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Bitter is the new black, p.34
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       Bitter is the New Black, p.34

           Jen Lancaster

  51You cheap bastards!

  52Stupid moral compass (and fear of jail).

  53Do I even need to mention how much cuter I was than her?

  54Seriously, WAY cuter.

  55Powder pink is totally the new black.

  56Or helps me prove a point.

  57She also used to make tea from the weeds in her yard and Sunday gravy with goat meat, but that’s another story.

  58In my dad’s defense, he only started with the double pants-retaining system recently. With his flat butt and heavy wallet, I suspect there may have been an incident.

  59My father was the lead truck in a Marine convoy back in the early fifties. Since he refuses to ask for directions when lost, he accidentally led his entire 1,600 man division to the border of Mexico. The Mexican border guards thought it was the beginning of World War Three.

  60But the darling Cuban-heeled patent leather shoes projected so much authority AND style that I’d have been foolish not to buy them.

  61To this day, I can only recite the preamble to the Constitution because of Schoolhouse Rock.

  62Having once spent every Saturday for a month at the Illinois DMV trying to get my car registered, I’ve since learned to be prepared when dealing with bureaucracies.

  63Quality demands respect.

  64Are they kidding? I’ve already applied to enough places to satisfy my six-month requirement.

  65I’m not always successful, but points for trying, right?


  67Please don’t tell Big Daddy.

  68My old neighbor Melissa has been laid off four times in the past year and a half. I don’t understand how she hasn’t yet taken a hostage out of sheer frustration.

  69And glorious new boots.

  70What? Like I’d use a cap and mess up the ’do. I don’t think so.

  71Dubbed because I’ve been waiting for them to call me home for so long.

  72I won’t hold a stupid expression against him if he wants to hire me.

  73A birthday present to myself. I’m worth it, yes?

  74Cosmetics and coordinating wallets, NOT PETS, belong in purses.

  75The upside is my butt is an inch higher from all the climbing.

  76In this particular fantasy, we’re sitting on my dream couch.

  77I even envied the dogs last week when the vet trimmed their dew claws.

  78Despite her tacit denial, Dad and I both know the sabotage was deliberate.

  79Honestly? I’d sell my unexfoliated soul for a salt glow right about now.


  81Had I more time to think about it, I would have prepared a PowerPoint presentation.

  82Like I want to be cut out of the will?

  83This is also why we’re not inviting any children. Beautiful noise? I think not.

  84Yes, I tried one of each. Shut up.

  85Seriously, what’s more fun than go-go dancers?

  86Don’t ask. It was a really bad day.

  87I’m totally losing the weight just as soon as my stress level decreases.

  88In my dreams, I’m an excellent dancer, and not a left-footed Frankenstein, clomping into other people.

  89It’s my dream, so I can wear the updated Dior Brun Swing shade if I want.

  90Considering they cost more than a year’s tuition, they’d better be.

  91An antipsychotic drug. WHICH SHE NEEDS.

  92My dad is the first.

  93Fletch says Clark is going through a divorce now, hence the tyranny. The next boss I have had better be single or come with a clean bill of marital health from his or her therapist. This divorce business makes people way too irrational.

  94Loki, the “good dog,” much prefers to nibble mission-style furniture. He’s a sixty-pound termite with a puffy tail.

  95When we get home, I am totally sending that flight attendant flowers.

  96She’s still pissed I wouldn’t let her iron my high school graduation gown. However, I was only seventeen at the time and have since come to embrace the virtues of a properly pressed garment.

  97Seriously, I’d marry you, American Airlines, if I weren’t already engaged.

  98Which are way too cute. The stamp in the candy says, “Jen and Fletch, Bucking Tradition Since 1994” on one side and it has our wedding date on the other, and they’re wrapped to look like casino chips.

  99I don’t know what it is, so don’t ask. (AND DON’T EXPLAIN IT TO ME.)

  100See? See what I mean? He’s an ASS.

  101Oh, Puck, you scamp. I shall never tire of your snot rockets and homophobia.


  103The cake is the best part of the reception. It had layers of mocha hazelnut, white chocolate–raspberry, lemon–Bavarian cream, and the topper was cream cheese–carrot cake, all covered with white modeling chocolate. By the way, did you know fifty guests can’t consume twenty-five pounds of cake? I didn’t, hence the trip upstairs.

  104I had to put up with it for seven years—it’s payback time.

  105She actually might like it but I DON’T CARE.

  106Correct answer? NO ONE.

  107HATE! Dave Matthews makes me want to kick puppies.

  108Thank God.

  109Six hours and $250 later.

  110He is SO sleeping on the couch tonight.

  111It was a very brief phase. I was back to tartan plaid within the week.

  112The roommate’s nickname was Zitty-Zitty Bang-Bang.

  113A very bad phase. Don’t ask.

  114What’s the deal with straight girls tongue kissing other straight girls these days? I mean, gay is cool, bi isn’t scandalous, but I have trouble dealing with this Girls Gone Wild foolishness.

  115Recently a man stopped me at Star Bar when I was clad in a similar outfit and told me, “Honey, I’m gay, but I would totally do you. You’re fabulous!!” This is possibly the greatest compliment I’ve received in my entire life.

  116This used to be my big stress-relieving song when I worked at Corp. Com. I’d play it over and over again and it always managed to calm me. Positive K’s “I Got a Man” and English Beat’s “Save It for Later” are also excellent release valves.

  117Which, fortunately, was not the LAST half hour of my life, although I couldn’t be sure at the time.


  119So wrong and yet so good.

  120I would have punched him in the neck had I not thought everyone would point and titter, “What’s the fracas with the fat girl over there?”

  121Tell him to “fuck off.”

  122I don’t care if the shirt doesn’t fit Pete. This is not about a shirt. This is about not going quietly into that good night. Just because they don’t eat refined sugar does not make these people morally superior.

  123Ironically, I actually jog back to the parking garage at an admirable clip.

  124If they had a coffee cart, I might never leave.

  125Who am I kidding? It’s a five-minute drive.

  126That’s pronounced Zhjill-BEHR—God forbid you read the tags and assume the English pronunciation. I thought he was going to sic the French Ministry of Language on me.

  127Twenty-five thousand dollars, and yes, thanks, I do want to cry.

  128So what if I don’t know how to repair an airplane? They pay A LOT and I’m willing to learn.

  129I’ll not detail the tears shed and tantrums thrown in reaching this decision.

  130For a while, Dad’s corporate office thought he was selling typewriters on the black market.

  131Am I suddenly psychic? Because I see a $15 dry-cleaning bill in my future.

  132Outside to smoke.

  133Kathy, wherever you are, we should discuss your sodium intake.

  134Of course, I did a good job. I used to be a vice president, you know.

  135The agency doesn’t place salespeople, though, so I figure it’s OK. I just have to make Jerry think it was his idea.

  136Box wine may be fine for my purposes, but I am not about to bring it to a party.
  137See? I’m not a total shrew.

  138Since she has such a twisted concept of beauty, I thought she’d appreciate the lovely mosaics of poop my dogs produce now that I take them to make big potty on her lawn every day.

  139When I flushed the toilet in the first room, it sprayed water up like Old Faithful. Let me just say this—no one likes seeing human waste, and it’s particularly disturbing when it’s hurtling at 100 miles per hour at your face.

  140In a pinch, you can use a Starbucks napkin.

  141Another long story starring boys, beer, and an errant Visa card.

  142Which may explain most of my tenure.

  143Granted, there may have been people doing coke but they were way too cool for my cow college.

  144Which we can purchase for only $5 per Polaroid.

  145Shimmery polish is trashy.

  146Electric blue? What was I thinking?

  147Good thing I’m not having children—with the amount they smoke, MY kids would come out with flippers.

  148Peter Drucker is a BUSINESS GOD.

  149That’s Chicago for you.

  150It’s a little surreal how many people log on to read my stupid opinions on stuff.

  151Thou shalt not disrespect Tori Spelling!

  152You may remember her as Blossom’s buddy Six.

  152aAnd yes, it scares me that I know this.

  153I doubt any of them have been near a Greek chapter, like, ever.

  154I’m totally bluffing.

  155Still a big, fat lie.

  156An entire plate of mashed sweet potatoes may or may not have been thrown in protest.

  157More than once I wished someone would just steal it already.

  158It does sound like my brother can feel comfortable spending Max’s college fund on a tropical vacation.

  159When I was young, I competed in the occasional beauty pageant, and while I was often a shoo-in for Miss Photogenic, I was never once named Miss Congeniality.

  160He was right.

  161I really do love my tracking software.

  162My ex-friend Lynn used to say if she ever got onstage, she’d slip Bob some tongue. Yet she wonders why I no longer return her calls.

  163Semi-lie. This is only because Dad pulled the funding once I flunked out.

  164Lie. I’ve had one assignment and no other temp agency even wants to talk to me.

  165Lie. But, actually, that would be kind of cool.

  166Sucking up never hurts.

  167Lie, again. At this point, I DO NOT CARE. I just need a job, any job.

  168If I mentioned to Ickey that I flunked out after my sophomore year, I’d sound less credible.

  169Yes, I’m lying again, but we’re talking life or death at this point.

  170Or, rather, begging for them.

  171Scarlett O’Hara and her old curtains have nothing on me.

  172Where I used to be a vice president, if I hadn’t already mentioned it.

  173I’m thinking I should do well here.

  174So I’m not a VP anymore and the money isn’t huge. However, it will allow me to buy groceries and Fletch’s antidepressants, so I’m pretty damn thankful.

  175I try to keep the swearing to a minimum while I’m in the kitchen.

  176Given Maisy’s penchant for chewing, we go to the doggie ER a LOT. The vet techs have taken to greeting us with “What’d she eat today?”

  177Man’s best friend, my ass.

  178No, I don’t know what’s gotten into me lately, either.

  179Although they also erected a big fence approximately a foot over our property line. Now going out the side door is like shooting out the birth canal.

  180Which is POLAND, not Russia, and likely why the Russian curses my friend Roadie taught me didn’t produce the desired effect.

  181He hates my “guess what’s” almost as much as my “we have to talk’s.”

  182Once we were sitting at the counter at the Salt & Pepper Diner when a bunch of vegans walked in. They all ordered veggie burgers, and we watched the short order cook grill them in a big puddle of bacon grease. We died laughing when we heard them all exclaiming about how delicious the burgers were.

  183Getting a contact buzz on paint fumes is an added bonus.

  184My day was nothing a fistful of Xanax couldn’t cure, but I ran out of them ages ago, so I had an ice-cream bar instead. OK, two ice-cream bars. And some cookies. And a bag of Skittles.

  185I have no proof of this, but I probably don’t need to remind you that it is, in fact, generally all about me.

  186At least in Bucktown our amorous neighbors had the decency to wait until sundown and turned on some music.

  187I wonder if she was sitting on phone books to see over the dashboard. My guess is yes.

  188He’s there all the time. We call him Wavski Gravski.

  189Even in my state, I can’t help but notice that Maisy smells like Fritos. What’s up with that?

  190I don’t think he’s Captain Honesty because of any great moral obligation. Rather, his short-term memory stinks, so it’s easier to just be truthful.

  191My college nickname. My brother was Blaster. For almost a year, one of my best friends in the fraternity didn’t know my real name.

  192Or at least appeared to be in my young mind.

  193And shortly thereafter discovered the joys of overcompensation.

  194The dirty hippies have permanently ruined the Beatles for me. Thanks a lot, assholes.

  195Thank God, our dry cleaner was able to let out the seams, or else I’d feel like a sausage.

  196Which totally smells like Dreamsicles.

  197I still say it was a mistake anyone could have made. They were in a pretty box from a Las Vegas hotel! What kid wouldn’t like them?

  198She is on the mend and can go twelve hours without her pain meds, thus proving that she’s far tougher than I will ever be. Case in point, Fletch once had to confiscate the pills I got when I injured my back. Apparently when he heard me singing the “I-Like-O-Din Vicodin” song, he determined that my usage had become more recreational than medicinal.

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