Thursday, November 19, 2009

The One Where We Exchanged Phone Numbers

I don’t know if you know this about me, but I have never been much of a hugger. Hugging is a personal thing to me. Really, physical contact of any kind is pretty personal. I maintain my personal space most of the time. Hugging is generally reserved for people for whom I feel genuine love and affection. But over the past few years, I have had to adapt to hugging culture, and decide that I have some degree of love and affection for more people than I had previously thought. Therefore, more hugs. Although, in all fairness, I have noticed that hugs are not “one size fits all.” There are many different kinds of hugs. Where am I going with this? Well, twice in two days I have gotten hugs from perfect strangers. Because of my new CD. So, good story:

I spent the evening stuffing padded envelopes and boxes with CDs for mailing, and then sticking labels on. I loaded all the CD orders in a huge box, and at 9:00 a.m. I drove down to the little post office in the canyon. I knew that my fifty parcels were going to take awhile to process, so as a little thank you I took along one of the CDs. It took about thirty minutes to post them all, and about halfway through the postal employee was admiring the artwork on the mailing labels, which is the same as the CD cover. I told her thank you, and that I had brought her a CD.

She was so excited that she opened it up and actually kissed my picture on the inside of the label:). She insisted that she would be playing my CD and showing it to everyone who came in. She called it her “marketing program.” She took me into the back room (I have never been in the back room of a post office before), showed me a bunch of options for free packaging and loaded me up with samples. She instructed me that on my next batch of mailing, I was to call her and make an appointment for a “secret meeting” a half hour before the post office opens. We exchanged phone numbers, and then a hug. I can say with perfect certainty that it was the most warm and friendly postal experience I have ever had. And the hug thing… second time in two days. I think this is going to be an interesting week.

By the way... the photo was taken near the Trabuco Canyon post office in 1969. And it still looks just like that.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The One Where My Boys Strike Back

Well, my last post was pretty hard on boys… at least one in particular. The fact is, I feel a little sorry for Cowboy. He used an unfortunate analogy and almost certainly regrets it. Don’t get me wrong… he should regret it. But I have to play devil’s advocate here and write one for the boys. As it happens, I usually take the boys’ side in everything. Maybe that is just an occupational hazard for a mother of six sons… not to mention the fact that I have so many other friends who happen to be boys/men… like all the missionaries who have lived in our home... and I think of them all as my boys. In fact, when I was called to be the teacher for the 16-18 year-old girls in my church for three years, I was a little shocked, and more than a little worried. I wasn’t sure I would be able to like them all that much. I had never had much use for girls. On the whole, they seemed much louder, meaner and more sophisticated (in a bad way) than boys.

To my happy surprise, I loved the girls. They were beautiful, unselfish and fun, and they have become some of my best friends. That was a nice thing to discover, especially as my own boys were reaching the age where they have begun to marry. My oldest son picked one of the best ones I have ever met, and married her. That is certainly an encouraging start, right? So, back to my boys… all of them, whether my sons or not. If the girls deserve a boy who is willing to climb to the top of the tree, what do my boys deserve? More than they are getting, in a lot of cases, I’m afraid. When they call to tell me their dating experiences, I am constantly dismayed by what girls put them through. It is bad enough that girls play mind games with each other, but as boys usually are more straightforward in their interactions, it is most unfair to play mind games with them. Many of them are not equipped for that sport, and the good ones don’t want to play.

Here is what my boys deserve:

1. A girl who is beautiful. But beautiful in the right way… a girl who is unfailingly modest in dress, speech and actions. One of the standards of my church is to dress modestly… something that most of the world thinks is rather strange. But my boys deserve nothing less. Whether you see her at the beach, at church, shopping, or just on Facebook, she should be modest. Let me be clear here… this is not because I don’t want the boys to think bad thoughts. My boys can master their thoughts. It is something much more important… it marks a commitment to covenants they have made. And no double standards either... my boys are modest themselves. When my daughter Cambria was about two, she was pointing out swimsuits that she thought were “pretty.” I told her they weren’t very modest, and I asked her if she knew what modest meant. She very smugly told me, “Yes. It means ugly.” We laughed about that for days, but I am here to tell you that it does not mean ugly. I am a big fan of beautiful, stylish modesty. It is really easy to say that most of the girls wear their skirts too short and their swimsuits too tiny, so you can’t judge a girl by that standard. But I know girls who are unfailingly modest. They stand out like a bright light from the girls who are not… and my boys deserve nothing less than that.

2. A girl who is honest. No ex-boyfriends that aren’t really ex. No saying things she doesn’t mean. No pretending to feel more or less than she really does. No treating my boys like a plaything. Honest.

3. A girl who is unselfish. She needs to care more about others than herself, because that is how my boys are. I have worried, in the affluent area where I live, that DK and I have spent the last twenty years raising sons who can support a family, while my neighbors have spent the same years raising daughters that my boys can never possibly afford to marry. My boys are not just finding a girl to marry; they are finding a mother for their children, and that is about a hundred times more important.

4. A girl who is kind. She must be kind to her friends, kind to her family, kind to children, and… kind to my boys.

5. A girl who is better than my boys. Or at least they think she is. She needs to be so amazing, that they behave better around her. They try harder, and reach bigger goals, because she makes them want to be better men. She safeguards their virtue along with her own. She reminds them of how great they are, encourages them, sets a good example, and yet still follows wise counsel. Every one of my boys deserves a girl who is better than they are.

So come on, girls. It’s time to step it up a little. Be more to get more. I told you the apple analogy. You can never be that rotten apple sitting on the ground waiting for any lazy boy to scoop you up and take a bite. You are better than that. My boys are better than that. You might wonder how you can compete in a world of girls who use tricks and sexy clothes to get their way. Don’t think for a single minute that my boys can’t tell the difference. Yes, there are boys that are looking for those girls. But I will tell you right now… not my boys.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The One With Lindsay and the Cowboy

So I met this cute girl named Lindsay. Friend of a friend. Being the immature person that I am, I find that many of my friends are younger, and in the dating years. Lindsay told me about her conversation with a boy today. He is 20, and will be leaving on a two-year church mission in a few months, and they had the following conversation (to the best of my recollection):

Lindsay: I am happy to go out on dates with you, but I have a feeling you are more into it than I am. (translation: I think of you as a friend)

Cowboy: Well, Lindsay, this is how it is for me: I am leaving on a mission soon (where there will be no more dating of girls), and basically I am just out to get what I can. I am trying to “fill up my canteen,” so to speak.

Wait a sec...did you really just say fill up your canteen???
I am still trying to wrap my brain around his choice of analogy... not to mention the intention behind it. There are a lot of canteens in the world, Lindsay. Fortunately you are smart and good enough to know that you don’t need to provide a watering hole for every random ridiculous cowboy out there.

This is one of my favorite quotes: “Girls are like apples...the best ones are at the top of the trees. The boys don’t want to reach for the good ones because they are afraid of falling and getting hurt. Instead, they just get the rotten apples that are on the ground that aren’t as good, but easy. So the apples at the top think there is something wrong with them, when, in reality, they are amazing. They just have to wait for the right boy to come along, the one who’s brave enough to climb all the way to the top of the tree...”

Lindsay is definitely at the top of the tree. When one of those boys cares enough to climb up, then he is worth looking at. All the better if he leaves his canteen on the ground so that he can climb better.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

The One Where She Killed the Car Battery

So I don't have a decent CD player. Most of the time I don’t care. I have perfectly awesome M-Audio monitor speakers connected to my computer, and so listening to music in here is great. But I finally mastered a finished CD today. Yes, I met my deadline that I set myself a couple of months ago, and DK and I spent much of the day finishing up the artwork that will grace the CD itself, as well as the jewel case insert, etc.

And I was all proud of my CD... particularly because I made something of a breakthrough in the quality of the mastered CD and was pretty much dying to listen to it. Sort of like when you get new clothes that you love, and you keep wanting to try them on? Well, no CD player in the house. BUT my Suburban has a really nice Bose sound system. Hmm. It also has a battery that has seen better days. So tonight I sneaked out to the car, and listened to the CD in there. I turned on the engine every ten minutes or so to recharge the battery so that I could get through all the songs. At one point DK came out and asked, “Aren’t you afraid you will run the battery down?” and I smugly answered, “No.” Well, not five minutes later I went to turn on the engine and... CLICK. I tried again. CLICK CLICK CLICK CLICK. Dang it. Don’t tell DK but I ran the battery down in the car.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The One Where Her Bloggiversary Came... and Went

I have clearly been in need of a makeover... and I’m not just talking about the blog, here. I have let a few things slide. This is the least amount of sleep I have gotten since I had newborn babies... I guess my CD is aptly named. My deadline to finish all the music for the CD is Friday. I have every intention of making that, even if it means I let everything else go. I have been a pretty lame wife, mother, friend, primary teacher, housekeeper, laundress... and the list goes on. So four more days aren’t going to matter.

And I realized that my one-year mark for this blog... it came and went a couple of days ago. Ah, well... I will write something profound another day. I’ve got nothing. Not this week. This week I am wavering between tears (Oh! go listen to the song I just put up on the other blog, right here. Look at the painting, and read the words. I couldn’t even get through it without getting teary-eyed, and I wrote it!) and... anyway, wavering between tears and, well, a little bit of naughtiness... I keep thinking of interesting prank ideas. Today is DK’s birthday, and he is not a fan of pranks. So I will refrain. For today. But if, tomorrow, you find your shoes glued to the floor, or your Facebook hacked with a picture of a gigantic fat guy as your profile pic, or 5,000 plastic forks stuck in your front lawn... you will know it is just me, blowing off a little steam.

P.S. As for the blog, I know it really does need a makeover... the mp3 player doesn’t currently work, and next week when I have a little time, I will make it so you can listen to music on this blog again. For now, enjoy a little navidad over at “All About the Baby.” xo