Mine’s Better Than Yours!

This post is all about my funny father.  After all, it IS his birthday today.  I think it only appropriate after surviving 55 years of life, 29 of those years with me as a professional hair whitener, I dedicate a blog post to him.

I absolutely adore my father.  Always have, and always will (well, there was this one time when I was like 15 that I remember I was REALLY mad at him for some reason, dramatically cast myself on the floor in my bathroom and cried for a few hours because I thought I could never forgive him, but I don’t remember why I was even mad.  I will chalk it up to teen-aged hormones and say, yes, I’ve always loved him).  He can come off as a quiet man, and I think many people don’t really get to see how simply fantastic and incredibly silly he really is.  All my odd behaviors, I can blame almost exclusively on him.

I don’t want this to sound like a Eulogy, as I am sure he’s not dead yet, so I’m just going to share some of my favorite things about him.

For starters, he drove a Jaguar when he met my mom.  Now that is class.  My grandpa thought he was going to steal my mother away like a sneaky snake because he drove a smooth criminal car.

While they were dating, my mom punched him out, flat on his back, in accidental self defense.  His response from the ground was, “Wow!  What a woman!”  I think the fact that he likes and supports the idea of strong women is one of my favorite traits of his.

When I was a little girl, he would let me put all the scrunchies and curlers in his hair that I wanted.  Granted, he sported a perm, so he was used to curlers in his hair.  You know Bob Ross?  He had NOTHING on my dad!

He thinks he is a fish.  I think he honestly and truly believes that he is!  I wouldn’t be surprised if there were a merman gene somewhere in his DNA.  He can swim without coming up for unusually long periods of time, and he is so calm when he scubas that his air tank lasts much longer than anyone else’s.

He always made it to even the silliest of performances I had growing up.  One time I had a choir concert, and I didn’t tell my parents because it wasn’t a big deal.  I don’t know how he found out about it, but there he was!  Grinning in the auditorium.  Who goes to a high school choir concert just for funsies?  All of my bigger performances came with flowers and/or balloons of some kind.  I’m sure my mom helped him with some of those, but he never acted like it was a burden to be there.

My favorite times in my early teen years were going to work with him to help him with inventory.  The whole way over, we would listen  to either Michael Reagan or Paul Harvey.  On the way home, I would torture him with playing Crimson and Clover over and over and over and over… I would even hit my throat to make it shakey for the psychedelic part.  He pretended like it didn’t even bother him.  On days when he had enough of Crimson and Clover, we would listen to oldies and he would quiz me on the artist.  He groomed me well in the classics.

Kids are drawn to my dad like moths to a flame and he LOVES it!  I don’t think he is happier than when kids are crawling all over him, boogars and all.  One little girl at church used to think he was Heavenly Father.  As odd as it was that her parents let her believe it, he would always make sure to smile and wave at her.

The most scared I have ever been of my dad is when I decided to taunt him when he had a cast on his leg (he broke it roller skating when I was 11).  I was being sassy and told him he couldn’t spank me and especially because he couldn’t catch me.  He moved so fast with that cast, I was literally petrified in the corner from shock!  He definitely caught me and I definitely got a good swat on the behind.

He’s a serious goof.  I’ve seen him Jete’ across the hallway in his robe, put on lipstick for a game, sneak around outside the window with a nylon on his head to scare me, and he ALWAYS makes sure to make some sort of romantic remark about my mom simply to make me feel uncomfortable.  He’s good at being very sneaky, and will sneak away to the golf course whenever he can.  If he gets caught, he was just in a “meeting!”

He adores my mom.  Everything she does, he thinks is funny and cute.  Sometimes he will call me just to tell me funny things my mom does.  I don’t know how they do it, but they’re still giddy about each other after 31 years.

He takes care of his mom.  My grandma has Alzheimer’s and he makes sure everything is in line.  He has zero support from the rest of his family, and has taken it upon himself to make sure her best interest is kept.  I honestly don’t think the rest of his family has a clue what he does for her (my mom deserves a major shout out, too, even though this isn’t about her, she does more than her share, too).  It can’t be easy to see your mother lose her memories, but he just keeps on moving.

The man will quit looking for business ventures the day he dies.  He is entrepreneur extraordinaire!  I love that I learned with a lot of hard work, you can achieve.  His hard work made my life easier, but he definitely taught us that the ease came AFTER hard work, not as an entitlement.

I could really keep on going, but for the sake of space and time, I won’t.  On one of my rides in his truck one day, he told me this song reminded him of his girls.  I purposely didn’t bring this up until AFTER my sister was married, because I didn’t want her to steal it. (Ha ha!  Sorry Rach!)

I love you, Daddio!  Thanks for letting me be your princess!  Happy birthday! Love, Twink

Girl Drive Failure. Cannot Compute.

I love princesses.  I love Disneyland.  I get a healthy boost of self esteem when I wear a new outfit with the perfect shoes.  I danced because I can’t catch, throw, or keep interest in a ball, plus I love tiaras and tutus.  I get overly excited over small things, especially if they are smaller versions of large things, like those tiny Tabasco bottles you get from room service at hotels.  My best non-human friends as a child were a fluffy white stuffed cat named Duchess (from Aristocats, of course) and Barbie.  Clearly, I am all girl.  You may want to even say GIRLY girl, for emphasis.  Obviously, this uber femininity means I have mastered all the female ways, right?  WRONG!

My overt prissiness, though a handy facade, really covers up a lot of messiness.  For starters, I HATE love and romance.  It makes me want to curl into a ball squirm around in awkwardness.  Maybe it’s an unknown, unresolved issue or something, but I really do not like the idea of anyone giving me complete adoration or watching two people give it to one another (“it” as in adoration… I know what some of you were thinking).  No kissing in public, no whispering of sweet nothings, definitely no grand gestures for this girl!  I like seeing little old couples walking and holding hands.  That is about it.  If you ever want to confess your love for me, do it in a text, because I don’t handle it well face-to-face.  Even writing about it, I am dying of awkwardness inside.  Eww…

I hate drama, and so instead of doing the “girl” thing of talking it out, I just disappear for a while.  In extreme cases, if you make me mad to the point that I don’t want to  ever talk to you again, I will do just that.  You’re officially dead to me.  The end.  That doesn’t happen often, but it does happen.  Typically, it will just be me not talking about the issue that bothers me with the offender.  I get over it on my own, so I don’t have to talk about it to them.  When something happens that requires heavy emotional involvement, I make a joke or disconnect.  I hate feeling deep feelings.  It’s not comfortable and I avoid it at all cost.  I’ll talk about my opinions all day long, but do NOT make me talk about my feelings.

Although I can definitely hang on a shopping trip, my preferred shopping style consists of this.  I need X.  I will go to store 1, 2, 3, and/or 4 to find it, nowhere more. I will walk in and look briefly at each store.  If it is not there, I will move on.  I can either spend a surprising amount of money in an hour, gathering up several shopping bags, or I will leave empty handed because nothing caught my eye.  I think I caused my mom a bit of a panic while shopping for my birthday gifts this year.  I wanted to go shopping for my own gifts as my present.  In under an hour, I had 4 shirts, a dress and a cardigan from 4 different stores.  I don’t scour the store, I don’t try things on, and I don’t do multiple walk throughs.  I want to cut my legs off when my mom goes to TJ Maxx because there is a once through to see everything, a second through to get what you want, and a third through to make sure you did’t miss anything, which takes HOURS.  This is why TJ Maxx is referred to as the black hole in some circles… or circles I am in when I call it that…

I do not grocery shop, nor do I cook.  I am seriously the worst girl ever.  I can cook, but cooking requires ingredients.  Those ingredients are purchased at grocery stores.  Grocery stores disgust me.  I walk in and look at all the strange folks that wander the aisles, touching their faces, picking their wedgies, and think, “These people have all potentially touched my food. Sick!”  So I end up getting my go-to package of corn tortillas and cheese for quesadillas (both have wrappers, so I feel safe, though I grab buried packages to reduce the amount of touch they’ve received).  I really do eat a lot of quesadillas.

I’ll expose my beauty regimen, if you can even qualify what I do as that.  I hate washing my hair, and I do it every three days.  The days it looks all silky and pretty, those are the days I washed it.  The rest of the days when I have it in a messy bun or complex braid?  Ya, dirty hair.  I have mad, abnormal braiding skills; I can braid upside down, in a wind storm, during the apocalypse, so even though it looks complicated when I’m done, it took me 5 minutes or less.  I wash my face with Dove soap.  I don’t use anti-wrinkle creams or toners, or anything I “should” start using at my age.  They take time, and I would rather spend my time doing something more interesting than rubbing junk on my face.  In my makeup bag, you’ll find:  concealer, tinted moisturizer (it has sunscreen in it, so at least I am doing that for my skin), mascara, eyeliner, and clear lip gloss.  I do own glitter, eye shadow, lip tints, etc.  They are in a basket under my bed.  My last purchase of those were for my sister’s wedding in April.  I do brush my teeth.  That is important!

When I look at people running or biking down the road I feel guilty.  Not because I feel guilty for not exercising, or because I envy their bodies.  I feel guilty because I should care more about how my body looks.  I love my body.  I’m comfortable with my body.  I don’t diet, and my life is exercise for me at this point, especially since my spare time is typically on the limited side.  Aren’t girls supposed to want to look like super models?  I don’t look like one, but I seem to be doing ok… maybe I’m in denial.  Either way, I’m comfortable enough to know what “Little Beach” is and to have fully participated in the culture.  That’s some serious comfort.

Finally, quick “stereo-type” gender benders for me are: I am good at math, I will watch football by myself without being forced, I prefer a good psychologically intense movie or Oscar contender over a chick flick any day, I like learning about cars, I hate Twilight, and I have had more close “guy-friends” in my life than girlfriends.  I know the “When Harry met Sally” thing about girls and guys not being able to be friends, but I manage to take on a kid-sister role very well.  Guys don’t want to date their kid-sister, so when that happens, girls and guys can be friends.

So, there you go.  There is my confession on why I am really a suck-tastic “girl.”  I feel fine as a human being, but little coquette, I am not. Appearances can be deceiving, or maybe I just think that I am deceiving you all, but the joke’s on me.  Ah well!  C’est la vie!

Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Single?

So you’re supposed to immunize by 2, get boosters before elementary school and high school, then you can try to keep yourself from stepping on rusty nails so you can avoid needing a tetanus shot.  There’s also the optional flu shots and the random vaccines you need if you travel internationally.  Vaccines have been able to basically eradicate diseases like small pox, and make annoying diseases like chicken pox no longer a childhood rite of passage.  However, some “diseases” are still lacking their cure in a syringe. There’s a disease that is apparently running rampant and is specifically a problem in the Mormon culture.  This disease has side effects that are easily misdiagnosed.  They include, but are not limited to:

  • Independence
  • Happiness
  • Self-sufficiency
  • High self worth
  • Sitting in restaurants alone
  • Freedom to travel/explore/read/ do whatever one desires
  • Lack of commitment/ Lack of desire to commit
  • Ability to sleep in whatever position suits you in whatever part of the bed you want

This disease is known as Single Marital Status.  I want to be clear that this disease is not contagious, but that those who are afflicted with it must be treated in a specific manner while in a “church” setting.  You must not let them make decisions on their own.  You must treat them as if they were still in their teenage years, and make sure you speak in slow sentences with a condescending tone, to make sure they understand you.  You should never expect that they could possibly be as mature or as knowledgeable as married/widowed/divorced people, especially when it comes to general life skills.  You can consider any testimony they claim to have about the church to be null and void if they aren’t attending three hours of church, Monday night ward home evening, at least one weekly institute class, AND any other random ward or stake sanctioned activity that comes up.  If their dress and appearance isn’t “missionary standard,” you can freely judge their morality or lack thereof.  Definitely make sure you comment weekly on how great they sound singing when you set aside time for a hymn and find someone to play for them (if you don’t, they might not understand that this is a traditional singing time set aside in church meetings).  Finally, you must ask them and perpetually pester them about their affliction with this disease.  After all, if you don’t, they might forget they have it and never find a cure!

I want to come clean, here.  I have been afflicted with this disease now for 29 years.  The unfortunate thing is, I actually love my life, even if I am so afflicted.  Despite all odds, I am a generally happy and content person who finds joy in learning about myself and keeping myself company.  I function at a high level  in mainstream society.  I am able to drive, work, pay taxes, vote, pay bills, rent a car… I could buy as much alcohol and tobacco as my heart desires, if my heart so desired, which it does not.  I have been able to make many serious life decisions all on my own, and surprisingly can even get myself dressed in the morning and remember to put on my underwear AND brush my teeth!  All without a reminder from my mommy!  Sure, I eat a lot of quesadillas and meals out, because cooking for one is not fun, but I can honestly say that is the only pitfall I have with this disease when I am in the normal world.  In fact, nobody seems to even notice this disease unless I am at church.

It’s a very curious thing.  The place I go to heal my soul and build a relationship with God is the one place that I ever feel like there is anything wrong with me at all.  I know God loves me.  I truly do love myself, warts and all (I actually don’t have warts, but you know, for a dramatic effect, say I do).  I do not need anyone else in my life to make me happy.  I am happy on my own, and when other people decide to join the ride for a bit, I welcome the company.  Do you think perhaps it is not ME with the problem?  Do you think perhaps I am not actually afflicted with a disease any more than Joe Versus the Volcano was afflicted with a brain cloud?  Maybe, just maybe it is (GASP) ignorant mainstream members of the church who are afflicted with something called prejudguitis.  If that is the case, have I got a vaccine for you!  It’s called the, “I am an adult, no matter what my marital status is and you can mind your own business regarding my personal life and my decisions” vaccine.  You will also need a booster of “who are you to tell me what is right for me and my life.  You made your decisions, let me make mine.”  Some women afflicted with prejudguitis sometimes will also need the cocktail of, “my worth is not determined by the amount of children I have yet to bare.  Stop talking to me in your Minnie Mouse voice and tilting your head at me in sympathy or else I will punch you in your perfectly plastic nose.”

Look, we all have our own paths that we are stumbling down as we try to navigate this trail called life.  I had the fortunate opportunity to grow up in a place where I felt a true feeling of love, acceptance, and community.  I also have many exceptionally strong women in my family and pedigree.  I hope to be able to join the clan of the strong someday.  Ever since I went to BYU and then moved to Salt Lake, I have had an increasingly hard time with the way single people in “the church” are treated here.  So much problem that I have gone through spouts of complete inactivity simply to protect my testimony and belief of the Gospel that the church is based upon (ok, and because sometimes in the summer, the pool just calls to me, and in the winter, I get the occasional mad craving for Sunday Brunch food).  If you read this and get a laugh, great.  But, what I hope you get out of this is how absurdly single people are treated in the Mormon culture and do your part to make it a little better.  If you’re not sure how to do that, look to the Presidency and the Twelve.  They do a great job setting an example of how to treat us as normal.  If you are one of the singles reading this, please, for all that is good and holy, love yourself.  Nothing is wrong with you.  Every pot has a lid, even the cracked ones, and you will find yours when you are supposed to.

 

 

Oh what’s in a blog?

So, I’ve decided it is time.  Time for the world to be let in on a very well kept secret.  Time for all who have ever wondered what life is like as a “CoCo.”  Whether you are a groundbreaking designer, married to a rapper and famous for the amount of junk in your trunk, or the child of a FRIENDS star, you have been given a moniker that requires you to live life with an extraordinary flair.  This blog will give you a look into THIS CoCo’s opinions, style, random thoughts, and possibly the occasional photo of my life’s adventures.  I’m just going to tell you in advance.  You are welcome.