The Simple Pleasures of Provo

If I'm going to be completely honest, I wasn't thrilled with the idea of moving to Provo. Some of my less savory memories from earlier BYU/Provo days include being called the anti-Christ for voting Democrat and being consistently lectured on the evils of french kissing. If I can't french kiss and vote Democrat, what's the point of living?

I have only been in the motherland for one week, and I am so very happy here. Yes, I said it: I am happy in happy valley. I have some theories as to why this is the case. First of all, it's a completely different experience living here as an adult non-student. I have a car, thus I am mobile. Provo now exists beyond the edges of BYU campus which means I can drive to Super Target as many times a day as my consumer heart desires. I also have some perspective under my belt and am not so disaffected by those who may think I'm the anti-Christ. Since I've graduated, I've consistently lived in places where I was outside of the cultural mainstream--like being a waygookin (foreigner) in Seoul, Korea or a non-Bush supporter in Houston, Texas. As a young student I was deeply insecure about those differences. Now I am embrace it. Yes! It's ok to be the weirdo! It's fun!

I was sitting in Cafe Rio a couple of days ago sipping my Diet Dr. Pepper on tap (that was for you, Susan) and began making a list of the simple pleasures of Provo--the things that are contributing to my great sense of well being here. So far my list includes the following:

*I can sit in Cafe Rio sipping my Diet Dr. Pepper on tap (see above).

*I live with one of my all time favorite people. She sparkles with creativity, wit, and beauty. I was just telling someone the other day that everything she touches bursts into greatness. I don't know how that happens, but it does. Also, she does funny dances for me in the living room.

*I get to hang out with another one of my favorite people. Hint: He has curly hair and impeccable taste in music and always beats me in anagrams. Sometimes I get to kiss him. But we NEVER french kiss because that is evil.

*The Orem public library is right down the street. I'm not exaggerating when I say this is one of the coolest libraries I have ever seen. First of all, they have an entire wing (three floors) dedicated to children's books. Beautiful picture books. Young adult literature. A story time area that includes a lovely puppet theatre. Never in my life have I wanted so badly to Benjamin Button myself. The library also has an entire basement full of DVD's and CD's you can rent. We're talking a lot of media that you don't normally see in a smaller library. I rented a PBS documentary about the women's suffrage movement and so far I've learned that Susan B. Anthony was a fierce son-of-a-gun and kind of looked like a zombie. I still love her, though.

*There is virtually no humidity here so I always have really great hair. Ladies, you know what I'm talking about.

*KRCL. This is now my favorite radio station of all time ever. Top tip: You can stream it live if you go to their website. Try it. You will not be disappointed.

*I live by the train tracks, and when I hear the train whistle at night I feel comforted. It reminds me of being 5 years old again and sleeping over at my grandma's house, lying in bed listening to the train calls.

*The mountains! Oh, those mountains! I said it before but it's worth repeating: Provo has one of the most stunning skyscapes I've ever seen.

*I love that I live so close to BYU--I can attend art exhibitions, lectures, documentaries, and the international cinema to my heart's content!

That's my list for now. Although, I anticipate I'll be adding many more simple pleasures to my collection. In the words of beloved soft rocker Karen Carpenter, Provo "we've only just begun."