Well, today my Old Man got even older. That's right friends, Nickolas Pickolas has reached the ripe old age of six and twenty. In honor of the anniversary of his birth, I have compiled a list of the reasons why I'm rather partial to him. I hope you do not find it nauseating.
1. He has a beard. This is desirable not only because it makes him look rugged, but also because it's fun to watch people get their panties in a twist about it. Like this one time after a choir concert when a couple of elderly women came up to him and asked, "So, why the beard?" His sage reply: "I don't know, this stuff just grows out of my face!" Classic.
2. He uses his brain. This may sound obvious at first, but if you ponder a little more you will realize that we perform all kinds of rote tasks whilst our brains are totally disengaged. I can't count how many times he's steered me into the obviously shorter of two lines, while everyone else is inexplicably causing a huge backup in one line only. The other day, we went to a ropes course for a young adult activity (it was an institute activity, so we were allowed to be there. But we go to lots of YSA stuff too because practically everyone our age is single and what else are we supposed to do, stare lovingly into each others' eyes?). There were several different courses to choose from, and we decided to try The Most Difficult Ropes Course in Germany. They actually charge you if you want to quit and need to be rescued, because without the fee the employees would be rescuing people all the day long. Undaunted, we took up the challenge. It began with this awful rope wall, and some could not make it to the top. Well, I'm a bit of a monkey*, so I got to the top fairly quickly, although my muscles were screaming at me. Then it was Nick's turn. The other guy up there with me plainly stated that he didn't think Nick could do it. Well he did! And how? By being a smartypants. He came up with a way to hook his arms through the ropes that made getting up a lot easier. Nick then proceeded to find lots of clever ways to cheat our way through this ropes course of death. In the end, we triumphed and gloated at our accomplishment. I feel no less triumphant that we cheated, because we used intelligence and muscle. Moral of the story: brains will always win out over brawn. This is why Nick is always saying he'll be the one to stick to in the event of a zombie apocalypse.
3. He's always coming up with strategies for suriving in the event of a zombie apocalypse. This makes for great conversations and vivid mental pictures.
4. He's gotten me to expand my horizons. This includes things like getting me to jump into waterfalls, but it's more than that. He has gotten me to take a good, hard look at why I believe what I do and at what my true motivations are. He's helping me to grow up, make decisions, and be more assertive in life. Well, he better, since he insisted on robbing my cradle. He's also breaking down that prejudice toward the Democratic party that I, as the product of two Republican people, inevitably hold in some degree. It couldn't have been that strong to begin with if I married a Democrat though, right?
5. He's really good at using the internet to stalk people. This has come in handy many a time.
6. He sticks it to the hypocrites. In a church culture full of facades, Nick tells it like it is. He does not pretend to believe something he doesn't, he will openly question doctrine and policy, and he isn't one to publicize his righteousness. I get the impression that some people think he's apostate (apparently his family is jokingly called The Heretics in his home ward). He is critical of BYU dress and grooming standards (see beard, above) because it encourages judging by one's outward appearance and, therefore, alienation. He's all about honesty and getting your heart in the right place. He understands that making mistakes doesn't make someone a bad person (he usually likes people better once he learns about their problems, because then they seem more "real"). He recently shocked the members of our branch by openly telling them that he doesn't believe in blessing food. He thinks saying a prayer of thanks is well and good, but has noted that there is no scriptural precedent for blessing food (unless it's being miraculously multiplied or is being used for an ordinance). Well, our friends did not like this, and proceeded to pray over the Texas sheet cake again, because apparently his opinion invalidated his prayer. I laugh heartily over this occurrence now, but I seem to remember it was not quite as hilarious at the time. Is it just me, or is discomforting people with unorthodoxy much more fun in retrospect?
7. He's a self-proclaimed feminist. I had no intention of getting married within the next five years or so, but how many male Mormon feminist scientists with fantastic tenor voices do you think there are out there? Lately he's been encouraging me to think outside my career path tunnel vision, maybe even about going to medical school. How many BYU students do you think want their wives to be physicians? I just had an imagination of a faux-hawked BYU undergraduate waving a Family Proclamation in the air and saying that it's a sin for a wife to make more money than her husband. Heh.
8. He's got good hair genes. I flatter myself that I, too, have good hair genes. This bodes well for any future offspring we might have.
9. He's got a cool family. I "finally" agreed to marry him after we spent a weekend with his family. What could be better than having a biologist dad and a feminist mom for in-laws? 'Twas a match made in heaven.
Alright, to make it fair, I'll list a few attributes that do not contribute to my partiality:
1. His sleeping habits. Snoring, talking, blanket hogging, elbowing me in the face, you name it. Plus when he sleeps he turns into scary sleepy zombie Nick, not at all like the awake version. There are a lot of references to zombies in this post. If you know Nick, this should not be surprising.
2. His eating habits. He's not a messy eater like me (I try so hard, yet all the bread crumbs still manage to get all over the place). But he doesn't know how to enjoy his food. He just snarfs down as much as he can as fast as he can, I'm pretty sure without even tasting it. And then he can't bear the mention of food until he's hungry again. For a budding foodie like me, this can be distressing. I see the eating of food as an experience to be savored. He sees it as a means of staying alive. Except when it comes to Hostess brand pastries (gag me).
3. His social ineptitude. Somehow he did not learn how to say please, how to not play games on his phone during dinner with friends, or how to not tell the missionary that her dad sounds like an idiot. We're working on it.
As you can see, the positives outweigh the negatives. So I guess I'll keep him. Why do you like Nickolas Pickolas?
*One of these days I will post about evolutionary theory and will discuss how I literally am a bit of a monkey.