Friday, February 17, 2012

A Love Story: Part 2 (Make-up and Spaghetti: The Enemy)

I feel the need to clarify a little about my stance on pop culture. Let it be known that both Sponge Bob and Diary of a Wimpy Kid are welcome in our home. (Not preferred, but welcome. Kind of like you reluctantly welcome the annoying neighbor kid into your home and then they grow on you a little bit and finally you realize they aren't having too terrible of an influence on your child--they're just annoying.) The Office and Dr. Oz have a place on my tivo list (even if I don't get around to watching them). We own the complete DVD sets of Star Wars, Lord of The Rings, Pirates, and Harry Potter. I do Just Dance on the Wii with Elizabeth, and my firstborn spends most of her waking hours with headphones on listening to Owl City, Coldplay, and the Beatles. (I'm listening to the Owl City station on Pandora as I type: Neon Trees' "Animal"--did you know they're Mormon?) We're just selective about our pop culture, that's all. And again, I stand by my snobbish statement that certain segments of pop culture are really, really lame, shallow, and unintelligent. (Not like Diary of a Wimpy Kid . . .) Stuff that makes me fear for the general mental, moral, and emotional state of the masses. I'm talking Kardashians, Monster High dolls, vampires, Jersey Shore--random things I arbitrarily judge and designate as TRASH. (It's just my opinion, and everyone's entitled.)

The reality is--at least according to my dreams--I actually have quite an obsession with celebrities and fame. While I probably saw less than 10 full episodes of Oprah in all the years she was on the air, I have dreamt of having lunch with her backstage. Then there was that dream about me cutting Bono's hair. (No surprise, though. I kind of love him.) Heck, just the other night I had a dream about making a grilled cheese sandwich for Mitt Romney! (I'm not making this up.) And tonight? Well, I watched a little American Idol for about the 3rd time in my life. So I may as well ask: What TV shows/music would you recommend as the better side of pop culture? What's worth your time? Give me some recommendations!

I established my position as a woman not needing direction early on. 

I did this by showing up to the daily morning meeting when I was good and ready. The morning schedule outlined for the missionaries was ridiculous, not taking into consideration the time needed for a sister missionary to look halfway decent--like someone you would actually want to talk to. "Frumpy" was something you could easily slip into as a sister missionary, and I was determined not to go there. I deliberately eschewed bringing any of the dreadful waistless bag dresses on my mission. (What were they called?) They were quite popular among sister missionaries at the time, but I was afraid of growing into them if you know what I mean. (ALWAYS have a waistband! One of my mottos in life.) I have never been someone to leave the house without makeup on, and that wasn't going to change as a missionary. But doing my hair and makeup every morning meant I was occasionally (or was it frequently? chronically?) late to the morning meeting.

Reynolds Choro was a man of order and liked everyone to be on time. I told him I thought looking my best was a higher priority than being on time, but he disagreed. (He hadn't seen me without makeup on.) As the senior sister missionary he thought I should be setting a better example, so to help motivate me to be on time he thought up a clever little plan for "the people" who came late: They would have to sing a solo for everyone else when they finally showed up. He obviously didn't know me very well, because I have no problem making a fool of myself in public (kind of like it, actually--stories for another day), so I would simply walk in the door (late) singing! That was the beginning of many years of him not knowing what to do with me.

But our biggest run-in came on the day of the infamous spahetti dinner that wasn't.

Eikaiwa (English conversation class) was a free service we provided as missionaries every week, but it wasn't always at the top of our lists to be prepared with a really fabulous lesson since it wasn't that hard to wing it with Japanese people who hardly knew any Engrish. Most of them really just wanted to practice simple conversation. (And rub shoulders with cool Americans. Seriously, they really liked us, which always confused me because of that whole incident in Hiroshima . . . and also because they avoided us like the plague when we showed up at their doors with name tags on that said JESU KIRISTO.)

Technically, all missionaries were supposed to come a half hour early to prepare for Eikaiwa, but in reality, that didn't happen very often. Again, Reynolds Choro was a man of order and a man of the handbook, so he tried to solve this problem by having a special meeting in which he reiterated how important it was for all of us to come a half hour early to prepare, and then he committed each of us to do it.

Well, that next week when it came time for Eikaiwa, wouldn't you know it, but quite literally it was THE busiest day of my mission. I'm sure this isn't surprising, but the Japanese people aren't exactly knocking down the doors of Christian missionaries begging to be taught the path to salvation, but on this day I truly had teaching appointments all day long. After a very full day of teaching many sweet people and biking all over tarnation to get to them (on our extremely unattractive, gearless, Wicked Witch of the West bikes), Brimley Shimai and I were doing our best to get to that darn Eikaiwa preparation meeting, but we were famished and in serious need of some food. We grabbed some ingredients from our apartment to make a quick and simple spaghetti dinner at the church before Eikaiwa, which is exactly what we did. Honestly, what good was I going to be if I didn't have food in my belly? I would be a big, crabby mess, that's what. I may have even burst into tears in the face of some unsuspecting Japanese person simply because my blood sugar was low. I am a slave to sleep and food.

So there I was about to put the first bite of spaghetti into my mouth when Reynolds Choro came storming into the kitchen asking why his senior sister missionary wasn't downstairs for Eikaiwa preparation! (We were like 2 minutes late.) Well, I tried to explain the situation to him (thinking he might be impressed that we had teaching appointments all day long) and do you know what his response was? He reminded me of my commitment to be at Eikaiwa preparation, and then he physically took my spaghetti laden fork out of my hand and sent me downstairs like a scolded child! Like I said, I was a pretty serious rule keeper so I went with it (plus, I didn't want to give him the satisfaction of being able to say I was someone who didn't keep my commitments), but not before pointing out to him that I had FAR more contacts and appointments than he did so maybe he should think twice about trying to tell me how to do things. Oh, I was mad!

And how WOULD these two people ever fall madly in love and get married?

Another day, another story.

Happy Friday!


  1. I am so getting a kick out of your latest posts... please keep the love story coming. I know I've heard it before, but these details are just cracking me up! Love it!

  2. Gotta check out "The Voice" on NBC. Love the premise and pretty impressed with the talent! I can totally envision you and Brandon as missionaries in the same zone...

  3. I love this story! How funny! I'm really wondering how you two ended up getting married :) Also, I completely agree with you on the pop culture thing, but I definitely don't think you are snobbish; I just think you're bold in stating truth. There is a lot of junk out there! I haven't watched it all, and so I'm probably sticking my foot in my mouth by doing this, but I love "Once Upon a Time". I've watched just the first two episodes online, but it reminds me of the Plan of Salvation - ABC style ;) I love it, but I don't know if it goes downhill at some point?

  4. Oh my goodness Allyson, you are too funny. It reminds me a lot of my husband and myself but instead of numerous incidents like yourself, we only had one similar one. But I love it, without you even knowing, your perfect match, the guy that actually could make you better, was found!

    So as for good shows and such to watch (I know this post is kind of old), I have recently found a few shows that I really feel are amazing and less inappropriate than the awful stuff on our tubes these days. And I entirely agree with you on celebrity obsessions, you hate 'em, you love 'em, man, I used to go to Albertson's once a week and read UsWeekly with my BF and having left that former life, I still find myself drawn to it whenever i'm in line to buy something. It's just a sick sick obsession and such a waste of my life (I hate myself when I do it), and why do I care about them? I DUNNO! Anyway.. the good shows - check out Community, Downton Abbey, Suits, Once Upon a Time, and we also watch the Office. It sounds like a lot but our normal line-up only consists of watching shows available on hulu but since we're in Spokane for a year only (how am I going to make friends?!) and it's horrifically cold here, we decided to get cable and save ourselves the trouble of inviting ourselves over to acquaintances' homes to watch BYU games.

    Okay, if that's too many - please just watch Suits. I am currently obsessed with it and I can't believe how awesome it is. All of USA shows pretty much are. Ummm okay, I"ll stop stalking you for today. I hope you guys still live in Salt Lake or nearby cuz we're moving there in a year so I fully intend to become your friend once we do if you're around (borderline scary maybe?). Take care!


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