The Life of Bon: April 2012

Monday, April 30, 2012


TODAY my little sister, Mary, asked me in an email how I pronounce my middle name.  It's spelled Louisa but she wanted to know if you pronounce it Lou-EYES-uh, or Lou-EEZ-uh.  (It's the former, if you wanted to know.)  Naturally, I was offended that she has gone 21 years without knowing the pronunciation of my middle name.  I, in turn, asked her if her first name is pronounced "Merry" or "Marie".  That'll get her, don't you think?

TODAY my student asked me why I was wearing such weird things on my legs.  I asked if she was referring to the tights.  She said she didn't know what they were called, but she didn't like them.  Yes, they are called tights.  Yes, you are rude.  This is also the same student who told me I looked like a Target commercial the other day.  You gotta have tough skin for my job, I tell you, TOUGH SKIN!

TODAY I was at Wal-mart at 6:50 am trying to buy 10 dozen donuts for my students.  Oh, how I spoil them.  A 50 year old man saw me loading my cart up with baked goodness and asked where I worked.  When I told him, he demanded to know why there were no teachers like me when he went to school.  "You're young, you're in shape, and you're generous!  Can I enroll in your class?!?"  Well, I look younger than I am, I'm not at all in shape, and the school's paying for the donuts, but glad you are easily tricked, my friend.
In any case, it kind of made my morning.

TODAY the weather outside looked oh-so-beautiful and my second period was restless.  "Can we go outside, PLEASE?!?" They begged. With some quick brainstorming, I figured out a way to do the lesson outside, and we were off.  After less than 20 seconds out of the building, and a fierce wind blowing all those 16 year old girls' skirts up, they clammered, "Can we go back inside, PLEASE?!?"  I said yes.
But they're all a bunch of wimps.

TODAY I went to get some bolts screwed into my car.  I went to an old car mechanic that my dad used to love.  "My car is making a weird noise and I need it looked at," I explained.  "Well, what's wrong with it?"  He asked.  "Ummm... you tell me sir.  You're the mechanic.  That's why I'm here."  I thought it, but I didn't say it, because I'm a good girl.
Naturally, his reply didn't instill me with too much confidence.  He says I need my brake pads fixed ASAP and it's a $250 job.
I think I'll get a second opinion.

What happened with your TODAY?

Sunday, April 29, 2012


On Wednesday, an old high school classmate lost her father in a plane crash.

I haven't spoken to this classmate in years, and have only known anything about her life from occasional status updates on facebook.  I never met her dad, and I never had a close relationship with her. 

But I felt crushed by the news all the same.

Ever since my own dad's death, I find myself so much more affected by loss.  (Don't tell anyone, but I sometimes cry when reading the newspaper.  Embarrassing, I know!)   

I sat down at the computer to send my classmate a little facebook message- to tell her I understood sudden and unexpected death.  To tell her I was sorry.  To tell her that she'd be okay.  That she should look for the blessings that come from this. 

Somehow I couldn't say any of that.  Because I remember all of those things being said to me, and I remember none of it helped.  I was sad, and I felt cheated and neglected, and nothing that anyone else said would help these feelings go away.  Looking back now on the tragedy of my dad's death, it doesn't seem so much a "tragedy", but rather an opportunity for growth and learning.  I thought of telling this girl of all the blessings I have seen since my dad's death.  I thought of telling her of the closer relationship with my mom, as we have had to cling to each other in my dad's absence.  Or of my greater understanding of the purpose and the power of prayer.  Or of my hope for the resurrection.  I thought of mentioning to her that I have greater compassion and sympathy for others who struggle and are in pain, and that that has served me in all aspects of my life. 

I even considered mentioning to her that I have a greater appreciation for men and the roles they play in our lives.  Interestingly enough, I don't know if I would have married Hubs without the sorrow, the vulnerability, the emptiness that my dad's death left with me.  I think I would have kept playing around, acting irresponsibly, dating losers, and trying to never grow up.  But when my dad left, my whole perspective changed.  I wanted stability, I wanted love, I wanted strength-  not fun, adventure, and freedom. 

But, of course, I couldn't say any of that to my classmate.  She is hurting too much to understand these blessings that will come. 

But they will come.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

This much I know is true

Yesterday, a popular mormon blogger, CJane, wrote a most controversial post

She told of her love for her young women's leader, a love so great that she even kissed her on the cheek and then felt "shame" afterward.  Years later, CJane saw her leader again and recounted the conversation where the leader told CJane she was a lesbian.

"I had women relationships long before I met you," she told me. "I tried to be straight, I even married a man to prove it, but I couldn't do it. And now I won't go to heaven for this lifestyle, but at least I am honest with myself."

I will never forget her saying that, how she won't go to heaven for being honest.

I'll never believe it.

The post triggered a slew of comments, some praising CJane for her bravery at posting the story, while others questioned her understanding of Mormon doctrine. One lady even called the story "lesbian erotica." 

I was neither shocked by the story, nor disgusted.  Mostly I was softened.  As CJane said in her post, "compassion and retrospection replaces perplexity."
I am a Mormon.
I have great compassion and love for those with same-sex attraction.

Mormons believe that marriage is between one man and one woman and is santified by God.
I also believe that. 

Mormons believe that in order to attain the highest level of heaven, you must be married. 
Mormons believe happiness is centered around the family.
I also believe that.
Mormons believe in charity.  In kindness, in mercy, in love.  The thirteenth article of faith states "If there is anything virtuous, lovely, good report, or praiseworthy, we seek after these things."
I also believe that.

Mormons believe in agency- the strongest gift God could possibly give us- the ability to make our own decisions, to live our own lives, to make mistakes, to learn, to hurt, to ache, to heal. 
I also believe that. 

I really believe that.

Of all of the doctrines of the church, this is the one I most love, am most grateful for.  God let us choose.  To not do so would be contrary to His entire plan of love and salvation.  We are free to live our own lives.

On a calm night in London last summer, one of Hubs' best friends (also a Mormon) said to him,
"Greg.  I need to tell you something.  I'm gay."

He explained that it wasn't something he chose, nor was it something he wanted for himself.  On the contrary, it was something he had tried to hide for years.  Tried to ignore, tried to suppress, tried to forget.  Now a grown man of thirty years old, he had first known he was gay at twelve.  Tired of being alone, tired of hiding who he was, he was ready for a whole new set of challenges.  It was time to come out.

I don't know why Hubs' friend has never been attracted to women.
I don't know how he can know that the Mormon church is true and also know that he is gay.
I don't know why some people are gay and some people are straight.
I don't know why God would say to love the opposite sex, but then not give everyone that attraction. .
I don't know why God would give this trial to some, while others will never know such struggle.

While I was tromping through the jungles of Argentina I learned something about God.  With one month left before I returned home, I was devastated when a man told us two days before his baptism that he couldn't do it.  He explained to us the great pressure from his Catholic family, his job that supported his family but didn't allow him to go to church on Sundays, his worries that he would make a commitment he could never keep.  As we left his house, heavy hearted and unsuccesful, the silent tears rolled down my face.  This man was making a decision that was limiting his happiness and I had failed to convince him that he could have something better in his life.

But I learned something that hot, sweaty afternoon on a dirt road in the middle of South America.  God doesn't hold everybody to the same standards.  Surely he didn't expect the same thing from me as he expected from this man.  He had given me the gospel, an education, money, a thriving country, a Mormon culture.  He had given this man none of that- only two Mormon missionaries.  And when that man couldn't leave every single thing in his life and follow two American strangers, I believe that God will still show mercy.

I believe God is the same with those who have same sex attraction.  He doesn't hold all of His children to the same strict rules, standards and judgments.  Every one of his children is so different, how could He possibly judge us all the same?  He knows our limits, our capabilities, our struggles, our triumphs.  And He will take care of them the way a father would, with love, with gentlessness, with mercy.

This much I know is true:

God is fair.
God is loving.
God is merciful.
God is kind.
God knows us.
God has a plan.
God is our Father.

And even if we don't have it all figured out down here, He does.

Students at BYU, a "Mormon University",
created this video.
Can you be gay and Mormon?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Please accept my apologies

Last night, the Utah Jazz soundly deafeated the Phoenix Suns and clinched their spot in the playoffs.

I was at the game with Hubs, family and friends.

The arena was tense, the crowd hanging on every loose ball, every call, every shot from the free throw line.

With two minutes left in the game and a ten point lead, the entire arena was chanting "Playoffs, playoffs, playoffs!"  We could smell it.  Hear it.  Taste it.  We were making it to the post season, despite the naysayers and the millions of critics who said playoffs this year were impossible for the Jazz.

I suppose that now would be a good time to say an apology is in order.

Yes siree.  An apology, strong and clear to my favorite Utah Jazz team.

I'm sorry, Jazz.

I'm sorry for this.

I'm sorry for doubting you, for retracting my love, for publishing in a statewide newspaper the fact that I was done with you forever.  I'm sorry for enjoying 30 seconds of fame at your expense and then posting it proudly on my refrigerator for all to see who enter my home. I'm sorry for doubting your abilities, for doubting your motives, for doubting you.

I was young when I wrote that article.  Young and naive.  Frustrated with an NBA lockout that showed no signs of let up, a team that showed no signs of playoffs, a franchise that showed no signs of progress, I took to writing to let out some angst.

After publishing that article, I got my fair share of questions from die hard family members, from friends who had long been fans.  "Are you really quitting the Jazz?  You can't really give up on them!"
"Yes I am!" I said proudly.  Strongly.  "I'm done with them!  You won't see me rooting for the Jazz anymore- I'm through and I mean it!"

I didn't mean to watch the games this season.  They made, you see.  They tied me down to the couch, threatened me with a stun gun, held my eyes open and forced me to view all those games.

Or maybe I wanted to.  I don't know.  The lines all get so blurry sometimes.

The point is that somewhere in that truncated 66 game season, somewhere in the seven over time games, the double over time game, the triple overtime, or even the quadruple overtime game, somewhere in the ally oops and the free throws and the miscalled fouls, somewhere in the comebacks, the struggles, the road games, I realized I was wrong about the Jazz.  It wasn't just about the money for these guys.  They weren't breaking my heart on purpose, no, in fact they were trying as hard as they could to love back, to give back, to commit to me. 

And I was giving them the cold shoulder.

I'm back, Jazz, never to leave you again.  I've seen you bleed, I've watched drops of your sweat on the court, and I've witnessed your heart break in games lost at the buzzer.  I've watched you suffer through three plus hours of overtime misery, through back to back to back games, through finger jams and stitches and torn ACLs. 

Your heart is in this and I know that now.  You're always going to be my team.  I'm not going anywhere.  I'm as committed as they come, baby.

Forgive me?

Naturally I have to sport my Karl Malone T-shirt.
Long live the Stockton to Malone era.


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

It's almost time...

There comes a certain time of year.

Pencils are forgotten.
Folders are left in lockers.
Kids are hyper.

"Can today be a free day?"
They beg.
They plead.
"We don't feel like doing anything today!"

I catch my eyes wandering
to the windows
to the sunshine
and the

Suddenly I don't feel like
planning units
thinking of fun activities
emailing parents
explaining how to write a thesis statement
for the 1,234,734th time
grading papers.

I definitely don't feel like

This time of year
my students aren't so cute anymore.
Not so funny.
Not so endearing.

You know what's cute, funny, and endearing?
Ice cream
Sleeping in
Swimming Pools

My students are


on time

ready for the quiz.

"But Teacher!  It's beautiful outside!"
"So?  That means you don't have to do your homework?"

But inside I understand.
Because after school I will ignore their
and stacks
and instead
go lay out at the pool
or play tennis
or longboard to the dairy queen
for a

It's that time of year.

Monday, April 23, 2012

The Wife of a Comedian

Tonight is Hubs' comedy show.

That usually means that approximately three hours before the show I get a text that says,

"Bon, can you bring a clean pair of jeans to the show tonight?"

And I say yes.

Four minutes later, I get another text.

"Could you also bring a pillow... and hershey syrup?"

And I say yes, but this time a little less willingly, because I'm going to have to go buy the hershey syrup.

 Another two minutes pass before I invariably get another text.

"And also my cop outfit?  I need the short shorts, the tight black shirt, the aviators, the gym shoes and the whitey tighties.  I'll make it up to you I promise."

This is always followed immediately by a text that reads,

"Can you bring that stuff right now?"

Yes. My husband just requested whitey tighties.  Now.  A whitey tightie emergency, if you will.

That's the life of the wife of a comedian the day of a show.  It ain't easy, folksies, but someone has got to do it and that someone is me!

I know I posted this yesterday.
But just in case you are wondering about his "cop outfit."
This is it.

The first picture ever taken of Hubs and me. 
August 2010.
At this point we were just flirting.
Who would have ever thought it would turn into me delivering his whitey tigthies for him?

Always making me laugh.
This same night we went to a fair, held hands, and watched the fireworks.
Hubs said to me, "Let's not break up."
And I said, "You got it Mr!"

In other news, the overhead projector screen at school fell when I was trying to roll it up.  It came crashing into me with a hard thud.  Those sophomore girls screamed bloody murder, you'd of thought they'd seen a pack of ghosts emerging from the screen the way the yelled fit to beat Betsy.  Now I've got a nice scratch on my hand and a mean bruise on my knee. 

Needless to say, I demanded a new screen. 

The custodians are on it.

Did you know that I carpool to school?  It is both awesome and awful.  Today our conversation consisted of Jamie telling us about her two best friends, one who had had multiple affairs on her husband, and one who was in a marriage where the husband ignored her all day and was emotionally abusive.  Brad, the other carpool buddy, was strangely riled up about the man who ignored his wife and said that he is "scum" and hopes he "burns in hell."  I agreed it wasn't the best thing to do to a woman, but that if we were going to talk hell logistics here, surely the lady who had an affair would be burning much hotter.  Brad disagreed, seeming to think that men are held accountable to a higer level than women. 

And that was what we talked about for nearing on sixty minutes.

Oh, the lives we lead!

Now, if you don't mind, I've got a husband who is begging me to run his underwear over to him.  And you better believe I'm a good wife, so I'm peacing out.


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Sunday, April 22, 2012

A most entertaining dinner guest

"I've actually heard that hippos are the most dangerous of all the African animals," said Dennis at dinner tonight.
"Yah!  They'll step on you!" agreed Danny wholeheartedly.

Danny was at our Sunday dinner by invitation of my sister, Becky.  She's got a heart of absolute gold, made friends with Danny, and now often invites him to family get togethers.  Danny is charming and likeable and completely unique.

And he always says exactly what's on his mind.

"I totalled my car."
"What happened?"
"Oh, I ran into someone.  It was my fault."
"What were you doing?"
"Oh.  Just looking around."

"The other day I was driving through a neighborhood and this crazy lady got mad at me, yelling to me that I was going too fast."
"Were you going too fast?"
"Danny, should you be driving?"
"Ha!  Maybe not."
"Are you a very careful driver?"
"No.  Not really."

"Don't you feel like when a lady has a cat that it just tells you something about her?" (Becky)
"Yah!  That she's a slut!"

"Danny, how did you like the ice cream?"
"Ah, it was fair to midland"
I didn't understand. 
"You know, like fair to mediocre"
"You know Danny, he doesn't like anything fair to midland," my mom joked.
"Yah!  Especially my women!  That's why I'm 52 and not married!"
"Oh come on, what's wrong with women who are fair to midland?"
"Nope!  Not for me!  I like mine hot sexy babes!"

That was the highlight of my weekend, how about yours?

Oh, yah, highlight #2 was Hubs wearing short shorts.

Oh, yah, and Highlight #3 was the weather. 75 degrees and sunshine all weekend long.  Summer, here we come!

This is my family.  That's Danny wearing blue, sitting in the lawn chair.
No doubt telling my mom about his need for hot sexy babes.

A couple of signs that this man will be a good daddy.
As if I didn't know that already.

My niece with a cast up to her hip.
That's what happens to poor little girls who are too rambunctious.
I sympathize with her.

Love. Sunshine.


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And may your Monday be over faster than you can say
"the Utah Jazz are going to make the playoffs"

And yes, the Jazz are one win away from making the playoffs, thanks for asking.


Thursday, April 19, 2012

High School Cruelty

High school is a cruel little world.

This week is student body elections.  Days of handing out suckers, preparing speeches (which by the way, none of the candidates actually gave speeches, they all just showed a video.  What has our world come to?), and trying to convince the intelligent high school population that you getting elected will have anything to do with their happiness.

It won't.

One of my favorite students, an aboslute doll who is always on task and sweet and cheerful, lost the election.

Would it be too dramatic to say it broke my heart?  Because it really did.

I guess I don't really understand student body elections.  "Alright, guys, lets all choose the hottest and most popular kid and have him be in charge of everything important at our school.  The teachers and principal get no sway whatsoever."  Because isn't that how all jobs are filled?  By the hottest and most popular with no regard for what the authorities think?

I suppose I feel high school elections so acutely because eight years ago, in the throes of teenage angst and misunderstood hormones, I myself, was involved in a little student government election.

I was running for junior class secretary against Shayla- a girl I disliked for the mere reason that she had what I wanted:  Will Shane.  He was gorgeous and perfect and I had crushed on him for four years.  The boy was as pure as pure can be- never kissed a girl, never had a girlfriend, straight A student.  And when he finally got himself a girlfriend, it wasn't me.  It was Shayla.  I went on loving him- unrequited, of course- until the day he got married.  (Not to Shayla).

Me in high school.  With that hair do and purple eyeshadow,
I don't know how I didn't have the whole school worshipping me.

With Shayla already as my arch enemy #1, I wanted nothing more than to crush her in the campaign.  To show Will who he should really be dating.  To reclaim some of my lost pride.

After days of draining campaigning, the results were in.   Carbon High, never the classiest, didn't have the courtesy to announce the results to us before they told the rest of the school.  They would announce it at a high school dance.  On a Friday night.  In front of everybody.  No, we couldn't hide from those teens, we would have to face our formidable classmates and show them that we were the failures the thought we were.

Friday night finally rolled around.  I could hardly enjoy the dance waiting for the announcement.  No boy was cute, no cookie was chocolatey, no song was catchy, all I wanted to know is if I won, and wasthattoomuchtoaskforDANGIT!?!?!?

Finally, the advisor came over the P.A.  He announced the historian.  Then, it was our turn, "You guys, for junior class secretary we have something we have never had before.  Never.  Ever!  EVER!  We have an exact tie!  We've recounted four times and it's an exact tie can you believe it?!?!  This is CRAZY! So we'll revote first thing Monday morning, make sure you're on time to school to vote!" Beep.

Then.  Silence.

I felt sick.  I left immediately with my best friend, who had lost the election for president.  We rode together in silence, each aching in our own way.

The weekend dragged on.  I stressed.  I tossed and turned.  I didn't eat.

Monday morning arrived, and sure enough, at 8:20 sharp, we re-voted.  I remember circling my own name, bold and strong.
I wanted to win this.

Thirty minutes later, in the middle of correcting a biology quiz with the class, the advisor came on the speaker.  Beep.  "We have our winner for secretary.  The winner is Shayla Gilman.  Thank you."  Beep.  Just like that.  Millions of possibilities were extinguished with that voice and I sat there, staring down at that biology quiz, fully aware that all eyes were on me and I that I had nowhere to hide.  I was raw.  Exposed.  Vulnerable.  Tears filled my eyes, and I bit my lip with all my might, trying to stop them from rolling down my face.  I had to act like I didn't care.  Like I never wanted it in the first place.  Like I had lost on purpose.

It didn't work, and as thirty five pair of eyes boared into the back of my head, I'll always be grateful for Mr. Bean, who sensed the tension, the awkwardness, and blurted,  "Alright, hurry up, we don't have all day with this quiz!  Number 5 is mitochondria, Number 6 is ribosome..." and took those eyes off of my shamed, red face and back onto a quiz.

This story is supposed to be funny, but I realize now when I reread it, that it reeks of sorrow, not humor.  When I tell this story out loud it's hilarious; in fact I told it in the faculty room at lunch yesterday and one teacher was laughing so hard he cried.  It is funny, but not for good reasons.  It's funny because of its cruelty, funny because of the things humans sometimes do to other humans, funny because that was eight years ago and I have had a full enough, rich enough life that that doesn't matter anymore.

But when student elections roll around at the high school each year, I hurt.  I can't enjoy it, and I wait anxiously for the week to pass and hope none of my students come out injured.  My heart aches for those who don't win, (most of them kids I've never met) for those who want it so bad, for those who are publicly rejected by the cruelest age group.

I guess I don't understand why student government elections are necessary in high school.  I suppose you could say it prepares kids for the real world, the rejection and all, but nowhere in my life since losing that eleventh grade election have I felt a sharper form of rejection.  Not getting stood up by own boyfriend, not having doors slammed in my face in Argentina, not being denied a job at the school where I student taught.  Nothing equals the pain of having an entire school of your peers and friends say, "Nope.  Sorry. Not good enough for us."

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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

What would you name YOUR poem?

The recent title of a poem, written by one of my favorite seventeen year old Einsteins:

"A lovely poem about a boy in Texas who wanted to hunt for ducks but falls off of a tree and hurts his knee instead."

I mean, come on, who wouldn't want to read the poem after that epic title?!?

(I hate the word epic to the point that I wrote an entire post about it once, and some of you may feel betrayed that I have used that word today.  However, in my quest for satire and witty sarcasm within this post, I feel that the term is justified.  So if you've got a problem with it, take it up with someone else!)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A How-to from the expert

Alright, people, I'm no idiot.  I've caught on to a few things around this internet, blogging world and you can't keep them from me anymore.    I'm onto the trends, the crazes, and you gotta believe that I'm going to jump on any bandwagon I see.  And you know what's really in right now?

How-to articles.

Everyone and their dogs are doing it, you know.

Well, if you think I don't have a few How-tos of my own,  then you must take me for some kind of fool!  I know how to do lots of stuff and so I will share that knowledge with you, my less informed, less fortunate, less wise friends. 

Paint your toenails.
Take off all old nailpolish.
Clip nails if necessary.
Put on fresh nail polish.
Put a clear coat on the top to make it shiny.  If that's what you're in to.
Don't put socks on until they're dry.
The last step is the most important- trust me on this one!

Wow that was easy!  I think I might try another one!

Make dinner.

Chop an onion and fry it up.
Add meat to it.  Chicken or beef usually.
Twirl your spice rack thing around chosing at random which spices you want.  You really can't go wrong!
Cook until it smells burned.
Microwave a potato for ten minutes.
Eat potato with meat.

Order a pizza from Papa John's.
Feeds two people for two meals

Seduce your man.
Cook dinner (I would suggest option B in this post. Option A doesn't always turn out.)
Wear perfume
Laugh at everything he says
Tell him you will watch whatever he wants for the rest of the night.
Tell him his muscles are looking bigger.

Do laundry.
Throw clothes in washing machine.
Whites in one pile.
Darks in the other.
Wash them in cold water and wash them all together.
When you hear the buzzer, move the clothes to the dryer.
Turn it on.
When the buzzer goes off again the clothes are done.
I forgot to tell you to add detergent.
Add it to the washer, not the dryer.
That could be bad.
You can find detergent at any grocery store.

Get seventeen year olds to like  you.
Get a twitter account
Make fun of the other teachers with them.
Shop at Forever 21.
Say something borderline inappropriate every once in a while.

Get seventeen year olds to hate you.
Take away their cell phones.
Write them up for truancies when they leave class five minutes early.
Yell at them in front of the class when they do something out of line.
Send them to the principal's office when they drop the f bomb.

Make friends.
Be nice.
And fun.

Love your life.
Don't take it too seriously.
Make a conscious decision to thank at least two people a day.
Take a bubble bath if you feel stressed.
Remember everybody's got probs.
Dye your hair pink if you feel so inclined.
Look in the mirror and repeat: "I am a sexy mama, I am a sexy mama, I am a sexy mama."
Just kidding about that last one.

Who would ever do that?

There you go folks!  You're not going to find much better advice than that on the whole world wide web, so you might as well stop looking!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Can a woman take out the trash?!?

Today I pulled into the parking lot after a hideously boring day of district meetings, shifted that black Corolla into park, and sat quietly for a minute while I listened to the end of We are Young on the radio.

I was also enjoying a spot of sunshine, feeling it sink into my body and warm my skin.  I love everything about spring, the flowers, the light, the rain, the freedom, but I have to admit, getting into a warm car tops the list.  Not cold, not icy, not covered in snow, but warm.
That is when I know it's spring.

While I was sitting in my car, feeling young and free, I witnessed two things almost simultaneously that were very strange to me. 

Thing #1:  A man walked to the mailbox, inserted the little key, twisted it, gathered an assortment of bills, ads, and letters, and then walked back to his apartment.
I was shocked. I sat for a moment just to take it all in.  It was time to ask myself some serious questions.  Questions that include, "Since when has a man ever gotten the mail?  How does that man even known where the mail key is? Or how to use it? Or where the mailbox is!?!?!"  You can imagine my complete confusion, right?

You see, here's the deal. In our married life I have gotten the mail a total of 87 times and Hubs has gotten the mail a total of 0 times.  End of story.  Picking up the mail is my job.  I have never even thought that Hubs would do it. 

While still left reeling in the shock of a man getting the mail, I was eyewitness to YET ANOTHER strange occurrence.

Thing #2:   A woman walk to the dumpster and heaved a big bag of garbage up and over, landing successfully at its destination with an emphatic THUD.
My mind had been blown and I needed a moment just to reflect. So, I listened to another song and enjoyed the sunshine through the glass for a minute longer. 

This poor girl, taking out the trash by herself.  What kind of husband has the wife carry the trash?  Surely that's a man's job! There is no circumstance, no scenario where a woman should be dirtying her hands carrying out trash.  Right?  RIGHT?!?!  RIGHT?!?!?!

Then I heard a little voice asking me,  "Bonnie, where did you learn that women get mail and men take out the trash?"  And I didn't know the answer.

So I thought some more.  And I think I may have come up with an answer.

I blame:
the way I was raised,
our culture,
and the rules that society inflicts upon us.
(Second time reading this I realize what I meant to say is "Instills in" but I like "inflicts upon" better.  Sounds more menacing, don't you think?)

Good enough?

I realize that I have instilled in me a very strong set of gender roles, as much as I would like to not admit it.  There are certain things I always do, certain things Hubs always do, and a host of chores we share.

Grocery shopping
Paying bills
Complaining to restaurants when we get bad service
Keeping up on maintenance for cars, apartment, etc.
Getting the mail

Taking out the trash
Scrubbing the bathtub
Moving the couches together so we can snuggle in front of the couch.
Driving whenever we go somewhere together

Making the bed (although it is usually Hubs since I wake earlier.  HA! Who's the lucky one now?!?)

He's sensitive to smells.
You can sympathize, can't you?

Most of my rationale behind these I can trace back to my parents.  For example, I never once saw my dad get the mail.  Or make the bed.  And it was a cold day in July when he washed a dish.  Dad always drove when my parents went anywhere together and my mom was in charge of paying the bills.

My mom, on the other hand, didn't have to worry about chopping wood, building fires, gardening, or fixing the cars.  Those were my dad's chores.  He occasionally helped with cooking, like Hubs does, but the responsibility fell mostly in my mom's lap.

I never did see my dad push a vacuum.

As far as the trash goes?  Well, my mom made us kids do that.  (Obviously.  What else would you have eight kids for?)

So why would Hubs have picked that habit up if in my family neither my mom or dad was in charge of the trash?  I thought back to the numerous times that I have stayed with Hubs' parents.  Hubs' pop is almost religious about taking the trash out.  Every night he grabs that bag, empties it of every last potato peel and diet coke can, and leaves a fresh wastebasket.  Hubs has obviously seen this and subconsciously picked up the idea that the garbage is a man's job.

I'll take it!  If that boy wants to take the trash out for the rest of his life, he ain't gonna receive no protests from me.

Naturally, I am curious as to how other households work.  Did your home have specific gender roles?  Are there certain chores now that you always do or that your husband always does?  And should we strive to undo these "gender chores" with our own children?

And my, my, my what a fascinating and awful world we live in where we all must do chores, don't you agree?

Sunday, April 15, 2012

When you can't talk

Extra credit points if you can figure out what the post has to do with the picture.

I am awkward.

This is a shocking new discovery for me.  I have always considered myself completely adept in the field of social skills.  Back in my single days I could easily carry on a conversation with anybody- be it an axe murderer or an 80 year old grandma with Alzheimers.  My skill was sociality and I prided myself in it.

The discovery was made Saturday at The Bijou Market- a boutique held twice a year, filled with 20 something year old hipster moms, bloggers, and vintage shop owners.  I don't necessarily consider myself any of those things, although if I had to pick one, I would definitely go with hipster mom.
My best friend, CrazyA, who owns a small jewelry shop, suggested I show up at the market to make some connections, "Show up the last hour, tell people you're a blogger, and find some people to host giveaways for you," she commanded.

Naturally, I obeyed.

I was nervous about the whole thing.  To start with, I don't like the term "blogger".  I feel weird in that title- as if it is a borrowed dress from a friend that I am wearing for the weekend.  Something that doesn't really belong to me, that must be returned later.  Somewhere deep in the channels of my brain, I am convinced that I am not, in fact, a "blogger", that I am merely faking it, and one day soon someone is beyond to see through the facade.

As uncomfortable as I was with the term "blogger", I decided to go anyway.  To leave my comfort zone, and go talk to a bunch of adorable women in skinny jeans and glaring red lipstick.

When I showed up, CrazyA was already there, running around like a chicken with its head cut off, saying hi to everyone, trading products, making connections, and doing other things that headless chicken deem fit to do.  I walked around, pretended to be busy, and feigned interest in hand crocheted baby hats. 

"Bonnie!  Do you want me to introduce you to this lady?  She's got an adorable shop and she loves doing giveaways!"  CrazyA called from across the venue.  I was on the verge of saying "Oh, no, don't worry about it, I'll just grab her card and shoot her an email" when it struck me.  I am becoming socially inept.  I was avoiding contact with fellow human beings.

I remembered the blogger meet up I had attended a month ago where I stood awkwardly in a corner, texted Hubs, "this is weird" and pretended to sip water.  (Because really what ISN'T weird about meeting a bunch of women who you know only through stalking their blogs, twitter accounts, and instagrams?)  I stood there until I found another girl who seemed every bit as awkward as I was and struck up a conversation using the ever so smooth line that I had just texted Hubs.  "This is weird."

Looking back on that moment, I should have realized before Saturday that I am awkward in my social skills. 

You'll be happy to know, however, that I did succesfully talk to the shop owner, we did successfully make plans for a future giveaway.  So there.  Points for Bonnie.

On the way home I got to thinking about it.  What had happened to my incredible social skill?  My inability to talk to anyone about anything?   I racked my mind long and hard, and I came up with only one clear solution:  Hubs.  This was all Hubs' fault.

Not really.
But really.
Hear me out on this theory:  The more time I spend alone with Hubs, the less time I am spending making conversation with strangers/ acquaintances/ friends.  The more time I spend with one select person- cuddling, giggling, referring to inside jokes, sitting there comfortably without having to say a word- the less I am able to identify with and relate to other people.  I am not practicing this "people" skill like I used to when I was single- constantly meeting and having to make conversation with perfect strangers.

What do you think?  Can your social skills actually decrease if you are not practicing them consistently enough?  Is it like basketball or piano- a lack of practice brings a lack of skill?  And if so, how do you go about mainitaing this ever-important ability?

I feel weird about this whole post.  Like the entire thing has been every bit as awkward as my latest conversations with perfect strangers.  HELP ME!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Target: Liars? Thieves? Jerks?

Today during second period, Sam leaned over to me and said, "Teacher.  Look what's on the side of your desk."
And so, like any normal person would when someone says "look," I looked.

And do you know what it was? 
A bunch of boogers. 
Three if you want to be exact. 
Dried up, crusty boogers. 
On the side of my desk.

These high schoolers are sick.  Sick, I tell you.  I was in too much of a shock today to do much about it, but rest assured, I intend to drill each one of my classes tomorrow and find the culprit.  Whoever is picking his nasty nose and wiping it on my school furniture certainly must pay!

Don't you agree?

But that, my dears, is beside the point.  This post was never intended to be about boogers.  Please, this is a sophisticated blog, not some trashy high school blog.  Show it some credit, will you?!

This post, actually, if you want to know, is supposed to be about the lies that Target tells.

Yep, you read right, my friends, the lies of our favorite supermarket-turned-department-store, Target.

As of three hours ago, I am convinced Target exists to make my life miserable.

This afternoon I had to make a few returns at good old Tar-jey. (That's how rich people say it.  I'm rich, if you didn't know.  You seen what high school teachers are making now days?)  The return was necessary because of a bad shopping habit I picked up from my mom.  This is also because I legitimately enjoy making returns due to the fact that I feel like I am making money by shopping and then returning.  I'm well aware that it doesn't work like that, but just let me enjoy the thought, will you?

After I made a successful return to Target, I decided that it couldn't hurt to look around a bit.  You know, for more stuff to return later.  I did some perusing, and within no time at all I had in my arms four dresses, a pair of shorts, three swimsuits, and two shirts.  I paraded on back to the fitting room and politely requested a room- to which the lady attendant with very skinny arms told me that I could only take six items in. 

Now.  A little background.  This isn't the first time a lady attendant at Target has told me to limit my items.  Last time I was a Target another chick had very sternly asked me how many items I held in my arms. I replied "about five or six."  She then counted my items and discovered I actually had seven items.  She then refused to allow me to take them all back.  Not only was I humiliated by her counting each individual piece of clothing to catch me in a lie I didn't know I was telling, I was annoyed and frustrated that I couldn't take the extra piece of clothing in.  I begged.  I bargained.  I bullied.  The girl didn't relent.  And so, alas, I went back to the dressing room with only six items in hand.  I never even tried on the seventh item, just to stick it to Target.

BACK TO TODAY (and try to stay on topic, will you?) "You can only take in six items and will have to come back for the rest," Skinny told me.
"Can I just take all of them back?"
"Why not?"
"Because you can't."
"Can I just hang the extra items outside my door?"
"Why not?"
"Because it's not allowed."
"So you're telling me that I have to get fully dressed again, bring you the items I don't want, and then pick up my new items?"
"Doesn't that seem like a waste of time?"
"It's the rule, ma'am."
"Can I call you to bring me my other items after I have finished the first round of clothes so I don't have to get dressed and come back out here?"
"I can't guarantee I'll be here."
"Then can you just let me take them all back?  I"m trying on swimsuits here."
"No ma'am.  It's the rule."

Growing increasingly exasperated at the situation, but still foolishly convinced I could reason with Skinny, I tried again.  "I understand that you didn't make the rules and you just work here, but I guess I am frustrated because it seems so pointless.  Do you know the reasoning behind why I can't take more than six items back?"
A slight pause while she considered, and then Skinny replied, "We do it so that we can regulate and keep track of how many items are back there."
"So it is a shoplifting prevention?"
"It's so people don't steal?"
"Yes, ma'am."

Now.  I don't know about you.  But if I were a thief, (and I am not, I repeat, I am not a thief)  I would never draw so much attention to myself by taking something back to the dressing room and telling a Target worker that I had that piece of clothing, and then trying to steal it.  I would simply slip my item of thieving choice slyly into my purse and I'd get the heck out of the store.  What criminal actually needs a dressing room to accomplish their mischievous shenanigans? 

I was onto Skinny.  Her reasoning was not sound.  No.  Not at all.  She had no idea why the rule exists, but was trying to enforce it with absolute fidelity regardless.  She wanted to trick me into believing me the purposeless rule did indeed have a purpose, I was sure of it.  But I took the higher road, said nothing, and instead snatched up my first round of clothing up and headed into the dressing room.  With sass.  Because you've got to show Skinny some sass sometimes. (Extra credit for alliteration, thank you very much!)

Eight minutes later I had tried on the six pieces of clothing, redressed myself, and was now emerging from the dressing room with my first round of clothes in order to acquire round two of clothes.  (Does this sound like a circus to anyone else besides me?!?!)  Skinny did not look up from the garment she was hanging up.  Instead she mumbled, "Just throw them in that basket" and continued on, not paying a lick of attention to what I was doing.  I chucked them, watching them disappear into a shopping cart filled to the brim with pieces of unwanted clothing. 

I stared at Skinny. 
She did not stare back.
In fact, she ignored me.
No response whatsoever. 
No check to see that I had brought out all six items.  No request for my fluorescent pink 6 door hangar she hadso generously given to me.  No wondering if I brought everything out of the room.  Nothing.

Point.  Proven. People.

I knew the whole shoplifting thing was a bluff!  Skinny couldn't care less if I stole three bikinis and a snickers bar.  All she cared about was that I only take six items back.  The shoplifting thing was a lie- a completely useless rule that Target made up without a reason and that Skinny insisted be followed, despite having nothing to back it up.

IT'S TIME TO TAKE A STAND!  As part of my ever-faithful  resistance to the man, I firmly believe that rules like this should not exist and when they do exist we all have a responsibility to break them until they do not exist anymore. 

You still with me?

Maybe the rule does have a purpose.  Maybe there is a sound reason and Skinny didn't know it so she just made something up to pacify the pissy customer (sorry, mama, I know you hate that word).  I've never worked in retail, so I'm no expert, (and if you have worked in retail, please, enlighten me!) but I do know that if you are going to enforce a rule you gosh darn better know the reason behind it!

And do you know what the craziest thing about all this is?  This post started out with boogers.  My, how far we have come.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Four best ways to lose weight?

Alright, folksies, here I am with week two of my blog posts for

It's harder than you'd think to write a post every week about losing weight.

And by the time I am done, my brain power is gone, with nothing creative or funny or even inappropriate that I can say on this blog.

So for today you'll get an excerpt from the weight loss post.

And if reading about losing weight isn't your thing?  Hey, I totally understand.  You go ahead and cuddle up on the couch with a bowl of ice cream.  It's what I'm about to do, afterall.

Well, well, well.

Look what the cat dragged in!  A little bit of interesting information about the best ways to lose weight?  Don’t mind if I do!

Yesterday, Kristina Fiore of MedPageToday wrote an article in which she listed the four most effective ways to lose weight.

Can you guess what they are?  Go ahead.  Try and guess all four and see if you are right, you little smartie pants.

Done guessing?
Here’s your answers:

1.  Eating less fat. (Well, we didn't need no doctors to have to tell us that, did we?) 
2.   (For the rest of your answers and the oh-so-insightful post, go here.)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

On babies. Round 2.

Yes, you read right.  This is round 2.  Round 1 was in January when I made a deal with God to let me wait a little while longer to have babies.  You know, to let me be selfish and self serving and a bunch of other self- stuff that doesn't include babies. 

Actually, if I think about it, that was round 2.  The real Round 1 occurred clear back in October when Hubs brought home a stuffed teddy bear to cure my one and only fit of baby hunger.
So I guess if we're being all technical about it, this is really Round 3 of baby thought.  But come on, who's even keeping track around here?

I blame round 3 on Dennis.
My brother.

You see, a couple of weeks ago we met up for lunch.

Dennis and his wife recently welcomed their first little bundle of joy. (I gave the babe some life advice here.)  Mountain bikes and nights out were exchanged for pacifiers and burp cloths. Movie theatres and manicures morphed into monitors and medicines.

"So how is it?" I demanded to know.  "What's it like being a father?"

"It's amazing..." he started, "But...  it's also really hard." 
Another pause. 
"Just make sure you're ready for it."

And, just like that, we were done, on to another topic.

But the line stuck with me.

Make sure you're ready for it.

So I thought about it a little and I thought about it a lot and I got to wondering.  How exactly do you get ready for cooing and cuddles and soft, bubbly kisses?
My oldest brother and his two sons welcoming their little sis to the family. 2010.

And more importantly, how do you get ready for sleepless nights, lost independence, and a lifetime of caring for someone else? 

Are you ever really ready?  And when you are, how can you possibly know?

I ain't no young buck to be having babies- especially in Mormonville.  I'm pushing 26 and my friends from every stage of life- high school, college, even my mission buddies- are multiplying and replenishing and fructifying and I'm just here waiting to be ready.

I guess I've always been hesitant to take big, life changing steps.  Especially when there's no exit door.  And let's face it, having a baby is the defintion of a big life changing step with no exit in sight.  The only reason I was able to commit to a marriage was because of days and weeks and months spent with Hubs, a shared love, and an assurance that I couldn't live without him. Plus, it didn't hurt that I had dated countless losers before I landed on Hubs.  When I met him he blew the competition away, and I knew I had found "the one." 

But how can I be certain that I don't need countless babies before I find the one that suits me best?  How do I know that the first 20 babies won't dissatisy me in some way and leave me feeling that there is certainly a better baby out there if I just keep looking? 

I don't understand our society- they preach down your throat, "make sure you marry the right person, you gotta know him good, make sure you have exhausted all possibilities and found the absolute perfect one and only right person for you." And then, they go and expect you to invite a baby, a perfect stranger, to live with you and always be a part of your life without ever once having been introduced! 

Some nerve, our society, I tell you!
The more I think about it, the more I am shocked that anyone chooses to have babies.  Do people even realize what they are giving up when they do so?  A baby means no more freedom.  No more selfishness.  No more long hot bubble baths when I get home from school.

And I like long hot bubble baths.

My best friend, Akasha, is two years younger than I am.  We were friends throughout high school, roomed together in college, and even spent four months bathing in the Hawaiian sun before I booked it for Argentina.
Single and carefree. Hawaii 2007.

She's expecting baby #3 in July.

And I wonder, were you ready, Akasha?  Were you ready for naptime and playtime and interrupted dinners and hellish plane rides and car seats and babysitters and colic and jaundice and oh my goodness I'm overwhelmed.

I guess I just had to get it off my chest.  Because you know that boy I live with, Hubs?  He's ready.  Ready whenever I am.  He's always ready, though.  He was ready to marry me months before I knew his name, so obviously he's going to be ready for a baby. 

But how does a girl (I guess at this point in my life I should be referring to myself as a woman?) know that she's ready?  Ready to take a leap of faith and ready to welcome a person she's never met into her life and ready to give up her entire life for a complete stranger?!  I mean, I know someone did it for me (thanks mama!), but what if I am not selfless enough to do that for someone else?

I admire women who can pop out babies right and left.  I really do.  My mother was one of them.  I admire their ability to nurture, to give, to sacrifice.  I admire that Akasha can be so completely happy with her little family and not resent those toddlers for anything.  I admire women that just want to hold their babies and love them and are so happy and content to stay at home and raise their children. 

But can all women do that?

Your thoughts?