Tuesday, May 31, 2005

How Americans perceive the English:


sad, but true (and funny).

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Leeds rejected me.

One down, two to go...

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Beauty hurts

Tonight is one of those perfect evenings, where the indigo sky is lightly mottled with salmon clouds and early stars, the deer are warily but calmly watching me pass, and the air is still and heavy with honeysuckle. God, that smell. Olfactory experiences are only third on the list of senses that are likely to arouse me (touch and sound being one and two, respectively), but something about that honeysuckle. That smell must be associated with some very pleasant memories nestled down in my subconscious, because the moment I inhale it the shiver goes from my sinuses right down my spine. A mourning dove cooes, and the geriatric beagle bounces along happily, paying no heed whatsoever to the deer, who are stiller than the trees. The last of the spring peepers to get laid are chirping out their frantic mating calls, and it's still too early for mosquitoes. Ah! That smell again. I make the dog wait a moment so I can walk up to a honeysuckle shrub and plant my face in it. The blossoms are so delicate I can barely feel them on my skin, but the scent almost knocks me over. I look up, and wish on the first star I see that someone will come along to share this with me. I am completely bummed, because at this moment I am standing in the most beautiful place on earth, and I am the only one who knows about it.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Episode III: renewed hope

I am one of the freaks and geeks that stands in line for hours to buy tickets to the midnight show of all STAR WARS movies when they are released. For Episode I waited 51/2 hours in steaming parking lot, drinking diet Dr. Pepper and engaging in plastic light sabre duels with my fellow freaks and geeks. I have been a Star Wars fan my entire life. I remember my dad making popcorn on the stove whenever one of the original three was run on TV, and we'd all pile up on the big blue L-shaped couch and I would ask, "Which one is this?" and my mom would reply, "the one with Yoda." And I would be happy. (I was equally happy when the answer was "The one with the Ewoks" or "The one with the Death Star.) By the time I reached puberty I was rapidly moving away from the Catholic Church in which I was raised and looking for new answers. When I was 12 Timothy Zahn published "The Heir to the Empire" and I found my savior. For years my parents couldn't get me to listen unless they spoke in Yoda-ese. Although I had been raised with a belief in the Force, I was too young even when The Return of the Jedi came out to see it in the theatre. I had heard the stories of how great the special effects were, and I was certainly a promoter of the cultural phenom that became all things Jedi, but I was missing that key experience. I felt left out, jipped.

It was with this frame of mind that heard the first whispers, lo these many years ago, that GL was working on Episodes I-III. I waited cautiously, not daring to hope. Then the tablet was handed down from the mountain top of Skywalker Ranch: it was true. A release date for Episode I.

So there I was in the theatre at 11 o'clock on a school night (I was sophomore in college, and I had classes in the morning, but half the campus was at that theatre, so I knew I wouldn't be the only one cutting in the morning. I wouldn't be remotely surprised to learn that one or two of the wookie suits I saw that night had professors in them.) The theatre was jammed, and the atmosphere was as charged as Palpatine's cuticles. When the house lights dimmed and those magic words appeared on the screen, "It was a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away..." I think I cried. There was dead silence, and we held our collective breath and each others' hands. We were all waiting for the same thing. All these pilgrims, about to reach Nirvana. And that first chord...

The opening chord of the title theme and the blazing, school-bus yellow words "STAR WARS." For a split second there was shock, as though a bomb had gone off. In a way, it had. Then the pandemonium errupted. The crowd sprang to it's feet, cheered, screamed, waved light sabres. It was an orgy of joy, relief, disbelief and fulfilment. And it was all downhill from there.

After that first chord of the opening title, the movie was basically a giant disappointment. Most of the characters were stupid, badly cast, and badly acted. I couldn't relate to any of them. It was a kids' movie filled with inconsistencies. The duels between Qui Gon Jin, Obi Wan, and Darth Maul were art, deadly ballets carried out lethal grace, precision, and drama. Aside from that, the movie had few redeeming moments. (For the love of God, why didn't they cast Haley Joes Osmett to play Anakin!?!? That alone would have improved the movie by 150%.)

When Episode II came out, we all repeated the experience, but with considerably less enthusiasm. Feeling that George had betrayed his most loyal fans with the crap in Episode I, we had much lower expectations. But we hoped that he listed to the criticism from the first movie and would realize the error of his ways. He didn't and didn't. Episode II was better, but only marginally. The loathsome and unnecessary Jar Jar Stinks had a diminished role (thank the Maker), and the obnoxious taletless Jake Lloyd was replaced by the lanky Canadian Hayden Christenson, who did a credible job with the whole teen angst thang. But really, when "credible" is a significant improvement, you really didn't have anywhere to go but up, did you?

Fast forward to Wednesday afternoon. After two pathetic disappointments, I wasn't even going to bother with Episode III. I figured I'd rent it. I was sick of seeing the dignity my beloved STAR WARS characters - Yoda, Artoo, Chewie - betrayed to cereal box marketing. The past 10 weeks have been Space Balls incarnate. The merchandising nauseated me. I felt cheapened, dirty. Then I read a review from a trusted reviewer. It was good. I read another. They agreed that III was significantly better than its predecessors. "Fine," I thought. "I'll bite. Otherwise, it'll be just my luck that I miss the only good one." I went to the theatre on Wednesday afternoon to buy a ticket to the midnight show. No line, plenty of tickets left. Noo problem, mon.

At eleven o'clock, my folks were in bed. I let the dog out for one last widdle, grabbed my Reses Pieces (essential for any proper cinematic experience), and left. The line at the theater was out the door, around the building, across the parking lot, and ended in the parking lot of the credit union next door. The crowd was painfully optimistic. Their enthusiasm was contagious, and I allowed myself to become excited. I didn't want to be jaded any more; I didn't want to be cynical. I wanted to meet this with the same blind ecstacy with which I entered the theater for Episode I, but I just couldn't work myself up that high.

From the first word of the introduction as it slid out into the distance, I knew this one would be different. Better. I knew because the word was "War!" That marvelous Anglo-Saxon monosyllable brought me straight back to Beowulf, to "Hwaet!" I knew then that Lucas had finally allowed himself to return to the cultural, mythological, dogmatic and literary roots from which he drew so much of the material for Episodes IV, V, and VI, but which he all but ignored in I and II. IV, V, and VI were sucessful because he stole, melted down, and poured together elements of mythologies from all over the world. He addressed the fundamental issue of good v. evil, and he did it with personal and cosmic drama.

Here, finally, was the story we had been waiting for: The Fall. With parallels to both the fall of Lucifer, who craved power, and the fall of Man, who craved god-like knowledge, we watched as Anakin (a now SMOLDERING 20-something Hayden Christenson), slowly collapsed under his own greed. I wondered how Lucas would create drama in a movie where everyone knew the ending before entering the theater. He did it by making us watch a train wreck in slow motion, powerless to stop it. He did it by taking Anakin to the brink and back over and over. We saw moments of contrition, moments of regret. He wasn't purely evil; we felt the conflict within him. We wanted to scream "NO, ANAKIN! DON'T DO IT!" but like in the dream, no sound comes out of our mouths. Lucas was laying the symbolism on with a trowel, but that's OK. I loved watching the final battle for Anakin's soul play out in the molten depths of Dante's Hell.

In the great tradition of Greek tragedy, we watched the drama play out on both a personal and a state (or rather, galactic) level. With painful irony, it is the very extreme actions one takes to avoid a thing which bring the thing into being. It is Anakin's desperate desire to save Padme which destroys her, and the Galaxy's equally desperate desire for order which spawns the most evil regime in the history of history. The audience cannot escape. We are trapped in a dramatic pincer movement between the microcosmic and macrocosmic claws of the plot.

Lucas also allowed himself some contemporary political commentary. One of the best lines of the film is uttered by Senator Padme who weakly states, "So this is how liberty dies... with thunderous applause." Other good lines included "Only the Sith deal in absolutes" (take that, Christian Right) and "If you're not my friend, you're my enemy." It was nice to hear that last one coming from an acknowledged bad guy, rather than in a speech from one who touts himself as a great American hero.

Lucas also touched on the Victorian debate of natural v. artificial. We see a droid with consumption who is foul, in part, because he is not fully droid, not fully animal. He is a hybrid, a freak. He is not what the Force intended. When Obi-Wan chases him down, the droid freak takes refuge in another machine, another artifical creation. Obi-Wan, always taking the natural, and therefore good, approach, opts for a ride on a really cute cocatrice that cheerfully barks like a beagle puppy. Finally, in a blatantly (but still rather cool) Frankenstein moment, the ultimate evil hybrid, Darth Vader, tears himself from the talble of his creation with jerkey leg movements, and the monster is born. This is what comes of fucking with the natural order, of playing god.

The film wasn't perfect. There were some inconsistencies in the timeline, conflicts with things said by Obi-Wan in Episode IV. They ruined Kashyyyk. But really, that's all details. They did fuck up a lot of minutia, but it's still just minutia. For once, Lucas got the Big Picture right. The focus was The Fall, and that was done with pain, precision, heart, and respect for mythologies that told the same story thousands of years ago. I am happy. This pilgrim has found what she was seeking.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Demon of the Deep

There is a creature. It lurks in the depths of the Atlantic. It is a predator, silent, waiting. A small fish observes its eerie, green, bio-luminescent eyes in the dark depths, and waits warily for the monster to depart. The fish need not fear, though. This denizen of the deep is waiting for other prey: trans-oceanic emails.

The monster spies an email. It is a note from a hopeful postgraduate student to her adored professor requesting a letter of reference. The hapless email slides swiftly along, determined, oblivious. Faster than a crabbing novice, the lurksome beast lunges forth and devours the email. It smacks its slimey chops and smiles smugly.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

WMD: wilted flowers

The fam and I were at an award ceremony the other night. A gaggle of local peacenicks gave an award to one of their members, who happens to be a good friend of mine. The keynote speaker was a former US marine who became disallusioned with the US government after his tour in Iraq. (Personally I think he's a moron for having dilusions in the first place, but at least he figured it out in the end. Too bad it took 6 months of murdering Iraqi citizens to figure it out.) He spoke of the horrors of war and the tragic effects that our ammuntion containing depleated geraniums was having on the Iraqi people.

Wait, that's not right. Depleated what now? Depleated geraniums. You've got to be kidding me. Are you seriously telling me that our tanks are firing shells containing wilted flowers, and this is somehow devastating Iraqi cities?

No, asshole, that's not what I'm telling you. You know, depleated geranium, the expended fuel rods from nuclear power plants? Stuff causes cancer and birth defects and all kinds of shit? You've got a college degree, how is you've never heard of depleated geranium?

It is an unfortunate feature of the American midwestern and southern accents to drawl final -ds into something more akin to a j or soft g. When uttered through a B-quality loudsystem, the effect is hopeless. Goddamnit man, you're a former US marine and paid public speaker. Drop, give me 20, and practice properly articulating your final -ds!

Sunday, May 15, 2005

There are few things in this world as warm and comfortable as the affection of a good dog. I've had the pleasure to pass the weekend sitting for a really loveable golden retriever. She's exactly what a golden should be: fuzzy, hyper, and dumb as rocks. But she loves EVERYONE (except the garbage man. I really don't know why she growels at him). She even picks up her leash in her mouth and looks at me imploringly when she wants to go for a walk. I thought that only happened in dog food commercials.

It's a good thing she's so lovey, because it was her wagging and slobbering that kept me from having a total emmotional breakdown on Thursday night after someone made a deliberate attempt on my life. I adore Dorothy Sayers (as regular readers know), and I would give almost anything to be as brilliant at Harriet Vane or Peter Wimsey, but after Thursday I've decided that I can definately live quite happily without people trying to kill me. It's every bit as unpleasant as I had imagined. Worse, really. Unlike Harriet or Peter though, my assailant didn't have any particular reason to want me, Chaucer's Bitch, dead. He was just an asshole who wanted to kill someone and I happened to be coveniently (or unconveniently, depending on your perspective) located. Would you like to know what happened?

I was riding my bicycle, wearing a helmet (which is covered with reflective daisies) and obeying all the traffic laws like the safety-dork I am. I was making a left turn. I looked behind me, signalled, and moved over to the left lane. There was a Jeep, stopped at a stop sign on the street onto which I was turning. He was signalling that he was turning left onto the street off of which I was turning. You with me so far? If you draw the diagram, you'll see quite quickly that our arcing paths would cross. I had the right of way. I began to turn, passing in front of him as i did so. He began to pull away from the stop sign before I was out of the way. At first I thought he was being oblivious and didn't see me. I looked over at him, and we made eye contact. At that point he gunned the accelerator and came straight for me. I couldn't pedal fast enough. I watched him come toward me and and screamed as I pumped for all I was worth. He underestimated the force the quadruceps of a rower in fear of her life can generate. He barely missed me as i went off the road.

I don't know who he was. Just some asshole driving a cobalt blue Jeep Wrangler. There were witnesses, but they didn't get the licence number. I was so shaken that by the time I had the presence of mind to look at his plate, all I could make out was the first letter ("A"), and then he was gone. It's funny, my first reaction after it happened wasn't fear or helplessness; it was total fucking Rage. I stood on the side of the road and screamed at him, though he was so far out of earshot by then the only people who heard me were the parents of the little leage baseball teams that were playing a game on the field by the intersection. It wasn't until I stopped shouting at the wind that my nerves finally quit and I broke down. I tried to keep riding (I was on my way to the drug store to pick up some more arthritis meds on my way to the gym to lift weights), but my knees were shaking too much. My knees have never shook before - I thought that only happened in Victorian novels - but they were really quaking. So I sat on the crossbar of my bike and cried.

To suffer an injustice when you have an opportunity for recourse or revenge later on is one thing. The knowledge that in the future your persecutor will get his makes the suffering more bearable by several orders of magnitude. I was enraged because I knew, and still know, that Blue Jeep Boy will never ever have to pay for what he tried to do to me. I'll never catch him. We did ring the police of course, but with only one letter of the plate it's unlikely they'll find him. I don't hate that I was almost deliberately run over; I hate that he got off completely scott free. I want satisfaction.

While I stew over it, I'm going to go out in the backyard and play tug of war with a happy, vapid dog and a squeaky toy.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

bad mood

i awoke this morning in a bad mood. what's worse, i awoke several times in a bad mood.

the first was when someone came into my room at 6:30 this morning to play video games on the computer. being awakened at 6:30 is never good unless it's for sex, rowing, or birdwatching; anything else is criminal. to be awakened at that hour when you'd been in the middle of a really good dream is justifiable homicide. when i looked and inquired as to the time, this considerate person said, "oh, i didn't mean to wake you," AND RESUMED PLAYING THE FUCKING GAME! Not, "oh, sorry, i didn't mean to wake you, i'll let you get back to sleep" and then left. oh, no, that would have been reasonable. instead i got to lie there for 30 minutes listening to the mouse click and the game beep until said person decided to leave.

i petted my cat for a few moments and when back to sleep, at which point i was unable to resume aforementioned really good dream and instead dreamt of the many deeply annoying habits of my aunt. i finally woke up being pissed off at a person who wasn't there for something that didn't happen, but i was pissed nonetheless.

the point of all this is that, well, there is no point. i'm just in a fucking bad mood, and all i want to do is get back to that really good dream.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005


If you're not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. Fact. This simple tenet was drilled into me at a very young age. As a rational, free-thinking adult I still recognize its straight-forward wisdom. Therefore, if you are sitting in an armchair with a blanket on your lap and watching televsion, YOU DON'T GET TO GIVE INSTRUCTIONS TO THE PEOPLE IN THE KITCHEN COOKING DINNER! If you are not actively helping, YOU DO NOT GET TO CRITICIZE. This goes for everthing, from cooking supper to civic responsibility. If you are doing nothing to improve the condition of the nation, you have no right to complain about the present state of affairs. If you are not on your hands and knees with a sponge in hand, you don't get to tell me that I missed a spot. And if you have never in your entire life so much as pulled a dandelion from the rose bed, don't you even fucking try to tell me that the garden looks a shambles. My point is this: lend a hand you lazy, self-absorbed, self-righteous ass, or get out of my fucking way.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Gourmet Bitch

I really outdid myself this time. If you object to the brazen sound of people tooting their own horns, go away now.

Still here? Alright, you've been warned. I've been on a bit of a cooking binge lately. I love to cook, particularly for an audience. When I lived alone I didn't often cook elaborate meals. When I bought cookbooks, it was because I was looking for ways to make good food with less fuss. Now that I'm back living with the 'rents (temporarily of course), I've got a captive crowd who must eat my experiments or starve (que maniacal laughter).

But this past weekend was Mothers' Day, and I really outdid myself. Dig this menu:

Salad: Mixed spring greens with organic grape tomatoes, gold bell pepper, raspberries and goat cheese with raspberry balsamic vinegrette dressing.

Main: Grilled pork tenderloin with apricot and ginger glaze.

Side: Cranberry sauce (NOT the kind that comes out of a can still in the shape of the can) with nutmeg and orange zest.

Side: Wild mushroom and asparagus risotto with parmesan, nutmeg, and lemon zest.

Side: Baked artichoke hearts with onions, tomatoes, ginger and taragon.

Dessert: Homemade shortcake with fresh strawberries and congnac whipped cream.

I am not exaggerating when I say it was absolutely fucking stunning. (And to everyone out there for whom I've ever offered to cook and who demonstrated a complete lack of cognitive ability my turning me down I say this: your loss.)

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Thanks for nothin'.

Man, you people are about as helpufl as tits on a bull. I am once again connected to the universe at large, so I am no longer emitting pitiful pleas for communication. Ergo, you may continue doing whatever it is you people do (nothing, by the looks of it).

I'm either telepathic or Murphy's law is the one universal truth which never fails, because all day yesterday when I couldn't get to my email I was absolutely convinced there were letters waiting for me from assorted English universities. Now, nine days out of ten I don't hear a peep from them, but lo and behold, when I checked my messages this morining there were THREE emails from universities. Naturally, they would arrive on the one day I coudn't get to them. The bad news is my transcripts never reached Bristol, so I'm doing that schtick all over again. The good news is I'm hearing fairly positive things from Leeds. They want to see my MA dissertation. The tone of the email suggested that they are split in camps, and are looking for more information from me before reaching a final decision. And that's a good thing, because writing is what I do best (stop laughing, you assholes), so the more they read of what I've written, the better off I'll be. Writing skills are the one ability that have gotten me over every hurdle. The truth is, if you can write clearly, coherently, and concisely, you can do just about anything. So keep your lazy fingers crossed that I get a good result from Leeds (and Bristol and Kent), and I'll let you know when I hear something definate. Should be fairly soon now.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005


Talk to me, people! My email is still down (it's my old college account, and their server goes down more often than a White House intern). I am a solitary being, adrift in a noiseless, grey mist. As White put it, "a presence in uncreation." Please... mock, ridicule, insult, and deride me; just let me know you're there! The silence is deafening.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005


I am cut off from the world, severed from all civilization. I am a deaf-mute, adrift in the void of the cosmos. I scan the depths of the blackness for comfort, but see only the backs of my own eyelids. I scream, but no sound sails past my tongue and none hear my plaintive wailing. My email is down.
Someday I want to meet a tall and dashing gardener, and I will say to him, "I love your tulips," and he will reply with a mischievous smirk, "I love your two lips."

You may mock my life (for it is entirely worthy of mockery), but damnit do not mock my fantasies (they're all I've got).

Monday, May 02, 2005

The Book of Revelations

I had a rather disturbing revelation this weekend. It resulted from a somewhat unpleasant incident. I was doing a publicity stunt one evening for the FSM (you remember them - the Fuzzy Sado-Massochists?). During the evening I was approached by a man I've know almost my whole life. I loathe this man. He is an embarassment to the species. He is the slimiest, sleeziest con-artist I have ever met. And he thinks he's charming and everyone loves him. (To illustrate how truly despicable this man is, I shall give you a little of his history, so that you may better sympathize with me in a few paragraphs' time: He spent several years in a federal penitentary for illegally hiring unfit women to act as surrogate mothers for infertile women. One of the women whom he contracted died as a result of the pregnancy, because this man ignored the docotors' directions that she should never attempt to become pregnant. When he got out of the klink he was deeply in debt, so he told people that he was terminally ill and solicited money to pay his "medical" bills. What a piece of work, eh?)

So there I was on Saturday night, all dooded up in my stunning attire (borrowed from a costume shop), acting as an official representative of the FSM. And who should walk up to me but... you guessed it! Let's call him "Bob," for simplicity's sake. Another of Bob's unfortunate characteristics is that he loves to hug people he barely knows. I've been aquainted with Bob since I was about 5, but I've never considered him a friend and I've not spoken to him for years. Now, I love a good hug, don't get me wrong, but frankly I'd rather suck a grizzly bear's nuts than suffer a squeeze from Bob. (For one thing, I'm fairly sure that if I sucked a grizzly bear's nuts at least one of us would enjoy it, whereas with Bob he doesn't enjoy giving hugs any more than I enjoy getting them from him. He's not nice. He only does it because he thinks it makes people like him. Which goes to show you he's as stupid as he is unethical.) The second he let go of me I felt like I needed a shower.

Following the unfortunate fondle I had to make small talk. I had to stand there and smile and be fucking charming (stop laughing you guys; I am capable of being charming when necessary) and ask how he's doing etc. etc. What I really wanted to do was splash a huge grin across my face and scream "Bob! My god, you're alive! I was sure you'd be dead by now! How ever did you afford the treatment?" so that the whole room could hear.

But I couldn't. Because, of course, I was there in an official capacity and I wasn't at leisure to spout my own opinions. I had to spend the whole evening carefully making sure that I didn't upset or offend anyone, even slimeball ex-cons. Do I need to tell you how much I hated it? And how much I hated myself for allowing myself to be put in a position where I had to play the fool?

This is the crux of the problem: I can't stand having to keep myself in check for the sake of someone else's reputation.

It's a phenomenon I've endured all my life. My mom is a prominent local citizen, and when I got beat up at school (because my mom was a prominent local citizen) I wasn't allowed to hit back. EVER. Why? Because my mom was a pominent local citizen! What a friggin' nightmare. When I left for college I was finally able to live my life for me, and I didn't give two shakes what other people thought of me. I was always completely honest and open with everyone. The result was that I made more friends than I'd ever had in my life, and I was happy for the very first time.

I am now back in a situation where I have to keep my tongue and behavior in check every single day, because even when I'm not working for the FSM in an official capacity, everyone in this shit hole knows who I am, knows where I work, and knows my mum.

Is it selfish of me to want to go back to living for myself, and not have to worry constantly about how my behavior reflects on someone else? I realize that no matter what I'm doing or where I'm working, there will always be times when I have to be on my best boring behavior so that I don't reflect badly on my employer. That's part of being an employee, and I can live with that, provided it's only while I'm working. What drives me nuts here is that it's 24-7. I can't even wear certain of my clothes out of my house because they might be considered risque' by some people, and even if I'm just walking my dog it could still relfect badly on my mum and the FSM. It's what comes from living in an ultra-conservative small town. (My English friends are probably pissing themselves with laughter at that, because most of them spent the better part of 2005 telling me that I dressed either like Miss Marple or a lesbian lumberjack.)

So I've realized that I hate having to worry about what other people think of me, that's the first bit. The second bit is that it makes me wonder if I should even bother contemplating getting married. As long as I'm single, I can live for me and not worry about how my behavior reflects on my family. But if I get hitched, will I spend the rest of my life feeling like this? Would that bond plunge me straight into a situation where I always have to consider someone else before I open my big mouth? That prospect is rather terrifying. I've always understood that marriage means consultation, consideration, and compromise. (That's rather tidy, isn't it?) But does it follow that marriage would be inherently stifling? Would it mean compromising not only on decisions, like where to live, but also compromising my character - how to live. It's not a thought I relish, and though I've never liked the (very realistic) prospect that I might spend the rest of my life alone, perhaps that's better for me.

Perhaps I'm just such a totally selfish individual the very idea of having to put another's reputation ahead of my own is sufficiently repugnant to scare me away from the altar permanantly. I always felt that in marriage I would gain far more than I sacrificed, but maybe that's not the case after all. I may have to reconcile myself to the fact that if I'm hell-bent on being totaly self-centered for the rest of my life, I shouldn't even want to get married. (A dear happiness to men, I'm sure.) It's an interesting notion, and one that I'll have to lend some considerable thought to.

Of course, there's one other option: marry a man who values my character and personality above his repuation. Someone who, like me, understands and loves the freedom that comes from not giving a shit about what other people think, and wouldn't want me to suppress my opinions for his sake. I can honestly say this much: If I loved, trusted, and admired someone enough to even consider marrying him, I wouldn't him to make himself less than he is for my sake. I dunno, maybe there's someone like that out there, maybe not. Not too likely, I reckon, but you never know.