TOOLBAG TUESDAY

It’s National Teacher Appreciation Day today!!! Buy your nearest teacher a tequila shot!

It reminds me of this guy I went out with in college, who tried to teach me something.

Have you ever had a significant other try and teach you something? 

Like a skill?

…without PISSING you off in the process??

I suppose it’s hard to be a teacher when you’re not properly trained on how to be patient or kind.

Haha

This all went down when John, my boyfriend at the time, tried to teach me how to surf.

He was a very good surfer and I always admired his tan feet and decided that I’d like to learn how to surf, too.

And I had recently seen a group of actual (school aged) children learning how to surf one day, so how hard could it be?

A better question would have been: How hard could it be to teach someone how to surf???

The first thing John did was violently push me from behind.

There was no warning, it was a full-on beach ASSAULT. 

Right as he was walking towards the ocean with his surfboard under his arm, he passed me, pushed me from the back HARD, and kept walking. I almost fell face first onto the sand.

“What the hell?” I said, regaining my balance. I thought for a second the surfboard had accidentally hit me. 

But then he admitted to his deliberate attack.

“I needed to see what foot was your strongest,” he said. “You stepped forward to brace yourself with your right foot.”

“Wait, THAT’S your test to see which is my strongest leg?” I yelled, looking around the beach to see if anyone witnessed this embarrassment.

“Yes,” he said. “That’s the only way to really tell.”

Then, John added insult to injury when he added, “You’re goofy footed.”

“WHO’S GOOFY?” I asked, again embarrassed, getting angrier by the minute.

“You. You’re goofy. You surf with your right foot at the front of the board. Goofy foot.”

I didn’t believe a word he was saying, wondering if I was being punk’d.

I mean…we hadn’t even started the lesson and I had been pushed like someone on the school yard and then made fun of??? 

He was already the worst teacher ever.

And then without so much as a proper lesson on the mechanics or a “dry run” on the sand, John whisked me into the freezing cold ocean, threw me on the board and then PUSHED me on his surfboard ahead of an oncoming wave.

I was immediately overtaken by the wave and was dragged underwater by it, surfboard flailing behind me, attached with velcro to my ankle and I put my arms in front of my face so that the surfboard wouldn’t clobber me in the face in its un-manned crash to the shore. 

…While trying not to drown.

Once I felt sand on my belly and saw the surfboard stop moving on the shallow surf, I got up and screamed at John.

WHAT KIND OF SURFING “LESSON” WAS THIS??!?!” 

It was the equivalent of pushing someone off the high dive when they weren’t ready. 

Letting go on a two-wheeler without their permission.

“YOU COULD HAVE KILLED ME!” I wailed, but John didn’t see it that way. 

He told me to…OMG…stop being a “baby” and come back to the water and try again. He was totally unfazed that he made me legitimately scared for my life.

“TRY AGAIN TO DO WHAT? TO GET PUSHED INTO ONCOMING OCEAN WAVE TRAFFIC?” I yelled. “I DON’T THINK SO!”

There was water all lodged in my ears, which gave me a pounding headache and the absolute last thing I was going to do was put my life into his hands again.

“Just ride the wave,” he kept saying, like those were easy instructions.

DOES A SCHOOL TEACHER JUST TELL A STUDENT TO ANSWER A TRIGONOMETRY PROBLEM WHEN THEY’VE NEVER DONE ADDITION???

(Also I’m pretty sure they have a no pushing policy.)

We broke up soon after, which wasn’t surprising, and I haven’t properly attempted to surf again, goofy foot or not.

So…uh…happy national teacher appreciation day…to the teachers who are patient and kind.

For those who are not, though…

…buy their nearest student a tequila shot.

😉

-Jenny

TOOLBAG TUESDAY (sort of)

I used to write a lot about how odd and hilarious (well, hilarious in retrospect) things regularly happen to me and my twin sister, Joy.

How we sometimes think we’re on The Truman Show and situations have been specifically planted in our lives for audiences’ viewing pleasure.

Like when Joy had to return an air mattress to Wal Mart because it was too short in length.

It was bought specifically for our visiting guy friend (who wasn’t THAT tall) to sleep on for a few days, but his calves hung over the edge of the mattress nightly.

But when Joy brought the mattress back to Wal Mart, a dwarf person was working the customer service counter and Joy struggled to explain that the problem was that the mattress was too short.

She ended up with a very eloquent, “It…er…well, it doesn’t fit a normal-sized person” and then she left red-faced, much more embarrassed than the dwarf person, who didn’t even really need a reason for returning.

Hahaha

I took one for The Truman Show team last week when I was at a work thing with a photographer taking photos of a large group of men for a newspaper spread, and my shoe broke.

UGH

Broke badly. Not just a heel…but the single strap that kept the shoe on my foot broke.

WHILE THEY WERE ALL STARING RIGHT AT ME, POSING FOR THE PHOTO. 

I didn’t know what to do, so I pretended nothing happened at all and raised one foot up like a flamingo (only  less gracefully) and stood one-legged as the photographer kept snapping pictures, my lone abandoned shoe on the ground.

And no one said anything!!

Not one person said anything!!!

Not when I stood one-footed in the hot concrete parking lot, not when I scooped up my shoe from the ground after the shoot was over, not after I had to transfer my shoe to the other hand in order to shake the hand of the president of the company.

AHAHAHA 

Nice to meet you sir!!!

Not when I hobbled one-footed back to my car on tiptoe, the hot concrete scorching the delicate pad of my foot.

“No one helpedyou??” my aunt asked when I recapped my day to her on the phone.

“No,” I said. “No one even mentioned it!”

“There were 20 guys there and not ONE of them helped you when your shoe broke???” she said. “Well, that’s ridiculous!”

“What were they supposed to do? Give me a piggyback ride?” I asked. “It was pretty much the most unprofessional thing that could have happened. Maybe they were just being nice to ignore it.”

“You know, men don’t even notice women’s shoes,” my mom pointed out. “I bet they didn’t even notice that you weren’t wearing one.”

Maybe she was right. It was strange that no one said anything. 

No one even laughed!

I DON’T KNOW WHY THESE THINGS HAPPEN TO ME.

THIS IS WHY I HAVE A WINE ADDICTION.

But I guess that’s just the title of this episode of The Truman Show: How I burned the bottom of my foot in a parking lot with nearly two dozen men as witnesses.

Also, when in doubt…offer a girl a piggyback ride.

-Jenny

TOOLBAG TUESDAY

Any guy who has ever had a girlfriend (or has ever read an effing CATHY comic) knows it’s NOT OK to talk about how pretty other girls are because society sucks and it makes us feel bad about ourselves.

I mean…have there not been enough Tyler Perry movies going over this?

Besides…do you REALLY want to be on the receiving end of: “Oh, you think Keira Knightly is the hottest person in the world??  Basically someone who looks the complete opposite of me?? Well, then what are you doing dating ME for??!?!?!?

Um.

For example.

But it’s one thing to carelesslymention in passing that a particular actress or singer is attractive, or maybe even the copy store girl (R.I.P…..F.R.I.E.N.D.S).

…It’s quite another to go OUT OF YOUR WAY to tell someone that another girl is “hot” when nobody asked your opinion, ThankYouVeryMuch.

But to be fair, nobody ever accused Kurt of NOT being a sleaze. (sleeze??)

Kurt was a rich and successful banker, attractive enough, and had the asshole aura to prove it.

My friend Sara knew him as a colleague, when she did marketing for a firm that worked in finance. 

It was part of her job to schmooze with bankers and Sara had had met Kurt at a number of work and networking functions and they chatted many times.

Of all the sleazy bankers she dealt with, Kurt was the one who would routinely come up to her and make flirty talk while staring at her chest. 

While wearing a wedding ring.

Kurt enjoyed every second of the attention Sara gave him, even though his bank never used her firm’s services.

Ugh. That guy.

After four years, Sara moved jobs to one NOT in finance and enjoyed her new-found freedom of not having to schmooze with A-holes.

But then, she found herself face to face with the biggest one two weeks later on a weekend night at the end of a very long pub crawl.

Sara had been out with her friends and was at the bar trying to order a drink when Kurt came up to her and tapped her on the shoulder.

“Oh, hey!” Sara said. “Long time no see!”

It was a time for Kurt to ask her how her new job was going, make a joke about banking, ask what she was doing now, I don’t know… ANYTHING IN THE WORLD.

But he decided to lead off with this:

“I met your replacement,” he said smugly. 

“…She is SO. HOT.”

His wedding ring gleamed in the dimly-lit bar.

“Um…Ok,” Sara said. She didn’t know the firm had even hired a replacement.

“I mean….just….really. Hot,” Kurt said, again. Smugly. Again.

He searched Sara’s face for a reaction.

The sad truth was that Sara actually felt a sting of jealousy because society sucks and statements like that make women feel bad themselves.

But ALSO, when you hold a job somewhere for years and years, you don’t want to hear about your replacement being the hottest new thing on the block.

Like…“Yea, the minute she started, everyone forgot your name!!!”

So…doubly offensive.

Sara tried to steer the conversation to professionalism, not appearances.  

“Well, how did she do at that big convention in New York? Did she go?” Sara asked, remembering the biggest marketing event of the year.

“Yea she went…and everyone was just OBSESSED WITH HER because she is so GORGEOUS.”

“Like, all the bankersare just in LOVE with her. She’s going to do really well.”

UGH.

Sara didn’t know how to respond because COLD POTATOES DON’T TALK.

But it didn’t matter anyway because Kurt then walked away. 

Walked away!!!

He didn’t say bye, he didn’t ask her how her new job was, he didn’t even ask her where she was working now.

WTF!

Did he really just come over to specifically tell her about her super hot replacement??

NO FEMALE WOULD EVER SAY THAT TO A GUY. EVER.

The annoying part was that it worked. 

At that moment Sara wished she was taller, and thinner and looked down at her outfit, frowning.

It was so sad.

…all thanks to a sleazy DOUCHE….WHO WAS MARRIED.

UGH.

What did Kurt possibly hope to get out of that conversation??

More smugness??

Was he expecting a, “Oh, KURT, I feel so self-conscious now…let’s have sex”  ???????

??????

It’s not very often that I wish I could punch someone in the face, but I’ll make an exception for Kurt.

And now that I think about it, I wish I could call his wife and tell her to leave his stupid, sexist ass.

And then glue Cathy comics to his face.

-Jenny

TOOLBAG TUESDAY

Once upon a time, right after college, I dated someone who was a complete idiot (literally an idiot…like he’d fail an IQ test), and to prove my point, he ended things because I was too smart.

His words. He actually said: You’re too smart.

No, wait…the full quote was (earmuffs mom): Your boobs are too big to be so smart.

!!!!!

Haha

I mislead him with my bra size.

Up until that moment in 2007, I didn’t realize that, OUTSIDE OF NETWORK TELEVISION, having a large chest meant I was also not allowed to have a large brain, but Robert found my proportions (pun intended) a deal breaker.

Sure, we weren’t a match at all, even though he was the most attractive person I had laid eyes on in a long time.

We dated for about a month but I became suspicious when I found out he was on probation from pharmacy school because he FAILED A DRUG TEST. (uhhhh…idiot).

Also, I did all of his homework for him.

Hmm…maybe I’M the idiot…

Anyway.

Robert’s bizarre breakup speech followed an awkward dinner with his family where I “ruined” a joke by knowing the definition of something.

(I can’t really explain the joke because it DOESN’T MAKE SENSE.)

After I “ruined” the joke that wasn’t even really a joke, more like a play-on-words but NOT REALLY, BECAUSE IT DIDN’T MAKE SENSE, the tension was enough for Robert to announce to everyone, “See? I told you she was smart…” 

And then he trailed off, and no one gave him props for having a smart date. 


They all just sat there like I was handicapped or something and they were trying not to stare.

After the meal, Robert drove me home and I knew that I’d never see him again (BECAUSE I HAVE A BRAIN) and as he dropped me off I tried to be upbeat –dinner was *super fun* thanks—when he said, “You’re too smart.”

I thought he was being cute and complimentary and giggled a little but then realized he was completely serious.

He wasn’t laughing.

“What do you mean ‘too smart?’” I asked. “You mean I’m ‘too smart’ to hang out with you and your family?”

It was confusing; he didn’t say “you’re a know-it-all” or “you’re a smartass,” which are legitimate complaints about a significant other. 

He just said, “You’re too smart.” 


Too smart, period.


Then came the kicker.


“You know…your boobs are too big to be so smart,” Robert finally said.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

So this was an either/or situation???


WTF. CAVEMAN.


ALSO, THAT WASN’T EVEN AN ANSWER TO MY QUESTION. 

But it was clear that my question didn’t need an answer. 

Yes, I was “too smart” to hang out with him and his family.

Also, he only cared about boobs. No brain attached.

“My boobs are too big to be so smart, really Robert?” I said. “I…don’t even know where to start with that.” 

Then I got out of the car and never heard from him again.

Although I did hear that he failed out of pharmacy school soon after that.

I mean, obviously he did.

Because there isn’t a pill that can fix stupid.

-Jenny

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

TOOLBAG TUESDAY

I’ve often said I wish I was a cat. 


I love taking afternoon naps, getting back massages and swatting at asshole dogs.

But what I DON’T love is when things are dangled in front of my face. 

(Well…other than piñatas.) 

Dangling things in someone’s face – or more specifically, over someone’s head – sucks. 

It’s a sneaky form of a power trip, and there’s nothing more unattractive to me than someone on a power trip.

This was the most annoying thing about dating Liam last summer: I was invited, and then uninvited, to a fancy party three times. 

Liam and I had the same career path and he was going to a fancy INDUSTRY gala that I was too low on the totem poll to even know about. 

One of the first times I met up with Liam, he said he was going and I put on my jealous face and he asked if I’d like to go with him. 

DUH!!!!!

I was super excited about it, and wondered what I’d wear, acting as if I was going to see a celebrity there.

But then Liam got drunk two days later and got mad at me for something I can’t remember. 

Oh, wait. He got mad that I was complaining about getting rained on. (Can’t help it, I’m SUGAR.)

YOU KNOW WHAT?” he said loudly.YOU CAN JUST FORGET ABOUT THE GALA!”

hahahahahahahaha

Seriously. Just like that.

I laugh now, but at the time that really sucked. (Side note: why am I always dating the meanest guys ever???) 

I thought that Liam’s announcement about the gala meant that we were no longer seeing each other, and went home sad and confused. 

The next day, however, Liam called acting as if nothing had happened.

“Ummm…do you remember our fight last night?” I cautiously asked. 

“Sort of…” Liam said.

“Well, you got really pissed at me and UNinvited me to the gala.”

“Oh, I’m sorry,” he said. “You still want to go right?”

DUH!!!

Yes, it was MY bad to continue to see Liam after that, but I gave him the benefit of the doubt. (D’oh!)

Because the next weekend, I somehow pissed him off again. 

He left me by myself at a bar to sit with a bunch of chicks I didn’t know at their booth. (c-o-o-l)

Which should have pissed ME off, but I didn’t really care because I was watching the band play and believed him when he said they were “old friends.” 

But then I was ready to go and he was still sitting with the chicks so I told him BYE and got a ride home from a friend. 

“You just LEFT me!!?” he said when he called my cell phone 15 minutes later.

“Yea.”

“YEA??? YOU’RE JUST LEAVING ME PLACES?? (Ed note: we walked there from his house. He was hardly stranded.)

“Well…you were talking to those girls,” I said.

“YOU KNOW WHAT??? YOU CAN JUST FORGET ABOUT THE GALA!!!” he yelled.

hahahahahahahahaha

It really was the only thing he could use. 

“BIG F*CKING DEAL!” I finally snapped, much like a cat when they suddenly decide they’ve had enough of you. “I don’t WANT to go if you’re going to keep holding it over my head!”

The next day, however, as we talked sober, I literally had déjà vu.

“Do you remember our fight last night?” I asked.

“Sort of…”

“You got really pissed and UNinvited me to the gala…again.

“Oh, I’m sorry,” he said. “You still want to go right?”

hahahahahahahaha

I realized this would be the ongoing pattern if we remained together. It’s just the kind of person he was.

He’d always hold shit over my head – a vacation, a trip to the zoo, probably even CHRISTMAS

And then, if we got serious and got married and lived together he’d probably hold money over my head too. 

“YOU KNOW WHAT?? YOU CAN JUST FOGET ABOUT THE MORTGAGE!!!” 

Gross.

It had to end. 

That’s no way to live one, or nine, lives.

-Jenny

TOOLBAG TUESDAY

It’s no secret that guys don’t know a good picture of themselves. 


Really!

Look at the hottest guy you know in real life’s Facebook profile picture. You know you wouldn’t hit that!

Ha

Whatever. 
Facebook isn’t real life. 

However, there are some guys who do need to know what a good picture of someone looks like. And those people are PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHERS. 

Life lesson #43257346273: Never go on a date with a professional photographer and then cut it off. 

Don’t do it. 
Their lens will punish you.

Here’s the story:
I met Mark, a freelance photographer, and we went on exactly one date before I realized that he was an angry guy, and not the type of angry guy that I find hilarious. 
The kind I find annoying. 

But we still talked about work – me writer! him photographer!  Looks so good on paper….ha. (Pun intended.)

Mark told me that in addition to photograph-ing sports for the NBA (whaaaat) and The Associated Press (whaaaaat) he also did small side projects for local schools for their brochures and websites.

But he was still angry and shat on everything (the bar is dirty, the river is ugly, I hate people who walk slow)

So, after our date, I made a point not to return his calls or text messages. I mean, did I owe him anything?? Is it better to remain silent or is it better to break the news that you’re an angry little man?? 

I knew I made the right decision when I started getting messages from an anonymous person telling me he had a girlfriend and that he was a cheater hahahahahaha. 

(I sure can pick ’em)

To be honest, I forgot all about Mark until I was recently asked to attend a career day at a local elementary school. 

I get asked to do a lot of career days because I have a job that children can understand. 

I’ve done about 15 career days in my illustrious career.

Meeting in the library before our presentations to children (WHICH YOU DON’T GET PAID FOR) it’s always me (the “newspaper lady”)  the police officer, the lawyer, the firefighter, the dentist.

Can you imagine: “Hey kids! This is Holly. She sells unnecessary medical devices to doctors for a ridiculous markup! Say hi to Holly everyone!!”

Hahahaha
Um. 
Anyway.

So there I was, giving my spiel to the kids about what a newspaper budget is (it’s where you plan what stories are going to be in the next issue, it has nothing to do with finances) when the door opened and everyone stared at the principal entering the room…with Mark. 

And his big camera. 
He was frowning, go figure.

It had been four months at least since I had seen/remembered him, and then suddenly I froze up there in front of everyone. 

“Err…”

He did not acknowledge knowing me at all, even as I tried to make eye contact and started ClickClickClickClick-ing with his fast-ass shutter and I got red in the face and tried to continue my discussion on deadlines. 

I was nothing but professional about the awkward encounter, and I assumed HE was going to be professional. 

…Even though I left him hanging with a bunch of unreturned text messages. 

Put all your biases aside, right???  

No. 
Not for Mark. 

For reference, this is from another career day years ago, taken by NOT an asshole:


(Can’t blame the photographer for unflattering pants)

But I guess perhaps now, instead of newspaper advice, I should start instructing students to NOT to go on a date with, and promptly end things with, a photographer. 

That’s a more useful lesson.

Don’t do it kids!!! Because one day you’ll see him again, and he’ll be taking professional pictures of you and there’s nothing you can do about it, and while everyone ELSE who had their picture taken at career day looks happy and normal, your picture— emailed to HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE marked CAREER DAY 2013!!!!!, will look like this:




UGH.

UGH times infinity.

Seriously?!!??


Of course Mark chose this picture to include in the roundup. 


Is there anything flattering about this photo??? 


HOW IS THIS PROFESSIONAL???!!?!


HE TAKES PICTURES FOR NATIONAL PUBLICATIONS FOR CHRIST SAKE!

Did he NOT notice that half my face is asleep, like a stoke patient? 


That he made me look cross-eyed and have FOUR CHINS??? 

Or that…NO ONE WOULD HIT THAT??? 

I think he absolutely noticed.

Well. 

At least it looks better than his Facebook profile picture.

-Jenny