Mary Kay? Mary Nay!

I was invited to a Mary Kay party this week. It was easy to say no to, because I no longer live in the state where the party is being held.

But that’s not the only reason I’m not going. I have sworn never to go to a make-up sales party again.

Say Nay to Mary Kay!

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Random recollection

When I was about eight years old, Mom drove me and three other friends from church up to camp for the first time. Two of my friends were twins, and the other was no relation, and the three of them were comparing their stepfathers.

Realizing that I wasn’t joining in the conversation, one of them turned to me. “What about you, Ashley? Your stepdad seems really nice.” My whole family went to the same church, so they knew my parents, whereas they were generally brought by more distant family members or by the church van, so I didn’t know their parents.

“He’s not my stepdad,” I answered, surprised.

“You mean–he’s your real dad?” They looked as surprised as I was.

“Yeah.”

“You mean–” She dropped her voice and pointed at the driver’s seat. “She’s not your real mom?”

“Yeah, she is.”

Your parents are still together?!

“Yeah.”

“…Wow.”

We rode in silence for awhile after that. I don’t know who was more shocked, me or them. Even at that age, I knew it really said something when an eight-year-old assumed that EVERYONE’s parents were divorced before the kids were in third grade. Admittedly, these girls were from a slightly lower socioeconomic class, where shortness of funds and other problems were more likely to cause marital friction. But even so, every once in awhile I marvel over that conversation.

PS: My mom told me years later that she always remembered that conversation too, and that she had purposefully bitten her tongue and let us have that learning experience on our own.

PPS: This year, my parents celebrated their fortieth wedding anniversary.

Turning the Other Cheek

I’ve been reading this absolutely fascinating book called No God but One by Nabeel Qureshi. Qureshi was raised Muslim, and in an attempt to prove to his Christian friend that Islam was correct and Christianity was false, he did a great deal of research on the two religions and ended up converting to Christianity. In No God but One, he lays out the line of reasoning that led to his conversion.

It’s a great book, not only for the fascinating way he applies objective reasoning to the two faiths, but for the things he teaches the reader about both Islam and Christianity. As a devoted Christian who has done a bit of reading on my own faith, I was pleasantly surprised to be learning such paradigm-shifting information on Christianity. And one point has particularly stood out to me: Qureshi’s arguments for Jesus-as-pacifist.

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New Political Paradigm

Anybody who’s been on Facebook in the last twelve months knows it can be a political minefield. And that minefield hasn’t stopped exploding, even though the election’s over. Posting anything political to Facebook is extremely risky, because you’ve got a wide range of friends and acquaintances on there, many of whom are not afraid to disagree with you–volubly–if you post something they don’t like.

Meanwhile, our society becomes more and more politically extreme, splitting between Reps and Dems, often more interested in sticking it to the other guy than to getting things done.

I’m looking at you, Congress.

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Counting My Blessings?

I’m sure we’ve all heard it a million times: when we’re all pessimistic and depressed, people tell us “It could be worse” and “count your blessings.”

Have you ever tried to count your blessings? I have. In my experience, it only actually makes you feel good if you were feeling pretty good to begin with. When I’m feeling depressed, the list starts to look like, “Well, I don’t have my health, so not that. My parents are still alive–and I’m living with them. I have money for food–but not to get my own place. I have green in the spring–but it’s fall now–and squirrels and birds and… welp, I’m out of ideas.” When something really bad is hanging over me, it seems like that one big bad thing tends to overshadow fifty blessings and make them all look really small.

Would you rather fight one horse-sized duck or 100 duck-sized horses?

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Night Thoughts on Weight

So lately I’ve started being anxious about my weight again. In a sense, this is a good thing, because I was too busy having an existential crisis for awhile there to have any energy left to worry about my weight! But there are some things I’ve realized I need to get straight in my head about my weight, so I’m going to write down some of my thoughts about it here. Please don’t feel I’m preaching at anyone, since I’m also “preaching” to myself: but I do hope that some of these thoughts are helpful to others.

Also, this is my first foray into nightblogging, so forgive me if it starts going a little nuts.

You’ve got to wonder sometimes what the stock photographers were thinking…

The first thing I had to question was, Why am I so afraid of gaining weight?

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