Thursday, February 14, 2008

Taylorsville Alliance Valentine's Special 2008

Hey everybody, happy Valentine's day.

Last night me, Nickmo, and Jaron sat down for our annual alliance valentine's interview. All three of us will be posting this today. It was a great experience, and I hope you all enjoy. Whoosh!


Alrighty, welcome one and all to the Taylorsville Alliance's Second Annual Valentine's Day Interview. I'm Thatcher, and I'll be chiming in black. Nickmo will represent blue, and Jaron will be green. Questions will be in pink.

I'll get this ball rolling. What are you looking for in your life right now, regarding relationships? Are you looking for that special girl? Looking for a temporary girlfriend? Avoiding? Tell us what, and why.

I'm looking for "the one." A lot of people say high school is too young... and maybe it is for a lot of people, maybe it is for me, but... It's not like I've never liked anyone. I did have real feelings for people, and it didn't work out, I know how painful it can be, and I think that helps me know how hard I really do have to work to keep my relationship together. I don't ever wanna go back to being the lonely one. Part of me thinks that when people say "high school is too young" they're referring to the stupid jerks who don't take things seriously yet. There are plenty of stories about high school sweethearts getting married and living happily :) I think that can be me too, if I work at it very hard.

So are you saying that, right now, you're actively on the hunt for "the one"? I mean, I just think there's a difference between maybe coincidentally meeting "the one" and actively seeking out a girl you're gonna plan to marry. What's the status there?

Well... truth be told, I really think I've found her. I... hesitate to say too much. I don't want to be too freakishly personal here, but... How it happened was mostly a chance thing. We happened to meet at just the right time in our lives, and there was this weird connection. I guess it's chemistry. But I still didn't want to accept that I liked her for a LONG time, and she really liked me, so she pursued me. She would always get rides home from me, and give me hugs and wouldn't let go... stuff like that. It took me a while to accept my feelings. When I did, it was like this big "duh" moment. There was nothing to be afraid of. So... I suppose, it's kind of a combination of the two? There is definitely a lot of chance involved, but you still gotta know what to go for and what to leave behind.

Right on, thanks for sharing. Now, you don't have to answer this one if you don't want to, but I'll put it out there anyways. Curious, since you are accepting the possibility of a serious future here, is there anything that you're doing right now to specifically prepare for that?

Definitely. I have been trying my best to learn the kinds of lessons I'm gonna need in a successful relationship. Sacrifice, patience, communication, honesty, sincerity, trust... so many things. It's a step-by-step sort of thing, and I mess up, of course, but it's a learning thing. I try to remember things I learned in Adult Roles, and I look for little random factoids about happily married couples (5:1 positive-to-negative ratio!) and see what I can do to be more like that. It's all taught me a lot... it's knowledge that I definitely wouldn't get if I wasn't serious about it all. And even if I wasn't thinking about one girl in particular... the thing they say about "being the kind of person you want to marry" is so true. Developing yourself and becoming a better person yourself is probably one of the best ways to prepare for a lifelong relationship, as far as I know :D

Right on, that's great, thanks for answering Jaron. Nickmo, original question?

While I think it'd be great to have a girlfriend, and definitely some good experience for the future, I definitely don't see it happening in high school, for a few reasons that I've discussed before. I'm not against high school relationships at all, and I like the idea of it, I just want to avoid it at this point to avoid being hurt or hurting someone. I don't really think this is the time or the place for elaborating on my reasons for making this decision, but I really like girls, no worries, I just don't think a relationship's the best thing for me at this point.

Follow up for you, Nickmo. Last year when we did this interview you were pretty opposed to high school relationships. You said something like "
Right now, I realize that nobody needs a romantic relationship in high school, no matter how much they might want it." Can I ask what changed between now and then? What made your feelings reverse on that issue?

What made my feelings reverse? Probably hormones. Or maybe I really want a relationship because I can't have one. Haha. Honestly, I think I just said that last year because I was just trying to avoid saying something like I really really want one and sounding ridiculously stupid, because last year me had even less of a chance of getting a girlfriend than this year me does. Which isn't very much. Haha. I was probably just jealous and trying to avoid embarrassment. Your turn to answer the initial question, Chris.

I'm doing my best to avoid getting into a relationship right now. While there's plenty of nights when I think it'd make my life easier, in the end I figure that it's just not the best move I can make at this point. That doesn't mean that I'm not looking at the ladies pretty closely, though. With college approaching and everything else in my life forward, I can't help but think about the future. Now, I'm not running around saying "Oh, I could totally marry her in four years," but I am looking at certain girls and certain qualities that are good or bad. It's sorta weird, and more or less involuntary, but I'm starting to notice things like that more and more. I think that I'm basically data mining right now. Observing what's good and what's bad while keeping myself unaffiliated for a lot of reasons. School, council, my own fear of hurting somebody and being hurt, and friends are all doing a good job to keep me from making any moves.

Cool. My turn: What's the deal with Valentine's Day? Is it a necessary holiday? Is it just a scam by Hallmark to make guys buy crap for girls? Why/why not?

You know, I'm not opposed to Valentine's Day at all. Yes, I know, for a healthy relationship, it's probably good to pay attention to your significant other every day of the year. But having reminders of all that never really hurts. I believe that it does add a lot of stress to a relationship, and that it can be potentially dangerous. Yeah, I do think that Hallmark profits from it, but I'm not opposed to people making a good profit. To be honest, I'm a little excited about the prospect of Valentine's Days in my future. I'm not incredibly orthodox when it comes to relationships and all that, but I see Valentine's Day as an opportunity to be creative and do something amazing for someone that I really care about. I thrive on opportunities to prove myself. What could be cooler than working really hard to say something that means so much to you? I don't know, I just think it'll be pretty awesome. High school, bahaha, Valentine's Day is a joke. But in the future, yeah, I'm really looking forward to that opportunity and obligation.

I sorta answered this in my blog yesterday, but I'll do a short recap. I think Valentine's is awesome. I think it's great that love gets its own holiday. What isn't so awesome is how a lot of people seem to think that it's all about the gifts and the expensive date and whatnot. I think a little outside-of-the-box thinking needs to happen. I don't think that it should be the one day a year you take your sweetie out to dinner... I think it's yet another helpful excuse to do something that you should already be doing on a regular basis anyway, and a celebration of your happy relationship. Like I said about President's Day: The president is still around every other day. So should love.

My turn, I guess. I like the idea of Valentine's Day, but it's got poor execution. Guys forget about it and rush out to buy something at the last minute to make their girlfriend happy, and the focus of the holiday seems to be on material objects. I do know that when/if I get a girlfriend, I'll try not to make it all about stuff, because if the girl focuses on how much compressed coal I can put on her finger, then she's not really a great person, and also because worrying about stuff like that detracts from what should be the spirit of Valentine's Day. In short, Valentine's would be cool if we didn't feel so pressured to make it all about material objects.

"If the girl focuses on how much compressed coal I can put on her finger, then she's not really a great person" - I agree. Rings are nice, but that shouldn't be the focus.

Hmm... What is your favorite/most memorable/worst Valentine's memory?

I guess I'll take a stab at it with the only Valentine's Day that's ever been anything but neutral to me. It was ninth grade, and me and Eunice (names have been changed to protect the innocent) had very recently had a serious downgrade to our relationship. I wasn't entirely sure where I stood as far as she was concerned. I knew I hadn't entirely given up hope. So, in English that day we had done something with arts and crafts, and I had some tiny fake flower that I horked from the pile of stuff we didn't use. I figured I'd go throw it at her, you know, just as a "Hey, I'm still alive, isn't that great?" kinda thing. So I'm walking over there towards her locker, and she opens it up about six seconds before I got there. As soon as she opened it up about a billion of those candy hearts spilled out all over the place. Yeah, I can't compete with that. So I just walked on dejected. Granted, I hadn't put any effort into my attempt, but it still hurt to get so upstaged. Rahahahaha.

Aww, sad, about the candy hearts thing. That must have been a bummer.

My Valentine's memory was my first kiss. Actually, it was my NOT first kiss. I liked this girl (the first one I was serious about) and on Valentine's, I wanted to kiss her. I would give her the present and then exchange a quick first kiss before she got in the car to drive away. Nothing fancy, nothing fancy. The night before, I got this random idea. I found a conversation heart that said "let's kiss" and decided to give it to her, kind of to break the ice. (I was sore afraid.) Well... the day came, and as we're coming up to my house, I realize that we hadn't even kissed on the cheek yet, and I started to panic. We couldn't skip a step! (Like I said, I was on edge. This was a big deal.) So, I chickened out. I gave her the gift, but not the heart. She pulled me in for the hug, and then paused... that was the moment I was supposed to turn my head and kiss her, but I froze. She kissed my cheek instead, got into the car, and drove away.

That is the story of my almost-first kiss.

Awww, sadness for Jaron. But then again, the Captain Clean Lips inside me secretly rejoices for your sorrow. Rejection always means clean lips, and clean lips always mean sanitation and medical security.

Clean lips club for the win.... I think... I don't have any experiences with Valentine's Day, either, except for the interview thingy last year. With Megan. Haha... that was hilarious. But yeah, I got nothing. I've never been within a mile of having a relationship, so I've never had anything special or whatever to do on Valentine's. I think this Thursday will most likely be my most memorable/fun Valentine's Day ever, and the first one I'll ever have a date on.

Turns out we've got some guest questions. K.K. asks What's your favorite love song ever?

Oh snap, that's a good question. I think that love songs come and go for me. In ninth grade, it was definitely "Crazy for the Girl" - Evan and Jaron. It was sorta the theme song for the first half of that year. Then I didn't listen to it for six months, ha. It's not my favorite any more though. I think for all time favorite love song, I'm gonna go with "Better Days" - Goo Goo Dolls. That song always evokes very strong emotion for me. When I think of a girl that I could be really serious with, I gotta think that me and her would both feel that song, just because of the way that she'd have to be for me to be serious about her. Does that make any sense?

Hmm. Well, I think the best slow dancin' song ever is "Hero" by Enrique Iglesias. As for my favorite love song... That's a tough question. I could give you a few that I really like: "Better Together" by Jack Johnson. "Stolen" by Dashboard Confessional. "Everything" by Lifehouse. "Blind" by Lifehouse. Um... There are just a lot of good ones for different moods and situations, you know? "She Will Be Loved" by Maroon 5... "A Plain Morning" by Dashboard... "Home" by Michael Buble is a great one. I guess it depends on if "I miss you" songs count as love songs. And truthfully, some of the fun, happy ones really are quite good. "Here (In Your Arms)" by Hellogoodbye. "Red Sweater" by The Aquabats. The list goes on :)

Agreed. "Stolen" is really good, but unfortunately, it comes down to three other ones for me. First of all, there's "Hands Down" by Dashboard, mainly because of the line "My hopes are so high that your kiss might kill me, so won't you kill me so I die happy." I need to use that for a pickup line sometime. Then of course, there's "O Valencia!" by The Decemberists. That's a really good, bittersweet song. Everyone should go look it up, it's on YouTube. One of my favorites of all time. Last but not least is "What Sarah Said" by Death Cab for Cutie. It's a painfully sentimental song with a terribly good thought-provoking line: "Love is watching someone die." That line just makes me think every time I hear it...

"Hands Down" - I agree, that's a great one. I also really like "Of Angels and Angles" by The Decemberists. It makes me smile :)

Another guest question, this time from my good friend J.J. from south of the border. She asks, Do guys actually like Valentine's Day or do you think it's overrated getting your signifigant other chocolate, etc., etc.?

I like Valentine's Day. I don't know about overrated... if anything, it's underrated, or just misunderstood. I guess it's the same answer as before. I think sometimes people just lose sight of the real meaning.

Like we've said, Valentine's Day shouldn't be all about the Benjamins. It should be more about the love.

M.Wh. asks: Do you think that if a girl likes a guy, he'll start liking her back because she likes him, or vice versa?

Yes. I don't know about falling head over heels for the girl right away, but there's a definite impact. My brother Michael has always said that there's nothing in the world that's more attractive than a girl who likes you. I know it maybe shouldn't be that way, but once I figure out a girl likes me, I always like her more than I did before I knew she liked me. It just happens. Whether he'll officially "like her back" is still up in the air, but he'll definitely like her more, I think.

I think it's probably true, but I hesitate to say anything either way because I haven't experienced this before (to my knowledge). So yeah, probably.

Hmm. Tough question... I don't think it's a black and white thing, but I do think it has an impact. I mean, think about how hard it is to like someone who doesn't like you back. I imagine the effect can be reversed to a certain extent... it makes it a little harder to not like someone who likes you back. But I think there are plenty of other factors that can be much more repelling than the extent to which a one-way attraction can be inviting. If... that makes sense. I guess what I'm trying to say is, it can have a bit of an effect, more or less depending on the person and their situation, but I don't think it's a huge factor. I think mostly what it does is eliminate that awkward first barrier - that "I don't know if she likes me" thing. With that out of the way, it's easier for a relationship to connect and start, if there's a potential there.

Our good friend M.We. asks: What defines a Valentine? I mean, if I'm not dating someone, can I still have one?

I think it can be anyone you ask to be your Valentine. And no reason why people can't have more than one! Your best friends can be your Valentines. I guess it's just whoever you care about the most. I mean, I guess Valentine's is sorta a celebration of romantic love, but think about elementary school. We gave Valentine's to everybody. So, I suppose a general love for mankind can be a valid cause for Valentine celebration. I think so long as it's about love and happy feelings, you can direct it toward anything you like, whether you've got a boyfriend or not. That's why the whole Singles Awareness Day thing doesn't fly for me :D That's just me.

Haha. I'm terribly aware of my single-tude every day, so Valentine's is just like every other day. ;) But yeah, I think that anyone can be your V-dog. I think my Valentine this year is either Jennifer or inadvertently Megan, so who knows? It could be anyone, even a clarinet. Go for it. Also, I like the idea of polygatining.

+ A billion word choice for polygatining. I had to think about it for a tic, but wow, that's pretty smooth. As for the initial question, I'm going to have to be the dissenting vote here. For me, relationships are pretty much an all or nothing thing. I think that if you're gonna have a Valentine, they've got to mean something to you. And if they mean something to you, at least in a romantic sense, I don't think there can be any other Valentines. If you want to say that a buddy is your Valentine, that's fine, but what does that mean? Myself, I couldn't do it. If I had a declared Valentine, she'd definitely be a lot more to me than a buddy.

I just thought about it, and... a Valentine is such an abstract thing. What does it mean? "Be My Valentine." "Okay." And then... what? You know? I guess it can just mean anything you want it to.

Ok, a question from me now. What's the best girl for you? How is she? What's she about? In addition, why are those things important to you?

The best girl for me? At this point, I know a few who would probably fit the bill, but I don't know how sure I am about that. The "perfect" girl would have to be into classical music, and the bands I like. She'd have to be intelligent, someone you can carry a conversation with. She'd have to be funny and into my sense of humor, which can be extremely bizarre at times. She'd have to have a personality I couldn't stand to live without. She'd have to be someone my mind would keep returning to when she's not there, someone I couldn't help but wonder about. She'd have to be mysterious and intriguing. She'd have to believe a lot of the same things I do. Since they say opposites attract, she'd have to have pretty high self-esteem and be pretty confident. She's all about the love and the sensitivity. All of those things are important to me because what they taught us in adult roles is true: you need someone who's really similar to you in most ways. That's my current opinion. All of those things are important to me because those are the things I deal with in my daily life, and if she couldn't be a part of that, it wouldn't work out. Haha, reading that back, it really sounds like I'm picky. Haha... maybe that's why I don't have a girlfriend.

The best girl for me would be one who could offset me in just the right way - someone who could help me bring out my imperfections and help me learn to fix them, or at least motivate me to try a little harder. I believe that there is an amazing power of mutual growth and development that can happen when a couple works together on their problems in a loving way. I agree with Nick on the "similar" thing. It's easiest to connect with someone who's a lot like you. I'd need someone mostly introverted, but who could open up to me. The way I work is, I have my few close friends that I can open up to, and that's all I need. Sometimes it can be down to just one lifeline. I know it's dangerous, but... that's how I roll ;) To be each other's lifeline and to have the trust and faith that neither of us would do anything to break that would be a very rewarding and uplifting thing for me. Um... she'd have to like physical expressions of affection. Healthy ones, of course. I'd have to be able to feel absolutely and completely comfortable with her. I'd need to feel that I am unconditionally cared for. I'd need someone who wouldn't get freaked out by my intensity... (weird for me to say, yes, but I hate having to hold back my feelings, so when I feel strongly for someone, it comes out.) Similar interests are always good. Someone to just do stuff with, stuff we both love. Video games, writing, whatever. I would need companionship, partnership, just a feeling of general togetherness. Nick said he wanted a mysterious girl, but I would have a hard time with that. It would frustrate me. I want to know what's going on in her mind, just like I want her to know what's going on in mine. Sometimes that can't be helped, but communication is. Um... someone who didn't need a lot of expensive gifts, but is appreciative of them when I give them. Someone kind, definitely. I can't handle teasing... I'm over-sensitive. Someone who doesn't like teasing, except in very limited circumstances. Um... yeah, that's just a small list :D Guess who I'm thinking of... Good question.

Wow, you guys make the application to be a CIA agent look like candy. Anyways, I think the most important thing for me is somebody that wants to move forward. Somebody who's got a firm idea of where they've been, where they are now, and where they are going. Somebody who has their priorities straight, and above all else, somebody that wants to be a better person. If that's my end goal, I want somebody else with that same goal. I think that if there's a girl who's really working to be a better person, everything else will start to fall into place. There will be problems in any relationship, no matter the qualities that the individuals possess. A desire to grow and be better means that we can learn from those problems together and become greater. Somebody that believes deeply the things that I believe is important to me. That's why I make my life the way it is, and I couldn't see myself sharing someone else's life that wasn't sure of that. Progress, I think, is what it's all about. And a girl that could help me progress, and that I could help progress, and that could help our children progress, that's number one for me.

Honestly, I should probably add that I don't really know what the perfect girl will be like until I find her. At this point, I'm just a naive little Utahn boy pretending I know what I want, when in reality, I probably have no clue. When/if I find that perfect girl, she might be exactly like I described her, or she might be completely different.

S.P. asks: How do you define love?

Wow. That's a good question. I define love as... when two people become one and their sum is greater than their parts. Obviously not literally, but... there is this connection that is just unmistakable. And it includes so many different feelings... a lot of happiness, when you're with the other person or thinking about them, but also a lot of pain when you aren't together. It's when a smile jumps to your face whenever you see them. It's when you can't get rid of that smile, no matter how hard you try. It's when they're talking to you and you realize that the world around you has gone by without you noticing it. It's when your mind automatically jumps to them whenever you're not doing anything else. It's how you think about them when everything else gets quiet at night. It's when you see something beautiful and wish that they could see it with you. It's when you know that you want nothing more than to be with that person forever. It's when the conversation comes easy and natural. It's when you feel so comfortable with them that you divulge every dark secret you have and know that they will still love you afterwards. It's when you want to become a better person for the one you love. It's when you try not to do anything bad, even if no one else will know about it, because you know that it affects them too. It's how you know that every single thing you do or think about gets transferred to them in some way. It's how you know that your lives are no longer just your own; you are sharing them together, and the best part is, you're happy about it. It's when you lose sight of some things that you thought were so important before and understand that you are better off without them. It's life-changing. It's monumental. It's incredible. It's probably the best thing worth pursuing in this life. It's what separates us from animals and brings us closer to being gods.

Yeah. Stuff like that :) I like what Courtney said: "Love is like, Woah!" It's hard to pin down... but you know it when you feel it.

Love is interesting. Love is always exciting. You should never be bored in love, you should always discover new things about the person you love, little things maybe, but nevertheless, things you didn't know. Love is when you can't think of enough ways to say what love is (*cough* Jaron). Love is painful when it's not requited. Love is painful when it is requited, sometimes more so than the unrequited kind. Love is knowing when to stop. Love is watching someone die. Death Cab had that right. Love is not even knowing what love is, but knowing that you're in it.

I think that love, in its true form, is a gift from God. And I think that it's given bit by bit, as we work for it. It's care for the other person. Genuine concern for their well being. That concern is an entirely altruistic thing, though. It's not about you, it's about them. And why it's about them, well, maybe we won't know, but we know that it is, and we act on it.

K.S. asks: What's your perfect thing to do on a date, activity wise?

I really like laid-back hang-out-type things where there is a lot of talking, about big and little questions. But this really only works with people you're already very close to. I like having no plan whatsoever... just watching a movie, or going on a random frosty run, or playing pokemon cards, or whatever. Just being together. I suppose that's not really a date...

I agree with Jaron, the spontaneous/weird stuff is pretty cool. Haha, like my date for Valentine's Day, it was kind of random and spur-of-the-moment, but I think it's gonna be awesome. My favorite kinds of dates are the ones where it's really casual and you're just there to have fun. Of course, if/when I start looking for a girlfriend, it'll probably switch to the more talking/asking questions sort of date where you're trying to get to know someone you don't even know, since most of my dates have been with pretty good friends. So yeah, casual dates are good. :D

Agreed with the two above, more or less. Structure in a date is in no way a bad thing. as long as it facilitates genuine talking. That's my number one on a date. Can I actually talk to a girl? Can we learn more about each other? Can I find out what kind of person she is? Hopes? Fears? Dreams? If I can't do that on a date, it really wasn't worth much to me. That's what I think dates ought to be about. I love having a great time, and that's cool, but I can have a great time with my boys. If I'm on a date, I'm there to have a great time with you, and to learn more about you.

M.B. asks: What would it take to make Valentine's Day romantic for a guy?

I don't think it would really take a lot. I mean, if he's the one buying the chocolates and dinner and whatever, he probably just wants to be comfortable and have a laugh or two with the girl, maybe get a good hug at the end of the night. He wants to enjoy his evening. He wants it all to go over smoothly, and hopes that at the end of it all, he and his Valentine are a bit closer. Truth is, though, I'm probably not the best guy to ask about this :D For me personally, it would be my aforementioned plan-less fun-time with a special someone. We can go to, like... Dee's for some breakfast-for-dinner, and then go to my house and watch a movie while we bake cookies, and then snuggle on the couch for a bit and talk about stuff. I just think the biggest thing is feeling comfortable with being me and wasting time in the best way I can. :)

I think what it would take is for the girl to lay off on the pressure. I'd have to be in a relationship first of all, for a Valentine's Day to even want to be romantic. But really I think all it would take is for the girl not to treat it like anything special. If it's just another day where we maybe spend more time together, then that's fine by me. I think the most romantic Valentine's Day would consist of me getting her a gift that's more of an inside joke that's really meaningful to both of us, instead of some expensive chunk of compressed coal (still like that), and then having a nice quiet dinner, home-made or at a restaurant, it doesn't matter, and then just maybe renting a movie or sitting and talking. That would be an awesome day. Can't say no to any of that. That's all it would take, one romantic, pressure-free day, neither one of us trying to impress the other. Just being happy to be with the other.

This is the one romantic answer you'll get out of me. To be romantic for a guy, the right girl would have to come and say "Hey, I really like you. You make me want to be a better person, and I make you want to be a better person. I'm a great girl, and you're a great guy. What do you say?" and I'd say, wow, let's take this slow. And that'd start a train. And nothing would happen for a few weeks, but a few weeks later I'd hold her hand, etc. etc. Honestly, that'd be the most romantic thing.

Haha, I have to be honest, all this talk of Valentine's has me wanting to abandon my quest. But I'm certain nothing would happen if I did. So nay. I will remain strong.


And that's it for the Taylorsville Alliance 2008 Valentine's Day Interview. I feel really good about what happened here tonight. It's always good to come together with two other guys that you respect a lot and talk about things that are important to us. Much thanks to Nickmo and Jaron for all their great insights, as well as all the friends out there who contributed questions. Incredible thanks to everybody who reads this thing. Even more incredible thanks to those who comment on this. Also, if there's anything that you feel we didn't answer thoroughly enough, something you want to ask a follow up on, or just a normal question that you have, feel free to ask away. Because of how cool this was tonight, we might just start doing this more often.

Thanks for being here everybody. I'm glad we've been able to have this discussion. Much love. I hope you're all doing well, and good luck for the future.


Courtney said...

wow, that was cool. :D way to go, guys. i agree with you all on different topics. ;)

Sam said...

yay! that was fun! Thanks for answering my question boys! :D It was also fun reading all the other questions and responses.

Kortney said...

Good work guys! I really liked reading and learning more about you :D