Friday, November 29, 2013

Thank God for Nicole (and first grade)

Growing up, my twin sister Joy and I were never allowed to be in the same class in elementary school.

It wasn’t so much that people thought we’d make no additional friends, it was that our parents thought we’d be disruptive and make each other laugh to the point that we’d pee ourselves.

….Like, uh, that one time in the kitchen when we were seven.  (It ruined dinner for everyone else.)

The problem with being put in separate classes, though, is that Joy always got the nice, fun teachers and I was stuck with the cranky teachers that yelled all the time.

Childhood injustice!

But in first grade, I was doubly jealous.

Because not only did Joy have a fun teacher who didn’t grade her daily on the arrangement of her desk materials, she had Nicole.

With so many faceless kids at our school, Nicole was the most distinct-looking person I’d ever met. She had jet-black hair and pretty white skin; no wonder she was nicknamed Snow White later in life.

Nicole quickly became our best friend in first grade, and clearly, Joy’s replacement for me. Joy and Nicole routinely got B’s in behavior for constantly talking to each other even after being moved away from one another.

Our mom even had to go to school and talk to Joy’s (nice and fun) teacher who had no advice other than to “recommend they not be in the same class again.” Haha.

After first grade, Nicole’s family moved from New Orleans to California and I remember being super sad the last time we went over to her house and saw all the boxes.

We were too young to write letters or use the phone so we boxed up our memories in our brains and moved on to second grade.

Nicole moved back to New Orleans when she was a freshman in high school, and her mom enrolled her in the same high school that she herself attended, a Catholic all-girls school.

Nicole said she remembers being nervous that first day since she didn’t know anyone in New Orleans anymore, a scary thought when going to a new school in a new city.

“You remember Jenny and Joy!” her mom said.

(I wonder if our ears were burning that day.)

Who knows what became of Jenny and Joy! Nicole thought. Do they even live in New Orleans? What are the chances they’d be at the same school and even remember me??

But then, as if by fate (but no, New Orleans is just THAT small of a town), Nicole entered the school’s gym on the first day and saw some familiar identical faces.

We had all enrolled in the same school. 

And we didn’t even have to look at Nicole’s name tag to recognize her. Same jet black hair, same Snow White. (A lot of OMG’s!!!!!! happened that morning.) It was just perfect.

We wasted no time making up for lost time. In fact, Joy got a detention on the first day of school for laughing with Nicole during the priest’s homily at mass.

Nicole was my best friend all throughout high school.

We had all the typical, perfect high school memories – first time driving, first time driving without my mom in the front seat, first dates, first boyfriends, first dances (with foreign exchange students), first time going to a bar, first fake IDs.

She was a major part of high school for me.

The best part about being friends with Nicole was that no matter what we did, we’d laugh. 

We were always laughing.

We laughed about our teachers, we laughed about our friends, we (me, mostly) laughed during soccer practice when the coach would only refer to her as “purple socks” because that’s the only color soccer socks she owned. Hahaha.

We laughed when the day I turned 18, I made Nicole come with me to seven different bars (18 is bar-entering age in New Orleans) including the punk bar that I only wanted to go to because I had a crush on the dirty lead singer of a band that screamed into the microphone.





Really!!! That's us on my 18th birthday!!! I only look 12.

Laughing was a good look for Nicole; Nicole has great teeth.



Snow White??!

Now, if it was fate that we ended up going to the same high school, then it was also fate that Nicole was born the day after Thanksgiving.

HEY!!! THAT’S TODAY!!!!

Because even though I went off to college in South Carolina, I was always back during Thanksgiving break and was able to spend the day with my very best friend.

There’s many a-photo of us bundled up in coats and scarves out on the town taking birthday shots. #traditions


The thing about Nicole that I loved best is that we can tell her anything - absolutely anything - and she'll always be my cheerleader. The most comfortable friend ever. She never gets tired of me repeating the same stories or fears or frustrations over and over. (A girl after my own heart. Ha)

This was most needed when I moved back to New Orleans three years ago when almost immediately my life plans went to shit. 

I had major life setbacks with a tough job and tough breakup and by the time Nicole's 28th birthday came around, I cursed the day I moved to New Orleans (even though I still made her a buttload of Jello shots). I was a DELIGHT.

Nicole was one of the people I was most looking forward to seeing regularly when I moved back, and she didn't even complain once about my less-than-positive attitude. Not even once. (Well, not to my face, haha). 

And she went out of her way to make me feel better.

Right away, she joined a kickball league with me so I’d have a built-in friend, even though she hates team sports. (At least no one called her purple socks).

And as she predicted, life got better, and we found our New Orleans groove together. We even roped my roommate, Ann, into our mix and have been a delightful trio.

We’ve been to every single festival in New Orleans (and come up with clever ways to sneak in alcohol), every single holiday, Mardi Gras parades, red dress runs and more. We started a dinner club where we go to a new fancy restaurant once a month. I’ve spent the night in Nicole’s spare bedroom more than once after late nights.

And we still laugh a lot.

It’s nice being around someone who knows every single thing about you and remembers it all. 

That's the thing with a 20-year friendship. I don't have to go into a long explanation about anything. I can still call Nicole anytime of the day and tell her absolutely anything. 

How did I get so lucky???












Fate.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY NICOLE!!

Everything I ever needed, I found in the first grade :)

-Jenny

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

TOOLBAG TUESDAY

Sometimes these posts write themselves. (Or in the case of the most hilarious voicemail in the world, uh, speak themselves.)

But, I do like to entitle these wonderful snippets of domestic upset. 

In the case of the voicemail, I entitled it, “Hey kettle, you’re black.”

(Recap: You're 30 years old! Grow the F up!"  said a recorded voice screaming, immediately followed by, "OH AND YOUR YOUR KEYS ARE IN THE GARBAGE!")

Ha.
Grow up.

But today I’m having trouble giving a name to this glorious text message exchange between my friend Terri and her ex-boyfriend Pauly.

Pauly and Terri dated long-distance (shudder) for three years (him Chicago, her New Orleans) and it soon became clear that neither one was going to move to the other’s location. 

FYI, HE could have more easily moved to where SHE was, but he didn’t want to.

When it became clear Pauly wasn’t going to relocate to be with her, and even though it broke her heart, Terri ended things.

Then of course, Pauly became furious when she moved on and found happiness with a local guy.

Of course.

Terri said she and Pauly got into arguments over her new relationship, most notably that she didn’t tell him the name of her new boyfriend, because THAT shit is irrelevant.

Terri must have accused him of being a as*hole, maybe you should have MOVED here if you’re so mad! Because a few days later, Pauly decided he needed a little boost to his self-confidence.





(let's ignore the horrible punctuation.)

Confirm?? 

Confirm that I'm a good guy???

Hahahahahahaha

Good guy except for that pesky commitment problem!!!

It was an insulting text message to someone who, uh, committed three years long-distance.

Confirm. Like, he knows he’s a good guy and just wants her to back him up.

Vom.

It was especially annoying that he was now requesting that she remember him fondly after she had already moved on and was trying to forget him.

Yes, let’s all take time out of our day to remember what a good guy Pauly is!!!

But Terri responded in a very polite way to make him feel better.

 
(She’s a waaaaay bigger person than I am.)

But then Terri thought for a second: WAS he a good guy?? Was breaking up with him a HUGE mistake? He's jealous; does that mean he wants to be with me again? Maybe we should try again!

Her thoughts were then confirmed.

 

...Confirmed to be WRONG that is.

UHHH...THIS QUESTION WAS A BET????

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

WTF?!!????

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

(This wasn't a joke. Pauly wasn't a funny guy.)

The entire conversation was outrageous. 

Who exactly was he making a bet with over this?? 

And why was their private conversation suddenly in the middle of a POKER TABLE???

What "good guy" profits off the politeness of his ex-girlfriend???

Ugh.

Terri made the best decision of her life getting rid of this guy.

Got $75 on it.

-Jenny

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

TOOLBAG TUESDAY

My favorite author of all time, Dorothy Parker, once wrote wisely: “Men seldom make passes at girls who wear glasses.”

I think about this every time I wear my glasses out in public. 

After three years, I’ve finally accepted the fact that I can’t see things beyond ten feet in front of me and I need to stop pretending my eyesight will correct itself on its own.

And no, I can’t wear contacts because I don’t need them to see things up close like my computer, which I’m on eight hours a day.

And I don’t want to be taking out contacts every other second.

Maybe I could wear contacts all the time and then wear glasses OVER the contacts to see up close? – one eye doctor suggested  but NO, that would make me six eyes. Four eyes is bad enough.

Right???

No. Last Saturday, I would have preferred being called four-eyes.

Last Saturday, I was out dancing with a girl friend, minding my own business, WEARING MY GLASSES, when a guy came up and asked me to dance with him.

He was clearly a tourist wearing EVERYTHING New Hampshire on his clothes and hat (I always forget about New Hampshire) and I politely danced with him in a swing-dance style, even though the music was electronica.

And HOW was I rewarded for my good deed?

“Hey…can you take you glasses off for a second?” he asked me, mid-dance.

I blinked at him behind my lenses. No one has ever asked me that.

“What?”

“Just for a second,” he said.

“Um…Ok,” I said, because I’m always finding reasons to take off my glasses.

He looked and me and then made an elaborate display of wiping his brow and said, “WHEW!”

“Whew what?” I asked. “You don’t like girls who wear glasses?”

“No, I was just making sure you weren’t cross-eyed.”

!!!!

(God, I love flattery.)

“No, I’m NOT cross-eyed,” I said and walked away. I was really self-conscious for two seconds (DO MY GLASSES MAKE ME LOOK CROSS-EYED?? DO THEY??!) before I realized that the guy was just an asshole.

“What if I WAS cross-eyed?” I asked my friend. “What would he have said then?? Would he have just walked away??”

Ugh. Who says that to a complete stranger?? And how long were we dancing before he just HAD to know if my eyes lined up with one another?? 

It was insulting. Especially since you never know someone's life experience. Yes, I already hate my glasses, thanks for asking.

Even more annoying, he wasn’t even cute. 

At least I can take off my glasses. You, buddy, can’t take off your…face.

He left shortly after. I saw him. Through my glasses.

Whew.

-Jenny

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

TOOLBAG TUESDAY

I don’t know how I feel about going through a boyfriend or girlfriend's phone, but I do know that it’s completely wrong for a casual hookup to do it.

Like Uhhh, what do you care??

But I guess Justin, this guy my friend Minka hooked up with for a few weeks – wanted his cake and eat her it, too. Ha.

Justin and Minka were dating in the most casual sense (the sense that makes my mom cringe) and even though Minka would have wanted to see Justin regularly, she said he made it annoyingly clear he wanted it to be strictly casual.

HE! 
HE wanted it to be casual.

As such, their interactions were limited to late-night activities.

But one night, Justin came over with Chinese takeout and while they were eating, Minka’s phone buzzed a new text message.

Minka said Justin instinctively looked at the screen and saw it was from a guy named Tyler, a friend of hers who played in her softball league. 

Minka put her phone somewhere else without reading the message and neither she nor Justin mentioned it for the rest of the night.

Minka didn’t feel the need to tell Justin that Tyler was just a friend who was bored at work as a bartender Tuesday nights and would mass text everyone he knew offering a free shot to whoever kept him company.

I suppose looking back it's sort of flattering that Justin was annoyed – maybe he wanted to be exclusive after all and just didn’t know it! – but instead of admitting this or asking her about it, he decided to look through her phone when she was in the bathroom.

Ugh.

Justin didn’t say that he looked through her phone, but Minka said when she walked out of the bathroom, Justin said he suddenly HAD TO GO (no sleepover), and took the Chinese food leftovers with him.

(Ed note: Rude! Leftovers stay in whoever's fridge they’re put into!!)

Minka brushed off his quick departure and it didn't cross her mind that Justin had looked through her phone, but the private dick accidentally revealed himself the next day.

...And this is where things get hilarious.

Justin, the guy who made it clear he didn’t want anything more than a hookup, called Minka the next day to tell her that he KNEW she was seeing someone named Tyler and that he didn’t “appreciate it.”

Hahaha appreciate it.

“What are you talking about?” Minka asked. “I’m actually not seeing anyone else.”

She figured Justin was just stewing over the text from the mysterious person name Tyler and taking a wild guess, but then Justin then spat out a completely far-fetched story about how he “discovered” this "news."

“Yea, my buddies were at a BAR last night and they overhead the bartender named TYLER talking about how he was dating a girl named MINKA,” he said.

HAHAHAHA

“What?” she said.

“And...how many people are named ‘Minka?’” he asked.

Wow. Iron-clad detective work, Justin. Uh, how many guys go to a bar and get the bartender’s name??

Minka then realized that Justin had to have looked through her phone and saw Tyler’s request that she visit him at the bar, because that's a little TOO much coincidental information. 

She told him to hold on and looked at the text from Tyler and saw that the name of the bar wasn't even mentioned.

Justin didn’t know that the bar in question was a hole-in-the-wall neighborhood bar that caters mostly to regulars and there was a slim chance that Justin’s friends even knew about it, let alone went and had a fictitious conversation. 

And even if they were there and became chummy with Tyler, he would not have said that. They weren't dating. At all.

Was there another bartender named Tyler about town dating another Minka???

"Yea? What bar?" she asked. 

"I don't know," he replied. 

Ha.

She then noted that Justin's tone was accusatory and smug. Was this a pathetic attempt to “bust” her?? 

FOR WHAT PURPOSE?!?!?

THEY WEREN’T PROPERLY DATING!!!

Why didn't he just bring it up to her when he saw the text???

(And here I thought men were uncomplicated creatures.)

Minka was pissed. 

“I don’t know what you’re talking about, but I think this is all very sketchy,” Minka said (ha), and hung up on him.

Then she texted Tyler.

“Hey were there a lot of people at the bar last night?” she asked.

“No, just the old man down the street. It’s never been more dead, we closed early,” he wrote back.

Right. 

In their very last interaction, Minka texted Justin saying she didn’t want to see him anymore, it was clear he went through her phone and she didn’t APPRECIATE it.

Ha.

Minka did, however, appreciate Tyler's free shot at the bar that night.


-Jenny

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

TOOLBAG TUESDAY

Bob, this guy my friend Amanda dated last year, managed to make being fit and athletic UN-attractive.

Oh yes, it’s possible.

Because just because you suddenly look more chiseled doesn’t mean you can start acting like an asshole.

Amanda and Bob met at a work conference in New York where he lived full-time and where she regularly visited. He was 32 years old, cute, NOT a meathead and very smart.

They hit it off right away and met after the conference for drinks and he walked her back to her hotel where they kissed goodnight.

“When am I going to see you again?” he asked.

Aww.

Amanda said she was going to be back in three months for a bachelorette party.

A month before she was set to come back to New York, Bob texted her asking if she was still coming to town for the party.

I was surprised and impressed that he even remembered me mentioning it,” Amanda recalls.

She took this as thoughtfulness and planned to see him. They went out one night and said he was a perfect gentleman. 

They didn’t share a bed or anything, he WASN’T A MEATHEAD, and he was very respectful.

Everyone liked him. Bob’s stock was up.


He and Amanda kept in touch after that, texting regularly for six months, and then he offered to fly her back to New York for a football game. 

Amanda was hesitant for a second, but agreed.

He was cute and she wasn’t dating anyone.

It was only a 48-hour trip, what could go wrong?

Ahem.

What went wrong was when Bob picked Amanda up from the airport. 

“I kid you not, he was about 10 times bigger muscle-wise from when I met him and had grown his hair out Fabio-style,” she describes.

Amanda wondered when this super nice guy blew up to a body builder.

Bob was also wondering something:

“You really should get into working out and eating right,” he told Amanda, who’s in very fine shape ThankYouVeryMuch.  

And then, OMG:

“Your body would be hot as hell.  I can’t even imagine you if you were in good shape.”

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

EXCUSE ME???? 

IF you were in good shape?????

Oh, Bob’s new lifestyle took over most of their first evening out in New York.

“So, I only eat protein and I work out every day. Want to see pictures of me from when I was a body builder?” he asked.

Amanda said she just stared at this…stranger, unrecognizable in all aspects from the person she thought she was meeting.

“I’m thinking about going for Mr. Manhattan next year, so I won’t be able to drink at all for a year,” he said, referring to some sort of bodybuilding competition.

“Man, I haven’t worked out in a day, I feel lazy.”

Yes, Bob made being fit unattractive.

Amanda had already decided that it, uh, wasn’t going to work out with her and “Mr. Manhattan,” but she muscled through (huh huh get it) their date at a bar, where Bob spit out amazingly douchey lines.

“So…you might notice that a lot of people stare at me when we're walking down the street.  It’s because a lot of people mistake me for a football player and they’re always looking to see who I am."

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

(In his very tiny penis defense, Amanda said he really was that big and swoll, and tall.)

“Yeah girls just stare at me sometimes it’s uncomfortable.”

Amada was now wondering who killed Bob and replaced him with this guy.

“You’ll also notice a lot of guys are going to stare at you and try to talk to you because they’re all curious about the girl that would be with a guy like me…especially because everyone thinks I’m a pro-football player.”

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Amanda, who is HOT already, said, as if it were planned from a movie, a random drunk guy came up to her at the bar soon after and offered to buy her a drink.

She declined.

“See, I told you guys would hit on you. It’s because you’re with me,” Bob said smugly.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Amanda was going to say that guys hit on her ALL THE TIME, she doesn’t need help from a veiny blockhead, when a girl Bob had been making eyes with came up to him and told him she liked his long hair.

“Literally he does a Fabio hair-flip and says, ‘Oh, I’m growing it for Locks for Love,” Amanda recalls him saying.  “You know, trying to help where I can.”

Ah geez.

And then, no, for real he added, “I even bought special conditioner to make sure it’s in top quality when I donate it.”

HAHAHAHAHAHA
HAHAHAHAHAHA
HAHAHAHAHAHA

Amanda was so annoyed with him that she suddenly got really “tired” and “felt sick” from “drinking too much” and said she had to go to bed immediately…in the extra bedroom.

The next day, Amanda planned her escape, telling him she wanted to go shopping and instead checked into a hotel for the rest of her trip. 

She insisted she go shopping alone - “I bet it would be really boring for you” - even though Bob tempted her with, “If you're lucky, maybe I'll buy you something pretty."

Wow.

Bob doesn’t need a bodybuilding award.

He already won an award. 

The award for the only guy in the world who’s super fit, helps kids with cancer, uses conditioner AND wants to take a chick shopping who simultaneously makes me want to vomit.

…right into his protein shake.


-Jenny

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving, Meredith

A November 2nd birthday isn’t normally a problem unless there’s a presidential election.

Because then your friends can’t paint a boat on the side of the road near the beach with “HAPPY BIRTHDAY” and your name, because other people will paint an Obama logo over it.

My twin sister Joy and I found ourselves in this very predicament exactly five years ago today at the paint store.

Why today??? Because today is our best friend Meredith’s birthday!!!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MEREDITH!!!!

(It’s also the same day where every four years, Americans elect a leader)

No matter!!! We formed a new plan to honor our dear friend, one that was hilarious and one Meredith would appreciate because she appreciates hilarious things.

...We waited until Thanksgiving and painted the boat, “Happy Thanksgiving, Meredith!”

SURPRISE!!!




Hahahahaha it's glorious!!!

We painted it like a New Orleans poboy and it stayed on the boat for nearly a week before being painted over. 

Probably my best artwork to date.

Anyway.

Did you know there’s no Webster dictionary definition for “best friend?”

Yes they have “best,” and they have “friend,” but not them together. 

Such an injustice. People who have a best friend know it’s way stronger than just plain old "friend."

It’s why in the movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Ferris threatened Cameron with, “You can just go find yourself a new best friend!” when he refused to come pick him up.

Best friend.
Way more legit.

Meredith is my best friend. I tell her all the time. 

I even have a song for us and send her photos of my ipod when it plays because I'm a dork that's how much I love her. 

The song is Best Friend by Queen because that song describes in lyric form how I feel about our friendship.
  
Meredith and I knew each other from growing up in New Orleans

We went to different all-girls Catholic high schools, but met when we did homework with the same cool kids at a coffee shop after school.

Now, I don’t like to use the word fate, but the way Meredith and I reconnected after college was pretty serendipitous.

I had gone away to school in South Carolina and still lived there after I graduated, and it happened to be the same city where Meredith got into medical school.

She and I hadn’t seen each other in at least eight years, and we didn’t know that the other was living in the city.

But Meredith saw me one day, recognized me through a picture window at a bar on the beach playing pool with my roommate one night.

“I know her!” Meredith said she told her classmate, and ran inside.

And the rest is thick-as-thieves, beaching, camping, road tripping, roommates, Mardi Gras, friends-for-life history.

Life with Meredith is always fun, always an adventure, the attitude that you only live once so enjoy every second. 

...While wearing costumes.
...And cracking up laughing.

We lived together in South Carolina and Meredith, my twin sister, Joy, and I were dubbed triplets by the foreigners who ran the liquor store, and we fully embraced that - three short blondes running around town.

When Meredith graduated she moved back to New Orleans and I followed suit a year later.

It was rough, my move back to New Orleans, and I fully credit Meredith with helping me get through the difficult time I had adjusting to my New Orleans life.

I was literally in the winter of my discontent when I moved back with a terrible job and terrible relationship and for months the only happiness came from going over to Meredith’s apartment every day after work to have a glass of wine and a walk around the neighborhood. 

Really, her middle name should be sunshine.

Meredith is always up for anything, no matter how outlandish my ideas are.

She joined several running clubs with me (to meet fit, athletic guys, fail), she canoe-camped and hiked-camped with me without hesitation. 

We did the St. Patrick’s Day underwear run (accidentally flashed people my left boob, fail.)

She was my date for dances and parties and weddings and even crashed an OKStupid date I went on because it was funny. 

And he was boring.

We’ve had countless sleepovers, been to countless Mardi Gras parades, Jazz Fests, happy hours, brunches, lunches, dinners, horse bettings at the fairgrounds, and both enjoy the same lifestyle laced with live music.

She also seethes at guys who have wronged me. 
I couldn’t ask for a better friend.

I also appreciate her brainy-ness. I regularly read her the “medical mystery” of the week in The New York Times Magazine and clap wildly when she figures out the diagnosis.

When Meredith moved back to the beach in South Carolina this summer, I tried FOUR DIFFERENT TIMES to write a blog about how much I missed her, but couldn’t without crying WAAAAAH I MISS MY FRIEND!!!! 

(Crying, which she expressly told me not to do. Meredith never entertained my wallowing.) 

I’m absolutely convinced she got a tear drop tattoo on her finger just to use it on me, hahahaha



So after wailing for the fourth time, I decided to do something differently.

Instead of being mope-y, I started pretending she was there next to me (uh, in a non-schizophrenic way, ThankYouVeryMuch)

I've been channeling her spirit whenever I’d get down, or embarrassed or overwhelmed.

Because who couldn’t smile at this being your best friend???















I'm never really alone when I have Meredith on my shoulder. 

LOVE YOU TO PIECES MEREDITH!!!


YOU MAKE ME LIVE!!!

Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving. :)

-Jenny
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