January 15, 2011

Blogging From the West

As it turns out I nabbed myself a last minute plane ticket (and an invitation-wahoo) to my Father's wedding so I am in Utah for the weekend.  I know it may seem odd that I wasn't invited at first.  Let's just say it's complicated and an 81 yr old man without much patience or taste for sentimentallity didn't mind the exclusion of family.  He still loves us and all.  I guess that's the main thing. 

I am anxious to meet his fiance.  She sounds like a lovely lady.  An ex-stewardess who has travelled the world, speaks multiple languages, and wears beres with matching plad skirts to church.  What's not to like?!  I have been assigned the job of taking photos at the wedding.  Oh how I wish now that I had packed my Nikkon D90.  I am not sure borrowing my brother-in-law's point and shoot will even compare.  I had limited space in my carry on luggage, and we all know that the D90 takes up quite a bit of space. 

So one of my favorite things to do whenever I come to Utah is notice the cultural differences compared to where I live in the East.  Everyone's got a happy springy outlook which I love.  The lady at the Alamo car rental counter couldn't have been more shiny.  But almost 5 minutes into my drive from the airport in my Hyundai, I noticed a distinct undefinable difference in (of all things) the commercials on the radio station.  The first commercial was a scripted ad read by the disc jockey.  It endorsed lazer hair removal which in and of itself is not Utah specific.  We have our fair share of hair in unwanted places.  It was the angle the ad was coming from.  The last line he said was "don't worry about it being an indulgence ladies, just think about all the service you could render to others with the extra time on your hands not having to do your own hair removal!"  I wondered how he could even read that without cracking up!  I mean all that shaving in the shower was starting to give me a guilty concience lately.  I could have been baking cookies for someone, or taking a widow without a car to the grocery store or something.  But, you know... all that hair removal I spend my time on has been getting in the way and I feel I need to re-evaluate my priorities. 

The next two commercials were about tanning beds and safire rings on sale at the jewelers.  By the time I got to Provo I began to have low self esteem due to hairy white legs and lack of bling.  No wonder there are rumors that anti-depressants are prescribed in high amounts to the women here.  So much pressure to be perfect angels of service without roots that ever need toching up.  Maybe I am too harsh.  It's just that these things really stick out when I visit. 

One last obervation before I click 'publish post' and get my day started.  We went on BYU's campus to go through the Harris Fine Arts center.  The exhibit was amazing!  The IPad walking tour really added to the experience and the Carl Bloch paintings up close were breathtaking.  I love me some art!  But that isn't what I wanted to write about.  The second we saw the Zoobies (students) I couldn't stop giggling.  They all looked so young!  My memories of Provo are to when I was young myself and the students on BYU's campus looked older than me or my same age.  I used to feel intimidated by them and now they looked like punks who should be wearing more than just a hoodie in 20 degree weather.  I jokingly called out to one of them from my car and told them about the pimple that needed popping on their chin and did their mother know they were wearing shorts in January.  I was tickled.  I'm a big girl now I guess.  Now excuse my while I go spend a selfish amont of time shaving my legs.  I may even indulge in some lotion afterwards.


Cherie said...

Oh my gosh that was hilarious!! I live in Idaho so I have close proximity to all the Utah craziness. Believe me, you don't have to come from the East - we notice it too!!
Alot of Utah Women have a certain "look" you know the one of which I speak - ha ha. Now we may know why!
P.S. I like shaving my own legs thank you very much!

c a n d a c e said...

Ahhh Aunt Kelly, that's pretty harsh indeed. While I must agree on the zoobie parts, I feel that the degrading way women are viewed if they aren't hairless, skinny, or tan IS in fact, nationwide.

Sad as it is, it is not secluded to Happy Valley commercials alone.

noyb said...

utah is its own universe. hilarious. please post everything about the wedding! lds guys of all ages remarrying so quickly fascinates me.
single mormon chick

Katie said...

We went back to Provo in Oct for the first time in five years. I couldn't believe how odd it felt to go on campus and hear everyone talk about where their sister was going on a mission and who was expecting a baby...I know that doesn't sound odd, but the way everyone talked on campus was so oddly chipper and well, BYU-ish, I was almost bugged. And seeing guys walking around wearing skinny jeans...yeah, I felt old.

Laurel C. said...

Be sure to check out the Utah billboards, too. They're just as bad as the radio spots. LIPO this, ENHANCE that. Driving into Davis County from the airport makes me feel self-conscious about the pot shots to well,,, my pot.

I thought the same things that you did. No wonder Utah is such a perfectionist state. But which came first... the billboards pandering to their audience, or the billboards causing the audience? Chicken or egg?

Enjoy your time in Utah with your family!

M-Cat said...

I clearly need to get out of Utah more often, this all sounded quite normal to me.
From an outsider's view I can see how freakish we are - FREAKISH I say

Kelly said...

Candace..... I love you but I think you live in the zoo and can't smell the monkey cage cause it's a bit too close. Go away for an extended period of time then move back and we'll talk.

I would agree that there is a certain amount of pressure to look good everywhere but it's heightened in Utah Valley.

Krista Cook said...

Oh how true. Loved the post. I've never been able to figure out why Utah Valley is so in to looks? Did I miss something in the Gospel Principles manual? I try to explain it to my five sisters and mom who live there how it is so strange to come to Utah Valley after having lived away for many years. I love Utah for many reasons, but I am so glad not to have the pressure to be just like everyone, or better, or enhanced, or bronzed, or hairless (huh?). Yah, one more thing to feel guilty about, all that time I get once a week to shave my legs. Ha ha. It's OK, I'll justify it because I'm only washing my hair every three days (unheard of in Utah Valley). Thanks for a funny and interesting post. :)