toast spiders

Things I Enjoy

1. Articles and magazine columns that tell me things about myself based on seemingly minimal character traits paired with broad generalizations. Oh, hello there, magazine. I DO in fact style my hair the same way every day. That means I am a genius who prefers to focus on saving the world? That is why I rock the bob? I had no idea. I thought I was just lazy.

Tiny character trait + broad generalization= contented reader Child Bride. I wear red, I am passionate. I wear black, I am mysterious. I prefer watermelon to cantaloupe= I am great in bed. Really? I love you, magazines.

I especially like that the magazines will never tell you something bad about yourself. What if I start wearing my hair differently? Never fear, that just means you are a creative free spirit who sees her body as a work of art. Oh. Good. I was worried. You wear yellow? You are a sociopath. Just kidding, you are friendly and good in bed.

All of them seem to go back to that, I’ve noticed.

2. I enjoy pretty, pretty designy blogs and fashion blogs so long as they don’t attribute a sense of morality to certain design trends. I do not like pretty, pretty design blogs that try and tell me things about myself based on minimal yet broad generalizations. You have a sweater from Anthropologie? That does not mean you are a creative free spirit. It means you had $90 bucks of disposable income. I reject design/fashion blogs that make consumerism a personality type.

I’m not saying the correlation does not exist, because hippies buy Subarus, not Suburbans, and for a reason, I’m saying I don’t want to read about it. I don’t want to read about how wearing a vintage apron from etsy will make me feel more feminine. I like the photo of the potted orchids, but it does not inspire me. Just show me the picture, for hells sakes.

This is getting sidetracked and muddled, let us go back to things I like.

3.I enjoy feeling superior to people who made different life choices than me, and are therefore less successful. Especially if those people tormented me in junior high. This makes me a bitch, but a successful one.

(I enjoy that feeling until the guilt starts seeping in under the cracks of my bravado. Fortunately, this is usually when I am humbled by a group of angry teens who don’t understand why I keep trying to make them read things. The universe finds a way of balancing itself, does it not?)

4. I enjoy Ray Bradbury. I would venture to say that Ray is one of my very favorite authors, which seems to shock people. Like I am supposed to say Shakespeare or Milton, who I also love. But there is something about Ray Bradbury’s accessibility (his characters swear when they stub their toes, no need for a dramatic monologue when a “damn” will suffice,) coupled with that heart achingly beautiful language:

“Montag’s hand closed like a mouth, crushed the book with wild devotion, with an insanity of mindlessness to his chest. The men above were hurling shovelfuls of magazines into the dusty air. They fell like slaughtered birds and the woman stood below, like a small girl, among the bodies.”


Not to mention all the inventions. A nursery that comes alive and eats the parents! Automated houses that make pancakes until it collapses upon itself! Talking cars! I always tell my students that while most of our technology has caught up to Bradbury’s imagination, I am still waiting for Apple to create a tiny mechanical spider to make my toast, and little brass cockroaches to clean my floors.

What do you enjoy?


Fig said...

I too prefer watermelon to canteloupe! In fact I greatly dislike canteloupe! I am the world's greatest lover or at least in the top 150,000!

Colt said...

I remember reading Cosmo when my wife and were a courtin', and every issue had thing about "What he secretly wants you to do in bed." It was always a finger in an orifice...I am really glad she doesn't get that magazine any more.

I also enjoy feeling superior to people. It is one of my favorite pass times. I like going home to my small town and name dropping/title dropping. This makes me a bitch as well and I am okay with that.

Lena said...

Cosmo. It is totally a guilty pleasure since it really doesn't apply to me since I am married and Mormom. I do like the random articles about hair care and what sleazy men wish their ex-girlfriends would have done to them in bed. I also really enjoy One Tree Hill.

meagan said...

I love everything about this post, but most especially this:

"You have a sweater from Anthropologie? That does not mean you are a creative free spirit. It means you had $90 bucks of disposable income. I reject design/fashion blogs that make consumerism a personality type."

I want to steal it, post it on my blog, and pretend it's mine. You love that too, right? (:

Oh, and also. I think I've met maybe two people in my life whose claim that Shakespeare/Milton is their favorite author didn't make me immediately think they were a lying, pretentious prick.

Stephanie said...

@ meagan: I love the alliteration of "pretentious prick," so poetic, right? I also love that you said it.

Not that you would have an aversion to saying prick, but that you so perfectly expose the Milton liars for what they are.

Natalie | The Bobby Pin said...

I recently subscribed to Glamour, on an absolutely "you can't pigeonhole me, world" whim. It is amazing how everything really does make you good in bed. Or confirms that I already am. Unfortunately I am a child bride myself, and don't have much to compare it to, so I will just assume that everything Glamour says is true.

Sharone said...

I'm getting my PhD in literature, and I don't know anyone who would honestly say their favorite writer is Milton (for all his merits). Maybe my Milton professor? But actually I think not. Shakespeare yes, but that's a little more understandable I think (especially given that most of the people I know have mortgaged their whole lives away to talk and write about literature - lacking in judgment? probably. Pretentious? Also probably. But touchingly naive too, right? That's what we're all gambling on.) For the record, I don't think I can pick a favorite writer. I've gone too far into bookland. But I love Ray Bradbury and so much midcentury fiction - especially the science fiction. And I'm babbling.

I didn't even come here to say any of this, but to say that I found your blog through a twitter link and am on my way to reading every last word and putting you on my list of favorites in the universe. I'm not LDS (or even in Utah), but I'm Christian and live in Orange County (which politically and feminismally (new word) is kind of like the Utah of southern California, oh God I've put my foot in it), and I can relate to a lot of what you write about. And not just because I don't like cantaloupe. And I'm still babbling.

Anyway. Just wanted to say hi, and I'm a fan, and I'm also waiting for my toast spiders.

Comment and-count: 13. Apologies. I looked for an email address so I could assault your eyeballs with ands privately, but I couldn't find one, so here I am in the comments. More apologies.

Caitlin said...

I like it when fantastic writing is put on a blog that doesn't look like my myspace when I was fourteen and had just finished my Divine Nature value project. It deserves to be an Op Ed article!

Melinda said...

Ray Bradbury composes sentences that I always describe as "delicious." Not sure why, but I feel like I want to eat them or something.

I soooo miss teaching...

Julia said...

Cosmopolitan once told me that I was so sexy that no man could ever say no to touching my genitals. I tested that theory. Am I saying they were wrong or right? Neither. I like to keep some aspects of my life private. Pervert. PERVERT.

Brad Goaslind said...


Thanks for turning me into an active blog commenter -- This is a first for me. Our dialog has been entertaining.

I exaggerated in saying that you're worse than Bentley. And I think that's the first time I've ever been referred to as self-righteous.

Maybe your article struck a nerve because your numbered illustration of how to recognize MD's hit me close to home. I'll expound:

1. "...try to date your younger sister while simultaneously flirting with you, and text his ex-girlfriend..." Not an unlikely scenario while I was dating. I called it: dating.

2. "....They will have served a mission, and will brag about being Zone Leader or AP..." I served a mission and was those things... though, I've never bragged about it or even brought it up publicly. But it was familiar, nonetheless.

4. "....Law, or Medicine. He will have average grades, but excess charm, and will temporarily be wildly successful. However, a few failed tests will result in a sudden interest in alarm systems...." I was "pre-law" and had average grades and now I'm a real estate agent (most people put Realtors in the alarm systems catergory).

5. "...The MD will promptly quote Church talks or Proclamations that support a woman staying at home with her children, mostly because he doesn't want to have to compete with them in his Macro Economics class, Law School, or Medical School..." I love that my wife stays at home with my children and so do my children. I'd be happy to see this social situation more frequently in the world.

"Allow me to clarify: a true Mormon Douche is highly competitive with other males, but would combust if forced to compete at home. Prolonged interaction with female missionaries, engineering students, and professors..." I have been known to say, 'If you marry a sister missionary, you'll be Jr. Companion for the rest of your life', usually said in jest to my own sisters (who are Sr. Companions).

9. "At one point, all Mormon Douches wore pukka shell jewelry." ~97-99 I wore something like this:

10. "At one point, all Mormon Douches popped their collars..." I have at some time or another popped my collar. Then I realized I looked like a douche.

Also, I swear you deleted something about carrying long boards? I love long boarding and it was my main mode of transportation through most of my bachelors degree.

So here's the deal, according to a lot of your criteria, I'm a douche. I'm sure someone, somewhere described me as such, behind my back (after showing a good face in front of me).
But, if I am a douche, I'm in a bigger group than a small minority (as you've described it). I get along with most guys (mormon or not) and have a lot in common with them. I think we are more of a Majority than a minority but I don't think we have much in common with Bentley.

So maybe you have a problem with men in general?

There. That's only my third blog comment ever and hopefully the longest I'll ever type. Once again, thanks for inspiring me. I truly think you're a great writer and very entertaining. I'm enjoying the witty banter.

-One of many, many Douche Bags

Cortney said...

I love that you admitted this- "3.I enjoy feeling superior to people who made different life choices than me, and are therefore less successful. Especially if those people tormented me in junior high. This makes me a bitch, but a successful one."

Me too :)

And Ray Bradbury is amazing. I have a much loved and battered copy of his collection of short stories, "The Toynbee Convector".