31 March, 2009

Ode to My Mom

Here are the benefits of having a mom who is a biologist:

1. Help with your biology homework.

This would have been quite quite useful for me had I either taken upper-level science classes in high school (I took the bare minimum) or had a science teacher who was not an idiot in the science classes I did take. My sophomore year, I DIDN'T GO to my biology class for the entire last quarter, and somehow managed to get an A-. What in the world? Granted, the entire last quarter of biology was the dissection of various animals, to which I was morally opposed, so I suppose I kinda had a legally viable excuse for not showing up. I was a conscientious objector of sorts. This broke my mom's heart. She loves dissecting things.

I admit that, in college, I have called my mom a few times to ask for help with my GE science classes. It probably would have been more helpful if I could have seen what she was madly gesturing about over the phone. I did not inherit my mother's natural aptitude for science. Which is evidenced by my grades in my GE science classes, which I am too ashamed to admit here. I'm sorry, Mom. I never meant to disappoint you. And I'm pretty sure Carlos is headed towards a career in science, so there remains hope for your posterity.

For little boys, there are no disadvantages to having a scientist mom. She took us to all sorts of cool science exhibits and museums and camping trips, and she usually knew more than the tour guide and the signposts. It was awesome. I admit that after our third trip to Mt. St. Helen's, I got a little tired of Mom waxing poetic about the amazing pyroclastic activity. I have no idea if I even spelled that right. But bless her for her efforts, because I am pretty sure Carlos will grow up to be a volcanologist. Or one of those guys that blows up old buildings.

However, as a little girl who loved dolls and wanted more than anything to fit in with her peers, there were some disadvantages. To be fair, my mom was picky about toys to begin with. She wanted our toys to be "educational" and in line with her political/social beliefs. Nothing wrong with that. However, she is deeply, morally opposed to any toy that violates basic laws of biology. Like this toy right here:

Remember this? It's Puppy Surprise!!!! Which sounds like a terrible dish at a shady restaurant. But I digress. It's a "pregnant" mama dog with a velcro tummy full of little puppy dolls. When you buy it, the puppies are inside the mama dog, so you don't know how many there are, but then you buy her and bring her home and rip open her cloth tummy, and you have a surprise number of puppies!

Dear Lord that's disturbing. My mother was right.

Anyway, I loved animals then as now and oh how badly I yearned for a puppy surprise. But my mother refused to buy one for me, claiming that it was a "misrepresentation of nature." Sometimes, she would remind me about how baby dogs and humans were actually made. I had learned about sex at five when she was pregnant with David, so that was old news.

Let's not forget this little gem, which my mother also refused to buy for me.

I think I mostly just wanted a little Barbie baby. I didn't much care about the untimely ripping of the pictured infant from the poor Barbie's uterus. Also, in an act of revenge and treachery as of yet unparalleled in my life, my dad bought me a cheap knock-off of the the pregnant Barbie at a dollar store. My mom was pissed, but I think I ended up throwing the freaky Barbie away and keeping the baby anyway, so no harm done.

Don't get me wrong. I had dolls. They were just all anatomically correct. Because I was so used to it, I don't recall it ever fazing me that my dolls had little bitty penises and vaginae. But it caused quite a stir when I had friends over.

My roommates and I were sitting around reminiscing about the Good Old Days (when did we get so old?) and about all the cool toys we had growing up. This is when I remembered what a little freak I was in elementary school. Both Celia and Pamela had all those odd little misrepresentations of nature to play with, just like my playmates in first grade did. They did not, however, have anatomically correct dolls. I forgot to ask, but I'm gonna go out on a limb and assume they didn't have the toy dinosaur excavation kit either.

And that's why my mom is awesome. The end.

30 March, 2009

Things on my mind

1. Rock and Roll really did peak in the 1960s. And it's not nostalgia telling me this, because I was not alive in the 1960s. I'm not saying glam rock and punk are not awesome, because they so are. But no one, I repeat, NO ONE, can touch the Who.

2. When I was in high school, I was pretty friendly and tried to be nice to everyone, and I would say I liked pretty much everyone. There were probably only two or three exceptions to this (which I will not disclose...not that it matters six years later). However, I have to say that although I liked almost everyone, there were probably only ten to fifteen people that I truly respected. The past few years or so, I have once again been spending time with lots of people that I like, but do not respect. This bothers me.

If you're freaking out right now because you think I'm talking about you, relax. I most likely am not.

3. Last night C. gave Toby a small piece of chicken and he went insane with pleasure. When we put him in his crate that night, he whined ALL NIGHT LONG. All he could think about was chicken chicken chicken. We are convinced the thought of meat is making him mad. Mad as in insane. Maybe meat makes every living thing insane? It's in the Old Testament, people!

4. I spent about twenty minutes during my 527 exam today thinking about how much I hate taking tests, and composed a most excellent blog post about it. It was so funny. Unfortunately, I can't remember a word of it, a mere three hours later.

5. Tugboats. How do they tug the big boats when the big boats are so much bigger?

27 March, 2009

Why I'm a Mormon

Quite a few of my friends have posted similar notes about what their membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints means to them personally, and while I have always considered such a move to be both brave and admirable, I never thought I would write such a note. Religion to me is a private matter, and for most of my life I have thought that it's nobody's business what religion I am, and I should only bring it up when someone asks. This is, as it turns out, a very Hungarian attitude.

Apparently, I have been a little too private about this. The other day I posted a link to the blog I keep (mostly for myself) that chronicles my study of the Book of Mormon, and not too long after I received a message from a high school buddy that said:

"wait... you are mormon? since when?"

My response:
"Haha yeah. I've been Mormon since I was a kid. I was pretty under-the-radar about it in high school so it's not a huge surprise that you didn't know. I generally didn't mention it unless other people brought it up."

To which my friend responded thus:
"Ah that makes sense... I was half kidding, but I think you got my point (I did have no idea you were religious at all in highschool)

So how much of the (seemingly really silly) stuff that people *think* Mormons believe are common beliefs that Mormons actually have?
Example: Have you seen the Southpark episode?

Basically what I'm curious about is 'what does your religion mean to you personally? And what, if any, widespread misinformation would you like to see corrected?"

First of all, props to you, Owen, for not assuming that everything you heard about Mormons is true. I'm sure much of it isn't. Secondly, I must have started a thousand messages to you in my head attempting to summarize what being Mormon means to me, and none of them were even close to sufficient. So I am just going to ramble for a few thousand words, and anyone who is interested can skim through it. Trust me, it will be epic.

It's hard for me to explain my faith without explaining a little about my parents. I come from a very diverse family, faith-wise. My mother's side is deeply, stoically Catholic, and my mother was actually a nun for twenty years before she left the convent and got married in 1982. My father also hails from a traditional Catholic family, albeit a disillusioned one, but he became Hindu in the 70s and lived in an ashram in India. I am not making this up. My parents were married in a Catholic church despite my father's vehement protestations, and I consider my upbringing to be quasi-Hindu-Catholic. I meditated with my dad in the mornings, but said a traditional Catholic prayer every night before I went to sleep.

My mother is a scientist and a cynic, and perhaps because of her hesitation about religion, I became obsessed with it at a relatively young age. She was paid to be the choir director at St. Mary's when I was young, and I spent hours hanging out during choir practice amongst the statues of saints and avoiding the giant crucifix that hung at the front of the chapel. It disturbed me. Once, when I was about four, I told my mother that I had some questions for God, and I wanted her to help me write a song about them. She dutifully wrote down all of my questions as I dictated them. "What do your angels look like?" "Who made you?" are the only ones I can remember, but there were much more than that, about three minutes' worth. I sincerely believed that if my mom could get the choir to sing my song, then God would hear and answer my questions. My mom said that she would, but of course she never did.

My father taught me how to meditate and read me Hindu philosophy in lieu of a bedtime story when it was his turn to put me to bed. I hated the Hindu philosophy, by the way. It was boring. One morning as I meditated with him (I must have been about six because it was right before my little brother was born), my dad said he was going to teach me a new thing to do when we meditated. He said that instead of concentrating on nothing, like we usually did, we should try to talk to God and ask Him questions. I liked that, and I started doing it often. I later learned that my dad had been reading a great deal about Christianity, which had prompted this newfound interest in the Christian God, and that was how I learned to pray.

My dad and I searched for truth together, I guess. I have some memories of attending various Christian services with him, but none of them ever felt right. We would walk out of each one together, look at each other and shake our heads. I was about seven by then. My dad's best friend, my Godfather, is Mormon (although he was excommunicated when he went to prison for fraud 30 years ago) and he had given my dad some books about Mormon doctrine, so after some study my dad decided to take me to a Mormon service, to see what we thought.

I don't remember very much about my first time at a Mormon service except that it was very, very quiet, and the carpet was a deep, ugly orange. However, I do remember when the time came to take Communion (Mormons call it the Sacrament) I put a small chunk of Wonderbread in my mouth, and was overwhelmed by feelings of happiness. I couldn't make sense of my feelings, really, and for some weeks I thought they had put something in the bread. It's funny to me now that for quite some time the only reason I kept coming back to church for because of the magic bread that gave me such a good feeling.

All religions, I think, have a name for the positive feelings through which God communicates with His children. Most Christians call it the workings of the Holy Spirit, or something akin to that. That term is good enough for me.

After some time, my dad was baptized Mormon, and not long after this I turned eight. Mormons baptize at the age of eight rather than at birth, subscribing to the idea that one who gets baptized ought to be old enough to choose to do so. I felt a strong, personal connection to the things I had learned at the Mormon church, and very much wanted to be baptized. However, when I mentioned this to my mom (and I don't blame her for this reaction at all) she realized that although she had been politely uninterested in the Mormon faith from the get-go, she was, in a way, losing me to an enemy of our family. Catholics believe that Mormons have a fractured version of the Truth (note the capital T) and Mormons believe the same about Catholics. I would be bucking a longtime family tradition by becoming Mormon. And so my mother refused to give permission for me to be baptized.

I am actually extremely grateful to my mother for forbidding my baptism. I know that sounds strange, but it motivated me to a level of soul-searching I don't think many eight year-olds have the opportunity to experience. For several months, I attended Catholic mass one week, Mormon service the next. I prayed on my own about which Church I should join, and while both had aspects that appealed to me, I felt strongly that the Mormon church was true (more on that in a minute). I felt the same way I had felt initially when I had taken Communion at a Mormon mass: a positive, peaceful feeling in my heart, almost physical in nature. I have even heard some people compare it to a drug trip. I feel, like any rational person, that one's choice of religion ought to be a personal one, and so I can't really rationalize my decision in any other way except to say that I felt in my soul that God existed, that He was aware of my search for truth, and that I could find truth and happiness in the Mormon faith.

Eventually, my mom allowed me to be baptized. That was many, many years ago, and I have never regretted that decision. Even when I struggled with doubts and unanswered questions, I can always look back on my experiences and know that God is aware of my search to this day.

The Mormon faith is founded on the principle of individual searching. If you have seen the South Park episode about Joseph Smith, you have an idea of how it went down. An easy summary is this: Joseph Smith lived at a time when various Christian sects were gaining immense ground in the United States. At fourteen years old, he read a verse in the Bible that exhorted anyone who lacked wisdom to turn to God with their questions, so that is what Joseph Smith did. He prayed directly to God and ask Him which church he should join. In response to this prayer, Joseph Smith had a vision in which God and Jesus Christ appeared to him and told him that the entire truth was not on the earth at that time, but through Joseph's work it would be restored. The Mormon church is based on the principle that authority from God can only come through those He calls, and Joseph Smith was called to be the first real prophet in recent history.

There are many other tenets to the Mormon faith that set Mormons apart from other Christians. But the most important one is the concept that God communicates with His children, us, and answers our questions. He answered Joseph Smith's and He answered mine.

There are many ideas purported by others about what Mormons believe. Most are gross misrepresentations or outright lies. The stuff in the South Park episode about him translating an ancient religious record is true (That, my friends, is the Book of Mormon) but the part about him looking into a hat is ridiculous. Most educated people realize that Mormons were once polygamous, but haven't been for many years, and those who practice polygamy nowadays might call themselves Mormons, but are pretty much looking for an excuse. A lot of the misinformation about Mormons is bred by fear, and spread by those who don't want to understand Mormons or are too afraid to ask. For the record, I don't know the answer to many questions, but you will never offend me if you ask.

Rumors abound about Mormons doing crazy things and leaders of the church being imperfect in this way or that way. Some of those stories are probably true. Some were most likely misunderstood. To be honest, I find a great deal of comfort in that imperfection, because I am so grossly imperfect. To know that God is flawless, but those who believe in Him are not, makes me feel hopeful. However, I strongly believe that no leader of the church would falsely tout his own personal opinion as God's will. A thought is distinctive from an answer to a prayer. So I also take comfort in knowing that the truth I receive from the leaders of the Mormon church is perfect even when its members are not.

On a more pragmatic level, my membership in the Mormon Church influences everything I do. It influences what I eat and drink, how I treat others, how I spend my time, and how I view my life in every possible way. There are some things I don't do, because I believe that God doesn't want me to, and some things I do even though I don't completely understand why, because I trust that God knows better than I do what is best for me. At the same time, I know that when I have doubts or questions (and I do) I can seek the answers on my own and ask God about them through prayer, and He will answer me eventually. I honestly do not consider my faith blind in the least, but rather based on intuition.

There have been many times in my life when the choices I have made have been difficult or even painful. However, I know that God has a plan for me as an individual, and I am always happier when I seek to know God's will in my life and abide by it. I served for 18 months as a missionary in Hungary, and although it was one of the most difficult and painful experiences of my life, I know that I have grown from those experiences in ways I never could have grown otherwise.

There were times, when I was a young child, that I asked myself, what if these things I believe aren't true? What if I have been duped? I have never been able to consider the non-existence of God, but the fact is, there are thousands of churches, and each one of them claims to be carrying out the will of God on earth. What if I am wrong? What have I lost?

Even if I think about it objectively as an adult, the answer to that aforementioned question is: not much. I have found so much happiness in my faith and in living my life as if God exists that even if I were to find out He doesn't, I don't think I would regret any of the choices I have made. I like living my life by a pretty strict moral code, and I like having something to believe in. I like feeling that there is a grander purpose to my life and everyone else's. I especially like believing that everyone on earth is my brother or sister.

At the same time, I cannot believe that God does not exist. I have felt that He does in ways I find difficult to explain. Suffice it to say I have felt His influence in many minute ways throughout my life. I see God in the details of humanity, in nature, in art, even in dinosaur bones. I can't explain the origin of everything, but I strongly feel that everything in existence was orchestrated by a wise and compassionate artist. Nothing in history has approached the grandeur of plants and animals, of the human body. Additionally, so many of the wonderful things discovered and created by humans simply had to be inspired by God. There is not other explanation for it.

I recognize that many Mormons seem to the outside world to be peculiar and secretive. I think a lot of us are just preoccupied, maybe even a little afraid of anything outside their realm of experience. Some Mormons are nice people. A few aren't. Some can be narrow-minded or difficult to get along with. But the crux of the Mormon faith is a belief in God and what He has revealed to His children, and because of this faith, I feel united with people I could never have felt united with in a million years. Apart from the commandments Mormons live by and the tenets of the Mormon faith, there is a distinctive Mormon culture, just like there is distinctive Jewish culture, and I sometimes find myself at odds with the trends this Mormon culture perpetuates. As a former Hindu-Catholic, and as a liberal, I do not always fit in. However, this disparity stems from human assumptions, and has nothing to do with God. I strongly feel that most of Mormons' clashes with people of other faiths stem from this culture, and not from the religion per se.

I love talking with other people about their views on God and religion, with the understanding that we won't always agree. I like finding common ground with people of other faiths, and hearing the ways those who share my faith lives their lives and strive to make sense of this world and their role in it. I really really like being Mormon. That's all that I can say.


Throughout my life I have undergone a great deal of preparation to be a mother. I have always looked forward to parenthood, and although I am 24 and as of yet unmarried, I do have faith that all these experiences will be of use to me someday, if they haven't been already. In high school I worked at a daycare during the summer, volunteered st Seattle Children's Hospital, and tutored elementary school kids in reading. It was a blast. I always dreaded leaving my job at the daycare each fall when school started again, because I would really much rather hang out with little kids all day than go to high school. Then again, who wouldn't?

When I got back from my mission a nanny job sort of fell into my lap, and I worked full-time there for about nine months until I started school again, then worked part-time until they let me go in December (this economic downturn affects all, even the very very rich). So basically I feel about as prepared to be a mother as I could be without actually having undergone the birth/raising a baby process itself.

Apparently, God disagrees.

I have a dog, and although I love him dearly, I would say it is a different kind of love than the love I feel for humans. However, having a dog is excellent preparation for parenthood. Because of Sego, I have to get up in the morning at a reasonable hour even if I am so tired I want to die, because he has needs that need to be met. Much of my money goes towards meeting his basic needs, even though I would much rather be spending my money on books or scarves. Also, parenthood is often dirty and disgusting, and so is owning a dog. Dogs bring a certain amount of chaos to your life, and so do children. I use Sego as a litmus test for possible romantic partners, because (this is true) I want lots of kids, and if someone can't handle the chaos supplied by one 24-pound dog, NO WAY are they going to handle living with five or six (or you know, whatever) kids.

Anyway, about the "disgusting" part. Last night Sego seemed a little under the weather, so I let him sleep in my bed. I usually do this only if one of us is feeling down. Generally it's me. Anyway, I had a really hard time sleeping last night, so I didn't work out this morning and slept in for a while. When I woke up, I felt sort of cold and clammy, and though I sometimes sweat when I sleep (if I'm sick or something) it didn't quite feel like that.

I woke up and examined my bed, and Sego had puked ALL OVER MY BED. And by extension, me as well.


Thusly, I am skipping class to do laundry this morning, so my roommate (a cat person) won't come home to the MOST DISGUSTING SCENE OF ALL TIME.

OK, God. I get it.

23 March, 2009

Another Roommate Conversation, Recorded

So tonight my roommate Celia was convalescent on the couch and I came out into the living room to talk to her. Just for a minute! I was wearing some clothes, but not all of the recommended ones. Just a bra and leggings. Anyway, my other roommate Amalia happened to walk in right at that moment.

Me: I hope you're alone.
Ama: I am. But geez, you need to be careful. After midnight, maybe. But it's only ten o'clock.
Me: Whatever (I start to dance seductively)
Ama: Stop it. STOP IT!
Me: Hahahahahaha. I don't know why making people uncomfortable brings me such pleasure.
Ama: I don't know, either.
Celia: I'm not uncomfortable.
Me: Ha. My conservative roommate.

Then I slapped her on the butt. I'm. Ridiculous.

This was also me.

“Although I have felt compelled to write things down since I was five years old, I doubt that my daughter ever will, for she is a singularly blessed and accepting child, delighted with life exactly as life presents itself to her, unafraid to go to sleep and unafraid to wake up. Keepers of private notebooks are a different breed altogether, lonely and resistant rearrangers of things, anxious malcontents, children afflicted apparently at birth with some presentiment of loss.”

- Joan Didion

My nemesis

I have always wanted a sworn enemy. Here are the reasons why:

1. Someone to blame all my problems on. Like Satan, only a real person that everyone would admit actually exists, so everyone would be on board.

2. So I could name-drop and sound really mysterious. "So-and-so, my sworn enemy ..."

3. Something about Vietnam.

Anyway, I have neglected to mention until now that I actually have a nemesis! Her name is Heather Brinkerhoff and she is in my major. Unfortunately, she doesn't have a blog, so she may never see this.

But some day, some sweet day, I will brinker her hoff. Mark my words.

Mwa ha ha ha.

19 March, 2009

Vilja will be bothered.

Have I ever told you how much I love feet? Well I do love them. Feet, that is. I am not being sarcastic at all. I am being completely serious.

Most people hate feet. I know all my friends do. One of my friends (a guy) actually pushed his girlfriend (whom he loved very much and found quite attractive) off his lap when she tried to touch him with her feet. Who does that? Another friend (named Vilja) really hates feet as well, although I don't have any funny stories to prove how much. Too bad. Nevertheless, the very fact that I am writing a blog entry about feet will probably really, really gross her out. That's why I put her name in the title.

I don't actually like MY feet that much. My feet are unusually wide. They look like slabs of meat. They are also large compared to the rest of me. I have tall person feet even though I am not tall. This is quite unfair. My mom has tall person feet, but it's OK for her because she is tall. Almost as tall as my dad. I hate that I am not tall.

Forget that! Know what kind of feet I really like? Boy feet. I am dead. Serious. I like everything about them. I like that boy feet are bigger than mine so mine look dainty by comparison. I like the hair on boys' toes, and the fact that most man feet are bone-y and muscle-y. If I were a really good artist, I would draw feet. I would find it incredibly hot, but no one would ever buy my drawings. That would be too bad, because feet are so cool.

Here is my most favorite thing: sitting next to a boy on a couch, and looking at his feet. I also really like it if the boy has no shoes, just white socks covering his feet. To me, that is the cutest thing in the whole world.

Maybe for the same reasons that boys like girls in sweaters? The hotness of the unknown? I don't know.

You know that scripture that talks about how everyone in the church is equal, just like the eye is just as important as the foot? I totally agree. Every piece of the human body is totally awesome and beautiful. Especially feet.

If I marry someone who thinks feet are gross, I will be pretty sad.

17 March, 2009

This is not very realistic.

I am still looking for a job. Remember when you were in high school and you took one of those aptitude quizzes that told you what career you would be best at? Mine told me to be a mime or a puppeteer. No lie. Anyway, I was trying to think of jobs that appeal to me (ones I can get without a Master's degree) and here's what I came up with.

1. Hungarian interpreter. One resume out on that.
2. Nanny for non-insane family. Preferably a baby. Fact: most people looking for childcare are insane. Or wish to pay TWO DOLLARS AN HOUR. True story.
3. Hospital chaplain. I think I would be good at that. Unfortunately, you need a Master's degree in Theology and two years of ministering experience to qualify (Does ministering to my current roommates count? No?)
4. Working at a funeral home. I do not know why being around sad people appeals to me so. Again, not a lot of jobs in this field.
5. Dog groomer. One resume out so far.
6. Companion to an old lady like in an Agatha Christie novel. Psych! I would hate that.

Oh boy. I am in serious, serious trouble.

14 March, 2009

What I found in my car when I cleaned it.

1. 1 glowstick (almost burned out)
2. I blue men's beanie (if it's yours, let me know)
3. I box turkish delight (5 pieces left)
4. 1 scarf
5. 1 CD case
6. 1 lighter
7. 2 ice scrapers (Joe: one is yours)
8. 1 small can vaseline
9. 24 pack costco brand soymilk (plain)
10. 1 jacket
11. 1 baby bottle
12. 7 CDs
13. 1 gym pass to 24 hour fitness
14. 3 pens
15. 12 cents
16. 1 unidentified action figure (see above picture... I think it's supposed to be a surfer?)
17. 1 BYU water bottle
18. 1 folder with records of all the family history work I've done in the past four years
19. 1 book (MC Hammer and Vanilla Ice: the Hip Hop Never Stops!)
20. 1 candle (ionic air freshener)
21. 1 pair turquoise loafers (again, if they're yours, let me know)
22. 1 bag of prunes
24. 1 very large bag of flaxseed
25. 1 bag of dirt (not very much)

12 March, 2009

Six Minute Freewrite

I have gone clubbing twice in the past seven days. I don't know if like it, honestly. I love dancing, and the BYU DJs really don't do it for me (I swear the last dance we went to the DJ was trying to torture us with irony: 90s music is cute once or twice, but not ALL NIGHT LONG). Anyway, my first time, if you will (not counting concerts and the hotel lounge Katie and I used to go to in Seattle) was a real disappointment, mostly because (and I say this with love) everyone was ugly and gross and smelled bad. It was like the second half of Bedazzled when the devil takes Elliott back to the club where she had made him sell his soul and he realizes that everyone is actually dirty and miserable. Additionally, everyone there was so self-consciously drunk, as if they had an agenda. Which, seeing as this is Utah, I'm sure they did. I'm sure they had something to prove. But I did not. I just wanted to look cute and dance with my girlfriends and not get grabbed in the chest. Mission accomplished.

So I was a bit wary about going again last night to the same place. Fact: I forgot my ID. I grabbed my BYU ID instead. Like THAT"S gonna help me get into a bar! It would have been funny to show them that and see what they did. Maybe they would take it as proof that I wasn't going to be any trouble, seeing as I was such an idiot? Probably not, though. Anyway, I walked in with my friend's ID after she got stamped. She looks a bit like me, just stretched out. We don't look THAT much alike, but the bouncer clearly hated his job and didn't care. I might feel bad about this, but the fact is I AM over 21 (quite).


10 March, 2009

On dichotomizing (That word looks weirder and weirder the longer I look at it.)

Dichotomies are useful to a point, but it's a pretty short point. Kind of like how a trowel is useful for starting a hole, but not for creating an entire foundation.

I believe that God gives us tools for understanding people. Psychology has to be from God in its purest form, even though its strongest adherents often lean towards atheism. But tools are just that--instruments for God's purposes, and nothing more. I have been thinking about this sort of thing for several months now, and I firmly believe that any branch of psychology must be used to further love and understand people, not to compartmentalize and reject them.

I was at a grocery store with a friend of mine once. The store was swarming with people, and my friend was of the persuasion that all people are either deep or shallow, and most are shallow. He looked to me sadly and asked, "Doesn't it depress you that nobody here is like us?"

Additionally, my friend Mo just knocked on my door and handed me an invitation to her upcoming wedding. This was a particularly sweet gesture if I stop to think about the fact that we have only hung out once. I met her at the yellow house when I was visiting with Thelma last winter, and I felt an instant connection to her. We sat and talked like we had known each other for years. Since that night we have made plans to spend time together, which have always fallen through. And yet, I feel a closeness to her that I can't explain.

To utilize one way of looking at the world, Mo is an INFP, and so am I. But I wonder, would that connection I feel exist if she were extroverted, or sensing, if she lived by logic or categorized people in her mind? Something complex about why she is the way she is makes her special to me, but it has to be more than just falling on the same side of four dichotomies. It has to be.

Further evidence exists for this by the fact that I feel the exact same connection to a girl who is my almost-complete opposite: an ESFJ. One could argue that she is an atypical ESFJ, but wouldn't it be easier just to accept that people are more than their chemical tendencies? I love this girl because of our eerie similarity that transcends genetics--we are alike because of what has happened to us throughout our lives.

I also love the girl who does my hair. I don't know her personality type, and frankly, I don't care. I can't think of anyone I would rather chill in a salon with and talk about dogs and movies. If we were to take a picture together, it might even look like a dichotomy in color and shape. But it doesn't matter. We're friends. And I felt a connection with her the first time I met her as well. I thought to myself, I want this girl to be my friend. And she makes my hair look good. It was a September miracle.

When I meet someone, I do automatically wonder about their chemical composition and what sort of genetic tendencies they have: which I express via MBTI typology, because it's what I am most familiar with. But that's a starting point the same way that my comment about her cute shoes is starting point for a real conversation. People are far too complex to categorize flawlessly. That almost makes God a finite people factory, when we all know that He has never made a replication in all history. We are shaped by forces we cannot understand. But that doesn't diminish my faith in God or science. It strengthens it.

05 March, 2009

Things er gettin ugly

Actual roommate conversation today:

C: I don't think I'll EVER get married.
P: Me, neither.
Me: (cuss word)
P: Let's just all be lesbians. We can have like a lesbian ... compound.
C: Done.
Me: Fine.

(long pause)

Me: Wait a second. I'm not even into girls!
P: Neither am I, but we'll figure something out. Don't worry about it.