We’re pretty spread out here in western New Jersey, and there’s a kick-ass balance between “what you do is your business” and “but I am curious about that package, so I’ll help you carry it inside.” Our next door neighbors, Dave and Judy, threw us a welcome party when we first moved in, complete with a homemade banner, and, more importantly, Sangria.
Our neighbor around the corner, Linda, dropped off a bushel of apples from her orchard this fall, while the ones across the street gave us a discount on our Christmas tree (yes, there’s a Christmas tree farm across the street! It’s amazeballs out here, Chipmunks, I’m telling you…even if you do lose power every time an owl sneezes).
As if that wasn’t enough, then there’s our neighbor, Jeff. He’s close to our age, and lives behind us in a gorgeous house. He’s the quintessential neighbor: He owns every power tool under the sun and knows how to use them all, helped us clear trees post Hurricane-Sandy, and leaves delicious food in the mailbox. Peppermeister doesn’t even mind the pepper-growing competition, with Jeff’s garden in plain sight.
This Valentine’s Day, I thought it was time to show Jeff how I really felt. It started with my famous homemade double-chocolate cookies:
And ended with this note:
I must be quick, for Peppermeister does not know of this!
Your seafood sauce was the greatest thing I’ve ever tasted. Bestill my heart!
I’m slowly poisoning Peppermeister.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
-Go Jules Go
Psst…between you and me, Peppermeister is looking a little worse for the wear. It’s only a matter of time, Jeff.
What’s the nicest and/or creepiest thing a neighbor has ever done for you?
Or I am, at least, and I hope you’ll join me over there to read my guest post, which is part of Renee’s #SoWrong (embarrassing stories) series.
This is a very personal story I’ve hoarded like a pile of nuts for winter, and I can’t tell you how excited I am to finally share it with you.
Here’s a sneak peek:
I was 18 years old when my life began.
One balmy summer day, after the Y2K dust finally settled, a young, auburn-haired woman walked into the local book store where I worked. Jenn. The new hire. Nearly half a foot shorter than me, her sundress flapped against ivory legs as she took the new hardcovers to the front of the shop.
We were fast friends, chatting in between placing orders and ringing up customers.
“You were maaaade for retail,” she teased, quoting one of our recent patrons.
I rolled my eyes. I’d gotten the full-time job at the book store at 16, the same year I earned my GED. I was taking classes at the local community college, my sights set on screenwriting. Bullied for glasses, braces, a few spare chins and a penchant for white tights, I was eventually home schooled. I sometimes wondered if ‘old soul’ really meant ‘late bloomer.’
I found the most perfect Valentine’s Day card for you. In fact, words cannot express how perfect it is (other than the words in this card), so, I made you this video. (Sorry about the swearing; I’m just so damn passionate about our relationship.)
This week, Jenn forwarded an email from her mom, and trust me, there’s more where this came from.
To: Jenn (a.k.a. “Butter”…because, well, Jenn won’t tell me why)
From: Jenn’s Mom (a.k.a. “Moth”)
Butter: I understand you sent a reply to my last email, but someone (I won’t say who) Managed to delete it—-I’m sorry, could you please forward it again–thanks!!!Not only does someone (I won’t say who) read my emails, but deletes them (unintentionally), I’ m sure!!!!”Retirement in winter “—–leaves a lot of time on someone’s hands, while your mother is at your grandmother’s cleaning her apartment…..Hope you’re having a good day Butter !!!!I pray to the dear Lord for winter strength-(-till someone has more to do )…….THANKS—–Hugs
And a few minutes later:
No need to send it again sweetheart, just found it in “trash” …..
Got any emails from your old lady you’d like to share? Jenn and I think there could be a new blog feature here. Send them to: Julie.Davidoski@yahoo.com!
***BONUS BACON-FILLED POST: Rachel’s Table is showcasing my spicy turkey meatloaf recipe today!I know. All this [facial hair] and I can cook. I figured I needed a fall-back plan in case my Glee audition doesn’t pan out. Oh, also? If you’re not subscribing to Rachel’s Table, you just made a baby chipmunk cry.***
While mustaches are kinda my thing, and I constantly wax poetic (pun totally intended) about the merits of the handlebar, the Groucho, the walrus, etc., there’s something that’s bothered me for years.
Let’s take a closer look, shall we?
“It’s probably just a shadow,” I told myself. But it continued to eat away at me. For the next five years. I could have been curing cancer, saving tigers Britney, learning sign language, but I was simply too busy worrying about It.
So. Last week I went to the drug store and picked up this:
The instructions mandated that I test it out and wait 24 hours to see if it caused an allergic reaction.
“That’s probably wise,” I thought.
Two seconds later, I was mixing the cream and slathering it on my face.
“If it starts burning, I’ll wipe it off,” I thought.
I waited the recommended 10 minutes, killing time by wondering if horse really tastes as good as people say, and whether Adam Levine’s tattoos make him more or less more sexy.
I don’t think that shiz worked at all. Look!
No but seriously. I think it did the trick. Thank gawd. Now I have time to learn how to sign, “Is Adam Levine a vegetarian?”
Sooo… how about sharing your embarrassing personal grooming stories? No? Um, okay, well, gosh. This is awkward.
This drunk person story has served as a cautionary tale for me for 25 years. I live in a small town where the social life for those of us in the business community revolves around fundraisers for local charities and civic organizations. It was at an after-hours for one such group (Rotary, Kiwanis, I can’t remember). The adult beverages were flowing and I noticed one woman, let’s call her Judy, had imbibed perhaps a bit too freely. She was attractively dressed in a shirt, short skirt, black pantyhose and boots.
Judy staggered into the bathroom and my attention was claimed elsewhere until she reappeared some time later. She came out of the ladies room crying, mascara running down her face. She sobbed, “somebody stole my skirt!”
Judy’s skirt was tucked up in the back of her pantyhose, leaving all the territory south of the waistband open to the interested view of the entire bar.
What lesson do we take away from this? When going out drinking, ALWAYS wear pants.
Fresh Veggies/Gingerlea emailed her entry to me (and yes, she has two blogs because she’s too much awesome for just one!):
If you have ever been to the French Quarter and understand the true depth of what it means to close down a bar in New Orleans, then you know what it feels like to plop down in the back of a cab and have a Cajun cabbie yell, “It’s twenty bucks EXTRA if she pukes!”
New Orleans is a great place to visit. There’s food, fun and folly at every street corner. Literally. I had the displeasure of vacationing there with Ex-Husband #2. Let’s just call him Rectal Payne. He was a pretty fellow, so it was no shocker to have him lead me to one of the more spectacular gay bars in the city, only to have the bartender ask me what I was doing there. I think this was a hint that they wanted me to leave, without Mr. Pretty.
Our adventures took us from the rainbow-covered bar to a horrible dump that was blasting karaoke. It occurred to me that I remembered a terrible rendition of Melissa Etheridge song, and now realized that Rectal Payne simply took me from one gay bar to another. …I’m so naïve sometimes.
I believe this is the bar where I decided to take up smoking cigarettes. If you have ever met me in sober life, you would know that I do not smoke. I vaguely remember the bartender laughing at me while I was complaining about not being about to get that damn cigarette lit. Apparently, I was struggling to light the filter. Marlboro Woman, I am not.
The miracle of drunkenness happened much later. I woke up on the floor under a table. It was a carpeted floor, so I was pretty sure that I wasn’t in a bar anymore. And, it didn’t smell that bad. That was almost reassuring. I was snuggled up to the base of the small table and facing a wall. This is where I had a reality check. Or, more like a “panties on – check.” No pants or shoes, though. That can’t be good. Where the hell was I?
I tried to stay still under the table, just in case. I could hear the loud whirr of an air-conditioner, but no other background noises. I closed my eyes. I decided that I was already in enough trouble, and who knows what happened to Rectal Payne. Since I wasn’t having any pain of my own, I decided I would return to my passed out state and worry about it later.
Fortunately, I awoke from my drunken stupor facing the other direction and realized that I was hugging the side table of my hotel room. Apparently, I had been unable to maintain a horizontal position on the much more comfortable mattress. As the story goes, I slithered from between the bed and the wall to spoon with the side table.
My sigh of relief was quickly replaced by a very quick run to the bathroom to evacuate the dozen raw oysters we had decided to have for a midnight snack. Oh.my.gawd—bad idea. An even worse idea was Rectal Payne leaving his toothbrush out on the counter. Yup. I committed the sin of befouling his toothbrush. No worries. I was then spectacularly distracted by a spontaneous ceiling collapse in the shower.
I was just standing there trying to gather my thoughts when all of the tiles in the shower of the downtown New Orleans Ramada Inn just fell off of the ceiling. Rectal Payne jumped out of bed and screamed like a drag queen missing his favorite high heels.
The staff at the Ramada was more than accommodating and quickly gave us another room. We just called the front desk and they switched us. It was like that happened all of the time? I was in no condition to ask questions, so I just packed up and moved on to the new room.
I told Rectal Payne months later that I had done my best to clean that toothbrush, but he never forgave me. I always thought that was why we ended in divorce. Oysters on his toothbrush. I’m thinking now that it might have had more to do with that gay bar. But, I am certain that oysters are not an aphrodisiac.
Oh, well. I have moved and found a new drinking buddy. We make our own beer and try to keep our cups upright.
Congratulations you two! Julie and I will be in touch via email so you can start discussing your artwork!
Thanks again, everyone, for sharing your stories with such gusto! I owe you a drink.