW:
1. All children are beautiful.
My kids don't even look like the are related to each other, but MAN, they are so beautiful. How amazing are these little people and all of their twinkling eyes and goofy grins? Sometimes I am baffled that any little kid could think they are anything but beautiful. Created in the image of God.
2. All bodies are SUPPOSED to look different.
What is this? The year 2439 when all humans will be genetically engineered to look the exact same? Uh, no.
3. Food is fuel.
We need to eat to survive. Calories in other countries are called "energy" which is what they give you. Stop giving negative connotations to simple words. The more close to nature the food, the more energy it gives our bodies. The end.
HERE'S WHAT I THINK:
1. Eating should not be considered "good" or "bad".
My friend mentioned this one to me and it rung so true that I heard bells for days. Kids hear when their parents say that they had a bad eating day or that they were good because of their food choices. Children have very simple categories: stealing is bad; sharing is good; hitting is bad; hugging is good. When they eat something full of sugar and hear the word "bad" alongside it, what are they grouping it with? Cheating, lying and murder? No wonder we feel guilt when we indulge in certain types of food.
2. Children need praise for all kinds of things, especially things that they can control / don't change
Nothing is more fickle than our bodies. We can easily break, scratch, burn and go bald. If all of our self esteem is in the way we look, then WATCH OUT! Because age screws everyone. I actually dislike when someone comments on if I have lost weight. It makes me feel like I am doing it for anyone other than myself and that it is important to everyone else. I love when someone compliments me on something I have said/done/accomplished or how I treated someone or made someone happy. Of course, I do like/need to hear that my husband finds me attractive. Fickle, fickle me.
3. We shouldn't avoid talking about bodies with our children.
Just because we shouldn't always be commending (or worse, degrading) our children's bodies, doesn't mean we shouldn't talk about them. It's a tricky subject, to be sure, and I am still not sure the best way to do this. Not so long ago, I had a talk with my oldest daughter about how our bodies change every decade or so and we have to reassess what we eat and how we exercise. If I ate only Cheetos all day now, I would get really shaky and nauseated. Fifteen years ago, I would have been fine. I tried to explain to her that she needs to start thinking about what she eats and how she stays physically active. "You can no longer eat like a child," I told her, "because your body doesn't think it is a child." I explained that I wanted her to know what I wish I had known, so I could make wise decisions for myself.
I was feeling like this was a good direction to help her learn and understand her body better. But, what happened? She cried and let me know that she thought she was larger than all of her friends.
Cue: mother heart breaking.
No, little friend, you're beautiful. You're kind and funny and super smart. This is just how we learn to take care of our bodies.
Somehow I need to share the knowledge I have gained, without any pressure. Kids need to learn to eat well and exercise because it feels good and makes them happy. If it is negative pressure (or forced upon them) (or if, like me, they are the only child on a special diet), they will want to push back and control the situation. Or they will feel guilt and unaccepted.
I do tell my daughter she is beautiful. I also tell my sons that they are handsome. But I hope that what they hear more often is how much I like them for the people they are inside their bodies. Whatever they look like now or in the future is not nearly as big of a deal as the kind of people they are--how they treat people, their humor, work ethic, empathy, knowledge, etc.
So, it's not as easy as some articles I have read. It's not about avoiding talking about their bodies. Frankly, if parents don't begin the conversation on how to love and care for your own body, kids will never want to talk to their parents when they have questions/concerns.
It's also not about only telling your kid they are beautiful all of the time. Or never mentioning that they are beautiful. It is somewhere in the middle. Methinks.
I still struggle with my own reflection. But when I find something positive, I make sure that my children hear me showing gratitude for my self and the things my body can do. It will never look like it did when I was in high school, but oh FREAKING well. That doesn't make me any less valuable.
Rock what you got. Let your kids know you love them in millions of ways other than their appearance. Teach them how to take care of their bodies. Get some perspective on life--it's not all about what you look like. Same goes for your kids.
Monday, August 26, 2013
Presidents, CEOS, et al of The Walt Disney Company:
Dear Sirs and Madams:
I will not beat around the bush, because I am assuming that you are all very smart individuals who have shown exemplary intelligence and ability to have achieved the positions you hold in one of the largest companies in the world.
Something needs to be done with the Disney stars that you produce.
I suggest you get ironclad contracts wherein all stars of Disney-produced shows have frequent visits with realistic counselors and therapists from the very beginning of any and all productions. I also suggest a mandatory service month separate from all of the dramatics and relationships within their shows. Humility and common sense should be characteristics highly stressed. Your actors are already precocious and special, they don't need to be pushed further in similar qualities.
|tamest picture I could find from the VMAs|
Seeing Miley Cyrus on the VMAs made me really sad. Disturbed, sure. Uncomfortable, you bet. But mostly sad. She was ill-prepared for adulthood, even though not long ago she claimed she was so much more mature than most people she knows. Disney, she's talking to you. Stop pandering to the children on your shows. If your goal is to get success out of them, they will keep searching for that success. Whatever it is that goes on behind the scenes in your company churns out the most insecure and tragic "stars" we have seen in the last ten years. Amanda Bynes was Nickelodeon's offspring, so you're off the hook for that one. One, though, out of gobs.
|Six of Lindsay Lohan's mug shots. She is only 27|
Selena Gomez might be the only one who hasn't made parents cringe in over a decade. I don't want to jinx it yet, but take a look at whatever she learned and try to do more of that.
This isn't some tirade from a parent of young kids who is afraid of what your stars are teaching my children. I'm the mother; I make the rules and teach my kids what is important and not in this life. I don't assume that task on anyone else, especially not a company whose main concern is the almighty dollar. Rather, this is a concerned letter for the Disney stars of the future.
All of these sad celebrities that have been supplied by your company are humans with souls and feelings. My heart aches for them and their tragic needs to "be adults" which results in heinous public displays and actions. Somehow you have to realize you have fault here. Something needs to be done to prevent this in the future.
Saturday, August 24, 2013
Ugh. All I do is flatter and commend my husband, Alan.
Well, since it's the big Al's day of birth, here goes a bit more of the fawning.
Dear Alan J,
You're rad. Glad you were born.
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Huzzah! Somehow summer is already over and school is back in session. Alan and I agreed on this year's theme without realizing that it is oddly similar to last year's theme. Ah well. Kindness is a big deal, says I.
Here is our family school theme for the year 2013-2014:
In full disclosure, I totally copied the picture from Shel Silverstein's "Hug of War"--but it ends up being a 2-for-1 theme. Do you know the poem Hug of War? You should, because it is pretty delightful. Someday I think I might paint it on a wall in our home:
Saturday, August 17, 2013
|from our honeymoon|
My Alan works hard for the money. So I better treat him right.
Too many pop culture references in one small space. Moving on.
As I was putting the kids to bed tonight, I was telling a couple of them the story of our wedding day and our marriage. I told them some really special memories I have and how we knew that someday we would have kids and, Hey, look! You are some of them! Look how that worked out for us!
Rhett placed his little hand on my arm as I told him how Alan and I made promises to each other and knew that we would have to work really hard to stay together forever. I told him how much we loved each other then and how much more we love each other now. And then I told those kids that I wish the same for them.
To My Darling Children:
You are all so young now, but someday you will be older. God willing. When you grow up and are adults, you will want to find someone to marry and begin a life with. I found a lot of people when I was an adult. Some of them I planned on marrying, even. Many of them I talked about marriage with. But, it wasn't until I met Alan--your father--that I found someone I wanted to just always BE around and have as my friend forever.
Marriage sounds exciting and fun and like a great big sleepover party. Well, it starts out with a party. Sometimes. If you don't want a big wedding party, I think I am OK with that. Marriage, though, is like the greatest party and the hardest test you took at school--those two experiences and feelings switching consistently back and forth. Hooray! Oh boy! Huzzah! UUUuuuugh! Over and over and over again. So, it's kind of a big deal in who you choose to study, test, and party with.
Our first date should have been a total bust, as I am sure you know from our stories about it. But, it was hilarious and fun. I remember thinking that this guy thought I was as funny as I thought he was. This measurement has continued with almost everything in our marriage: I think he is smart, he thinks I am. I think he is witty, he thinks I am witty. I think he is a great worker, he thinks I am. I think he is lazy in the mornings, he thinks I am. I appreciate his spirituality, he appreciates mine.
I think he is handsome, he thinks he is handsome.
We are partners. We are friends. We are lovers. Oh, don't get all uncomfortable; you were born, weren't you? He is not more important than I am and I am not more valuable than he is. I love him more than anybody in the whole world. More than any of you, and you know how much I love each of you. But, he is the biggest deal in my life. I know you realize that this is how it should be and that because of it our entire family is strong.
I wish for you that you find someone as perfectly compatible for you as I was lucky to find in Alan. I don't know how I was lucky enough to find him, but I thank God for him every single day. I want someone to thank God for you every day and I want you to feel the same way about them. Because you are pretty great people and I know I am grateful every day for all of you.
Try your hardest to find a best friend. Try to erase all of the pretense and superficial things that make you "fall in love" with your future spouse. It won't be easy. Do you feel like you could make a super corny joke around them and not feel stupid? Are you able to tell them something really uncomfortable--like how you sleep with stuffed animals and maybe believe in fairies--and feel accepted? Are they willing to come and hang out with your super cool parents on a weekend night and not complain? Do they support your dreams, however preposterous they may be? If you accidentally pas gas in front of them, would they laugh it off or make you feel embarrassed? Because let me tell you, GAS HAPPENS! And if you have to run to the bathroom every moment of the rest of your life that gas happens, GOOD LUCK TO YOU!
I want you to be yourself and grow to be an even better yourself--whoever you marry will be a huge factor in the "better" part of your life. Choose someone rad. Find someone who makes your heart leap as much as mine does when I think about my husband of fourteen years right at this very minute. My heart is so full it could burst right now when I think of your Dad working so hard for our family; when I think of his trust in me and faith in our family. I just think he's the greatest and I want you to have an equally wonderful and flawed and exciting and difficult and amorous marriage as we have. Try hard.
Love, Your Mother, Anna.
Happy Anniversary to my favorite Al that ever lived. FOURTEEN, yo!
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
Post-edit Note: This was not written with anyone specific in mind. I solemnly swear. Most everyone I know has more money and bigger homes than I do and this is in NO WAY a criticism of how they live. This is my own emotional challenge from the two devils who sit on my shoulder and tell me how I should live my life.
As we've been looking for our next home, it's amazing how much more of a home you can get with every $50k you add to your search. Suddenly, your price range is $200k more than you planned and your dream home is staring back at you in the search results.
Bigger is better.
Your family is growing (not in the amount of children, but in their individual sizes); you NEED more space.
It's the American dream to own a large home with a movie room, a play room, a basement kitchen, a football field in the backyard, an extra car garage, and a fireman's pole or slide somewhere inside (no? that last one was only my dream? hmmm.)!
|from my Pinterest "My Idea of Home" board that I admittedly have over 220 pictures on.|
My brain keeps telling me these things. It tells me to want MORE. To work HARDER so I can ENJOY THE GOOD THINGS in life. It shows me pictures in catalogs, on Pinterest, in my friends' and families' instagrams. My brain tells me to want all of these things and more with the implied, "Then you'll be happy."
Of course I know it's all bull. Deep down I don't want any of it. Maybe a little bit of it, but most of it isn't even my THANG. I'm a hippy at heart. A gypsy hippy, even.
We like to play this game of "If I had millions of dollars, I would...". It's super fun. Of course, it's easy to spend money you don't have and be an altruist in your fictional future. But I never plan on building a huge home with any of my imagined millions. I would rather travel. Open a really cool shop. Go back to school. Maybe become a college professor. Buy things for my family. Work in orphanages all over the world. Give a lot of it away to people in greater need. (See? Altruism at its finest, when I can only dream it.) I don't dream about ginormous diamonds and being on MTV Cribs (is that show still on?).
So, why then do I feel this internal struggle of buying a bigger home or nicer car? Is it because I am a product of my society and therein the conflict? Is it because I willingly and unwillingly compare what I have to the things that those closest (and not) to me have? Coveting is a serious issue. Alan pointed out recently that coveting is mentioned most often in the Ten Commandments. I guess God knows we are a jealous bunch.
Where, then, is the great big line drawn that differentiates wanting to beautify your environment and express creativity and individuality AND the overkill of consumption and coveting?
These are questions that keep me up at night. Well, not really, because I can fall asleep within 5 minutes of getting into bed... or on the couch. But I do wonder about these kinds of things. How do I instill hard work in myself and my children, to value and respect what hard work buys you, to beautify your spaces, but to not value it above all the other million important things in life?!
Why would we want to work excruciatingly long and hard to barely afford our huge houses, feel the need to fill them, barely spend any time in them, and then fret and worry about others stealing our opulence? It's a weird, wicked cycle.
I cannot find the quote or man who said it, but years ago I remember reading about a designer who drastically downsized his large home into a really small apartment. He said something akin to how we tend to buy our homes to suit 5% of our lives. We have homes with guest bedrooms, huge spaces for parties, extra bathrooms just in case more than one visitor has to pee at the same time. Instead, we should build our homes to fit the 95% of our lives and the 5% will work itself out. We'll still have visitors and parties and they will still be great. Attitude changes, not space. This spoke to my little hippy heart.
We need to change the culture for ourselves and our children. Kids assume that they will buy a huge home right after they get married and have great furniture and closets full of cool, blog-worthy clothes. If not right after they get married, then not long after. Is that what we want them to work for? For a house? For a place they can take pictures of and post on whatever social media is rad at the time and show their "SUCCESS"?
President Obama was quoted recently about this shift in consumption with the ascending generation.
"I do think what's shifted is a notion that the wealthier you are, the more conspicuous consumption you engage in. The more successful you are, the more society should stay out of your way as you pursue the bigger house or the fancier jet or the bigger yacht. Were there things that all of us might have liked to have? Sure. But partly, I think, there also has been a shift in culture. We weren't exposed to things we didn't have in the same way kids these days are. There was not that window into the lifestyles of the rich and famous. Kids weren't monitoring every day what Kim Kardashian was wearing, or where Kanye West was going on vacation, and thinking that somehow that was the mark of success."
Sure, pot meet kettle and all. But there is a lot of truth there. Not just that, but it loudly declares that IF you follow in these unsavory footsteps, kids, you can have this purported "success" as well. No, thanks. Please, mes enfants, look away.
Ashton Kutcher received an award over the weekend from a teen show. He used the time allotted to him, not to be funny, but to actually impart some wisdom. Props to him, I say. My favorite part of his speech was when he told the teens of the world how to be sexy:
"The sexiest thing in the entire world is being really smart. And being thoughtful and being generous. Everything else is crap. I promise you. It's just crap that people try to sell to you to make you feel like less. So don't buy it. Be smart. Be thoughtful and be generous."
Tuesday, August 6, 2013
I have heard the phrase, "Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit" more often than I'd ever like to admit.
But I do admit that I am a generally sarcastic person. I could try to dissect the reason until I am blue in the face (fifth child, insecure, afraid of being hurt, defensive, etc.) but eventually I come to the conclusion that whichever way you slice it, I indeed have a strong sense of sarcasm.
My dad tells of how his mother used to get his attention with "Hey, handsome" and as soon as he would turn around she'd say, "Oh, not you, pie face."
What a pie face is, I may never know. But you would be hard pressed to sense any resentment or negative reaction from my father towards his mother. He says she was the light in every room and she had a way to make everyone feel comfortable and content. I was named after her. I never met her in this life.
I revel in this honed aptitude for jest. I think when used appropriately, you can diffuse tense situations with sarcasm. It can be placed in a conversation to lighten moods, resolve conflict (or at least conclude it), make someone feel more at ease, and bridge social, religious, intellectual and economical differences.
You might have read a recent article in an LDS-published magazine about sarcasm (here, if interested). I'd be lying if I told you that I didn't roll my eyes for most of its reading. I did. I am sure that the parts I read out loud to Alan were heavily laced with a sarcastic voice. I have stewed and hemmed over this simple article. To be clear, it is as church-sanctioned as all of the religious drivel I write on this blog--except for the fact that an editor of a magazine chose to publish it next to actual prophetic teachings. As far as I am concerned, it is strictly Op-ed. As is what I am writing.
It made me do a little research, though, and consider my need for more humility, so I will give it that much. I have wondered how there could be such a HUGE discrepancy for what the author considers sarcasm and what I do. She writes of it as the archaic definition of the original Greek word from which it is derived that means "to tear flesh, bite the lip in rage, sneer." Sure, that's horrible. I hope that is not how my humor is perceived.
Maybe the issue is that sarcasm, like the middle class, is so vast by modern definition that anything between completely humorless and high-brow banter falls in the sarcastic category. Which is really our fault. Because we are ignoring such great varieties of humor like witticisms, quips, repartee, etc.
If sarcasm is always cutting another in the guise of humor, then we have been misappropriating quips like these as sarcastic:
"No, Groucho is not my real name. I am breaking it in for a friend." Groucho MarxOscar Wilde, consequently, was the one who allegedly penned the original idea that "Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit." But that is not the complete quote. What he was said to have written was:
"Familiarity breeds contempt--and children." Mark Twain
"We didn't lose the game; we just ran out of time." Vince Lombardi
"As the poet said, 'Only God can make a tree' -- probably because it is so hard to figure out how to get the bark on." --Woody Allen
"I am not young enough to know everything." Oscar Wilde
"Sarcasm is the lowest form of humor but the highest form of wit."
So maybe wit is low on the humor totem pole. But wit is considered generally intelligent and not as scathing and acerbic as sarcasm. We are a self-deprecating people. We would rather call our humor sarcastic rather than witty so as not to seem self-important or as though we are calling ourselves intelligent and capable of such clever banter. But then we read articles that assume that all who use sarcasm are mean-spirited heathens who bully their children.
We then feel the need to define sarcasm so as to not feel guilt. Which is what I have spent the last hour doing. When I hurt someone with my "humor" I feel remorse. Just as with any tool, it can be misused and should be fixed. It can also be a boon and used for great things.
I, like Mr. Wilde, don't know the resolution here, because I am not young enough to know everything, but I am not old enough to know when to shut my mouth and nod with all my internal sagaciousness. Sure, it's a word. Let it go.
Friday, August 2, 2013
As is my nature, I am doing a complete 180* from my last blog post.
Let me set the tone with a fun, toned-down version of a great song you've probably already heard:
Well, now. That Robin Thicke is a handsome specimen, no?
Last month we were driving in the car and I was mentioning to Alan that I thought Kim K and Kanye's baby's name was actually pretty great: North West. If I had a last name like West, I'd totally jump on a similar wagon. Alan asked me if I thought they'd get married (you've totally lost respect for us at this point, I know) and I said I didn't. Johnny pipes up (wait. did I mention that my kids have the hugest ears in the universe?), "They're not married? How did they have a baby?"
I said, "Johnny. You know how it works. You don't have to be married to make babies, but it is a really great idea. I hope you are married long before you have babies."
Then Ashton said, "How does it work?" and I told him he would learn soon enough. Which reminded me that I needed to start preparing for child #3's big TALK! Oy to the vey. Doesn't get easier, does it?
Since then, I've been thinking a lot more about how we talk to our kids about making love. Not about sex. That stuff is the nuts and bolts. Rather how we let them know about the connection that forms when you have a healthy sexual relationship with your spouse. I want my kids to know that it is IDEAL that they experience pleasure with their husband or wife. That they learn to give and receive.
It shouldn't be uncomfortable to talk about. We know that a relationship is between two partners and sacred because of the life that it can create. It's the main point of it after all. But, we can't gloss over the fact that individuals need to experience the connection and the pleasure that making love produces.
I heard a podcast from an LDS member who is also a sexologist. She said that most religious people (Mormons included) will do just about anything in the bedroom... as long as they get the green light that it is OK to do it.
I have a friend who is a family and marriage therapist. She said that she wished couples would just DO IT MORE. As long as you don't bring anyone else in (which includes porn), and both parties are comfortable, anything goes. That was what she tells her clients who are struggling with intimacy. It really resonated with me, because how often do we want to feel like we need the OK from someone else for everything we do in our lives. From what we eat (my nutritionist said I shouldn't eat dairy), to what we watch (well, someone else rated it an R), to how we experience our private love making with our spouse (fill in your own blanks here).
I am not implying that guidelines and instructions are entirely wrong. They have a very important role in our societies and personal lives. But there gets to be a time when you have to lose a little inhibition and go with your gut. I think never more importantly than with your spouse. Set up guidelines between the TWO of you. Be open and candid. Let them do so as well. Strengthen your bond.
I had a professor once talk about the importance of sex in a marriage. He said that if you look at a brick wall, you mostly see bricks. Those bricks are the important parts of family and marriage that make up most of our lives. But lining every brick and space in between is the mortar. Sex and physical intimacy is the mortar. You don't look at the wall and immediately see the mortar. Without it, though, your brick wall would fall and crash at the slightest breeze. Not as large in breadth as the brick, but just as important for creating a solid structure.
I want my kids to know this BEFORE they get married. I want them to know--somehow (still working it out in my head)--that their intimacy with their partner AFTER they are married is important to the happiness and longevity of their coupling. It's not something that should be missing in our discussions about life and their future.
Have you figured out how to talk to your kids about marital intimacy? Are you comfortable talking with your parents about it? Don't you think Robin Thicke is kinda dreamy?