How to Talk to the Spiritually Wounded Soul

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This post has been sitting at the bottom of my brain basin for a long time, waiting to surface at the right moment. I actually wrote the majority of this post before the Mormon Facebook Apocalypse of 2015. Still, I’ve held onto this post. I think the time is finally right, as I confront the painful, vulnerable fact that I’ve been spiritually wounded. This is a loaded admission, one that opens up your soul to further misunderstanding, judgment, and (perhaps most terrifyingly and only in a few extreme cases) ire.

Empathy for Perma-Scowlers

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Some people–some actually nice people–have permanent scowls. It’s not that they are in any way distraught, but their default face just kinda forms into a natural stink-eye.

I think this was most eloquently described in the movie Juno:

Juno says: Your little girlfriend gave me the stink-eye in art class yesterday.
Bleaker replies: Katrina’s not my girlfriend, alright? And I doubt she gave you the stinkeye that’s just how her face looks, you know? That’s just her face. 

Then, we cut to Katrina De Voort:

Now first close encounters with Perma-Scowlers can be a little intimidating. I, myself, was startled just minutes ago by a Perma-Scowler sitting across from me at this little cafe. I reached into myself and thought, “What have I done to make such a mortal enemy so quickly? Was it my sneeze? I did sneeze rather loudly…” But as I wondered about my own offenses, I couldn’t help but study my stink-eyed companion.
She scowled through an entire chapter of a leisure reading. She scowled when filling her water cup. She even scowled as she emerged from the bathroom, after which, most people stop scowling. Now, there was a slight break in the stink-eye as the server brought her food, but upon sinking her teeth into her delicious grilled chicken sandwich, her face quickly lapsed into Kristen Stewart Mode. 
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Logically I concluded after my studies that she didn’t give me “the stinkeye that’s just how her face looks, you know? That’s just her face.” 

 For Perma-Scowlers, I always just hope they’re also beautiful because I think the life of a Perma-Scowler might be a lonely existence. They are so immediately alienating that no one dares to crack beneath the surface of the slanted eyebrows!

 So next time someone gives you a big old crusty, counterbalance by giving them a hug! If they resume scowling but otherwise seem pleased, you will know that’s just the way their face looks. If they hit you after, you might assume they were scowling for a reason. But they might still have needed a hug.

*I do not endorse hugging Kristen Stewart.

All the Skinny Men—Put Your Hands Up!

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Dear Skinny Man,
There is, I think for the first time ever, a Hipster on the Bachelorette. He wears weird shoes, and his hair takes some getting used to (yes, I made Jeremy try “The Jef Coif”), I believe he wears Ray-Bans, and he made his entrance on the show via skateboard. So far, Hipster Jef seems to be a crowd favorite—America likes him, Emily likes him, and you know what? I like him too.

Jef Holm, everybody. 
…Jeremy thinks he’s a tool. A skinny jeans wearing, overly moussed tool. I am convinced that this is because I happen to find the style, to be blunt, rather attractive. When Jeremy and I were dating and he was fashionably malleable, I took him to Urban Outfitters and made him buy a cardigan. He wore it the night we got engaged and has since avoided it like the plague.
But here’s the thing about Hipsters: Before there was “Hipster,” there was only “Skinny White Kid.” It is my firm belief that the Hipster fashion arose to give the picked-on SWK’s a break.  All you skinny men, do not resist. The fashion industry is throwing you dweebs a bone! For a brief season, it is cool to be a wimpy male. Rippling muscles are so 2009, don’t you know? Elitist vintage clothes make you look superior, so roll with it. If it soothes you, ease into the style by actually shopping at a thrift store, rather than an Urban Outfitters or American Apparel. But do it soon. As with most fads, Hipster glory will be fleeting. I suggest you enjoy your moment in the sun while Jef enjoys his (hopefully more than) fifteen minutes of fame.
So you, SWK, ask yourself the following questions:
  • Do you gangle?
  • Do the sleeves of your t-shirt poke up because you have no muscle to grab the fabric?
  • Do you have limited athletic ability?
  • Is there a thrift store near by?

Then don’t resist the Cardigan. 

Grab a pair of Toms, coif up your hair, and get a one-speed bike because the time is now, for a limited time only (before the jocks start to beat you up again), to embrace your outward “cool.”

Skinny. White. Cool.