Friday, January 17, 2020

On Being Married

Daryl and I don't have a song, and I suppose not a lot of couples do these days -- gone are the days of formal dances and mix tapes. I think we'd both agree, though, that if we did have a song, it'd be this:

Here, read the lyrics:
I don't remember what day it was
I didn't notice what time it was
All I know is that I fell in love with you
And if all my dreams come true
I'll be spending time with you
Every day's a new day in love with you
With each day comes a new way of loving you
Every time I kiss your lips my mind starts to wander
And if all my dreams come true
I'll be spending time with you
Oh, I love you more today than yesterdayBut not as much as tomorrowI love you more today than yesterdayBut, darling, not as much as tomorrow
Tomorrow's date means springtime's just a day away
Cupid, we don't need ya now, be on your way
I thank the lord for love like ours that grows ever stronger
And I always will be true
I know you feel the same way too
Oh, I love you more today than yesterday
But not as much as tomorrow
I love you more today than yesterday
But only half as much as tomorrow
Every day's a new day, every time I love ya
Every way's a new way, every time I love ya
Every day's a new day, oh, how I love ya
I'm sure some people think, "Oh, that's cute. They're in the honeymoon phase still." And maybe so. But every day I'm amazed that marriage can be like this. I love Daryl more than I did when he proposed and more than I did the day we married. My love for him grows and grows, and I don't understand it. We've had our share of troubles and arguments, of course, but I've never experienced the peace that comes from being so happily matched. It's a wonder.

Thing I'm thankful for: medicine

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Snow Is the Best, or Why I'm Keeping My Last Name

People have been calling me "Sarasnow" my whole adult life, with no space between my first and last names. Once, my friend asked his four-year-old daughter what my first name was, and she said, "Sawasnow." Again, no space. And how fitting. I have no middle name, so it just rolls off the tongue. I love it. I love that other people love it.

When Daryl suggested, then, that I keep my last name, I thought, "What? No! How could I do that? I've always looked forward to changing my name when I get married!" But actually, I hadn't. It was hard for me to admit that for the past five or six years, I've thought about how much I like my name and how much I've disliked the last names of some of the guys I dated: Turbeyfield and Woffinden being the worst of the bunch. It's awful of me to say, I know, but with a name like Snow, I feel like I'm allowed to be a bit snobby. :)

Besides vanity, though, there's something like . . . familiarity or nostalgia at play. I've had the name Snow for 38 years -- longer than most women have their maiden names -- and I'm used to it. I use it in my email address, my social media accounts, and my business ventures and professional life. Why change now?

Finally, there's this, from Laurie Scheuble, a sociologist from Penn State University:
"It's what we're used to [. . .] The tradition of women changing their last names to match their husbands’ has its origins in the property transfer that took place upon marriage. Essentially, women went from being part of their parents’ family to becoming their husbands’ property. Although we don’t have that property aspect anymore, we still have this whole gendered notion that women somehow are obligated to take the last names of their husbands. [. . .] It’s turned over to normative tradition. It's the last socially acceptable sexism." (Why So Many Women Still Take Their Husband's Last Name. Berman, 2017)

When I read that line -- "the last socially acceptable sexism" -- it struck something in me that exclaimed, "Yes! That's true!" I realize people will argue this point, and that's fine by me. It's also fine by me if women continue to change their last names upon marriage, but for me, it feels strange to use any other name besides Snow. So I'll keep it.

Thing I'm thankful for: a "woke" husband. Ha!

Monday, December 16, 2019

What I Want In a Husband, Part 4

Ten years ago -- almost to the day -- I wrote a post called What I Want In a Husband, and one of my friends commented:
I say ditch the list! Cookie cutter husbands don't exist. Sure certain standards need to be met, but does it really matter if he's not musical or into some form of art? Wish lists are good, but how many women end up with a man that fits their list?
At the time, I thought, "Well of course it matters if he's not musical or into some form of art!" And I'd argue the finer points and explain exactly what I meant, and I'd defend myself to the death. Now, I'll simply say, "Yes, it matters," and leave it at that. I'll also say, "Lists are important, and even though my list wasn't about a cookie-cutter husband, if someone wants a cookie-cutter husband, that's fine. That's their prerogative."

Choosing a spouse is personal, as it should be. Spouses are, after all, presumably with you forever, so I would hope that everyone who wants to get married makes a thoughtful list of who they want and need.

In my case, I wanted 18 things. And guess what? I'm getting all 18. Yes, that's right, readers -- I'm getting married. At 38, I found someone who wants to marry me, and I want to marry him back. It's strange in all sorts of ways, but I'll save that discussion for another blog post. At the moment, I want to tell Kristy that I found someone who checks off all the list items, and more importantly, he says I check off all of his!

Let's review:
  1. Be curious. Daryl is first and foremost an engineer. He tinkers with things and works problems out in his mind until he figures them out. He asks questions that I don't even think of!
  2. Be a conversationalist. Conversations with Daryl are consistently good and progressively better. We talk about everything under the sun, and he says he loves listening to me.
  3. Be friendly. He's definitely quiet and keeps to himself mostly, but he's friendly. He asks people about themselves instead of talking incessantly about himself.
  4. Read. He reads a lot! Mostly non-fiction, but even some fiction, too. We often read the news aloud together and have long conversations about what we've just read.
  5. Have a little bit of bite! Well, first off, Daryl has a beard, which probably should've been on my list lo these many years ago. I think it indicates a healthy disregard for authority and/or social norms. He also laughs with me about inappropriate topics sometimes, and we definitely get into debates. There's a long-standing one that I don't ever think we'll see eye-to-eye on (i.e., meritocracy and whether it does and should exist).
  6. Constantly try to improve. Daryl certainly recognizes that he has faults, and he actively works to improve them. He's so humble, and he's quick to say he's sorry, if he's in the wrong.
  7. Eat sugar. Yep! He eats sugar! He likes what I bake!
  8. Be musical. He sings and plays the piano and cello! He also listens to great music! (I'm not gonna lie, though; my musical tastes are more rockin.')
  9. Appreciate art. He knows the name of paintings and artists he likes, and he pays to have fine art framed and displayed in his home!
  10. Play sports. This really should've been listed as "Be athletic." Daryl runs, bikes, and skis. He's especially daring on a mountain bike, and he's trying to instill a love of the outdoors in his kids.
  11. Be clean! He makes sure he gets the dishes nice and soapy and spotless on the inside and the outside. It almost makes me cry tears of joy.
  12. Respect Mother Nature. He doesn't litter at all! In fact, he recycles! Yay!
  13. Consider adoption. Check.
  14. Believe in unstructured play time for children. Check again. At the root of this list item was that he put some thought into parenting. Well, he has three children (ages 13, 11, and 8), so of course he has, but more importantly, we align on so many parenting decisions. (We grew up with similar family rules and culture.)
  15. Be a goof-off. I'm probably the sillier one, but he follows my lead when I'm in an especially ridiculous mood.
  16. Realize winter clothes are more expensive than summer clothes. Check! He likes all my sweaters!
  17. Be okay with my impersonations. Daryl is perfectly okay with the fact that I break into dialects or character with no warning. He's a fan of my Irish dialect. He even does a Russian voice! It's so great!
  18. Have a testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I had given up on this one a few years ago, but recently realized that I probably never should have. As I said earlier, I like to talk about everything under the sun, and for better or worse, this is one topic I can't get around. Also, Daryl attends the temple. He also volunteers and participates in service projects, and there's a general air of helpfulness about him. Finally, he bears his testimony to me and to his kids, and though I hope he bears his testimony in church sometime, as long as he does it in his own home, I'm happy.
  19. Believes that everyone on this earth really is a child of God. There was actually a 19th list item in a subsequent blog post, and Daryl checks that off, too. He treats everyone with respect, and he doesn't demean or laugh at people. He's the kind of person I would trust our kids with.

Thing I'm thankful for: rocking Banks to sleep

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Movie Review: Jojo Rabbit

Jojo Rabbit is weird and wacky and funny; as such, it's probably not a movie for everyone. I expect some critics and audiences will view it the way they viewed Life Is Beautiful, which is that movies about World War II should not include humor. I disagree. I think humor done right can be appropriate. In the case of "Jojo Rabbit," humor is a natural offshoot of its perspective; that is, it's a look at Nazi Germany through the eyes of a 10-year-old boy whose imaginary friend is his idol, Adolf Hitler. Hitler comes off as a bumbling idiot through most of the movie, and in that way, I think it's cathartic. We often read that Hitler was a great orator, a master manipulator. In this movie, we get a chance to mock him and laugh at him and watch a heartfelt story about a boy who is smarter than him in so many ways.

I found myself laughing quite a bit during this movie simply from the absurdity of it all. The tone is similar to a Wes Anderson film -- vibrant and strange and unbelievable -- but in my opinion, it has more heart, which makes the absurdity endearing. It also almost made me forget that I was watching a movie about Nazi Germany, so that when there were hard scenes, they were all the more poignant. Perhaps that's why the humor didn't bother me and was actually necessary -- it lulled me into a false sense of happiness, only to snap me back to reality and remind me that the Holocaust was real, and World War II destroyed the lives of countless people, good Germans included.

So to sum up: I loved it. I'm sure I'll watch it again and probably in the theater -- that's how good I thought it was. You should watch it, too.

Thing I'm thankful for: storytelling through film. It's my favorite medium of education and entertainment. It speaks to me in a way that nothing else can -- not TV, not radio, not plays, not musicals, not operas, not even books. I love it.

Friday, November 08, 2019


Mom posted this on the family Hangout today. It brought me to tears. We're all so proud of dad. And he looks pretty spiffy in his sweatsuit and Nikes!

Thing I'm thankful for: physical therapists!

Thursday, November 07, 2019

Thing I'm Thankful For

I know; it's been a long time. Three things stopped me from posting: 1) Work has been really busy this year; 2) I forgot my password to sign into Blogger, which should've been easy because it's connected to my Gmail account, but it wasn't; and 3) I didn't know what to say.

I'll only address the third thing.

I've had ideas to share, and I've even started a few posts, but once I started writing, they just didn't seem . . . important? Somehow? But maybe I've been taking myself too seriously for the last couple of years. I think that's to be expected. Here's why:
  1. I had two major surgeries last year. For a couple of weeks after each surgery, I couldn't urinate on my own. I couldn't have a bowel movement easily, and I couldn't take quick showers or walk at a speed that even slightly resembled "fast."
  2. My dad was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease this summer, and not long after -- very recently, in fact -- he had a heart procedure that caused a massive stroke. As a result, he can't swallow well enough to drink or eat. He can't stand on his own or walk, and he can't go to the bathroom on his own. He also can't shower or be left alone, really, for any length of time while he's awake.

I'm not complaining. I'm simply pointing out that life is physically hard, and when life is physically hard, so many things seem pointless. So many things seem like they're not worth saying or doing.

But also. When life is physically hard, so many things in life seem amazing. For example, I am not kidding when I say that having a bowel movement is something I am utterly grateful for each time it happens. I'm also supremely happy that I can get up, walk to the bathroom, and urinate on my own. My dad, too, is improving a little each day. At least, that is what I gather from my mom's texts on the family Hangout:
  • "He opened his eyes today!"
  • "He is swallowing!"
  • "Hey, he is singing!"
  • "Dad sat in bedside commode and peed in urinal."
  • "He stood inside parallel bars alone today."
My favorite thing is when he opens his eyes. He looks around at everything just like a baby does -- not really focusing for too long on anything, but slowly looking at interesting objects and people. It seems like he is rediscovering the world, and yet, we can't ask him, "What is it like to discover the world again, dad?" Well, he wouldn't be able to tell us, anyway. The closest I've gotten was when he was in the ICU, mumbling about something nonsensical.

"Dad," I asked, "Does it feel like you're in between dreaming and waking?"
"Something like that," he answered.

And that was the end of the conversation.

I'm so grateful for a physical body -- for having an instrument through which I can accomplish so many things. The human body is so precious, delicate, resilient, and strong. I'm in awe every day of the things I have taken for granted for so many years: blinking my eyes, being able to close my mouth, smiling, waving, blowing my nose, having fingernails and hair, seeing and hearing, feeling pain and reacting.

I'll try to be less serious and a bit more fun-loving as the days, weeks, and months wear on, but for now, let this post be one big thing I'm thankful for.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

I'm Probably Gonna Get Some Flak for This . . .

But does Lady Boss Glasses really have to use this image for their ads?

Yeah, I get that a lot of feminists think it's a woman's prerogative to dress any way she wants, but come on -- this look is totally ridiculous. It reeks of objectification and even feels sexist -- I guarantee that if this company were selling glasses for men, the ads would not have the same tone. And okay, I can see using this image if your company is called "Sexy Librarian," but call me crazy -- the name "Lady Boss" doesn't make me think of sexy businesswoman.

Here's another company that does it better:

Thanks, Felix Gray, for selling glasses and not . . . Sex.

Thing I'm thankful for: a good job