Sunday, November 16, 2008

dead of night how bright you glow

The moon and I had a chat the other night. I've always felt a special little affinity for the moon; she's a lot like me (and not just because of the name). Thursday night I was driving home from work and she had just risen over the mountains, about halfway up the sky. Wreathed in clouds and illuminating them so that half the sky was bright, she was full. (Awkward sentence much?) Her light was persistent, distracting me from the road and urging me to look at her, look at all the cool things she can do in the sky with those clouds.

I could hardly look away. I tend to be a dangerous driver just because nature is so lovely (when my essay is finished, I'll post it here and you can have another example of that). I even stopped at the store even though I didn't buy anything, just so I could look at the moon for a couple more minutes.

After work I went back to school. I had assignments to complete and the buildings don't open until six in the morning, so an evening job I went to. It didn't work out (my lab protocols rarely work out) and I was a little disheartened as I left campus.

The moon was high in the sky, shining down like a little spotlight. "Don't be sad," she seemed to be saying. "Look at me!"

I did. But you can't walk very far with your neck craned all the way up, so I didn't watch for long. It was so much smaller than it had been earlier. The clouds had all disappeared, and the stars were dull compared to the brilliance of the moon.

The next morning I walked to school just before sunrise. The moon was in the west, large and luminous as before, but in a background of blue rather than black and gray. "Hello," I said. I stole glances at her as often as I could, this new incarnation somehow more beautiful than any of the others. "Remember when I was a spotlight?" the moon still said to me. "I was really bright!"

later on that morning I couldn't help it; I looked for the moon again. once found, though, i had to recoil. This was not my shining companion of the night. She was pale, listless, fading. "I don't want to talk to you," I whispered.

She shrugged, apathetic in this new incarnation. "I'll be bright later on, if you will wait for me."

All I heard from the moon that night was a subtle glow at the rims of the mountains. "i can't wait for you to rise all the way," I said. "I am cold and tired and hungry, and you were so different this morning I don't know if I can face you."

"Maybe later."

"Feather Moon" ~ Vienna Teng

everybody looks so luminous and strangely young

I tried an experiment this week. In Marriage Prep sometime last week we brought up the sad fact that girls have to wear makeup and guys don't. (I talk a lot about marriage prep. It's a good class.) We discussed why that is. I decided to rebel against society and not wear makeup.

Monday was okay. I was dressed in pastels and my hair was down, so it was overall a light effect and I thought, "This isn't so bad. I can do this." Tuesday wasn't as good because my hair fought a little bit with me and I couldn't hide it behind a little bit of makeup (not that I put makeup on my hair, but a prettier face can distract from sloppier hair sometimes), so the overall effect was a little slovenly. Wednesday and Thursday got progressively worse, and Friday I stopped caring and just wore a sweatshirt, completing the "I don't care how I look" appearance.

I was scared for Saturday because I went home for my dad's concert (he's in Craig Jessop's new choir [he used to conduct the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, for those who don't immediately pick up on the name] and they sang Mozart's Requiem, which is a really awesome piece) and my mom's not afraid to tell me that I look ... like I could be improved with the application of some makeup. but she didn't say anything.

That's about the point that I thought that this might all be in my head. Nobody made a comment all week long, and maybe it was just my insecurities that made me feel a lot less attractive than usual. Sunday morning (today) I was excited, but also a little apprehensive. I asked my roommates if they thought I looked respectful enough for the Sabbath, and they didn't even think about the fact I wasn't wearing makeup. They just laughed at my nun clothes. (The word was actually "harvard choir girl" but isn't that about the same thing?)

So now that I know that people don't say anything when I don't wear makeup, what's next?

I'm going to go back to wearing makeup. I didn't feel comfortable talking to people (this includes boys, girls, professors, employers, etc.) because I felt like they were judging me for not enhancing my natural beauty (actually especially girls, because they WERE wearing makeup). I'm a lot more insecure about myself without knowing that I've made at least some effort to look pretty. On one occasion or more I saw someone cute (oh shut up) and they were looking back at me, then I ran away because I didn't want them to see me not at my best. And except for Friday I did try to look at least presentable in my dress.

So that was an interesting experiment. You all should try it sometime. That is, if you're a female that conforms to society mores, which most females at BYU do. I think once I get married and move out of the bubble I will feel more secure about my face without enhancements, but right now it's...not that way.

(I did think my friend Andrew was a lot more handsome that time he came to school with foundation and eyeliner still leftover from the roadshow the night before. Why shouldn't guys wear makeup?)

The end.

"Nothing Without You" ~ Vienna Teng

Friday, November 14, 2008

they're handing out doughnuts and pizza pies

In Preparation for Marriage we do this thing where you sign up for a Friday to bring something that symbolizes what you "bring to the table" in your relationship. Food is preferred, because it's 8 in the morning and people need the extra energy.

So I signed up for a day and started thinking about what I wanted to bring. I had it narrowed down to ham'n'cheese puffs and rolls. I asked my mom and my sister and they both said that our famous rolls would be the best shot. I had some homemade raspberry jam in the fridge, too, that wasn't get used at all because I don't eat bread. So, great, rolls and jam.

But we were supposed to talk about how that showed what we brought to the table in a relationship. People so far had been saying, "We like making these cookies at my house." I wanted to be different. I thought at length about it.

It was about 5 in the morning when I started making the rolls for class that day. I didn't have a whole lot of hope that they would turn out, because I have this weird curse of things I make never looking/tasting the way they should. "That's something I can bring to the relationship," I thought when it didn't look like the rolls were rising. "Failures despite effort."

When it came time to taste the rolls, they seemed to be okay. Actually, they were pretty good. By that time I decided that the real thing I was bringing to the table was raspberry jam, to make me look domestic. The rolls were just to eat the jam with. Of course, I didn't make the jam. But I could've!

(That's what I bring to the table, I thought. Credit-stealing.)

I wanted the rolls to still be warm when I got to class. It was 7:30 and time to leave. I wrapped them in foil and then in two plastic bags to insulate them. Then, to insure that they didn't succumb to the brisk morning air, I stuck the package inside my jacket and wore it to school. I was holding it from the bottom, which looked sort of silly, especially when it started falling out.

"That's it," I decided, head held high against the weird looks I was getting. "I bring to the table a lack of caring what I look like as long as the function is improved. These rolls are not going to be in the best shape ever after their travail against my stomach, but they'll still taste good. And they'll be warm."

So I got to class, displayed the rolls proudly in their foil-and-grocery-bag decor, and was a huge hit.

But the teacher didn't give me the opportunity to say why they represent what I bring to a relationship. I was disappointed, and decided that all that rumination called for a blog post. So there you go. :)

"City Hall" ~ Vienna Teng

Sunday, November 2, 2008

so far, so good, but you can't go on much longer like this you know

I disappeared off the face of the earth!

Still don't have time to make the posts I want to (for reference, they are a eulogy for my old phone and what I Brought to the Table for Marriage Prep a couple weeks ago), but I wanted to not be emo.

I even changed my blog title so I look more defiant than scarred.

Well, got to run! Love both of you lotsa and lotsa.

"Shasta (Carrie's Song)" ~ Vienna Teng