TOOLBAG TUESDAY

They say New Orleans is a small city because everyone knows everyone (or their mamma), but no one ever says why or how everyone knows everyone.  

I know why.

It’s because you don’t say just say you’re from New Orleans in front of a stranger who is ALSO from New Orleans without following that up with a five-minute conversation about where you both went to high school, where you both grew up, and if you know so-and-so, who ALSO went to that high school and who ALSO grew up in that neighborhood.

And you always know someone in common. 

So now you’ve made a new NOLA native friend, who will report back to the mutual friend that you’ve met.  And the friend circle gets bigger. 

It’s…science.

This is especially the case with people (New Orleans natives or not) who are living outside of their home state, very far away from it, and meet people who are also from their home state.

For example, if two strangers from North Dakota notice their matching IDs at a bar in Florida, they’re going to have a conversation about North Dakota and why they’re in Florida. 

At least a little conversation.

AmIRight??

I’M RIGHT.

It’s…science.

This is why, if you’re going to date TWO WOMEN AT THE SAME TIME, make sure they are not from the same, uh, out-of-state state.

Because chances are if they bump into each other and find out they are both from the SAME FAR-AWAY PLACE, they’re going to have a conversation and maybe even try to be friends. 

This dumbass guy, Chris, did not take this into consideration. 

He decided to date two women at the same time, who were both from Michigan. All three of them lived in South Carolina.

Chris met his girlfriend(s) in one city in South Carolina but moved to a different city to get his Master’s degree, which was about a two-hour drive away. He was in a long-distance relationship with them both.

And he was properly playing the shit out of them both because they both thought they were in an exclusive relationship with him.

And then seriously, seriously, seriously, this happened: When Chris was away at school, the two women met randomly…at a bar.

In any other circumstances, they wouldn’t have said more than two words to each other, but they found out that they both were from Michigan. 

“Ahhh!!! What part?”

“What are you doing here??”

(Go blue!!??)

The two women were now BFFs at the bar, chatting it up, asking if the other would ever move back, asking what they were up to in South Carolina.

Oh, you’re waiting on your boyfriend to finish up school??? 

YOU TOO?!?!?

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

It took under 15 minutes for them to realize that their boyfriends had the same name, and were both getting the same Master’s degree at the same school.

They turned….red.

Then, THEY EACH PULLED OUT THEIR PHONES AND SHOWED THE OTHER A PICTURE OF CHRIS. 

Yea… the same guy. 

THE SAME GUY!

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

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

Jaws dropped.

WTF!!!!?!

I would DIE. 

DIE!!!


They were both horrified. 

Chris was two hours away, clueless.

IDIOT.

NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF CAMRADERIE!!!  

HOMETOWN PRIDE!!!

Ugh.

Two girlfriends at the same time. 

Classic toolbag behavior. 

But I guess they got off good – They didn’t need to go through his text messages to find out he was cheating. 

No one had to “catch him in the act.”

No, thanks to the great state of Michigan, they were able to uncover the asshole with very little fuss. Without him even being there.

And then Chris went from having TWO girlfriends to having NO girlfriends. 

And since the scene played out so publicly, everybody now knows what happened and exactly what Chris did.

Which is no good in a small city.

It might get back to his mamma.

-Jenny

Life with Angela

Yes, this is a candid shot.

Aside from brief periods apart due to school and natural disasters, Angela and I have always been friends.

We first became friends in Catholic high school in New Orleans, but neither remember our first actual meeting.
We spent the majority of our time coming up with new ways to combat boredom and we’d laugh a lot, which would always get us into trouble. We were constantly in detention.

But of course, with Angela, detention had to be funny, too.
Saturday morning detention at our small, all-girls school is where we perfected our cartoons. Our longest-running cartoon starred an annoying pig-woman named Mamma Pigg and she would walk around and…insult people.

Angela and I would each take the handful of loose leaf paper and add to the cartoon during the next class and then pass it back. It lasted for a surprisingly long time; there were secondary characters and everything. I’m sure we got in trouble for it.

Detention was such a waste of time. In full school uniform on a Saturday, we had to hand copy the handbook for two hours on loose leaf paper, including the school’s mission statement.
We memorized the lines, but really learned nothing.
The worst part about detention was that we had to pay the teacher who was presiding over us $5 each to moderate. In cash. If you didn’t have it, some teachers would make you go home. Others would let you leave an “I.O.U.”

With a room of 30 girls, that’s a lot of cash to collect by just sitting there! Mentally counting the cash the teacher was making off us was definitely, definitely the most annoying part.

The problem was that detention didn’t work for Angela and me. It was not a deterrent: right up until we graduated, our whispering, note-passing, hair dyeing, not-wearing-the-school-blazer during mass, cutting-in-the-cafeteria-line little behinds were paying out a lot of $5 entrance fees.
I don’t know if she got a detention for it, but I think Angela even fell into the bayou outside the school during canoe week in P.E. Hahahahahaha
Thankfully I was not her partner, because we definitely would have both gotten detentions for that.

High school was so hilarious.
Angela and I still talk about events from high school and laugh very, very hard. Boyfriends! Mid-drifts! J.C.C. Sockhops! There’s just so much material.

Today, I am thinking about the thousands of memories we have together, since today, TODAY Jan. 20 is Angela’s birthday!!! Happy birthday Angela! Sorry you have to work! Let’s go to Mississippi and lay out on the beach!
And get lost on the way there and back.

In 2001 on this day, we must have done something special for Angela’s birthday during lunch— it was her 18th after all. Big time! We probably brought a king cake to school.
I wonder what we did that weekend to celebrate?
I’m sure we went to the exact same bars we had already been going to…only legally. Ha. Jimmy’s on Oak Street for 50-cent night? (Yes, all drinks were 50 cents). Maddigan’s? Which, uh! The horror! Changed their I.D. policy to 19 and up!!!

We probably went to The French Quarter, where we would drink hand grenades and dance in the street. And did you know 511 Bourbon Street was where the cast from The Real World hung out?? Like, for real, y’all.

Or was it Nick’s Bar? The dirty dive bar that got trendy, in the middle of a terrible neighborhood yet drew a well-to-do high school/early college crowd.
It’s where bartenders throw empty beer boxes at girls who snub them (ahem, Angela) or people drunkenly yell at a midget but didn’t realize that person was a midget because that person was sitting down (ahem, not Angela).
You know, I still don’t know what happened there.

When Joy, my twin sister, and I lived in New York in 2004 for a wonderful summer, Angela and our other high school friend Nicole came to visit, and it remains one of my favorite visits of all time.
We brought Angela and Nicole to a comedy show that Saturday night. Joy and I were really into these comedy shows in New York. There was this once place off Times Square – Ha! (that’s what it was called) — that was decently priced because the ticket got you two free drinks (and drinks were like $10 each in New York, horrible.)

But the comedy club was wonderfully New York, and we all laughed till we cried. Not necessarily at the comedy, but each other. It was just like high school.
I remember we were giggling so much at that tiny table that the lady comic on stage pointed to all four of us and made a joke about how we did drugs with her in the bathroom earlier that evening.
“These are my bitches!” she said. She was wearing combat boots.

We laughed even harder because none of what she was saying was true…we just looked like we were on drugs because we couldn’t stop laughing to even take a breath.
I don’t think we found the comedienne’s drug joke so funny as we suddenly became so uncomfortable that everyone in the club was now staring at us that we laughed even harder. And that’s when Angela laughed so hard she snorted.

Everyone lost it. I mean, she seriously snorted after that joke! It really was the best timing.
“See, ladies and gentlemen??” the comic yelled.
The whole club started laughing, me, burrowing my hands into my face, red, tears streaming. We laughed about it all night. We still do. It’ll be funny tomorrow.

The trick to our good friend foundation is having the same sense of humor. The greater gift is having a long-time friend who you can pick up right where you left off with.
We haven’t lived in the same zip code for years. We live five states away, live two different lives. Yet, we still meet in New Orleans (a gracious host for our exploits) and there’s never a mention of how long we’ve been apart or even a worry if things have changed.
Whenever, wherever, Angela and I can transform right back into our high school selves. This time though, we give our $5 to bartenders. And don’t mind one bit.

-Jenny


Laughing, 1999


Joy and Angela DO Mardi Gras, 1998


Laughing, 1997


Laughing, 2003