Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The Mold of Manners

We've been watching the old TV show Poirot. A brilliant, stout, impeccably polite detective (the Belgian Hercule Poirot) finds himself around complicated murders and proceeds to solve them through observation and conversation. He is the epitome of class, good manners, and gentle dry humor, and if he weren't an old guy, I'd have a crush on him. He's like a favorite uncle that I want everyone to meet.

The stories (based on Agatha Christie novels, which are even more excellent than the show) take place in the early twentieth century and mostly in Europe. As such, everyone is Just So. The men, even on their days off, wear three piece suits and carry themselves with perfect posture. They pay their debts, watch their language, and rise to their feet when ladies enter the room. The women exude poise, pride, and propriety to the point that it's palpable. Their dresses are flimsy and flowy and they wouldn't dream of leaving the house looking a wreck or failing to offer a guest tea.

I've also been using The Dick Van Dyke Show as my mindless, while-I-chop-veggies-for-salad show. (Gabe doesn't care for it, but I grew up watching reruns so it's basically comfort TV.) Though that takes place in the '50s, I think, it's got that same air of class. If people are invited to dinner, they put on a suit or a dress to attend. Men call for ladies at their houses for dates. Words are well-chosen and well-enunciated. Ladies sometimes wear gloves. Houses are neat. Everyone understands what's expected of them to do or say, or not do or not say. It's so...pretty. Life was pretty.

Now, I know I'm supposed to rage at the fact that in Poirot women are treated like dainty, delicate creatures who can't be exposed to nasty words, and in Dick Van Dyke, women are expected to do the housework and look nice for their husbands...but I don't. I just don't.

I wish I lived in one of those times. I just absolutely love the cultures. The more I watch stuff like this, the more I think we've gone too far in the opposite direction. In our quest for "realness," we've completely disregarded tact and presentation. In our quest for equality, we've demonized the idea of women being managers of the home. In our quest for expediency, we've neglected to foster healthy, precise vocabularies.

This paragraph here was originally me admitting that "of course, there are some things I'm glad I can do today that I wouldn't have been able to do in Poirot's day," but I couldn't even come up with anything besides "wear shorts," and I think dresses and skirts are more comfortable anyway. I guess I'd miss some modern medicines and plumbing. Yeah, that's definitely true. But to give up such amenities in return for Such Classiness sounds like a fair trade.

I wish people were still expected to behave well. Sure, it's easier not having to put your napkin in your lap or bring a hostess gift or stand when an older person walks in or say "Excuse me" when you leave a situation, but...just because it's easier doesn't mean it's better. I get it that honesty, transparency, and genuineness are desirable qualities, but can't we still maintain some discretion? Obviously I want to be able to share my thoughts with my sister or husband or best friend even if said thoughts aren't polite or rosy, but maybe that's where we should draw the line, rather than spewing outright, inarticulate shade to anyone with ears.

Of course, even "back in the day" shade was thrown and insults were spoken (have you ever read a Jane Austen novel?), but it was done more subtly, and almost more fairly too, because people were more aware of expectations. If you did X, Y, or Z, you knew it was considered impolite; you opened the door to just criticism.

Some might say that's worse, that all the manners just made it easier to be phony and passive aggressive and prevented people from becoming fully themselves. Maybe I'm just a sucker for appearances? Or maybe I'm a little bit right. I think when done correctly, the old manners don't just help you appear to be a prettier, better, politer person, they might actually help mold you into a one.


Thursday, April 6, 2017


Gem and I have been so, so happy lately. I don't even know why. I think we're just getting into a good rhythm, learning each other, figuring out what works and when to back off.

So far this week we have watched The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Gem's first time), had an impromptu dance party, watched a lot of Friends, done some crossword puzzles, snuggled on the couch, tried making enchiladas, spontaneously bought and made brownie sundaes, and laughed a TON.

I got a migraine Tuesday night, and while it sucked, it also ended up being kind of cool because I just laid there are visiting with God for like two hours. I had some cool revelations and just enjoyed praying.

I have never been this happy. Work isn't stressful right now, Gem and I are doing wonderfully, and working out is still going well. This weekend we have plans to watch Les Mis, go clubbing (!!!), have brunch with my aunt, and play Cards Against Humanity with Gem's brother and sister-in-law.

Easter is soon. That means Cadbury mini eggs and The Ten Commandments movie.

The weather is warming up.

I am just love, love, loving life. I don't feel like this much anymore. But maybe I will more now. I dunno. I'm so happy :)

I hope you're doing well, if you're reading this. I do miss the blogging community.


Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Run of the MIL

I LOVE Gem's family. A ton. They're the big family I always wanted and never had.

But let me just say, it's a good thing I'm not easily offended. And while I'm not easily offended, I'd like to share some things with you, because they're just too good/bad/funny/whatever.

Things My Mother-in-Law Has Said Since Sunday
- "Is there any room in your fridge for this?" *holds up something she had in the cooler; opens fridge* "Oh wow. Yeah. You guys have like nothing in your fridge." In my defense, the next day was grocery day. I promise I feed your son. (It's even more sad because just the other day Gem and I were talking about how our fridge is finally starting to look like a grownup fridge. We've collected actual staple ingredients! Sigh.)

- "So, is your job with Classical Conversations pretty much almost full-time?" She says because she doesn't understand why I can't hang out with them the whole time they're visiting. Yes, my 40-50-hours-a-week, pays-all-the-bills, what-I-went-to-college-for dream job IS "pretty much almost" full-time.

- "But you're going to quit or go to part time after Gem graduates, right?" Well, no. I like my job. I went to school for this. I want to do more with my life than watch Netflix and spend my husband's money.

- "Oh yeah, chili is definitely something I can eat on my diet." *hours later* "Wait, you don't put beans in your chili, do you?" Does anyone NOT put beans in their chili?

Sigh XD She really is awesome, and didn't mean anything bad by any of her questions and comments, but, like I said, it's a good thing I'm not easily offended, right?


Thursday, March 16, 2017

Food Freak

We're planning a cooking night with some couple friends for tomorrow. Last night I went out for fondue with some girl friends. Basically the past couple of days have been orchestrated for reminding me how weird my food habits/restrictions are XD

For instance, I don't do alcohol at all. (No, it isn't for religious reasons or because I'm a prude. See here.) It's like I'm on a 23-year no-alcohol streak that I intend never to break. But you know what the base of cheese dipping sauces is at fondue restaurants? Alcohol. Of course, all the alcohol cooks off, so it's not a big deal, but it freaked me out. No way was I breaking my 23-year-long streak for some wickedly expensive Havarti.

I still ate it (delicious, though absolutely not worth the price), but only after texting Gem and getting reassurance that it wouldn't be breaking my streak.

Then, as we planned cooking night for tomorrow, it came up that I can't drink carbonation. (Story: I used to be "addicted"' to CocaCola, so in college I decided to go a whole year without soda of any kind. I did it. And when I drank my celebratory cherry Coke 365 days later, it destroyed my insides. Since then I've tried it several times, and even so much as a sip sends me packing for the bathroom.)

I'm also deathly allergic to peanuts, and slightly allergic to cucumbers, bananas, carrots, and watermelon.

In case any of you ever want to have me over for dinner. Or kill me.


Monday, March 13, 2017

Yeah, I'm into Fitness

Today was my eighth consecutive weekday at the gym :) My college friend Anna convinced me to join with her, and I'm SO glad. I've seriously slacked off since, well, the wedding. I've never paid for a gym membership before. My family had one growing up, and in college it was "free." It feels different paying for one. It feels more important, like a real investment. I'm hoping that feeling sticks.

I'm also watching what I'm eating. I got the MyFitnessPal app and am logging faithfully, probably because I need something to do on my phone to replace Facebook (#Lent).

In the past, I've struggled with anorexic tendencies. I'm following a lot of healthy fitness models now though, and I actually think my mind is fixed. I'm more interested in being healthy than skinny now. I do want to lose weight and tone up, but I want strong muscles, not chicken legs. I dunno. That alone feels like progress.

(Highly recommend following Emily Skye on Snapchat, Facebook, and Instagram. She's my absolute favorite. Goofy, yet insightful; beautiful, yet real; funny, yet admirable.)

Tomorrow I'm gonna work out again. It'll be leg day.

Yeah. I've become pretty dull. Oh, but Gem and I went to Charleston, SC this past weekend! It was hands down--honeymoon included--the best trip ever. The weather was perfection, we had money saved to spend, and Gem's and my travel styles are so in sync. Every meal was delicious. Every store was fun. Every night was full of TV and king-sized-bed wallowing and Things Married People Are Allowed to Do.

I know we haven't been married long at all, but it's nice to still feel so in love. We've been on each others nerves a lot lately. It was nice to have a fight-free weekend in my favorite US city.

Gem bought me this necklace! I had asked a while ago if he would buy me a necklace I could just wear all the time, like a default. So he did :)

Flabbergasted that the bed behind us was worth--prepare yourself--one hundred and twenty-five THOUSAND dollars.

I just really enjoyed this children's book series XD

My favorite Charleston jewelry store is closing! Sad. But I got excellent deals.

This cannon was dug up in someone's backyard when they tried to dig a well or something XD

It went from 60 degrees to 35 over night. We bundled hard.

Aaaaand this one is just because I felt like it was a good hair day.

Sad to leave, but glad we went.


Thursday, March 9, 2017


Hey y'all :)

For a while there it looked like Peripeteia was on its way out. I started using my more "thoughtful, professional" blog, Reason in the Rhyme and stopped feeling particularly attached here.

But lately...that's been changing. I have a lot of less professional thoughts, as evidenced by the last post. Sometimes I just want to talk about my life, or connect with other bloggers, or try out different themes. Reason in the Rhyme doesn't fee like me. It feels like...the Me who wanted a job last year.

So, maybe I'm back, if anyone is still here :)

It feels like blogging is a dying art. Last week, I went to my profile, clicked one of my Interests, and began poking around trying to find bloggers like me. You know what I found? Eight times out of ten, nothing had been posted on the blog since like 2011. That's six years ago, guys. EIGHT TIMES OUT OF TEN.

Granted, I have a LOT of blogs (Carpe Diem, Carpe Noctem, Carpe Liber, to name a few) that are in the same boat, but I also have Peripeteia and Reason.

It seems like in the past few years, blogging has gone from something lots of people do to something that only "successful bloggers" do. Blogging isn't about sharing your thoughts with like-minded people anymore; it's a glamorous platform for people who love their labels. There are fashion blogs and fitness blogs and recipe blogs and frugal lifestyle blogs and...that's, like, it. And if anyone can't get 300+ followers in the first year or so, then she might as well just call it quits. Clearly she isn't meant to be a blogger

I feel it too. I feel like posting here is useless. Peripeteia doesn't have a "theme." It used to be about Winking and Hot Guys. Then it was life updates. Now it's...I don't know.

I want to be free. That was the whole point of this blog. I wanted to get away from the sunshine and butterflies persona of Kendra Logan and be ME. I am still sometimes sunshine and butterflies, but I'm also sarcasm and bitchiness, politics and PG-13 movies.

I hate that now I feel like I have to turn this into a blog with a specific theme.

And I hate that the reason I feel that way is because I want "Followers." Because the truth is, in no way do I have to give this blog a theme. No one is telling me that. It's just that I know no one wants to read a blog that DOESN'T have a theme, and I do--I'll readily admit it--I DO want people to read my blogs.

Maybe the theme of the blog will just be that it's always changing themes.

Maybe I just need to get over myself and not care whether or not anyone reads :)

Probably that.

~ Stephanie

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Stupid Things People Are Upset About

First all, miss y'all.


Lately, I've been on Facebook and Snapchat entirely too much. It's like a car wreck that I can't look away from. Every time I think I've seen the dumbest thing people can be offended by, something dumber comes along. Every time I think an article is going to be satirical, I read it and find out that, yes, people are ACTUALLY whining that Siri has a female voice and therefore reinforces the patriarchy (women = subservient). Yeah. I'm dead serious. (Sorry to anyone who's had someone pass away; I know that phrase is fatally--oops, did it again--offensive.)

Clearly every single person on social media has such a privileged life (yes, even non-whites) that they must invent crap to be bothered by. If you had real problems, trust me, you would not be throwing tantrums about iRobots.

It's miserable. And misery loves company. So here. Share in my misery of these incredibly stupid things that people are saying/believing/protesting.

1. The Siri Thing - Let's just start with that. The article opens with how sexist it is that a helpful electronic presence is given a female voice. Siri is our helper, our inferior, and so naturally, in a patriarchal society, she's a she. Then it talks about how if you say rude sexual or gender-based things to different bots, they mostly don't tell you off. They also respond favorably to being complimented.

You're telling me that the problem here is with bot creators making bots that are shallow and deflective, and NOT with the idiots who sat around all day calling Siri a slut?

2. Women's Sex Double Standards - I wish I could link to this, but it was a Snapchat article. The article was something like "Ten Reasons Not to Go on a Second Date with Someone." Number 6? "He pressures you for sex." Great. Sounds like a good reason not to go on another date with him. Number 9? "He makes you feel bad for wanting sex on the first date." The bullet point goes on to say that someone who shames you for "wanting to get yours" is a prude monster. So, lemme get this straight. A woman can pressure a man for sex, but a man can't pressure a woman for sex. #equality

3. Cornrows - I watched a video (my first mistake) on how wrong it is for anyone other than African Americans to wear cornrows. If you don't have hair that makes cornrows sensible, then you're just committing cultural appropriation. If you're white, you shouldn't get cornrows because you can't appreciate black culture. (So basically, your skin color dictates what style you're allowed to have. Imagine if white people tried to curtail what style black people choose because they're black.) By this logic, only Hawaiians can wear flower in their hair, only Polynesians can have tattoos, and only real cowboys can wear cowboy hats.

How about, instead of getting pissy over everything, we let people wear what they want to wear and do what they want to do regardless of their race? Isn't that kind of the point? That people not be judged or restricted by their race?

4. Racist Grammar - The University of Washington decided that proper grammar is racist, that "English" has no set standard. First of all, what? Are they seriously saying that someone's race makes them incapable of speaking or writing proper English? NOW who's racist?! Second of all, English does have a standard. That's the whole point of the dictionary, so...

5. Offensive Goose Song - I'm not sure how to link to a podcast, so you're just gonna have to hear this one from me. The Woody and Wilcox radio show brought up the story of a woman who heard church bells playing a song, researched to discover the song's lyrics (how would one even do that?), and found that the song's lyrics concerned a man and his dogs hunting geese. She then protested the church for playing a song that was offensive to geese. PETA got involved.

How do we explain to them that the geese don't care? That that woman was not actually protesting from a desire to protect geese, but from a desire to make herself feel good? When people protect animals' feelings, they aren't concerned with the animals at all; they're in it for their own ego. They want to feel like they're doing good. They want people to pat them on the back.

6. The Entire Concept of Microaggression - The word literally says that you are so petty and sensitive that you're offended by something microscopic. Get over yourself. Stop over-analyzing every single thing until you can find something that someone somewhere might think is offensive. Half the time, the potentially offended party (like the goose, for instance) doesn't even give a crap.

If you have any other stupid things that people are upset about, please don't share them. I'm in a state of perpetual annoyance as is ;)