Category Archives: Jana

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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Miniature Revenge

Jana: I had dinner with my parents on Sunday and my dad told me this short story:

I have an older sister – about a year and a half older, but when we were kids it felt like much, much more. There was a hierarchy that existed in all of our activities (one “game” I recall involved her giving me ten seconds to run downstairs and sharpen a pencil. She’d stand at the top of the stairs and be like: “You have TEN SECONDS. GO!” and I’d be like “AHHH” and run as fast as I could, fearing whatever it was that might happen if I didn’t complete the task in time), and this hierarchy was made even more evident when our playing involved other kids her age. Naturally, the girl who lived next door was also an older kid – a year older than my sister, thus making them a team of older kids – and the three of us hung out a lot.

I mostly remember really, really wanting to play with them, and often getting told to leave them alone. But, sometimes they needed me. I think they needed me for situations like the following:

– To retrieve balls that had been thrown deep into bushes

– To play the lower-status person in pretend games

– To be the monkey in monkey-in-the-middle (THIS IS HELL)

– To generally have someone to boss around

Still, I craved their attention, and gladly took on these roles again and again. But my dad recalls that one day, we had all been playing outside until, for some reason, I’d been banished back to our house. So, I was hanging out alone in the “play room,” probably re-reading “The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe” and blowing my nose. Suddenly, my sister and the neighbor burst into the house. “Jana! Come play with us!” they said. And – now this was a real moment for me – I think I finally knew what was up. They didn’t really want to PLAY with me, they just NEEDED me for some shit job. So I was like, “ok guys, be out in a minute!”, and waited until they’d gone back outside. Then I turned to my dad and said in a whispered tone: “…. I’m not going.”

Catherine: Jana, little Jana, speaking a secret in a whispered tone. This to me must be what heaven is like. I never had experiences like this growing up with my older brothers, I think maybe I was so awesome that they really did want to play with me? Or maybe no. Maybe this is what they were doing the whole time, all along, and this post is helping me to see the light… I choose to live in blissful ignorance.

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Adventures in Summer Misery

Jana: How’s everyone’s summer going? Good, yeah? Does everyone love summer?

That’s so great. Unfortunately, I really hate summer. Summer has always scared me because A) I’m anxious all the time, so the anxiety doubles when there’s no structure in my life and B) I’m not an adventurous, fun person, which becomes much more obvious to those around me during the summer. Any other time of year, it’s fine to suggest activities like going to the movies, reading next to each other at coffee shops, or staying inside to eat. But in the summer, people want to be outside! Every person in the facebook universe has spent the weekend at the beach! Everyone is tan and happy, while I am pale, scared, and sad. It’s a nightmare.

This is true now, but it was also true in my childhood. As a child, summer signified the coming of thunderstorms (definitely a sign from god that something terrible is about to happen, and yes I know most people find them cool and exciting), the end of sitting in class and feeling useful and interesting, and, of course, CAMPS. Ohhhh day camps. Ohhh you miserable organizations reeking of suntan lotion, spilled juice, and tears. Ohh god meeting new people. No no no no no. Please don’t make me go.

But, I did have to go. And sometimes I went to theater camps, which was ok. But one summer, for some reason that I CANNOT FATHOM, my parents signed me up for something called “Adventure Camp,” hosted by our town’s rec department. Why I agreed to this in the first place I really and truly cannot say. Why I did not start screaming at the mention of “adventure” makes absolutely no sense to me now. But, somehow, I was enrolled, and I attended. And it was hell.

I went with my best friend at the time, a similarly non-adventurous and awkward kid. Obviously, we were outcasts from the start. My main memory of this is arriving late, having almost forgotten my lunch or something, and desperately running across hot pavement in order to stand in line while attendance was called, all the while terrified that I’d forget my name or forget how to say “here” or that I’d just drop dead from all the pressure. Once I survived that, it was on to trust falls, in order to build up the group dynamic. This was, obviously, terrible. Nothing is worse than trust falls with a bunch of kids who definitely think you are very weird.

The two-week ordeal consisted of more trust falls, various physical drills, and then a full-on ropes course, including a zip line. I hated and feared every minute of it. But there was one redeeming factor: a sweet, cute, male counselor who took pity on me and joked around with me, making me feel like less of a total loser. One day, during lunch, this awesome counselor was getting everyone all riled up over some mind-game riddle thing he’d told us. It was one of those things where he was like, “I’m going on a trip, and I’m gonna bring a tree but not a forest,” and everyone had to be like, “well can you bring a monkey?” and he’d be like, “not a monkey but I will bring a carp,” and everyone was  like “WHATTTT!” and he was like, figure it out. So, I could not figure it out, but I was having fun participating, which was rare. I got really into badgering him to tell me the secret answer, and he finally did on the condition that I promised not to tell anyone else. WE WERE BUDDIES. It was great.

After lunch, I told my one and only friend the secret riddle solution. And then, she must have told someone else! I don’t know what happened! All I know is that my buddy friend counselor cornered me later and was like, jokingly, “I thought I could trust you, kid!” And I thought: Oh My God, my life is over. I was mortified, and tried desperately to explain that I had really, really, really meant to keep the secret. In my desperation I believe that I almost cried, or potentially that I did actually cry.

Looking back, I can see that this counselor obviously did not give a fuck about this situation. But at the time, it felt very monumentally disappointing and upsetting and embarrassing.

Somehow, the weeks continued. I zip-lined and ropes-coursed and hated it, went to sleep in fear, and then woke up and did it again, until the damn camp was over. I don’t remember how I left things with counselor friend buddy, but I can assume that our relationship was very compromised by my severe overreaction to the weird game thing.

So there you have it. I do not like summer, or adventure, and I cry at inappropriate times. If anyone wants to do something fun, it would be best not to call.

Catherine: Poor, poor Jana. Jana, who hates the beach, but who cannot deny that she actually has fun while she is there as long as she is huddled beneath an umbrella with a beer and a book, and an equally pale me by her side.

SEE HOW HAPPY YOU WERE??!

SEE HOW HAPPY YOU WERE??!

Summer has been hard for you for awhile, it seems? Tragic. I can see that this particular camp played perfectly to your weaknesses and probably caused damage that we continue to see the effects of. I wish I could go back in time to your scared Janaself and tell you to CHILL OUT, but I imagine your Janaself  would just blink in confusion and try to give me a bobby pin.

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Black Thursday, or, How I Learned That Vodka and Beer are Different Kinds of Things

Jana: As school is now out for the summer, I will tell you a summer tale.

It was 2002, the summer before my junior year of high school, and rebellion was in the air. In my early high school years, I was adamantly opposed to drinking. My opposition stemmed from my fear of change, as well as believing myself to be way above that stuff, not needing it to have fun, never wanting to grow up, etc. In my mind, the future consisted almost entirely of me reading on the green of the really good college I was going to get into, and I’d never had any desire to get drunk, even when my friends had casually brought it up as something they maybe wanted to try. “Seriously, I just don’t have any interest!” I’d been known to say when asked.

But on the 4th of July, 2002, the stars aligned. I was on an elimination diet started by my homeopathic doctor in order to figure out what I was allergic to, so I hadn’t had gluten in weeks and I weighed about one pound. My hair had been french braided, which somehow filled me with great confidence despite the extra frizz it created around the edges of my face. And we were at a pool party. People started drinking and I thought, naw. But then, my CRUSH started drinking. He’d always agreed with me about the not needing alcohol to have fun thing, but on this night, as we all sat around the host’s bedroom, he asked for a drink! I didn’t hesitate; I grabbed a beer.

All I know is that I had that one beer and the room got twirly and it was AWESOME. And I was like ok, this is fun, I’ve maybe never had so much fun. EVERYONE had SO MUCH FUN. The night ended, but the summer was just starting, and we all agreed that we wanted to do that again As Soon As Possible. We settled on the following Thursday. My crush himself offered to have everyone come drink in his basement – his parents would never come downstairs!, he assured us. We all agreed that it was a foolproof plan.

Someone got us alcohol, I’m not sure who (later we had regular suppliers, but at this point it must have been a lucky break). But various things were purchased, and we all headed over. It’s important to note that I was wearing cloth track pants on this night, and I was wearing them because I had so severely sunburned my ass the week before, while reading “The Joy Luck Club” at Walden Pond, that I was unable to pull jeans over it. Neither here nor there. We arrived, wearing cute summer clothes (everyone else) and cloth track pants (me), and started to drink. Now, listen to this:

WE DID NOT KNOW ABOUT ALCOHOL. No one had ever told us, in all of our 16 years, that there is a difference in alcohol content between beer and vodka. It just didn’t occur to us! So, while I was randomly lucky in my selection of beer, the majority of my friends were not so lucky. They held gatorade bottles full of vodka. JUST vodka. And they were drinking them. Rapidly.

About 2 beers into my night, and at least half of the gatorade bottles in for everyone else, the inevitable happened: the kid’s mom came downstairs. OBVIOUSLY. Here is what happened next: one of my friends threw up gum onto the pool table. Everyone else, also, needed to puke around this time. We poured out of the little basement door, most of us puking on the lawn and street. I’d only had two beers, or the equivalent of six beers, so I was the most sober, and I tried to collect people into a group. Where would we go? But then, a miracle! A guy who’d graduated two years ago was driving by, right at that moment. He stopped and piled us all into his car! I felt safe and happy, especially because there was another guy with him who I didn’t know and who I thought was PRETTY cute.

The older guys drove us to the playground of one of the local elementary schools. Before we arrived, my friends puked all over the backseat of the car, but the guys were really nice about it. When we got to the playground, we fell and pushed our way out of the car, and by now mostly everyone was crying. Deep-seated angers, dormant before the alcohol, came out big time. People were yelling, and accusing other people of things. I was sort of making a show of helping out (ie, “are you ok? you guys, come back here! you can’t just wander into the playground, I love you!”), but mostly I was flirting with the cute guy, who turned out to be a little bit foreign. He lent me his sweatshirt (to wear with my cloth sweatpants), so I was pretty happy.

In the end, knowing that there was nowhere else to turn, I called my parents. Being kind-hearted, they picked us all up, nursed us, and literally helped to pick puke out of people’s hair. The night was LONG. People slept all over the floors of my parent’s house in various stages of emotional and physical disarray. The next day, everyone was  still sick. Sitting on a bench on Mass Ave, I remember just wondering if we were all going to die.

Here I am later in my drinking life, in a self-taken, disposable camera shot. Beautiful, you say? Oh you stop it.

That summer included other adventures, like a night in which we all told our parents we were having sleepovers and then slept in a field (we thought this would be the best time EVER; in reality it rained and everyone fought and it was like, why did we think that would be fun? Plus my parents found out and grounded me). But in August, as we reflected on our summer of rebellion, the drinking day, a Thursday, was the most memorable. We decided to call the day “Black Thursday”, and the following year it was memorialized in everyone’s yearbook blurb (ie, “Love my GIRLS! BlackThursday, Other memories, etc.”). Black Thursday went down in high school history.

PS. The foreign, sweatshirt guy did call me and ask me on a date to the beach the next weekend. This filled me with such CRIPPLING anxiety that I spent the morning of our scheduled date pacing my house, circling the sandbox in our backyard, unable to eat. When he stood me up (he never even called), I was so, so relieved and happy. I remain relieved to this day. I’m certain that, at that stage in my life, a beach date with a cute foreigner would have actually killed me.

Catherine: What. A. Mess. I only WISH I couldn’t relate to this.

Pipe dreams.

We all have them.

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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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Lil’ Disasters! Occurring In: Theaters

Jana: Here’s something new for the cheap seats in the back: A segment called “Lil’ Disasters”! In these posts, Cath and I will tell mini stories of times that we have embarrassed ourselves horrifically, but in small ways. Today, enjoy some individual moments in my life when I’ve walked away from a situation thinking “Jesus I wish I were dead.” 

In the inaugural edition, let’s talk about my acting career, shall we?

1993, The Beginning

In the third grade, my class did a play for the first time. As soon as the activity was announced, I felt something stirring in me and knew that this was my destiny. Then, I got the lead! The play was called “Daniel, Servant of the Lord,” and I was playing DANIEL. Yesss. I didn’t even notice that this was customarily a part for a boy! When the time for dress rehearsal finally arrived, I donned my tunic and tights with nervous excitement.

During that rehearsal, I was feeling PRETTY great about myself and my future as a gender-ambiguous actress. I had to go to the bathroom, though, so I left the auditorium in costume and headed downstairs. As I rushed down the top step, I saw the school receptionist heading up the stairs towards me.

“How are rehearsals going?” She asked, catching me off guard.

“Oh, great!” I managed to choke out.

Then, my tight-clad feet slipped out from under me, and I fell down the ENTIRE flight of stairs. Aside from sheer, body-wracking embarrassment, I don’t actually remember what happened next; all I know is that I avoided that receptionist at all costs for the entirety of my 5 remaining years at the school.

2005, The College Years

During one of the first rehearsals for the musical “Hair” that Cathy and I both had minor roles in our sophomore year of college, we were rehearsing a racy dance number, “Hashish”. The intimidating director was teaching us some choreography, and he placed me in contact with my crush, Peter. Peter was a junior, and I believed him to maybe BE the funniest person I’d ever met. I was thrilled that he’d have to touch me, which I expressed by looking at the floor and scratching the back of my neck. 

Unfortunately, on the day of this rehearsal I had chosen to wear my favorite workout pants. Like all of my favorite things, they were 90s-esque, with an elastic waist. During one dance move, Peter had to lift me up (YES!). BUT. The pants were so loose! Peter grabbed my waist. BOYFRIEND!, I thought. One second later, I felt my pants slide down. Like, all the way down, so that my underwear was exposed to not only Peter, but the entire cast of people I was hoping to impress. THE CLINCHER: My underwear had been purchased at American Eagle, and it was decorated with “school” phrases, like “To do: Homework!”, and little lists that read: “Field Hockey Practice, Math, TV!” 

Everyone laughed at me, I tried to be like “Ha, who doesn’t love American Eagle?”, and rehearsal continued. Shockingly, Peter never became my boyfriend.

This is what I ended up looking like in the real production of “Hair”. HELP THESE PANTS DON’T FIT ME, I wish I had been screaming. As I mentioned, Peter and I never dated.

2009, On The Downslide

Right after college, no longer an actress but still “wanting to be involved,” I worked as a House Manager at a local theater. One morning, I got dressed in what I deemed to be a classy, adult outfit – consisting of a strapless black top and a cardigan – and headed to work, where it was my job to instruct the volunteer ushers.

The ushers who showed up on this particular day were a man and woman in their late sixties. I gave them some little job to do, like picking up trash in the empty auditorium, and headed to the supply room to get the box of Kit Kits we’d sell at intermission. I leaned down and hoisted the box up into my arms. Easy breezy! Then I returned to the ushers. Like a professional, I instructed them to do another task. As I talked, I noticed they were looking at me with pained faces, as if they were being tortured but had yelled at to be cool about it. What a weird couple! I thought, but I didn’t let it get to me. I made some generic joke like, “Don’t get lost now!”, and sent them on their way. I was KILLIN IT. 

Confidently, I went to check in with the box office attendant. “Jana, oh my god,” she said. “Jana. Your shirt is off! I can see your whole bra! Oh my god!” She gestured wildly towards my chest. I looked down: BOOBS. The strapless black tank top was now just hovering underneath my completely exposed bra. The fucking Kit Kats! The strapless top hadn’t been able to maintain its position under the weight of the concessions! AHH NOO THE USHERRRS.

To my credit, I shimmied my shirt back into position and continued instructing the ushers as if they hadn’t just almost gotten to second base with me. To their credit, they didn’t complain to the theater that their House Manager had exposed herself while on the job. It was a win-win, if you think about it some way other than the way I think about it.

That’s all for today! I hope you’ve enjoyed this edition of “Lil’ Disasters”! Don’t worry, there are more to come – lil’ disasters happen in my life every day.

Catherine: JANA YOU ARE A DELIGHTFUL TREASURE TROVE OF HUMILIATIONS. I love the image of your “tight-clad feet” giving way under you, sending you tumbling down the stairs, your bobby pins breaking free and dispersing wildly.

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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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A Friendship Without Benefit

Jana: As a kid, I did have some good friends – other kids who’d known me forever and didn’t even notice my dirty tapered jeans. But as a kid in new social situations, like musical theater-based summer camps, I didn’t make friends so easily. I WANTED to, of course, but I was terrified. What I’d usually do is find a girl I knew I wanted to be friends with, develop a crush-like obsession with her, and then be unable to speak in her presence. Sometimes, by the second-to-last day of camp, I’d have forged a mini friendship with her, which was incredibly elating! But then camp was over, and with it, the future I’d imagined for us.

There was one such situation, though, that stood out from the others because it LASTED past the usually depressing final day of camp. This was a friendship that, against all odds, went on for at least a couple of post-camp months. It was like this: I met Arianna at musical theater camp (ok fine, it was OPERA camp. I’ll get into it later). We discovered that we had the same birthday, which I was glad that she also recognized as being AMAZING and OH MY GOD! and a sign that we were destined for friendship. We started to hang out at camp, and then the day of the performance I remember being really nervous and excited because she had her mom talk to my mom and set up a play date! This was really going somewhere.

This is what I looked like on the day of the performance. Which offers no answers as to why I had any friends, anywhere. 

But then, we actually had to HAVE the play dates. My memory of these “dates” is that they were just really frightening. I lost all sense of what I might say when I was with her. When I did start to talk, I was so nervous that my throat would close up and I’d start coughing instead. I remember being in her room, awkwardly standing while she sat at her desk, deafening silence surrounding us as I racked my brain for something to say. I never thought of anything.

This friendship was also where I developed my deep fear of repeating a story I’d already told. One time, we were walking through the town center and passed a toy store. I had a thing to say! I told her, haltingly, that I really wanted a personal mini bubble gum machine (WHY did I want this? I DO NOT KNOW). But about halfway through this “story”, I realized that I had ALREADY told her about it! It was one of the things I’d coughed out in her room earlier! It was terrible. She smiled, but I knew I’d made a big mistake.

STILL, she wanted to keep hanging out. Again, WHY she wanted this, when I clearly could offer NOTHING of any value and was obsessed with useless objects, was always a mystery to me. But I kept dreading it and then going to hang out with her. I even went to her birthday party, where all of her friends danced to the Spice Girls and I stood in the corner, not dancing or talking to anyone, wearing a sweatshirt which was decorated with the words “I’m Not Listening” and a picture of a guy sticking his fingers in his ears (one of my staple outfits).

Eventually, the friendship must have faded, which was a huge relief. Recently, my mom and I re-hashed it over dinner. “I remember, I know, that was so weird,” she said. “Dad and I also couldn’t figure out why she kept wanting to hang out with you! But then when you were in high school – oh my god, yes! Now I remember. I read something about her in the paper – that she was advocating for the gay-straight alliance or something as an out lesbian at her school. It made so much sense to me when I read that – THAT was it, that’s definitely why she kept wanting you around. She thought you were gay too, because you looked like such a little lesbian!”

Ah. Mystery solved.

Catherine: I want us to come out with a book only so I can use the title I didn’t realize would be a best-seller till just now – Jana: The Little Lesbian. Bestseller. Stores won’t be able to keep it in stock. Little lesbians everywhere will be crushed when in chapter 13 you finally reveal you like boys, even though it is a complete mystery why they like you. I will play the winning sidekick, coaxing you away from that (actually really awesome) sweatshirt, taming those weird hairs of yours that always stick up. In the climatic final scene (set at the prom), a teacher will ask you to leave, assuming you are from the middle school. I will stick up for you and it will go alright at best, while someone  probably laughs at us and calls us fat before throwing a cake onto our pastel satin gowns. I don’t know. I’m still working out the ending.

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An Irish Memory

Jana: St. Patrick’s Day is a holiday that matters only in Boston, or to big drinkers, or to people who look really good in green (ie, redheads – girls, not boys). Also, I guess, to the Irish. Luckily for myself and for Catherine, we together meet all of these criteria in one way or another. PLUS, St. Patrick’s Day is the day before Cath’s birthday, thus essentially BEING her birthday. For all of these reasons, we decided to go extra hard on St. Pat’s 2007, also known as Cathy‘s 21st birthday. The anniversary of this occasion seems as good at time as any to do our first ever “in college, we were drunk and did stupid things!” post. Happy Holidays.

Catherine: I gotta say, I am SHOCKED it has taken this long to dip into our many terrible college drinking times. How is it possible we haven’t tackled that night I fell asleep on a stranger’s lawn on the walk home? Strange. But, on with the story.

Jana: We had just returned from spring break, which we’d both spent at our parents’ houses doing absolutely nothing. It was, I believe, a Saturday night. As was our custom in those days, I collected approximately all of my clothing into plastic bags and arrived in Cathy’s room to try them all on in different combinations and with different jewelry. It took us a while, but here are the outfits (and, god help us, poses) we came up with:

   

I don’t have much defense for these pictures except to say that WE WERE IN VERMONT, and WE WERE TWENTY-ONE, although that in no way excuses the tiara (it DOES explain the wool socks). Also I’m sure Catherine stands by these outfits and still thinks they are great. Ah well.

Catherine: I wish there was a way we could go back in time and un-delete all the pictures taken BEFORE these ones. God knows these weren’t the only shots taken, but apparently these ones were the best – the ones deemed worthy for the facebook album. Also, Jana, on my birthday, and when I am 20, I can think that wearing a tiara is a cool idea. Although I do feel like it wasn’t my idea somehow? Not sure. But MOVING ON.

Jana: Once we’d settled on these, feeling really attractive, we waltzed into the kitchen to make ourselves a celebratory drink. We were drinking Bacardi Limon mixed with diet coke, a drink our group of friends had affectionately termed “Paula Abduls”, because they are very low calorie and probably Paula was drinking them during most of American Idol.

Catherine: Correction: She was definitely drinking them during most of American Idol.

Jana: The point is that, about 4 Paula Abduls in, we were with all our friends and dancing in the living room. An important thing to note is that the next day we were all set to attend a local child (in fact, our friend’s son)’s birthday party, and in anticipation of this event there was a large blow-up dinasour in the living room, which people danced with.

As Cathy demonstrates, here.

Catherine: Besides dancing, I would like to mention that pictures were taken with the dinosaur in compromising sexual positions, and also drinking. Sadly, neither Jana or I appear in these photos, so we have to refrain from sharing them.

Jana: Eventually, we went to karaoke. While this is not something I REMEMBER, I do know that it happened. At this point in my life my friends were all huge karaoke fans, whereas I was not generally a karaoke participant; yet, I karaoke-d on this night. I believe I met a gentleman who joined me on the stage (a quick peek at my actual journal for the day reveals “met some guy named kevin i think who i gave my number to”, so I guess his name was Kevin). Catherine, I know, sang her standard: Alanis‘ “You Oughta Know“.

Catherine: Quick side note about “You Oughta Know” (one of the best rock songs, ever, yeah, I said it.) Last time I was at JP’s, I sang “You Oughta Know” and closed out the night. I only know this not because I recall having a blast singing it, but because I saw pictures of me singing on my camera the next day and was informed that I had closed out the night while swaying in an enthusiastic but ultimately awkward way.

I don’t know what I sang.

Jana: The point is that around 3 AM we ended up at the local 24-hour diner, Henry’s, where after eating a hot dog AND eggs I fell asleep on the table and someone took a picture of me which I mercifully have been unable to locate.

Catherine: Henry’s is no longer open 24-hours. They had discontinue this perk after a late night food fight, which I feel a lot of regret about missing.

Jana: The next point is that the following morning, we still had to go to the child’s birthday party. I remember waking up and feeling like: how could I get dressed? I couldn’t. Could I? But, I did, and I chose to wear a pair of bell-bottom style khakis with a light blue tank top and a gray sweater, and to straighten my hair without washing it first. At the party, I looked and felt like this:

It was a real “You have no ability to dress yourself nor any right to be in the world, at any time of day” moment. In that regard, it was similar to my own 21st birthday, which I shall have to touch upon another time.

A la New Year’s Eve, we advise you to stay in this St. Patrick’s Day. At the very least, it’s best to leave your camera at home.

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