Tuesday, September 27, 2016


I imagine people in long-term relationships find themselves from time to time mortified by their significant others. 



…Or maybe it’s mortifying when your significant other is too arrogant, too flirty with the server, too drunk, too crass.

It’s even worse when it’s clear that their behavior bothers their significant other, but they don’t seem to care.

I remember when I was a server in college, and this guy customer wouldn’t let me open a bottle of wine table side.

“LET…ME,” he said angrily, as I came up to the table with the bottle he ordered.

Ummm…” I handed him the bottle, confused.

“Sorry…” his female date said, on his behalf. “He’s a wine rep….and he’s really anal about opening bottles. It happens every time…”

Then she gave me this pathetic apologetic look, and I wanted to punch him with the wine key.

But that pales in comparison to this guy I met last week WHEN I WAS IN GUATEMALA.

YES!!!! WELCOME back to the United States, ME!!!

ED NOTE: At this time last week, I was swimming in a river in GUATEMALA, an absolutely gorgeous and completely underrated country.

Hands down, Guatemala was THE most beautiful country I’ve ever seen. It was so beautiful I can’t believe my eyes have seen what they’ve seen. I’ve never seen anything so pure and so green and so undeveloped.

Guats up??!?!

…But I’ll write more about Guatemala’s gorgeousness later.

Today is Tuesday.

I met a lot of people in Guatemala at various hostels and collected some new Toolbag Tuesday stories from ladies from several countries. (“Toolbags without borders”)

But the toolbag I actually came face-to-face with in Guatemala was a man from the Netherlands.

This 62-year-old man (he told me his age) had a particular disgust for America, and Americans in general, which doesn’t necessarily make him a toolbag, but his tirade about us “dummies” was so over-the-top that his wife was mortified.

It was clear that this wasn’t the first time he’s gone off about Americans to an American, and it was not the first time that she was mortified by her husband.

Exhibit A: His temper escalated to the point that she physically kicked him and cursed at him in their native Dutch tongue to shut the F up.


It was mortifying.

There were seven of us strangers piled into a shuttle from Antigua to Guatemala City at 9 a.m., where I was headed to the airport to fly home.

I struck up a conversation with a nice blonde girl from the Netherlands about something, or nothing, I can’t remember.

The girl and this couple then began speaking to each other in Dutch from across the aisle about where they were from, and what appeared to be casual pleasantries, when the man looked at me.

“American?” he asked.

“Yes,” I said.

“And I bet you can’t speak any other language besides English can you?”

“Hablo un poco Espanol,” I said perfectly.

That’s when he lost it.

“You Americans are so dumb and lazy,” he started.

His wife immediately looked up from her book and laughed uncomfortably, apologizing for him, shushing him.

“No, this is important!” he said, dismissing her. “I can’t believe it’s NOT REQUIRED for people in your country to learn Spanish!”

“I studied Spanish in college,” I said.

“Well, my wife and I know Dutch, German, French, English AND we took Spanish classes when we were here in Antigua,” the man said.

Then he looked at his book, disgusted. 

“I would PREFER to read a book in another language, but there are only ENGLISH books in these little libraries.”

(Yes, he was complaining about the free book he swiped from a free library.)

His wife told him something in Dutch, then nervously laughed in my direction.

“I told him to go back to reading his book and be quiet,” she told me.

“...AND ANOTHER THING!” He said loudly, ignoring her, so that everyone in the shuttle heard him loudly ignore her.

“You and your guns! I met an American at a bar and he said it wasn’t fair that cops have guns in Guatemala but citizens don’t!!! How stupid are you Americans, just waving your guns around like PENS.”

Or did he say penises?

(It was hard to tell with that accent.)


His wife then KICKED HIM hard from across the aisle and told him, again, to shut up.

Then she reminded him about the "very nice people from New York" who had offered their Netherlands sailor friends a place to stay when Hurricane Sandy hit.

“No one back home would just offer strangers the keys to their vacation home,” she pointed out.

It was a nice story, but nothingnot her being mortified or kicking her husband—would deter him from ripping me a new one.


More Dutch pleading by his wife to stop.

“NO, NO,” he shushed his wife again, looking at me. “WHAT IF YOU HAD A HEART ATTACK HERE?”

“Well…I’m 33 years old…” I said.


I then thought about how rickety the shuttle was, how easy it would be to tip over.


I wondered why on Earth he was so upset; he certainly wasn’t going to pay if I broke my leg.

The whole shuttle was silent.

I wanted to die.

“I’m sorry, he gets very angry, please don’t be upset,” his wife APOLOGIZED to me as the shuttle mercifully pulled into the airport entrance.

Ugh. This is her life.

“And ANOTHER thing…your country wouldn’t let me get off my sailboat when I came to the Florida Keys from Cuba!” he screamed. “I AM A GUEST IN YOUR COUNTRY!"

I mumbled a “good luck” to his wife as I got out of the shuttle and walked into the airport, watching her yell at him some more, wishing that the only mortifying thing I would have witnessed that day were penny loafers.

And then I bought myself a Coca-Cola.


Tuesday, September 13, 2016


There are a ton of annoying ass people your ex can start dating after you two break up:

-Their co-worker, who you used to go on double dates with.

-Their “platonic” female friend, who you always were suspicious of, but he made you feel paranoid about it.

-Their ex, who he insisted he never saw anymore.

-Their best friend’s YOUNGER sister, who is in her 20s, and who metabolism hasn’t hit yet.


Really though, anyone you EVER knew when you two were dating is an annoying person to see your ex dating once you two break up.

But there’s annoying, and there’s just plain INNAPPROPRIATE.

I remember fondly a bizarre Toolbag Tuesday of old:

(Link---->> http://jennysays-hellofools.blogspot.com/2013/12/toolbag-tuesday_24.html?m=1 ) 

...where my friend’s ex-boyfriend began DATING HER STEPMOM when they broke up.



But I found a new one!!

A new inappropriate person for your ex to date that is equally as EFFED up as dating your stepmom.

Wait…no, not quite.

But a close second.



Yes, that is absolutely a breach of professional ethics.

And yes, this actually happened.

It was no secret that my friend Rebecca and her husband Charles didn’t have the best marriage. It was “open” at best. 

They decided as a last ditch effort to go see a professional and work out their issues.

Rebecca said the counselor was in her health insurance network and she was young and pretty and they went to four sessions. 

Rebecca remembers that this woman got Charles to really “open up” and “be vulnerable” with his feelings.


But after four hours in the tiny office, AT THE THERAPISTS’ CONVINCING, they realized they just didn’t like each other.

It was sort of a breakthrough.

They really didn’t like each other. So they broke up.

It was sad and embarassing.

Made much worse by the fact that FOUR MONTHS LATER, Rebecca saw on FACEBOOK that Charles was now going out with their therapist.

He and the “professional” were tagged out on the town. At a nice dinner, on a romantic stroll uptown.






There is absolutely no way to make someone feel better in this situation, no amount of therapist jokes (BOTH OF THEM ARE CRAZY!!!) that can possibly help.

Except one.

At least it’s not your stepmom.


Monday, September 12, 2016

My moon, my man

Put away the “age defying” moisturizer!! I found the secret to slowing down time: be in a long-distance relationship.

I really wasn’t prepared for how S-L-O-W time moves when you wait 30 days to see your boyfriend.

Case in point: My long-distance boyfriend Daniel left six days ago, but it feels like six months.

Maybe I’m unknowingly operating in lunar standard time, where 12 hours is actually 29 Earth days.

Of course, time is a sneaky bitch, because when we're together, time speeds up five times faster than usual, to make up for it moving five times slower the rest of the time.

So is life.

But, I’d rather have Daniel every 30 days than no days at all.

And if we were in the same city every single day, it would probably be a safety hazard to have my heart burst 24/7, so a monthly dose is about right, at this point in time anyway.

Just kidding. It sucks.

But now, since I have nothing better to do than drag around in my MOON SHOES for the next month, let’s remember the four seconds errr I mean four days we spent together for Labor Day.

First things first: My boyfriend drove 12 hours into a hurricane to see me.

Granted, Hurricane Hermione (Granger) didn’t turn out to be the disastrous hurricane it was predicted to be, but Daniel didn’t know that as he made the 12-hour drive from New Orleans to the South Carolina beach town where I live.

He even took a non-Florida route, driving through tiny towns in Georgia with no cell phone signal, fully expecting to be driving through terrible, rainy weather.

He didn’t even entertain for a second the idea of staying overnight at a hotel inland. My hurricane hero.

Second: It was a family affair. Again.

I didn’t realize that to be my long-distance boyfriend, you will have to share me with my entire family because they also come visit for major holidays.

In fact, I left Daniel on the beach for four hours to go to a baby shower and he happily boogie-boarded in the ocean with my mom. 

That’s not to say we didn’t have time alone.

In four days, we had a breakfast date, a dinner date and a movie date. We trespassed at a long dock overlooking a river.

I made him watch a terrible 90s romantic comedy on Netflix that I’m too embarrassed to mention by name. (Hint: It involves Christmas, Sandra Bullock and Bill Pullman.)

It started with breakfast. 

We woke up post Hermione (Granger) to the most amazing sunny day and blue skies and we took my roommate’s golf cart to a little breakfast spot and everyone at the restaurant got to check me out with my boyfriend having quiche and a screwdriver. (It’s the little things.)

We then went to the beach, just the two of us, and I expertly put sunscreen on his back (certainly better than he did on his front) and we swam around in the ocean together and I repeatedly pointed out that if I didn't know him, I’d be checking him out in the surf.

That evening, the whole family went out on a harbor tour on a boat that my twin sister, Joy, and I expertly booked in advance and we saw dolphins and drank wine and took pictures in front of the sunset.

Our family then made a big production of where to eat dinner (as usual) and ended up eating outside at a new restaurant, and Daniel and I split entrees and appetizers and everyone at the restaurant got to check me out with my boyfriend having wine and mussels.

On Sunday, my parents, Daniel and I took the golf cart to see a lighthouse and even though Daniel wasn’t feeling well with a stuffy nose, he made the half-mile hike up a sandy hill to amuse me. 

There were fireworks on the beach that night and Daniel bought me and my parents a huge pizza and we ate together before setting up chairs in the dark on the sand.

The stars were almost as impressive as the fireworks. The moon was hanging low, taunting me.

Monday Labor Day included more beach time, and more golf cart time, where we gave my friend’s 13-year-old daughter a golf cart driving lesson that involved a near miss with a house. 

Neither Daniel nor I had ever taught anyone how to drive so it was a lesson in parenting, haha. (And property damage)

We then went on a cute date to a new BBQ restaurant and everyone at the restaurant got to check me out with my boyfriend eating ribs and drinking something called a Pain Killer, “pain” being that Daniel was leaving the next day. 

Where on Earth did the time go?

We went to see a movie, Hell or High Water, the first movie we’ve seen together in a theater, and Daniel wasn’t even bothered by my questions and side commentary like some people (Joy).

And then before I knew it, my alarm was going off to go to work Tuesday morning and then as soon as he arrived, Daniel had to leave. 

No surprise, he said the drive back took five times as long as the drive into the hurricane.

I’m constantly surprised how easy it is to be with Daniel. 

I’ve been told I have a flair for the dramatic (Me?? Neurotic???) but I feel completely at ease when I’m with him. It’s a new, refreshing feeling, this miraculous balance of not being stressed, but also not bored, saying what I mean, meaning what I say. 

Worrying less than usual about him deciding one day he doesn’t like me all of a sudden.

…Pretending I don’t know him so I can check him out on the beach as if he was a stranger.


But, alas, Labor Day feels like it was eight million years ago, so I’m surprised I can even remember any of these details.

Only that my heart hurts when I'm not with him.

And I have a whole new meaning of the phrase, love you to the moon and back.



Tuesday, September 6, 2016


I was reading a magazine at the pedicure palace last month and it reviewed a whole bunch of self-help “breakup” books.

Some of the books were supposed to “heal your broken heart in 30 days”(money back guaranteed!!!) while others sternly broke the news that,“It’s not him, it’s YOU.”


The magazine critiqued each book on its premise and merits and then pulled a few enlightening sentences from each one: “Let go of your past. Live in the moment!” Or a more poignant, “Flush your ex down the toilet and move on.”

One sentence in particular stood out to me: “Whatever happens, remain calm. Reaction with retaliation shows an out-of-control person.”

I read that sentence five times.

While true, it’s probably the hardest piece of advice to follow, since most people ABSOLUTELY react with retaliation when they go through a breakup.

Retaliation feels really good when you feel wronged.

“Reaction with retaliation” could be classified as talking MAD SHIT about your ex to their BEST FRIENDS (or, uh, family members), bringing someone new to your ex’s known hangout spot or throwing all their things they left at your apartment into the garbage (after lighting them on fire.)

Some people might even write/submit a Toolbag Tuesday blog post as retaliation.
Um, moving on.

“Reaction with retaliation” can be a small gesture, like the guy who mailed me back my college graduation invitation with the return address as: “that guy.”

Others cause property damage by slashing tires. Or putting a dead baby shark under a house. (Clearly an out-of-control person.)

But, the story I heard yesterday wins as the most ridiculous “reaction with retaliation” story ever.

And all the crazy was broadcast on Facebook.

Paul and Jaime were married and seemingly happy. So happy, in fact, that they went on a vacation to Greece together. That kind of time and money for a vacation is a commitment!!
18 hours on a plane together!!?? (I hope they brought headphones. And snacks.)

They arrived in Greece and they updated their Facebook pages so all their office cube friends could be jealous of them playing on stone streets, touring crumbling castles, eating fried cheese and drinking ouzo.

But apparently vacation wasn’t so fun for Paul and Jaime, although it did provide entertainment to all their Facebook friends. 

For everyone who logged on the next day saw a “mobile upload” picture of Paul, without a shirt on, showing off a bloody tattoo he had just gotten on his chest.
In Greek letters.

Paul didn’t look happy in the photo. He looked mad. And the blood and scabs from the new ink was gross.

The tattoo covered his entire chest, from pectoral to pectoral, and the lettering and his facial expression resembled that of a gang member.

Facebook friends were confused. What’s with the tattoo and what does it say? It was too long to be fraternity letters.

And where was Jaime? A quick look on Jaime’s page….

“Jaime is no longer listed as being in a relationship with Paul.”



They broke up in Greece?? While on vacation???

I figured something terrible must have happened, because people are usually on their best behavior on vacation. I can’t imagine the breakup was premeditated.

(No one plans to dump someone at Disney World, for example.)

But, I get it, people break up all the time, no matter what hemisphere they’re in.

The trick, no matter what happens, is to remain calm. A reaction with retaliation shows an out-of-control person.

Right Paul?


It didn’t take long for someone more worldly than me to decipher his chest tattoo. It was one sentence:

“Nothing lasts forever.”

...in Greek letters. 


You know what DOES last forever? Tattoos.

And people remembering you as a bloody out-of-control person.

No more ouzo for him.

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