I hate it when I feel.....

Manipulated. This post is about how I hate feeling manipulated. I have also decided that I am going to write this post buffet style. Meaning I will write about 3 instances today in which I felt tampered with and you can pick what you would like to read about. It is like when my family would go to Chuck A Rama when we were little and my sister would eat only fried chicken and ice cream, because that is what she picked. Here, at Mormon Child Bride A Rama, you can read the ice cream and fried chicken bits if you like, and totally SCREW the string beans.

Le Menu

1. Ice Cream aka I hate feeling manipulated by other MCBs when I read their blogs. Maybe I should rename this segment "Frozen Yogurt" or "Red Mango."

2. String Beans aka I feel manipulated by McCain's choice of running mate.

3. Fried Chicken aka I still hate Westminster's Financial Aid Office.

Here we go.

1. I realized this was bothering me a long time ago, but I couldn't quite figure out why. I sort of hate it when a MCB will write a whole post, with a picture included, of something she really really wants. It's usually a piece of jewelry or some skirt from Anthropologie. Whatever. So she goes on and on about how getting this skirt would be so great and three posts later, BAM, Mormon Child Investment Banker man has purchased it for her. And she posts about how this skirt is now a symbol of their love and how her husband is, THE BEST.

Why does this make me feel manipulated? Well, I sort of feel vicariously manipulated for Mormon Child Investment Banker man, but I also noticed that after reading these posts I sort of feel subconsciously inferior. Even though I know better, I sometimes can't help but feel momentarily cheated. For about two seconds, sometimes I think, "Why doesn't spouseman buy me a symbol of our love at Antropologie." And then I get a grip. But I still feel manipulated.

Now this is the String Beans part. This is politics. If you don't like String Beans, skip to the Chicken.

2. When I found out McCain had picked a female for his VP, I briefly thought, "Hey, maybe he's not such a bad guy." But...........

She's not very experienced. Yes, she is Governor of Alaska, but she spends her time in office approving drilling in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and trying to pass a bill denying benefits to the partners of Gay State employees. She also thinks the climate change in Alaska isn't man-made, meaning she doesn't believe in Global Warming.*

After all that hulabaloo from McCain about Obama's lack of experience, you'd think McCain would pick someone with more than two years of Governorship under his or her belt. (Unless McCain counts Palin's time as a beauty pageant queen as political experience). Even Romney would make more sense. So I kind of feel like McCain picked her in order to appeal to the Female Vote,(Hey! I almost fell for it!) but how much of a glass ceiling is being broken if the woman breaking it doesn't have the experience to do a good job? Think about it.

3. I finally worked up the courage to make a strongly worded phone call to Westy's Financial Aid Department. However, somehow, despite my pre-planned speech, I ended the phone call thanking the person for her time and saying sorry for being such a pain. I honestly don't know how that happened, but there was some serious manipulation going on. **

*Really? Someone still believes global warming is some freak thing? With nothing to do with humans filling the air with pollutants and abusing natural resources? Really? Well. Way to be "special," Sarah.

** Has that ever happened to you? When you are right and yet the person somehow tricks you into saying sorry for something they did? Then again, I did nearly fall for some MCB's "My anthro skirt means my husband is better than yours" ploy, so maybe I'm "special" too.

Hope you enjoyed your meal.


A few random things-

1. While I was gone on vacation I assigned my family, who live, ohhh a whopping FOUR minutes away, the duties of Picking Up the Mail, and Feeding the Fish. Although they did collect the mail, no one ever fed the fish. Even though it was conveniently located UPSTAIRS ON THE COUNTER. I had placed it up there (even though it is in a forbidden area) so my lazy butt kin wouldn't have to WALK DOWN THE STAIRS to feed el fisho.

Fish died. Which really wasn't that big a deal, except when I would call to make sure the house was fine, and to see if my FAFSA award letter* had come yet, they always told me that FISH IS FINE, EVERYTHING IS FINE blah blah blah. Apparently, fine=dead in the N________ household.

Even better, when I arrived home I was greeted by an Imposter Fish, which looks nothing like Original Fish, in fact it looks like a Chernobyl fish because it is all lopsided and likes to swim upside down all day. Family apparently thought I wouldn't notice.

Dear Family,

I have ADD, not poor vision.

2. We had a little party spiel a few days ago, and I still haven't put away all the paper plates/plastic utensils that were used at said party. Instead, I have been using them as regular dishes because I can't be bothered to haul all the dirty dishes upstairs to the forbidden dishwasher. So I'll just keep Killing The Earth until they run out. Or Something. **

3. I start school again tomorrow, which means I will finally have an excuse (besides laziness) to not do the dishes.

*It hadn't. Because my FAFSA stuff was lost, of course.

**I can tell that this sort of bugs Spouseman, but he hasn't said anything out loud yet. So it doesn't count.


Get it together, Westo.

Today my mother called to tell me that my Dad was listening to some program on the radio, which said that Westminster College was the 19th best liberal arts college in the Nation.

The best part of the conversation concerned the fact that when she called, I was just leaving the Financial Aid office after learning that, once again, the 19th best liberal arts college in the nation had lost my financial aid records, meaning that I would have to wait another two weeks to see if I was awarded anything.

Not a big deal, except for government grants come first come first serve, and despite the fact that I filed my paperwork on time, I may be out of the running for some serious tuition money.

Thanks, Westminster.

Much to my frustration, they pulled the same routine as last semester "I'm sorry, we don't have any record of you/are you sure you applied/ we can't locate your file." Just as I am about to strangle the person, they find my records, apologize profusely for not filing, and tell me to head downstairs to get a tuition extension waiver.

At which point the tuition waiver people treat me like I'm the idiot who lost my records.

Again, many thanks Westy.


Love is

Going to Legoland California with your husband, even though after ten minutes you realize, with shame, that you and your spouse are the only adults present not hauling around a child.

I'm serious. The closest thing I found to a childless adult was a group of teenagers taking very inappropriate pictures of themselves and the life-size lego figurines.


"you're not supposed to know that part!"

Dadman: "Happy birthday, honey. You're the best thing that ever happened to us...."

Me: "By accident."


wooo v.2.0

Thanks everyone for the happy birthdays, book recommendations, and most importantly the great comments on the Young Women's Lesson. I have been thinking about them all day (my job doesn't require a lot of brain power.)

I was just going to write a brief comment in response (I love talking) but it got really long, and I figured, hey, I'll make a whole other post about it.

Here are some thoughts-

1. I mentioned this briefly in the comments, but I feel like I need to emphasize the fact that I believe a person can be/become educated in a number of ways. One way can be through a college education, but it is certainly not the only/most important way. It's your life, and you have all made the best decisions for you and your families. Way to go. Based on the comments posted I am flattered that so many bright and thoughtful people took the time to talk to me. I don't want anyone "leaving" the discussion thinking that I only value one sort of choice/life path/whatever you want to call it. I also believe that learning is a life-long endeavor, which was another oft repeated point.

I think what bothered me about the lesson was not what it said exactly, but what was lacking. I don't dislike/not support the idea of being a "homemaker," if I did, and was annoyed with the lesson for those reasons, I agree, I would be acting overly sensitive. I was reacting to the manner in which home-making was discussed. If you read the comments in the original post, check out the one discussing how the children mentioned in the lesson missed the environment created by their mother, not necessarily the cooking or handicrafts themselves. That's a point I desperately wish had been in the lesson. That was the part I was reacting to most, it should have been included, especially in 1977, which, as many people pointed out, was a time when women were generally expected to be "homemakers." I guess I'm saying the lesson was lacking, even by 1977 standards.

2. I am aware that the church views have changed, and I am happy. I am also thrilled about the Supplemental stuff on lds.org, thanks Jenny and others for pointing that out. I am still a little miffed that there is not an updated manual, but I can live with it, and I also believe one of the reasons it may not be updated is because we are expected, as teachers, to add in the supplemental/new things in the manner best suited for the needs of our Young Women.

3. I agree with the importance of "homemaking" in terms of creating a loving environment in which to raise and support a family. Although good food and handicrafts are one way to do that, I think it is important to discuss other ways in which that can be accomplished, and many people also mentioned that in their comments. I've been in plenty of homes with delicious food and beautiful handicrafts where I didn't feel the sense of belonging that comes as a result of good "homemaking." I also would like to note that I believe the father plays an equally important role in "making" a home. Both parents are responsible for raising, loving, and nurturing children and each other. I think, should I ever teach this lesson, I would note that one way to "prepare to become an Eternal Companion" is to seek out a partner willing and able to be a "homemaker" themselves. That is certainly something my dad did when he would often come home from work a little early so he could be with his children before returning to work after we were all asleep at night to finish his work for the day.

So. I am done word-vomiting all over blogspot. Thanks for playing. You are welcome to continue to play, but since I will be out of town for a few days, do not be alarmed if your comments are late to show up. Fear not, you have probably not offended me mortally.

PS whoever offered to send me stuff on the it's/its problem, leave a comment with your email (please) I won't publish your address for the world to see, but I will email you so you can send me it. If you still want to. Please. Because I need the help. I am so sick of making that error that I am reduced to grumbling.



I turn 22 today.

One step further away from MCB
and one step closer to WORLD DOMINATION.

You can send me presents, or you can just continue to leave your book recommendations in the comments.



Alternate Title- Yet another reason my relationship with Westy has been so rocky.

My father, who is a medical malpractice attorney (If you are a conservative, and/or the sort that truly hates that type of attorney, you may freak out about the evil profession for four minutes. Then you must move on.)

Anyway, one day my father admitted to me that he hated reading. My English major father, hated reading! I was shocked! He explained that he read all day, and by the time he got home he just didn't have the mental capacity to read recreationally.

I thought to myself "Okay, fine. But I will never be that way." I completed college with a major in History, and a minor in English Lit., two of the most reading-intensive studies offered. I still loved reading.

However, now that I have completed my first semester of Grad School, where I read and read and read about classroom management and learning theory, I can safely say I have developed a similar aversion to reading-on-my-own time.

If this were an episode of Grey's Anatomy I would be the patient rushed in from an accident, flat-lining until Izzie stopped making-out with someone to put those electric paddle things on my chest to revive me.

I am flat-lining as a book-nerd. You, internet audience, must save me.

I need a list of good books to read. I do not want self-help motivational literature. I do not want anything dire and depressing (Remember, in a few weeks I will return to my regimen of reading about social inequality in schools, as well as learning disabilities.) I want something good, yet entertaining, or so bad that it therefore becomes entertaining.

What are you reading? Stop making out with George and tell me.

PS I like YA fiction, but please nothing of the Stephenie Meyer variety. Been there, done that, felt ashamed that I had done that, and moved on.


overly sensitive, or maybe I have a point, you decide

So it is a good thing I'm teaching on "Agency" tommorrow, and not "Preparing to Become an Eternal Companion."

Our books are old, but here are some gems from the EC lesson I simply wouldn't be able to teach with a straight face.

"Explain that many young women enter into marriage with little preparation for the demands it makes. Write the following headings on the chalkboard: Spiritual and Homemaking." Explain that there are other areas in which young women should be prepared, but this lesson will discuss only two."

Out of all the things I wish I knew before I got married, Homemaking was admittedly on the list, but wasn't in the top two. Does anyone else think Education might have been a bit more important? With Homemaking given a less central point. Clarification, in the entire lesson, raising children was not mentioned as an aspect of homemaking, or at all, actually. I think "homemaking" in terms of raising children would be very important. In this lesson "homemaking" referenced cooking skills and keeping a "tidy home"

According to the National Women's Law Center, 71% of mothers are in the workforce. It is noted that many of those women are in the workforce due to necessity. They need to help support their families in a struggling economy.

Given that statistic, don't you think "Education" and "Life Skills" would be a valuable addition to Spirituality and Homemaking? I mean, I wish I was a better cook/homemaker, but I find the job skills/value of education instilled in me by my own stay-at-home mother were much more helpful when I became a MCB.

I'm not saying cut out homemaking, but really, is it the most important thing in preparing to become an eternal companion? On the same level as "Spirituality" in importance?

Next topic

"Explain that a young man on a mission was asked what he missed most about being away from home" "Mom's great cooking," he replied without hesitation..

A daughter replies, "[Our home] was always tidy and was decorated with her own creations"

Um, the most important thing was the woman's cooking and her handicrafts? Again, these things are important, but I guess they aren't very personal. What about her spiritual and intellectual example as a human being? Shouldn't that be emphasized more that handicrafts or a great meatloaf recipe?

So, think about this, and discuss. Is there something missing from this lesson? Is it outdated just a tad? (1977) Should we be supplementing lessons like these with recent First Presidency talks about the necessity of education?

Am I just overly sensitive?

Discuss, but play nice. I am moderating comments and sorry, but no anonymous comments allowed.


dear grandma,

Since you have been gone, serving the Lord, and I have been living in your home, I have-

not killed any plants.
except one, but it doesn't count.* And no, it wasn't your African Violet who you claim has a personality. The African Violet is fine.

not killed your fish.

not snuck into the "forbidden" part of your house, and broken into your jet tub. (it's been to hot, anyways,)

I hope this makes up for the fact that I regularly haul all the dishes upstairs and use the Forbidden Dishwasher, which necessitates me being in the Forbidden part of the house. (but so are lots of your plants that I must water! So you see, grandma, I'm in a Catch-22!)

I also deleted my facebook account a few months ago. Not because you said it was against our religion, and satanic, but even so, it's DELETED.

Hope you are well.

Love, Stephanie.

*Not my fault, that plant was on the porch, where it ought to have been getting sprinkler water. The sprinklers failed, NOT ME.


righteousness fests.

Here's the thing, I don't like it when people try and sell me things. I'm not just talking door to door or dinner-time phone solicitors, (though they also irritate me) I'm talking I really hate it when people have a strong opinion on something, and feel like they MUST CONVINCE ME RIGHT NOW to agree with them.

I mean, I like people with strong opinions, and I don't mind discussing them, but there's this little fine line of discussing and selling that I really cannot have crossed.

For instance, there is a certain movie out, which I have not seen, which is causing quite the freak out among many LDS people. It involves a superhero who looks like a winged mammal who fights a villain played by a dead actor.

Every time the movie is mentioned, and someone hears that I have yet to see it, I find myself immediately sucked into a ten minute pitch. Pro or Con.

First there are the cons. They start with an opinion, such as "It was a terrible movie, evil awful movie, I hated it and walked out." Okay, thank you for your opinion, I will consider it when I make my final decision on the winged mammal movie. Except here's the not ok selling part, they usually then proceed to tell me that if I choose to see the movie I am obviously a BAD PERSON who LOVES EVIL and Satan, and in my favorite twist, am just like those people in the Book of Mormon who got all prideful and watched bad movies, and then the Lord Smote Them. That's selling, and I really don't need the lecture. (brief aside, it's even worse when lots of con people get together, because they tend to discuss how righteous they are for not seeing the film, usually in front of some poor shmuck who admitted to seeing and enjoying the film. I like to call such gatherings "righteousness fests.")

But fear not, the Pro people are just as bad. Not content to say "I liked the movie, it was good," they must launch into there own promo defending the film. "If you don't see it, you don't understand the deeper, more artistic, meaning of the film. You are a follower who can't think for herself, so you must think the same as I think!!!!!"

I don't buy cleaning fluid from people going door to door. I hang up on solicitors (sorry guys,) and so what makes people think I am going to listen to their man of bat spiel?

Here's a public service announcement: I'm not. I will either see the movie, or not. I will either form a positive or negative opinion, which I will more than likely keep to myself. But please, consider the words NO SOLICITING metaphorically tattooed on my forehead from now on.

Seriously people.


summary of my week.

Since our Student Teaching Experiences* are just around the corner, our professors have temporarily abandoned the mind-numbing lessons on theory and have instead been offering pratical advice.

"You need to start dressing like grown-ups, especially those of you who still look like High School Students." (professor looks at me pointedly.)

"You need to start talking like grown-ups." (Again, looking pointedly at me.)

Apparently, words such as "crap," "bummer" and "sucky" (all words I frequently employ in class discussions,) are not "grown up words."

Meanwhile, I'm sitting there, being pointedly stared at, thinking, wait you want me to sit in class from NINE A.M. to SEVEN P.M. AAAAANNNNDDD you want me to talk like a grown-up?

People are so demanding.

In other news, because I have been in class from 9 until 7, I have not had a chance to buy new deodorant, which I ran out of on Monday. But never fear, I have been borrowing my husbands. If you were in class wondering why a class consisting of mostly girls smelled so strongly of Old Spice, (in " High Endurance Mountain rush ") I'm sorry, it was me.

For education students, the word "experience" is a universally accepted euphemism for "slave labor." Research Experiences, Tutoring Experiences, and Student Teaching Experiences all = paying tuition to do work other people get paid to do.