Tuesday, October 25, 2011

TOOLBAG TUESDAY

Sometimes, one of the most annoying things about breaking up with someone is breaking up with their life as well.

(Of course this only applies to people you break up with who HAVE lives.)

Sometimes you just want to be like, well, I don’t want to see YOU anymore...but can I still hang out with all your friends?

...And still go to your family dinners??

But no, you can’t.
And it sucks.

Tommy my friend Sarah’s ex-boyfriend didn’t get that memo.

When they broke up, (FYI...his fault a thousand percent), he decided that he still wanted to reap the benefits of Sarah’s life.

Toolbag move number one, he mentioned DURING THEIR BREAKUP“You know, I’m still playing on your kickball team,” which was quickly answered with a “LIKE F YOU ARE” ....since it was Sarah’s kickball team and she had been the captain for three years and Tommy hadn’t even been around for one year.

Really Tommy? You still think you’re on her kickball team?
No, you are no longer part of Sarah’s life.
Cease and desist.

But Tommy was determined. Faced with the fact that he now had zero friends (since he had leeched off of Sarah for the past year), he decided he was going to form his OWN kickball team.

With Sarah’s players.

Tommy called each person on Sarah’s team to ask them if they wanted to switch teams to one he was forming. He even called her girl friends!!

Nobody switched teams, and when someone (uh, a girl friend) mentioned the phone call to Sarah at the bar after a game, everyone awkwardly admitted that Tommy had called them, too.

“YOU’RE POACHING?” Sarah screamed at Tommy over the phone later. “YOU’RE POACHING MY TEAM??”

Tommy didn’t understand the problem.

He then decided to show up at the kickball championship game a few weeks later, even though HE WASN’T ON A TEAM, and, as such, had to pay money to get in (for the keg beer.)

...And he brought a girl.

Yes, Tommy brought a date knowing full well Sarah and her entire team was going to be there.

One month after they broke up.

Sarah decided she wasn’t going to pay attention to Tommy, but then as she walked back from getting more beer, he had weaseled himself into the conversation with her team and her friends. Sitting with them!

Like everything was cool.

NOT COOL! You don’t hang with your ex’s friends on your ex’s turf a month after you break up, uh, ESPECIALLY IF YOU HAVE A GIRL ON YOUR ARM.

Go somewhere else!

Just because it’s kickball doesn’t give you an excuse to be a complete child.

-Jenny

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Diary of a wimpy adult

You people have fun at your haunted house. I’ll be on my couch watching The Office with all the lights on.

I hate, hate, hate being scared. I don’t find it exhilarating; I find it crippling. And I see no reason why anyone would pay money to be terrified.

The WORST of the worst are haunted houses, especially the ones with the chainsaw guys.
There are few things in life I fear more than the chainsaw guys.

And, they know it.

I try to act cool and calm when I pass them, but since I have a terrible time NOT showing emotions on my face, they spot me like a shark spots a baby seal.

Perhaps my obvious speed walking past them doesn’t help, or my fake “PSSSHHH chainsaws? No biggie” attitude. Because once they see the whites of my eyes, they know.

And they run right over to me --even if I’m hiding behind a person bigger than me-- and WHIR MY BACK so I can feel the wind in my hair and I scream, hunched over in the fetal position.

...While peeing myself.

I try not to be scared, but it’s hard when the possibility exists that THAT particular chainsaw WHIRRING ON MY BACK is the one that didn’t get its blade removed.

Because what if, for example, someone escaped the mental hospital and purchased their own chainsaw from Lowe’s and showed up in costume??
What about an estranged ex-boyfriend???

No one would know the difference!!! People I would be sliced in half!

I mean...it's a possibility.

I’d like to say that I haven’t always been this wimpy, but that's a lie.

I remember as a child walking through a haunted house in New Orleans put on by the sheriff, where all the people scaring you are POLICE OFFICERS, yet I still cried so hard and so loud that a man actually took his mask off and bent down to show me he wasn’t really a “bad guy.”

I’ve been in a number of haunted house “chicken coops” – a caged elevator where us wimps elect to leave the house early through the emergency exit because we can no longer stand our fears.

And then we all sit like dorks waiting on a bench at the exit for all our friends, tears in our eyes.

And don’t get me started on scary movies.

My first ever nightmare as a child came from a scary movie: My Little Pony. Hahaha – no...wait, I’m serious.

I have a distinct memory of being so terrified of the witch in the movie that I slept in my parents’ bed that night, even though I was 3 years old and had my own bed.

My mom remembers that, too, and brings it up when the topic of scary movies comes up.

“I was like, ‘My Little Pony?’” Really??” she tells people as I slink out of the room.

So right. Scary stuff? Not into it.

Action/thriller movies even scare me. After I saw the movie Collateral, I was actually scared of the bad guy...who was played by TOM CRUISE. (What! He was very convincing.) I seriously slept with all the lights on that night.

I fell for all of the common fears children have.

I would never even think of sleeping with one arm hanging off the bed, because a monster would definitely have snatched me. The kind of monster with fur all over its body.
Who lived under my bed.

When I was 12, the house next to my parents’ in New Orleans was used to film a movie – “Candyman II Farewell to the Flesh” – and I distinctly remember a character whose body turns into NOTHING BUT BEES and yes, I know it was a movie, but I used to envision bee-man knocking on our door.

(It didn’t help that there were very real Halloween fears in our neighborhood, like the voodoo house/compound in the next block and we could never let our black cat, Elizabeth, out for the week leading up to Halloween for fear she’d be skinned.)

THE HORROR!!!

Anyway...so this is my Halloween each year: PG things like pumpkin carving, wearing inappropriate and/or funny costumes and drinking rum cider.

And covering my eyes when previews for scary movies come on.

And avoiding bees...

-Jenny

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

TOOLBAG TUESDAY

There comes a point in your mid-twenties where checking for an engagement ring on people you think are hot is part of your going-out routine.

It’s much easier for guys to notice a girl’s ring since it’s so blingy and you get more chances to see it because girls use their hands to talk and touch their faces more.

It’s harder to ring check a guy because 1.) the wedding band is usually very subdued and 2.) many men have embraced jewelry so it’s hard to tell if it’s a wedding ring or something else like a family heirloom or something they bought in Europe to look cool.

(My dorm roommate gave me a “Survival guide: dating and sex” book for Christmas one year and they had an entire chapter on how to tell if your guy is secretly married: Check out his ring finger for a tan line or indentation.)

My twin sister Joy should have “tan line” and/or “indentation” -checked Peter, a guy she chatted up outside a bar where we were hearing music last weekend.

Peter was visiting New Orleans from New York for a bachelor party, and he was cute, and not wearing a ring.

All of his friends were mingling outside the bar and Joy and Peter ended up talking for almost 20 minutes.

“Man, I’ve been to so many bachelor parties,” Peter said. “All my friends are getting married. I’m going to eight weddings this year. GAW.”

“Wow. So, is your girlfriend now pressuring you to get married, too?” Joy asked playfully, probing him to see if he was single.

“Nah, we’re in the beginning stages,” Peter said.

The conversation then moved to which bachelor party was the best and what makes for a good party, blah blah, and Peter said the party he went to in South Carolina on the beach was his favorite.

“Holy shit!” Joy said. “I live ten minutes from that beach! I’m just in town visiting.”

They talked about what a small world it is and were being super flirty when one of the other guys in the bachelor party came over.

“So, I hear ya’ll did a bachelor party on the beach,” Joy said.

“Yea,” the second guy said. He pointed at Peter. “It was HIS bachelor party.”

“Wait...YOUR bachelor party?” Joy asked.

Peter laughed sheepishly. “Yea...” he said.

Then he took his wedding ring OUT OF HIS POCKET and showed it to Joy.

“I’m married.”

WTF!

“But...you...just said you were at the ‘beginning stages’ with your girlfriend....beginning stages of what? Marriage?

Peter didn’t say anything.
His friend bolted, knowing he just busted Peter's game.

“Um, maybe we shouldn’t be talking,” Joy said.

“Yea, that’s probably a really good idea,” Peter said, stuffing the ring BACK IN HIS POCKET and walking away.

“I feel bad for his wife,” Joy fumed after all the guys walked away.

It was confusing.

Why keep the ring in his pocket at all? He should have just left it at the hotel or wherever they were staying.

Did it made him feel better that the ring was on his person?

Because it should definitely be on the finger people check before they spend 20 minutes talking and flirting with you.

And besides, stuffing tiny things in your pocket, especially while drinking, is a really easy way to lose your ring.

Also an easy way to lose your marriage.
Dumbass.

-Jenny

Monday, October 17, 2011

Twins, revisited

This past weekend, a cab driver in New Orleans took a picture of me and my twin sister Joy with his phone because he said he’s never had twins in his cab before.

“You probably have and just don’t know it,” we said.

But he insisted that we were the first. And he’d been driving a cab for ten years.

He even made Joy move her hair a bit off her face so that we had the same hairstyle for the photo, to make us look as twin-like as possible.

I had almost forgotten what it was like to be I.D.’d by strangers for being a twin, since it’s now been a year since I moved back home to New Orleans from South Carolina without Joy.

Sure, I remember the more extreme stories of strangers noticing us (which I wrote about here...and here), but I forgot what it’s like have people in checkout lines and cashiers and CAB DRIVERS notice that we’re twins and ask questions.

I forgot how everyone smiles when they hear that our names both start with the letter J.
That one I don’t understand.
BROTHERS AND SISTERS HAVE THE SAME STARTING LETTER ALL THE TIME PEOPLE!! WHAT'S SO FUNNY??

(At least our names don't rhyme.)

But it was actually more fun than I remember.

It was fun showing Joy off to my new co-workers (NONE of which fell for her pretending she was me....ugh)

And it was fun laughing when the hippy, tattooed cashier at a wine bar asked us if we were twins, not because we look alike, but because “ya'll have the same air about you.”

In addition to the impromptu cab photo shoot, we were called out as twins by TWO lead singers in two different bands. (holla!!! Front row is the best row)

We also wore each other’s clothes, slept in the same bed and laughed at things that no one else found funny, which makes other people super uncomfortable.

And we get to do it all over again next weekend!!

I’m flying up to South Carolina in five days (which made our goodbyes this morning not sad...whew) and we’re going to an AWESOME Halloween party near the beach.

Our costumes? Dolly 1 and Dolly 2 cloned sheep.

I’m sure many cab drivers would love to take pictures of that.

-Jenny

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

TOOLBAG TUESDAY

It’s one thing to tease your girlfriend about something cute like how she gets cold really easily or how she uh...sleeps with a sleeping mask.

It’s quite another to insult her about something personality-related, just to make her feel bad about herself.

There are entire books dedicated to losers like these -- “emotional abusers” who tear down their loving and adorable girlfriends with unwarranted, subtle jabs to their confidence.

Daniel, the guy I dated a few years ago, wasn’t so subtle.

Granted, he was in a bad mood at the time and was the POSTER CHILD for the “misery loves company” movement, but still.

Ugh.

Daniel and I had a three-year, off-and-on relationship and during one of the “on” times, I invited him to my house for a Labor Day party.

He was my proper boyfriend at the time and I was excited. An hour after the party started, I started to wonder where he was.

“Where are you?” I texted.
“Coming,” he responded.

I frowned. It was irritating that he wasn’t even close to being on time to his own girlfriend’s party.
Heaven forbid if I had asked him to bring the keg or ice or something.

When he finally came over, almost two hours late, he announced that he had a terrible migraine headache and headed for my room to lay in my bed...alone. In the dark.

My friends gave me weird looks as I said I’d be right back and I walked into my room to check on the situation.

He was in pain and pissed. How fun for me.

But I was nice about it. I gave him a washcloth (and, uh, my sleeping mask) and said I’d be back in awhile to check on him.

When he didn’t emerge 45 minutes later, I walked back into my room.

“You talk too much,” he said immediately when I walked in, washcloth over his face, still laying in the dark.

“WHAT?” I said.

“I’ve been listening to you this whole time talking to your friends in the kitchen. And you talk too much. And everybody thinks it’s really annoying and I’m the only one who can tell you.”

“WHAT?” I said again, super hurt.

Daniel had hit my insecure button and I suddenly felt like the worst human being on the planet.

IT'S TRUE!!! I almost wailed into a downward spiral. I'LL NEVER TALK TO ANYONE EVER AGAIN!!

But then I snapped out of it.

“Wait a minute,” I said. “So...the THIRTY people at my house right now for a party all think I’m annoying?”

He didn't respond.

"And YOU'RE supposed to be my reality check?" I asked.

I suddenly laughed about how ironic it was that I was being told I was annoying by someone who was laying in the dark by himself with a washcloth over his head.

Is someone who comes to a party and lays in bed alone the whole time not annoying himself?

And since when did he speak for my friends??

Not surprisingly, we broke up, and I moved on to dating people who actually like me and the things I have to say.

My advice to anyone dating an “emotional abuser?” Imagine him alone in the dark, with a washcloth on his face. And then try to take him seriously.

Daniel may be long gone, but what’s still near and dear are each and every one of my friends -- you know, the ones who can’t bring themselves to tell me how super annoying I am.

Asshole.

P.S. I look way cuter in that sleeping mask than he does.

-Jenny

Friday, October 7, 2011

Y-M-C-A

I used to go to the gym four times a week because it was right next door to my work and I could go at lunch or during a slow afternoon.

As such, I was in banging shape, which has gone by the wayside after only a year of moving to New Orleans with its fried everything...topped with remoulade sauce.

The day that I noticed my SHADOW was larger than it used to be, I decided to go back to the gym regularly.

Also, I'm motivated by my Halloween costume, which will look better with more defined abs.

I will write about my new New Orleans gym soon, which is at the University of New Orleans, home of many awkward exchange students who think the gym is where you pick up American women.

And who lift weights with Adidas shower shoes. WITH SOCKS.

In the meantime, here is a re-post of my experience at my old gym in South Carolina, a post I deleted when it went viral among YMCA employees after someone googled “YMCA” and emailed it to all his/her co-workers.

(I know because I have a site tracker. Yes, I’ve been watching you people.)

Since I was a newspaper reporter at the time, I got spooked that my blog would be discovered and I'd get yelled at for mocking a business I covered for the paper, so I deleted it.

Here it is again.
Happy Friday.

---

I’ve been a member of several gyms before, but the YMCA in this small South Carolina town is…an experience. 



Let’s just say I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone looking to be left alone. There are far too many children running around for that.

I also wouldn’t recommend it to anyone who is bothered by older women in the locker room standing around naked chatting about church.



Yes, naked. Like naked naked! And they act like it’s no big deal, leisurely putting on their underwear after water aerobics.


I’ve also seen an older co-worker in her panties (yikes!!) and a higher up at the YMCA who I had interviewed for the newspaper that day, wearing a thong. She’s 50.



“It was great talking to you today!” she told me, in her thong, as I came out of the bathroom stall.

I looked up at the ceiling.



I don’t know how these women have no problem stripping down right there in front of everyone, and here I am changing in the tiny bathroom stall hopping on one foot trying not to drop my MP3 player in the toilet.


Maybe it’s a generational thing.



Naked women aren’t the only obstacles at the YMCA. There are also children, lots of children, running around the locker room, asking what you are doing, what your shirt says and other odd questions.



“What are you doing, shining your shoes?” a little boy asked me yesterday as I sat on a bench wiping my wet feet with a towel after a lunchtime swim.



Little boy, I’m not even wearing shoes. I politely smiled, wondering where he learned about shoe shining. Thankfully, his mother came to shuffle him away.



I joined the YMCA because it’s right next door to my work and has a swimming pool, but I soon learned that the pool is rendered useless on Thursdays because that’s “children’s day” and someone always pees/poops/throws up while swimming and the entire pool has be drained and no one else can swim for the day.



The trainers at the YMCA are no better than the children.

I experienced this on the first day when I was sweaty, gross and parched.



“Excuse me, do you know where the water fountain is?” I asked a trainer, panting.

“No, we don’t believe in water at the YMCA,” he said.



I took him seriously for a moment and gave him a look of defeat before he showed me where the fountain was.



Another, trainer (who I think is gay but talks about his wife all the time) routinely perches on the ledge of the front desk.


“Hiiiiiiiii, how are you?” he asked me one day as I swiped my card.

“Good," I said. "How are you?”

“Not guilty!” he squealed.



I singed up for a free personal training session hoping to learn how to use new weight machines.

The trainer assigned to me was thoroughly confused by my request.
“What do you want me to do for you?” he asked.


“I’m just looking for a new routine or circuit of machines…” I trailed off.

He blinked.


“I just want to get a new routine," I said. “Hey, how about this machine?” I pointed to something that looked like a Bowflex.


“Yes, you can use that.”


“I don’t know how to use it. Can you show me how to do some of the exercises?”


“I mean, what are you looking for?” 



They have a scale in the women’s locker room (yes, some women weigh themselves naked on it) but it’s one of those sliding weight machines, where you move the big block over to the 100-pound mark and then slide the little ticker up top.

While it’s fun to slide, it gives you a three-pound range instead of telling you directly how much you weigh.



The gym’s only digital scale is in the middle of the weight room, where all the boys work out. It’s OK, I told myself. No one is paying attention.



I stepped up to weigh myself one day and a trainer quickly came up from behind me almost knocking me off, peeking at how much I weigh.


“It’s going to be waaaaay more than that after Easter dinner!” he screamed, loudly, laughed and walked away.



I used to think that going to the gym was simply a matter of walking in and working out, but no. Not at my YMCA. Their new motto should be: If you’re not feeling uncomfortable at least twice, we’re doing something wrong!


It makes me miss Gold’s Gym, where everyone ignores you.



Maybe I’m not being fair. Maybe the YMCA isn’t all bad, it’s just not my ideal work out environment.

I don’t have children, I enjoy being left alone to work out and I don’t see why I can’t weigh myself in private.

In the cardio room — a true testament to the community — the TVs are always on to Glenn Beck or the hunting channel. Neither of which I find motivating.



I also hate coffee, and the YMCA offers complimentary coffee that I have to walk by on the way to the locker room. I usually hold my breath.
(I do, however, appreciate the note above the coffee maker saying, “No coffee in the weight room.”)



When my twin sister, Joy, was at college at Louisiana State University they had a beautiful state-of-the-art gym with a women’s only section (can you imagine!) a “Big Dogs” gym (where Joy noted that’s where the guys make “a whole bunch of sex noises”) and the “Average Joe” gym, where the, average Joes work out.



Now, that’s my ideal workout environment!! Everybody segregated to their own areas, no children, no old ladies in panties.


Nobody heckling you when you weigh yourself.
Plenty of water fountains for everybody.



And no shoe shines.



-Jenny

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

TOOLBAG TUESDAY

As it turns out, guys reading their girls’ diary is pretty common.

TOOLBAGS.

After last week’s entry, I was told by several girl friends about how their boyfriends also took it upon themselves to read their inner most thoughts and feelings without permission.

Among those, the story of Brian reading my friend Alyssa’s diary is by far the best.

Because Brian didn’t just read her diary. He wrote his OWN entry for her to find, and made notes throughout the book.

Brian was nuts about Alyssa, but not like the cute expression.
He was actually nuts.
Certifiably nuts.

As such, when he found her diary one day when she was out running errands (found it lying on top of a bookshelf under other books topped with a figurine and blocked by a picture frame), he flipped out.

OK, so maybe the diary was more of a burn book for all her ex’s.

As she describes: “Each guy had a page to himself which summed up the good and bad in the relationship.”
(HEY! IT’S HER DIARY SHE CAN FORMAT IT HOWEVER SHE WANTS.
)

Brian flipped out about the number of ex-boyfriends that she had written about.
And he flipped out about the entry Alyssa wrote about him entitled, “Reasons Brian is crazy.”

(Crazy people really hate the “C” word.)

One reason Alyssa listed?
How Brian was so jealous and angry that one night he thought another guy was hitting on her when really the guy was so drunk that he just kept running into her...and everyone else.

Despite her telling Brian the guy was just annoying and drunk, Brian picked him up by his ears and head butted him at the bar. There was blood.

Someone more sane reading that may have self-reflected about how that was an over-reaction.
Not Brian. He didn’t see anything crazy about that, and he decided that Alyssa was the crazy one.

After getting a cryptic, "You think I'm crazy...You are crazy! Don't ever call me again," text an hour after she left the house, Alyssa knew he must have read the diary.
Yet, when she came home, it was in its place, seemingly untouched.


She checked her laptop-nothing. She looked for something that could have set him off-nothing. Then she looked over at her diary and took it off the shelf. 


To her horror, Brian had added THREE PAGES entitled, “Let's Talk About Crazy..." and listed 30 examples of how SHE was crazy and he wasn’t.

“He had written me into my own bash book,” Alyssa said. “Pretty funny stuff.”

Not only that, but he took a highlighter and went through the entire book commenting on other guys’ pages and placing CHECK MARKS where necessary.

Then, as if it couldn't get any worse, Brian made his own list of all the ex’s she wrote about and took to his MySpace page to find the guys and let them know exactly what she had written about them.

(He also added his own details).

OMG.
MORTIFYING.

And then, because he was obsessed with the idea that she was cheating on him, he hacked into HER MySpace page and messaged the same guys saying, “thanks for the other day, it was great seeing you...by the way when was that...I can't remember??”

...hoping one of them would say that it was last weekend and then he could “catch” her cheating on him.

A plan which never panned out.

Two days later, he broke into Alyssa’s apartment (using a hidden key) only to leave a note on her kitchen table to tell her that their relationship was over.
 


“Right...who would ever think this guy was crazy????” Alyssa recalls.

Uhhh, for real.
Her diary should be added to his mental health records, for when he will no doubt be sent somewhere for observation.

-Jenny
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