Sunday, May 29, 2011

Patriarchal Blessings and Me

I joined the church when I was 17.

I got my patriarchal blessing when, I think, I was 19. Maybe 18. At the time I was living by myself, working a crap job for crap pay.  In fact, I had to cancel the first appointment to get my patriarchal blessing because I couldn't afford the gas to drive out to his house.

When the next appointment came up, I got in my ratty little car and drove out to his house, where we chatted for a little bit before the momentous blessing took place.  He told me that if I lost my copy of the blessing, Salt Lake could give me another copy.  He also said that if something happened to the copy on file in Salt Lake, then I could get a recommend to get another blessing.  But he cautioned me not to be frivolous.  He told me about someone who didn't like her patriarchal blessing, and kept pestering and pestering until finally she got permission to get another blessing.  But when the patriarch put his hands on her head, he was quiet for a few minutes, and then said, "I'm sorry. There's nothing here."  Ooooh.  That meant if I were greedy then God would take away my blessings!!  (Much to my shame, I will admit that I believed this.)

He counseled me to keep in mind the things I most wanted to know.  Hey! I was a 19-year-old girl. Maybe 18. All I wanted to know was if I would get married.

So he gave me the blessing, and I blissfully drove home, thinking over what I could remember of it and eagerly anticipating receiving the transcribed copy in the mail. I was going to get married! In the temple! I was going to have children!

So the typewritten copy of my blessing duly arrived in the mail, and I committed large portions of it to memory.  Marriage would come in the temple to a priesthood holder who would hold my heart in his hands and keep it there warm and safe.  I was to be a teacher, a teacher of men and women throughout the universe.  The power of my teaching would come through my progeny.  Genealogy was one of the missions placed upon my head.  There would be callings and challenges, but if I were obedient, I would grow to meet them. Don't get angry and don't hold grudges. And Satan's very aware of my powers, so be careful not to mislead others off the path that is so difficult (the typist spelled it "diffucult," and I had great difficulty with that because I have a testimony of proper spelling).

Fast forward to a college psychology class. We were watching a film where students had been given a personalized horoscope.  They all read their horoscopes, and were impressed with how accurate their horoscopes were. Then they were instructed to pass their horoscope to the person in front of them (the person in the front taking their horoscopes to the person who was in the back of the row) and read them. Yep, you guessed it--the new horoscopes were just as accurate as the originals were.

No, it did not then occur to me to place patriarchal blessings in the same category. Because after all, the patriarch was ordained and called of God, and the priesthood power he exerted meant that my patriarchal blessing really was unique to me.

Now, some years later, and I'm actually using my brain without the warm glow cast by unwavering belief and faith in LDS, Inc.  And I look at my blessing, and say, yeah, right. 

  1. I did not get married in the temple.  My husband and I did get sealed several years later.
  2. I do not have children.
  3. I am not a teacher.  And I rarely got the opportunity to teach even at church, because I was usually called to play piano instead.
  4. I have done a little genealogy, but find it interesting to just learn about my ancestors. I'm not intensely interested in it, and I haven't felt guilty about it.
  5. The advice not to hold grudges is good advice in general.
The only one that still gets me is the caution to be careful, and not mislead others off the path that is so diffucult [sic].  That little niggling voice that says, "What if you're wrong? What if all this really is the One True Church?"  I mean, I don't want to mislead anyone.

But I'm not here to mislead anyone. I'm expressing my thoughts and feelings in this blog because it's safe.  A few readers know who I am in real life.  I can't come out of the Apostate closet yet because I haven't told my mother and I don't know if I ever can.  She's more than a little batshit crazy, and she would be devastated at my leaving the church. She'd probably be able to handle it if I were attending some church, any church, but since I don't even know right now what I believe about God, I'm not ready to start going to church just yet.

So even if you don't know who I am, know that I'm a pretty decent person. I have a bizarre sense of humour. I'm relearning how to think critically. I love movies. I love books. I love dogs. I have a thing for shoes and handbags.  I'm dressing up as Bellatrix Lestrange for the last Harry Potter movie. I can cuss in several different languages. I'm a great cook. I love to teach, even if I'm not a teacher. I have an opinion on everything, but won't normally express said opinions unless I know you really well. I love the theatre, both as a [mediocre but enthusiastic] actor and as an audience member. I like to take long baths with Lush bath bombs or bubble bars, a glass of wine, and a good book. [If it's a book by a British author, I mentally read it with a British accent.  If it's one of the Harry Potter books, I mentally read it with different voices for the different characters. Yes, I'm aware that this makes me sad and pathetic. But hey! I have a good time!]   I frequently make terrible jokes that crack me up, even if no one else laughs.  I have been known to carry on an entire conversation where my lines all come from movies, books, plays, or song lyrics. I insist that "quote" is a verb; "quotation" is a noun; and I once wrote a very short story wherein I strangled two of my sisters for using the words incorrectly.

In other words, I'm a complete dork. And I'm not trying to lead you astray.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Water, Water Everywhere

A couple of weeks ago, I read Kent Ponder's "Jaredite Ship-Building Technology" on Richard Packham's website, and it really got me to thinking.

How did I ever become so convinced that the church was the One True Church that I threw common sense and critical thinking right out the door? 

  • How much fresh water does it take to keep one person alive for 344 days?
  • Did they have glass windows back in the day? Because I sure didn't think so. So of course there wouldn't be anything to be dashed to pieces by the waves.
  • How many people were traveling in those air-tight barges?
  • How many animals constituted the flocks and herds referred to in the book of Ether?
  • How much food and fresh water, then, would be necessary to keep all of those people and animals alive for nearly a year?
  • What about the puking?  Because me, I get incredibly motion sick, so I can imagine at least some of those people would have been seasick and vomiting.  There is reference made to their singing and praising God day and night.  How would that fit in with the vomiting? Enquiring minds want to know.  (And of course plenty of other bodily functions would have been going on, which would add to the frequent puking. I'm just sayin'.)
  • Did they strap themselves and the animals in, so that when the barges flipped over in the ocean, the people and animals weren't being flung all over the place, breaking bones and, possibly, getting killed? Wouldn't it feel freaky to be strapped in and upside down? (More vomiting would be happening here.)  It sounds kind of like an amusement park ride that I would NOT be going on.
  • What about if they opened up the wrong hole, and water started flooding in? Would they have been able to stopper it back up in time before the waters flooded in and drowned everyone?
But no, I somehow put all of my critical thinking skills aside and said, "Wow. The finger of God. Pretty dang cool, that."

Tune in next time when I talk about patriarchal blessings.

Sweet, Sweet Sin: The Wine Edition

Continuing this brief exploration into notable quotations about different sinful items, today we're going to see what the sages and pundits have to say about my new favourite Friday night beverage: wine.

Last weekend I tasted a couple of different wines at World Market. They were both very dry. One I liked rather well--it smelled divine, and as I let it rest on my tongue before swallowing it, I was able to sense a variety of notes. The other one didn't smell quite as good, and it tasted downright nasty. I've got some shiraz at home that I'm looking forward to tasting.  I know that I have a very uneducated palate, as the guy at World Market put it, but I'm open to learning!

And now, without further ado:

Wine is bottled poetry.  ~Robert Louis Stevenson

When the wine goes in, strange things come out.  ~Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller, The Piccolomini, 1799

This is one of the disadvantages of wine:  it makes a man mistake words for thought.  ~Samuel Johnson

A man who was fond of wine was offered some grapes at dessert after dinner.  "Much obliged," said he, pushing the plate aside, "I am not accustomed to take my wine in pills."  ~Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

Champagne, if you are seeking the truth, is better than a lie detector.  It encourages a man to be expansive, even reckless, while lie detectors are only a challenge to tell lies successfully.  ~Graham Greene

Everybody should believe in something; I believe I'll have another drink.  ~Author Unknown

Wine gives a man nothing... it only puts in motion what had been locked up in frost.  ~Samuel Johnson

I don't think I've ever drunk champagne before breakfast before.  With breakfast on several occasions, but never before before.  ~From the movie Breakfast at Tiffany's, 1961, screenplay by George Axelrod, based on the novella by Truman Capote, spoken by the character Paul Varjak

Wine is sunlight, held together by water.  ~Galileo

If you wish to keep your affairs secret, drink no wine.  ~Author Unknown

Wine gives courage and makes men more apt for passion.  ~Ovid

[Grapes are] the most noble and challenging of fruits. ~Malcolm Dunn, Head Gardener to the 7th Viscount Powerscout, c 1867

Good wine is a good familiar creature if it be well used.  ~William Shakespeare, Othello, II. iii. (315)

A man may surely be allowed to take a glass of wine by his own fireside. ~Richard Brinsley Sheridan, refreshing himself at the Piazza Coffee House as his Drury Lane theatre went up in flames on 24th February 1809.

Go fetch to me a pint o' wine,
An' fill it in a silver tassie. Robert Burns

And Noah he often said to his wife when he sat down to dine,
'I don't care where the water goes if it doesn't get into the wine'. ~G.K. Chesterton

Bacchus we thank who gave us wine
Which warms the blood within our veins;
That nectar is itself divine.
The man who drinks not, yet attains
By godly grace to human rank
Would be an angel if he drank. ~Pierre Motin

The smell of wine, oh how much more delicate, cheerful, gratifying, celestial and delicious it is than that of oil. ~Rabelais

The king sits in Dunfermline town
Drinking the blude-red wine. ~Trad Ballad 'Sir Patrick Spens'

Wine gives great pleasure; and every pleasure is of itself a good.  It is a good, unless counterbalanced by evil. ~Samuel Johnson

If God forbade drinking, would He have made wine so good? ~Cardinal Richelieu

Wine is the drink of the gods, milk the drink of babies, tea the drink of women, and water the drink of beasts. ~John Stuart Blackie

There is not the hundredth part of the wine consumed in this kingdom that there ought to be. Our foggy climate wants help. ~Jane Austen

Let us have wine and women, mirth and laughter,
Sermons and soda-water the day after. ~Lord Byron

Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake and thine often infirmities. ~1 Timothy, 5:23

It is well to remember that there are five reasons for drinking: the arrival of a friend; one's present or future thirst; the excellence of the wine; or any other reason. ~Latin saying

Drink wine, and you will sleep well. Sleep, and you will not sin. Avoid sin, and you will be saved. Ergo, drink wine and be saved. ~Medieval German saying

Wine ... cheereth God and man. ~Judges, 9:13
A man cannot make him laugh - but that's no marvel; he drinks no wine. ~William Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part 2

Here with a Loaf of Bread beneath the Bough,
A Flask of Wine, a Book of Verse - and Thou
Beside me singing in the Wilderness -
And Wilderness is Paradise enow. ~The Rubiyaiyat of Omar Khayyam, tr. Edward Fitzgerald

In vino veritas ~Pliny
Good wine ruins the purse; bad wine ruins the stomach. ~Spanish saying
I love everything that's old: old friends, old times, old manners, old books, old wines. ~Oliver Goldsmith

He who loves not wine, women and song remains a fool his whole life long. ~Martin Luther

Wine rejoices the heart of man and joy is the mother of all virtues. ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Wine that maketh glad the heart of man. ~The Book of Psalms, 104:15

Like the best wine . . . that goeth down sweetly, causing the lips of those that are asleep to speak. ~The Song of Solomon, 7:9

The wine urges me on, the bewitching wine, which sets even a wise man to singing and to laughing gently and rouses him up to dance and brings forth words which were better unspoken. ~Homer
It's a naive domestic Burgundy without any breeding, but I think you'll be amused by its presumption. ~James Thurber 1894 - 1961 (Caption for cartoon in The New Yorker)

For when the wine is in, the wit is out. ~Thomas Becon

A man not old, but mellow, like good wine. ~Stephen Phillips

Now, a clever man would put the poison into his own goblet, because he would know that only a great fool would reach for what he was given. I am not a great fool, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of you. But you must have known I was not a great fool--you would have counted on it--so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of me. . . . ~Vizzini in The Princess Bride

Alcohol: The cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems. ~Homer Simpson

Friday, May 27, 2011

For Ahab: Cocoa Quotations

I looked, Ahab, honest I did.  But since there is no sin in cocoa, there just aren't the pithy quotations as there are for coffee and tea. 

Cocoa? Cocoa! Damn miserable puny stuff, fit for kittens and unwashed boys. Did Shakespeare drink cocoa?  ~Shirley Jackson

The superiority of chocolate (hot chocolate) both for health and nourishment, will soon give it the same preference over tea and coffee in America which it has in Spain...   ~Thomas Jefferson

(On hot chocolate) It flatters you for a while, it warms you for an instant; then all of a sudden, it kindles a mortal fever in you.  ~Marie, Marquise de Sevigne

Answered Prayers

I've been spending a lot of time thinking about things I used to believe.  And it makes me laugh and cry at the same time. It's like if you told me there were no such word as gullible in the dictionary, so I would go look it up.

My husband loses his keys a LOT. And he gets paranoid and says that he left them in the door and someone stole them. Or he left them in the car and someone stole them. Or he left them (insert place) and someone stole them. So I would wearily say a prayer, and he'd find them.

Mmm hmmm.  My prayers were ALWAYS answered when it came to finding my husband's keys. Or his wallet. In fact, I was out of state several months ago and he lost his keys/wallet, and he called me to pray that he would find them. I did, he did, all was well.

Of course, he would have found them anyway. Because they were where they were. It's not like someone actually did steal them, and then when I prayed they were magically removed from that person's pocket and deposited on top of the washing machine. or the bathroom counter. or the hearth. or between the sofa cushions.

When I was in church and someone would comment about praying over all things, including what kind of tuna fish to buy, I'd snort silently. But I still believed that whenever I prayed about my husband's keys, he'd find them.

I just wish my other prayers were answered so immediately.  Going to do IVF? Pray and I'll magically have 8 eggs instead of just 3. Afraid I'm losing the babies? Pray, and they'll magically all regenerate and I'll give birth to triplets. Maybe even quadruplets, so that I could name them John, Paul, George and Ringo like I always wanted to do. Having trouble in the dumb-ass math class I needed to pass so I could graduate? Pray, and all the proper formulas will be right in my brain, ready to use when I need them.  Need to lose weight? Pray (and fast, heh-heh).  Need $10K? Pray and somehow, someway, the money will be magically deposited into my savings account.

Instead, of course, I lost the babies. I barely passed the dumb-ass math class thanks to my husband tutoring me. I'm losing weight not by praying, but by surgical intervention and hard work. I still need cash, but I'm slowly accumulating it by painstakingly making deposits every payday into my savings account.

Since leaving LDS., Inc., I have to stop myself sometimes. Not from praying in general, although my prayers right now tend to be along the lines of, "God, if you're there....", but from praying over stupid things, like my husband's keys.  I mean, there are earthquakes and tsunamis, and I'm going to bug God (if there is a God) about something as pathetically unimportant as keys? Nah.

And then with the storms the other night, and me huddled in the hall with a scared dog curled up next to me, I wanted to pray for safety. But then I thought of all the people who've been killed of late in tornados, and thinking they were all praying for safety, too. So I just meditated, tried to stay calm, focused on being in the moment, the funny (and painful) sensation as the tornado passed overhead and I felt the pressure on my sinuses increase to an almost unbearable level as the winds howled outside. And then it was gone, and our house was still there, and my dog kissed me, and it was good.

I still find some solace in meditation/prayer, even if I'm not sure to whom I'm praying. Maybe I'm just sending my thoughts out into the universe, and somewhere someone will bump into them, and send some positive vibrations back in my direction. But not about the keys. If the keys are lost, I'll go look for them.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Sweet, Sweet Sin: The Tea Edition

Diana, this one's for you! 

I grew up in the south, which means that as a kid and teenager, sweet tea flowed through my veins.  I think, when I joined the church, that I missed iced sweet tea even more than coffee.  Plus I was something of an anglophile, so I also missed hot tea with cream and sugar. Yeah, I made do with iced herbal teas, and hot chamomile tea, but it just wasn't the same.

I will hereby confess that when I was angry and rebellious, I would go get iced tea.  My sister found that hilarious. Such a silly little thing, but because of the word of wisdom, it was verboten.

I usually have a glass of iced tea every day. Sometimes I switch things up and get diet Snapple peach tea, which is nectar, trust me. But I still enjoy my plain old sweet tea, even if it's now sweetened with the stuff in the yellow packet.

So enjoy a cuppa, or a glassa, and savour the following quotations:

Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea.  ~Henry Fielding, "Love in Several Masques"

Tea is drunk to forget the din of the world.  ~T'ien Yiheng

There is a great deal of poetry and fine sentiment in a chest of tea.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, Letters and Social Aims

Strange how a teapot can represent at the same time the comforts of solitude and the pleasures of company.  ~Author Unknown

Each cup of tea represents an imaginary voyage.  ~Catherine Douzel

I always fear that creation will expire before teatime.  ~Sydney Smith

Drinking a daily cup of tea will surely starve the apothecary.  ~Chinese Proverb

There is no trouble so great or grave that cannot be much diminished by a nice cup of tea.  ~Bernard-Paul Heroux

Bread and water can so easily be toast and tea.  ~Author Unknown

If you are cold, tea will warm you.  If you are too heated, it will cool you.  If you are depressed, it will cheer you.  If you are excited, it will calm you.  ~Gladstone, 1865

We had a kettle; we let it leak:
Our not repairing made it worse.
We haven't had any tea for a week...
The bottom is out of the Universe.
~Rudyard Kipling

Is there no Latin word for Tea?  Upon my soul, if I had known that I would have let the vulgar stuff alone.  ~Hilaire Belloc

Tea is a cup of life.  ~Author Unknown

The mere chink of cups and saucers tunes the mind to happy repose.  ~George Gissing, The Private Papers of Henry Ryecroft

Tea should be taken in solitude.  ~C.S. Lewis

If man has no tea in him, he is incapable of understanding truth and beauty.  ~Japanese Proverb

Tea is liquid wisdom.  ~Anonymous

Find yourself a cup of tea; the teapot is behind you.  Now tell me about hundreds of things.  ~Saki

Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves - slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future.  ~Thich Nat Hahn

Tea's proper use is to amuse the idle, and relax the studious, and dilute the full meals of those who cannot use exercise, and will not use abstinence.  ~Samuel Johnson

Iced tea may not have as much wisdom as hot tea, but in the summer better a cool and refreshed dullard than a steamy sweat-drenched sage - leave sagacity to the autumn!  ~Linda Solegato

Iced tea is too pure and natural a creation not to have been invented as soon as tea, ice, and hot weather crossed paths.  ~John Egerton a religion of the art of life.  ~Okakura

All true tea lovers not only like their tea strong, but like it a little stronger with each year that passes.  ~George Orwell, "A Nice Cup of Tea"

Tea does our fancy aid,
Repress those vapours which the head invade
And keeps that palace of the soul serene.
~Edmund Waller, "Of Tea"

The first cup moistens my lips and throat.  The second cup breaks my loneliness.  The third cup searches my barren entrail but to find therein some thousand volumes of odd ideographs.  The fourth cup raises a slight perspiration - all the wrongs of life pass out through my pores.  At the fifth cup I am purified.  The sixth cup calls me to the realms of the immortals.  The seventh cup - ah, but I could take no more!  I only feel the breath of the cool wind that raises in my sleeves.  Where is Elysium?  Let me ride on this sweet breeze and waft away thither.  ~Lu Tung, "Tea-Drinking"

tea leaves
tea loves
loves tea
lives tea
leaves tea?
~Uniek Swain

The best quality tea must have creases like the leathern boot of Tartar horsemen, curl like the dewlap of a mighty bullock, unfold like a mist rising out of a ravine, gleam like a lake touched by a zephyr, and be wet and soft like a fine earth newly swept by rain.  ~Lu Yu

Top off the tea... it lubricates the grey matter.  ~Good Neighbors, quoted from

Stands the Church clock at ten to three?
And is there honey still for tea?
~Rupert Brooke, "The Old Vicarage, Grantchester," 1912

As the centerpiece of a cherished ritual, it's a talisman against the chill of winter, a respite from the ho-hum routine of the day.  ~Sarah Engler, "Tea Up," Real Simple magazine, February 2006

The perfect temperature for tea is two degrees hotter than just right.  ~Terri Guillemets

It is very strange, this domination of our intellect by our digestive organs.  We cannot work, we cannot think, unless our stomach wills so.  It dictates to us our emotions, our passions.  After eggs and bacon it says, "Work!"  After beefsteak and porter, it says, "Sleep!"  After a cup of tea (two spoonfuls for each cup, and don't let it stand for more than three minutes), it says to the brain, "Now rise, and show your strength.  Be eloquent, and deep, and tender; see, with a clear eye, into Nature, and into life:  spread your white wings of quivering thought, and soar, a god-like spirit, over the whirling world beneath you, up through long lanes of flaming stars to the gates of eternity!"  ~Jerome K. Jerome, Three Men in a Boat

Remember the tea kettle - it is always up to its neck in hot water, yet it still sings!  ~Author Unknown

Tea, although an Oriental
Is a gentleman at least;
Cocoa is a cad and coward,
Cocoa is a vulgar beast.
~G.K. Chesterton, "The Song of Right and Wrong"

Tea is instant wisdom - just add water!  ~Astrid Alauda

When the news reporter said "Shopkeepers are opening their doors bringing out blankets and cups of tea" I just smiled.  It's like yes.  That's Britain for you.  Tea solves everything.  You're a bit cold?  Tea.  Your boyfriend has just left you?  Tea.  You've just been told you've got cancer?  Tea.  Coordinated terrorist attack on the transport network bringing the city to a grinding halt?  Tea dammit!  And if it's really serious, they may bring out the coffee.  The Americans have their alert raised to red, we break out the coffee.  That's for situations more serious than this of course.  Like another England penalty shoot-out.  ~Jslayeruk, as posted on Metaquotes Livejournal, in response to the July 2005 London subway bombings

The first sip of tea is the always the best... you cringe as it burns the back of your throat, knowing you just had the hottest carpe-diem portion.  ~Terri Guillemets

Harry found the [tea]... seemed to burn away a little of the fear fluttering in his chest.  ~J.K. Rowling

Tea! thou soft, thou sober, sage, and venerable liquid,... thou female tongue-running, smile-smoothing, heart-opening, wind-tippling cordial, to whose glorious insipidity I owe the happiest moment of my life, let me fall prostrate.  ~Colley Cibber, Lady's Last Stake

Never trust a man who, when left alone in a room with a tea cozy, doesn't try it on.  ~Billy Connolly

You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.  ~C.S. Lewis

The More Things Change...

Okay, this is kind of weird. (by the way, do you know how I finally learned how to spell weird?  I got it from a creepy character Johnny Depp was playing in his character as an undercover cop on 21 Jump Street. Just remember "we" are "weird" and you'll never misspell it again.)

Anyway. Back to my point. My husband and I have been talking more deeply and more honestly than we ever have in nearly 20 years of marriage. I think we've both accepted that this will end up in divorce. However, he's asked me to continue living at the house, and he'll continue to help support me financially as long as I do. It makes sense. I'd be living there anyway when he travels for work, since I wouldn't take the dogs to an apartment. And I make enough money to support myself if I were to get an apartment by work--barely--but with the gas prices as they are, I cannot do it staying at the house.  So that works out just fine.  We've each picked a room to be our bedroom, and he has the room that was formerly a garage to be his music room.  The other rooms (kitchen, dining, living room, home office/library) are the common areas.

I asked how he'd feel about things once I were to start dating (assuming that were to happen). He said that he'd be ferociously protective of me, but would try to deal with it as best as he could.  And I'm working to deal with his issues (I don't feel comfortable sharing them because it's his private business, not mine).  Not coincidentally, I'm able to do so better since leaving TSCC.

Another thing that's going to require some diligence on both of our parts is privacy and respect.  I'm still a little steamed that he felt perfectly comfortable throwing out my wine several weeks ago. I said that if I'm to stay in the house, he's going to have to respect my privacy and my belongings, and, no matter how much he may disagree with them, he does not have the right to get rid of them. And when he starts to dictate to me, I'm having to remind him that he may not do so. It's going to take a while to change old habits, but I think they can be changed.

Last night we were having a long talk, and I was sitting there staring at the bookcase full of church books in my room. I've been wanting to get rid of them for a while now, so I asked him to pull out the ones he wants and I'd take the rest to Half Price Books. Unsurprisingly, he pulled them all out and put them in a bin and shoved them in his office. At least they're out of my room. 

He's still really struggling with his feelings about himself and the church and how everything's intertwined. He doesn't want to believe that it's true, because it's so negative and nasty and harsh, but is afraid that it is, and so is just wrapped up in guilt. And I'm still dealing with guilt myself and the nagging little thought in my head that says "what if it's real and you're wrong and you're leading people astray and you're really going to regret it."  I tell that thought to go away, but it's there all the time.

Anyway, this is the experiment. If it works, great. If it doesn't work, well, I'm saving up money in the meantime so that if I do need to go ahead and move out, I'll be in a better position to do so.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Watching the news out of the tornado-damaged areas has been hard.  Just looking at such complete and utter devastation makes me hurt for the people who've lost everything.

I live in the Dallas-Ft Worth area in Texas, and yesterday we had our own fun and games with tornados.  My husband is a weather freak anyway, but after watching all the news from Joplin, he was on even higher alert. 

I've been feeling puny for several days, and was lolling in bed watching 8: The Mormon Proposition, when he came barreling into the room. The tornado was going to be there in 6 minutes! (He'd already had me pack up some clothes & my medicines and he threw the suitcase into his car, which he was going to take to the nearby mall and park to save it from the hail [we don't have covered parking at home].)  So I shut my computer, stuffed it into the case, and got into the hall with 5 pillows, 2 blankets, the mattress off the queen bed, and one of my dogs.  And waited.

The winds picked up, and I could hear them howling along with the sirens that went off to warn everyone that tornados had been sighted.  My husband kept going in and out of the house, providing me with news every few minutes. Then I could feel extremely intense pressure on my sinuses, and Molly and I huddled under the blankets and listened to the sound of a freight train going past our house.  Thank heavens the tornado didn't touch down. It looks like we sustained some damage to our roof, and lost a lot of branches in our back yard. But it could have been so much worse, and I'm grateful that it wasn't.

I checked the forecast for the next few days, and it looks like typical Texas late spring--clear and hot. Fun time to have a spring cold--the smell of Hall's lozenges doesn't go with hot sunny days.  It belongs with cool drizzly days, warm tea with honey, and a fire in the fireplace.

I want to say I'll finish watching the movie tonight, but I'm getting my hair done. Maybe tomorrow night.  It's very moving. I feel ashamed that I even tried to justify their actions to myself, even though I personally never supported anything so vile as Prop 8.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Mmmmm. . . Coffee

I've turned into a complete coffee addict. Love the stuff. Love, love, love it!

The reason I'm writing this post is because I usually have 2 cups of coffee in the morning, and that's it for the day.  But today, for some reason the guy who sits next to me got a cup of coffee this afternoon. I sat there and smelled it, and it smelled so good, and I finally had to go get myself a cup.

It's delicious. Sweet, sweet sin.  Oh, wait--I'm no longer in thrall to an organisation that declares coffee to be sinful.  So I shall drink on, and enjoy every last drop of it.  And just to give you some coffee for thought, enjoy the following quotations:

No one can understand the truth until he drinks of coffee's frothy goodness.  ~Sheik Abd-al-Kadir

Over second and third cups flow matters of high finance, high state, common gossip and low comedy.  [Coffee] is a social binder, a warmer of tongues, a soberer of minds, a stimulant of wit, a foiler of sleep if you want it so.  From roadside mugs to the classic demi-tasse, it is the perfect democrat.  ~Author Unknown

No coffee can be good in the mouth that does not first send a sweet offering of odor to the nostrils.  ~Henry Ward Beecher

A morning without coffee is like sleep.  ~Author Unknown

I believe humans get a lot done, not because we're smart, but because we have thumbs so we can make coffee.  ~Flash Rosenberg

Way too much coffee.  But if it weren't for the coffee, I'd have no identifiable personality whatsoever.  ~David Letterman

Sleep is a symptom of caffeine deprivation.  ~Author Unknown

This coffee falls into your stomach, and straightway there is a general commotion.  Ideas begin to move like the battalions of the Grand Army of the battlefield, and the battle takes place.  Things remembered arrive at full gallop, ensuing to the wind.  The light cavalry of comparisons deliver a magnificent deploying charge, the artillery of logic hurry up with their train and ammunition, the shafts of with start up like sharpshooters.  Similes arise, the paper is covered with ink; for the struggle commences and is concluded with torrents of black water, just as a battle with powder.  ~Honore de Balzac, "The Pleasures and Pains of Coffee"

Decaf?  No, it's dangerous to dilute my caffeine stream.  ~Author Unknown

Coffee, the finest organic suspension ever devised.  ~Star Trek: Voyager

He was my cream, and I was his coffee -
And when you poured us together, it was something.
~Josephine Baker

Coffee is a beverage that puts one to sleep when not drank.  ~Alphonse Allais

Coffee smells like freshly ground heaven.  ~Jessi Lane Adams

Caffeine isn't a drug, it's a vitamin!  ~Author Unknown

There's nothing sweeter than a cup of bitter coffee.  ~Rian Aditia

I orchestrate my mornings to the tune of coffee.  ~Harry Mahtar

Be a coffee-drinking individual - espresso yourself!  ~Author Unknown

I make serious coffee - so strong it wakes up the neighbors.  ~Author Unknown
Suave molecules of Mocha stir up your blood, without causing excess heat; the organ of thought receives from it a feeling of sympathy; work becomes easier and you will sit down without distress to your principal repast which will restore your body and afford you a calm, delicious night.  ~Prince Tallyrand

I don't have a problem with caffeine.  I have a problem without caffeine!  ~Author Unknown

Behind every successful woman is a substantial amount of coffee.  ~Stephanie Piro

C:\COFFEE.POT missing (A)bort (R)etry (F)all asleep?  ~Author Unknown

I had some dreams, they were clouds in my coffee.  ~Carly Simon

In Seattle you haven't had enough coffee until you can thread a sewing machine while it's running.  ~Jeff Bezos

Black as the devil, Hot as hell,
Pure as an angel, Sweet as love.
~Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Perigord

Everybody should believe in something.  I believe I'll have another coffee.  ~Author Unknown

Decaf is like masturbating with an oven mitt!  ~Robin Williams

Caffeine is my shepherd; I shall not doze.
It maketh me to wake in green pastures:
It leadeth me beyond the sleeping masses.
It restoreth my buzz:
It leadeth me in the paths of consciousness for its name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of addiction,
I will fear no Equal™:
For thou art with me; thy cream and thy sugar they comfort me.
Thou preparest a carafe before me in the presence of The Starbucks:
Thou anointest my day with pep; my mug runneth over.
Surely richness and taste shall follow me all the days of my life:
And I will dwell in the House of Mochas forever.
~Author Unknown

Actually, this seems to be the basic need of the human heart in nearly every great crisis - a good hot cup of coffee.  ~Alexander King

I don't understand decaf, it's like sex without the sex.  ~A.C. Van Cherub

Nothing is sad on a beautiful morning save to look down and realize you just had the last sip of coffee and the mug sits indifferently empty.  ~Terri Guillemets

I'd stop drinking coffee, but I'm no quitter.  ~Author Unknown

The voodoo priest and all his powders were as nothing compared to espresso, cappuccino, and mocha, which are stronger than all the religions of the world combined, and perhaps stronger than the human soul itself.  ~Mark Helprin, Memoir from Antproof Case, 1995

Good communication is just as stimulating as black coffee, and just as hard to sleep after.  ~Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Given enough coffee, I could rule the world.  ~Author Unknown

I think if I were a woman I'd wear coffee as a perfume.  ~John Van Druten

Moving Forward

We did a lot of talking this weekend, but not much was resolved.  He still wants to save our marriage, but doesn't seem completely able to see that there's really not a marriage to be saved.

It's funny. Friday during lunch I had come to the decision that I would plan to move at the beginning of March. That would give me time to save up for the things I'll need to furnish an apartment.  I also get a bonus at the end of every February, so I could put that in my savings account and have a little cushion in case of emergencies. My stepmonster is threatening to get new living room furniture, in which case I would be the lucky beneficiary of her old furniture, which is very attractive and even more comfortable.  I'd decided, during lunch Friday, that if she were to do that before I got moved, I'd get a small storage unit and put the furniture in there until I moved, so that the dogs wouldn't ruin it. I had it all planned out.

Then Friday afternoon I called my husband to see if he was feeling any better, and he told me that if I'm going to move, I need to do it and be done with it.  !!! 

One of my sisters was hosting a pirates movie watching slumber party that night, so I was over there. I ended up falling asleep, finally, at 6:30, and was back up by 8:30. The whole rest of the night was spent lying in bed trying to figure things out. 

When I got home, my husband had managed to forget that he told me just the day before to go ahead and move out, and was back to insisting that we save our love and our family, or at least stay roommates. He doesn't want me to get divorced unless I want to remarry.  Well, the problem with that scenario is that I'm not going to be looking for a new husband until I'm no longer married.  (Of course, I don't know that I'm going to be looking.  The thought of peace and quiet is very appealing to me.) 

So we're still in the trying to figure things out phase.  I've contacted the two apartments I'm looking at to check on availability. One has a unit opening up on August 6th.  I haven't heard from the other one, which is actually the one I prefer for its proximity to my office (1.3 miles as opposed to 7ish) and its garden tub.

I've been making list after list after list trying to figure out what I need and how to acquire it with minimum expenditures of my limited funds.

I love my husband, honestly I do. And I know he loves me.  But I can't take the controlling and the yelling and the other issues that have been so pervasive in our marriage. I just want some peace and quiet. And the thought of a 5-minute commute as opposed to a 40-minute commute twice a day is, I will admit, blissful.

I'm still feeling torn. I think I'll probably feel torn for a while. Thanks to you who have commented and contacted me to offer your support. I am so very appreciative. Thank you.

Friday, May 20, 2011


TORN by Natalie Imbruglia

I thought I saw a man brought to life
He was warm
He came around and he was dignified
He showed me what it was to cry
Well you couldn't be that man I adored
You don't seem to know
Seem to care what your heart is for
But I don't know him anymore
There's nothing where he used to lie
The conversation has run dry
That's what's going on
Nothing's fine I'm torn

I'm all out of faith
This is how I feel
I'm cold and I am shamed
Lying naked on the floor
Illusion never changed
Into something real
I'm wide awake
And I can see
The perfect sky is torn
You're a little late
I'm already torn

So I guess the fortune teller's right
Should have seen just what was there
And not some holy light
it crawled beneath my veins
And now I don't care
I had no luck
I don't miss it all that much
There's just so many things
That I can touch I'm torn

I'm all out of faith
This is how I feel
I'm cold and I am shamed
Lying naked on the floor
Illusion never changed
Into something real
I'm wide awake
And I can see
The perfect sky is torn
You're a little late
I'm already torn

There's nothing where he used to lie
My inspiration has run dry
That's what's going on
Nothing's right I'm torn

I'm all out of faith
This is how I feel
I'm cold and I am shamed
Lying naked on the floor
Illusion never changed
Into something real
I'm wide awake
And I can see
The perfect sky is torn

I'm all out of faith
This is how I feel
I'm cold and I'm ashamed
Bound and broken on the floor
You're a little late
I'm already torn
How do you end a nearly 20 year marriage when your spouse is vehemently opposed to splitting up?

What do you do when you have a long conversation with him one night about how the marriage isn't really a marriage anymore and you want to split up, but he wants you to keep living there at least as roommates , and you think he understands, and then the very next night he asks you why you never sleep with him anymore. (Because you snore, and I snore, and you travel so much I'm used to being in the bed by myself. Because when I try to sleep in the same bed with you I end up on the couch or futon anyway because I can't sleep. Because roommates don't sleep together. I want a room of my own, literally and figuratively.) 

What do you say when he argues with you about what you eat? (Ham doesn't make me throw up like chicken does, and it's not this huge fatty meat like you think it is, and I'm a grown woman who is perfectly capable of deciding for herself what to eat and you have no right to argue with me about it.)  When he nastily accuses you of eating the same way you did pre-surgery.  (Pre-surgery, I ate burgers, fries, sodas, chips, fried chicken sandwiches or chicken tenders, cake, candy, complete crap because I've been eating my emotions for many, many years. Post-surgery, I can't eat chicken without puking, much less fries and cake.)  When he rudely demands to know if you're eating better because of the lap band, or because you know what you should be eating. (The lap band is a tool that helps me to eat what I already know I should eat. If losing weight were easy, there wouldn't be any fat people in the world. And the shit you've given me for the last 21 years about my weight is done. I'm not taking it anymore.)

When he throws a temper tantrum because he's got a cold, and you have the temerity to go out with your sisters? (Colds suck. No question about it. But all you can do is drink plenty of liquids and get plenty of rest.  That's all you can do, whether I'm home or not. There's nothing I can do for you. I got you three big bottles of juice last night. I brought dinner home for you. I rubbed your back. But the cold lasts 5 days, whether you treat it or not.  If you want me to cancel my evening, just ask me nicely. You're far too old to be throwing temper tantrums and expecting to get your way as a result.)

What do you say when he accuses you of just wanting to move out? (Well, yes, I do. It's not a "just" thing. This isn't working. If we were on the same page, perhaps a roommate type situation would work. But we're not. As long as I'm living here, you're going to continue to treat me like a less intelligent person who need to be controlled because you know what's best, always.)

What do you say when he mourns your lost faith? (I don't regret losing faith in something that isn't true. I don't regret losing faith in someone who, instead of being a virtuous man worthy of admiration, was a manipulative sexual predator who valued his personal power and desires above everything else. I don't regret losing faith in an institution that does not do what it proclaims it does.)  When he blames himself for your lost faith? (Thank you. If you hadn't raised those questions, I would still be feeling miserable and wondering why my life sucks so badly. I would still be feeling like no matter what, I would never be good enough, never be worthy, of the Saviour's love.)

Am I a heartless bitch?

I just feel torn.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Satisfying AND Delicious!

A weekly place for me to talk about my new sinful pleasures:


I like wines that are on the sweetish side of the spectrum.  This week's wine is Riesling. I first tasted it when I spent the night over at my sister's home, where we talked for several hours and then had a lovely Dr. Who marathon.

It's not sickeningly sweet--far from it--but it has a nice light sweetness that appealed to me. Unfortunately, I left the bottle at my sister's home, so I can't tell you specifically which brand it was. Since I know absolutely nothing about wine, it was probably a really cheap bottle, and I'd be betraying my philistine nature if I were to tell you. Well pooh to that! Going forward, I'll tell you who the vintner was and how much it cost, if I know, and cheapness be damned.


My favourite coffee drink so far is one I get at a grocery store near work, where they sell Peet's coffees.  I'm completely in love with their brown sugar latte.  I know I've mentioned this before, but it deserves another shout-out.  The dark sugar perfectly complements the bitterness of the coffee. It's a wonderful beverage, and I highly recommend it.


At the cafeteria at work, Tuesdays are "Tropical Tuesdays." Instead of just plain old iced tea in the big dispenser, they have some kind of fruity tropical tea.  It's okay, I guess, but what I like about tea is the clean taste of it that lasts even when I put in a couple of packets of yellow sweetener.  The fruity tea doesn't really appeal to me.


When I stopped to pick up a bottle of wine last Friday, I also got some essential snacks for a sisters' slumber party (chips & dip, crackers, and chocolate).  I also decided that, since it had been at least 6 months since I last had ice cream, to indulge in that as well.  Ben & Jerry's is my favourite and I stood at the freezer section perusing the selection.  I was tempted by some kind of Heath bar crunch, because I love toffee. But then I saw it, the perfect ice cream for a rebellious exmo: coffee Heath bar crunch! 

Oh. my. gosh.  That was incredibly good, especially when topped with a dollop or two of fudge sauce. When I'm finally in my own place, along with defiantly having a coffee maker, I will always have a container of coffee ice cream in my freezer.


My sister, who loves me, made a pot of coffee for us with our father's Gevalia coffee.  And she had the peppermint mocha creamer, which made my two cups of coffee bliss on earth.  Along with the coffee, I ate a piece of raisin-bread toast.

And we talked some more, and attempted to watch another episode of Dr. Who, and I decided that I had to have another bowl of ice cream before I left it behind me.  She wanted some, too, so I fixed us up a couple of bowls.

So by 11 a.m. I had consumed two cups of coffee and a bowl of coffee ice cream.  I was buzzed. I was beyond buzzed.  I stopped at Ross to do a little shopping, and I was going at hyper speed, talking to myself because I couldn't stop myself. The buzz didn't wear off until halfway through Thor (Can I marry Thor? And coffee ice cream? We could have a delicious menage-a-trois...)

Hi. My name is aintnomonomo, and I'm a coffee addict. I'll tell you all about it while I enjoy a nice cup of coffee.


When I was a little kid, I lied incessantly, particularly when I was in trouble. My parents tried to beat into me that if I did something wrong and lied about it, the punishment would be worse than if I did something wrong but confessed to it.  Oh man, I tried, but I was always scared, so I lied anyway. 

For example, my dad had a huge jug full of old pennies, and I pilfered the pennies to go get chips and candy, and once I even pulled out enough to buy a bikini.  I still shudder to think of the poor sales clerk who had to count out $20 worth of pennies.  I'm sorry. Honestly.  Anyway, I was too dumb to realize that of course my parents would notice the diminishing supply of pennies, so I was genuinely surprised when I got called on the carpet about it. And yes, I lied and continued to lie despite the preponderance of evidence against me. Finally in disgust my mother said she hoped I'd get sick at my stomach.

Ever since, if I'm lying, I get sick at my stomach. Thanks, Mom.

That doesn't really stop me from lying, though. Some lies are completely instinctive, like when one bishop asked me if I masturbated, and my "No!" sprang from my lips before I knew what was happening. I didn't really think it was any of his business.  And I also will now shamefacedly admit what I never admitted to anyone before, until my sister E and I were talking about it the other night, but for a long time I honestly believed the reason I couldn't have kids was because I masturbated.  I mean, what else do you do in a sexless marriage?  Ironically, all of the medications I'm on now for a disorder that was diagnosed 4 years ago have taken away most of my sex drive.

Other lies are the ones where I'm trying to conceal something.  Shoes? What shoes? Oh, those shoes! But since I buy my shoes with my personal money, it's none of his damn business.  (Oh dear, when I'm living on my own I won't be able to buy shoes like I can now. A sad thought, that.)  And he no longer knows how many books I buy, since I buy most of them in nook format, so thank goodness for that. 

And I write stories about liars. Because, as I say, I'm fascinated with lying. What makes me lie just for the sheer pleasure of it? If I'm lying for fun, I can frequently get away with it. If I'm lying out of self defense, however, I'm a lousy liar, and it makes my stomach hurt.

The reason I'm thinking about lies is because I have been reading lately about the mormon phenomenon of "lying for the Lord." 

Funny. I thought Psalms condemned the liars. (Aintnomonomo goes and checks.)  Yep. Here it is. I'll even put it in the "correct as long as it is translated correctly" translation of the bible (emphasis my own):

He that worketh deceit shall not dwell within my house: he that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight. (Psalm 101:7)

Let their lying lips be silenced, for with pride and contempt they speak arrogantly against the righteous.  (Psalm 31:18)

So does Proverbs:

A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, (Proverbs 6:17)

A false witness [that] speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren. (Proverbs 6:19)

A faithful witness will not lie: but a false witness will utter lies. (Proverbs 14:5)

There are plenty more, but I think you've got the point.  But wait--the mormon church only believes the bible if it is translated correctly.  They do, however, believe the book of mormon without qualification. What does it say about lies?

The ancient, he is the head; and the prophet that teacheth lies, he is the tail. (2 Nephi: 19:15)

Or do ye imagine to yourselves that ye can lie unto the Lord in that day, and say—Lord, our works have been righteous works upon the face of the earth—and that he will save you? (Alma 5:17)

Wo unto the liar, for he shall be thrust down to hell. (Nephi 9:34)

And there shall also be many which shall say: Eat, drink, and be merry; nevertheless, fear God--he will justify in committing a little sin; yea, lie a little, take the advantage of one because of his words, dig a pit for thy neighbor; there is no harm in this; and do all these things, for tomorrow we die; and if it so be taht we are guilty, God will beat us with a few stripes, and at last we shall be saved in the kingdom of God. (2 Nephi 28:8)

I could go on, but I won't. Suffice it to say that mormon scriptures make it pretty clear that lying is not a good thing.

Well, what do the mormon leaders have to say on the subject of truth and lies?

In 1981, Boyd K. Packer told an audience that writers and church history teachers that they don't need to tell everything, saying "[s]ome things that are true are not very useful." 

For whom are they not useful?  For the countless people who would otherwise read the whole truth, and decide for themselves whether TSCC is actually true or not? For TSCC who would lose out on all that lovely tithing money?  I'm just asking.

There are plenty more quotations from the morg leaders about lying for the Lord, and you can go check them out here.

I guess their mothers never wished they'd get stomach aches when they lied.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

More Thoughts on my Marriage

My husband thinks he has the gift of prophecy. He tells me that he's never wrong about things.

Except for the times that he can't find his keys because he left them in his car and somebody stole them, or he left them in the front door and somebody stole them, or people have hidden cameras in our house and are monitoring his every move.

He also always knows what's best for me. Back when my youngest sister A. needed a place to live, I immediately said yes. And even though everything kind of went to hell in a handbasket, I don't regret it. I'm glad I got to have that time with her, especially considering that her life was tragically cut short.  But he was against it, and I fought him every inch of the way. Even now, when we talk about that situation, he claims he was right and if I'd only listened to him it would have saved me a lot of heartache.

I'm not saying I'm a perfect wife. Far from it.  I hate cleaning and housework. I've been known to keep up with things, though, when the house/apartment was in a condition in which I could do so and when I had time to do so.  It was frankly a lot easier to be a good housewife when I didn't have a job, and was just going to college. I also hate talking about things that stress me out. Maybe it's the bipolar (I'm bipolar II, and on 3 different medications for it), but when he starts getting stressy with me, I get really antsy and nervous and just flat hate it.  I also have anxiety, and a little agoraphobia, although oddly enough that's starting to improve, so I haven't accompanied him when he goes out on the weekends to catch some music.

He wants so much to protect me that he denies me the right and privilege of thinking for myself, learning for myself, and making my own mistakes without years of recriminations. I think that's the thing I hate the most.  Ten years after something happened, and when he gets mad at me he brings it up.  It's like I can never get away from it.

So now that I've been all critical, let me tell you some of the good things.  He'd literally give you the shirt off his back if you need it.   We have a former neighbour who was really in a bad, bad place, and my husband took him out and got him some decent clothes, gave him a little cash to see him through, and drove him around to run some errands. Our food storage (a subject on which he is obsessed) ends up being given to some close friends of ours on a fairly regular basis. He's a brilliant musician. He loves his family.

So how can I love someone so much, and loathe him so much at the same time?

So How Do I Do This?

I really want to be apart from my husband. Not because I don't love him, but because things are just beyond weird and also, I think, he's hiding behind me instead of boldly going after what he wants from life.  And I will confess to being really over his attempts to control me, his near-constant barrage of criticism under the guise of "just trying to help" me, and now his sad fretting about how it's his fault that I no longer believe in the one true gospel.

I've figured up all the finances, how much I need to get into an apartment, get some basic furniture and household supplies. I found an apartment I like. They have a unit that would be available in early August.

But I don't want to be uberbitch, breaking his heart. We've had trial separations twice in the past, and I couldn't wait to get home. My mother doesn't know the whole story, and she definitely does not know that I've left the church, so she sent me an email telling me basically to stay with him, and shared some of her marriage problems with details that not only made me throw up a little in my mouth, but also made my eyes bleed. She thinks that this is like the two previous times.  What she doesn't understand is that this time it's all my own idea instead of a bishop telling me to leave. She doesn't understand how long I've been thinking about it and how thoroughly I've planned things out.

For this to happen in August, I'd need to stop my contribution to our family budget in order to get the money saved up for my deposits, rent, the basics to furnish the flat with.  I also need him to agree to continue paying for the car until it's paid off, because I can't afford all my own living expenses as well as the car payment. There's only a year or so left on the car.  I also get a bonus from work every February. So I thought well, if I can stick it out until then, that gives me almost a year to get some good savings built up, to where I wouldn't have to remove my income from our family budget until I moved.

And then he acts like an asshole when I get home from work, and all my positive thoughts about sticking it out go right out the front door.

What does this have to do with my leaving the church? A lot, actually.  It's helped me to put things in perspective.  For example, one day we were discussing Joseph Smith and his prediliction for marrying women who were already married (ok, he had a prediliction for marrying anyone he set his eyes on, whether they were married, or teenagers, or whatever), and I asked him what he would do if Tommy Boy came to him and asked for me in marriage. My husband, tears in his eyes, said he would have to give me to him.  Boy howdy did that set me off!  I furiously told him that I am no man's property. 

My husband also has a tendency, whenever I express a thought or opinion that he disapproves of, to ask me who put that into my head, the implication being, of course, that I'm so easily swayed that I can't think for myself.

Our house is in a state of perpetual disrepair.  Our furnace and central air units went out years ago, and need replacing.  He put window air conditioners in, which actually work better to keep the house cool than the central unit did.  He got several space heaters. Well, let me testify to you that not only do space heaters NOT work to warm up our drafty house in the winter, it also costs a crapload of money to run them. We started redoing our main bathroom years ago, and it's still unfinished. I have been begging him to get these things done. For him they're just not that high priority. For me, it's a large portion of why I can never keep the damned house clean. I've been getting rid of my cluttery stuff every time he goes out of town (if he's in town, he either argues with me about what I'm getting rid of, or else goes through the bags and takes things out when I'm not looking), but his clutter is all over the house.

We have some water damage in the kitchen, so the floor area by the washing machine and by the back door has rotted, leaving damaged wood flooring. Our kitchen cabinets are falling apart.  It's hard to keep the kitchen clean, partly due to the falling apart cabinets, and also due to his filling the cabinets with stuff that doesn't really belong in them, thus leaving no room for the things that do.  F'rinstance, the cabinet between the sink and the refrigerator, where logic might dictate the glassware would belong, is basically a big medicine cabinet.  Another cupboard is totally full of spices, herbs, baking supplies, and whatever the hell else he thinks belongs there. That leaves me one measly cupboard for all the dishes and glasses. But wait!  Two-thirds of that is full of food.  So where the hell are my dishes supposed to go?  And yet I'm the one who gets yelled at because the house is a wreck.


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Don't Let the Door Hit You On Your Way Out...

Last night, stricken with insomnia, I was browsing the boards at Recovery From Mormonism (I think), and came across a thread where the original poster was asking what prepared people for their ultimate exit from TSCC.

That got me to thinking. What got me prepared? Because finding out Joseph Smith wasn't the gilded saint that he is proclaimed to be by the morg was just the last straw, not the first one.

One of the straws was my sisters, and when I say sisters, I mean not only those who are born or adopted into my family, but my closest and dearest friends. I had a crisis of faith several years ago, and managed to pull through it thanks in no small part to my husband.  But my sisters taught me to speak up for myself, to explore, to find things out on my own instead of letting people spoon-feed me pablum (ahem, milk before meat, anyone?).

Another straw was, yes, I was offended.  Deeply offended, in fact. On its own, it was not enough to get me to leave, but it definitely got me partly out the door.  It offends me (heh) when TBM's automatically assume that people leave the church either because they were offended, or because they want to sin.  But I can't help but wonder why that's a problem if it is part of the reason.  One of my sisters (A.) moved in with me and my husband back in '04, I think. No one in my family wanted me to let her move in, due to her habit of using people and her drug habit, among other things, but I stood firm.  I flew out to Utah and drove back with her. She was pregnant, and initially indicated that she wanted me to adopt the baby.  Then she was going to place him for adoption through LDS social services. Then she was going to keep it.  Through all of that, I consistently told her to do what she felt best about, and I'd support her. Yes, I'd have loved to have a baby. But if she felt that he would be better off in another family, I didn't have a problem with that at all.  Anyway, she decided to move back to Utah before she gave birth, because, she said, she didn't want me to bond with him afterward only to have my heart broken when she ultimately moved out, as would happen eventually. And I supported her.  Then on Father's Day that year I called my stepfather (hereafter referred to as The Whale, for reasons that will amuse my sister E.) to wish him a happy father's day, only to be informed that (a) my A. had given birth; (b) the adoptive parents were at the hospital with them; and (c) the adoptive parents were from my ward. It turned out that not only were the adoptive parents from my ward, the father was our home teacher.  Yes, the home teacher whom I had told before A. moved out with us that she was going to let us adopt the baby, the home teacher who knew how heartbreaking the infertility nightmare had been for us, the home teacher who, coincidentally, quit coming to visit our home.  Let me be perfectly clear: I was NOT offended that A. placed the baby for adoption, even with that family. I WAS offended that neither A. nor LDS social services nor our home teacher bothered to tell us. I don't know the reasoning. All I can tell you was that I would have recognized that baby the first time I laid eyes on him, as he looked exactly like his half-sister. Finding out the way I did devastated both me and my husband. I didn't talk to A. for a year, and when I was ready to talk to her, she got killed in a horrible chain of circumstances that I will not go into here and now.  So yes, there was deep offense because of that. And I don't think it's wrong for me to have been offended. It was painful beyond anything I can describe.

Another straw was me finding my own voice. Previous to and immediately after the IVF failed, and I lost my babies, I was trying to be perfect. I mistook the culture of the church for the gospel and doctrine of the church. So I tried to be Molly Mormon incarnate. I had cutesy crafty crap all over my house. I can't bear to look at photos of myself from that era, because they make me gag.  But one Sunday, post IVF failure, I was sitting by myself in sacrament meeting, listening to another excruciatingly boring talk. All of a sudden I felt this burst of inspiration, and I got out a pen and scribbled all over the sacrament meeting program.  Basically I was told to quit wasting my time waiting for something that might never happen (I'd put off a good many things because I was "going to be pregnant then, and would have to give it up/drop out/etc."), and figure out what I wanted and do it.  I realized that I loathed all the cutesy crafty crap, and got rid of it, much to my husband's dismay. I threw out the clothing that made me look like I don't know what, but anything but attractive.  I hung a Picasso print in my bathroom and a Dali print in my hall. I wore leopard print skirts and/or scarves. I changed my name (a process that took several years, and was finalized by my incredibly awesome sisters as a birthday gift a few years ago). And I started speaking up for myself.  Needless to say, all of my so-called morg friends, with two notable exceptions, dumped me.

Another straw is people's judgments of my husband.  Now he drives me up the fucking wall, and I'm still trying to figure out a way that we can amicably separate and probably divorce. But, and this is a huge but, I really, really love him. He's got some issues that make being married to him painfully difficult, issues that have garnered some really negative judgments from people who claim to be holy and worthy of temple recommends and worthy to become gods and goddesses in the mormon celestial kingdom.  As he used to frequently say, in regards to why he doesn't go to church, who wants to hang out with people who hate you? Does this come under the "being offended" category? If it does, then two strikes there. We're offended.

Some other straws include how horribly boring the meetings are, how you have no input as to where you worship, the stupid word of wisdom that prohibits some things that have actually been scientifically proven to be good for you, but the members focus on those clearly delineated things and ignore the things that really would make them far more healthy (every now and then I'd do a homemaking class on vegetarian meals, and no one came to them).

The final straws, as I say, were the things I just recently discovered. Joseph Smith being a sexual predator and a hebephile. The fact that the book of mormon was not "translated" per the images presented by the church, but by Smith sticking his head in a hat. The fact that the book of mormon was not "translated" at all, but written by Smith and perhaps others, and plagiarized from other sources. The lying under oath pertaining to plural marriages. Changing doctrine. Changing the temple ceremonies. Changing the text in the book of mormon. The poor treatment of women and blacks and homosexuals. The church overstepping its boundaries as a religious/charitable organisation and doing everything possible to push prop h8 through (I still want to know why it hasn't lost its tax exempt status over that).  The fact that while there are people in the world who have no food, no clothes, no shelter, and instead of feeding, clothing, and sheltering them, TSCC is spending billions of dollars on malls, temples which are so poorly attended as to make them serious leeches of funding, luxury condos, etc. There are more straws, and the more I study and learn, the more straws I will find. But they won't matter, because this camel's back has been broken and I will never believe in the morg or TSCC or Joseph Smith as anything but a loathsome person who perpetuated great evils.

I'm finding myself moving more and more to an agnostic point of view.  I don't presume to know or understand the nature of a god, if god there be. I see people doing good, even those who aren't motivated by fear or pride, and I see people doing evil, even those who proclaim to worship their god. If there is a god truly telling people to do such evil things, then I want no part of that god. I remember in the last book of the Narnia series, where a warrior from the bad guys is in heaven, searching for his god, and Aslan tells him that no good deeds can be done in that god's name, just as no evil deeds can be done in Aslan's name, so that goodness brings you to Aslan and evil takes you to that other god. So I'll just keep doing my best to do good according to the dictates of my conscience, and hope that whatever god there be, if there is one, will account them to my credit in the reckoning of my life.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Worst. Calling. Ever.

Amy wanted us to post about our worst callings.  Honestly, aside from the tedium of so frequently being called to play piano, most of my callings weren't too bad, and there were some that I downright loved, like being counselor in the Young Women presidency. That's the only calling where I actually cried when I got released, because I loved it so very much.  Working with the Beehives was so much fun.

But two callings stand out when I look back at some, well, not-so-pleasant callings.

The first was when, as a fairly new member of the church, I was called to be Singles YA rep for the family ward I attended with my Mom and siblings. I was always very shy and quiet, and this calling was agonizing for me.  I mentioned a few posts back about a dance I was responsible for, where 3 people were there, one of whom was my friend and another was the male Singles YA rep for our ward, and the last was me. It was horrible. I obediently went to dances even though I was an overweight clumsy shy afraid-of-her-own-shadow type of person, and I was the perfect epitome of the wallflower. I remember once getting up my nerve and asking some guy to dance, and he shot me down. His excuse: it was Stairway to Heaven, and he wouldn't dance to that song because if you played it backwards there were satanic messages. I slunk back to my corner, red-faced and shamed because I dared ask him to dance to a song that was obviously so inappropriate but at the same time wondering why, if it were so inappropriate, were they playing it at a church dance.  And I will confess that I always thought the idea of playing records backwards and hearing satanic messages was just kind of stupid. I mean, who plays records backwards? Anyway, I don't remember the details of being released from that calling. I think I just sort of stopped doing it because it was such a disaster, and then I moved, and it didn't matter anymore.  Hated that calling. That's one that had they ever tried again to call me to something similar, I would have refused it.

Another calling that was pretty sucktastic was that of ward young women's camp director. I actually enjoyed working with the young women, and the pre-camp stuff was all right.  Camp itself, though, yuck. I didn't get to be with the girls from my ward, and the girls I was responsible for came from a ward in a posh area, and they were snotty little stinkers. I got badly sunburned. I had trouble sleeping at night.  My period started. And then there was the hike--the really, really long hike, and I collapsed and couldn't go any further and had to be picked up and hauled back to camp to spend time in the infirmary cabin. I think I had mild heat stroke.  I was never so happy to get home in my life!

Other callings included relief society teacher, sunday school teacher, primary teacher, nursery leader, activities committee chair, visiting teaching supervisor, visiting teaching coordinator, primary pianist, relief society pianist, "sister friendly" in primary, and whatever the primary thing for girls (like mutual only for primary aged girls) was called, I don't remember now.  It wasn't a calling, but I was in the choir in most of my wards as well.  Serving was fun, and/or beneficial, in most of the callings, and I don't think I complained. I was pretty good at keeping my thoughts to myself.

So there's my story. What's yours?

Friday, May 13, 2011

When I Was a Child...

When I was in my teens, I drank like a fish. Well, a fish who only needs a little bit of alcohol to get plastered.

Now, in my late 40's, I drink a little. A glass of wine once a week, a few sips of a mixed drink if I'm out with my sisters on a weekend night.

But my husband is convinced I'm an alcoholic, and my stepmother is upset with my sister "for letting" me drink wine.  WTHF?????

I think most people, if not all people, do things when they're young and foolish that, presumably, go away in time as they grow up and mature and understand more and more of life. I'm definitely not the same person I was at 19. I go to work every day, whether I want to or not. I pay my bills. I'm not out partying all weekend.

But I'm also not the same person I was six months ago. I no longer believe that a church whose originators were liars, sexual predators, dishonest people can possibly be a true church, if such a thing even exists. I no longer believe that it's necessary to pay 10% or more of my gross income to said church (not that I ever consistently managed to do so anyway, as it never did seem logical).  I no longer compare myself to a long laundry list of shoulds, and get sick at my stomach because I am not.

I don't know what's going to happen tomorrow, much less six months from now. I highly doubt the rapture will occur on May 21, 2011, if there even is such a thing, but if it does and is, then I guess I'll find out along with everyone else.

I've been reading a lot of athiest and agnostic bloggers lately. I'm not sure that I would identify myself as such, but I don't know where I would identify, so that's not the point. The point is that a lot of them seem to be stating that they don't need to believe in a god, who may or may not exist, in order to have ethics and morals. They don't kill people not because a god tells them not to; they don't kill people because it's not the right thing to do. They don't need articles of faith to tell them what they do and don't believe.

In fact, just for fun, let's look at the mormon articles of faith.

  1. We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.  I think I still believe in this, but I'm not sure.
  2. We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam's transgression.  Not too sure about this. I'm not saying that I believe we'll be punished for Adam's transgression. I am saying that I think we learn from our mistakes, and I'm not sure how I would define sins. Moral transgressions? Behaving unethically?  Persecuting my neighbour because s/he doesn't believe the same thing as I believe? I believe in natural consequences to our actions. I'm still thinking about this one.
  3. We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.  If there is a Christ, which right now I still sort of believe there is, I believe that all mankind may be saved by his goodness, grace, and mercy.
  4. We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost. I don't know about this one. My definition of repentance is now highly different from that prescribed by TSCC. If I'm behaving in a way that makes me, or others, unhappy, then I need to find a better way. If that's repentance, then sobeit. But if I'm behaving in a way that makes me and/or others around me happy (and I'm talking about genuine happiness here), even if it's something forbidden by the church, I don't know that there's anything to repent for. And I certainly don't think that once you repent and turn away from something and are forgiven, that forgiveness is wiped out if you return to your former ways.  I know that I have a hard time learning things the easy way, and sometimes it takes a lot more effort to change a bad habit.  
  5. We believe that a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof.  Who knows that God is doing the calling?  I've referred to this before as I've asked how prophets can be sure that what they're hearing/feeling is actually God and not heartburn?
  6. We believe in the same organization that existed in the Primitive Church, namely, apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists, and so forth.  See my comments for article 5.
  7. We believe in the gift of tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions, healing, interpretation of tongues, and so forth.  Long years ago, I was despairing at my apparent infertility.  Having a husband who's not particularly interested in sex didn't help, of course, and nor did the raging case of endometriosis that I was sure I had but no doctors would listen to me.  But my mother told me she had a vision of my husband holding our child.  I prayed to have the same vision, and I eventually did.  Well, guess what? I never had a child. So was that just wishful thinking?  I'm inclined to think that it was.  Of course, there's no way to prove that, and there may be people who would tell me that we forfeited that blessing by our disobedience.  But see, I don't think people get to have children because they're good, and I don't think they're prevented from having children because they're bad.  I think that sometimes shit just happens, or doesn't happen. Like when I did in-vitro fertilization. I had perfect faith. I'm serious. I had no doubt whatsoever that it would work, and I would give birth to twins, a boy and a girl.  When they were only able to retrieve 3 viable ova, I was sad but still knew that I was going to have twins. When one of the fertilized eggs died before it could be transferred, I was sad but still knew that I was going to have twins.  When I started bleeding several days after the embryo transfer, I was sad but still knew that I was going to have twins.  But there came a point, where I was bleeding heavily enough to know that my dreams of motherhood had come crashing down around my head, when I had to accept that it wasn't going to happen. And it didn't.
  8. We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.  Who decides whether the Bible is translated correctly? What are the original sources? Who knows for sure whether all the prophets in the Bible truly spoke for God? And I definitely do NOT believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.
  9. We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.  Possible. But my questions have not yet been answered to any degree of satisfaction.
  10. We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be built upon the American continent; that Christ will reign personally upon the earth; and, that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory.  My patriarchal blessing tells me that, amongst other things like being a mother to my children, I am to be a gatherer of the tribes.  And my husband firmly believes the lost tribes live under the polar ice cap. Hmmm.
  11. We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.  How kind of you to allow me to decide who and what and how to worship.
  12. We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.  Oh really?  Read the newspapers lately?  Because I'm not really seeing this.
  13. We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.  Not bad. I don't agree that the church is actually following this so-called article of faith, however. Denying people the right to be married isn't what I call doing good to all men. And I'm guessing there was a deliberate reason Smith chose the word "men" there, because they certainly haven't believed in doing good to all women.  And I'm not sure why the word "all" is in this article, because they do not do good to homosexuals and members of other races. Okay, yes, gays can hold the priesthood as long as they're not actively pursuing the homosexual lifestyle, and a while ago the profit said blacks could hold the priesthood after many years of being told that they were the seed of cain, their dark skin was a curse, and even those blacks worthy of the celestial kingdom would be at best servants there, but that was better than anything else.
Here are my articles of faith:

1.  I believe in acting with integrity. If my words match my actions, which match my core values, that's integrity.  And I actually believe I'm doing better with this one as an exmormon.

2.  I believe in trying to make the world a better place for my presence in it.  I may not be able to make huge earth-shattering contributions, but if I can help the homeless guy on the street corner or the cute kid down the block, that's a good thing.

I think that kind of covers it all, for me.  I remember one day, I think I was 20 or so, I had a sudden understanding of how to solve all of the world's problems: love thy neighbour as thyself. If we all start with loving ourselves (not putting ourselves behind home and family, for instance), and then spread that love outwards, remarkable things can happen.  Yes, people will still get sick, people will die, earthquakes and tornados and floods and tsunamis will still happen, planes will still crash every now and then.  But life here would be so beautiful that when it's our time to go, we can go in peace because we've enjoyed our lives in this beautiful world.

I didn't mean to go on so long. Blogger's being down yesterday and this morning meant that I had a pent-up accumulation of thoughts that I needed to express. If you've made it that far, you have my warmest and heartiest regards and thanks.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Great Expectations

For if a preest be foul, on whom we truste,
No wonder is a lewed man to ruste;
And shame it is, if a prest take keep,
A shiten shepherd and a clene sheep.
Wel oghte a preest ensample for to yive,
By his clennesse, how that his sheep sholde lyve.
. . .
To drawen folk to hevene by fairnesse,
By good ensample, this was his bisynesse.
But it were any persone obstinat,
What so he were, of heigh or lough estat,
Hym wolde he snybben sharply for the nonys.
A bettre preest, I trowe, that nowher ys.
He waited after no pompe and reverence,
Ne maked him a spiced conscience,
But Christes lore, and Hise apostles twelve
He taughte, but first he folwed it hymselve.
I think Geoffrey Chaucer was a very wise man. Here he condemns lewd and filthy (shiten) shepherds attempting to lead snowy flocks. He says that priests should practice what they preach. He says sinners (obstinate people) should be reproved sharply, and quickly, no matter whether they're rich or poor. He says that priests should not seek after pomp, but should quietly go about doing God's work.

I always liked Pope John Paul II, even though I've never been a Catholic.  But it troubles me to realize the extent of cover-ups that continued as much during his papacy as they did for who knows how many years previously. I wonder how much he knew about what was really going on, and can't help but think it's an even bigger problem than we know yet.

Mormons may think that cover-ups of that nature don't go on in TSCC. I didn't, and if someone shared an anecdote with me, I didn't believe them, or if I did, I thought it was a rare circumstance. I no longer think so. And it's not just sexual abuse being carefully hidden behind closed doors.  If Mark Hoffman hadn't gotten antsy, how long would his forgeries have been covered up? The Mountain Meadows Masscre?

I don't know yet what church, if any, I will end up deciding to attend. If I do start going to a church, it will be one with leadership like Chaucer describes. I've had enough of shiten shepherds.

(Disclaimer: This is not intended to imply that every leader in TSCC is shiten. Many of them are kind, loving, honest, and honourable people whom I have loved and respected.)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


When I got home from work yesterday, I was tired, stressed, overworked, and frustrated. Plus the Infernal Revenue Service keeps sending us bills telling us that we underpaid our taxes. They're up to insisting we owe them about $2500, and I can't figure out why, because I always use the same tax preparation software, follow all the rules. I mean, I don't need an "article of faith" to encourage me to be honest, except, as I said before, about shoes. I'm just sayin'.

Anyway, so I had barely gotten inside the front door when my husband started. I must be doing something wrong. He needs this done right away. We have to do this. Blah blah blah. I also have a writing project I'm trying desperately to finish. I'd hoped to finish it over the weekend, and didn't make it.  I'm really hoping I can finish it today and get it off my plate and out of my life. Taking the assignment was a mistake, but sometimes mistakes are made and you learn from them and move on.

When I got frustrated with him he started accusing me of being an alcoholic. Because of all the wine, you see. There was a 4-pack of some small bottles of white zinfandel in the fridge. There were also 2 other bottles of wine in the fridge: one was some kind of spritzer thing that if I'd realized it was a spritzer I wouldn't have bought it; the other was a "Southern sweet tea" wine thingie, and I'd poured out a glass, took a few sips, didn't like it, and poured out the glass. I just hadn't gotten around to getting rid of the bottle.  (For the record, he seemed to be more shocked about the tea than the wine. Go figure.)  And there was a bottle of Sangria on the counter. So sue me. I like sweetish wines. He told me that he had poured out all the wine. Well, he let me keep the small bottles of zin, but he poured out everything else. 

Dude, I lost it. I said that he has no more right to get rid of my things than I have to get rid of his things. And I am not going back to believing in TSCC. When I said this, he said that it was his fault, because he was asking questions that led to my research that led me to the conclusion that there is no way the LDS corporation is the true church. I told him I'm glad he asked the questions, because I don't want to spend the rest of my life in servitude to something that only brought me pain.

Anyway, he said if I'm going to drink wine to drink expensive wine. Good wine. Buy it at this certain upscale grocery store he likes. WTF? Why shouldn't I drink what I want to drink?

I'm glad he didn't find the honey mead and the sweet shiraz I hid when I saw that he had come home.  He may be going out of the country this week--I'm praying to the powers that be that it actually comes to pass--and I'm telling you, I'm going to throw a lush bath bomb into the tub and drink a huge glass of wine that night!!

He wants to stay married. He also wants to live his life the way he wants to live it. Those two things, for me, are mutually incompatible. Basically he wants to eat his cake and have it too.  We had another long talk yesterday before I returned to my writing project. I don't want to stay married if he wants to live his life the way he wants to live it.  I'm definitely not telling him what he should do--I did that for 18 years, and it accomplished absolutely nothing. Now I'm of the opinion that if that's what makes him happy, then I need to move out of the house and let him follow his own inclinations.  It'll take a bit--we've obviously got to come up with an extra $2500 to pay the IRS what they say we owe, and I've got to save up some money for apartment deposit, any utilities, etc.

But I have to say I'm really looking forward to having my own place. It will be lovely to go home at the end of the day, with no one there telling me how to live my life, and what I should do, and what I shouldn't do, and taking steps to ensure that I don't do what I shouldn't do. If I want to have a cup of coffee on Sunday morning, I can have a cup of coffee on Sunday morning. If I want to have 20 bottles of wine, then I can have 20 bottles of wine and no one will go and pour them out.  If I want to drink a glass of iced tea--heaven forbid!--I can drink a glass of iced tea. No one's going to be screaming at me because I dare to think for myself. No one's going to furiously ask who put that thought in my mind, because we all know that I am easily influenced by my friends. I can sleep in purple panties or leopard print panties with a tank top, and no one will glare at me because I'm not wearing my Jesus jammies.  Do you blame me for saying that it sounds like paradise?

The buck stops here. I'm standing firm. I hope that as we continue to talk things out, we can come to a mutual agreement that we need to part ways. But if not, once I've got enough money saved up, I will be leaving.