Category Archives: Happenings

A Construction Zone Tragedy

Jana: They say that tragedy + time = comedy. In the case of the story I’m about to tell you, I’m hopeful that the saying holds up. This story is a tragedy. This is the story of a tragedy that occurred in my life last spring at around midnight on a Wednesday.

It was April. At the time, I had a boyfriend who had been living in LA for about three months, and was returning to Boston to graduate from college and hang out with me for a month or two, and he was arriving on this very night. In what we thought was just an annoying thing but turned out to be a fatefully awful thing, his plane was getting in at midnight. Would I pick him up at the airport? Of course I would pick him up at the airport. I was his girlfriend, and I was very excited to see him, and I even bought him a flower and drank coffee at 10 PM.

Picture it: I had coffee. I put on makeup. At 11:30 or so, I walked to my car and felt the spring air alive around me. I turned on the radio and drove through Allston, energized by the city lights. Things were going well.

I kept driving. I got on the highway. I entered the tunnel.

Before I continue, I should say that I am really, really bad at directions. I don’t mean that I am ok at directions; I mean that my sense of direction is about as sharp as my sense of smell, which is essentially non-functioning. I’m an idiot. So, even though I’ve driven to Logan approximately 15 times MINIMUM, I was using the GPS on my phone. And when I use the GPS, I like to really stick to it, because when I don’t I generally end up alone and crying and lost in Revere without money to get past the tolls to make it home (I’ve had some bad experiences with fast pass so I don’t use it anymore, and I always forget to keep quarters in my car – it’s a frightful combination of failures). With memories like that, I really try to go by the GPS and do whatever it tells me, always.

So, I’m in the car. I enter the tunnel. My GPS tells me that I’m two exits away from the exit I should take. Cool, cool, I think, as I sing along to the radio and feel good about my life. But wait, why am I taking this exit? Somehow, it seemed like I’d been manipulated to get off the highway too early? What? This is wrong, but I’m gonna fix it before it gets worse! I thought proudly as I swerved back onto the highway.

And then I heard the sirens.

You see, I’d swerved through cones. THROUGH CONES, my friends. Listen to me: under no circumstances should you swerve through cones. You should never do that. Cones indicate a construction zone, and you are NOT SUPPOSED TO DRIVE IN THOSE.

The cops who pulled me over were NOT KIND. They assumed I had to be wasted, because WHY ELSE WOULD ANYONE DO WHAT I’D DONE, and they treated me like I’d just murdered all of their children. I was sobbing, and apologizing, and they were like, this is gonna cost you a thousand dollars, you could have killed someone, etc etc. Then they left me alone to shake with fear and gasp out tears while they conferred about what to do with me.

When they came back to my window, they handed me a $600 ticket. And then they told me I was lucky they weren’t towing my car, and that I should back up out of the tunnel.

Which I did, somehow. I BACKED UP OUT OF THE TUNNEL. I don’t even know how I did it. I thought I had maybe already died. It was fucking horrific.

So, then I went to the airport to get my boyfriend! It was a really joyous reunion in that I couldn’t even look at him because I was so freaked out and he was like, cool, it’s great to see you, and I was like, you have to drive home I have PTSD and will never drive again.

This is me and my car around the time of the incident. It's not the same day, which you can tell because I'm not sobbing.

This is me and my car around the time of the incident. It’s not the same day, which you can tell because I’m not sobbing.

The icing on the top of this tragedy cake is that, a few months later, I received a citation alerting me that I’d need to take a full-day, $150 class to re-learn about driving or my license would be revoked. And you guys – I went to the class. OH I WENT. It was awesome and I’m thinking about writing a “A Chorus Line”-esque musical based on the experience, but I’ll save that story for another day.

Catherine: If I had my old phone, I would have to go in there and retrieve the string of texts I woke up to from Jana that chronicled the incident. I was nervous by the time I texted her back, because I thought that there was real good possibility that she had killed herself. Luckily for BOTH OF US, that was not the case.

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Happy Anniversary: We Embarrass Ourselves In Song

Did you guys know that today is our blog anniversary?

Well, not today, specifically, but around this time. Ok fine, it was last week and we missed it. We forgot. We’re sorry. We’re busy people!

Anyway, to celebrate one year of sharing all of our embarrassments in this public forum (which, by the way, has meant a great deal to us), here are more embarrassments for you, the public, to consume.

Jana: As a high schooler, I took voice lessons. I took them SERIOUSLY, too, because I believed that I was a talented singer, as evidenced by the accolades I’d received for my starring role in “Peter Pan” in eighth grade, if not by the fact that I’d never been given a solo or been admitted into any select singing groups since entering high school (not because I didn’t audition, guys). This, I believed, was a great injustice; my cross to bear. My parents and voice teacher agreed with me.

My voice teacher was (and is) a wonderful woman who gave voice and piano lessons in her living room. Once a week, I stood there and sang various scales and “On My Own” from Les Mis and felt like – NO ONE KNOWS, but I am Very Talented. Sometimes the kid who had a lesson after me would overhear the end of whatever I was singing, and tell me I had “a nice voice!” as I exited the house. I lived for those moments.

Once a year, in the spring, my teacher held a recital. I participated in all of them, but the one that I want to talk about occurred in the spring of my final year as a voice student, and as a high school student, and as a legal child. That’s right: I was eighteen. A full five to ten years older than every other recital participant, whose ages ranged from about six to about sixth grade. I WAS THE OLDEST ONE.

My teacher’s son, who was in maaaybe 5th grade, had put together a band for this recital, and they had all learned to play Avril Lavigne’s “Complicated,” which was a big hit that year. Would I be the vocalist? My teacher asked me. YES, I SAID. I said yes. I have no idea why I said yes to this. I just said yes, and went to one rehearsal, and then showed up at the UU church on a Saturday afternoon to sing lead vocals to Avril Lavigne’s “Complicated” against a backing band of fifth graders.

And, I invited friends.

That’s right, two of my best friends were there. They heard me belt out “why you gotta go and make things so complicated? I see the way you actin like you’re somebody else gets me frustrated…” while wearing a floor length black skirt and a purple cardigan from Weathervane. Listen: they saw me. People saw me. I WAS EIGHTEEN YEARS OLD.

That’s all. Happy Anniversary! Here’s to another full year’s worth of horrible memories.

We hate ourselves.

Catherine: I love this. I obviously just fucking love this. And you idiots are lucky I let Jana post that picture of us. It’s a real doozy.

Dear readers, I am going to share with you a brief tale from my own singing misadventures. As you may recall I went to Catholic Lithuanian Heritage Camp (if you’re just joining us… that happened.) Every year there was a Talent Night that people would be all shy about being into, but then be really into it, but not like, SHOW that they were into it. There were a lot of repressed feelings is what I’m saying.

One year I had sang “Somewhere Out There” for the “audition” (nobody got turned down, ever, so it was just a rouse) and afterwards I was bullied by the camp bully to SING IT FOR HER. She had heard someone say I sang well and she THREATENED ME TO SING in a VERY SCARY WAY outside by the fire pit during free time before swimming. Terrified, I obliged. This was the same bully who later stole my disposable camera. When I told a counselor about it, she was confronted, at which point she claimed that the last name written on the camera in Sharpie – my distinctive Lithuanian last name – was her cousin’s last name and they had given her the camera. These were lies, people, and when I developed my film there were about five pictures she took of herself, selfies. I digress.

Flash forward a year, I had come to camp prepared. I had spent hours on AOL searching for the song lyrics to all my favorite songs – Alanis, Natalie Imbruglia, Jewel – the ladies of the 90s. This was all in preparation for that year’s talent night, because I was an artist, and that meant having my act together. Feeling wise beyond my years at 15, I settled on singing a Belle and Sebastian song, because I was different, see. I wasn’t going to sing “On My Own” (as someone always did, out of tune, and with a little bit too much fervor.) I was going to sing a song that spoke to me, that expressed my deep, deep feelings, and my immense  maturity. I was going to sing, “Get Me Away From Here, I’m Dying.” So sing I did, a capella, to a crowd of people who DIDN’T KNOW THE FUCK WAS GOING ON. As I started the refrain – I shit you not – an immense thunderstorm started and the lights went out for a moment. Should I keep singing? Everyone was suddenly chattering to themselves, startled, and looking out the windows. I powered through because I was an ARTIST and this song was REALLY IMPORTANT. I fell asleep in my cabin that night with my discman on, listening to Miss Saigon, thinking about how nobody understood me (this wasn’t in fact a particularly unique truth, but it was certainly the case.)

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“How Did You All Get Here?”: Round 3

Hello, Everyone! Welcome to our third installment of “How Did You All Get Here,” our special edition post in which we answer questions from the Internet that weren’t intended for us. GOOGLE is a miraculous resource, and what we’ve learned as we peruse our blog’s traffic page is that a lot of people think google is their best friend and that it understands just what they mean and also has all the answers. And we, of course, are here to show them that they are right.

To the questions.

Actual Search #1: “”dirty sweatpants””

Jana: Is it ok to wear them? Where do you buy them? What qualifies as “too dirty” – are these your questions? If so, the answers are yes, I can sell you a pair, and it really takes a lot.

Catherine: Your eyes aren’t deceiving you, this was googled with quotation marks around it. Apparently they are only a hypothetical, not quite real thing to this person. For me, in my own life,  no quotation marks required.

Actual Search #2: “pants don’t fit”

Jana: Get bigger pants, I think. Also, again, do you think google is just a friend who will be like, “Yes they do! Wear them!” What do you think google can do? Because it can’t see you really. So we don’t all know if the pants really don’t fit or if maybe you’re just having a low self-esteem day.

Catherine: Girl, GIRL – I FEEL YOU. When Jana and I were gloriously together two weeks ago we both decided I should buy a pair of too-tight purple skinnie jeans. I tried to wear them out on Friday, looked at myself, had a small nervous breakdown, and then changed.

Actual Search #3: “why does my boyfriend sit with me at the hairdressers”

Jana: Probably you should get rid of this guy. Is he trying to monitor your haircut? If so, he’s an asshole. If not, he’s too clingy. He should take a walk. Most hairdressers are located near a great sandwich shop. You should date someone who would rather eat a great sandwich and then tell you how good your hair looks later (or hold you while you cry, if you’re me).

Catherine: Why do you let him?

Actual Search #4: “what did i do to deserve man boobs”

Jana: You seem nice.

Catherine: If you need to GOOGLE THIS to find out why, THAT is what you did to deserve them.

Actual Search #5:  “fucking cashier catherine from work”

Jana: Are you planning to kill her or something?

Catherine: Oh my. Um. Do you want to know like, HOW to do this? How to get the girl or how to -ahem- (fuck.) Or do you want to see it happen? You need to be a lot more clear. Better yet, walk up to Catherine from work, say this to her and watch yourself get slapped in the pimply face.

Actual Search #6: “mario lopez crying”

Jana: Saved By The Bell was so good, I agree. Also how did this lead to our blog?

Catherine: Yeah, ok. Who wouldn’t want to see that?

Actual Search #7: “what is did i do something to u”

Jana: Go to sleep. You’re drunk.

Catherine: Poor thing.

Actual Search #8: “i hate working at deli”

Jana: You’re just not cut out for it, then. Not everyone is.

Catherine: So does everyone besides Jana Pollack. You’re not alone. #itgetsbetter

Actual Search #9: “why its ok to be a hairdresser”

Jana: I would like this to be punctuated like: “why, it’s ok to be a hairdresser!” Then I could believe it was typed into google by a little boy or girl with a dream and a smile.

Catherine: Oh, I don’t know. Because people need their hair done? Is it your dream to be a hairdresser you dear little lost dove? Chase that dream. Cut those split ends. Dye that shit. I’m with you, even though nobody in your family is and you got kicked out of the house.

Actual Search #10: “shaws supermarket employee deli counter fired for”

Jana: Were you looking for reasons that you could get fired from a deli? Because here are some things you can do and remain hired: smoke pot in the freezer, regularly eat many slices of meat, lie to customers about what’s in stock, cook lobster in the back kitchen. I guess maybe if you purposely bled on stuff?

Catherine: A honest to goodness MYSTERY SEARCH! I’m dying over here, WHAT WERE THEY FIRED FOR? Cutting the meat too thin? Laughing when people ordered ham salad? Ridiculing heavy people who attempted to order “light” cheese??

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Locked in Like Animals

Catherine: Oh hai. I know I promised you facebookers I’d have this story to you this past weekend, but guess what? JANA WAS IN TOWN so I didn’t have time to write because our lives were falling apart together for once. Nothing terribly disastrous happened, you’ll be sad to know. The nearest disaster was avoided so, mischief managed.

Anyways.

Last week I was on Lake Tahoe. More specifically, I was NOT on Lake Tahoe, but I was on Donner Lake. Of the Donner party, which you may recognize as the last known example of cannibalism in the United States. I’m not sure what that has to do with my story, other than it’s a pretty bad thing, and perhaps will help to set the stage as it were. Anyway, I was with a group of old friends, reunion-style, and we were staying at Donner Lake for a week to drink too much and get sunburns on the backs of our (my) legs.

We’re going to get into some sexy stuff, guys, so if you’re not up to it, OR IF YOU’RE MY MOTHER, stop reading.

We still here?

Mom, go away.

Ok.

I was at the supermarket in a little group trip to stock up on snacks and food for our mini army of 10 people. I very discreetly snuck away as we checked out as a group – “I forgot something! How SILLY of me!” And ugh, I hate this story. I hate telling it. Maybe you hate reading it.

But I needed to get like, UGH, condoms. UGH. SO ANYWAYS. I went to the aisle I had seen them in and reached up. But – they were locked up, like little sex prisoners. I was displeased. I went to the pharmacist stationed nearby and very meekly asked, “Uh, um” (dies inside) “How do I get … in there” (I point ashamedly in the general direction, I am not mature, not at all.) Without so much as giving two shits, the pharmacist calls over the intercom “Customer assistance, aisle 8.”

Me, carrying pickles, moments before the incident.

Not one minute later, the teenage boy with the Bieber cut who had been bagging my groceries saunters – like, really saunters – down the aisle. At the moment of impact (having arrived at the um, ‘penis covers’), ANOTHER employee, in her 50s, disgruntled, arrives.

“Whatdya need?”

“Hi, um, yeah, I needed some of the ………………. condoms.”

“Which ones?”

(Points, dies inside, teenage boy smirks)

The woman reaches up and retrieves them. Without so much as a key. No key needed. SPOILER ALERT: THEY WEREN’T LOCKED UP AT ALL. I AM JUST REALLY STUPID. I had not been able to get them down, not because they were locked up, but because I am terrible and not very bright.

The woman laughs, “They weren’t locked up.”

“Yeah, yeah, ok. I want to die, like, ok.”

“We’ll be talking about this in the breakroom later!”

“Oh, yeah? Cool…”

The teenage boy and I walk back towards the registers together because it’s a grocery store and there aren’t emergency exits for when you embarass yourself less for having sex than for being an idiot. As we pass the self check-out, I call to the boy, just behind me, “I’m just gonna do the self-checkout. I want to die right now.” (verbatim, guys.) He laughs at me, pointedly.

The self-checkout is packed, as it would be, but I spy an open register and throw the (cough) CONDOMS on the thingymajig JUST as the teenage boy saunters by (seriously, kid was a serial saunterer.) “Self-checkout, huh?” Cue him laughing, sauntering away. Cue him also probably thinking, “Does she know she has zits on her mouth right now? Like, 70? Poor girl.”

And scene.

Jana: This story makes me want to kill myself.

Here is a penis drawn on my leg LATER THAT DAY. I turned it into a cat.

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To The Woman Currently Cutting My Hair: Are You Paying Attention?

Jana: Recently, I got a haircut. If it’s alright with you, I’d like to tell you about the full experience of my haircut.

 
At 6 AM on the day of the haircut, I got up and drove my boyfriend to the airport, as he was leaving to move to Los Angeles. Then I came home and lay in bed being sad for a while. At 11:30 AM, I roused myself, ate three pieces of toast, and got in the car to meet my sister, because we had purchased “Living Social” deals to get haircuts for only $20, and we had thought it might be a nice activity for the day that would help me take my mind off my boyfriend moving and my having no money and no real plan for my life. I was encouraged by the thought of the haircut.

I need to note that my encouragement was a product of that pesky human inability to accurately remember pain (my best example of this is eating hummus only ten minutes after having been on the toilet bargaining with God because of hummus-induced problems. Once it’s over, I’m always like, it wasn’t so baaad. Ooo is that Sabra? What kind of crackers do you have?). Because, when I’m being honest with myself, I’m fully aware that I always have a terrible time at a haircut. The conversation between me and the hairdresser is a lot like this, always:

Hairdresser: Let’s see here. Oh woah, so we’ve got some serious split ends.

Me: I know, yeah.

Hairdresser: You really need to stop straightening your hair. This is really damaged! If you don’t drastically change your lifestyle, it’s going to be damaged forever.

Me: I know, yes, you’re right.

Hairdresser: And oh my god, such little hair! It’s so so thin!

Me: Yeah, it’s really thin.

Hairdresser: Ok, I’ll see what I can do but I can’t make any promises! *Laughs*. So, are you excited to start high school in the fall?

 

Then they cut off the split ends and try to make conversation which I try to deflect with silence; then, I pay them $60 and go home to furiously straighten the hair.

But, on the day of this haircut, those memories were all rose-colored. Off we went to our haircut with tear-stained faces (just mine, my sister was fine) and hopeful hearts.

It was a very hot day, so we were excited to get inside to an air conditioned room. We ran across Mass Ave and into the salon and found it… stale. Terribly, terribly hot, and empty save for one girl getting her hair cut by a strange-looking man who was wearing a T-shirt that said “I’m just here to annoy you.” We approached the front counter, where a woman stood looking over some papers. She completely ignored us. “Hello?” we tried. She was obviously pissed that we were there. “Busy now, you can sit over there,” she said (it became clear at this moment that she was some kind of European foreign, which I’m only saying to accurately set the scene). We didn’t know what else to do, so we went and sat over on the weird-looking bench. From that vantage point, I could now see the woman’s full person:

This was an older lady, maybe in her late 60s, with cropped white hair, which is fine and good. She was wearing a somewhat ill-fitting dress that really highlighted her stomach paunch, which is also nothing I’m ever gonna get on a high horse about (am I right ladies? – sorry, I don’t even know what that joke was). But ok, HERE IS THE KICKER: on her feet, she was wearing those shoes that have the individual toes. I don’t even know that you can really call them shoes, but regardless, I’ve always understood them to be designed exclusively for endurance running. And yet, this woman wore them in her hair salon, paired with a dress. Furthermore, the shoes appeared to be wet.

You heard me. They were wet. As if she’d recently been walking in some sort of river.

Despite the shoes, we stayed. My sister was soon taken in for haircutting by the “Annoy you” t-shirt guy, who’d finished with the other girl. As I flipped through a magazine, I sensed from overhearing my sister’s conversation that the male hairdresser was in fact quite capable and normal; they laughed together as he cut her hair. I relaxed into the uncomfortable wooden-wicker bench.

Eventually, old Wet Shoes was ready for me, which she signaled by pointing – “Sinks, I meet you over there.” I went to the sinks.

Once we were there, in the familiar space of an awkward salon hairwashing, I sort of started to like her. She told me that she had just seen that movie “Hot Mike,” and that it was full of “beautiful bodies.” She explained that she’d been so rude earlier because she’d been trying to find an envelope full of something to do with taxes, and it had ended up being right in front of her. I got that, I’ve been there. I figured it would be ok.

And it was, such as it was, in that she did cut my hair and we did interact with only mild awkwardness. However, as we chatted, I couldn’t help but notice that she seemed to be really arbitrarily selecting pieces of my hair to cut. Juuust whatever. Just a piece here, a piece there. I didn’t see a PATTERN, see. In addition, TWICE during the haircut, someone came into the salon to ask her something, and she talked to these people WHILE SHE CUT MY HAIR, with her head fully turned away from what she was doing. So, I worried. But I was so TIRED and emotionally drained, and so sure of my inability to speak up for myself, that I just settled into it. I equate this situation to quietly agreeing to rent a HIDEOUS house that I’d have to live in for six months for fear of insulting the realtor. We live in our hair, is what I’m saying.

Then it was over. We tipped, we left. When I got home, it became very clear that my wet-shoed friend had cut a full layer of bangs all the way around my head. Like, an all-one-length layer. Left alone, this very closely resembles a mullet, or a poorly done version of the haircut Rachel had on “Friends.” But it’s ok! It’s just the way it is. I have a bang, around my head. And because hair grows at the same rate over time, I can only assume that this is how it will always be.

Like this.

PS. Right after the haircut I cried while eating half a pizza and then fell asleep watching “Something Borrowed.” Just to be clear about the day.

Catherine: If there’s one thing I like to make fun of besides Jana’s allergies, it’s her hair. It defies gravity. It has been known to fight the strongest straighteners, the firmest tugs of the comb, and emerge victorious, standing straight up on Jana’s head like a crown.

It’s incredible.

Jana, you gotta stop cutting your hair. You do it all the time, it never looks different, and you’re always really sad afterwards. This story, I hope, will teach you to steer clear for at LEAST a year. You don’t deserve the pain. You simply don’t.

And also, you should have been tipped off by the toe shoes. Those are disgusting. The only thing I hate more are probably Tevas, shoes that look like Tevas, and birkenstocks with socks. It’s in the top five worst shoe – I would’ve walked out then and there.

LAST BUT NOT LEAST – Jana and I will be reunited again next week! Maybe something horrible will happen? It probably will. We’ll let you know.

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Vehicle-Related Misfortune: Part 1 of One Million

Jana: Alright, guys. The time has come to talk about my cars.

I’ve been avoiding this post because there is just SO MUCH to say. I would think about writing it and suddenly become overwhelmed with memories of all the terrible things that have happened to cars I have owned, and think, how could that ever work? Think of the subheadings! There’s just no way.

So, today I have decided to start by telling you two little stories. Gradually, as time goes on and I heal from the more recent incidents, I will share those with you as well. Just to pique your interest (PIQUE! That word is spelled cooler than it has a right to be, or perhaps I am spelling it wrong?), here is the list I am working from:

PT Cruiser:

– Tires slashed

– Towed (while on a first date)

– Eventually destroyed by electrical damage (father’s fault)

Honda Fit:

– Rear-ended and pushed into car in front of me (damage to front and back)

– Plow backed into me destroying front of car (plow driver screamed at me)

– Towed

– Towed (one week after first towing)

– Window smashed

– $300 in tickets accumulated from expired parking permit

– $600 ticket acquired after driving into a construction zone, in a tunnel, at midnight

As you can see, my car life has been fraught with tears, near-death experiences, and the expenditure of vast amounts of money. But, let that all go! For now, let’s just focus on the first and third items on the PT Cruiser list.

So, yes! I owned a PT Cruiser. It was black, like all good mini-hearses should be, and it came to be mine when I inherited it from my Aunt, a wonderful woman who was so wackily awesome that when she decided to buy a new car in her 70s, she bought a PT Cruiser because she thought it was weird and cool. And then I got it, and I also thought it was weird and cool, despite what all of my friends said.

Here is a picture of the car that I had! Keep in mind that mine was, just in general, more disgusting-looking. I didn’t clean it much/ever, etc, and I’m certain that the sunset was never able to be reflected in its hatchback.

Anyway, I had it for three years. During its third year, in January of 2010, it was seriously injured for the first time. Here’s what happened: I lived in Allston. I had taken a week off from work for the holidays, and on Monday the 2nd of January I got up to go back to the office and face the world. I was already feeling anxious, like I always do after a vacation from anything – for some reason, it always feels like probably I’ve been fired while I was away and when I get there it will become really clear that I’m not supposed to be there and everything will be terrible. So, I was feeling anxious on this particular morning as I agonized over an outfit, picked something stupid, and got in my car.

I remember that the car definitely felt a little weird, but I was tired and have no common sense, so I kept driving. BUT THEN, suddenly, I was on the highway, and my car was no longer a functioning entity. Strangely, it felt like it had no wheels – like I was now driving a cardboard BOX, with CARDBOARD wheels. It was, essentially, a living nightmare.

So what I did was, I started to cry, because that is my instinct in any situation of nearly any kind. Somehow, I made it to the next exit and managed to pull into the parking lot of a Bertucci’s. There, through my panicked tears, I made the crucial discovery that both of my back tires … had been slashed. Not just cut a little, you guys: SLASHED AS FUCK. It truly looked like someone had gone to town on them with a machete.

So that was that. I cried and waited for Triple A and they came and replaced my tires and I went to work three hours late. And then I continued to live in that Allston apartment for another year, never knowing why someone had chosen to slash my tires. I didn’t really question it, honestly, as it just seemed sort of par for the course, my life-wise. But, to answer your questions, yes there were other cars in the driveway I had been parked in; no, none of them appeared to have slashed tires, and yes it did seem like a very personal attack but like, does someone hate me? I chose to think it was just god reminding me again that I’m not a “winner.”

Time for the second story, in which the PT Cruiser meets its demise.

First, the only picture I could find in which I’m driving the Cruiser. It’s fitting that I look hideous here – obviously, on this day I chose not to wear any makeup, and to wrap a weird thin scarf around my gross dirty-looking head. But there we are! Me and the car.

One Sunday afternoon in the fall of 2010, I was at my parent’s house, and my car was parked in the driveway. The whole family was just hangin out, but then my sister, who has hawk-like car-vision, looked out the window and noticed that my car’s right front headlight was cracked. “Jana, did you get in an accident?” she asked me. I was like, um NO, what the fuck! So we ran outside, all of us: me, my sister, my mom, and my dad. Sure enough, the damn thing was cracked! How could this have happened! I was racking my brain for some kind of collision that I’d potentially blacked out, my mom was saying things, my sister was saying things. It was so weird! This went on for about five minutes before my dad, who had been silent all this time, said simply:

“I did it.”

DADDDD. So yeah, it turned out that my dad had borrowed my car and rammed it into a pole in a parking garage, and then deliberately told no one because he thought he could get away with it. WHICH HE ALMOST DID. Because he KNEW that I would never, ever notice that my headlight was cracked, and he didn’t feel like dealing with it. Honestly, it was a brilliant move.

When I brought the car in to have the headlight replaced, I learned that the crack had let in a whole bunch of water, thus causing very expensive electrical damage throughout the car (or whatever, I have no idea about anything except that it cost a lot). This led me to purchase a brand new car (with the help of my sweet father), which I would later come to systematically destroy.

Catherine: Jana, you forgot about that time we were driving up to Burlington for New Year’s Eve and we hit some ice and did a 180 on the highway. You silly girl… and luckily there were no cars coming otherwise we would have died? And we slowwwwwly got the car going again and turned it around? This all was before we had a terrible time and made resolutions that we of course did not keep.

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How Did You All Get Here?: Relationship Edition

Ladies and Gentlemen, it’s back! That’s right, people KEEP FINDING US without meaning to. And, those people keep on being just so very weird and troubled. They are dating losers, their friends sound like real jerks, and a lot of them appear to have cold sores. It is an honor to count them as our own.

Here, for you, are some of the most recent searches that directed people to our blog.

Actual Search #1: “can you get a cold sore from someone passing gas in your face”

Catherine: Why are you hanging around this person?? DID THIS REALLY HAPPEN TO YOU?

Jana: Ok first of all, no. That’s ridiculous. Secondly, let’s talk about this relationship. Was this whimsical, or was it cruel? Take a look at the situation and really assess. And then either way, probably, get out of it and never look back.

Actual Search #2: “what did i do in my past life to deserve not to have a boyfriend”

Catherine: This is so tragic. I want to reach out to you through the internet and hold your little hand. He’s out there! But he may be, or probably is, dating somebody else.

Jana: Oh noo. I’m so saaad. Person, you’re probably ok! But with that attitude, it’s just not gonna work out for you. Be less sad. You’re making me sad. Stop it.

Actual Seach #3: “will he love me with cold sores”

Catherine: Less so.

Jana: Yes! Yes! Yes! (not guaranteed).

Actual Search #4: “why do my friends tell me to be loving when my boyfriend is cold fuck it”

Catherine: You’re confusing me. Fuck what, exactly?

Jana: Your friends are wrong maybe? Or, what do you mean by “my boyfriend is cold”? If he’s cold as in, calls you names and beats you, then your friends are very wrong – don’t be loving, the guy’s an asshole! If he’s cold as in, doesn’t buy you diamonds, but does make you dinner, then maybe you’re just a bitch.

Either way, it seems like you’ve already made up your mind, as you didn’t even put any extra punctuation around “fuck it,” implying that you’ve just decided to fuck it with no hesitation.

Actual Search #5: “get drunk enough to call her”

Catherine: PUT THE PHONE DOWN. If you wanna talk to her so bad, call her sober. She probably doesn’t want to talk to you though, you sound like a real mess. Go eat a Snickers or something.

Jana: Good idea man. That’ll definitely work. Do it.

Actual Search #6: “how to get your first kiss in elementary school”

Catherine: JESUS Christ. If you aren’t even wearing a training bra, you need to apply the brakes. Chill the F out and watch some SpongeBob.

Jana: I am not qualified to address this question.

Actual Search #7: “can u give someone herpes if u suck their wily when u have a cold sore”

Catherine: This is too gross. I’m sure the answer is yes? And please don’t refer to that uh, thing, as a willy? And if you do, spell it right? But don’t call it that, ever. So actually don’t worry about the spelling. Refer to it as a “lollipop,” “hot dog,” or “cheese stick.” Food items work best, I find.

Jana: CATHY EW THOSE FOODS AS PENIS WORDS MAKES ME WANT TO DIE.

Reader: Yes, you can, so don’t do it. Also, if you call it a willy and you spell it wrong, you’re not even allowed to leave the house. You have to stay home alone, forever. Sorry.

Actual Search #8: “we had sex in a neck brace”

Catherine: On one? Wearing one? Too vague, but you have my attention.

Jana: Impressive.

Actual Search #9: “if your a straight guy in a bathroom and no one’s home what are some sexy hot and very naughty things you could do to your self”

Catherine: Learn to spell?

Jana: Why do you have to stay in the bathroom if no one’s home? Don’t punish yourself just because you don’t know the difference between “your” and “you’re.” Get out there and use those other rooms! But um, I have no idea what you should do in them. Usually when I’m home alone I make a bowl of brown rice and eat it in bed while watching stuff on Hulu?

Actual Search #10: “do we need to isolate with people who have cold sores?”

Catherine: Isolate with? No, that’s not a thing. Isolate, yes. Isolate people with cold sores, but if you are WITH them, that’s not isolation.

Jana: We’re not LEPERS, and this isn’t Nazi Germany, so NO. Let’s isolate with from YOU. YOU need to be isolated with. I dislike you.

BONUS SEARCH: “i’m allergic to dust and but not to cats”

Catherine: THANK GOD! How many cats do you have? I live with TWO cats. Do you have more cats?? Are they so cute and do they cuddle with you in the morning before work, often making you late?

Jana: Stop complaining? Go hang out with your cats and invest in some medical masks for when you have to dust stuff. Your life is awesome, so leave the google search alone.

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Maybe If I’m High, Her Parents Will Like Me

Hello, dear readers! Today we are delighted to share our very first GUEST POST from our extremely funny friend Jason. Quick background: Jason lives in Texas and was recently fired from his customer service job for sharing with the world all the absurd things customers said to him. Also, this happened while his wife was pregnant. So he knows about what sucks. CHECK IT OUT:

Jason: When I was younger I was terrible at life, all of it, but I was especially bad at girls. Being good at girls meant being good at being yourself, you know, having confidence and stuff, and that just wasn’t something I was good at. Basically the only time I ended up with girls was through weird happenstance, like being the only two people still awake at a party, or some random girl would come up to me at my place of work and give me her number. But then I’d get drunk enough to call her and maybe we’d hang out once and I’d be an idiot and have no idea what to do and never call her again and pretend not to be home if she called me, because you know, it was awkward.

So that’s why it was very exciting for me when, at the age of 20, I met a super cute girl, developed a giant crush on her, then discovered that she miraculously fancied me too, and guess what? We actually ACTED on our mutual crush, you know, like most people do when they’re 15. This was huge for me though, because this wasn’t just some drunken party leftover or some girl with terrifyingly brazen aggressiveness, this was a girl that I had gotten to know and like (a lot) over the course of a couple of months. That’s why when it came time to meet her parents I found myself positively mortified.

Now is a good time to mention the fact that as a young man I was quite fond of drugs. Remember I mentioned how terrible I was at life? I liked to keep a constant stream of THC and Klonopins flowing through my veins at all times. It really helped to keep my anxiety level down. Sure I’d get lost driving to the store and forget what I was talking about half-way through a sentence, but I was cool and relaxed (often bordering on catatonic) and also got to watch the same movies over and over again without actually remembering any plot points, so who cares right?

So this wonderful young lass who was somehow nice enough to see through the doped up weirdo to the adorable stray-puppy beneath (this is how I like to view myself), we’ll call her Heather, went to college in my hometown, but this particular story must’ve been during Spring-Break or something because for whatever reason she was staying at her parent’s house about 45 minutes away. I obviously couldn’t deal with just not seeing her for a week, and she didn’t have a car, so we made plans for me to drive out to her parent’s house one evening to make-out and watch a movie. I’m pretty sure that she told me ahead of time that we wouldn’t be having sex because the walls in her house are paper-thin and sound travels. But whatever, I was willing to take this trip anyways because I really liked this girl.

I took the prerequisite amount of Klonopins (I don’t advise this) and brought along a couple of pre-rolled joints and started on my drive into the great unknown. This was pre-MapQuest and many years before we all decided it would be cool to allow all of our movements to be monitored via satellite, so I really had no idea where I was going. All I had were some rough directions that I had scribbled down that included a bunch of numbers and something about an industrial park. As I drove around for about three hours, contemplating what I was going to say to her parents, (the only thing I knew about her father was that he really enjoyed the film “Tombstone”, but who didn’t?) if I ever found their house, I enjoyed smoking all of my weed and probably a half pack of cigarettes.

Anyway, I did finally arrive at their house, several hours later than we had agreed upon, and was allowed in by Heather who tried her best to usher me into her room as discreetly as possible. I, of course, had no interest in discretion; with an abundance of weed and benzos flowing through me there was nothing I couldn’t handle. The first thing I had to do was use the bathroom, because I had been in the car forever and also because when I was high I had to pee a lot, and also would have trouble peeing. It was awful. After about five minutes in the bathroom I went into the living room where her father was sitting watching TV. There I am, a stranger in his home, several hours late, eyes barely open, REEKING of weed and cigarettes, probably drooling mildly, I’m sure he was very impressed by what great company his daughter was keeping. “Gladiator”, which had just come out on VHS, was playing on the television. This was my chance to really impress this guy, so that just incase things got serious with his daughter and I he would be certain to love me like a son.

“Wow, is that Gladiator?” I asked.
“Yes.” He curtly replied.
“Man, I haven’t liked a movie that much since TOMBSTONE!” I was so proud of myself, I had just managed to namedrop his favorite movie, I was like him, he and I were kindred spirits. Nothing could stop us now.

There was an awkward silence followed by, “Yeah, I love Tombstone.” His eyes never left the screen.
Then I stood there, awkwardly staring at him for a few moments as he watched Russell Crowe being more awesome than I could ever be and that was that. I went into the bathroom for another five minutes and then disappeared into his daughter’s room.

Over the course of the next two hours I probably used the bathroom another 300 times or so, it was certainly enough for Heather’s mother to question her about it the next day. Also, we watched the movie “Romeo is Bleeding” in which Juliet Lewis plays some sort of drugged out hooker and I told Heather that night that she reminded me of her.

I think it goes without saying that a serious relationship never developed between Heather and I, and I think it was shortly after this that she decided not to talk to me for two or three years, but somehow we’re now BFF and her parents thankfully have no idea who I am even though we’ve met a couple times since then.

Anyways, thanks Catherine and Jana for letting me play. I love what you two are doing and want you to know that you are not alone out there. I have ten million more stories should they be of any use to you.

THIS IS JASON (12 years ago. Ladies, please). Also, maybe a picture that would be included in the obituary of a rapper, if Jason were a rapper who had died young.

Catherine: Jason, you should’ve gotten in on the groundfloor of “Meet the Parents” because it sure does seem like you have some excellent experience for Ben Stiller type comedy. Did you happen to re-enact the opening scene from “There’s Something About Mary” as well? I wonder. What a mess.

Jana: My favorite part of this is that you told Heather that she reminded you of a drugged-out Juliet Lewis. I feel like if she’d responded well to that, everything might have been different.

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How Did You All Get Here?: An Exploration Of Our Readership.

Hello, readers. So, now that we’re a big deal, something new is happening: wordpress informs us that we are being found via google. Hooray!, you might think we’re thinking. But, let me clarify. It’s not that we’re being found via google ON PURPOSE; no, we are being found via google by people who are in really weird, gross, or sad situations. They are stumbling upon us, because what we write about is weird, gross, and sad. Through the magic of the internet, we’re being connected with our people. 

Since these poor suckers aren’t getting the answers that they’ve probably expected when clicking our link, we thought we would try to provide some now. Listen and learn.

First, we shall address some of the MANY search queries relating to cold sores.

 

Actual Search #1: “did people notice my cold sore on my wedding day”

 
Catherine: Most definitely.
Jana: Did you seriously not postpone your wedding?
Catherine: You know there are hundreds of pictures, right?
 

Actual Search #2: “I have a bad cold and sore throat should I hang with my friends or just stay home”

Catherine: Just stay home. You didn’t say it explicitly, but I’m assuming your face is also broken out and you’ve been wearing the same underwear/sweatpants for a few days now. Nobody wants to see that.
Jana: Listen, guy, I’m not gonna tell you that I haven’t on occasion rallied through a little sore throat by chugging airborne and taking tequila shots. That said, I was much younger. So this really depends on your age. How old are you? Do you often get into conversations about “Fraggle Rock?” Did you love “Empire Records?” Where were you on 9/11 – High School bio class, right? Stay home.
 

Actual Search #3: “what can my cold sore do to me?”

Catherine: What can’t it do is a better question. Offer you the fine company of solace and isolation? No, it can do that. Embitter your soul? It invariably does. Expect that it can, and will, do anything to bring you down.
Jana: Your cold sore can fuck you up.
 
 

Actual Search #4: “why do cold sores take chunks from lips”

Catherine: I don’t think that is supposed to happen…
Jana: IT DOES HAPPEN. It’s because they have to dry up first and then the dry stuff comes off, bringing chunks with it. TOO MUCH, I know. Real answer: It’s because the world is cold. Stay inside.
Catherine: Jana, TMI, buddy.
 

Actual Search #5: “if a cashier has a cold sore and touches you do you get herpes”

Catherine: Geez, I don’t know, probably? At least if it were me that would happen, because man, that would really suck.
Jana: Speaking as a former cashier with cold sores: No, bitch.
 
 

Actual Search #6: “I have some cold sores”

Catherine: Oh, really?
Jana: I understand the impulse to just type this into google as a stand-alone statement; I really do. Let me know if you need a hug or a valtrex.
 
 

Actual Search #7: “I don’t have cold sores”

Catherine: Congratulations! Read about Jana’s!
Jana: Cool, congratulations. Why did you put this in google? Is there a problem?
 
 

Actual Search #8: “people comment on my cold sores”

Catherine: Of course they do.
Jana: They talk about them behind your back too, I’m sure. Why is it that you’ve been going outside?
 
 

Actual Search #9: “nearly almost get cold sored during the night”

Catherine: Now, I assume this was a typo, but it’s so good to think of it NOT as a typo. Like, “coldsore” the verb. As in, “Man, I had a date, but I got coldsored so I stayed home and watched Hugh Grant movies while contemplating why nobody likes me.”
Jana: I’ve said this. I have actually said this.
 

BONUS ACTUAL SEARCH HAVING NOTHING TO DO WITH COLD SORES: “he stopped in middle of having sex then told me he wasn’t ready for a new relationship”

Catherine: I can only hope that reading our blog helped this poor person feel a little better, because DAMN.
Jana: Did you cry? I would have cried. Man, sex is great.
 
 
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Cold Sores and Me, or, A Fun Problem To Have Is One That People Commonly Mistake For An STD.

Jana: If you’re an avid DWDSTDT reader (oh my god, ok, we see it too, that acronym is TERRIBLE. I’m gonna talk to our marketing intern about it, or in lieu of having a marketing intern I’m just gonna leave it – you guys don’t mind, right? We can talk about it if you do)… anyway, if you are, you may have read my previous post about my allergies. And you may have seen that my list of allergies contained some weird and not-super-explainable things, like chocolate and spicy foods. So, I will now disclose that those foods are to do with a problem entirely SEPARATE from my chronic congestion: my lips. Folks, I’m prone to cold sores. Who isn’t? Ok, some people, but not me.

Between junior year of high school and sophomore year of college, I got some seriously terrible cold sores that resulted in alienation and intense sadness. In high school, I just stayed home from my bakery job and tried to eat foods that I could fit into my mouth in one bite, so that I didn’t have to crack my lips open too much. When the sores struck in college, wiser and more tech-savvy,  I took to the internet. There, I read tips from fellow cold sore sufferers, such as “Go to the movies, so you’ll be distracted from the pain, but no one will be able to see you.” And, “Ice your lips to stop the tingling” (I did this religiously, often falling asleep with ice pressed to my lips and waking up in pools of melted ice). Anyway, I also read that you should avoid chocolate and spicy foods and nuts, and SO I HAVE. And will. Because cold sores are the worst, and it’s awkward when people think you have herpes, specifically if you are dating them, which I’ll get into in more detail some other time.

…. or NOW. Briefly.

First, I’ll show you this picture, in which I DON’T have cold sores. This is to spare you all, as one picture of me with cold sores does exist, and it’s straight disgusting. Here, though, I look as angry as I looked with the cold sores, but my lips are pursed in a way that would have been impossible in cold-sore condition. So, this is a photo of me on a good day, really.

I was once dating a very nice guy. Now, before my first date with this guy, one of my housemates was hanging out on my bed while I got ready. “Maybe you should put that valtrex away,” he said jokingly, referring to the pills that I took daily to stave off cold sore attacks (I kept the bottle next to my bed – I’m all about convenience). I’m sure I don’t have to tell you, regular viewer of television commercials for prescription drugs, that valtrex is commonly used to treat herpes. Now, looking back, I can see that my friend was not joking, but rather trying to protect me from future weird mix-ups. At the time, though, I just responded “I know right?”, and laughed. We moved on, he approved my outfit of black skinny jeans and a black top (I am NOT a risk-taker, fashion-wise), and I went on the date.

Cut to a few weeks later, when the romantic interest in question and I had been on several dates, and he had seen my room, and things had been going well until they sort of stopped going well and he stopped contacting me as much. I assumed the worst, which was that he’d realized he didn’t like me, weird but charming jokes and solid black outfits be damned.

But here’s the REAL story. After a week of light communication, I received an email on a Thursday night. I was so glad to hear from him! I opened the email and read the first few lines: “Jana: I like you, but something is bothering me and I need to talk to you about it. I saw your bottle of valtrex last week, and I know that you have herpes.”

OHH NOOOO. NOO. It’s just that.. I keep the pill bottles there cause I take them in the morning… I would have told you if I… NOOO. I wrote back and, luckily, we had a good laugh over it. Fake herpes scare! No better way to get to know someone. And no, I am not currently dating this person; we stopped dating shortly after the Valtrex/Email Incident. We both thought it was funny, but probably best to move on.

It’s now been a while since I’ve had a cold sore, but I can’t actually in good faith tell you that because I’m too suspicious. So I’m knocking on wood AS I WRITE THIS. I still take valtrex (and keep it in plain sight – one day I’ll own a medicine cabinet but not, honestly, until I win the lottery or an embarrassed spouse buys me one), and I don’t eat chocolate, and sometimes I ice my lips just for old times’ sake. Cold sores! And me. Together in sickness and in health.

Catherine: Oh, memories. I think that the day that Jana showed me the first fateful lines of the e-mail aforementioned was one of the greatest moments in my life. Jana, do you recall how long I laughed in your face? An approximate minute count? No? Nor I. Minutes turned into hours that day, so who knows how long I enjoyed your incredible misfortune.

I would like to mention how, often when Jana and I would get drunk alone in our apartment, the nights would freqently end in a good ol’ Jana ice-lipping. Another time she came to my house, and my brother saw what she was doing on our couch as we watched “Friends” and opened a second double bottle of white wine, and was so blown back that he too could not help but to laugh uncontrollably at her poor, cold-sored, can’t put lipstick on them lips. (Did you mention how you can ONLY put black chapstick on them? I greatly enjoy that as well.)

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