Tuesday, August 23, 2016

TOOLBAG TUESDAY

It’s never fun to be rejected by a love interest after a few dates (uhhhh I know from personal experience), but some people handle it more gracefully than others.

At least I never threw a temper tantrum.

No, instead I deleted every text message we ever exchanged and then deleted his phone number completely so that if aliens came to Earth and found my phone, there would be no evidence of a rejection, or even a date, or the name Will.

Saving face in front of fictitious aliens—that’s adulting!

There are other people, however, who decide NOT to take this “see no rejection” approach and decide to be a complete asshole about it.

At least my friend Kerri has a cute story for how she and Dave met.

Kerri was dining alone at a restaurant for lunch and noticed the cute guy at the end of the bar who was also alone, paying his bill.

They exchanged awkward smiles and Kerri noticed that he wasn't wearing a wedding ring (Score!)

As he passed by Kerri’s seat, he handed her the newspaper he had been reading (Ed note: SWOON)

“I thought since you were also alone, you might like some reading material,” he said. Kerri looked at the paper. He had written his phone number on it under the name Dave.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

“Great,” she said flirtatiously.  

And then he left.

It was an exciting exchange and really original and Kerri called him the next day. They made plans to go eat at a restaurant, together this time.

After two dates, Kerri said Dave was really cute and a nice guy, and they were both in the publishing world so they had something in common, but she wasn’t sure if she was attracted to him like that.

He hadn’t made any moves romantically, but he had bought her a copy of a book they talked about, which was sweet.

Kerri’s initial thoughts of not being attracted to him were confirmed when they had a lukewarm make-out session in his car after their third date.

“Ehh…” she describes.

LOL

They next day, Dave called to ask her out again. 

She responded with a rehearsed rejection that she thought would lessen the blow.

“The thing is, I’m not really interested in having a boyfriend,” she said. “Errr…the timing isn’t great.”

Then she indicated that she’d love to still be friends.

It was sort of true, but also made it seem like it was her and not him, which she thought was thoughtful.

Dave did not think it was thoughtful.

He flipped out.

After three dates. Geez.

“He said he ‘didn’t actually enjoy my company after all and didn’t want to see me again,’’ Kerri recalls.

LOL

LOL

LOL

Uhhhh….he didn’t enjoy her company? IS THAT WHY HE ASKED HER OUT FOR DATE NUMBER FOUR???

What a terrible thing to say to someone, just to hurt their feelings.

Kerri said Dave was so butt-hurt that he repeated that he didn’t like her company, didn't want to be friends at all
EVERand then asked her to return the book he got her.

LOL

THAT WAS A GIFT, DAVE.

SO BUTT-HURT, in fact, that I don’t think she should delete all evidence of him in her phone. 

Just in case the aliens have an anal probe.

-Jenny

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Contract sports

Last name redacted; nobody LinkedIN me

My mom emailed me this bizarre typed “contract” I signed in high school that she found buried in a file cabinet, in which I agreed to be in bed by 10 p.m. every night or else I couldn’t go to the next morning’s 5 a.m. swim practice.

My parents were constantly making me and my twin sister Joy sign “contracts” all throughout childhood about all kinds of things—about being home for dinner at 7 p.m., about drinking milk, not smoking, doing chores.

One time we had to sign a contract that Joy and I wouldn’t laugh at the dinner table because it was “disruptive” and no one could hear how our brother Franklin’s day was.

HAHAHAHAHAHA

F.Y.I. Franklin never had to sign any contracts.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Anyway.

After I was done scratching my head about why my parents still have this piece of paper, it got me thinking about sacrificing things for sports.

It’s good timing, because I’ve been obsessively watching the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

Since I grew up in New Orleans, many of the high school sports I played were “Summer Olympics” sports: Swimming, track and field, soccer. Even gymnastics, from elementary school through high school.

I was never good enough at any sport to play at a high competitive level (outside the Catholic all-girls high school competitive level, in which I RULED), but I still gave every sport all I had, 100 percent.

And I still remember the feeling of competition like it wasn’t 15 years ago (UGGGHHH).

The starting line of an early morning cross-country race, on the starting block at a Saturday morning swim meet, a 3 p.m. track meet after school, green aluminum relay baton in hand, already gathering sweat from my palm before I even start.

Maybe that’s why I’m so hooked on watching the Olympics. I think I’m in it for the start of the race.

Remembering the jittery stomach flips as I waited painfully for the 400 meter starting gun to go off, knowing that any second my relaxed state of being was going to fall to heavy breathing, fatigued legs, LOWERING MY SHOULDERS AWAY FROM MY DAMN EARS, COACH, darting eyeballs to my peripheral vision to see if any runners were coming up on either side.

Controlled stress building up in my chest as I concentrated on nothing but the starting gun and the patch of red rubber track five feet in front of me.

And let's not forget the icy cold pool water hitting my face and I dove in at the start of a race, enveloping me like a body bag.

Concentrating on the black lines painted on the bottom of the pool, fuzzy through my goggles, as I got closer and closer towards the end of the lane designated by a “T” horizontal line. Watching the top of the T get closer and closer.

There was a time in high school where I went to swim practice every morning at 5 a.m., went to school and then went to track practice after school. And I loved it.

Maybe that’s why I’ve played so much kickball in my adult life; I've been trying to re-create the feeling of success in an athletic event.

The feeling of catching a fly ball. Sticking a landing. Reaching the wall of the pool first. It’s immensely satisfying. 

It can not be duplicated, except with more athletic endeavors.

Even watching Olympics commercials about “early morning practices” “late nights on the field” and “unwavering commitment” makes me tear up.

Hearing what the athletes give up, what they sacrifice to be at the Olympic Games.

(Hint: It’s way worse than being forced to go to bed every night at 10 p.m. when you’re almost 18 years old.)

If you’re like me and can’t fast-forward Olympics commercials because you’re cheap and have an antenna, you’ve probably seen or heard the commercial where athletes say thank you to their parents.

Images of athletes being dropped off at practice by their parents (in a Toyota), picked up from practice by their parents (in a Toyota), waving to mom on the rain-soaked bleachers from the field.

They strangely don’t include the situation where the athlete is old enough to drive herself, but still needs her mom’s good sense to convey the importance of taking your sport seriously enough to get at least seven hours of sleep.

Or the sense of commitment that once you sign up for something, or, in our case, sign your name on the dotted line for something, you better take pride in it.  

So thanks mom.

(Uh you can throw that contract away now.)

Signed,
Jenny 

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

TOOLBAG TUESDAY

I never took a psychology class in college, so I don’t really know the definition of a “psychopath,” but I’m pretty sure his name is Andy and he’s on Tinder.

Andy is the PSYCHOPATH who my friend Holly went out with exactly two times, and every single thing that came out of his mouth was bizarre, delusional or physically impossible.

…And then he flipped out when she called him out on it.

It always baffles me when guys think women in their 30s are idiots, that we don’t know anything about timelines—(Oh, you had 15 jobs at the same time? While attending school??? Do the laws of "X number of hours in a day" not apply to you??)

Also we're not idiots on the credentials one needs to be a teacher, for example.

Andy wrote on Tinder that he was in the Army, so Holly thought that meant he was somewhat responsible and in somewhat good shape (LOL) and she agreed to go out with him.

After texting for a week, they made plans to get coffee and breakfast before work one day.

It was a cute, out-of-the-box date.

Yet, at the restaurant, their first meeting face-to-face, Andy said that his debit card chip was broken by Wal-Mart’s POS system (LOLOLOLOLOL) and that he couldn’t get money until his bank opened.

...And an effing credit card was never on the table 
(literally and figuratively heyoooo).

Holly raised her eyebrows and paid for the coffee.

“Let me take you to dinner after work!” Andy said. “I want to make it up to you!”

Holly agreed, even though she thought he was sketchy. 

As if confirming her feelings, he threw in, “Let's go somewhere close to my apartment, I don’t have a car because I got a DUI.”

Uhhhhhhhhhhhhh

“I swear I had a BMW though!” he added.

LOL

Dinner is when it all went downhill hahaha

They met at a place that Andy decided was in his walking radius. 

The minute they walked in and sat down, Holly said the server switched tables with another server so that she didn't have to wait on them.

“What’s that about?” Holly asked.

“Oh…she doesn’t like me,” Andy replied.

!!!!!!!!!!!!

?????????

“Yea, she was a drug addict and tried to push me out of a job at another restaurant where we worked,” Andy said.

Why would he suggest they go there??

Then he started listing all the restaurants he had worked at.

Holly clarifies: All the big restaurants he said he ‘managed.’


When he was listing his 20th job, seriously, Holly asked how he managed (huh huh) to work all those places and be in the military.

Didn’t he have to go off to training or something?

That launched into a half-hour story about his illustrious military career—“a one-sided conversation I couldn’t add to,” Holly recalls.

After dinner, they moved to the bar to finish their drinks (avoiding the “drug addict” server) and Andy starts talking about his new job where he teaches special needs kids.

What?!?

When did he have time to get certified to teach special needs kids during his 20 restaurant jobs and illustrious military career?? 

“I don’t have a degree yet, but I’m in the classroom teaching,” he said.

LOL

Errrr…..pretty sure you need a degree to teach.

Holly then remembered all the times Andy texted her with poor grammar, with “there, their, they’re” all used incorrectly.

This guy was a joke.

Just as Holly was politely exiting the bar, Andy said that he was looking to buy a house.

“My best friend is the best realtor in the city!” Holly said. “I can give you her number!”

Holly and her realtor friend sent Andy several properties over the next week, and he responded telling Holly how sweet she was to look out for him, and that he’s starting to like her so much, he was going to delete his Tinder account.

(The 2016 version of “let’s go steady”)

Holly sent him back a smiley face, but she didn't get off Tinder.

“So I'm swiping a few days later and I see his profile alive and well. I send him a photo of it and say, 'so you're off Tinder huh?' and block him right after," she said.

Hahahahaha

Apparently, his embarrassment over Holly calling him out was too much.

When her realtor friend sent him more properties the next day, he flipped out.

His texts to Holly's friend went like this:

“NEVER TEXT ME AGAIN. I WILL NEVER PURCHASE WITH YOU OR GIVE YOU MONEY. YOU SCREWED YOUR COMPANY AND I’M NOTIFYING THEM TODAY”

Ed note: psycho???

And then:

“DO NOT TEXT OR EMAIL ME, I WILL CRUSH YOU IN COURT. God’s luck”

??????????

Yes, he misspelled “good.”

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

I don’t really know what to say about this.

I mean, this guy goes on a first date WITH NO MONEY, follows that up with a date at a restaurant with a server so angry with him she can’t even stand to wait on him, is clearly lying about his job(s) AND lying about quitting Tinder and then bizarrely insults her friend for no reason and threatens a lawsuit!?!?!?

Oh.

Good.

God.

-Jenny

Thursday, August 4, 2016

I Heart NY

To an outsider, we appeared as we do every summer: our whole family’s annual summer vacation to visit our brother Franklin.

This year, however, we didn’t fly to Los Angeles. We flew to New York because Franklin and his girlfriend Allison are living there while he edits several episodes of the second season of an amazing TV show called Mr. Robot. (WATCH IT!)

And in that way, everything was different.

But that wasn’t the only thing.

My twin sister Joy has a husband now.

My mom is officially retired.

And I have a boyfriend!

!!!!!!!!

I’ve been meaning to write about my boyfriend, Daniel, for months now, and what better introduction than how he was thrown head-first into our loud, boisterous family’s annual vacation last month??

“Did he read your other blog posts about our family vacations?” my mother asked nervously when I asked if he could join us.

“Does he know it will be all of us? And that five of us will be sharing an AirBnB, including your Aunt?”

Joy and I laughed.

It turns out Daniel had read my other blog posts and, because he lives in New Orleans, had already met my whole family and didn’t blink twice at booking a flight.

In fact, he was the only one who appreciated our mom’s constant stream of emails leading up to the trip entitled “tentative itinerary.”

Since our family has always had an affinity for loud productions, it was fitting that our first night in town, we all saw a Broadway play.

Joy played her part exceptionally well when she took the wrong subway, got lost, and arrived at the play with one minute to spare, hungry and yelling at everyone.

Hahaha

And then our mom gave us the expected side-eye when we ordered double vodkas at the theater bar. 

The play Fiddler on the Roof (thanks mom and dad!!!) was the most memorable play I’ve ever seen. 

I didn’t get lost following the play ONCE and enthusiastically gave it a standing ovation.

(I then Googled the lead actor Danny Burstein when I got home because I have never seen anyone command a stage like he did.)

Hmm maybe it was the double vodkas…

After the play, we walked up the street to Times Square, a landmark which never changes, unless you count the changing number of chain restaurants.  

On the “tentative itinerary,” our mom had listed: “Take family Christmas photo at Times Square.” 

Drunk on theater, I felt like leaping there, like the Russian dancers from the play.

We quickly realized that we didn’t need a flash for our photo, as Times Square was literally lit up like a concert.

Beautiful models, iconic logos and other American consumerism shone down on us as we took group pictures but then Franklin got annoyed with the “same photo being taken over and over,” my mom sang show tunes, Joy re-announced that she was starving, and my dad and Allison snuck off to buy ice cream cones from a truck.

And in that way, everything was the same.



The next day, we went to the Natural History Museum, which I hated because it somehow made dinosaurs boring.

Joy laughed at me.

“Where is the skin? Where are the scales???” I asked staring at skeleton after skeleton.

I didn’t know which ones were actual bones or reproductions of bones.
(Most of the real bones were behind glass cases.)

“So WHAT is hanging from the ceiling? Plastic???”

Joy’s husband, who has his masters in biology, was not impressed at my ignorance.

(Also a “water giraffe” is not the proper name for an ancient platypus, nailed to the ceiling.)


A photo posted by Genevieve (@jennyjenny504) on

At the museum, we sat in a planetarium show narrated by Neil De Grasse Tyson about the universe which was also the most boring thing I’ve ever heard, and I promptly fell asleep in the dark theater with stars over my head.

Thankfully, Daniel still held my hand, despite my snoring in the theater.

:)

Joy and I laughed again when our mom kept quizzing us on what “black matter” is after the show and Joy fielded every question to me knowing full well I was in R.E.M. cycle.

Fresh from a nap!! 

Daniel and I then paired off, and I found out something NEW I like about him—his navigational abilities.

There’s a simple comfort in following someone around aimlessly, not having to navigate for yourself, knowing you’ll get where you’re going safely.

:)

(It’s also hard to concentrate on what’s ahead of you when you’re too busy looking up at the tall buildings and pausing to clap for subway performers pole dancing in the train cars.)




We met my NYC friend and walked to Daniel’s friend’s apartment, the chic-est apartment I’ve ever been to in the inappropriately-named DUMBO neighborhood 

(inappropriate because no one who lives there is dumb).

You could see the Statue of Liberty from the living room.

We all walked along the DUMBO waterfront, where thousands of people were out playing beach volleyball, basketball, cooking out, dancing, biking, running, walking dogs.

I especially appreciated the Hasidic Jewish family playing beach volleyball, a father mother and son, all dressed head to toe in traditional garb, not caring about rules or points in the game, just rolling up their pants and playing around.

That is not something you see in South Carolina. 

Or in Fiddler on the Roof.

We ended the night at Franklin and Allison’s Brooklyn apartment, where we had drinks overlooking the New York City skyline from their balcony (swoooon!) and when it got late, I followed my navigator boyfriend back to our Air BnB, without taking my eyes off of him.

:)


The next day, July 4, I decided that I wanted to get a milkshake that I discovered on social media.

It was at a restaurant called Black Tap and there was a big line and the only person who humored me was my mom.

Some people (Daniel) don’t LIKE MILKSHAKES, other people like Joy got on the subway late and made us wait in line longer.

But my cookies and cream milkshake was perfect and I have never had a frozen treat so delicious and, yes, I’m including Dairy Queen blizzards.




We then all walked to Chinatown, and saw fascinating, unidentifiable fruits and vegetables and what appeared to be green onions that were so long and heavy that a vendor was slapping them onto a table from out of a box, like tentacles.

We saw fireworks from Franklin and Allison’s apartment (number “4” on the itinerary) and even though it was raining, we all squeezed in to their kitchen and talked about everything and nothing at all.

The rain stopped right as the fireworks started, almost as if it was just for us.


(Our dad watched the fireworks on the TV inside hahahahahahha)

Seriously...that view! Swooooon

The rain started again after the show and we walked home soaking wet, me feeling very much like a character in a TV show or movie set in New York, brownstone after brownstone passing as I hooked arms with Daniel and my mom.

On our last day in New York, we explored Brooklyn by foot, my boyfriend's idea, and the one who led me and my aunt to the cutest little restaurant I have been to in recent memory.

There was something quite magical about sitting in the café, eating breakfast at noon on a Tuesday, the buzzing of the barista making coffee drink after coffee drink, watching people through the window heading towards a little park.

…on their way to something, on their way back from something, having the best day, having the worst day— talking to themselves (in several languages.)

I felt that sense of anonymity too, even though it was a significant holiday for me.

If anyone looked over, no one would have known that it was our last meal of a special vacation for our family, one where everything was the same, yet different, and wonderful, all at once.

And I didn’t have to worry about finding my way home.

-Jenny











Tuesday, August 2, 2016

TOOLBAG TUESDAY

My friend Sarah just wanted to have some fun, and this guy TJ fit the bill.

Turns out, he was a lemon.

A lemon, like when you buy a car or a phone or something else fancy that LOOKS good on the outside, but is really defective on the inside.

TJ was cute, dark and mysterious (mysterious in that he wouldn’t tell her what the initials TJ stood for…ha) and he lived in a very swanky high rise, exactly two floors up from a party Sarah attended.

TJ and Sarah met and talked all night at the party and, at the stroke of 2 a.m., instead of taking the elevator down to the first floor and catch an Uber, she joined TJ in his apartment instead.

It was an “OK” one-night stand (haha), and Sarah left the next morning, despite TJs pleas to stay. She put her number in his phone just to placate him and told him goodbye.

And that’s all the time she planned to put into this “connection.”

Sarah had actually forgotten all about TJ until exactly seven days later, at the exact same time (roughly 2 a.m.), when he texted her.

“Been thinking bout you. When you gonna back and see me?”

It was a lame text; he had obviously only been thinking about her late on a Saturday night, not during the day, or during the week.

Sarah was put off by his late-night booty call and also that it was only two sentences and not thoughtful or interesting. 

She ignored him.

Yet TJ repeated the same message week after week, always texting on a Friday or Saturday well past midnight with various versions of, “When you coming to have fun with me again?” “You really don’t want to come over?”

GET A CLUE.

He was now just getting really annoying.

So she texted back.

“I told him that while I don’t regret hooking up with him, I didn’t want to be a stranger’s booty call,” Sarah recalls.

She thought that would take care of the problem.

But then TJ did the opposite of a booty call: He asked her out for a meal.

Considering guys rarely do this anymore, it was a shock.

“I genuinely like you and want to get to know you better!” he texted.

LOL

After two more weeks, Sarah caved and agreed to meet him for brunch one Sunday at a hot new place he suggested.

Sarah wasn’t entirely sold as she got up early to get dressed to meet her one-night stand whose name may or may not really be TJ.

She got to the restaurant four minutes late and scanned the dining room. No TJ.

She texted him, “Hey, I’m here. Are you?”

He responded, “No, just getting up.”

!!!!!!!!!!!!

UGH.

LEMON.

Already an enormous waste of time.

“I’ll be there in a second,” he said.

Sarah believed him and went to the bar and got a bloody Mary, staring at her phone when, 20 MINUTES LATER, he texted, “In an Uber now. On my way.”

This now put him 45 minutes late to the brunch that he insisted she join him for, and had set the time for.

When TJ arrived, he still looked cute but she was annoyed at his LEMON lateness and they sat awkwardly at a table.

Then the server came up to take their order. After Sarah ordered, all eyes were on TJ.

“Oh, nothing,” he said.

?!!??!!!!!!!?!??!

“WHAT? You’re not hungry?” she asked.

“No…I’m just not much of a breakfast person.”

The server shot her a look of pity.

“Then why did you agree to brunch? Why did you suggest this place?” Sarah asked.

He didn’t respond.

And that’s how Sarah found herself EATING BY HERSELF, suddenly massively regretting her life choices.

THIS IS WHY YOU NEVER TALK TO A ONE-NIGHT STAND AGAIN.

And then came the icing on the cinnamon roll: The bill came, and SARAH PAID FOR IT.

“Well, I didn’t technically eat anything….” TJ said.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It was the most mortifying scene ever.

All Sarah could think about was how fast the server could run her debit card and she could leave, when she felt TJs hand ON HER KNEE.

She jerked it, smashing it on the underside of the table. On purpose.

OWWWWWW!” TJ wailed. My hand! Why did you do that?!?”

“Because you unexpectedly put your hand on my knee, and I don’t know why,” she said, cooly.

“Well, I was about to ask you if you wanted to come back to my place,” TJ said.

LOL

LOL

“...You know…to have some fun. Like we did the other night.”

The other night?!?! 

Try the other month.

After a long pause Sarah said, “Oh, no, I’m good. I’m really full after all that awesome food.”

Then TJ said, seriously, after she had AGAIN turned him down: 

“After all this, you won’t even come back to my place for a little fun? C’mon, you know you want to.”

All this??

All what???

All $30 on her debit card?!??!

Sarah looked at him dumbfounded. Did this guy seriously think that after the most awkward “date” in the history of brunch THAT HE DIDN’T PAY FOR, which included a complete disregard for arriving on time, being a weirdo and not ordering anything, and failing other basic social clues, that sex was a natural follow-up?!

UGH.

SUCK ON A LEMON TJ


-Jenny
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