Friday, December 2, 2011

Throwing compost on the weeds

You know what's better than curling up to Cake Boss when you're sad? Curling up to Cake Boss while simultaneously eating cake batter.

I learned that from my daughter.

But that's not what she did when she found out that her friend had cancer. She did this:

Sometimes it makes you feel better to do nice things for the people who make you want to inhale cake batter.

I also learned that from my daughter.

There are other things, which I didn't learn from my daughter, that make me feel better. Like going to my happy place.

I call it my happy place, but it's actually just a bunch of big ol' fields between the two high schools my kids attend. My daughter wouldn't be caught dead calling a field her happy place, but my other daughter would.

That's right, Lulu and I have the same exact happy place. I'm not sure why we both love it so much. Maybe because it's full of weeds.

Beautiful weeds that grow tall and strong and bloom where they're planted, despite the fact that they're planted among a bunch of weeds.

When we get to our happy place I take the leash and harness off Lulu and let her run free.

I also take the leash and harness off my mind and let it run free to throw compost on the weeds.

Get a load of how artsy fartsy I look when my mind is throwing compost on the weeds.

(Btw, does this photo make my chin look hairy?)

So yesterday Lulu and I were in our happy place and my mind started roaming free about why I'm back here in Utah, and I realized that I'm here as a student, to learn a thing or two, and to challenge the Utah Mormon myths and stereotypes.

(I also came back because my hub was coming back, and I'm a follower if you ever did see one.)

Some of the things I've learned since I moved back to Utah are things I remember learning during my childhood, like how some people have way too much, and others don't have close to enough. But hey, that's life beyond Marxism, even for the Mormons.

Other things I've learned are personal things I've been trying to put my finger on for years, like why I never take anything edible from my MIL.

It's not her fault, it's her technique. She doesn't know how to sell the food she's offering. I'm talking about proper rhetoric. For instance, when offering a piece of cheese she should refrain from saying things like, "I already cut the mold off."

Aged to perfection. That's alls she needs to say. You get me?

Other phrases she should avoid include, "This fruitcake has been in my freezer since 1990," or "These nuts are bland and no one else will eat them, would you like some? I have plenty. No really, I have plenty."

And then there are the Utah stereotypes I've been busting. Like the one about Utah drivers. It is a mystery to me why we have such a bad reputation across the nation. I only see one problem with our driving and I don't blame us, I blame Harry Potter because he is the one who came up with that whole cloak of invisibility dealio.

Utards love the cloak of invisibility, though I concede we need to use it more responsibly when driving. See we don't use it to make ourselves invisible, but rather to make all the other cars on the road invisible. This is the reason our state song is that Beatles hit I'm Looking Through You.

Our cloak of invisibility allows us to become completely unaware of the great other. This is why we don't smile or wave you on, or let you turn in front of us, or scoot over when we are blocking your path. It's nothing personal, we just don't see you there waving hello with your middle finger.

This is also why our greatest crime on wheels is driving 25 mph in the fast lane without getting over.

Can you blame us though? Seriously, how else can we feel like were living in the fast lane without actually putting the pedal to the medal?

While I was in my happy place throwing compost on the weeds I think I may have also busted the myth about Utah's high depression and stress rate.

But I'll save that for next time.


Stephen said...

On your theory about Utah's high depression rate, I think the report was just showing the highest level of anti-depressant use in Utah. I have also heard that Utah has the highest level of suicides for Young men(?) 15-24 yrs. old range.

I would think that Utah is probably not all that different from other states, but people in other states can self medicate, with out as much guilt, using alcohol. Whereas in Utah the average Mormon feels too much guilt to dabble in alcohol but none with the use of anti-depressants.

Since becoming inactive I have tried alcohol and I found it to taste horrible and the feeling to be overrated. I have also been on Prozac years ago for a few months and it drastically stiffled my sex drive and mellowed out all my ups and downs but I just felt blahhh! So from an anecdotal point of view I didn't find either really successful.

Stephen said...

Sorry, Utah is not the highest in teenage suicides, but close.

Martha said...

I'm laughing at your Utah driving jokes. So Josh does have an excuse when he totaled the Buckoltz's car? It was because he was in Utah and the other driver was wearing an invisibility cloak.

Debra said...

Martha, yes, he is innocent. ha ha

Stephen, true that. In reality it's a complex issue. Of course Crash's theory goes in a completely different direction. ;)

The Crash Test Dummy said...

Dangit! That was me again. Professional me.

DeNae said...

All I know is, I've been rationing my anti-depressants this week cuz the soonest my new doctor could see me was next Wednesday. And I've basically been bawling for two straight days. So time for another pill. Then I won't mind when I'm invisible to everyone on the roads and - more significantly - in my ward. I think I'm here as a student, too. And I miss living in the weeds. Everyone around here just feels much too pruned and trimmed and blooming in just the right places. Where does a happy old weed like me fit in such a place? I AM glad I get to hang out with you regularly, though. Cuz you like the weeds just fine and you talk to them and don't walk away because you weren't really listening when they said, "So, where do you live?" and "Oh, we're neighbors!" and things like that. Too, too many sniffy weed haters in my world these days.

The Crash Test Dummy said...

Awwww DeNae, welcome to Utah. I thought Stansbury Park might be different. This comment struck a chord with me. Or was it cord? I thought you were untouchable. In a way you validated my own experience with this comment. There is a bright side, I've found, and that even though, as a whole, people are pruned, there are a bunch of weeds if you look hard enough.


Sandi said...

So sorry about your daughters friend. Good for her for going into action and being such a good supportive friend. I'm so glad you and Lulu have a happy place...what on earth would you do to survive that place if you hadn't found it? I do know several more "weeds" that occupy that state, so I know they are there, they might just be a little hard to find. Hope things start looking up and you don't have to feel sad anymore.

Dolly said...

So many things about this post to comment on. But I'll just leave it with two little thoughts:

I LOVE the photo of you in the field-- both photos actually but especially the first one.

Secondly, and this is kind of a metaphor-- I love the photos of the weeds and the weeds themselves much more than the professionally arranged flowers by Tatum. I realize there is a market for the perfectly balanced arrangements, but I've never been a fan. I always prefer cuttings from nature and weeds are some of my very favorite flowers. Your photos of them are amazing.