Tag Archives: coffee

10 reasons why i’m actually a senior citizen

Older ladies in floral swimcaps smiling.

my people.

i have long suspected that i’m actually a senior citizen in a young(er) person’s body. and not, like, what aarp considers a “senior” (55. puh-lease! 55 is the new 35!) no no no, i’m talkin little old lady senior. like, little. the kind that gets her hair set, drinks coffee with lunch, and clears the way through the local diner with her cane. (that was my late gram. she was so totally and completely cool, it was kind of unbelievable.)

anyway, ever since i got my nighttime mouthguard (see “i got a retainer“) and started soaking it in efferdent, i started thinking: oh my gosh. i really am a senior.

i recalled my unbridled joy as i played bingo with italian-american octogenarians at the sons of italy lodge, this year and in years past, pining for the $13 “jackpot.” of my deep love for the golden girls, and my need to secure the boxed set, despite holly’s protests. my need to shout WHAT? at my spouse even when i hear her.

so i started making a list of all the reasons why i’m actually a senior citizen. because what else am i gonna do while i wait for the efferdent to turn from blue to clear?

ok, here we go:

1. i have hard candy in my bag at all times. including ginger chews “in case one of us gets nauseous.”

2. i also have “nerve spray” in my bag at all times. for nerves. it can also help with nausea if it makes you nervous. (which, yes. being nauseous makes me nervous. don’t even get me started.)

3. speaking of bags…i need to admit to myself that as much as i want to call what i carry around a bag, it’s…a purse. and i pretty much have it with me at all times. i strap it across my body “in case i get mugged” and freak the hell out if i can’t find it in three seconds, shouting to poor holly WHERE’S MY PURSE HONEY WHERE IN THE HELL IS MY PURSE. this is my grandma’s gene. her bag was full of crumpled tissues and hard candies with pennies stuck to them. i’m getting there. 

4. i always check the backseat when i get in the car. again, this is a habit i picked up from my gram who shouted CHECK THE BACKSEAT at me once i started driving. as a lifelong non-driver, it was the one tip she offered me. i guess this was a thing once? people hiding in the backseat? i also lock the doors immediately when we get in the car. “in case we get carjacked.” or rather: “to keep from getting carjacked.”

5. here are the three things i always have in my coat pockets: hand sanitizer, lipstick, and mace. see: “in case i get mugged.” also usually napkins. see #6.

6. i always take a stack of napkins when we go to starbucks or chipotle. and we go to these places often. not such a big stack that it’s obnoxious, but like, a decent, respectable amount. #1, you never know when you’ll need extra napkins! you could sneeze. you could spill something. you could find yourself in an emergency situation where you need to immediately blot your lipstick. #2, they’re good napkins! #3, you need them for your purse. what else will your hard candies stick to? #4, you need them for the glove compartment. #5, you need them to wipe off the seat after you spray the bastard that’s been hiding in your backseat with mace.

7. if holly is in the bathroom for more than 60 seconds i begin shouting HONEY ARE YOU OKAY? ARE YOU OKAY? (again, i picked this up from my grandma, who would shout ARE YOU MOVING YOUR BOWELS at the bathroom door if i was in the bathroom for more than two minutes. she would shout this to me even when i was four years old. before i even knew what “moving my bowels” meant.) this is the way i show my love. by shouting about my spouse’s health. see #8.

8. if holly coughs i immediately announce that she’s coming down with something and then hound her about zipping up her coat. i threaten to make her soup. i ask if she loves me. because if she did, she’d zip up her coat.

9. water aerobics classes featuring hits of the 80s, 90s and today. tried it, loved it, ready to get a floral swim cap so i don’t ruin my blowout.

10. if you visit, i will ask you 10 times if you’re hungry. if you say no, i will feed you anyway. if you still refuse to eat, i will send you home with fruit. old people love fruit. i love fruit. especially apples and oranges. and we all know those are the preferred fruits of seniors.

and…….a very special #11…..****drumroll please!****

if the weather’s too bad to walk outside, i’ll do laps in the mall!!!!

HAPPY 2014, ALL! LET’S MAKE IT COUNT!

happy new year!

me, left. holly, right. happy new year from balteemore, hons!

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remember that one time we were on a low-carb diet and robbed a dunkin donuts?

first, the (big gay) elephant in the room: i kind of (read: totally) fell off the face of the earth for a minute. i told you about holly’s short sweatpants back in march and then i left you hanging for months.

  • was she still wearing the sweatpants?
  • did she cut them into shorts for the summer?
  • did she forgive me for encouraging her to buy them in petite when she clearly should have bought them in regular, thus saving her from the type of shame that only comes from wearing any kind of pants that are obviously too short for you?

the short answers to all of these are a. no (it’s been too warm for sweatpants) b. no (they are still whole and intact plus holly would never wear cut-offs; i’m not saying this is the right way to be but this is how she is) c. yes, she forgave me but i have yet to forgive myself. they’re pretty damn short.

where did i go? well mainly i was working. (if you’re self-employed the way i am, being busy is a good thing) and also life just wasn’t seeming all that funny. i mean, there have been many many funny moments, but it just wasn’t feeling funny enough to sit down and write about things, which is a major bummer for many reasons. if this blog has a purpose, it’s to make you laugh. to help you forget about whatever you’re dealing with in life and just sit back and have a good ol friggin laugh.

so now that i’m back, let’s just launch right back into things, shall we?

here’s what’s been going on since march:

we went on a low-carb diet and robbed a dunkin donuts.
the details are fuzzy because i was so weak from low blood-sugar. all i remember is waking up  covered in crumbs (old-fashioned cake: my fave), vanilla cream (cream-filled: holly’s fave), and raspberry jelly (jelly-filled: mutual fave). i had bite marks on my arm, which, if i remember correctly, i had tried gnawing off the day before. i realize that my arm would be considered “low-carb,” but i  hallucinated that it was a hot dog bun, so i tried to eat it.

(no seriously: it was “phase 1” of the south beach diet. it went well but…yeah, after 10 days we totally fell off the wagon. however, it was a good learning experience. like, a good way to learn how to creep out of dunkin donuts on your hands and knees after you have no idea how you got there. also we learned how to make cauliflower pizza, an odd but strangely addictive low-carb delicacy.)

i got in a fight with the sushi guy at whole foods and can never get sushi there again.
it sucks but look: i don’t need to be buying overpriced sushi from whole foods anyway. it’s kind of awkward now, but whatever! don’t try to charge me $4 for single sheet of soy paper! so i don’t like seaweed! do you really need to punish me for that? jews don’t like seaweed. it reminds our collective subconscious of crossing the red sea, which you know was uncomfortable for everyone involved, especially us jewish women because, hello, our hair. anyway. next!

i brought more natural disasters to under armour.
last time i contracted on-site at under armour, there was an earthquake and i split my pants right down the middle. this time i brought a tornado. well it was actually a “waterspout.” either way it scared the sh*t outta me and i hid in the basement until it was over, where, oddly enough, i learned there was a much better snack machine than the one on the third floor where i was working. holla!

i accidentally gave holly caffeinated coffee for like two weeks.
she kept saying she felt nervous but we couldn’t figure out why. i think i switched the bags or something? or labeled them wrong? oh i don’t even remember how i did it. honey, i am so sorry!

i got a retainer.
well actually it’s a night guard but it’s funnier to say retainer. apparently, when i sleep my jaw clamps down like a vice, resulting in phenomenally bad headaches. i finally relented to the idea of a mouthguard, which i imagined would be this big behemoth of a thing, like the kind of mouthguards football players wear, and i was concerned that, you know, instead of helping me, it might choke me while i slept. but when i went to go pick it up, it was this cute, teeny-tiny, dainty clear thing. like, it should have an english accent or something.

going in to get it molded at the dentist wasn’t as bad i thought it might be. to avert a new-jersey-jewish-control-freak panic attack, i kept telling holly “THLLLL MAA AH NNNLK,” my mouth full of this weird kind of…blue goo? and a big plastic mold-type thing.

“babe, i can’t…i can’t understand you,” holly said, laughing, while the dental assistant shot us weird looks trying, but failing, to smile.

(if i could have spoken i would have told that assistant to mind her own bees-wax and that if she didn’t look away i would punch her in the throat.)

“THHLLLL. MAA. AHH. NNNLK!” i kept saying.

this, of course, meant “tell me a joke.” which holly never did, as she couldn’t understand me. the exchange was ridiculous enough to avert anxiety, and now when i go to bed, i’m super sexy. i put in my mouthguard and it mathhes me tawlk like thiithhh. nicethhhhhhh.

i got fever & we almost missed jamie & jamie’s wedding.
i came down with a mean 36-hour flu on friday, may 31st. the day before our friends’ jamie and jamie’s wedding. (yes, they’re both named jamie. i know. the gays, constantly throwing you for loops and destroying the universe.) it came on in the span of like 10 minutes. i swear my body felt like it was shutting down. holly was irritated because the wedding was going to be fun and she didn’t want to miss it. (hello, i didn’t want to miss it either!) she also said i was complaining a lot. however, i couldn’t hear her because i was under three layers of blankets, shaking so bad from how cold i was because i had a 101.7 fever.

(holly, you’re mean. if you weren’t so cute i’d punch you in the throat, too.) 

i tried dry shampoo.
total bullsh*t. i felt like i had lice for like four hours and it made me smell like old lady.

i made a short-lived decision to become a charm city rollergirl.
i announced this in the car last week. it was a sudden decision but seemed like a sound one at the time.

“i mean, i’m not really athletic enough. right now. but i could, like, train to be,” i said, twirling my hair thinking of my cool future rollerderby name (Jersey J.? Jess The Jerk?) and all the tattoos i’d get and then have to hide from my parents.

 “i’d also need to learn how to skate backwards. and learn how to stop.” 

“you’re not tough enough to be a rollergirl,”  holly said.

“yes i –”

then she poked me in the arm.

OW! HEY! THAT HURT! THAT WAS LIKE, A PRESSURE POINT OR SOMETHING.”

“see? you’re not tough enough. you can’t be a rollergirl.”

“yes i am!” i said, rubbing the spot she just poked. “that’s going to leave a mark.”

and then, just to emphasize how i upset i was, i added the clincher:

“i’m going to blog about this.”

and so, here i am. blogging. again. gettin fevers. robbin dunkins. cussin at whole foods. makin tornados waterspouts. pullin out weaves. cuttin b*tches who be frontin me. wearin pajama t-shirts in public.
(note: i only did one of the last three things listed here.) (you’d never even know. it’s like, a regular t-shirt.)
(we also never actually robbed a dunkin donuts.)
(i’ll tell you what: if we did ever rob a store, it’d definitely be whole foods. and i’d rob the sh*t outta their sushi bar.)

holly, i’m sorry i told you to buy those sweatpants in petite

as a spouse/significant other, you are depended upon for both a) tasks and b) opinions.  in our household, one of my tasks is that i make the coffee because you’re so good at it, holly says, batting her eyelashes. (i need to note here that she’s actually pretty good at making it, too, but she’d rather i’d do it, which is totally fine, as i’d rather her take the recycling and trash out to the black hole that is our alley.)

anyway, sometime within the past six months or so we were perusing our local jcpenny’s–wait, no: JAYCEEPEE–perusing the aisles of our local JCP, when she stumbled across a pair of particularly comfy looking grey sweatpants.

ooooh these are nice, she said.

yeah, i said. nice.

now, you may or may not recall this, but i’m not much of a shopper. it’s like, the “gayest” thing about me (besides, you know, the obvious). i mean, i love a trip to target, but at least there i can make a quick getaway into the greeting cards/ cleaning products/make-up aisle to get away from all the clothes.

holly loves to shop. oh she loooooves to shop. (“i DO NOT love to shop,” she just said. whatever, she likes to. i don’t care what she says.) and she loves to get my damn opinion on everything. so that’s the context here. as i was saying:

do you think i should get them in a regular or petite? she asks me as i walk behind her, distracted and instagramming (is that a verb? i’m making it a verb.)

you’re small. get a petite, i say. otherwise you’re gonna havta get em hemmed and that costs as much as the pants. 

so i should get the petite?

yeah, get the petite.

ok, i’ll get the petite.

great, can we leave now?

no, not yet, i want to look in the kitchen section. where’s the escalator?

at which point i groaned and we had our usual but-i-don’t-want-to/pipe-down-babe-it’ll-just-be-a-minute,-if-you-want-me-to-cook-for-you-i-need-kitchen-tools exchange.

after a couple of washes the pants shrunk. holly noticed first. i looked up from words with friends and agreed that yeah, they were a little on the short side.

now, weeks later, i see that they’re actually not just a little short, they’re painfully short. she likes to wear them, because they’re a great color and they are indeed comfortable, but, like an inside voice or an inside cat, they are inside pants. she’ll occasionally wear them for a walk to the park and immediately regret it, saying she feels like rocky balboa (see below).

Rocky Balboa runs up the steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum in the first Rocky movie.

rocky balboa’s short pants in the first rocky movie. i guess it was ok because it was the 80s? anyway, holly’s aren’t quite as short, but it’s close. it’s really close.

anyway, now i feel kind of guilty. even though i laugh and call her “short pants,” i really do feel bad. she depended on me for input and i lead her astray. she should have never gotten the petite. babe, i should have never told you to get the petite. i’m sorry and i love you, even in your short pants. especially in your short pants.

i’m also sorry i was accidentally making you caffeinated coffee instead of decaf for like a week last month and you kept feeling anxious and we didn’t know why. i didn’t properly label the ground bulk coffee we got at whole foods. completely my fault. it was my task and i failed. i’ll take the trash and recycling out to make up for it. wait no. i can’t because i’m scared of our alley. but i love you and i’ll be more careful from here on out.

in other news: we’re getting MARRIED this weekend. THIS TIME RIGHT HERE IN OUR HOME STATE OF MARYLAND! on st. patty’s day (sunday!), the three-year anniversary of our first legal wedding in dc.

it was kind of a spur-of-the-moment decision. we ran over to the baltimore city courthouse earlier this week and were like HOLLA! we’re here to get our marriage license! (well, we didn’t say “holla” but we could’ve) and the lady was like HOLLA! here it is! (well, no, not really but she was nice). anyway, the rabbi that married us the first time will do it again, except this time she’ll be able to sign a license. full circle right? and this time in jeans! (if you’re new to this blog and you’d like to read about our nuptial adventures–and oh, we’ve had many–in one fell swoop, check out this essay i wrote for the current issue of baltimore bride.)

until then, folks, take your spousal/significant other-ly duties seriously! if your partner’s pants seem too short, for crying out loud, pay attention and speak up. and if s/he can’t process caffeine, don’t confuse the bags. you know it can only end badly.

i know you’ve been waiting for over a week to hear about how i got lost in the woods, but i need to tell you about this annoying thing that holly does to my coffee first

if you have a significant other, or you’ve had one in the past, i’m sure there’s something that s/he does or did that is/was meant to be loving but only proves/proved to be annoying or frustrating. i’m going to talk about that today, and of course by “that” i mean holly and something she does, and bless her heart she is so damn patient w/me and this damn blog. i keep telling her that it will make us rich one day, and that for some reason people (and by “people” i mean you people) like to read about the ridiculous crap that goes on in our relationship more than anything else and i must give the public what it wants. which brings me to this post.

so this morning, we were eating breakfast at our favorite diner, eastern avenue’s famous broadway diner, where you can get not one but two large breakfast specials (eggs/home fries or grits/meat if you want it/toast/coffee AND juice) for under $10 (!?!) as long as you get there before 11am (and hello, we were there at like 7:30am b/c holly gets my ass up early simply b/c if she’s up, i need to be up–kind of like a puppy except not).

anyway, the coffee arrives and holly first pours milk into her coffee (we get milk not cream; i know, high-maintenance) and then, before i can stop her (she’s fast–stealth, actually) reaches across the table and lovingly pours it into mine.

i sigh. no actually i don’t sigh. i whisper-shout babe, what are you doing?! then i sigh.

we have been thru this before. i’m picky about my coffee. not only does it need to be hot (i inherited this; i swear, my late grandmother would actually send coffee back at pretty much every jersey diner (and Friendly’s–oh, Friendly’s, remember that place??) we ever went to, much to my teenage embarrassment, if it wasn’t “piping hot”), sometimes i want it black, sometimes i want milk in it–but not too much milk, lest it lose its coffee taste and become anything less than mouth-scalding, blistering hot.

holly, on the other hand, likes a lot of milk in her friggin coffee. she actually turns them into lukewarm lattes. i honestly don’t even know how she drinks them. but i guess that’s none of my business. to each their own.

anyway, we decided years ago that i didn’t want her adding milk or cream or whatever we have on hand to my coffee. i know she does it out of love, but it drives me crazy. if i wanted milk or cream, i’d add it on my own. not to be rude but i’m just saying.

the first time she ever did it, i think we were at our old favorite diner (endearingly called “the diner”) back when we lived in dc’s adams-morgan neighborhood. our coffee arrived, she picked up the creamer, poured some into her mug, reached across the small table and poured a whole lot of it into mine.

i asked her, somewhat horrified, what she was doing, and she responded that she didn’t know what came over her. she just…did it. and that was the beginning. so every now and then, and come to think of it, it’s usually when we’re grabbing breakfast at a diner (as i former jersey girl, i pretty much live for diners. esp. if they’re greek-owned), holly will get possessed by the dairy…i don’t know, the dairy fairy, and inexplicably pour milk or cream into my coffee.

i feel like she does it out of love. which is nice, really, if you think about it. but dammit it doesn’t make my coffee taste any better–or make it any hotter.

in all fairness, i need to add that i do plenty of annoying things out of love. for example, if holly feels the least bit under the weather, i ask her if she’s ok or needs tea every two minutes or less. i’m also constantly saying hi to her around the house and asking (yelling) where she is moment i can’t actually see her. (i think this is a north jersey jewish trait.)

if you have any similar stories about past or present significant others, please share. in the meantime, keep your coffee away from holly b/c if she cares about you, she might turn it into a cafe au lait.

whatever you do, don’t panic

i need to say something: all the energy drinks and “shots” on the market these days are scaring the hell outta me. i mean, how tired and strung-out and overworked are we as a society if you can’t even walk into bed, bath & beyond w/out running into some weirdo twisted energy concoction at the cash register? (true story; totally saw 5-Hour Energy “shots” there last week. they probably tasted like candles, i.e. the way my clothes, hair and skin smell after five minutes there)

i mean, i can’t imagine downing one of those things. not even a red bull. not a monster drink or whatever they’re called. nothing. i remember my freshman year of college (shoutout umcp! holla!), student housing or some such organization sent out these little packages full of samples to all the kids in the dorm. “helpful” things like, oh i don’t know, deodorant, painkillers and No-Doz. b/c college students don’t already have enough issues w/out free, scary pills that make your heart beat fast.

 anyone out there remember No-Doz?? No-Doz was the go-to college all-nighter stuff long before red bull and the 5-Hour shots. little white caffeine bombs. and to 17-year-old fresh-outta-jersey me–that hadn’t discovered the joys of coffee yet–full-on panic pills.

why i decided to take them, i have no idea. i took them in the morning (morning? on an empty stomach, probably) and before long, my heart started pounding out of my chest.

“jess!” i whisper-yelled to my sleeping roommate, yanking her covers. “i…i took No-Doz! i’m…i’m freaking out! i can’t, i can’t breathe! i think i’m having a heart attack!”

she, of course, mumbled something about calming down, patted my shoulder and went back to sleep, leaving me to fend for myself. who knows how the hell i talked myself out of that one, but i did. this was the first and last time i took “energy” pills.

why did i tell you that supremely dorky story? i told it…well i told it to make you laugh. also to prove a point. that sh*t is scary! and now sophisticated commercial chemists are mixing caffeine with, like, panic-inducing jungle roots. plus they make it taste like soda or candy or both.

i’ll tell you what tho: the marketing folks at 5-Hour Energy (or whomever they hire to do their advertising) are brilliant. you’ve probably seen the 5-Hour Energy commercial, right? that “2:30 feeling”? after working in quite a few boring offices, i am quite familiar with that 2:30 feeling. especially after a sizable lunch burrito when you’re sitting in a warm conference room w/annoying ppl discussing crap you don’t care about. (wow! i think i actually fell asleep for a nanosecond while writing that!)

have any of you drank this stuff? were you whirling like a tornado til 7:30pm or did you pull a jessica circa ’96, fall to your knees and weep to your cubicle mate that you were having a heart attack? i hope you whirled b/c, trust me, if you have a panic attack at 2:30 in the afternoon on the floor of your office you will never live it down.

i am happy to report that the old man next door has not kicked it

every couple, every household, i should say, has those mundane statements that are repeated over and over around the house. they’re usually yelled to someone in another room or upstairs.

“do we have milk?”

“did you take out the trash?”

“where’s the toothpaste?”

“are we outta t.p.?”

“have you seen the old man lately?”

wait, what?

“honey, have you seen the old man lately?”

yes, that’s a big one in our household. “the old man” is the old guy next door. he’s not quite a shut-in, but nearly. one of our biggest nightmares is to well…is to not see him for a while and, since we share walls w/him, start to smell something and (*shudder*)…yeah. so holly and i ask each other every so often if we’ve seen him. when both of us answer “no,” it’s usually followed by one of us saying, “geez, i hope he didn’t kick it.”

look, i know you’re crinkling up your nose right now, and i’m not trying to be gross. i’m being realistic. that type of stuff happens, esp. in the city and esp. amongst older folks that don’t have a lot of family or friends. the whole thing is really sad, b/c i kind of feel like we’re the only two ppl around here that take note of his, well, just take note if they see him around or not.

he’s not the best neighbor. his place is a wreck. yard is overgrown like you would not believe (i honestly did not know that weeds could get so big. or that they could blossom. and/or grow berries). gutters aren’t connected (and then we get his roof water in *our* basement). a rat factory of a garage. i really won’t go on, lest i completely gross you out and you never want to come over, simply b/c knowing all that is just next door is too much for you (sissy! you would never survive one minute here in “the city that reads”! never!). anyway, even tho the root of all this is sad, it just strikes me as pretty ridiculous that one of the things we normally say to each other revolves around our old man neighbor.

in other news, i tried the new starbucks VIA instant coffee–oh excuse me, they’re calling it “ready brew instant coffee,” ha, my mistake–last night (they were giving out free samples) and i gotta say, not too shabby! if you’ve been reading this blog for a while, or if you know me in “real life” (ha), you know that while i’m a true coffee lover,  i’m not pretentious about it. so, just like my unbridled enthusiasm for tragically unhip things like, say…britney spears or…leftovers (omg i totally heart leftovers), i do love my instant coffee from time to time. and i will shout it from the rooftops.

i am telling you this b/c i am going to take the starbucks VIA challenge this weekend. there’s this promotion going on this weekend. they’ll be putting the instant coffee side-by-side w/the fresh-brewed coffee. you taste both, and if you can pick out the instant, you get a free drink. i am so going to win. i’m not a very competitive person, but i’m telling you, this one, it’s all or nothing, baby! bring it!

holly does not want me to fall asleep on long car rides

and yet, she does not want to stop for starbucks. (not today at least.) doesn’t she see these things are distinctly related??

she also doesn’t like it when i call herds of cattle we pass in western pee-ay (where we are now) “hamburgers.” killjoy!