Thursday, September 5, 2013

relationships and expectations

Ok. Let me begin with this: I'm not saying that you should have low expectations, or that you should settle for anything less than you deserve. I should also tell you that I am definitely a hopeless romantic and this post was a learning process for me.

Now that that's out of the way, let me paint you a little picture. With words though, because I'm not actually a painter.

There is a girl, who for our intents and purposes, is named Sally. (Sorry, Sallys of the world, it was the first name that popped into my head.) Sally has dreamed her whole life of the perfect man to walk into her life and sweep her off her feet in a rush of shining armor and beautiful bouquets of roses. She knows it will be wonderful, but she's still waiting, and she's starting to get impatient. Sally sometimes feels frustrated at the lack of "real gentleman" out there, and is always talking about how "chivalry is dead." What is she doing wrong? Isn't she a catch? Well, of course she is! Sally is very pretty, generally kind and well-spoken, and any knight would be lucky to have her.

But here's the problem: Sally has this list, you see. Oh, she hasn't exactly written it all out, but she has it in the back of her mind. It's her List of Things You Must Be/Say/Do in Order to be Mr. Right. It might look something like this:

-Loves music and movies
-Good dancer
-Never calls me "hot", but only "beautiful"
-Opens my car door
-Responds to my texts quickly
-*insert eye color/hair color here*
-Brings me flowers on a regular basis
-Would be a good father
-Good cook
-Worthy priesthood holder or *insert denomination here but click that link because it's a great one*
-Never has to ask what he needs to do, he'll just do it because he loves me and knows me so well.

Ok. Do you see the picture I'm writing here? Sally isn't exactly doing anything wrong. I mean, this list could belong to any number of girls out there, myself included. Doesn't every girl want someone who'll bring her flowers? Of course. And notice this: there are definitely a few things on that list that are very, very important. I'm trying to illustrate a point. There are some things that should be deal-breakers/makers, and some things that shouldn't be. In my personal opinion, you shouldn't automatically write someone off because he didn't open your door on your first date. (The horror! The outrage!)

The same goes for this whole debate about "hot" versus "beautiful". I think it's safe to assume that most girls would prefer to be called beautiful. It's the classier word, for sure. But really? Is it the end of the world if a boy calls you "hot?" (I could see the pitchforks as I typed that sentence.) I'm not saying that it should be used a lot, especially in a vulgar way that blatantly objectifies women. No, I do not support that idea. But I do think you should cut a guy some slack. I don't think anyone really appreciates hearing, "Oh man, that girl is so hot, just blankety-blank blank expletive expletive I-don't-actually-know-what-he-would-say-but-it's-crude" but that's very different from, "Wow, you're lookin' hot!" At least to me. There are, of course, plenty of other words that can be used instead. "Hot" can easily be replaced with lovely, nice, pretty, etc., but I think "beautiful" should be used sparingly. It should feel special, because it is special.

On the subject of physical appearance, sometimes it is hard for me to understand an item on the list such as, "He has to be taller than me," or my personal favorite, "He can't be the same height as me." Okay, tall girls. I'm not entirely qualified to make this statement, as I am on the shorter side of the height spectrum, but is it really the most important thing? Don't get me wrong, physical attraction is definitely an important part of a lasting relationship, but when people start putting up restrictions like, "Can't have brown eyes, only blue" I have to put my foot down. I mean, what if the love of your life is standing right there, completely in love with you, willing to change his whole life for you, and you say, "I love everything about you and I would marry you, but...your eyes aren't blue." (Okay, that might've been a bit extreme. Nevertheless, this is what I always picture. Some poor guy on one knee, his eyes being all brown and stuff.) If you're not attracted to someone physically, okay. That's fine. But stop making unimportant restrictions for yourself. Just let it be. (Once again, I will never be tall. This is just what I have observed.)

Music, art...okay, yeah, you want someone well-educated, well-read, well-rounded. But maybe steer clear of bullet-points like this: "Thou shalt love music just like I do and all of the same bands as me because OMG #musicismylyfe."First of all, stop hashtagging #musicismylyfe. Second, it is 100% okay if you and your significant other have different interests in music. It's fun if you like some of the same things, but also fun to introduce each other to new music! The same principle applies to movies. Art. Books. TV shows. You will have things in common; at least, I hope so! That's important, too. Compatibility, right? But if you just absolutely love the 6-hour movie version of Pride and Prejudice and he just doesn't, it's OKAY. Take a breath. (I know, it's hard for me to understand too.)

Good cook? Bonus point. Good dancer? Another one. He's not necessarily a natural Bobby Flay or Gene Kelly, but might be willing to learn how to be good at those things? Ding ding ding! That's a good sign. (The same does not apply to helping him learn to love The Lizzie McGuire Movie.) Brings you flowers? Well, then he's really awesome. What gets me is when girls feel entitled to those flowers. "If I am to date you, or even think about dating you, then I expect a fresh bouquet of flowers consistently." Those things get expensive, dude! Don't mandate flowers. Let them be a lovely surprise. (Plus, Bruno Mars is always singing about how he hopes he buys you flowers, so maybe more gents will catch on.)

The last bullet really gets me. Why do we girls believe that there is such a thing as mind-reading? Especially concerning guys? No offense to you boys, but I don't think you'd disagree with me when I say that you usually aren't always sure why a girl gets annoyed with you, because she just expects you to Know Somehow. Believe me, I have been there. "Why doesn't he just fix it? How can he not know? Oh my gosh, seriously, he just asked me what was wrong. Ha! As if I'm going to tell him. I'll just sit here until he figures it out." Um, okay. You go ahead and wait, and let me know how it goes. Chances are he'll forget about it, or go find someone else. As with everything else I've posted, there are different sides to every story. If your guy has actually done something to hurt you that he should definitely remember, that's different. But if it's a communication issue on your end of things, then really, who's fault is it? (Also, if you're mad because he took more than five minutes to respond to your text message, then jeez, get over it. That's a whole other bullet-point, isn't it? Let's be honest. Texting has added a whole new dimension to dating and relationships that I could spend an entire separate blog post on. But not today.)

Are you following me? Look at these two bullet-points: good father, worthy priesthood holder. I could add these, too: invested in his education, willing to support a family, someone who loves me. These are my deal-makers. In everyone's heart, they have a match they hope to find. Someone they've dreamt about, to complete them. But should this person really complete you? We hear that all the time. "He completed me. He was my missing piece." I don't want any missing pieces, and neither should you. Learn to be complete on your own. Let the person you fall in love with be an eternal compliment to who you learned to be on your own. Don't let your own list get in the way of that, because it shouldn't.
I will probably disqualify everything I've written by saying this, but I'm single. And I like it! It's such a great chance for me to learn about myself, and I don't want it to become a time for me to bitterly map out my expectations in a soul-mate. Your expectations shouldn't be low. They could be more reasonable. Stop bemoaning the lack of men who meet your standards that are probably placed a little bit too high-n'-mighty. Why not set some expectations for yourself? You're not perfect, and neither are they, so your expectations for them shouldn't revolve around something you consider "perfect." Let them revolve around strong, basic, long-lasting qualities, and I promise you will be happier, with yourself and with whoever he may be.

*steps off soapbox*

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

all the things

Coming back to school makes me want to do all the things. 

I want to be a great songwriter. I want to be a stellar mom. I want to be a consistent blogger with a strong following. I want to publish a book. I want to be the best elementary school teacher your kid has ever had. I want to be my own graphic designer for my business that I want to own. I want to have my own spot to write in a magazine. I want to live in New York and perform in musicals. I want to find something creative enough and original enough for others to notice it. I want to create something that makes a difference. 

In our society, so many children are told, "You can be anything! You can do everything! There's nothing you can't achieve!" I believe this is true in many ways. It's not that I don't have the confidence to do something or achieve something. I know I can. It's just that sometimes you honestly don't have the time to do ALL of the things. You have to pick a major. Okay, check. And then you put all of this energy and effort into this major. You want to be doing it, but there are a lot of other things you hope to do, too. 

I guess what I'm saying is sometimes it's hard to keep the "You can do anything and everything!" mentality when I'm focusing so much on a specific route. I know I could do some of the things on my list, but becoming an adult means deciding if I should. Does it fit with my life plan? (Don't tell me you don't have a life plan. Okay, maybe not word for word, you've got to allow for change and unexpected things, but come on. If you have chosen a major, you have some kind of life plan, and if you don't, then you should get one.) Will it be helpful to my career path? Will I someday be able to make a living with it? Do I have enough time to invest in it so that it will support me?

Being over halfway done with my degree, I'm happy with the path I've taken. But sometimes I wish there were more stops along the road for me to do some of those other things. 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013


I function much better in 140 characters or less as far as being witty goes.

I also feel like that might be reflection on the society of instant gratification we live in.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013


...I will update this blog with a massive post about my recent trip to Europe, with a bunch of pictures and lengthy paragraphs about how utterly incredible it was.

But for now, let me leave you with this:

Never postpone telling someone you love them, or pass up an opportunity to be kind to someone. Life is so precious and fleeting and amazing, and we shouldn't waste time worrying about ridiculous things like how many likes we get on Instagram or Facebook. A student at my school passed away in a car accident yesterday, and I'm seriously shocked and my heart aches for her family and friends. We weren't even close friends, and I'm so sad that I didn't have the opportunity to get to know her better. You never know when you won't have that chance.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

my favorite place[s]

When someone asks you if you want to go to New York with them over Spring Break and you have to tell them, "I can't, I'm sorry. I'm going to Italy", you might be almost too lucky.

Oh, and Paris.

Monday, March 4, 2013

jump rope

Most people start off a new blog with something like this: "So, I'm new to this whole blogging thing, but I think I'd like to give it a try!" Or, "I might as well do this, because everyone else is and I have nothing else to do." But I'm not going to say those things. What I will say is that I'm definitely not new to the "whole blogging thing". Oh no. I blogged through high school, even back in junior high. It's the consistency I lack. I got to college, and BAM, no more time for a blog. I mean, I blogged a bit. But mostly not. Then I changed my email address, which required me to create a new blog, but all of my lovely followers would disappear with that. That makes me a bit melancholy. But the biggest reason I haven't updated this new and improved blog is because I feel the need to have a beginning post. Like, an introductory post or something. But I think I need to have some time to post other things first. Shouldn't readers be able to get to know me through my writing, not a specific post about myself? I'm just going to jump in, like I used to do at recess when my friends were jumping rope. So, if you're a past reader who managed to follow me to my other blog address, welcome back! I've missed you. If you're a new reader, well...then hello. Want to jump rope?