Valentines

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It’s that time of year again; when the lines are drawn for one of the most divisive standoffs of the year that is even more intense than the #teamedward/#teamjacob debate of the Twilight era, more trivial than the blue/gold dress debate of 2015, and more petty than the current Republican debates.  It’s the time of year when couples and single people face off: couples going overboard to profess their love (of not being single) and single people counteracting by trying to prove how great it is to be a young millennial who can do anything without being tied down.

From Provo, Utah, these lines are made even more inflated by the articles in BYU’s Valentine’s edition newspaper.  The week of the holiday, multiple stories can be found from the perspective of the marrieds, and the rebuttal of the singles.  Past pro-marriage articles have included favorites such as “I do at BYU” and “Tying the knot in College,” which use statistics and quotes to dishonor those still frolicking in singularity.  Married students are highlighted and classified as “part of the 25 percent of married students on campus,” The “1%,” anyone? They also give out unsolicited advice such as encouraging their single friends to get married so they can start hanging out again.

To show that being single still has its advantages, articles have been written in past years about this wild and fun crowd that include “Single’s Awareness: The Five Stages of Breaking Up,” and “Relationship status impacts self-image” . . . Hmm, actually, maybe more current articles work as better rebuttals: “Students experience three levels of dating fears” and “Studies show negative effects of hookups.”  Uh . . .

What do statistics and data know anyways?  Let’s take a look at the actual night of Valentines.  While couples are dressing up, going out, and feeding each other fondue, singles are hosting their own, themed parties.  Maybe you might have been invited to one of them:

  • Lonely Hearts Club
  • Broken Heart’s Party
  • SAD (Single’s Awareness Day) Party
  • Swipe Right for Awesomeness! (Not sure what exactly will happen here)
  • Galantines Day (Girls going off in groups and leaving men even more alone)
  • We’re Lonely and Have No one to Turn to (Not very subtle)
  • EPIC Dance Party! (Because a weekend in Provo wouldn’t be complete without a dance party)

Most of these parties include baked goods, party games (mafia, smurf, manner of the adverb, etc.), and small talk.  These parties usually finish up when either the food is gone or curfew is met.

In the midst of this clash, there are many who change their allegiance by the next day.  These turncoats may begin the night amongst single friends, but slowly leave as a couple to do their own thing.  By the next morning, you discover that they are now engaged to be married, never to be seen apart again.  If you want to play a fun party game, take bets with your friends on how many engagements will show up on tomorrow’s Facebook feed.

Valentine’s Day is a day of celebration.  It’s up to you what you are celebrating though: Independence or togetherness? Perhaps by next year, you can set resolution’s to either have someone to be with, or throw the largest Anti-Valentine’s party on the block.

A Year End Review

 

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What an eventful year it has been!  I am so grateful to Facebook which reminds me that one of my biggest events this year was purchasing a shirt displaying a cat in an astronaut (a cat-stronaut, if you will) suit. #blessed

Similar to the individual who writes the family updates, this year-end summary will be written in the first and third person perspective.  Keep in mind, the same person is being talked about the whole time (Matt).

Like most people his age, Matt decided to start a blog this year.  Unlike most people, he has managed to write more than five posts without relapsing and going the way of most New Year’s resolutions.  Originally, he wanted to be featured on the many LDS web sites to “go viral.”  Now he realizes that to be featured, you must make obscure references on how being LDS is like [insert pop culture reference here], or make absurd, eye-rolling lists.  Refusing to lower his writing abilities to these levels, he now uses blatant sarcasm to make fun of these same things.

Having seen his writing skills improve with each post, he became inspired to write a memoir of his life – until he realized that no one wants to read about the time he stuck two rocks in his ear, or when he sliced his butt open while working in a kitchen.

In April, I concluded a 7-year road to obtain a 4-year degree and graduated with a degree in finance (pronounced “fin”-ance by graduates to appear more mature (pronounced ma-tour by old people)).  Although I was constantly made fun of by both students and teachers for my decision to go more into nonprofits, that hasn’t stopped BYU from continually asking for donations.  My friends who graduated in film and humanities have yet to be solicited.

Matt has decided to pursue a career in healthcare administration and has been spending the year working towards that goal.  In March, he attended the ACHE Congress (which means nothing to most people) and had the opportunity to brown-nose with some of the biggest names and leaders in healthcare.  Unfortunately, most of these people will not remember him due to the fact there was an open bar during the closing banquet.  While the leaders of large healthcare systems and the deciders of national health policies were getting plastered and saying things they’d regret later, the straight-laced Mormon kid stood in the corner finishing off the hors d’oeuvres.

I had the opportunity to travel to Asia this summer for business and pleasure.  To avoid swarms of Asian women (and ladyboys) attempting to come back with me to the States, I shaved my head.  It wasn’t until I arrived that I realized my mistake: I am Caucasian and hair had nothing to do with it.  Being able to maneuver out of some potentially compromising situations, I made it back to America single and alone.

Despite putting it off as long as possible, Matt has finally embraced adulting (not to be confused with adultering).  After he returned from Asia, he subscribed to the Wall Street Journal to become a more informed citizen, was hired at SelectHealth, dresses up for work, and listens to NPR during the commute.  His friends still in school have noticed these differences and do not like who he has become.  It’s a good thing he is making new friends twice his age at work.  Now instead of discussing things such as dating and marriage with his old friends, he now talks about the shifting political climate, pet health, appliances, and health insurance.  He lives an exciting life now.

It has been a good year.  I have my health, family, and a new recipe for Oreo Truffles.  This time next year, I will be in graduate school based out of either Washington, Texas, or Alabama with my shiny new gift from Uncle Sam: $100,000 in student loans!

Singing Hymns and Hymns about Him,

Matt