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How Southern Have I Become?

I’ve been scaring myself lately. I’ve had many moments where I stopped and said, “That was awfully Southern, Jess.” I’ve actually thoroughly enjoyed my time here in the South. The only section in America I haven’t lived in is the Midwest and no thank you. There have been certain aspects to the South I’ve experienced over the last six months that you can only experience in the South. Kind of like New England with their Autumn – apple picking, cider donuts, jumping in the leaves, and oh my god I think I might cry. (You can experience those things outside of New England but it’s not the same.)

So here are some Southerner things I’ve dealt with that is so Southernly Southern that I now feel the need to rate myself on a scale of 1(Southern) to 10 (Northern).

The Food

I ordered Chicken and Waffles the other day for breakfast. I was ashamed as I was ordering it, and I felt the button on my shorts ripping at the seams. Chicken and Waffles is still a completely weird and foreign meal to consume but I’ve heard nothing but good things and decided to try it.

It was disgustingly delicious. For those of you unfamiliar with this meal, it’s a giant waffle with a piece of fried chicken on top. And yes, you dip both the chicken and the waffle in maple syrup. How the hell do they come up with this? And we wonder why the South contains the fattest population in America.

Scale – 1 (Dude…that was so Southern.)

The Pace

It’s very, verrrrrryyyyy, verrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrryyyyyy slow down here. Some mornings, it takes me fifteen minutes just to get my coffee. Nearly every coffee shop I enter, even the Starbucks, there’s no more than two people working the counter, even on the busiest mornings. And they take one order at a time.

They take the order. Spend five minutes making the order. Give the order to the customer. And then so on. They for some reason don’t take multiple orders and try to do everything at once. AMATEURS. 

But I’ve learned to buy myself some time. I wake up earlier, skip down the street and order my coffee, which the place I typically go to now knows my order by heart, and we will make small talk as I’m waiting. The pace down here has been bearable if I allow it.

Scale – 5 (You’re adapting…)

The People

Southerners have a certain quality in them that’s erie. Ever seen Fargo? All of the characters are so wonderfully nice and jolly while they’re trying to solve a murder.

This might be a better example: You can automatically tell when a New Yorker or a Bostonian is angry just by making eye contact. They will get up in your face with a rage you’ve never seen, all because why? You didn’t put the cream in their coffee like they asked. They’ve got places to be man!

But Southerners, they are all about the passive aggressive banter. Take my landlady for example. I got a voicemail from her last week and she said, “I was just driving by y’all’s place and noticed the recycling bin isn’t out, and I just can’t help but wonder…why???” And then she hung up. Bitchy, right? Yet her tone was so charming. She then texted me and Colleen asking about it, and I apologized and said we just aren’t used to taking the bins out because we’ve never had to anywhere else we’ve lived, but we can work with the girls next door to figure out some alternating schedule.

Her response was, “I completely understand and I know I clumsily forget as well. But that’s just part of being an adult living in a city. I’m putting money into making your home feel special and it would be nice if you appreciated it.”

I completely lost it. This woman tends to act like she’s my mother scolding me. I already have a mom. I don’t need another one. And then to accuse me of not having my shit together like a normal adult was downright insulting. However, if there’s one thing I learned about Southerners and they’re clever passive aggressive banter, it’s that it doesn’t usually last very long when you bite back because they hate confrontation. So I said, “I’ve lived in many cities larger than Charleston, so I’m aware that it works differently everywhere.”

Her response, “Alternating weeks sounds like a great idea! *Inserts smiley face*”

Scale – 10 (NORTHERNER! ALERT! ALERT!)

As long as my northernness never leaves me entirely, I’ll live. I don’t think it’s possible, honestly.

 

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The Love Of My Life

I stole this title from Cheryl Strayed. If you want to read her personal essay, you can find it here: The Love of My Life. We may have the same title, but it’s not the same story.

I didn’t realize before how bland my life really was. It wasn’t always bland, but only for a brief time. I’ve been living with Colleen for two months now, and I feel warm inside. I’m convinced it’s the twintuition. It’s been wild, tame, stressful, and celebratory all at the same time. I’m going to punch myself in the face for saying this, but you know that Taylor Swift song “22”? It’s kind of like that. It’s horrible, yet fun. It’s confusing, yet care-free. Now that I’ve said that, please forget I ever said that.

Any person who steps foot in our apartment is freaked out not by me, and not by Colleen, but by both of us.

Together.

We make bird calls from the next room. I cook her dinner and she tells me she loves me. I try to teach her how to cook dinner and she yells, “WHY DO PEOPLE LIKE DOING THIS?!” We FaceTime even though she’s in the living room and I’m in my bedroom. She pulls a seat next to my bed and we talk for hours. I buy her Wasabi Peas when I think she’s running low and she buys me green apples. In the middle of the night, I hear her crashing around in her room and then she takes off. I don’t know where she’s going but I know she’s fine. I find her in her room with all of the lights on and the TV blasting, and she’s passed out with Ragnar on her chest. We go to yoga together and I admire her headstand. When I clean up, she rearranges everything. We can relate to Anne Perkins and Leslie Knope. We can relate to Idgie Threadgoode and Ruth Jamison. When we both got the jobs we wanted, we stood in the kitchen and screamed. Some nights, we crawl into bed together with our cats and watch Moulin Rouge and Big Fish. We tell each other about our casual dates. I paint something and she wants to buy it. She rants about her liberal views and I sit and listen because I know she just needs to vent.

We fight too. But it’s not average fights where we say mean things and don’t talk for two days. Our fights are more like heated discussions where she angrily tells me how wonderful I am and that I’m acting stupid, and I tell her she’s reading too much into it and I don’t agree with what she’s saying. Then we make jungle noises and throw the middle finger around and yell, “I HATE YOU BUT I LOVE YOU”, or “I KNOW WHAT YOU’RE SAYING BUT YOU’RE BEING WEIRD ABOUT IT.”

Or the heated discussion looks a little like this:

Colleen: GAHHHHHHHH You’re just so wonderful but you’re being dumb about this.

Me: I know I am but you’re being a bitch about it!

Colleen: I KNOW I AM!!!

If we get mad at each other, it’s never for selfish reasons. After a couple of hours, we laugh and grab a bite to eat.

We go to an Irish pub and listen to an Irish folk band. We dance, we sing, we clap, and we don’t care. We do each other’s laundry. We both avoid the dishes. We sometimes feed the cats four times a day without knowing it, those greedy bastards. She buys silly string, and there’s no telling when she’s going to use it. We like tequila. When she’s stressed out, she’ll rearrange her room for the 500th time. We FaceTime her friends back home, and one of them decided to impregnate me with a boy and name him Benjammin’. We talk about books and world history. She tells me she wants to marry a Russian. And then she gags over marriage. We run into Sephora and walk out broke. We wear matching kitty t-shirts in case we lose each other in a crowd. She eats my leftover pizza and takes selfies with it to let me know she’s done the crime. We eat crap, talk about how we need to lose weight, and then eat more crap because we are twenty-six and too young to abandon all good things. We invite everyone we ever knew to our apartment just because we like the company.

So, the point in this post is this. Whether I do meet someone new, get married, and eventually live a life expected, Colleen will always be my soulmate.

Who wants to come over?

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Miscellaneous

Moving is such a horrible concept. I have moved a lot since 2009. I moved from dorm to dorm on campus, and then apartment to apartment in various states such as New Hampshire, Massachusetts, California, Connecticut, and now South Carolina. I have to say, moving to South Carolina has been the worst by far.

Moving is never a smooth transition. Something always goes wrong, but it’s usually fixable and not a giant headache in the end. If you lose a coffee mug or two, you just buy a new one. If your sheets rip during the drive, you just buy some new ones. However, my move to South Carolina has been absolutely terrible that I would rather the earth opened up, swallowed me hole, and spit me back up as a demon torturing myself in order to justify the reality of my situation(s).

At first, everything was hunky-dory. I drove down with Mumford in one piece. The movers arrived to the apartment before I did with my mattress, bed frame, and cabinet, which I was happy about. I unloaded everything from my car rather quickly with the help of Colleen. I was ready to somewhat relax and put my bed back together until I realized some of the pieces to my bed were missing. I texted the mover who apologized and checked his truck and did in fact find the rather small and annoying pieces that were preventing me from sleeping on a firm surface other than a floor. He said he was in Florida already and would be back in my area the following afternoon. But then the following afternoon came and went, and after reaching out, he told me first thing in the morning he would arrive. And then “first thing in the morning” came and went, and yet I was still here, sleeping on my mattress on the floor like a drug addict in an abandoned house in the woods. My room is pretty tiny, so not being able to put my bed together kind of stalls me from putting everything else together. Once the bed is together and placed in the right spot, I can then sort through all of my other things.

I finally texted the mover again, and after several hours, he told me he would be by with my pieces in “about nine days”.

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NINE DAYS.

I can’t put anything anywhere. I have more stuff arriving this week. I live in a pile of clothes on my mattress with a useless bed frame exploding my tiny bedroom. I. Am. Not. A. Happy. Lady. Right. Meow.

I informed him immediately like the princess that I was behaving as that that arrangement did not work for me at all. I need a bed. It’s only been three days and I’m already throwing crap around because I have no placement for them yet. I still have no idea what’s happening with the bed so I’m just going to shove issue #1 aside for now.

Now onto issue #2 – I bought a brand new bookcase that arrived today. We go to unload the heavy pieces from the box only to find that they did not include any of the nails to actually put said pieces together, leaving me once again with another piece of useless furniture I cannot assemble at this point in time.

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It’s official. South Carolina does not want me to put my furniture together. It has not welcomed me with open arms. I just want a bedroom that wouldn’t make Jesse Pinkman cry.

So I’m just going to go in my room now and huddle in the corner to look at what’s left of my belongings in hopes nothing else happens.

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Little Black Book – a ghost story

I realized I’ve never really discussed the idea of ghosts on my blog. What has prompted this inspiration is an article I asked Tierney to send to me because it was spooking her out so I thought, “Hey Jess, let’s not sleep tonight.” You can find the article here: Read at your own risk.

So now, I’m a Nervous Nelly and the only thing I can do to calm myself down is doing what I’m doing now: blogging and joking around. *insert nervous laugh*

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I love ghost stories. That doesn’t necessarily mean I believe in them, but I’m not entirely skeptical either. I know weird and unexplainable things happen. I’ve known plenty of people who have strange stories to tell, including myself. Like this one time, the stereo in the basement of my house turned on by itself in the middle of the night. The damn thing woke everyone up. We never used that stereo, so there was no set alarm either. And no, I was not the first person to walk into my dark, creepy basement to find the source of the noise. I’m smarter than that. Or that other time in college when I went to go wash my face and brush my teeth before bed and out of the corner of my eye, I saw a girl walk in and head for the stalls. After I was done brushing my teeth, I realized how silent the bathroom was, and when I went to check the stalls, nobody was in there except for me. I ran out and hid under my blankets.

But the first time I started to kind of sort of believe these things was after my dad passed away. Several strange and possibly coincidental things happened after his death, but that is for you to decide.

My dad died only a few months after my college graduation. As soon as I was in the “real world” he informed me that he wanted to send a hundred dollars every month. I told him it wasn’t necessary but he insisted. He said, “I don’t want you to ever be without.” He sent me $100 for July and August, and then he died in September. A day or two after he passed, I flew down to Texas to help my mom with some things around the house. We had an emotional morning after picking up his belongings at the hospital, and then the funeral home allowing me to view the body for a few seconds before cremating him later that week, so my mother and I decided to take a long nap. I don’t know how long we were both asleep for, but I eventually woke up and felt anxious. I slipped out of bed, tip toed over our German Shepherd, and sat in the kitchen for a few minutes in silence. My dad’s art studio was all the way down the hallway with the door closed and I felt compelled to go inside and look around. It wasn’t just out of curiosity. It was more of a, “I have to do it now!” kind of feeling.

I began going through his things. I wasn’t entirely sure what I was looking for but I kept digging through the drawers and closets, hoping to find something. He had a tiny book collection on his shelf and I noticed there was a little black book tucked away and it looked like a journal. I pulled it out and opened the first page. It was dated two weeks before he died and he wrote one sentence, “I don’t remember much of my life or where it went, so this is going to be tough to write.” That is all.

I fanned through the pages hoping to find more and then a hundred dollar bill fell onto my lap. After I showed my mom, we tore apart the rest of the house, wondering if he hid any other hundred dollar bills but we found nothing. Just the single bill inside his blank journal. Now, some of you might think that it was just a coincidence. However, what if I hadn’t gone through his things and found the little black book? There really wasn’t anything special about it. It was a small, blank book tucked in between about a dozen books by Stephen King and a few of my Sarah Dessen novels I enjoyed when I was younger. The little black book could have easily been thrown away along with some of his other belongings before my mom packed up the house and moved. Finding that hundred dollar bill was like finding a needle in a haystack —> not an original analogy but whatever.

Flash forward a few weeks and my mom was telling me about the weird and unexplainable things.

Grief messes with you. You start noticing things you never noticed before, and then you feel guilty for not noticing them when you should have. My mom walked by the refrigerator and found a note that said, “I love you!” and when she turned it over, it read, “Just because.” She walked outside one day and stumbled across the row of cement blocks. The day my dad passed away, he was moving them around the yard in the heat, which could be an easy explanation for his heart attack. One of the cement blocks had their initials written on it with a heart. These moments are not considered weird, but instead are happy reminders of the person they were before they are gone. I think this happens with every person once they have died. It’s like that song from The Band Perry when they say, “Funny when you’re dead and people start listening.” But one day, my mom woke up from a nap because it felt like someone pushed her. She felt the hand shove her awake and she looked up and found my dad standing there staring at her. She told me this story and a part of me thought, “She’s grieving. This is natural.” And then another part of me was jealous. Other than the mysterious hundred dollar bill, I hadn’t experienced anything except a number of sleepless nights.

My mom told me a few other stories like that one and I just nodded my head silently. For weeks, I wanted something to happen whether it was my grief talking or something real. I know it was just a desperate plea to see him one last time, and I couldn’t understand why my mom could see him and I couldn’t.

And then one fine evening I had a very strange dream. I was standing across the street from my old house in New Hampshire. Everything was set up exactly as I remembered. From across the street, I could see my dad pacing back and forth in the window of my house. I wasn’t trying to get his attention, but I was just watching him. He noticed me from the big window and waved vigorously with a huge smile on his face. And then I woke up.

Weird? Maybe. Coincidence? Possibly. But I’d rather just keep it as a way of him saying, “hello”.

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I’m Fine I’m Fine I’m Fine

The year 2016, for me, started on January 12th. It didn’t start when the ball dropped in New York City, or when everyone cheered with their champagne glasses. At that point in time, I believe I was in a bathroom of a New Year’s Eve party crying while my friend wiped the mascara off my face, telling me everything was going to be okay.

Many people have complained that 2016 was one of the worst years we have seen in a long time. It was definitely one of the more bizarre years considering the amount of celebrity deaths and America’s recent election. But I don’t review my year based on things like pop culture and politics. I think about the past year and wonder if I became a better version of myself, and if I actually have learned something from my accomplishments and failures.

On January 12th of last year, my car was packed, I said goodbye to my neighbors in California, and I set off back to New Hampshire by myself. As soon as I got out of Orange County and realized I was entering the dusty mountains of Arizona, where gas stations appear once every 45 miles, cell service is scarce, and it seemed as though I was the only person left on the planet driving through the desert, I started to worry. I kept repeating, “I’m fine I’m fine I’m fine.” A little tune similar to Sylvia Plath’s “I am I am I am.” I ignored my morbid thoughts and put on my brave face. For years, I was meant to believe that I couldn’t handle life in general. I was meant to believe that my sense of direction was terrible, mostly because I’m a girl. I was meant to believe that I couldn’t take care of myself, and I was made to feel stupid at times. I’d say it was natural of me to have those thoughts as I started driving thousands of miles alone to places unfamiliar to me. Every town I stopped in for gas, or grabbed food, or just simply needed to use the bathroom, I held tightly onto the mace in my pocket and kept a straight face.

A friend once asked me what my favorite part of the road trip was, and she expected something grand like the skyline of Chicago or New York City. But my favorite part was in the middle of nowhere in northern Texas seeping into Oklahoma. For what seemed like hundreds of miles are fields of giant white windmills. It doesn’t sound exciting but they are hypnotizing. It was in that moment, I felt safe. I felt in control, comfortable, and for the first time, relaxed. I wanted so badly to stop and sit on the hood of my car and watch them turn, but I decided I needed to keep moving.

2016 was one of my better years. I learned a lot about myself that I can either accept or change – I haven’t quite figured that out yet. I’m a naturally impulsive person. I don’t like receiving help unless specifically asked. I’m stubborn. I don’t always speak my mind. I overthink and read too much into almost everything. I rarely take my own advice. I’m independent, yet I rely too heavily on other people. I value my friendships more. I’m able to love unconditionally. I’m okay with rejection because that just means another door opens. I’m a little more optimistic.

I’m looking forward to 2017 not just because it’s a new year. Time is merely an illusion. I’m excited and open for whatever may come. There are still many places to see, people to meet, friends to grow closer with, along with many more accomplishments and failures. I’m a little bit happier with myself than I was a year ago. I will have fantastic days, decent days, and terrible days. But I keep reminding myself that it will be like this for the rest of my life. What really matters is how I look at it.

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A Letter to Santa

Paul yelled at me. He demanded that I write a letter to Santa from the POV of when I was little. You don’t believe me? Take a look at the comments. He was definitely yelling.

So I am here to share a letter I wrote to Santa from the POV of when I was seven. Enjoy.

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Dear Santa,

My biggest question is: how on earth do you fly to every child’s house in one night? It seems impossible. It has to be magic. Does Mrs. Claus help you? I don’t know much about her, so I’d like to learn more. Rudolph must be exhausted after the long trip. I’ve left extra carrots just in case.

I’m seven years old and for Christmas I’d really like some more Barbie’s. But don’t tell my sisters. They keep french braiding their hair behind my back and then it gets all crimpy. It really bothers me.

I’d also really like an American Girl Doll, Samantha specifically. I like her dark hair and bangs. My mom says they are too expensive.

I’m told that you won’t come if you know I’m awake so I’m going to bed now. Don’t mind my dog, Jasmine. She’s friendly. I’m sure she’d like a bone for Christmas.

Love always,

Jess

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Pet Fish

I had a strange fascination with death as a child. I’ve been trying to figure out when it all started. My mom says that when I was about four or five, a handful of people in my life died and it really screwed with me. “People were dropping like flies!” so my mom says. This could have been the foundation of my death fear, but I recently remembered a brief moment in my history that certainly didn’t help the situation.

I got my first pet fish when I was six years old. I named her after my best friend Megan. She was a bronze fish with black polka dots, and she swam around her tank with elegance and grace.

She was the first pet I really learned how to take care of. I woke up each morning, and the first thing I did was grab my step stool and feed Megan. She was everything I could have hoped for.

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I would sometimes pull up a chair and watch her swim around. I would do homework next to her, draw pictures next to her, and eat dinner next to her. She was my pal. I told her my deepest six-year-old secrets like which boy I was crushing on that hour, and how much I hated P.E.

Fast forward two years when I was eight-years-old and Megan was still alive.

She kept growing and growing to the point where we had to buy a bigger tank. It took up most of the counter in our kitchen. We also had a dog and a cat at the time. I recall my cat jumping on the counter and knocking over a plate of cookies. Needless to say, we lived in Animal House, minus the frat brothers. While I still enjoyed Megan’s company, I found myself outside with my new scooter, or in my room reading big girl books as opposed to chatting it up with my pet fish for an hour.

It got so bad that eventually we were living around Megan rather than Megan living around us. One day, my mom snapped.

gdh

My mom probably thought buying me a pet fish was the perfect plan. It would teach me to take care of something else, and to learn about responsibility. But I don’t think she expected the fish to live longer than a month, tops.

“This is ridiculous!” she yelled. We both stared at Megan, who seemed jolly in her tank, not giving a shit.

dfg

My mom started hatching a plan. I don’t think she was aware that I was fully aware that her plan was to kill Megan.

It first started off small. When I fed her in the morning, my mother grabbed the food can, dumping most of it’s contents into the tank.

“She looks extra hungry today. Don’t you think?” she asked.

Then, she stopped cleaning the tank. After weeks, perhaps months of overfeeding and neglecting poor Megan, we could barely see her continuously and obliviously swimming around. My mom looked like she was going mad.

fdgdfg

It would have made sense to just flush Megan down the toilet instead of slowly torturing her in her poop-colored tank, but perhaps my mom didn’t want me in on the plan. Simply tossing her into the toilet would have been too easy, and too obvious even for eight-year-old me.

Megan eventually died from “unknown causes”.

“Finally,” my mom whispered.

erew

I knew what my mom had done, but I didn’t want to face it.

Instead, I lashed out on living creatures. When I say living creatures, I actually mean insects because I’m not a monster.

I purposely tapped on ant hills to get the family of ants out of the hole just so I could kill them. They would all pile out of their tiny hole and onto the pavement, and I lavishly stomped on every single one of them. Even the ones suffering and squirming, I would kneel down and watch as they slowly stopped moving. I eventually shared this new hobby of mine at school. It quickly turned into a contest as to who could kill the most ants.

The rest of this story is a little fuzzy so I will try and feel my way through to the truth. I’m sure one of my teachers saw our little torture corner of the playground and lectured us on the idea of living creatures having a valuable life of some sorts. I eventually learned that ants are so unbelievably strong, that they could certainly take over the world by coming together and carrying human beings away. I actually don’t know how true that statement is but I remember someone telling me about it in school and I wanted to cry at the thought. All the more reason to kill them, I thought.

Eventually, I stopped my little killing spree of insects. I either grew out of it, or a teacher made me feel bad. Even now, unless there is an ant in my apartment, I don’t touch them. But part of me really, really, really wants to.

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Stale Reptar Cereal

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I received the hot pink and glittery invitation in the mail. I can’t remember my exact age, but it was a time when sleepovers consisted of crafts, a pinata, and watching Beauty and the Beast. I was officially invited to Kristie’s birthday party. Kristie was a girl from my class, and I really did like her company. However, I couldn’t stand her mother.

I looked at my mom for some guidance on whether or not to attend. She was adamant on the fact that if I RSVP’d “Yes”, I had to go. There was no backing out allowed. I called up my best friend Melanie and asked if she was going. Even at such a young age, we developed this girl code of sticking together, early signs of the “Come to the bathroom with me!”

She said she was thinking of going, only if I will. Of course, we both could have easily just said “No, I can’t” and moved on, but our brains were still developing. We both agreed that we would go to the party.

Kristie’s mother scared me. She was constantly angry about something. The wind didn’t blow right and she’d wreak havoc around town, cursing the gods, asking why the entire world was against her. I was afraid to sneeze around her just in case she’d decapitate me and stick my head on a stick and present it to the neighborhood. I often found myself in Kristie’s closet eating my own hair. She closely resembled Miss Trunchbull from Matilda. I’m sure you can see now why I wasn’t keen on the idea of spending close to 15 hours in their home.

My mother dropped me off at Kristie’s house and I internally cried as I watched her slowly, or rather quickly, drive off.

I carried my sleeping bag inside while her mother yelled, “Hurry up!” She fashioned a dirty ripped t-shirt and sweatpants, which means she dressed for the occasion. I found the rest of the girls sitting on the couch, quietly staring at their hands. We were all just waiting for some direction in case she were to tase us for reaching for a party hat. Melanie finally showed up and I felt an ounce of relief. It was a long evening of Kristie opening presents and listening to her mother scream at her for grabbing a second cupcake. Not because she was health-conscious but because she felt her daughter was a tad overweight.

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She was a wretched woman.

The hour of sleep approached and we crammed ourselves into Kristie’s bedroom. To our surprise, Kristie needed a nightlight, and the radio playing. Is there anyone else who can’t fall asleep to “Hit Me Baby, One More Time”? I rolled towards Melanie and she had been just as uncomfortable as everyone else the entire day/evening. Suddenly, she sat up. She bolted from the bedroom and ran to Kristie’s mother, which I felt was a bold move, and she cried that she didn’t feel well and wanted to call her mom. Fifteen minutes later, Melanie’s mom showed up at the front door to bring her home.

My first thought was, “That sneaky bitch…”

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I knew damn well that Melanie wasn’t sick.

And then there was one.

Of course, my little brain thought, “I’ll do the same thing.” I began faking ill, holding my forehead like I got the black plague. I asked to call my mom. I can’t remember if I actually did, or if Kristie’s mother knew what I was up to and said “no”. Either way, I got stuck at the house listening to N’Sync and the other girls snoring.

We woke up, not fresh and not dapper, and piled into her kitchen to have breakfast. Kristie was lucky enough to have Reptar cereal.

dfgds

Her mother grudgingly tossed the cereal and milk in our direction. Kristie noticed the expiration date on BOTH the cereal and milk. The cereal expired months ago. The milk had reached it’s due date by almost a week. Kristie informed her mother.

“Well, too bad! You get what you get!” she screamed from her reclining chair.

I felt like a prisoner of war sticking that expired breakfast into my mouth.

I got home and hugged my mom for seven hours.

But a few life lessons I learned along the way:

Don’t attend a party you don’t actually want to go to.

Be wary of your friends.

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My College Soulmate

I had a strange feeling come over me yesterday as I was fiddling with my hair. I missed my college soulmate. I texted Miss Colleen and asked if she was interested in me barging in on her life in a couple of weeks because I missed her. Her response was, “FUCK YES.”

I just bought my round trip ticket to Washington D.C. and I’m freaking out. It was an impulsive decision, but worth every penny.

I call Colleen my college soulmate because we hit it off right away. We were randomly selected to room together in dorm room #360. I believe her immediate response was texting me the lyrics to the “Circle of Life”. Perfect! She was a nerd who cracked geometry jokes.

The first time I met Colleen, I carried my bags and my pet frog (yes, I had a pet frog and he lived for a freakishly long time), and banged on the door with my foot and she opened it with such enthusiasm and jazz hands. She hugged me so tightly that I almost dropped Finch the frog.

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Colleen brought the weird out in me. Some of you find this weird quality endearing, so please, clap for Colleen. Here are some Colleen stories I’d like to share with you:

  • I once walked into our room and found her bed in the middle of the room with her mumbling about watching the first snow fall while hugging a half empty bottle of tequila and an open bag of Doritos.
  • Her dad left me a sympathy card in my desk when I first arrived at school with an entire poem dedicated to Colleen.
  • She taught me how to properly tweeze my eyebrows.
  • When a couple of boys played a prank on their friend by leaving his phone number on our door saying, “I have a big penis”, Colleen decided to call him and asked him to elaborate.
  • She nearly convinced me to adopt several animals to hide in our room such as a dog, hedgehog, and a sloth type animal that I can’t remember the name of until we realized that they had this weird poisonous goo come out of its elbows and decided against it.
  • We both watched Kristen Wiig’s SNL skit “Surprise Party” and determined that was Colleen every single day.

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After sophomore year, she transferred to a different school, and since then, I’ve seen her once which was in the spring of 2013. It’s been more than three years and I’m upset about it. But when I do see her, we just pick up right where we left off. I know in my last post I said I was kind of like Jessica Day, but she’s the real Jessica Day. And I get to hang with her and Mr. Abe Lincoln!

#somanyemotions

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Connecticut, Family, Home, I Wasn't Worried, My Idea Of Being An Adult

“Adulting”

Setting: Pub in downtown Fairfield, Connecticut

Girl: Ugh, I have to actually do adult things this week.

Me: What do you mean?

Girl: My parents are going out of town, so I have to do some adulting. Don’t you hate that? I like, actually have to cook for myself, and take the dog out to go to the bathroom. Isn’t that weird?

Me: ………..


I’m in no way judging this girl. Okay, maybe a little. I sometimes forget that not everyone has had the same life as me. When I graduated from high school, my parents moved to Texas about two weeks after the ceremony. I spent the summer living with my grandparents. I then went off to college, and saw my parents twice a year for the next four years or so. Every summer, and during holiday breaks, I stayed with either my grandparents or my aunt. I worked a lot during school, and did my best to help out around the house until I realized it was probably time to find my own place. I was always welcomed at their houses, but by the time I was 21, and I hadn’t lived with my parents since I was 18, I felt like it was time to get my own place.

I moved in with my boyfriend at the time, and continued to do so until about six months ago. But during those four-ish years, I learned to act like an adult. I kind of assumed everyone did around my age but I guess I was wrong. I had to keep up with grocery shopping, clean the apartment when it got messy, remember to bring my car in for an oil change, etc. All of these things that the average adult has to do, I found normal by the time I was 21.

About six months ago, my longtime boyfriend and I broke up. One of the reasons I got off Facebook was the fact that I didn’t want to deal with anybody. It wasn’t necessarily because I was sad, but I didn’t feel like answering questions like, “I saw you moved! Where did you GUYS move to?” or “He’s almost done with school right? What’s next?” My ex and I were not that obnoxiously cheesy lovey dovey couple to begin with, so even if we hadn’t posted about each other in a while, nobody would have noticed. Some friends are just finding out now that we are no longer together and it’s been about six months.

But my point in this post is that, sure, I already knew how to act like an adult early on, but I didn’t know my full potential until I was really, 100% alone. It started with my road trip. I was driving through the Arizona desert at 6am, and realized that I was alone for another 2,500 miles. That was probably the scariest part of this big change of mine. When I finally pulled up to my mom’s house in New Hampshire, something in me shifted. I had done it! All by myself without much help from anyone, minus the Indiana pickle I was in with the snow. I relaxed for a few days and got straight to work to find a job and a place to live. A month later, I finally found a job, and then found a place to live within that week. I felt like I was on top of the world. It’s an amazing feeling to know that I am capable of taking care of myself, when for so long, I never gave myself a chance. It was always a running joke that I couldn’t handle my own life because of how forgetful, klutzy, and at times, shy I am. I am all of those things, but I’ve broken out of the shell just a little bit. When it comes to getting things done, there’s no time for me to be shy. I’ve learned to keep track of important things in my own way, such as not leaving the stove on when I leave the house, or remembering to pay my electricity bill on time, so that I’m not so forgetful. I have yet to figure out the klutzy thing though; that will probably never go away. I will forever and always stub my toe on every corner and drop my keys while holding bags of groceries before getting to the door. I’ve completely put my faith and life into my own hands, and it’s a wonderful feeling.

Now when I have friends or new acquaintances complain that they actually had to go to the bank today, or ask me questions about car insurance, I just nod my head politely and remind myself that we all grow at different times. While some my age complain that they are still living at home with their parents, I remind them of how lucky they are. If my parents had stayed in New Hampshire, I probably would have lived with them a lot longer than I did. But I’m also grateful that I’ve had the chance to grow into the person I am now.

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Family, Home, Humor, I'm not a mommy blogger, Out of the Ordinary

I Took a DNA Test

For my 25th birthday, my mom gave me an Ancestry DNA kit. I produced enough saliva to fill a trough and spit into a tube to send off to the lab to find out any outrageous information about my DNA. I’ve already had a pretty good idea about my ancestral background. It’s known that I’m about half Mexican along with English and Welsh, and a tiny bit of Native American blood. But there is always a chance we could have been wrong all these years, or oblivious to some family information. Well, I finally got my test results back and they are…interesting.

The test doesn’t give you a full detailed list of all the ethnic backgrounds flowing in your blood stream. They give you a percentage of the general region, naming the countries listed within that region. Basically, if you’re 25% “Native American”, it states that this region consists of the U.S., Canada, and Central and South America. It doesn’t mean you’re 25% Puerto Rican. It just means 25% of you hails from this general area. That way, if you are building your family tree and you see your 7th great-grandfather crossed the border from Alberta, it won’t seem so random and out of place.

Here are my outrageously astounding test results you probably don’t care about at all but I’m going to tell you anyways:

31% Native American

Like I said, it states this region is primarily North, Central, and South America. I don’t specifically know what it entails but my first thought was, “I should play Pocahontas in Once Upon A Time.”

pocahontas34% Europe West

This includes Belgium, France, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, Luxembourg, and Liechtenstein. Why hasn’t my modeling career skyrocketed?

9% Italy/Greece

I can officially place the Italian flag bumper sticker on my car like every other damn Italian to let other people know I’m effing Italian! If only I had actually moved to Jersey….

8% Great Britain

I’m actually surprised I’m not more British than I’ve been told. I was so sure I was going to find out I’m the long lost cousin of Prince William and Harry, and then be grossly mortified because of how gorgeous I think they are. Well, Harry at least. William let himself go just a tad….

7% Scandinavian

I always knew I marched to the beat of my own drum, all thanks to these guys.

4% Iberian Peninsula

Spain and Portugal…now I definitely missed my modeling career opportunity.

2% Africa North

This includes Morocco, Western Sahara, Algeria, and Libya. I’m Africa bound to learn more about this deep culture of mine. (Can you smell the sarcasm?)

1% Caucasus

Includes Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey. So I’m the next Kardashian? GOD HELP ME.

>1% African Bantu

South Africa, Kenya, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Angola, Tanzania, Mozambique, and Uganda.

What would happen if I showed up to these countries and was like, “MY PEOPLE!!”? Feel free to share your guesses.

>1% Finland/Northwest Russia

I didn’t mind Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina.

>1% Ireland

I find this hilarious and strange since my grandmother on my father’s side always said she was half Irish. Well then…..200

>1% Middle East

Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Oman, Yemen, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Lebanon, and Israel. A bit random if you ask me…..

Those are my astounding results. I hope you enjoyed my first reactions.

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Awkward, Connecticut, Home, Humor, I Wasn't Worried, My Idea Of Being An Adult, You're Fine

Surviving

Last week, I shared the wonderful news of accepting my first job since June of last year. That’s right! It took me almost nine months to find a job. That’s how fantastic our world is right now. At the point of accepting the position, I had less than two weeks to find a place to live. It was game time.

It’s not easy looking for an apartment, let alone a house. I can’t wrap my head around a house with actual land just yet. But, the upside is that this is my fourth apartment in four years. I luckily knew what to look for. Unfortunately, due to my timing, I couldn’t exactly be picky either. My new job is located in Norwalk, CT. For those of you not familiar with the area, Norwalk is basically located in between all of the other rich, snobby, and overpriced towns that my search for a new home was extremely limited. I thought for almost a moment that I would have to live in my car. My only choice was to look for apartments in Bridgeport. If you google Bridgeport, you may likely find this:

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Actual conversation between me and my friend:

Me: How is Bridgeport?

Her: We don’t talk about Bridgeport….

Welcome to my new home! I found a studio apartment in the North End of Bridgeport at a very decent price and I was ready to go for it. Of course, you may hit some bumps along the way.

For instance, if you’re looking in an actual apartment complex building, they want to know absolutely everything about you down to the last piece of cheese you bought from the grocery store. Please know, you don’t have to tell them EVERYTHING. There comes a point when it’s not actually their business so feel free to tell them some white lies in order to get what you want. At the end of the month, they are the ones guzzling down your bank account like a box of white wine.

This is my first apartment, alone. I’ve never lived by myself before and I’m actually looking forward to it. However, that means relying on myself entirely. Before, if a landlord or real estate company gave me a hard time about my application to live there, I would have normally shrugged and said, “Oh, darn,” and moved on because I always had someone else living with me. But this time was different. I didn’t have time to browse the entire state of Connecticut. I found the one I wanted and I wasn’t going down without a fight. Especially when you’re my age, and then shed about seven years off your face because everyone thinks you’re sixteen, you have to be kind of a hard ass in order for them to take you seriously. I wagered with them, struck deals, and made suggestions. I thought of every single thing I could think of to convince them that I would be the best tenant they could have ever hoped for. And I won. I felt like Jennifer Lawrence in Joy.

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I’ve always thought of myself as an independent person without the opportunity to see how far my independence could take me. I actually impressed myself over the past couple of weeks with my need to survive in this world alone. So far, it’s going pretty smooth. Fingers crossed that it stays this way.

I started piling my things into my new place this afternoon, and will officially be a Connecticut resident starting tomorrow. I’ll probably post some DIY obsessions for the next few weeks as I make this apartment my own.

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Awkward, Home, Humor, I Wasn't Worried, I'm not a mommy blogger, My Idea Of Being An Adult, You're Fine

Breathing

Here is a brief update on my life:

  • I’m currently living back home in New Hampshire after driving 3,000 miles from California.
  • My car is still crammed with my belongings because I simply can’t wrap my brain around dealing with it.
  • I have no job.
  • I keep falling asleep while watching Making A Murderer which is incredibly frustrating.

Luckily, since I’ve moved back to New Hampshire, I’ve gotten more job prospects than I did in California, which only confirms my feelings when I yell “SUCK IT” when the wind is blowing west. My best friend Tierney sent a lovely text message earlier this week asking if I would be interested in rooming with her in…..*drumroll please*…..NEW JERSEY. Yes, the armpit of America. And I said hell yes because not only do I love Tierney, but until then, I had no plan. So right now, that is the plan, and I’m so excited I can’t breathe.

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I’ve been sending out my resume like hot cakes and decided to reach out to a friend of mine from grad school since he lives in Brooklyn and I will only be a mere 45 minute train ride. We can call him Joe. He called me the other day after examining my resume to discuss what my future plans are. Awkward, since I have none. He’s been living in NYC for quite some time and gave me the lowdown on employment and living situations. After asking a series of questions on what I’m interested in/looking for in a job, he then asked, “What do you see yourself doing when you’re 30?”

After serious thinking, I said, “I DON’T KNOW JOE. BREATHING.”

*Proceeds to pass out on the floor*

So I may not have actually responded in such a way, but it was pretty damn close. After complimenting me on my resume skills (at least that’s something), he gave me a few ideas I’m toying with. My future is looking a lot like those Texas farmlands where it’s just miles and miles of nothing until you see big, wondrous windmills that excite you. I need to pick a windmill. And soon.

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Home, Travel

Hello Indiana

Well I just spent the entire weekend with my fabulous Mexican family eating tostadas and tamales and it was so wonderful to see everyone. I planned to skip Niagara Falls and head to Gettsyburg, PA but now I’m stuck in South Bend, Indiana.

This is the most bizarre snow I’ve ever experienced. Clear blue skies, a little windy, and yet the roads are completely awful. I didn’t even know it snowed earlier that morning/night, and about an hour into my drive, I was going 20mph on the highway. I counted approximately four cars had already crashed on the side of the road, and an SUV directly behind me sped out of control, crashed into both shoulders of the highway and did a 360 about three times. That’s when I said, “GET ME OFF THIS HIGHWAY NOW.”

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I’ve decided to shack up in South Bend for the day/night instead of attempting the ridiculous roads. I’d like to live my life.

Now I’m a whole day behind with a possible snow storm heading towards the east coast. I just need to get home now.

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