Tuesday, February 22, 2011

TOOLBAG TUESDAY


Facebook chat:

Chris: what are you doing
Annie: 
checking my email and breathing how bout yourself?

Chris: ok. prepare for a phone call in like 20 minutes. 
i'm getting naked now


This sounds like the beginning of a randy little evening for Chris and Annie, right?

Wrong. They are exes.
And Chris is engaged.

Which brings me to what I thought was an obvious question: is sexy Facebook chatting with other people considered cheating?

Annie and I both say yes.

Chris seemed to think…otherwise. He was persistent in getting Annie to engage in a NotSafeForWork conversation and didn’t even try to hide the “engaged to..” on the side of his page.

As Annie explains, in a chat between her and myself:

“I just found him on here last week
and yesterday he chatted me on his lunch break and made me tell him all the stories I remembered about hooking up with him
at first i was like nice a trip down
memory lane
and then i realized he was getting off on it
geeeeeez”


They had only been Facebook friends for a WEEK and he started this!
He must have been super horny desperate.

So what did Annie do? She emailed his fiancé — a women she’s never met — about her and Chris' Facebook conversations.

It was partly to let her know what kind of Toolbag she was planning to walk down the aisle with. FYI, guys (toolbags) really hate this secret girl code.

(A guy once told me that it was “effing bullshit” that girls who haven’t been friends for 10 years will immediately text and call each other if they see the other’s boyfriend getting close with another girl. Bullshit for you, I told him.)

But, Annie’s motivation for emailing his fiance was also to get Chris to stop bothering her.

As she explains:

Annie: “So I just fb messaged the girl whose fiance constantly is writing me shit like this:
Chris: what are you doing
Annie: 
checking my email and breathing how bout yourself?

Chris: ok. prepare for a phone call in like 20 minutes. 
i'm getting naked now

i copied and pasted that into the message and said stop your fiance from writing shit like this to me
.”


Annie hit send.
Chris freaked out.

He immediately took to his — wait for it — Facebook chat — to settle this “misunderstanding.”
And, he had to insult Annie while he was at it. Because that’s what toolbags do when they’re caught doing something bad.

According to Chris, the “I’m getting naked” comment was merely a side note to let her know that he was taking a shower.

Awww, was that the story his poor fiancé was supposed to believe?

Chris: What's your problem?
Annie: i thought we could be just friends Chris. I mean youre freaking engaged so why dont you start acting like it. Ive just had enough
Chris: What the hell are you talking about? I was jumping in the shower and wanted to talk to someone while I was driving downtown. Yeah, I've had enough too. I don't know what kind of "issues" you have or had but damn, you need to get some things taken care of.


Hahaha, right. Annie has issues.

Annie — the single girl who totally could have sexy chatted with him with a clear conscious, but DIDN’T because he’s engaged. (And a toolbag.)

I guess somebody needs to be the Facebook moral police and unfortunately it can’t be left up to guys even if they've "put a ring on it."

The last thing Annie wrote to Chris before deleting him as a friend was:

Annie: GOOD LUCK

I think that well-wishing should go to his fiancé instead.

After all, divorce is expensive.

-Jenny

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Bring your (fake) daughter to work day

I brought my friend’s daughter, Tess, to work one day because she was 12 years old and therefore too young to job shadow her actual mom at the hospital.

Newspapers have no such age restriction, although I did have to explain to her that the state senator was riding on a segue because he got a DUI and this was how he could still go door to door campaigning for re-election.

Is that appropriate sixth grader talk?

Tess also witnessed me getting yelled at by the town administrator in the small South Carolina city where I used to work.

That town administrator and I did not get along, and on that particular day, he and I were arguing over the price to copy the council members’ town-issued credit card statements.

He didn’t want me, the reporter, getting copies of it, because he knew I’d write about all the unexplained charges, especially the ones he made.

I already fought with him over getting copies in the first place. I had to file a Freedom of Information Act request and everything.

We finally agreed on a fair price, but he yelled, was visibly rebuffed and offended, huffed and puffed and flailed his arms a lot.

Tess sat in the corner with a reporter’s notebook and a pen.

We were there for 45 minutes and he was in the worst mood ever and I had to sit there and ask him all these questions about the charges while he acted like I was the biggest inconvenience ever.

Then, I took Tess to lunch at a very old, established “who’s who” of restaurants in town, where business deals go down. Very much a "place to be seen."
It’s where the senator was lunching.

He left before we did, and on the way back to the office, my car passed him on the road. He was on his segue.

I told Tess that he was on the segue because he had just gotten a DUI, driving home from a fundraiser at the church (where people said they saw him drinking wine).

When he got pulled over, cameras on the cop car caught him telling the cop that he’s the God damn state senator and not to arrest him.

Tisk tisk!

He totally got arrested, and then his one phone call from jail to his wife (also recorded and released to the media) heard him angrily telling her to call so-and-so legislator and so-and-so higher up in the police department about the meaning of this.

And his DUI case got thrown out because of a 30-second gap in the police car camera recording. It was so convenient crazy! (He did not win for re-election.)

Tess seemed impressed.

Other adult things? She got oooo-gled by the Web/tech guy at work (“SHE’S 12, BEN!!!” I kept having to say. It was easy to forget since she was much taller than me and could have easily passed for 15 or 16.) Also, I made her listen to Howard Stern for the whole 40 minute ride to work, because that's the only thing that can motivate me in the morning.

It actually ended up being a fun day, even with getting yelled at by the administrator.

I hope no one yells at me tomorrow.

-Jenny

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Mardi Gra-ga

Last night, I told my roommate that for Mardi Gras day we should construct an egg out of paper mâché and wear outfits made out of condom material and be Lady Gaga at the Grammys.


Oh, I’ll incubate my ASS off.


Really, tell me, how hilarious would it be to dress up as a condom-egg and walk down Bourbon Street with a set of speakers?
They still sell those Dr. Evil flesh colored spandex hats, right??


Hahaha…so creepy

OK, OK, so I got Mardi Gras fever last night. I’m feeling creative and irreverent.

It’s all LIVE THEATER’s fault, the six, 10-minute plays I saw, all with a Mardi Gras theme.

One of the plays hilariously discussed the importance of costuming on Mardi Gras day, and it reminded me that I need to come up with something perfect. I haven’t been to Mardi Gras in 3 years, after all.

If you’ve never seen Mardi Gras costumes before, think Halloween, only bigger, wilder and more offensive.

Ideally, I’d like to get a theme and have all my friends dress within the theme.
You know, like the five girls who dress up as slutty Ninja Turtles?
Like that, only less obvious with the sluttiness.

(Uhh, says the girl who’s considering wearing a spandex condom dress)

So, for the next few weeks I’ll be Google searching looking for a great idea. And I’m not scared of being political or pop culture-y or even butt ugly.

Basically, I just want to dress up so well that tourists stop and take pictures of me. I'm such a ham! (Hmmm...a ham...that might work...)

But, since my mind works BACKWARDS, I can’t think of anything AWESOME right now, but I can think of a ton of NON-AWESOME ideas:

The Bernstein Bears — My favorite childhood book series! Stern Papa Bear, compassionate Mama Bear and troublesome Brother and Sister Bear. Although charming, I don’t see how realistic it is to get bear outfits, and I don’t see how the bears are relevant, but that’s the first “group” I could come up with. Seriously. THE BERNSTEIN BEARS. I'm...special.



Howard Stern and crew — I love Howard and all, but there is not a single character that I could dress up as from the show: I’m not tall (Howard), or black (Robin, Beetlejuice), or have big teeth (Gary)…oh but I could get some big teeth…hmmm… The closest character I could be is Little Lupe, and my Spanish isn’t that bueno.




Harry Potter — Yes, I am a Harry Potter nerd, but I don’t see how Harry, Ron and Hermione could “Mardi Gras” themselves out. (Although I do still have my high school uniform…) We’d have to make clever signs with both Harry Potter and Mardi Gras references, like….THROW ME SOMETHIN’ SLYTHERIN….OR…SHOW ME YOUR SNAKE! Hahahahaha.
But, I don’t feel like being called a nerd all day. And I can’t think of a single friend that would join me in a Mudblood Mardi Gras (I’m now ducking from the tomatoes being thrown at me).



Glee — Really, WTF is Glee? If I were even to take a stab at it, I'd instruct everyone to dress as gay high school students. Fail.



Jersey Shore – First of awwwl, no one would know who we were, unless we literally painted our bodies orange and wore shirts that said “Snooki” and “The Situation,” and that’s a cop out. People look like them daily on Bourbon Street. And I can’t mimic that accent all day.
And I’d be confused about which character to be since my size screams Snooki, but my name screams J-Woww.



So, it’s back to the drawing board...and finding someone who knows how to make a paper mâché incubation egg.
This baby might be hatching March 8.

-Jenny

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

TOOLBAG TUESDAY

So, a girl tells her boyfriend that she’s going out with the girls on Friday night and not to wait up.
When she’s not back by morning, her boyfriend gets concerned and calls her girl friends.
“No, haven’t seen her,” one says.
“Me either,” say the others.
His girlfriend returns home with a passable excuse, but he’s pissed. So he decides to go out with the guys the next night. He tells her not to wait up.
When he’s not back by morning, she calls his guy friends.
Of them, four said they saw him last night, two said he spent the night on their couch and one said he was currently in the shower.

My dad told me that joke last week. Haha

The moral, I guess, is that guys will lie to cover each other’s asses more than girls will.

What it DOESN’T mean is that it’s cool for a boyfriend to call his girlfriend’s friends when he’s looking for her.

Because, you know, I’m not a GPS.

My college roommate Liz’s boyfriend, Ben (already a Toolbag Tuesday STAR!) didn’t get that, and for the year or so that they dated, he would call ME to see where Liz was.

I KNOW YOU KNOW WHERE SHE IS!” he would say.

Ben and Liz had a pretty volitale relationship and she would deliberately not call him back or let him know what she was doing.

I stopped picking up Ben’s phone calls when I realized he was just using me to keep tabs on Liz.
But, I had a dumb phone at the time that would automatically pick up if someone was calling while I was texting.

This happened one night when I was actually out with Liz. She and Ben had just gotten into a huge fight, which she told me about, and she wasn’t picking up his phone calls.

So he went with Plan B: Me.

Normally, I would have ignored his call, but of course I was texting at the time, and my phone picked up.

“SHIT!” I said loudly right as Liz said, “What?” and I put my finger over my mouth like shhhhhh and hung up, but it was too late.
Ben already heard Liz’s voice in the background.

He called back seven times in a row.
(The fact that I said “Shit” in response to accidentally picking up his phone call did not deter him.)

“WHERE ARE YALL?” he texted, in all caps when I didn’t pick up (or text for the rest of the night).

Liz and I laughed at his crazinesss, but really, it was starting to get on my nerves.
Because a lot of times, I wasn’t with Liz and I had no idea what she told him she was doing.

“Where is she?” he would text. And then call.

What was I supposed to say? The first few times, when I said I didn’t know, he’d press me for information that I DID know, like did I see her this morning?
Did she make it to class? Is her CAR PARKED OUTSIDE THE HOUSE?

As such, I grew to ignore any phone interactions with Ben. And when I’d see him in person, he would never acknowledge assaulting my phone. He was the worst.

I recently learned from a high school friend that another high school friend’s HUSBAND used to call her all the time looking for his wife.

“WHERE IS SHE?” he would demand.
“Dude…no clue,” she would write back.

After comparing notes, my high school friend and I didn’t understand why these guys always had the same response:
“I KNOW YOU KNOW WHERE SHE IS.”

I mean, is that a threat? Are you calling us liars?

Because, OK, maybe I know where she is, but she obviously doesn’t want YOU to know. So, that’s awkward…for me.

And, side note, why would I give my best friend's exact location to a psycho?

Now, before I get a whole bunch of calls and texts about this post, let me say that I know that phones die, or get left at home, and there is certainly a time and place for boyfriends to call/text their girlfriends’ friends.

I’ve texted my friend’s boyfriend looking for her before.

But there’s a level of desperation when you call seven times, or when you’re calling because it’s a last resort.

There’s a difference between “What time are y’all getting to the bar?” and “I KNOW YOU KNOW WHERE SHE IS!”

Click.

-Jenny

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Shot through the heart

For a writing class in college, I wrote about a Stanford University research study on heartbreak.

Maybe I was going through something similar at the time and found it relatable.

Researchers claimed that the part of the human brain that’s triggered when someone is physically hurt is also triggered during a break-up. That our brains process the emotional events as if we were being physically wounded.

This could be the reason why people with broken hearts look and act like people who are physically sick: they lay in bed all day, throw up, cry to their friends about how bad they feel and, uhhhhhh, heavily medicate.

Gives new meaning to the phrases “It felt like he punched me in the stomach” or “that bitch put a KNIFE in my heart”

Some people -- I know two personally -- have never been heartbroken or dumped or wronged and can’t relate to the lyrics of many fine country songs.

But, for those who have, this research isn’t surprising.

I’ve seen friends in the fetal position clutching their cell phone crying that a guy was no longer returning calls and texts; I’ve had a guy friend shed tears at a campfire about how his girlfriend said one day that she wants to break up, but still wants him as her “best friend.”

Oh, it hurts. (Just ask Ronnie and Sammi. They can barely function.)

So how did the researchers simulate a “breakup?”

They created a computer game where the subject was throwing a ball with a computer- generated person. They throw it back and forth for awhile and throw harder passes and move all over the screen to catch it.

In the middle of all this computer fun, a third computer person joins the game, and the three pass the ball to one another.

But a few minutes later, the two other people start throwing the ball just to each other, and no longer the test subject. The test subject is waiting, waiting for the ball, but it never gets passed to him/her again. Anticipation followed by disappointment.
The test subject gets dumped.

Transmitters monitored the test subjects' brain activity. It showed that the minute the person realized he/she was being left out of the game, the same part of their brain was triggered that would also be triggered if they had, say, been punched in the face.

A bruised ego is like a regular bruise, apparently. (And both can only heal with time…snap! Maybe there is something to this.)

The study applies not just to big breakups, but even getting played by someone –anyone – that you wanted to play ball with who chose to play ball with someone else.

If I remember correctly, the study was conducted to show psychiatrists -- and newly single people I’d imagine -- a new way to look at breakups, one that could provide insight into why “GET OVER IT, MOVE ON” is the most impossible advice ever (Dad).

Would you advise me to "Get over" my AMPUTATED ARM within a month???
WHAT IF I HAD MALARIA LIKE GEORGE CLOONEY???

AND, HOW CAN I NOT THINK ABOUT IT ALL THE TIME WHEN I'M REMINDED OF THE STICHES IN MY CHIN EVERYTIME I TALK OR EAT
(uh, for example)

If I told you that I had the stomach flu or was super hungover, it would be perfectly fine to let me cry and not be interested in hanging out and order certain foods and then not be hungry two seconds later.
Perhaps we should give people mourning over a relationship the same courtesy. It's science, y'all!!

Now, I’m not presently heartbroken, but when I was, I found some sort of weird comfort in the fact that physical pain is on par with emotional pain in my brain. (Insane in the membrane…)

Like, it's OK to hurt. No one would expect someone to sit through a ruptured appendix without shedding a few tears.

Maybe that tidbit can help you, too, on this, the day that is Valentine’s Day.

Because if you happen to be heartbroken, or recently played, or, um, named Eva Longoria, today’s going to suck.
Especially every time you Google something and the Valentine’s Day love logo comes up.

My advice is to take a sick day, and use it as an excuse to mope around and eat crackers in bed.

I’m sure a therapist somewhere would be happy to write a doctor’s note:

"(Fill in the blank) can’t come to work today, she has LiarLarryLaryngitis.

CheaterChristinaChickenPox.

PsychoPaulPsoriasis.

StupidSallyStomachFlu.
"

I understand if she makes you feel queasy.

-Jenny

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Group exercise: PMS, panic attacks and booty pops

You’ve got to be a pretty brave person to go to a group exercise class, and I am not that brave person.

See, I’m usually a loser loner at the gym, on a mission to exercise as quickly and efficiently as possible with as few people paying attention to me as possible.

But sometimes friends (who are more secure than I am) trick me into going to a group class (IT’S SO FUN! A GREAT WORKOUT!) and the experience has resulted in one bona fide panic attack and several teeny tiny ones.

Last night was my third ever group exercise class and all three made me feel awkward and uncomfortable for a least a little bit.

In the most extreme case a few years ago — a step class — I left in the middle of class out of sheer embarrassment and un-coordination, and ran to the bathroom and burst into tears in the stall.

In my defense, I was hungry, tired and on day 24 of a 28-day something cycle. (A "triple threat.")

I only went to the STUPID step class because my twin sister, Joy, and friend Samantha had talked it up so much about how it was SO FUN and you SWEAT SO MUCH and OMG it’s the best thing since breathable sports bras.

There were about 20 people in the class, and I seemed to be the only one who didn’t know how to do the dance routine exactly right.

Everyone had stepped up on their little platform and threw their arms left while I stayed on the ground and went right.
 And turned red.
I then spun around in a circle, but NO! we weren’t on the spin yet.

When I realized I was the only one turning, I stepped on my own feet and had to hop on one foot to regain balance.

Mortified, I realized that everyone was able to see me — the uncoordinated monster — in any of the THREE MIRRORS that lined the room. 


What made it worse was that Joy knew all the steps perfectly. Hello! We’re twins! We’re supposed to be EQUAL! Everything she can do I can do (better)! Haha. Just kidding.

The third time I screwed up with EVERYONE’S EYES ON ME, I left the class and hysterically cried in the Gold’s Gym bathroom.



“I looked like a MOOSE!” I told Joy when she fetched me from the stall after class.
 “Horrible!”



Once Joy convinced me to leave the bathroom, I made a beeline for the exit, pointing my red face downward in case any of the other people in the class recognized me.



“I’ll just say it was me who screwed up,” Joy said.

“I’m never coming back here again!” I wailed, very much like Billy Madison when he gave up on fourth grade because he couldn’t write in cursive on the blackboard.

After that, I stuck to solo circuit training and treadmill running.

The second and third group exercise classes (both of which I attended with a more rational, non day-24 cycle brain) were still uncomfortable.
But that was because of the men.

Men spectators during group exercise classes should be illegal, especially during a pole dancing class.

To be fair, the guy was there because of me. He was the photographer for the newspaper I worked for, and I was doing a first-person article about whether or not pole dancing classes turn impressionable young ladies into strippers.

I didn’t want my co-worker to see me workin the pole, or falling off the pole, or stepping on my own feet — especially this particularly cute co-worker — so I coyly twisted around in a circle, looking totally serious, unable to let go and have a good time.


Doing the “wrap around move” or reviewing SAT questions?

Once the photographer got a usable shot and left, the class got significantly more fun. I remember that distinctly.
I stopped caring about how my inner thighs looked, or if my underwear was showing while I spun around.

(For the record, pole dancing makes you really, really dizzy. I have no idea how the ladies of the night do it without RALPHING all over the place).

Last night, I took my first-ever Zumba class, which is a dance class where you follow the instructor, mimicking her every move.

I went because the instructor was a friend of a friend and she’s trying to build up her Zumba class base at a new exercise studio in town that caters mostly to men.

And she was very cute and easy to follow and even had a routine for the Saints theme song STAND UP AND GET CRUNK, a song I very much love.
…Here we come to get you…

But just as I was enjoying visions of Drew Brees and Jeremy Shockey in my head, I looked to the right and saw a guy spectator in the Zumba room.

Ugh.
AND he was good looking.

He appeared to be the gym owner and was probably just monitoring what the class was all about, but seriously, we were booty popping for 30 full seconds while he stared at us.
...Here we come to get you...

(Surprisingly, booty popping was not an exercise we practiced in pole dancing class.)

I have no problem booty popping, but when I’m in stretchy pants under a florescent light with a big mirror and a cute stranger judging staring, I turn into an insecure mental patient.

I was overly concerned and paranoid that the other people in the room were judging me on my dance skills that I lost focus and my brain almost exploded. I had to stand still for a moment to collect myself.

Thankfully, I wasn’t horrible enough to go cry in a bathroom stall. It's only because I once bought a Cardio Salsa DVD from the $5 bin at Wal Mart and used to do it in my living room. Alone. (Zumba is very similar to Cardio Salsa, only with less bongos.)

Aside from the mild panic attack, Zumba was fun and I got sweaty and my booty certainly hurts today.

I might even gather my courage and go again next week, in part to support the instructor, in part because I’ve been eating my weight in King Cake and also, I really like dancing to STAND UP AND GET CRUNK.

Gotta get the booty pop down for next Saints Season.

-Jenny

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

TOOLBAG TUESDAY

Oh, dear Lord, bachelor pads can be creepy.

The all-leather furniture, red accents, mirror above the bed, big T-shirt “pajamas” for a girl already folded and ready (ahem, Jersey Shore).

Nick, a guy who lived next to my boyfriend in college, had a bachelor pad so ridiculous that I would parade my girlfriends through it whenever possible.

It wasn’t just the “Zen” water fountain that Nick had in the living room or the “Zen” rock garden on the coffee table. (Although, those were pretty amazing....y'all, he's so CENTERED!!)

No, Nick won the creepiest bachelor pad award for his snakes.

He was actually turned on by snakes. Maybe he had some bizarre infatuation with Adam and Eve? The devil? SLYTHERIAN HOUSE FROM HARRY POTTER???

Eh, he probably just saw a porn movie once and thought…I’ll do that to my bedroom!

Along the bedroom wall, opposite from his bed, was a tank probably 4 feet long, and there were six or seven snakes in there all curled up on top of one another.

(I, for one, hate snakes and their beady eyes and their distrusting personalities. Guinea Pigs would turn me on more, seriously.)

“Woah!” I said to Nick when I first saw his room and the snake tank (with my boyfriend in tow.)

I peered cautiously into the tank and saw the fairly large snakes moving around, tongues lashing out as they slid by one another. Some were yellow-ish, others black.

I tried to remember the rhyme for how to tell if a snake is poisonous…red touches black, you’re OK, Jack; red touches yellow, you’re an unlucky fellow.

“Dude, show her the light,” my then-boyfriend said.
I gave them both a quizzical look.

Nick smiled, creepy, and turned on two RED SPOTLIGHTS under the snake tank and then turned the bedroom overhead light off.

My mouth dropped as I looked around his room and saw the outline of the snakes on the walls and ceiling, moving around in red shadows.

He actually rigged up spotlights to create a moving shadow of all of his snakes, a scene I'm sure dozens of girls had to suffer through when laying down in his bed.

I think the snakes actually liked the red light, because I swear they all perked up and moved around more when it was on and Oh My God If I Went Home With A Guy And He Pulled This, I’d Scream.

“This is what I imagine hell to look like,” I said unapologetically, hunched over, trying to keep myself as far away from the ceiling and walls as possible. As if the shadows would turn into actual snakes and fall on me.
I almost started rocking back and forth.

“No way,” Nick said to me. “Girls love it. It’s sexy.”
GIRLS like this?” I asked.
“Oh, yea,” he answered in a very Quagmire-from-Family-Guy-type way. He may have winked, too.

I wanted to ask him what music he played on the massive stereo in the corner to go along with the slithering snakes — techno? Rage Against the Machine? What music DO they play in hell, really? — but I didn’t want to picture it.

I also wondered if he ever took it a step further and FED the snakes live mice with the red light on.

Was THAT sexy too?
I shivered.

I was surpised to find out that Nick had a pretty impressive revolving door of women, some repeats too!!! so I guess his reptiles didn't remind EVERYONE of hell.

(Or maybe the girls were too drunk to notice the red snake shadows slithering about.)

I suppose future boyfriends should thank Nick for having the Creepiest Bachelor Pad In The World, because everything else pales in comparison.

I no longer scoff at weird artwork hanging on the wall and variety of dumbbells stacked in the corner, because I know how much worse it could be.

I’m now grateful for the zebra rug and the extra toothbrush on the sink.

And the bottle of conditioner in the shower.

Even a glowing BLACK LIGHT is better than red snake shadows.

Giggity.

-Jenny

P.S. Any guy who takes this advice for their bachelor pad I imagine will be very lonely.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

TOOLBAG TUESDAY

My twin sister, Joy, dated this guy Joel throughout high school, and he didn’t care that my parents saw him cry, throw temper tantrums and fight with her.

It wasn’t that they would fight in a crazy or threatening way.
Joel would just throw temper tantrums because his mom never told him NO, and when he wouldn’t get his way with Joy, he’d throw a fit. It was actually sort of funny.

There was one answering machine message from Joel left on our parents’ home phone that our brother saved for over a year and played for people that came over.

It started out with Joel crying with lots of tears and sniffling.

“JOY!” He screams into the machine. “IF YOU CARED ABOUT ME AT ALL--” (A sob cry/cough combination) YOU WOULD PICK UP THE PHONE! RIGHT! NOW!”
“Hello,” Joy picks up. She sounds irritated, yet also bored.
“YOU FUCKING BITCH!!!!”
Click.

Hahahaha. That message got some airtime until I’m sure my mom deleted it.

I can’t imagine what my parents must have thought about Joel. He was very smart and athletic and they knew his mom and she was actually awesome despite the fact that she let Joel do what.ever. he wanted.

But he was also hysterical.

One Saturday, Joel came over and he and Joy were fighting in the backyard. Joel was crying, Joy was UN-amused.

“I missed my old secretary’s funeral because I didn’t want to leave them,” my mom remembers.

She kept peering outside the back windows to make sure they were allright. It was that moment when Joel got so frustrated with Joy that he decided to do the most rational thing ever: He ripped his shirt down the middle, like Superman. It took a full 30 seconds.

It made sense, because Joy had bought him that shirt from the Goodwill. Joel was sure ruining it would make her angry.

“JOEL JUST RIPPED HIS SHIRT OFF!” my mom said. But she didn’t go outside.

Joy said later that her response to the T-shirt ripping was, “Really, Joel? Does that make you feel better? Now you’re half naked.”
And crying.

I guess it's pretty ridiculous that all this behavior was done period, but I think it was even crazier that a lot of it was done in front of our parents.

I didn't understand it; I remember wanting my high school boyfriend’s parents to like me at all times.
Joel took another route.

“MY DAD IS GOING TO WAKE UP, AND IF HE SEES YOU OUTSIDE HE’S GOING TO YELL!” Joy whispered angrily to Joel through the front door window one school night. "I'M NOT OPENING THE DOOR!"

No joke, Joel had come over wearing pajama pants and a bathrobe. He was mad that Joy had hung up on him. He HATED when Joy hung up on him and couldn't handle it.

Dad never got out of bed, which was good for Joel.
Another time, he freaked out at the family dinner table.

See, Joy and I sometimes all the time get into giggling fits where we both get tickled by the same thing, whether it’s someone’s tone or just how they say something. It’s usually not even funny.

When this happens, our friends roll their eyes and let us finish laughing while they take another bite of spaghetti or another sip of iced tea and resume conversation when we can breathe again.

Joel, of course, hated when we would get into giggling fits because he always thought we were laughing at him.

He was over for dinner one night, and we got into a giggling fit. He looked at Joy and got mad and then – in front of our parents – threw his fork down and got up from the table and left without saying bye to anyone.

This, of course, led us to actually start laughing at him, but he was halfway down the block by then. (In his mom’s minivan.)

-Jenny

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