Monday, December 26, 2011

The Top Ten of Christmas

Some of the best parts of Christmas this year, in no particular order:

1. Caroling. My family doesn't sing, so instead we cranked some Trans-Siberian Orchestra and did air guitar/piano/violin. We had a conductor and a strobe light and groupies and everything. We got some great reactions from the peeps who were lucky enough to witness my family's talents.

2. Spending time with my family and becoming even more attached to my niece, Autumn (Auggie).
3. Taking these pictures. Let these blow your mind.

4. Watching movies together. Hugo, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Paul Blart: Mall Cop, And of course, the Christmas classics. It's a Wonderful Life, A Christmas Story, Home Alone, etc.

5. Playing games. Bananagrams, Truth and Lie, Pictionary Telephone, and some other fun game that I don't know the name of that Laura and John taught us.

6. Making homemade sugar cookies.

7. Actually sleeping.

8. Christmas Eve dinner. What a feast, even though I didn't eat the pork. But trust me, IT WAS CALLING MY NAME.

9. Seeing my dad bust a move to the music I was cranking.

10. Feeding the homeless. My family went down town to the Fremont Street area of Las Vegas and served a bunch of homeless people dinner. My mom's friend organized the whole thing, so my mom made some of her insanely good homemade bread (she grinds her own wheat, people) and we headed down there and served up some chili and crackers, bread, cookies, hot chocolate, candy canes, and other goods to many homeless people of Las Vegas. Some came back for seconds, thirds...FIFTHS. It was such a cool experience. One dude was in a motorized wheel chair and we all thought it was so great that he would finish one bowl of chili, put the pedal to the metal and blast on over for more.


Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Had a good Thanksgiving.
Stuffed my face with taters, precious.
And lots of fruit. Strawberries, blueberries, pineapple, grapes.
Oh and my mom's homemade rolls.
Also became even more attached to my niece, Auggie (Autumn).
Played some Mario Kart on the Wii. I'm such a spaz.
Lounged by the pool.
Did lot's of sleeping. I think I got caught up from the past few months.
Played some games.
Won some games.
Threw around the rugby ball.
Enjoyed pie. Thanks, mom.
Celebrated my ma's birthday. She got a nook and some dollaz.
Watched Bourne Identity and Bourne Supremacy and True Grit. And other movies.
Cranked some tunes.
Didn't think about school once.

Monday, October 24, 2011

I dare you to touch one more piano key.

There's this piano in the Wilkinson Center on campus. It's for anyone to play, and it is in a large, open part of the building. So if someone starts playing, almost everyone in the building has to suffer through it. I made the stupid mistake of studying at a table very close to that blasted piano. Here I am cramming for a test in relative silence, and all of a sudden some dude starts plinking away at the piano. Some tune that I have never heard. Some tune that I am pretty sure this cat made up. It was a horrid little tune. The notes didn't seem cohesive or melodious. I know squat about music so I don't even know how to explain it. But it was the kind of tune that was seriously making me think bad thoughts about the dude playing it. I wanted to yell at him and tell him to stop driving everyone in the building to insanity. The fresh anticipation of the four tests I have to take this week did not help the situation. I decided I needed to leave before I blew a gasket. However, a few hours have passed and I think "Geez. I was really irritated. Yikes. Glad that's over with."

But guess what just happened.

I am writing this blog and the girls upstairs are being really annoying. Just like they are every night. Always shrieking and laughing late at night. A lot of the time fake laughing. And every move they make upstairs--every footstep, every door closing, every pulling or pushing of a chair across the tile is magnified in my apartment by about 500 decibels. So what do I do? I stand on my bed and start banging on the ceiling with my fist. Shut em up real quick.

Looks like I am still in a "mess with me and I will cut you" mood. I blame it on the stress and lack of sleep. Four tests in one week? These professors. So sadistic.

While I might be scaring everyone away from me as I write this, let me just sort of redeem myself by saying that I am so grateful for many things in my life. The biggest thing right now being that I am so so blessed to have my family so close by. Not only do I have extended family all around the valley, but Charley and Kat 5 minutes away, Sarah and Aaron 15 minutes away, and in a couple of days Laura and John TWO AND A HALF BLOCKS away. And the rest of my family a phone call away. I couldn't have been blessed with a cooler family. I love them all like it's nobody's business.

Also it is almost Halloween. I love Halloween. So that makes me happy. I'm not entirely neurotic right now, you see.

Disclaimer: Every once in a great while someone will play an awesome song on the piano. Then I feel okay about someone playing that piano.

One last IMPORTANT thing: everyone check out and follow my sister's hair blog!

Thursday, September 29, 2011


I've been thinking about how being open with someone can go a long ways. I once had a conversation with my sister Sarah in which we were both agreeing that a trick to befriending someone is to open up to them. You decide how much you want to divulge and open up about; but the key is making it personal. It sends the message of "I have enough of an interest in being your friend that I am taking the step of confiding in you" and "I already trust to you to a degree, so I am going to tell you something personal." I'm not saying walk up to a stranger and yap in their face for an hour. I'm saying that this trick can work wonders when you are in the process of befriending someone.

With that said, I have decided that I want to be more open with people outside of my family. I can be a talkative Tiffany with family members, and a select few friends, but that's about it. To everyone else I am Audrey who is kinda tomboyish sometimes, and that's about it.

So I am going to tell you a secret. This is hard for me to do, but I think it will make me a better person. I have had an addiction for a while that almost nobody knows about. I don't like to talk about it because I feel exposed and ashamed. My addiction is

Pinterest. Did I scare any of you? Hahahahaha. Sorry (mom) if I gave you a heart attack. Oh, and when I say I have had this addiction for a while I mean 3 days, cause that's when I got a Pinterest account. I would hear about people (mostly Kat) talking about things they saw on Pinterest and how awesome Pinterest is. Then I started hearing about it more. So I looked it up. Within 10 minutes I was hooked. And you know what I decided? Pinterest is porn for women. Because it displays all things beautiful, creative, delicious, artistic, etc. However, I have a love hate relationship with Pinterest. I love it because I fantasize of acquiring or experiencing all of these wonderful things that I see on Pinterest. I hate it because oh yeah I don't have any money to buy those insanely cute clothes and oh yeah I am a broke, single undergrad, so owning my own home is waaaay hay hay hay down the road, let alone buying things to go in the home. And oh yeah I am a student so I don't have time to do creative things; all I do is read six psychology books and go to five psychology classes and work at a job that is at 7 a.m. every morning and that pays me as if I lived in the 1920s. So basically I hate looking at Pinterest knowing that I can't make it a reality. But you know what? Yes, I may be a tomboy and yes I may forget how to be girly sometimes, but I can assure you that when it comes to thing like home decor, just homes in general, clothes, holidays, cooking heavenly food, etc. I am ALL GIRL. Which is why Pinterest is the bomb. And it's clean. And there are millions of little tricks and do-it-yourself type things. Let me show you some gems.

(Her tattoo says "chin up")
Give Pinterest a whirl. It might suck you right in.

Saturday, September 17, 2011


Today I feel down. But I honestly don't have any good reasons to feel down. It has been a good day. Started it out by working out at the gym. Saw the dude that I went on a date with there pumpin some iron. He came over and talked to me as I was cycling away, dripping sweat. I'm sure I was looking real fly (not). Then I showered and then I drove up Provo Canyon for a ward activity. Kicked around a soccer ball, tried slack lining, hula hooped, and ate some pineapple cobbler. Came home, played some sand volleyball with some hot dudes and now I am writing this. In an hour I will leave for the BYU vs. U of U football game with some friends.

Good day, right? Yes. And I am thankful for it. But I woke up feeling down. Had a bad dream; some people that I love and care very deeply for were telling me in the dream that I am not worthy of love and they shunned me away. Left me feeling defeated.

Hopefully I'll snap out of it.

On a different note, I went to a track meet last night with some friends from the ward. BYU and other teams were racing. This dude Brian that I know is on the team and this meet determined whether he would be on the traveling team. So I get kinda crazy when I go to events where I get to cheer on someone that I care about, ESPECIALLY when it's a family member. My sister Ann is like that. I have a memory of her yelling "GO POOTSIE POO POO!!!" at one of my track meets. I loved it, and I love that I am like her. Fan club? Who needs one? Fan Audrey. So anyway, Brian placed 10th overall and qualified to be on the traveling team. It was awesome, and I enjoyed screaming his name and chasing him all around the 4-mile course, being his personal cheerleader.

I'm gonna be one of those crazy moms that you can always hear cheering for their kid in the bleachers. I'm also going to be one of those moms that will threaten a little fifth grader with his life for picking on my child.

I look forward to that aspect of parenting.

Wow. This blog post has no cohesion whatsoever.


Wednesday, September 7, 2011


I developed a syndrome, recently. Or maybe I've had it all along and just started noticing it. Actually, now that I think about it, I created a syndrome that I diagnose other people with. I call it S.F.S. Same Face Syndrome. In the last year or so, I have found it harder to remember names of people because so many people look the same to me. For example:

I'm working. I am delivering packages to an office. I walk in and the secretary says "Hey!" in a tone that suggests, Audrey; I know you and you should know who I am. So I say, " Hey!" back and ask how she's doing. Meanwhile I am racking my brain, trying to figure out who this person is. I think, "I've seen 57 people that look just like you and to me they are all the same person." But then, (my job as a mail girl saves the day) I hand her the electronic scanner for her to sign for the package. She signs, gives it back to me. Ah. I can make out her signature just enough to figure out who she is. Hannah Stone (not her real name). A girl in my ward. The ward that I have been in for a YEAR. Knew the name. But the face? What can I say, she has S.F.S.

Disclaimer: People who have S.F.S. are not necessarily homely, ugly, or unpleasant to look at. They just have common features.

Another example. My roommate used to talk about this dude all the time. We'll call him Ted. So one day I get home from work and Ted is in the kitchen with my roommate. "Hey Audrey, this is Ted. Ted--Audrey." Nice to meet you, blah blah blah. Cool. So I met Ted. Next day. I am in my room and I hear my roommate in the kitchen talking to her friend (another dude). I hear her call him Joe. So in the next couple of hours I am running errands, doing whatever, and I come back to the apartment. I see this dude, apparently named Joe, is still in the apartment. A little while later the dude leaves and I say to my roommate, "So, that guy's name is Joe? How do you know him?" She says, "No. That was Ted. The guy that I like. The one that you met yesterday." Gulp.

So, to clear up the confusion. There WAS a dude named Joe at my apartment in the morning. BUT, when I was gone, Joe left, and Ted came over a little later. I got home, and assumed that he was the same guy that my roommate had been talking to in the kitchen that morning. Because my poor little head was unable to tell that this was indeed Ted, who I had met yesterday. Because Ted has S.F.S. I have seen like three other dudes in my ward that I thought were Ted. Even one of the members of the bishopric.

So we've all been in situations (maybe?) where we see someone that we have met before, maybe even been around them multiple times, talk to them, and you can tell that they have no recollection of you or they say something like, "Well it was nice to meet you," even though you have already met them before.

What am I, chopped liver? Geez.

I hate that feeling. And I sort of dislike people like that. Because it makes me feel like they are too wrapped up in how awesome they think they are to remember me. Plus it hurts my pride.

Bottom line; I don't want to be perceived like that. Maybe I'll ask the Big Man Upstairs for some help in remembering faces, even though they all look the same to me. Mnemonic devices or something.

So does anyone else have this problem? Or am I just showing signs of Dementia or Alzheimer's?

Thursday, September 1, 2011

I'm..........................gonna call it night.

My thoughts a couple of weeks ago:

"This semester is gonna be good. New apartment. New ward. New dudes. New me? Yes! A new me! A social me! Naaaah. Yes! And I will be confident and talk to anybody and everybody and social will become my middle name! Alright, sweet. Let the new semester begin."

Here's the current score.

Audrey: 0 The new semester: 863

Last night we had a ward social titled "Homemade ice cream and homemade root beer extravaganza!" Beats me why they didn't just call it "Root beer float night." Anyway, the root beer was already made, but the ice cream wasn't. Whaaaaaa? You are telling me we have to make our own ice cream? How long does this take? Does this mean that I might actually have to talk to people as I make my ice cream? So I grab a baggie, put some milk, sugar, and vanilla in it and then put that baggie in a bigger baggie with ice and sea salt and start shaking. After I assemble my ice cream making kit, I look up and realize that there is a massive sea of people called my ward. GULP. I immediately scan the crowd to look for my security blanket: the Spokane boys. I find them. Phew. Then, after the ice cream FINALLY develops some viscosity, I bust that baggie open, poor some root beer in, and drink. I head over to the Spokane boys apartment and within 18 seconds realize that I will not be having fun with them tonight. Because they all sit down and open their textbooks. What? Who does homework during the first week of school? Apparently they do. So. I open their door and find that the sea of people is still gathered, chattin the night away. Right in front of my apartment. So, I hastily walk through the sea and into my apartment and, as the title of this post implies, call it a night.

Tonight. I find a flier on my door that says. "Luau at the pool! Wear Hawaiian stuff! We will be eating Hawaiian haystacks and playing limbo and some other games that I don't remember!" I think, "Sweet! Free food! I'm there." So. I get home from class. Luau has already started. I scan the sea of fellow Colonizers. Don't recognize anyone. So I bee line to the food, chow, and then people-watch by myself. And after about twenty minutes I think, "Not that I don't love beefcakes that are just waiting to take their shirts off and get in the pool and girls that are trying to look sexy in hula attire or anything, but (you know what's coming) I think I'm gonna call it a night. Which brings me here. Writing this blog post. Hello.

*Mom: be not distressed. I will make friends and practice flirting. Eventually.

Monday, August 29, 2011


Sand volleyball with some of my favorite people. Horseback riding in the mountains. Touch rugby. Cupcakes and Liz. The Spokane boys. India Palace. Great conversations. Sardines in a tiny apartment with all the lights out. Tumbling gym. Swimming. First day of school. Hot dogs. Cycling so hard that I dripped sweat. Reading Harry Potter 5. Sunday morning breakfast. Family.

All components of the last week.

But, one of the best things about this last week was this incident:

Friday night I was playing some Sardines with some guys. Michael. Mac. Mitch. Thomas. Brian. David. And one girl--Alyssa. There was a lightning/thunder/rain storm outside, so while someone was inside coming up with the best hiding spot they could think of in the tiny space in the apartment, the rest of us were outside on the porch watching the lightning. And then we would begin searching. In the dark apartment with occasional flashes of lightning coming through the windows. Brian curled up in a ball on top of the fridge. Genius. Thomas curled up in a ball in the cabinet under the sink. Michael laid on the couch--UNDERNEATH the cushions. You get the gist. This game forced creativity, and it was fun. Don't worry, the best of this story is yet to come.

Thomas walks Alyssa home at about 11:30. I say, let's scare Thomas when he gets back. Now when we scare people, we mean business. None of this "he opens the front door and we jump out from behind it and yell in his face" mess. I mean professional scaring. We were scaring ourselves as we were masterminding our plan. And when I say we I mean Mac. Here's how our sheer ingenuity went down. We find the breaker panel up by the stairs. A couple flips of some switches and we now control the power in the house. Mac finds some scary music on his phone, plugs that bad boy into the iPod player and cranks it. I find an app on my iPhone that allows me to record myself saying something, and then changes my voice into another voice. I find a voice titled "haunting voice." Perfect. Download that app and we're good to go. We turn the tv on so that it is just static. Hide under a sleeping bag that's balled up in the corner and turn the vacuum on and off. Check. Use one of the Spokane dudes to be our spy. Done. In fact he probably sacrificed his reputation around the apartment complex by hiding in the shadows by the apartment across the street and creeping out some girls, just so that he could text us and tell us when Thomas was coming home.

Alright. So now a play-by-play of how we freaked the crap out of Thomas. It was very rewarding.

We're setting up, and Mac gets a text. "He's coming!" it reads. David casually comes out from behind the girls apartment so that he reaches the apartment about the same time as Thomas. Thomas walks in. We are all hiding. The lights are on. Suddenly, David slams the door behind him and holds it tight so Thomas can't get out. Michael flips some switches upstairs and the lights go out. Mac turns on his scary music. The lightning storm is still happening, so there is still flashes of lightning coming through the windows. Then, the tv turns on by itself (we had the remote) and it's just static. Brian's little finger sneaks out from under the sleeping bag and turns on the vacuum. Occasionally you can hear a "Tttthhhhhooooooooommmmmmaaaaaasssss" in a ghostly voice issuing from my phone. Thomas says, "What the freak is going on?! I hate you guys! I am not moving from this spot!" This goes on a for a few minutes and we are all thoroughly enjoying it. Finding that we are not going to let up on our little fright night scheme, Thomas flees out of the apartment, ("I'm leaving!"). We turn the lights on, emerge from our hiding places, go outside to where Thomas is and just start busting up. Thomas was laughing too. He's a good sport.

Seriously, I felt like I was twelve. It was so great.

The other best thing was that my mom got this:
She's wanted it for years. A Toyota Camry. It's a 2010, XLE. V6 engine. Lots of power. Glad you got your dream car, Mom.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Meet Steph

This is one of my dearest friends, Stephanie Edwards. I met Steph briefly my freshman year on a Sunday. About two years later, I walked into apartment b22 in the Elms after having been homeless for six days and announced to the strangers (except for Jill Fitzgibbons Mohlman, who I knew from home in Las Vegas) that I was moving in. Steph was one of those strangers. I knew she looked familiar though, and after a few minutes we made the connection of when we had met freshman year.

Steph and I quickly became friends, which is funny, because we are very different in many ways. For example:

1) Steph likes to wear bright colors and sparkly things and dance and sing and scrapbook and all sorts of jazz. My favorite color to wear is black. And I play the beastly sport of rugby and don't dance. Or sing. Or scrapbook. I do enjoy looking at her scrapbooks, though. I'm pretty good at that.

2) Steph has on several occasions thought of setting me up with a theater friend. I have to tell her, "Steph, I want the guy I date to be manlier than me." ***

3) Steph's married. I'm not.

4) Steph's an open book with everyone. It takes time and trust for me to open up to someone. I'm one of those diaries that has a lock on it. And the key is lost somewhere in the ocean.

5) Steph loves all things country. I.........................don't.

Yes, there are some major differences, but I love those things about Steph. I think she is exciting and funny and brimming with personality and open to new ideas and blunt and sparkly and so on. I truly appreciate the fact that she is different from me in so many ways. And she appreciates my differences. And that's how we are the same. That's the similarity. We love each other. I can say that confidently. Which means that when we get together we can talk like it's nobody's business. I trust her. I tell her pretty much everything. And she does the same to me. And she always has wicked good stories for me.

All in all, I'm so lucky to have her in my life. Life won't be the same when she moves up to Seattle and she starts her bomb job at Apple and her husband starts law school. We won't have our frequent get-togethers. But you better believe that she will always be one of my best friends and that we'll keep in touch.

Steph, I'm excited for this huge step in life. I love you. Save a couch for me up there in Seattle, will ya?

*** Not all theater dudes are effeminate. No offense meant by this statement.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

My Trip to the East Coast

Some things I did while I was in the East Coast:

1. Charley's graduation at University of Connecticut. Manchester, CT
2. Indian food with Charley, Kat, mom, and dad. Manchester, CT
3. Saw the Old North Bridge, Walden Pond, and other historic sites. Concord, MA
4. Stayed in the Onyx Hotel. Boston, MA
5. Ate at The Paramount restaurant where Allison Mitton and Melissa Parkinson joined me, mom, Charley, and Kat. Boston, MA
6. Ate at Marliave with mom, Charley and Kat. Boston, MA
7. Walked around Boston, MA.
8. Walked around on a rocky beach. Rockport, MA
9. Explored shops in Rockport, MA.
10. Ate fresh lobster and fresh clam chowder in Rockport, MA.
11. Hit up some H & M. Manchester, CT and NYC, NY
12. Went to Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. NYC, NY
13. Saw the Milling family in Manhattan, NY.
14. Went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC, NY.
15. Watched Tangled and Michael Clayton and ate delicious Dominoes pizza. Manchester, CT

Bomb diggity trip, I'd say.

Sunday, May 1, 2011


Jeannette Walls's parents will surely burn in hell.

Monday, April 25, 2011


My oldest sister, a quantum physicist, writer, marathon runner, mother of three, and wife of one (THANKfully) is one of the coolest people I know.

She has this mind that is unmatched, which makes for great conversation. Her brain is filled with interesting information on any given topic. Like dissonance and black holes and antimatter.

Recently Sarah moved to Mapleton. What a blessing having her just 15 minutes away. I feel like I have grown even closer to her.

Sarah and I recently drove to Vegas and back. We listened to about 8 hours of music during that drive. From Beyonce to Simon and Garfunkle to Geographer to Ghostland Observatory to Adele to Bonethugz N' Harmony to so much more, we belted those songs. And I don't know about her, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

I just want her to know that she is one of my best friends and I love her.

Thursday, April 21, 2011


For Laura and Seth, who eternally torment me about this.

We were flying to Boston in the middle of the night. Mom, Dad, Sarah, Ann, Scotty, Laura, Seth and I. All of a sudden flight attendants were running up and down the plane. Are we crashing?! What's happening?! Then I looked over and there's a man laying in the aisle with blood all over him. The pilot announced an emergency landing in Pittsburg would take place. The man had some sort of disease and had started throwing up blood (sorry for the disturbing details). We landed in Pittsburg at around one in the morning, and the man was taken to the hospital. He survived (I actually don't know that detail, but let's just say that he did because I'm trying to get away from the morbidity of this post). It looked like we were going to be at the airport for a while. Laura, Seth, and I were hungry, and the only food place that was open was Arby's. All the times I had been to Arby's in Vegas I had gotten a trusty Arby-Q. So I ordered first. I said to the young girl who looked like she hated her life at that moment, "Um. Can I have an Arby-Q?" She then said (in a voice that sounded ultra bratty teenagerish to me) "an ARBY-Q?" Mom had to explain to me that apparently Pittsburg Arby's don't serve Arby-Qs, so I ordered something else.

The end.

Seriously. That's the end of the story. So here's the eternal torment part.

Laura and Seth bring that up ALL THE BLOODY TIME. And they laugh and laugh because bratty Britney behind the counter said "ARBY-Q?" and there I was, looking sheepish. They find it even funnier because THEY WERE GOING TO ORDER THE SAME THING, but thankfully their innocent, angel of a sister ordered first.

Them bringing that up used to unleash my 10-year-old wrath. But now I just roll my eyes and laugh because they are still trying to extract any bit of humor from the story, 12 years later.


Monday, April 18, 2011

W, NW, E, and a little bit of S

I'm proud of myself. In the last year I have been to:

Las Vegas, NV-home
Provo, UT-school
Palo Alto, CA-rugby tournament at Stanford
Coeur d'Alene, ID-roadtrip
Florence, OR-visit Ann, Brian and kids
Harrisonburg, VA-visit Laura and John
Washington D.C.- vacation with some of the fam
Miami, FL-for a night on the way back from Haiti, and
Port au Prince, Haiti-humanitarian trip for FFCIN

and will soon be going to these places (May 6-12):

Manchester, CT-Charley's graduation
NYC, NY-PARTAAAY, vacation with Mom, Charley, and Kat
Boston, MA- vacation with Mom, Charley, and Kat

Not bad for one year, eh?

Suggestions for places to visit in Boston and NYC?

Sunday, February 6, 2011


I have another blog. This one is for everyone to see. I would prefer this blog stays somewhat private, but I don't care who sees my other one. If you want to check it out, click here.


Monday, January 17, 2011


Alright, here it is. I've been thinking a lot about this, and I decided I am going to share it.

Some thoughts on manipulation.

Manipulate: to control or play upon by artful, unfair, or insidious means especially to one's own advantage

Manipulation is a science. It, like other skills, can be practiced. People who manipulate don't stick with old material; they find newer, more complex ways to manipulate people or situations. That is a scary thing.

I consider my encounters with manipulative people both detrimental and beneficial. Detrimental in the sense that because manipulation is a twisted way of gaining control, I have at times become trapped by some people's manipulative words. Beneficial in the sense that I have become able to often recognize when people are being manipulative. Thus, it helps me to better understand that person's character. I can not only avoid getting sucked in, but can distance myself from that person. Because people who manipulate have an agenda. They have motives.

Why is it that people use manipulation? Because it empowers people. It helps them gain control. Often times people who are manipulative have had traumatizing experiences in their lives, or have had some destructive or negative event take place in their lives that they cannot control. Or they were just born with certain misfortunes that they cannot help. So they find a way to gain control to compensate for their lack of control in other areas of their lives. They discover the art of manipulation.

Sadly, however, there are those who have made personal choices that result in a loss of control. Take some alcoholics, for example. We have all heard about alcoholic husbands or boyfriends that get so drunk all the time that they start beating their wives/girlfriends, and even kids. They are out of control when they do this. But they CHOSE to drink. That CAN be helped. But even though they chose to drink incessantly and consequently became wasted out of their mind, there is still a need to gain back the control. So they threaten their victim with more beating if the victim ever reports it to the police, or even tells anyone, for that matter. That is manipulation.

But why is it that people even need control? Yes, we want to be in control of our emotions, and be in control of the decisions we make and the person we choose to be. But why do people feel like they need to control others? Or control situations? Because it is a form of validation. When someone is able to manipulate a situation or person and is successful, it is a boost of confidence. It says, "You have power." It is an insidious and pathetic way to feel good about themselves.

Manipulation is destructive. People who are victim to it often feel insignificant, enslaved, powerless.

I believe, though, that we are all manipulators to some degree. I know I have used manipulation to get what I wanted before. We all do it; we just aren't always aware that we are using manipulation. And even though manipulation is used for personal gain, it doesn't always hurt someone else. People can use it on someone without meaning any harm on anyone else. But, (this part is key) just because they don't mean any harm doesn't mean that the result of their manipulation can't cause harm. In fact, I would say that most times it is harmful to a friendship or relationship. I personally have felt resentful toward people after recognizing their use of manipulation. Resentment, obviously, is not healthy in a relationship or friendship.

Thankfully, there is a better, safer, and truer alternative to manipulation. It's called, honesty, love, and a willingness to communicate openly. It works wonders in conversation between two people in some sort of relationship. Manipulation destroys, weakens. Honesty, love, and clear communication builds, strengthens, and fortifies.

But is there a good form of manipulation? The only good example I can think of is manipulating my hair to do a certain thing when I'm dealing with a cowlick.

Bottom line--stay away from manipulative people. Their mindset is often " me, me, me". And DO NOT use manipulation. I have come to find that being honest and open has amazing effects. It builds love and trust. It can make us feel vulnerable, but I promise, it will have good and lasting results.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

It's Thursday

First, Condoleezza Rice is the Woman! Today Condoleezza Rice spoke at BYU. She is so articulate and intelligent.

Second, a few days ago I was writing a blog post on all my thoughts about manipulation. And then seeing that it might make for a very boring blog post, I decided not to post it. I have had many thoughts about the destructiveness of manipulation and throughout the years have come across some pretty manipulative people, so that's why I started writing about it in the first place. That's all. If you ever want to hear about it, let me know...

Third, I have a theory (that has probably been already developed). I believe that when we (i.e. everyone) take time to get ready for the day, like putting on makeup, doing our hair, wearing an outfit that we think we look good in, etc., we perform better in everyday tasks. And I'm not just talking about social tasks. Because we all know that we are more likely to be social and put ourselves out there when we look good than if we look like garbage. But I am thinking that we would perform better academically (getting better grades on tests, paying better attention in class and so on). I started thinking about this a while ago, but a few days ago it really rang true to me when I went to work and then school looking like TRASH. Hadn't showered in a couple days (yow), my mascara was flaking big time, my hair was greasy, I was wearing an old sweatshirt, etc. The whole day all I could think about was how I just wanted to get the day over with so that I could go home and not be seen by people. I felt insecure about my appearance and couldn't really focus on school.

However, the next day of school I was clean, my hair was done, my makeup was fresh, and my outfit was bomb. You better believe I was cat-walking all over campus (not really--felt like it though). I didn't have to worry about if people could smell me, or see little black flakes all over my face, or just notice that I was the frumpiest of all frumpish greaseballs. I could focus. My confidence was high. I could do any dam thing I wanted. By the way I purposely spelled that BIBLE (mind you) curse word wrong so that no one will get up in my grill about swearing. Hehe.

Point is, when we feel good about ourselves physically, I think we perform better academically. Of course this is targeted towards students who are still being graded on assignments, tests, and the works. BUT I think this rule applies to life socially, academically, professionally--probably even spiritually, too.

So everyone, (I know it's hard to do all the time) every once in a while, go get yourselves lookin smoking hot and start booty bumping people out of the way, because [insert your name here] is here!