things that do not

There are a few events in my life that repeat themselves so often that I just accept them. For instance, come every August I turn into a raging insomniac. I don't know why. End of summer blues? Birthday rage? Mysteries.

Likewise, I always turn into a terrible blogger in springtime. It's definitely not due to the nice sunny weather found every year in Utah. I can't even use excessive sunshine as an excuse.

But you know what? I've accepted these things. They do not bother me. I intend to turn into a vampire come August. And I will blog sporadically throughout spring.


1. Sex in books. Sometimes people suggest books to me, and at the end of their glowing recommendation, exclaim "And it's clean! You don't have to worry about sex or anything!" Now I'm not saying that I require book sex, or that I seek out book sex explicitly, I'm just saying that it won't deter me from reading the book. I’m not worried.

People have sex. It is part of the human experience. What does bother me are people who classify ALL sex as dirty and censor-worthy. There are smutty porny books out there. Grapes of Wrath is not one of them. You know? Nod, please.

My standards for movie and TV viewing are a little different, but I guess I’d have to say that in general, humans being humans does not bother me. Because that’s what sex is, when you take your prude glasses off. Humans being humans. Mom, if you are reading this, don’t worry, I don’t watch porn. I do watch Shakespeare in Love.

2. Swears. They do not bother me. I understand that there are places where it is not appropriate. I do not have some weird hierarchy where one swear is worse than the other. Somewhere, my past self is proudly proclaiming to her peers that she has never said the “f” word. My current self is waving at her happily, and frantically trying to cross the time-space continuum to tell her that life gets a whole lot better after junior high, damnit.

3. Teens. As I teacher, I get a lot of the patronizing, “I don’t know how you spend all day with high schoolers!” I don’t know how you spend all day with office douchebags, or small children. But to each their own. Teenagers are like regular people. Some are nice, some are annoying. Yes, they tend to be a little emotional and extreme, but they are also very creative and funny. Their pre-frontal cortex has not developed fully, but neither has their single-minded –to-the-point-of-insanity cortex. I mean, come on, some of them don’t even know if they are Republicans yet! Do you see the influence I have here?

So, there you have it. Several things that don’t bother me, that in retrospect seem vaguely related. Can I hijack my own post though, for a bit of housecleaning?


People who steal my jokes, rearrange them a bit, and put them in their own blog posts. I was reading a post the other day, laughed at a little jokey phrase the author used, and realized it was funny to me BECAUSE I WROTE IT. Was the post a word-for-word copy? No, but my joke was inserted, very word-for-wordy, and now that blogger’s two readers are laughing at a stolen joke.

Immature of me? Sure. But still, write your own jokes. You can do better.

What doesn’t bother you? What does? I’m equal opportunity!


NIKOL said...

I hope I wasn't the joke stealer. Considering I hardly ever post anything, I doubt it. But whenever someone complains about something, my instant paranoia kicks in and I'm sure they're talking about me.


The Book of Mormon musical doesn't bother me. What does bother me are the people who FREAK OUT about it. Dude, it's made by the South Park people. Since when are they that bastion of good taste? Why fret about it?

Also, it bothers me when people are indignant about Mormons being made fun of when they themselves have made jokes at the expense of Jehovah's Witnesses or Scientologists. Mmm hmmm. You know what I mean.

Stephanie said...


Nope, not the joke stealer. But I get what you mean, my paranoia kicks in too.

This particular fiend uses lots of my stylistic jokes. It's sort of obvious.

And yeah, the BOM musical doesn't bug me either.

Erin said...

Well in that case, have I got a couple good reads for you that I have been hesitant to tell my uptight mormon friends about.

Go read Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. So good.

JustMe said...

All those things don't bother me either.

What does this mean? Can a Democrat & a Republican see eye-to-eye about something? That could mean the world really IS coming to an end.

Rochelle Brunson said...

I'm with you on the sex in books thing, and swears, and pretty much everything else. I seriously don't put all the books I read on my goodreads account because I know my uptight relatives would make a stink over it. I don't need my m-i-l calling to tell me to repent, ya know.

I've never commented on your blog before....I'm trying to expand my horizons.

Sandy said...

paranoia kicking in over here, too.

reasons why i might be the joke stealer:
- i have approximatley two readers;
- whenever i read your posts i feel like i'm looking into a funnier version of my own brain. (e.g., i recently had a conversation about how i hate when people qualify liking/hating a book based on the lack of/abundance of sex in the book. i also hated when all the mormon's in my 10th grade english class refused to finish the stranger because of the mention of breasts.)

reasons why i might not be the joke stealer:
- i don't really tell a lot of jokes on my blog.

Stephanie said...

@Sandy: if you were the joke stealer, you would know. NOT YOU.

they didn't finish the stranger? my heart (which is located underneath my breasts,) hurts.

The Margin Wight said...

To italicize, open your html edit thingy and type in around your title or whatever you hope to italicize and then to close it off. I hope this post will show that I have typed first a and then at the end a without just italicizing the words between.

Stephanie said...

@ The Margin Wight: thanks!

Brien said...

Hey! I stumbled on your blog a few weeks ago and now I'm a new follower. I like your thinkin'!

J. said...

Loved this post, I also don't turn up my nose to sex in books. It happens.

McGee said...

Girl. I wish I stole your jokes. Because that would mean you had read my blog to notice. Seriously-my mind is now trying to figure out how to reframe this whole post and blog it on my own site.

SO with you on the don't minds...I have a different one, I left the LDS church, will not return for reasons that shouldn't be important to anyone but me, but I don't mind people who find peace solice and faith there-I actually do mind people who rail against it.

I also dont mind breasts, books with beautiful human relationships even if they occassionally get naked and people who mow their lawns or shop on Sunday's.

Kristine and Ryan said...

I don't mind swears, what I do mind is my almost two year old running around the playground yelling "DAMNIT!" and laughing while all the other provo-ites glare at me. :)

Julie said...

A whole hearted freakin' AMEN to this post!!

I joined a book club recently, sponsored by a couple girls in what I like to call the "Mommy Club" at church. I don't usually associate with many in the Mommy club, but being the newbie in town I figured it'd be a good way to make friends. The first time I attended, I was salivating thinking of all the wonderful books I could introduce to these sheltered people (SOME of them are sheltered... I must be fair, not all are). However after one of the women in the group suggested that Stephenie Meyer's "Breaking Dawn" was probably pusing the line of sexuality a little, I realized some of my favorite books would probably have to remain unnamed to this group (Water for Elephants, The Gargoyle... I have more, should I continue?)...


Like I said: AMEN!

Also, I've been wondering about the swearing thing in the books I write... I kept fretting about what my mother would say if--heaven forbid--she saw "damn," "hell" or other stronger explicits in my novels. I finally decided I didn't care. I feel like I'm short changing my characters if I don't let them express themselves. Some of them swear. And have sex. Get over it.

Lena said...

I am glad to hear that someone else doesn't mind sex in books. I read so many stories that have it that I almost feel like I can't recommend books to anyone without letting them know that it might be in there. My aunt won't come with in 10 feet of sex and language in books, so I just don't tell her to read any of my books. I don't mind it. In fact, sometimes it makes the story more believable. We should trade books sometime.

Rachel said...

Recommending books to people is always a little awkward, I think, and Mormonism just tops it off. Is this book going to be too racy? I have a friend who has asked for a lot of book recommendations lately. I may be Mormon, but I've never lived in Utah, and I didn't go to BYU, and I accept that sex and swearing happens in real life...even for Mormons! So it is okay when it happens in books. Anyway, I have given up censoring my lists (well, almost) because even when I make an effort, she manages to find something inappropriate in each. Honestly, I don't dwell on sex scenes- and I often skim over them- so they rarely stick in my mind. (Can this obsession with sex in books come back to a general obsession with sex for Mormons, perhaps?) Another confession: in one of my English classes last year, the professor came in and used an "ice breaker" to make us more comfortable discussing the book (On Chesil Beach, not something I'd recommend to any Mormon friends) with a web-site that I happen to find hilarious. (Even though I don't dwell on the sex!) -- the Literary Review gives awards (the award itself is a plaster foot-who wouldn't love that?) for the worst sex scenes in novels. They make me laugh.

Aurora said...

I know what you mean. I'd love to recommend George R. R. Martin's "Game of Thrones" to people (especially while watching the HBO special) but I'm always nervous about it because there's S-E-X in it.

For some reason its a lot more awkward in the HBO series, but when I'm reading, it doesn't bother me. People have sex. They also poo.

Michelle said...

Lets be friends. That is all.

As much as I miss Utah, mostly the family, I do not miss Utah Mormons. They can be so critical and honestly mean to each other. I've had a so called "friend" (Note: we grew up in the same Ward from Kindergarten to Graduation, considered best friends during some of that time) call me and a few friends to repentance once on Facebook. I think people in Utah jump to much to conclusion and if you don't side with them or agree with what they are saying either 1) you must repent 2) pray about it or 3)You are a heathen and not a true Mormon. I do not enjoy butt clinching, never fart (aka: uptight) Mormons.