Saturday, February 20, 2010

Sarcasm by any other name

 I know that babies may be a subject I visit often in my mind and on the occasion I might leak a comment about those beautiful little darlings, but I assure you today's post didn't originate from my own mind.  It was brought up by cjane and the slew of comments that followed her blog about naming the child brewing in her tummy.

Maybe I'm a little old fashion but I don't understand this trend of child-abuse names.  Corbinien, Talullah, Shaifali, Romy, Kalylah Sephi Lynn, Rye-Elle Kai, Feira Madelynn, and Sauno Albert Nelson were just a few that people mentioned as having actually used in child naming.  Frightful, I know.

One woman wrote, "My oldest is 9 & her name is Sloan (it was my maiden name) Since things didn't work out with her dad she ended up with the name Sloan Sloan. Yes I always get the double take. She is okay with her name."  Let's hope she gets married to a man whose last name isn't Sloan. 

I guess what disturbs me the most was the general consensus that a mother has a right to name her baby what ever she wants because it's hers. Her creation. Her offspring that she sweated and grunted and screamed and pushed to bring into the world.

Part of this is true.  The baby is her child technically.  Same DNA.  She also has the ability to name it whatever she chooses.  She will have to say it over and over again.  But just because she can doesn't mean she should.  What none of these mothers posting on that blog seemed concerned about was the child.  The general attitude was: the child will grow into the name because they will be stuck with it, and children are resilient.

People!  It's not just about you.  Please consider how your child may feel being named after a fruit or a gun or something completely made up all together like Rogaletta or Chastify or Brunez.  I'm not suggesting we name every child Ashley and Jason, but perhaps when picking baby names we should think about more than trying to give a child a name no one else on the planet has (or wants).

Rant over.

Blog entry over.

I need to go discuss with my husband the possibility of naming a daughter Princess Contessa or Beluga Whale.  Tease-proof and I like them.  That's all that matters, right ladies?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Mustard Love: a romantic tale

I'm considering the fact that it's Valentines Day as I post because I wish to be sensitive to those who will actually read this today. A day dedicated to love is rare and a day dedicated to getting chocolate and flowers is even rarer. As to not spoil the mood of the day I chosen to stay close to the theme so this five minutes you spend reading will flow harmoniously along side staring into your true love's eyes, sharing blissful chocolates dipped in chopped nuts (or not, depending on your preference), cuddling on the couch after three hours of church, or telling your significant other that they are the love of your life while you smooch only to be interpreted by your child's protest of "Gross!!" and "Eww, break it up. Break it up!" (Sounding all too familiar, Mom? I retrospectively apologize.)

So, grab your love and gathering in to read Kayla's Valentine gift to you-- a romantic tale of a dryer. . .

A dryer of. . . love. . .

Stay with me.

I have always longed for a washer and dryer. My heart ached like a mother aches for a child. When searching for an apartment I insisted we find one with hook-ups to prepare for the day when I could cradle warm, dry, sweet-smelling. . . clothes (and babies) in my arms while my feet were planted in on the floor of my own abode. We were blessed with a place with such a hook-up. However, poverty is patience-inducing and we were forced to wait for the day when we would go through the labor. . . of carrying for nine. . . minutes a washer up the stairs to our apartment (Thanks for the help, Dad!).

Because the government is kind enough to return some the funds we have chucked at it all year, Paul and I decide to use some of that money to buy these washer and dryer things we had heard so much about. Thursday night Paul received a text message from his best friend asking if we needed one or both of those remarkable machines. They happened to be upgrading and found themselves with two sets and needed someone to take the older set of their hands free of charge. He happened to know of a little wife who desperately wanted a washer and dryer, and free is a great price.

Friday night my father and husband drove down the street to retrieve my Valentine's Day gift while my mom and I stood in the living room talking about lamps. I heard the rumble of my dad's truck pull up and shortly thereafter the grunts of two men trying to maneuver the bulky machinery up the steep steps. The front door pushed open to reveal my brand-new, very used, missing a foot, mustard yellow dryer. It was beautiful!

I believe in love at first sight.

The boys wrestled in the washer next which weighed three times more. There was so much love in that living room. Love for my parents who drove across town to aid us in this major event, love for those Paul's who nearly toppled down the stairs with the washer, love for the washer which, thankfully, wasn't the color of a condiment and had all four feet, but mostly it was love for that beautiful dryer which would help me fulfill all my fantasies of warm jeans on a cold morning and hot towels around my shoulders.

They spent no time at all hooking cords and tubes to the wall. It was time to test them. The washer was turned on and how wet and wonderful it seemed as it hummed it's 'zigga zigga' hum. We moved on to the dryer, that beautiful dryer. The knob was turned and then the button was pushed. . .

The most awful noise of banging and crashing bellowed from it's rotating drum. "Turn it off!" I cried. We peeked inside only to find papers and booklets and metal hose parts that the previous owners place in there in case we needed them. What a noise they made. They were promptly removed and we turned the dryer on for a second try.

Imagine the looks on our faces as the dryer roared up again with out much change in volume. I'm sure it was the sound of a dryer shouting and proclaiming it's love for me. It was so happy to be siting on flooring of equal vintage and in my presence that it could not contain itself. I was flattered. . .

And a little repulsed. I felt my heart close off to that machine as I imagined a baby sleeping on the other side of the wall and a tired Kayla trying to do laundry before nap time was over. I imagined turning on that dryer and the infant dying of fright. I imagined the apartment toppling from the sonic waves and me, covered in rubble, holding Paul's hand as we took our last earthly breaths. "I love you," I imagined I'd say.

No, that dryer must go before Paul and I reproduce for the safety of our future family. The love affair is over and we still await a tax refund so we may purchase a new used dryer that won't be the Rowberry destroying angel.

(I suggest you turn your volume up to get the full effect.)

Friday, February 12, 2010

What do you think?

I have had very few moments in my life where I felt exquisitely beautiful.  One of those times was right after I get my teeth whitened for my wedding.  I walked around, grinning like an idiot, thinking that someone ought to notice how fabulousso I look. And by someone I mean someone who didn't know it had happened because I had told them.  But alas.  Aside from immediate family and the person responsible for the teeth pampering, nobody seemed to notice.  Truthfully, I didn't really look that different.  Most of my exquisitely beautiful moments end similarly.  No one notices.

But when I look bad, hoooo, do people notice.

This morning in the wisps of dreamland I was carried off into a world where I was late for work because I just couldn't figure out how to get my pants on and random people from my old ward kept finding excuses for me stay home.  Whilst trapped in this nightmare my snooze button continued to get pushed by my own traitorous hand.  Because of this I was unable to shower and had to pull my hair up in a sloppy ponytail hopping no one would notice.

Nine o'clock rolled around and an older gentleman came through my line.  I smiled at him all decked out from head to toe in BYU paraphernalia.  I asked him how his day had been going and he said it was going well and returned the question.  I said that mine was going great.  He said he liked that answer because most people just say 'good'.  I smiled a little wider.  Cheerful people make me happy.  Then he told me I was beautiful and asked me why he thought that.  I looked at his BYU jacket once again.  "Because I have the spirit?"  I replied shyly.

"Yes!"  He declared.  "You have the Holy Ghost which makes you beautiful.  It shines from your head to your toes, three hundred and sixty degrees around you."  By this point I was feeling quite flattered.  You don't get compliments like this everyday.  He continued, "You are just so beautiful because you have the spirit.  You're not pretty, but still beautiful because the spirit is so bright in you!"  I tried to sustain my smile.  I'm not. . . pretty.  I get tired of hearing that.

I told myself to shake it off.  What did that crazy BYU man know anyway.  My husband thinks I pretty.  That's all that matters.  I put my smile back on and proceeded with my cashiering. Not an hour later a small girl ran up to the automatic doors; I turned around to greet her as pleasantly as possible.  She screamed and ran away.  Great, I thought, I scare children too.

Had those been the only two instances today I would have called it coincidence.  However, just before my break my old primary teacher from fourth grade came through my line.  Although she comes through fairly often it's always a treat to see her.  We immediately engaged in our typical conversation where she asks me about married life I ask her how her grandbabies are doing.  I turned around on the occasion to greet customers as they came through the doors which is also typical.  After one greeting I turned back to my old friend and noticed she was intently looking at the newly arrived guest.  "Is she your sister?" she asked.  I said that she wasn't only to hear this reply: "Really, cause she looks just like you."  I turned back to gaze at the victim of this comparison.  It was a woman (thankfully) who appeared to be in her early thirties.  Her hair was flat and ragged while her face was tired and dull.  My heart sank.  I look like her?  I began to laugh as to not cry.  Why was this happening so much today?

My mom, dad, husband, sister, friend and coworker have all told me I care too much about what other people think, and you know what?  That bothers me-- I don't want them to think that. . . because what they think matters so much to me, which only proves their point.  I need to care less what people think.

I guess their are worse things than not being fabulously beautiful.  I could be quadriplegic, have Donald Trump hair painfully growing on my back, have webbed-feet, or have all three.  I could have no spirit to shine from me, which would be worst of all.  So, I guess I'm grateful that my worth is not defined by physical beauty or by the opinions of health food junkie customers.  I am special because God made me, and he doesn't make mistakes.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Super cake for a super man

Last night when I walked into my room to change in to my pajamas I noticed all of the pillows were inching toward my designated side of the bed (which is the left if you are looking at the bed or laying on your stomach and the right if you are laying on your back).  I smiled because it is one of the many little physical manifestations of how much I'm loved by that amazing man of mine.  He loves to snuggle close to me as we sleep, and it seems I spend the night rolling away from him.  Although I love to snuggle with him too, I have trouble sleeping with another person beside me because of my subconscious fears of waking that person.  But Paul is exceedingly patient, if not very persistent, and often ends up on my side of the bed with me trapped in his wonderful arms by the time my alarm begins to beep.  His body is like warm towels pulled fresh from the dryer and I no longer wish to roll away.  It is cold outside the boundaries of our rectangular bed and I don't anticipate feeling that warm again until the evening when once again I will be chased down in my sleep only to wake up in the morning wondering why I roll away so much.  It is delightful to be snuggled.

It's funny to think about this time two years ago.  Sitting in on a grassy spot just outside Macey's my best friend and I ate personal pan pizzas and I cried as I told her I thought I'd never get married.  I couldn't imagine a boy ever loving me enough to commit to me for eternity or even life for that matter.  I didn't even love myself, why should anyone else?

That same month Paul was hired at my work.

He had just turned twenty-three.

I was eighteen.

And I had a LOT of growing up to do.

But he loved me.

To this day I don't quite understand it.

But I'm glad.

Because he does my taxes, washes dishes with me, empties the dish drainer, takes out the garbage, and comforts me when I wake up from a nightmare about being taken to jail for protecting birds.  He pulls his hands through my hair when I cry, tucks me in when I'm tired, smiles when I try to be funny, and gets my door every time we go somewhere together.  He tells me I'm beautiful and makes me feel wanted and important.

Have I made you sick yet?  It's about to get worse.

Because it was Paul's birthday yesterday I decided to make him a special cake.  I wanted him to know how much I loved him so I made every part of the cake symbolic.  I began with a chocolate cake and chocolate frosting symbolizing romance.  I wanted to thank him for spontaneous bouquets of flowers and kisses under the Christmas mistletoe.  The filling was caramel to represent the richness he brings to my life and coconut to represent tropical. . . tropical. . . okay, so we're not very tropical, but caramel and coconut go good together just like me and Paul.

Blue symbolizes trust, and I can trust him with anything.  There are days when I feel trodden down by unhappy customers or embarrassed by the aftermath of too many beans, and I feel comfortable talking to Paul because I know he will laugh with me or comfort me in my sorrows.  I trust him with my innermost thoughts and most embarrassing moments because he doesn't make me feel ridiculous.

Yellow symbolizes warmth and cheerfulness.  One smile from him and I feel blissfully happy.  One message on my phone where I hear his soft voice telling me he loves me and that he got a good parking place is all it takes to make me melt.  I especially like his bright, happy eyes.

Crimson red for romance and a ruby shape to represent how precious our marriage is to me.

The border is made up of squares which in literature often represent righteousness.  I love that he prays with  me each night.  I smile when I listen to him read letters from Moroni as though he wrote them himself and with enough feeling to convince me to surrender my weapons of war.  I love being in the temple with him, dressed completely in white, and imaging what eternity will be like.

All the symbols put together make a beautiful sight.  Except for the writing.  That's what happens when you're too lazy to get out a piping bag and think a sandwich bag will give the same effect.  Oh well.  It'll still taste good.

Happy 25th birthday, Pablo!