Monday, June 29, 2015

In defense of princesses...

Let me get one thing straight, right off the bat: I have no desire to be a princess (my need to marry Prince Harry, not withstanding).

 Truthfully, it seems stressful; all of those humans scrutinizing your every move, having to dress perfectly ALL the time, and I'm sorry, but they always seem to be required to wear nylons. After 18 months of wearing them day in and day out, the absolute last thing I want to do is wear them on the daily. I realize that it appears that most of my objections with being a princess have to do with picture taking and wardrobe, but there are loads more, many of which are less superficial.

Another thing we need to get straight is that I was lucky enough to grow up surrounded by incredible people who never gave me the idea that I couldn't be the queen of the world if I so chose.

At 2, I announced that I was going on an LDS mission to Japanese where I would speak Japan. Mama Kerry and Papa Steve bought me a Book of Mormon of my very own to carry around. They patiently listened when I required them to sit very still while I recited the stories that I had painstakingly memorized. (You might think I'm exaggerating, but Mama Kerry and Papa Steve can confirm this statement.)

There was also a short experiment with baseball in there somewhere. I'm not sure if I'd seen The Sandlot recently or if it's just something that all my friends were doing, but it was all over once they made me stand in the outfield for a whole inning. Mama Kerry was fine with it, but Papa Steve was a little sad to see my sports career end after one season. I didn't enjoy the baseball caps. Plus, I could definitely find a less ridiculous way of getting a popsicle.

When, after a viewing of The Nutcracker, I declared my intention to become a world famous ballerina, Mama Kerry bought me a leotard, tights, ballet shoes, and found me a dance studio. She didn't point out that I was a little short, or that I didn't have the ideal body type, or that the chances of my becoming the next Julie Kent were about as likely as her becoming an astronaut.

When I decided at 12 that I was going to be a lawyer, the padres were thrilled and allowed me to stay up late watching Law and Order. And never got annoyed when I insisted on reciting the Miranda Rights over and over again.

When I wanted to leave school to go on an LDS mission at 21, my parents were my number one cheerleaders. When I returned and declared that I was going to teach high school history, they were equally thrilled.

 And at 29 when I announced that I was again planning to go to law school and to subsequently take over the world, my wonderful parents did everything short of handing me a crown and telling me to get going already.

How do these two things connect? To understand,  you need to know one more piece of information:

I was (and still am, some days) absolutely princess crazy growing up. I can recite most of the original Cinderella word for word (see, I put those early recitation skills to GREAT use). I was Jasmine for Halloween in 3rd grade. Harem pants and all.  I was Belle in 4th grade. Complete with the yellow ball gown that Mama Kerry stayed up all night sewing for me. I took a children's lit class in college for the sole purpose of getting a grade to read princess stories, and I liked it. I have seen every Disney princess movie in the theatre and still have days where I wish I could be Belle, because who cares about the Beast, HAVE YOU SEEN THAT LIBRARY?!

Here's my thing: I did and do those things because I wanted to, not because I was forced to wear pink and play with my Jasmine Barbie doll. I have always enjoyed all things girlie, including a good true love's first kiss. And I genuinely feel that these types of stories have value in our society because when used sparingly, they help to illustrate kindness, patience, generosity, and just a little bit of fun. BUT (and this is important, so don't stop reading just because you don't agree with me so far), they need to be balanced out with so much more.

As I said before, I was raised by parents who never told me I couldn't do something because I was a girl or forced me to fit into a confined gender role. If I had wanted to play sports instead of dance, Papa Steve would have been the first in line to buy my cleats. There was never a massive divide between what was appropriate for my sisters and I and our brothers. I watch football and my brothers cook. My little sisters played lacrosse and soccer. My little brother paints. Another writes lyrics and music. My youngest brother would rather watch Frozen than any sporting event. They all, oddly, like to shop.

Most importantly, we were all taught from a young age that genuine kindness was more important than good looks and that quality of character was more essential than money.

It's about balance. When a child is mentally fed a steady diet of one thing or another, it's unhealthy. I'm grateful that my parents allowed me to like the things that I liked, encouraged me to try new things even if I didn't like them at first, and supported me, even when they would have made a different choice. This has helped me to grow into a strong, independent, and well-rounded human being who is capable of providing for myself.

I genuinely believe that it's not the stories themselves, but how they are applied which can be damaging. In my experience, there are very few things outside of drug use, murder, and the Kardashians that can be labelled as categorically evil (please note that this is not an exhaustive list of things I find to be completely evil. Mouth noises, the word moist, and people who don't shut cupboards could also be added).

Anyway, the whole point of this is to ask for a little bit of balance in the grand scheme of it all. Let's not paint all of us princess loving girls as anti-feminist and unaware.  Let's not characterize all non-princess loving, non-girlie girls as unfeminine and harsh. Let's come together and realize that, as with all good things, there's a great deal of variation and difference.

Now. I'm off to day dream about that library.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Is this thing on?

*taps on mic*

Hello? Is anyone still out there? What's that you say? You've all stopped reading blogs? Particularly blogs that haven't been updated in almost two years? Well, I can't say that I blame you.

I could give you my nine million excuses for my total and complete radio silence. But any explanation would be just that; an excuse. So maybe I'll just ask, no beg, for your forgiveness and get on with updating anyone who's still out there in the interwebs about my life.

Let's start with the most massive change: I'm moving to Michigan in August. That's right, Michigan. As in the state that someone decided to split into two pieces. Why Michigan, you ask? Well, because that's where I got into law school. Yup, law school. I'm pretty much going to be Elle Woods. Minus the Lexus and Harvard education, plus the student loans. I'm excited, scared, nervous, thrilled, and a little overwhelmed. I know no one in the great state of Michigan, so this will be an adventure in the vein of the illustrious Bilbo Baggins.

Deciding where to go to school was a massive learning experience. Some of the best advice was given to me by my dear friend Liz when I found out that I hadn't been admitted to one of my top choice schools, "You know what: adventure is not to be had there. A change a scenery will be amazing for you."

I've lived so much of my life doing what was safe. It's not that my life is bad, it's just been small. I could make a list as long as I am tall of all the things I haven't done. While my moving across the country isn't going to cause a shift in the space time continuum,or be written about in any type of history book, in my tiny insular world, it's going to be a substantial change. Not just because I'm moving away from my family, friends, and job; it's because I've finally decided to allow myself to truly have an adventure. I've decided to continue to build a life that I'm proud of.

So apparently that is going to require me to haul a small portion of my obscene amount of stuff to a state shaped like a mitten and fill my head with dizzying logic problems and Latin terms.

And I couldn't be more excited about it.

Stay tuned for other random updates about life, liberty, and all the things. 

Monday, July 1, 2013

Here's the thing about country music...

Until recently (recently meaning yesterday), I'd kind of written off country music. Before my mission, I listened to it on the regular. When I came home it had started to sound like nails on a chalkboard to me.

Sad, no? I was totally okay with it. It's when I hit my true hipster stage.

But then Samantha Jean decided that she was going to try, as many had before her, to convert me back to the land of cowboy boots, Wranglers, trucks, and twang. And because heaven knows that after a while I can be worn down, I finally had her just make me a mix of songs to ease myself into it. Little did I know that with country, there's no easing. It's all or nothing.

And I'm back in the all phase.

So without further ado, here are the things that I've learned in the last 24 hours of my recent re-conversion to country music:

-Girls are allowed EXPECTED to be sassy

"Have  you ever noticed every hurricane gets its name from a girl like this? She's a cat 5 kind keeps you up at night." 
-Hunter Hayes

-Say what you really think

"So let's shake hands and reach across those party lines. You got your friends just like I got mine. We might think a little differently, but we got a lot in common you will see. We're just like you, only prettier."
-Miranda Lambert

-When in doubt, talk about your truck

If I tried to give you an example of this, I would spend all day typing. Just listen to any Brad Paisley, Florida Georgia Line, Tim McGraw, Luke Bryan or Kenny Chesney album

- Sometimes? You don't have to be nice

"Well I've been saved by the grace of southern charm. I got a mouth like a sailor, and yours is more like a Hallmark card."
-Miranda Lambert

"Mama always told me that I should play nice. She didn't know you when she gave me that advice." 
-The Band Perry

-When worn right, blue jeans really do it for a guy

"Girl, you cut those jeans just right. I know you didn't buy 'em like that."
-Brett Eldredge

- If something is worth happening, it happens in the summer

See Brad Paisley's "Beat this Summer" and Rascal Flatts "Summer Nights"

-"Bless your heart" is more of an insult than an actual wish

"I don't have to be hateful, I can just say, "Bless your heart."
-Miranda Lambert

-Just because you're a good girl, doesn't mean he's a good guy

"You'll see a good boy, gonna give you the world. But he's gonna leave you cryin' with your heart in the dirt."
-Carrie Underwood

-And last but not least: the "g" at the end of any word is meant to be left off

So friends. Feed my new addiction. All suggestions are welcome and will be vetted by my guide, Samantha Jean.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Things To Be Excited About...

The first thing that each and every one of you should be excited about is that I finally got my lazy fingers to post something on this here blog. That's exciting thing number one. Other things are as follows.

*dramatically clears throat*

Things I, Mallorie Anne Mecham, Am Currently Ridiculously Excited About:

(in no particular order...oh who am I kidding. They're SO in order)

1. Mother's Day is in 38 days. This means that I not only get to celebrate my saintly mother, but that I get to talk to this here missionary.

2. I'm leaving for a fancy pants trip to the Dominican Republic and NYC with some pretty freaking awesome people on May 17th. 10 days of sand, awesomeness and no international students sending me emails. If you are calculating correctly you will realize that this means I get to spend my birthday in New York...which leads us to...

3. I get to spend my birthday in NEW YORK CITY! With Charisse. And her awesome family. Three cheers for turning cough28cough and being an honorary Baxter.

4. Jalyanie and Lucas are coming for a WEEK in June to see me. Okay, it's not really to see me, it's for Lucas' sister's wedding, but I'm really important. And I finally get to meet the darling Janie!

5. It's spring. Spring means skirts. And heels. And cute clothes. And flowers. And sunshine. And all kinds of delightful loveliness prior to the death that is SUMMER where I will melt into an unrecognizable puddle.

6. Netflix and the TV gods conspired to give me the greatest birthday present that a magic-trick-loving-banana-eater could ask for. Behold!

7. ENDER'S GAME. People. This is big. My world will be forever changed on November 01, 2013.

8. While I'm on the movie kick: The Veronica Mars Movie. Oh yes, marshmallows. V. Mars is back to rock your world.

9. My hairs are finally growing out. Want proof? See below. (Sorry for the fuzziness. Dropping your iPhone, for some reason, makes it less effective. Who knew?)

9.2 I'm also digging this nail polish color.

10. Even though I can't get myself to Manchester, this is cause for great excitement for a theatre nerd such as m'self.

So dearest friends, what are YOU excited about these days? Fill me in.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Friday, January 4, 2013

Top 10 Reasons Why I'm Captain Grouchy Pants Today...

10. My feet haven't been properly warm since Christmas. This could be because I live in an apartment with zero insulation.

9. The medical professionals have yet to find a way for me to have an IV of Diet Coke (and not have it kill me like the crazy nurse did with the patient in Brazil).

8. I don't want to like the new companion on Doctor Who but I do. I also don't want to like the new credits sequence or the new and improved inside of the TARDIS.

7. People who correct you just so they can sound superior (especially when they do it in front of your boss).

6. Procrastinators. I'm so sorry, but no, since you haven't even begun an application to our program, we can't admit you for a semester that begins on MONDAY.

5. My desk has become a dumping ground for files that advisers have yet to pick up for the coming semester. My desk is not big enough for this to go on much longer.

4. The creepy homeless guy who was practically living in my office over the weekend drank all of my remaining pomegranate 7-Up which is only sold at Christmas. And since it's no longer Christmas, I can't find any.

3. It's no longer Christmas.

2. Yoplait stopped making my favorite kind of yogurt.

And the number one reason that I'm Captain Grouchy Pants today....

1. Because I am an adult and as an adult, I don't get to stay in bed when it's negative eleventy billion degrees outside and drink hot cocoa and bond with the doctors of Grey's Anatomy or go on adventures with Amy, Rory and the Doctor or play office Olympics with Jim and Pam.

Now. Who do I speak to about quitting adulthood?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Wherein I prove what a total and complete girl I am...

So I'm usually a total music snob. It's bad. That, combined with the skinny jeans, are exactly why Platt calls me an abbreviated hipster. But I've shown before that I have a weakness for cheesy boyband music (coughOneDirectioncough) and herein I will once again prove that I'm really not as cool as I pretend to be.

I love Taylor Swift. And before you start, her music is so not country. It's pop. And I love it. What I really love are the lyrics. They're so...girl power. AND she has an uncanny ability to describe exactly how I feel about all sorts of things. I've listened to her new CD roughly 8000 times since it came out (and it's not more because One Direction put out a new CD just after her, so I had to listen to that long enough to memorize every single lyric and figure out which one of the guys was singing which part. Did I just loose all my cool points? I just don't even care).

Anyway. The whole point of this is to tell you that I found a new life motto. In a Taylor Swift song. Next thing you know, I'll be buying Teen Bop magazine and chewing bubble gum all the time. Oh, you want me to quit editorializing and just tell you what it is? FINE. Impatient much?

"I just think you should know that nothing safe is worth the drive."

 What you don't know about me is that I'm great at pretending that I'm brave and super positive, but when it really comes down to it? I'm a chicken. 100% coward. I don't like to wait for anything and I'd rather stay comfortable than go out on a limb for anything. But lately something is different. And I'm totally okay with it.

So yes. My new life motto might come from a cheesy Taylor Swift song, but you know what? It could have been worse. At least it wasn't a One Direction song.

You may now take away my hipster card...oh wait, we never got them. Decided they were too mainstream.
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