Monthly Archives: May 2011

An Actual Conversation from an Actual Marriage

May 27, 2011

The following true life events occurred over the weekend. As I feel the scene has great dramatic potential I am presenting it to you as a screen play. Movie agents are to contact me directly through my email.

SETTING:

Costco. A warehouse-type store that sells everything in post-apocalypse supply quantities. For example, 30 rolls of toilet paper. Or 20 onions. Or 80 oz of Cetaphil lotion.

CHARACTERS:

WIFE. HUSBAND. Married 3 years, generally get along famously.

DIALOGUE/ACTION:

HUSBAND and WIFE are standing in giant doorway of warehouse, showing warehouse employees their membership card.

HUSBAND: (speaking in whisper) Have you ever noticed that there are really good looking people working here? I swear there was a gang of Swedish models working the registers last time I was here.

WIFE: (looking annoyed) Really. That must have been so nice for you.

HUSBAND: (oblivious) Yeah.

Cut to registers. About an hour has passed and cart is full of items in ridiculous amounts, including 6 bottles of shaving cream and the world’s largest box of condoms. (not to be used together)

HUSBAND: (touching WIFE’S arm and pointing discreetly to woman working at register, who is in fact, gorgeous even in her warehouse red polo). See. I told you. Where do you think they find these girls?

WIFE: (Turning on HUSBAND) You want to know what I think? I think that is the second time you’ve brought up how hot the Costco workers are. I also think you probably should have married a COSTCO WORKER if you find them so interesting.

(WIFE storms away to food court to buy a large hot dog or perhaps a giant piece of pizza, leaving HUSBAND looking bewildered.

Scene fades.

 

Please tell me you’ve had this conversation.

My Life as a U2 Fan

May 25, 2011

So there are about 100 things I should be doing right now, but after the concert last night I am having a hard time doing anything but buzzing around the house listening to the 45+ U2 songs I have on my Ipod.

Some people know this about me, some don’t. But the fact remains: I am a serious U2 fan.

Last night I went to the concert with my dad and sister. At the last minute I also talked my husband into taking our extra ticket. David has known me since we were 13, and we’ve been together almost 8 years and I still feel like he got to know me on a whole new level last night. I was telling him all my favorite U2 stories and decided it might make for a good blog, if for no other reason than getting all my excess U2 energy out.

Before I get into this, can I tell you I’m not the crazy fan type? I’ve met a lot of famous people through my parents and rarely have I felt overwhelmed by anyone. But U2 is different. Okay, you’ve been warned.

The Introduction.

I start listening to U2 at 14 when I buy a CD for a high school friend. He is a huge fan and I soon realize why. Soon I’m hooked as well.

My first concert.

I was 19. U2 came to SLC for the first time in about a million years and I completely missed out on tickets, as they were sold out in about 3 minutes. I was a tiny bit devastated but tried to be brave. My mom and dad were at one of those posh gala type things and someone won a U2 package including 2 tickets, Bono’s autobiography, and a U2 purse. The man who won hadn’t even heard of U2 but somehow word got around that Richard Paul Evans had a U2 crazed daughter, and maybe he would buy the tickets off him? This transaction occurred. I almost peed my pants.

I went all out getting ready. I had a pair of crazy sexy knee high boots and some very cool jeans. When Ally and I arrived at the concert I handed over my tickets and a giant Irish bouncer-looking guy with about a million tattoos yelled over to me, “Hey, cool boots.” I thanked him and gave him a huge smile because I was going to see U2. When we came through the line Irish Bouncer grabbed my tickets and slid them through a machine that had a screen on it. Nothing happened on the screen but he held up my tickets and announced “Looks like we have a winner.” I had no idea what that meant and he caught on to my clueless look. He leaned forward and said, “How would you like be in the center of the stage? Right by the band?” My jaw dropped. It was clear that I had not in fact won anything, but here he was offering me the best seats in the concert. I asked if I could hug him. He opened his arms wide and said “Sure.” I jumped on him like a monkey. Then he gave Ally and I some special wrist bands and led us under the stage to the center of it. Again. Almost peed my pants.  Poor Ally, I wouldn’t even let her go to the bathroom, I was too scared our places were somehow going to get taken away.

After what felt like 2 hours Bono came onstage. I cried. He sang “With or Without You,” my favorite song of all times, and I cried. It was ridiculous and truly one of the greatest nights of my life. Unfortunately I wasn’t one of the girls taken onstage (which is probably the reason Irish Bouncer ushered me through), but it still was incredible.

Chasing down a Senator.

I am at a fundraising event and spot Senator Orrin Hatch. I know for a fact that he knows Bono, as Bono mentioned him at the concert and my dad had confirmed that they are in fact friends. I chase down the senator wearing a ridiculously high pair of high heels and demand any information he has on him. All I got was “Bono, yes, he is a great guy,” and a look like I’m crazy. Oh well. A girl’s got to do what a girl’s got to do.

Dublin.

I am on a study abroad with BYU in London and we take a week’s excursion to Dublin. All U2 fans know there is really only one reason to go to Dublin. To stalk Bono. I decided to not be the crazy type to go to his house, but I did convince a small group of fellow students to wander through a super scary part of Dublin looking for the “U2 wall,” part of a building where they recorded their first album. We were stopped not once but twice by nice concerned Irish people who wanted to know why we were wandering around such a scary part of town. Finally a guy asked, “Are you looking for the U2 Wall?” then he pointed us in the right direction and told us to go see it then get out of that neighborhood as fast as possible. I convince the group that we are going to be totally fine and we press on. I take my pictures and touch the wall. Then we run.

On that same trip I saw a U2 cover band in a fantastic pub. They apparently are the actual band’s favorite. They were so impressed that they gave the cover band a bunch of equipment.

I’m also told that while on a tour bus I went from dead asleep to an upright, alert position in less than ½ a  second when I hear the name ‘Bono’ mentioned by our tour guide, who is pointing out Bono’s home. I am ridiculed for this for about 3 weeks.

Why?

So I’ve been trying to decide. What is it that I love so much about them? They had already been around for a lifetime by the time I was listening to them on my portable CD player in 9th grade. Is it that they just have amazing music? Yes, I really think they do. (I also strongly believe that everyone should see “Sunday Bloody Sunday” performed live, it’s incredible.)  But I think it’s more about the fact that every part of my life now has some kind of U2 song linked to it. Last night when they played “I Will Follow” I remembered goofing off with our nannies in Florence, making videos of ourselves dancing with a large sombrero that was inexplicably on the wall of the home we were renting. Or when they played “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m looking For” I remember listening to my CD alone in my room during high school, experiencing for the first time just how bad getting your heart broken feels.  Or when they played “Sunday, Blood Sunday” I remembered walking to ASU on my first day wondering if I really was brave enough to have moved to a city where I knew no one to try to figure myself out. Or when they played “All I Want is You” I remembered the year David and I spent apart and suddenly realized that just like the song said, things had worked out. And now I have this new memory. Every time I hear “She Moves in Mysterious Ways” I’m going to remember being 25 at a concert with  my wonderful husband of 3 years, both of us freezing and trying to fit into one sweatshirt, and wondering what the next phase of my life is going to bring.

Funny how music can be that big of a deal.

 

A, B, C, D, DD and beyond: A Memoir of Breasts

May 10, 2011

Astries, Bazookas, Bongoes, Cha-Chas, Dingos, Ear Muffs, Fog Lights, Gazongas, Hush Puppies, Jibs, Kongas, Lulu’s, Milk Shakes, Nancies, Oompas, Pillows, Rib Cushions, Spark Plugs, Tatas, Umlauts, Wahwahs, and Zingers.

Wow. This list truly speaks to the true creativity of the male mind.

But it’s not just men. Sometimes I think we all might be slightly obsessed with breasts, and I’m not quite sure why. I once had a friend tell me that I could rule the entire world, with no other qualifications than my cup size. His comment was completely inappropriate, but still interesting. Why did we get so obsessive about something as boring as breasts? And why is that some cultures don’t even seem to notice them? (Think of pictures you’ve seen in National Geographic of topless women in Africa or South America and compare that to the craziness that surrounded Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction” here in the states).

Every woman has some kind of relationships with her breasts, and I am no exception. And as weird as this is going to sound, I am going to tell you my life history through The Girls.

The Emergence

As a teenager I was a serious ballerina. I took classes every day and in the summers danced for 40 hours a week. This all changed when my family moved to Europe.  Suddenly I was dancing a lot less and eating a lot more. During my first summer there I gained 10+ lbs and a brand new set of boobs (that I am still convinced may be made up completely of gelato). I had always considered myself very graceful, but this new addition, which came on fast, completely threw me off and I started falling down constantly. I fell down the stairs, I fell up the stairs, and occasionally I fell under the stairs. Soon my mom started to recognize the sound of me by a crash. I also started spilling yogurt on my shirt constantly. I think there were about 11 full days of my sophomore year that I didn’t have yogurt on the front of my shirt.

Detective Work

I was a bit traumatized. Where had these things come from? And from whom? I am not from a family of large-chested woman and I was concerned that I was some kind of freakish fluke. After some digging I learned that one of my Italian grandmothers was a bout 4’11”, with a very large chest. Apparently I have May Pearl Zitto to thank.

The Harassment

I think I was one of about 7 girls in my entire (tiny) school above a B cup, and along with my new balancing act I suddenly had a lot of attention I had no idea how to deal with. This ranged from the immature (year–long games of groups of boys trying to throw rocks down my shirt) to the offensive (being groped onstage during a school play). I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to like this attention or not. It made me uncomfortable but it also seemed like most of the girls wanted attention, so wasn’t I supposed to be enjoying it? Most days I wanted to shove at least 3 different guys into the bushes, but in general I just laughed it off. And got more and more bugged. Yay repression.

A Rescue

One day after school my Vespa ran out of gas in the middle of nowhere. And I mean nowhere. I was somewhere in the rolling hills of Tuscany, and no one was going to find me. I tried calling my family but as usual the phone line was so I started pushing my Vespa. Remember when I said rolling hills? I meant it. I pushed that stupid scooter up and down hills for what felt like miles. Almost every car that drove past me honked, but no one was stopping to help. Finally, when my arms were killing and I didn’t think I could make it one more step I did what I had to do. I took off my coat to reveal a tight shirt. The next car pulled over.

I’m going to go ahead and admit I’ve repeated variations on this maneuver since.

An Introduction

After high school I moved back home and started hanging out with a guy who 5 years later would become my husband. Once we started spending all our time together he told his friends about me and they gave their blessing with the following: “Jenna? She has big ol’ boobies.”

Thanks guys. A glowing review.

Cancer Scare

When I was 20 I finally told myself I had to go to the doctor. For several months I’d felt a lump in my left breast and I knew it wasn’t going away. I made an appointment with my doctor while I was home from ASU for Christmas break. The doctor assured me it was going to be fine, but he wanted to take an X-Ray to see what it looked like. After he saw the x-ray he told me that it didn’t look fine and that I needed to have surgery. Soon. The lump was solid so they wouldn’t be able to tell me if it was malignant or benign without a biopsy.

That was a really awful moment. I remember sitting in my car thinking, what if I am 20 years old and have breast cancer? How many times have I passed billboards and thought, that will never be me?

I was supposed to be getting on the road to meet my then boyfriend in Las Vegas but instead I met with a surgeon. A few days later I was laying in the recovery room of the hospital deliriously trying to convince my mom that what I really needed was a banana split. Once I was coherent (and had eaten my ice cream) the doctors told me that what they had thought was a small lump had actually turned out to be the size of a golf ball. I know. Traumatizing.

But it was a benign golf ball. And somehow, my only memento of the occasion is a scar that I almost never notice. A few weeks later, when my stitches were out and my bruising had gone down a friend hugged me with a golf ball in the left breast pocket of his shirt. I laughed for a straight 15 minutes.

Nannying

My sophomore year of college I began a job nannying for an adorable 3 year old boy (this is not the NYC boy I talked about in an earlier post) who I’ll call Will. His mom was stick-straight triathlete. So was his previous nanny, and I perplexed him to no end. One day Will pointed to my chest and said “Jenna, what’s that?” I wasn’t totally comfortable with his parents yet and wasn’t sure how they’d want me to respond, so I practiced the distraction technique.  “It’s just my body,” I said cheerfully. “Want to play trucks?”

But the question continued, and soon I could tell he had really been thinking. “Jenna, you have a big tummy,” he said to me one day, patting my chest knowingly. “You had a lot of lunch.” Another day he was sure he knew the answer.  Jenna,” he said. “You have a baby in your tummy.”

Finally one day he’d had enough. I clearly wasn’t giving him the answers he needed, so he took matters into his own hands. Literally.  While we sat on the floor reading stories he suddenly stood up, grabbed the neckline of my shirt and yelled “JENNA, WHAT IS THAT?” before looking down my shirt. And that is how I introduced a 3 year old to breasts.

Married Life

This is about to be TMI, so please skip ahead if you’d like. I warned you.

One day I was washing the dishes and David came home, walked up behind me, and performed the Kitchen Sink Grope. You know what I’m talking about. It had happened about a thousand times before but this was the first time I’d actually given it a name. Not only that, but our sink was in front of the kitchen window and I just knew that one day a small child was going to see this and be traumatized. I decided it was time to lay down the law. I whirled around, pointed a soapy finger in his face, and said, “How would you like it, if I just walked around grabbing you all the time?”

I’m sure you can guess his response.

Today

Today, I am generally happy with my size. I don’t fall down (much) and have found the world’s greatest sports bra ($70, but well worth it). As for me, I am trying to be extra accepting. It’s interesting to me how often other girls will tell me how lucky I am when I’m thinking the same thing about them. Will we ever learn to be happy with what we’ve got? I’m going to try. Even if the bras in my size at Victoria’s Secret sort of remind me of utility belts.

Thoughts On My First Half Marathon

May 4, 2011

I have some incredible news: on April 16th I completed my first half marathon. (Please hold your applause until the end.)

This is a really big deal because when I first started training 9 months ago I could only run for one minute at a time. This is also a big deal because I hate(d) running, and just a year ago I watched the SLC marathon go by my house and declared I “would never  take part in something so hideously awful.”

I’ve got to quit making declarations like that. For some reason my brain turns these refusals into some kind of dare and before I know it I am Green Lemoning everything on the subject and really getting myself into trouble. In fact, the night before the race as I counted out 46 Jelly Belly sports beans I almost hyperventilated, asking David over and over why I get myself into these things.

It’s been 2 weeks since the race, and now that my crazy muscle soreness has gone down enough to allow me to sit cross legged (the only way to write) I am here to give a recap.

Moments when I almost cried:

  • 1 month before the race. I was running at the park and 2 super skinny girls with legs twice as long as mine cruised past me. I suddenly was acutely aware of being a size 12 with big boobs and short legs. What business did I have trying to run? Who was I kidding? I felt bad for myself for about half a mile, and then I realized that I was in fact running and feeling bad about not looking like a runner. Turns out all you have to do to be a runner is run. I kept going.
  • Just before the race started. I seriously had to pee but there were lines of 30+ people at every Honey Bucket within a mile of Legacy Bridge, and being a girl, a bush just wasn’t going to cut it. I was also terrified.
  • Mile 5. My right foot swelled up and I started feeling a lot of pain. This happens often (why just one foot I don’t know) and all I could think was, I have 8. More. Miles.
  • Mile 12.8. With less than a half mile to go I knew I was close. I also knew my knees didn’t think it was close enough.  I was in a lot of pain.

Actual thoughts I had while racing:

  • I paid to do this?
  • That guy in silver spandex had better speed up or slow down. If I have to look at him (and his visible panty line) much longer I think I’m going to have to just lay down in the middle of the road.
  • So that’s how you know when a rest stop is coming up, you smell the porta-potties from about a half mile away.
  • Thanks for all the support, bystanders, but maybe cowbells aren’t the most flattering way to egg us on.

Surreal Racing Moments:

  • Watching a man (?) in a full-body leopard suit, tail included, speed past me.
  • When a guy offered me a brownie at mile 12 and called me a health nut when I refused it. I had never wanted a brownie less in my life.
  • When the winner of the marathon (not half marathon, the full marathon) cruised past me at mile 11.
  • When I saw the finishing line and realized I’d done it.

Things I learned about myself:

  • I have an automatic flip-off response. I learned this when I was catcalled running at Liberty Park. Even with my Mormon upbringing I have no apparent qualms about this. All I thought was, Oh, I guess I do this now.
  • I look awesome in runner fanny-packs. Like really sexy.
  • I am incredibly motivated by one-hit wonders from the 1990’s. And Madonna. Throw in some Eminem and I am all set for double digit runs.
  • Setting big goals, then accomplishing them, is extremely rewarding. I can honestly say running this half marathon was one of the best things I have ever done.

(Applause. And stay tuned for my post “How to Become a Runner”)