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Getting Engaged In A Way That Fits Us

Corinne and Luke: Engaged

As probably many of you have noticed, we just got engaged! And by “we” I mean Corinne, the writer of this blog and Luke, the guy she’s been with for like forever.  Something people may have also noticed is that we did this in a somewhat non-traditional manner. We figured that some people might have a few questions as to why we decided to take a different route when it came to kicking off our engagement so we figured we’d use this space to lay it all out. Keep in mind that we aren’t judging anyone else for doing it the traditional way, everyone is different and we believe that things like this are up to individual couples to decide what works best for them and for everyone else to respect that. When it came down to getting engaged for us we felt that the traditional “Man buys Woman a ring and asks her THE question” format didn’t fit well with our ideals and didn’t reflect the fact that this was a really important life changing decision that we were making together.

Environmental and Social Responsibility

We have always been people who care about the environment and the welfare of people around the world. It is important to us to involve those values in any important decisions we make and, as it turns out, when diamonds get involved it can get a little tricky. Diamond mining companies have a long and messy history of mistreatment of both people and the planet. This includes a wide variety of human rights violations and other shady practices including child labor,  using profits from the diamond trade to fund violent conflicts and a serious lack of concern with  environmental impact. While there are ways to find responsibly sourced diamonds, we weren’t really sold on the idea that we needed one anyway since especially true since, historically speaking, it’s a relatively new requirement.

A Diamond is… Forever?

Many people assume that the tradition of giving a diamond ring as a necessary part of the engagement process goes back forever but actually it only dates back to the 1930’s. While diamond rings were sometimes given as part of a proposal before then, it wasn’t that popular and certainly not considered a requirement until a very successful marketing campaign changed everything. In 1938 De Beers Consolidated Mines, Ltd., which essentially controlled all of the world’s diamond trade, had a problem. They had too many diamonds and not enough people willing to spend money to buy them. So they set out to manufacture the demand and hired N.W. Ayer, a New York ad agency to boost sales. The campaign worked. Through ads, school assemblies and carefully placed “fashion experts” talking about the new trend in diamonds, they were able to convince young adults and if they liked it they needed to put a ring on it. The concept of “a diamond is forever” was invented as a marketing slogan and boy did it stick. For us though, this marketing concept seemed rather unromantic and, combined with the ethical issues, convinced us to skip the ring.

SHE Said Yes

As feminists we felt weird about the fact that in the traditional engagement process a man spends a large amount of money to buy a pretty ring and then surprises the woman with a romantic gesture of popping the question. This means that the man has time to think about marriage and what he wants and when the right time might be and the woman just has to wait until she gets put on the spot and has to very suddenly make a very big decision. We feel that a marriage should be an equal partnership and that includes every part of it, even the very beginning, which means that this was a decision we felt we should make together.

The Importance of Partnership

We feel that this is something that needs to be discussed in depth and over time to continually make sure everyone is on the same page and that is exactly what we did. We spent many hours over the course of our relationship talking. We talked about the future, about where we wanted the relationship to go, about where we wanted to live, about how and if we might raise a family and a variety of other topics we felt would probably come up in a marriage. We wanted to make sure that this was the right choice for us and that came through a LOT of communication. This was a decision that we made together as a team which is how we want to do everything. That’s why we wanted to get married in the first place, we make a fantastic team.

So What’s the Alternative?

Once we decided we weren’t going the traditional route we had to decide what we were going to do instead. We decided that instead if Luke surprising Corinne with a question we would create a cute infographic about our relationship together and share it with our friends and family as a fun announcement. We still got the fun of a big surprise but in this case we both got to be a part of it. It was really enjoyable getting to share something we worked on together and watch everyone’s reactions to our happy news.

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Dear Winter, It’s Over

Illustration by Luke Mosher

Illustration by Luke Mosher

Dear Winter,

I hate that I have to write this but it seems that there is some confusion in your mind and I want to make one thing absolutely clear: we are OVER. I thought that we already had this talk. I thought you got the message. I thought we had agreed to move on with our lives. It appears you did not get the message.

I know I said we could still be friends and maybe that was my mistake. The situation we have right now is not working; you aren’t giving me the space I need. You’re waiting outside my apartment every morning, you bother me at work and even tried to hang out with me while I was out of town visiting my parents over the weekend. None of this is okay! And that snowstorm you gave me on Friday; not cool. Yes, there was a time (December) when I would have found it sweet, beautiful, romantic even, but to do it now is completely inappropriate. I don’t understand why you can’t see that. You need to let go. I HAVE MOVED ON.

Don’t get me wrong, you’re a great season. Lot’s of people really like you and there were a lot of things I really liked about you in the beginning. I was instantly attracted to your warm cozy sweaters, your hot coco, your sledding, your sparkling icy trees and your soft fresh blankets of snow. It was magical at first but eventually I realized that I didn’t really love you, I loved the idea of you. It was only fair to the both of us to end things when it obviously wasn’t working out. You deserve to be with someone who appreciates you for you.

I honestly wish you the best and I truly hope you find some happiness. Maybe someday we will be able to be friends again, but not now. Please stop trying to win me back and please do not attempt to contact me again.

Goodbye and Good Luck,

Corinne

Oh Dear God, Am I an ADULT Now?

I recently turned 25 and, according to all the crap my friends of a similar age post on Facebook, there are two important things you are supposed to do around that time. The first is to freak out and the second is to write lists about turning 25 and all the things you should have done by now, or should start doing or should definitely stop doing and then post the lists on the internet so 24-year-olds who haven’t reached their insightful list-making phase yet can share them on social media and say “OMG so true…” Not wanting to feel left out, I made a list of my own.  I’ve noticed that when you get to be my age certain things start to change and you begin to have these bizarre and terrifying moments when you start acting all adulty. You know it’s right but it feels so wrong. So here is a list of recent moments that made me think “Oh God! I’m an adult.”

1. When I meet new people we often ask each other what we do for a living. Like our jobs. Not our major or our weird hobbies. We all have jobs now. Real jobs.

2. I make a really big deal about going to bed on time.

3. My mom bought me an electric hand mixer for my birthday because I had mentioned that I needed one. When I thanked her for it over the phone she said that she felt bad since it was such an unexciting and practical gift. I explained that this did not count as practical since I would only use it to make utterly frivolous food like cake and not the nutritious dinners I usually cook.

4.  One of the top things on the list of “stuff I would get if I got a bunch of extra money” is a better vacuum cleaner.

5. I watch Jeopardy on a fairly regular basis.

6. I didn’t even have to Google how to spell Jeopardy.

7. While visiting my parents I realized that my loft bed, though cool, is really uncomfortable and makes my back hurt. I’d rather have a real bed now.

8. Certain kinds of candy taste too sweet to me now.

9. I drink almost exclusively water unless I’m giving myself a little treat in which case I drink herbal tea.

10. Sometimes I see people in TV commercials who I feel like are probably celebrities to the kids these days but I have no idea who they are.

11. I had to Google what the hell “fleek” was.

12. I made a spreadsheet to keep track of all my monthly expenses.

13. I hang out socially with people over the age of 30.

14. My LITTLE brother turns 21 this May.

15. I own more than one blazer.

16. I wear heels more often than sneakers now.

When to Unfriend

Sometimes I’m on Facebook and I realize that I should probably whittle down my friends list a bit. I mean how many of these people do I actually communicate with on anything like a regular basis? How many of them are actually even friends? I don’t “friend” anyone who I don’t know in real life but do I really need to keep track of that dude I met for like 5 minutes this one time in college and we’ve literally never spoken since? I don’t know that guy. And I’m pretty sure that guy doesn’t have any clue who I am.

I feel like the cut-off should be this: If I saw this person in real life, would I go talk to him/her or would I hide and avoid eye contact because I’m pretty sure they’ve forgotten I exist and we haven’t talked in years. If it’s the second thing I feel like they should probably get the axe.

But then I get the weirdest feeling…. If I delete these people, I’m really deleting them. Chances are that unfriending them means I’ll never see these people again, they would be 100% out of my life. I could even forget them completely if, as in most of these cases, I didn’t know them that well in the first place. In my mind they will have completely ceased to exist. I’LL HAVE REMOVED AN ENTIRE PERSON FROM MY BRAIN! What if I’m wrong? I can’t handle that kind of power!  What if we were always meant to be friends but now I messed everything up? What if they find out that I deleted them and feel sad? What if I feel sad but I can’t even remember why? What if they get a really adorable cat and I never get to see pictures of it? THERE ARE JUST SO MANY WAYS THIS CAN GO WRONG!

So in the end I almost always decide to keep them around and just wait until a day comes when I feel like playing God.

These Boots are Made for Whining

My Inner Monologue

I should probably buy a pair of boots. It’s gonna be fall soon so they’re starting to pop up in stores.  And I’ve been waiting  forever to get a particular kind.

You really shouldn’t be spending money.

But I saw some that were on sale!

A) You still can’t really afford them and B) They were probably on sale because they’re cheap crap that’s gonna fall apart real fast and then what?

But I’d have boots now… This is future me’s problem.

This is a bad plan. No. Future me needs to pay her loans.

But they’re cute! And… I’d wear them to work so they’re pretty much an investment.

You just got a pair of boots to wear to work, you don’t need another.

But those boots are grayish. I don’t have a pair of short dark brown boots. My wardrobe needs this.

You have two pairs of short dark brown boots.

True…technically… But one of them is too casual to wear to work and the other is fuzzy and warm on the inside and is only for winter.

How many boots could you actually possibly need?

One, two…three… wait do rain boots count? They serve a totally different purpose but I clearly need them.

I can’t even deal with you right now.

It’s not like you have a choice on that…

I think the solution is clearly that we just need to get the boots.

No. Don’t you realize how horribly guilty you’ll feel afterwards knowing that you spent money you shouldn’t have?

Or will I just feel happy because my boots are super adorable.

You tried them on yesterday and they didn’t even feel that good.

But they didn’t feel bad either. They fit well. Throw a little Doctor Scholls in there and it’ll be super comfy.

You realize that would make it cost even more money.

Technically yes but….

But what? You don’t even have anything.

Shhhhhh, I’m thinking. They’ed look really great at the Renaissance Faire.

You’re not even going to the Renaissance Faire because you can’t afford that either.

STOP KILLING ALL MY DREAMS!

Will you just leave it? You can’t have the boots.

But I want them.

Sucks doesn’t it?

Balls.

Peanut Butter Problems

Something terrible has happened. Something really, really terrible. I’m not sure if I’ll ever recover. Ok, so maybe I’m being slightly dramatic. But only slightly. If you really want to know what happened we’re going to have to go back to the beginning.

It started months ago when I was at the grocery store. I browsed the shelves carefully picking out the sundries on my list which, this trip, included peanut butter.  I plopped a jar in my basket and carried on with my shopping. It was only after I got home that I discovered that something had gone terribly, horribly wrong. As I reached to put the jar of peanuty-goodness on my shelf I noticed something amiss with the label. Upon closer inspection my darkest fears were realized. The peanut butter was CRUNCHY. Now I’ll admit that every so often when the planets are properly aligned I can enjoy a little bit of crunchy peanut butter but at no point have I ever had the desire to consume an entire jar of the stuff. In general I don’t like thingys in my orange juice, I don’t like walnuts in my brownies and I do not like crunchy in my peanut butter.

“How could this have happened?” I wondered to myself. I never make mistakes like this. I’m a really careful food shopper, when I was a teenager I would be sent to chaperone my older step-brother on food shopping trips because everyone knew I DON’T MAKE THESE KINDS OF MISTAKES.* I suppose even the best must make mistakes sometimes and now I had to pay for mine. I’m on a budget these days and even if I wasn’t I really hate wastefulness. I knew that if I went out and bought new creamy peanut butter that no one would eat the crunchy and it would sit there being wasted and junking up my shelves. Probably forever.  And so, surrendering to my circumstances, I made a vow; I would finish that damn peanut butter.

Days became weeks, weeks became months, fall became winter and finally spring. I ate the peanut butter but I ate it slowly. But finally, with summer on the way and the threat of unsatisfactory picnic sandwiches looming, I did it. I finished the jar. With a smile on my face I a scraped the last usable bits from the edges.  It was over. I was free. I was wrong.

Photo 6

Happy Corinne. Mission accomplished.

A few days later I found myself once again in the grocery store. After filling my basket with supplies for dinner I made my way to the peanut butter isle and grabbed a jar. I hesitated for just a moment before placing it in my basket. Something didn’t feel quite right. Slowly I turned the jar around and low and behold it was once again crunchy. How could this be? I could have sworn I was looking at the word “creamy” when I picked it up. Cautiously I placed it back on the shelf and picked up a jar with a different color label that definitely said “creamy” on it. Sure I had dodged a bullet I headed to the register confident that things were looking up.

I noticed it while I was putting the groceries away. While the jar I had brought home did say “creamy” it was not regular peanut butter, it was coconut & peanut spread. I was worried, I’ve never really been a fan of coconut. I can tolerate or even enjoy it sometimes but those are usually few and far between. Maybe I’d like it. Maybe I wouldn’t even taste the coconut.  There was only one way to find out.

So the next day, needing to grab a quick bite before catching a train, I quickly whipped up a peanut butter (well, technically peanut coconut & spread) and jelly sandwich. I took a bite. At first it was Ok. And then it wasn’t. A very strong coconut flavor filled my mouth. Way too strong. It tasted awful. There was no way I could finish this sandwich let alone an entire jar. I had Luke try it and he didn’t like it either. I was devastated.

Yucky.

Yucky.

That day I left to catch my train unsure of what I was going to do. After months of sticking to my guns and forcing my way through the crunchy, I was back to where I started. Only worse. I knew I couldn’t go on like this. A few days later I broke down and bought a new jar of regular creamy peanut butter. It’s delicious. I suppose things are better now, my sandwiches sure are, but that dammed jar of coconut and peanut spread still sits in my cupboard as a reminder of my failure. I’m pretty sure it’s mocking me.

Photo 14

#firstworldproblems

 

 

*In all fairness to my brother I should also mention that this was not the only reason I went with him. It was also to translate my mom’s grocery lists since I’m probably the only one who really knows how to read them.  For example, she might write “paper towels” but that means a specific brand of paper towels and GOD FORBID you come home with the ones with stuff printed on them.

Quotes From My Notebooks

When I was in college I was a very good student and consequently took a LOT of notes. I also had extra space in the notebooks after I graduated so I continued to use them for other things. Of course, being me, they have there own special style. I started looking back on some of them recently and found it amusing so I decided to share. The following are actual quotes from my notebooks.

 

“Is it a symbol setting fire to the curtains?”

 

“Nunneries

  • Get rid of your daughter so you don’t have to pay dowry”

 

“3:34pm Well that didn’t go far. Risky too risky. I have things to do. It is bitter cold outside. Thank goodness for my moose hat.”

 

“Syphilis Shows Up

  • got it from the new world
  • steam baths of mercury, that’s good” 

 

“Today show stripy shirt lady hello at beginning X” 

 

“Shit continues to go downhill for Rome”

 

“4:34pm Production class. Going over menus. Brain melting.”

 

“2. Geryon monster of fraud –> cool sounding big flying monster, interesting imagery.”

 

 


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