Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The problem isn't my brain, it's my taste buds

I don’t have an eating disorder, I just think bacon tastes like rubber.

And seaweed makes me gag. (I’m a delight at sushi restaurants).
And orange juice with pulp quenches no one’s thirst.
And don’t even get me started on beans.

I bet there’s some food that you hate, too, and that’s TOTALLY fine by me. Tell me why you hate beets and I’ll tell you about my (undiagnosed) mushroom allergy.

There’s a reason why grocery stores are 5,000 square feet!!! So people like me, who think wheat pasta tastes like cardboard, have other, whiter options. Ha.

Also, scallops taste like a tongue. A dead weight tongue, like the one on the worst kisser ever.

Have you seen the movie When Harry Met Sally? I’m Sally. Only with better hair. (Ironically, she is also neurotic, and also a journalist.)

Sally likes her garnishes on the side. I like my garnishes on the side. I’m in favor of the separatist movement…on the plate.

(Ok, so I secretly wish I could still eat off of divided plates like in prison the school cafeteria.)

I separate many dishes that get me made fun of in social circles.

Ideally, I’d like my spaghetti and meatballs separated. (Eat the plain spaghetti first, then meatballs second).

I eat cereal dry and by itself, but drink a glass of milk with it.

I get cheese on the side of everything.

“I’ll take cheese grits, only put the cheese on the side.”
“I’ll take the cheese burger, only put the cheese on the side.”

SO WHAT I LIKE TO EAT CHEESE BY ITSELF. SUE ME.

I don’t find it a problem and I won’t make it your problem.

I can always find something to eat at restaurants, if you don’t mind my “hold the bacon, cheese on the side, no olives, no mushrooms, is the fruit medley melon fruit? Because I don’t eat melon fruit” instructions.

Also, can I get a flour tortilla? Because corn tortillas smell like body odor.
(They do! Really! Consider this the next time you eat one.)

What can I say? Special ordering makes me feel special. This is how I live my life.

So, imagine my surprise when I was checking my email yesterday and saw an article about how adult picky eaters are now being diagnosed with “eating disorders.”

HOG(shoulder)WASH!

Oh, they were serious. Apparently being super picky about what you eat is a sign of obsessive compulsive disorder and can lead to nutritional deficiencies.

It’s got a super creative name and everything: “Adult selective eating.”

And here I thought my picky eating made me unique.

I amused myself by taking an online eating habits quiz from Duke University. After answering the questions, I realize I probably don’t fit into their little “eating disorder” category, since a lot of the questions were about psychological experiences and food:

TRUE OR FALSE

“I only eat white foods” (WTF)

“I frequently get nasty thoughts and have a hard time getting rid of them” (uhh that’s what she said)

“I had a traumatic experience with food because my parents used to feed me things I didn’t like.”

(Speaking of: TRUE!! Carrots and peas mixed in a pot is my version of hell. THANKS MOM. I’ll send you the psychiatry bill.)

I’m just kidding.

I’m not crazy. I don’t mean to be picky. It’s my taste buds' fault.

I didn’t wake up one day and convince myself that artichokes are gross, for example. I put one in my mouth and chewed it for a MONTH and it still was intact.

I think the sharp edges cut my throat while I was swallowing it. Seriously, what’s the deal with those things?

Does this make me clinically disorder-ed? If so, would health insurance cover trips to Ruth’s Chris steakhouse?? (Because I never have to special order there.)

I prefer to think of myself as an assertive person — and thrifty — because if I’m going to spend $15 on an effing hamburger, it better be dressed the way I want it. (SEE: No pickles!)

Allow Sally, my hero, to explain:

"Harry Burns: There are two kinds of women: high maintenance and low maintenance.

Sally Albright: Which one am I?

Harry Burns: You're the worst kind; you're high maintenance but you think you're low maintenance.

Sally Albright: I don't see that.

Harry Burns: You don't see that? Waiter, I'll begin with a house salad, but I don't want the regular dressing. I'll have the balsamic vinegar and oil, but on the side. And then the salmon with the mustard sauce, but I want the mustard sauce on the side. "On the side" is a very big thing for you.

Sally Albright: Well, I just want it the way I want it.

Harry Burns: I know; high maintenance.”


SHUT IT, HARRY.

Now if you will excuse me, I have to go see if they sell divided plates on Ebay.

-Jenny

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

TOOLBAG TUESDAY

I’ll admit it, I’ve wanted to be a fly on the wall before just so I could hear what a guy I liked said about me to other people.

What glowing words would he say?
That I’m the best thing that’s ever happened to him?
That his life would be meaningless without me?

(Also, what does “narcissistic” mean???)

No, but really. I feel like everyone is at least a little curious. What exactly does someone you’re in a relationship with say about you when you’re not around?

My college roommate, Amy, found out quite unfortunately what her boyfriend, Peter, said about her when he accidentally butt-dialed her from his cell phone one day.

(It wasn’t so glowing.)

He called her a “thunder-thighed coke head” and then she heard Peter and all his friends laughing.

GASP. That is NOT how my fantasy “fly on the wall” dream would play out.

Amy listened for a full minute after that, fuming, and hung up the phone when Peter and his friends moved on to more boring topics.

She ran into the living room and told us roommates the story, and we all dropped our jaws when we heard it.

They dropped even more when Amy’s first reaction was, “What an asshole! He KNOWS I’m paranoid about my thighs!”

Peter and Amy dated for four years, but for the last year they were off and on, and made a game out of who could piss each other off the most.

(Peter, if you remember, beat our door down and put a dead baby shark under our house. Winning? I think not.)

Amy called Peter back right away and we all waited, nervously.

“Hello, PETER….Oh, NOTHING. Just that I got a PHONE CALL from you a second ago…yea, you accidentally called me…and I heard you call me a THUNDER-THIGHED COKEHEAD. OH YES I DID!”

We heard Peter yelling through the earpiece.

“WELL, WHY ARE YOU LISTENING IN ON MY PHONE CALLS?” he demanded.

All of our eyes got big.

“I wasn’t listening in on your phone call, I picked up my phone after YOU called ME and I heard you!” Amy screamed.

“WELL WHEN YOU REALIZED IT WAS AN ACCIDENT YOU SHOULD HAVE HUNG UP!”

We stood there frozen. We didn’t know how to respond to that. Peter was quick.

Amy was thrown off-guard, but she brought him back to the scene. This wasn’t supposed to be about her. This was supposed to be about him.

“OH, so you don’t think there’s anything wrong with telling people that I’m FAT and use drugs?” Amy asked.

Peter deflected.

“All I’m saying was that it was a private conversation that you OVERHEARD when you shouldn’t have! That’s like me reading your diary and then getting mad about stuff you write about me. I shouldn’t be reading your diary in the first place!”

We slowly crept out of the room as we heard, “A DIARY IS NOT THE SAME AS LAUGHING WITH YOUR FRIENDS ABOUT ME!”

We decided to grab a beer and left the house leaving them to fight it out, and we made a new goal: to only find boyfriends who said nice things about us, not air our dirty laundry/body image insecurities to their friends.

At the very least, someone who locks their keypad.

-Jenny

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

TOOLBAG TUESDAY

They say there’s never a good time to break up with someone.

It’s always either an upcoming holiday (you can’t break up with someone on Christmas!!!) or it’s someone’s birthday, or graduation or JAZZ FEST and then there’s that already-booked vacation to the mountains coming up and no one wants to lose their deposit on a villa.

But even if you somehow find a lull in your (and your significant other’s) schedule you then need to figure out the best place to break up with them.

The most humane place possible. Like euthanasia.

Would it be more pleasant for someone to be broken up with in private? Or a public place?

Would breaking up in the apartment you share together make it awkward because then, who leaves?

Or would it be worse having to tip a server once the conversation was over?

I certainly don’t know what’s better, but I can tell you from personal experience the absolutely, unequivocally WORST time and place to dump someone:

The day before their birthday.
On a boat.
In front of parents.

This happened to me three years ago to date.
Well, three years ago to date yesterday.

See, TODAY IS MY BIRTHDAY (Go shorty!!) and thanks to Kyle, I will always think back on the year my super courteous boyfriend broke up with me the day before my birthday. On a boat.

And we didn’t get to dry land after that for another 45 minutes.

Kyle and I had dated on and off for two years and I broke up with him the previous November and we were doing the super successful “let’s still sort of date to see if we can work it out/lessen the blow” thing.

But that just made the break up more torturous, and one particular fight (that he started) ended in a dramatic “CAN’T DO THIS ANYMORE! IT’S OVER!!” finale.

(FML.)

Kyle’s parents busied themselves with what little they could find on the tiny motorboat, after overhearing the entire conversation.

I was considering taking a life jacket and jumping overboard. I remember staring at the water, wishing I was a dolphin.

“I guess you don’t want your birthday present now huh,” Kyle said, interrupting my dolphin thoughts and I almost slapped him.
I had actually forgotten it was my birthday in my state of shock.

“What it is?” I asked, quietly.

“A motorcycle helmet,” Kyle said.

The pink, half-shell helmet I was supposed to wear when riding on the back of his motorcycle.

I glared at him through my red teary eyes and shook my head in the way people do when they’re trying really hard to suppress full-on rage.

OH, Kyle GUESSED that I didn’t want the present that can only be used by spending more time with him?

His dad coughed from the back of the boat.

I sat by myself in the front of the boat all the way back to the marina and then spent another 40 MINUTES in the car with Kyle and his parents back to my house.

I insisted that my twin sister, Joy, would pick me up from the marina, but Kyle’s dad refused to leave me there by myself.

I didn’t say anything in the car ride and did my best to not sniffle too loudly.
Thank God for big round sunglasses that cover half your face.

When we got to my house, Kyle’s mom got out of the car, gave me a hug and said, “I hope you have a Happy Birthday,” and then paused and added, “Well, a Happy Birthday considering…”

OH MY GOD GET ME IN MY HOUSE.

I returned the hug and said thanks, and we both knew we’d never see each other again.
And we both knew that her son was an asshole.

So, while there’s no good time or place to break up with someone, breaking up with someone on a boat the day before their birthday in front of your parents is probably the worst place to do such a thing, aside from the delivery room and the alter.

Ruining someone’s birthday in this manner will also get you in trouble with the karma Gods of the Sea.

Because, haha, not even a year after the breakup boat scene, Kyle accidentally SUNK HIS BOAT when he had too many people on board and a big wave overtook it.

It sank to the bottom of the harbor like all of our hopes and dreams, and "Sea Tow" had to fish it out for a hefty price.

I laughed my ass off when I heard about it, and laughed my ass off again when I repeated the story to everyone I knew.

Including my parents.

-Jenny

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

TOOLBAG TUESDAY

I’ve only lived with a boy once. And it's not what you think.

He was my best friend’s boyfriend and both of them lived in the extra bedroom in the house me and my twin sister own.

Jason was actually one of our favorite roommates -- he hand washed the few dishes he used, he squashed the MUTANT spider we found dangling from the attic and he figured out how to run cable from the living room to the TV on the back porch.

It was the only time I’ve ever shared a living space with a guy (other than my older brother growing up), and I was baffled by his plain bar of soap in the shower and obscure magazines in the bathroom.

I don’t think anyone who came over to our house during that time would have known that a boy was living with us, since he was clean and neat and living with three girls.

Girls leave their mark more than guys do, from the adorable vanilla scented candles on the coffee table to the 32 half-empty product bottles in the shower.

And the astrology book on the shelf.
And the yoga mat in the corner.
And Tampons! (ewwwwww!)

Girly hair and face products covering Dave’s bathroom is what my friend Carmen first noticed when she peed at his house after a St. Patrick’s Day parade one year.

Carmen and Dave had met and flirted all day, and he invited her back to his apartment a few blocks away after the parade was over.

“You have a lot of girl products in there,” Carmen said when she came out of the bathroom. She was suspicious.

Oil of Olay?
Sun-In?


“What?” Dave asked, shrugging. “You don’t know any guys who have girl roommates?”

Carmen said of course she did, and she had girlfriends who lived with guy friends, so she didn’t think anything of it.
They joked about his roommate’s girly bathroom things.

After more drinks at another bar and not much dinner, they ended up at Carmen’s place, and had a fun little night together.
Dave left the next morning, said he’d call her, and she woke up a few hours later, excited.

Her smile didn’t last long.

A friend had sent her a text message asking what she did the night before and she said she was out with Dave, and OMG he’s so cute! And OMG he spent the night!

Her friend called her immediately.

“Carmen!” she said. “Dave’s engaged!”

Carmen said her stomach or her heart or some other organ dropped at that moment.

“What?” she asked.
“Yea, he’s getting married in a few months.”
“He said he had a girl roommate,” Carmen said, realizing now why they came back to her house that night.

She cursed Dave over the phone -- Oh, ARE PEOPLE CALLING THEIR FIANCES ROOMMATES now? – and, WHY THE HELL DON’T GUYS WEAR ENGAGEMENT RINGS??

She then checked Facebook where she found him, and saw pictures of him and his bride to be.
He was smiling big.

Bastard.

“I bet guys lie like this ALL the time!” Carmen yelled a few days later, noting that he hadn't called her since their night together.

“Don’t trust any guy who has Victoria’s Secret Body Splash on their sink!”

I told her that I would never, ever, trust a guy who had Victoria's Secret Body Splash on his sink.

And then I thought more about it and realized that I never thought to pick up on girlfriend/fiancé clues in someone’s apartment before.

Is this what it's come down to?
Is this what people have to do now?

Develop FIANCE RADAR??

Well, Count ME out.

I hid the Maxim magazines and bar soap immediately.

-Jenny

Thursday, April 7, 2011

You are what (desserts) you eat

I don’t like chocolate.

Let me clarify: I don’t like chocolate the food, not the ethnicity. Geez.

I didn’t think I needed to specify that, EVER, except one Valentine’s day, a former co-worker — a middle aged African American man, and the office’s resident creeper who hit on everyone — put a Hershey’s Kiss on my desk and when I said, “Oh, I don’t like chocolate,” he made an elaborate, embarrassing display of grabbing his heart and telling me never to say that again.

Everybody in the adjoining office cubes stared at me.

I said louder, “THE FOOD! I DON’T LIKE CHOCOLATE THE FOOD! IT’S TOO BITTER!”

He grabbed his heart again and told me that made it worse.

I then told him thank you, and threw the kiss in the garbage can.

(I didn’t say that if it was a white chocolate kiss, then we’d be in business. Uh, no offense. Ha.)

(And, actually, white chocolate isn’t really chocolate, it’s just sugar and milk. That's the only thing I learned when I toured the chocolate museum in Barcelona, Spain. I hardly sampled anything.)

My chocolate repulsion doesn’t make me a popular person to split dessert with (Molten lava cake?? How about a nice lemon bar instead??)

Also, people in the office think I’m being an annoying skinny bitch when I refuse a piece of birthday/baby shower/promotion/retirement cake.

“No, I’m not on a diet, I just don’t like chocolate.”

Silence.
Crickets.
Eye rolls.

MINT chocolate I’ll eat!!” I say, but that doesn’t get me any cool points. Promise.

(on a related note, Don’t f*ck with my Thin Mints!!!)

It’s my birthday coming up, and that means CAAAAAAAKKEEE!!! I decided to be pro-active at the office this week and see if I could influence the type of cake that would bear my name in curly letter frosting.

See, I found out in a most unfortunate way last August that I am the only employee with an April birthday.

So I figured instead of the chocolate MONSTROSITY that we had for the past three months, I could pick my own.

“I would like a cookie cake from the mall,” I wrote in an email to the pertinent people this week.

Silence.
Crickets.
(Probably an eye roll.)

No one responded.
But today, on the way to the bathroom, I was intercepted.

“What do you mean a cookie cake from the mall?” the person in charge of things like birthday cake asked me.

“The mall! The American Cookie Company,” I said. “It’s in the food court!”

“You know," she said. "The grocery store has a cookie cake."

Silence.
Crickets.
Almost an eye roll.

“But the mall cake is…better,” I said, trying my best to look pathetic so she’ll feel bad for me and get the EFFING COOKIE CAKE FROM THE MALL. “People will love it!”

She said she’d “see what she could do,” because she usually picks up a cake on the way to work and the mall isn’t open at 8 a.m.

I mentally noted that if this was The Office, Michael Scott would have the party planning committee absolutely get me my cookie cake from the (Steamtown) mall.

“Well, go get the cake at lunch! Go shopping!” I enticed her.

I then offered to go pick up my own damn cake if it means it won’t be chocolate with strawberry filling. BLECH!

So, now two weeks and counting to my birthday, I have now re-routed all my energy into making sure I get an acceptable cake.

I hope my choice doesn’t offend anyone (Well, anyone who feels as though they are made of chocolate.)

It certainly won’t offend me, because now that I think about it, a cookie cake is pretty much a BLONDIE.

JUST LIKE ME!!!
DELICIOUS!!!

Maybe I’ll ask for a side of crackers too.

-Jenny

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

TOOLBAG TUESDAY

In my opinion, there are only two people who can tell you that you're fat and need to lose weight: a doctor and my mom.

NOT someone you’ve been on two dates with.
Especially if that person doesn’t exactly look like David effing Beckham.

But Matt (see: NOT David Beckham) thought it was his place — his duty — to tell my friend Allison on their second date that she needs to work out because it’s bathing suit season.

His phrasing was infuriating, like he was some sort of expert in the habits of females who live near the beach.
Which is why he’s single.

Matt and Allison were both from up north but now live on the South Carolina coast, something they chatted about when they first met, along with their mutual love for Big East basketball (whatever that is.)

After a flirty night and several phone calls/texts, they decided to go on a date at the bowling alley.

Allison — who would not be considered fat by a doctor or my mom — said from the beginning of the date she was put off by Matt’s competitive nature, like how he insisted that she break 100 (“seriously dude, who cares,” she recalls) and he kept coaching her on her bowling technique.

When they finally took a break, Allison started a perfectly normal conversation saying she’s excited about daylight savings time and getting outside more often.

That’s when Matt “casually” asked, “do you work out?”

Allison, looking down at her 120-pound frame, said “Well, I fell off the bandwagon over Christmas, but, yea, I like to work out.”

She laughed uncomfortably.
Matt didn’t laugh.

He looked at her point blank and said, "You know, it's not like the north where people only work out for a week before hitting the beach. Girls here work out for six months in preparation for beach season."

He then turned his head away from looking at her.

WHAT!!

Allison swallowed, and after a minute of awkward silence, said that she was excited about running after work now that it was light out. Just to save face, the poor thing.

Matt was good; not only was he a liar about when exactly girls "here" prepare for beach season, but he was able to cleverly use the fact that she’s from the north against her to make her feel like she had to abide by this exercise regimen.

After all, Allison didn’t want to be red-flagged on the beach and labeled a “Northerner” based on her body mass index, now did she?
DID SHE???

(I believe this is an old propaganda technique called “bandwagon appeal” that taps into people’s desire to be popular and well-liked. “All the girls here work out six months before beach season….” Pshhh. Don’t fall for it, ladies. It’s the same technique they use to sell kids Corn Pops.)

After the bowling date, in which Matt unsuccessfully tried to kiss her goodnight, Allison went home and continued her life, not modifying her workout routine at all.

Except for one thing: No more bowling.

-Jenny

Friday, April 1, 2011

April fool

Every year on April Fools Day, my twin sister, Joy, and I prank our parents with fake, horrible predicaments.

SOMEONE SLASHED ALL OUR TIRES LAST NIGHT!!! OUR HOUSE GOT ROBBED!! THERE’S A SERIAL KILLER ON THE LOOSE!
I don’t understand why our parents — our mom mostly — never picked up on the date year after year and never questioned our well-timed, very bad news.

It’s as if she was never taught that April 1 was FOOLS DAY, and we took full advantage of her ignorance.

“YOU MADE ME MISS MY EXIT OFF THE INTERSTATE!” she yelled one year on the phone, after we screamed “APRIL FOOLS!!!” and said no, our roommate did not get a DUI and smash her car into a tree last night.

But hahahahhahahaha GOT YOU GOOD, MOM!
One of the worst April Fools pranks was when Joy told our parents in high school, at the breakfast table, that she was pregnant.

That one didn’t go over well. Everyone lost their appetite and it prompted a very uncomfortable safe sex conversation even after we insisted that it was just a joke.

In honor of today’s APRIL FOOLISHNESS, I’d like to tell you three FOOLISH things I’ve (allegedly) done in my lifetime and have you pick which ONE of the following THREE is the fake story (in which I yelled APRIL FOOLS!!! right after):

1.) “MOM! I accidentally flushed my retainer down the toilet! WELL I DIDN’T MEAN TO! WHO INTENTIONALLY FLUSHES THEIR RETAINER?? WELL, WHO OVER THE AGE OF 12 INTENTIONALLY FLUSHES THEIR RETAINER?? I opened that cabinet above the toilet right as I flushed it and I heard a tiny “dink!” and I thought it was my imagination but now I can’t find my retainer and the toilet doesn't work! YOU CONNECT THE DOTS!!
I DON’T WANT TO CALL THE LANDLORD!! CAN DAD COME OVER AND SNAKE IT????"

2.) “Mom! Can you hear me?? I’m whispering because I’m hiding at work. Hiding! Yes! In the bathroom! Because I just blew up the microwave. Right. Blew it up. And I might have to borrow $200 to replace it. WELL I DIDN’T MEAN TO!!! I was trying to hard boil an egg. YES, in the microwave!!!!
GOOGLE TOLD ME YOU COULD HARD BOIL AN EGG IN THE MICROWAVE!!!
I put it in a cup of water and in the microwave for two minutes!!
WELL IT WORKS ON THE STOVETOP THAT WAY!!! YES, I BLEW THE WHOLE FUSE IN THE KITCHEN! THE MICROWAVE DOOR FLEW OPEN AND EGG WATER SPRAYED ALL OVER THE PLACE!! I don’t know, they have maintenance guys coming up to try and fix it. Shit, I gotta go, someone’s coming!!!!!!" >click<

3.) “MOM!!! I LEFT MY PEACOAT IN THE DRESSING ROOM AT THE GOODWILL AND I BET SOMEONE BOUGHT IT!! WHICH ONE?? THE REALLY, REALLY NICE PEACOAT!!!
Oh, which Goodwill?? The one in Lakeview! AND THEY’RE CLOSED NOW!!!
I BOUGHT THAT COAT FOR WAAAY MORE THAN $3.25 AND I BET SOMEONE IS JUST WALKING AROUND TOWN WITH IT AFTER BUYING IT FOR PEANUTS!! WELL I DIDN'T MEAN TO LEAVE IT! I left it becaue I was in a rush!!! NOW I’M FREEZING!!!! I HATE WEDNESDAYS!!!!!!"


So…..which one’s the fake story??


Nope.


Nope.


Wrong.


The answer is NONE of them. Sadly, THEY ARE ALL TRUE.
And they all happened this year.

Saying one was fake is MY April Fool’s prank on all of you.

DID I GET CHA?? DID I??

Did you miss your exit off the interstate??
God I hope so.

Have a skeptical day.

Sincerely,
A Fool

-Jenny
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