Life · personal growth

My New Normal in the Time of COVID-19

My new normal is working in my pajamas and not brushing my teeth until noon. I roll out of bed fifteen minutes before the beginning of my work day to make a pot of coffee, feed the cats, and corral my hair with a plastic clip. I don’t even bother brushing it first. No make-up. I haven’t worn a bra in days. It looks like depression.

I sit at my desk in my bedroom for hours. I talk to voices that used to be faces. I sit in virtual meetings on mute so no one can hear the dogs barking in the other room. I leave my new office long enough to say hello to my sister-in-law in the living room, collect my Uber eats delivery, and grab a Diet Coke from the fridge. I’m a hermit with a head-set. My connection to people is a string of instant messages and emails.

My work day ends by closing my laptop—no goodbyes over cubicle walls; no see-you-tomorrows; no drive home to clear my head. It’s like I’ve snapped my fingers and am instantly home. My bedroom is a bedroom again. I take a nap, make dinner, hang-out with the family in the living room (steps away from my “office”), and go to bed at my usual time because tomorrow is a work day. One day is identical to the next and I don’t even care what day of the week it is.

Before COVID-19, I dreaded going to work, not because my job is dreadful, but because I just wanted to stay home and hide from the world. I didn’t realize going to work and being in the world helped me manage my depression. Depression loves my new normal. It’s been trying for years to keep me home in my jammies. It loves that I don’t shower every day or brush my hair. It loves my isolation and our long conversations. It loves that I look like I’ve given up.  It loves that I look like I feel. It loves that it’s my new co-worker I have coffee with in the morning instead of my best friend.

I don’t know how long my new normal will last. We live in a strange, frightening new world. Social distancing is a word I didn’t know existed before the COVID-19 pandemic. Stay-at-home orders, quarantines, and travel bans are part of our everyday language. Personal protective equipment and ventilators are on everyone’s minds. It’s not just my depression that loves my new normal. My anxiety thrives on every uptick of COVID-19 cases and the real possibility of someone I love dying. It’s not my usual fear of death. It’s so much more.

There’s much I don’t have control over right now, but I can define my new normal. It includes hope, hair brushes, and hot showers. It includes creativity in place of naps, FaceTime coffee dates, and inhaling fresh air. It means telling depression and anxiety to keep it down during work hours. I’m thankful I can work from home, and so very grateful for those who leave home to save lives, keep our world running, and give us hope. They normalize the world that is anything but normal right now.

Life

I’ve Been Squirreled!

Having Attention Deficit Disorder as an adult presents some unique challenges, especially when you have to be a productive employee and an attentive mother and wife. A squirrel is no longer an animal in my world. It’s a verb. Sorry, I meant to pay attention to you, but I was squirreled. I would have finished that super important project, but I was squirreled. Damn squirrels! Hey did you see that fat squirrel out the window? Who’s that walking by with the cute dog? I like cats. Hey, here’s a link to a funny cat video. Did you see that fat squirrel?

Here’s a snapshot of my life with ADD.

Jenny at work

Department head: “Jenny, do you have anything you want to say about this super complicated, convoluted policy we just came up with?”

Jenny: Shit. The only thing I heard were the introductions at the beginning of the meeting. Okay, just smile. “Nope. Sounds good to me.”

The absurd, logic-defying policy rolls out.

Jenny: “Who the hell agreed to this?”

Also, Jenny at work

Manager: “Jenny, I need you to write this last minute, super important legislative report by noon today.”

Jenny: “No problem. I’m on it!”

I write a sentence. Oh, an email just popped up on my screen. I better read it. Crap, I need to write this report. Oh, another email. I fall into a rabbit hole of emails that can clearly wait, but I answer anyway. Focus! I write two brilliant sentences. Oh, I need a cup of coffee. Whoops, I just spent fifteen minutes wandering through cubicles on my way back from getting my coffee that’s now lukewarm. A few more sentences. Hey, what’s this piece of paper you just put on my desk? Nothing important? Great, let me read it in detail and make edits. Oh, another email! I better go to the bathroom. Now, what was I working on? Shit! The report! Manager walks by. “How’s the report coming along?” “Almost done,” I say. 11:45 – I write like a bat out of hell with super-focused precision for fifteen straight minutes and finish the report. “Nice work, Jenny.”

Jenny at home

I better clean the kitchen. Oh, this random thing doesn’t belong here. I’ll put it in the office. Wow, what a mess. I need to rearrange things in here. Oh, this is something the kids made when they were little. I better put it in my special treasure trove. I spend the next hour going through every single treasure. Better let the dog out. I wander outside with him. Ugh, these weeds. I start pulling weeds and then notice the patio furniture is in disarray. Wow, the patio needs a good sweeping. I go into the garage to get the push broom. Hey, I left a glass out here in the garage. Weird. I better go put it in the kitchen sink. I start to empty the dishwasher. Ugh, these cupboards of full of things we don’t need. Better open every cupboard and pile everything on the kitchen counter. This junk drawer is a mess, too. The contents of the drawer are dumped onto the counter to sort through. It looks like a bomb went off in the kitchen. I now have an overflowing Goodwill box and a full trash can. That made me thirsty! I open the fridge to get a Diet Coke. Wow, what a mess. I start cleaning out the fridge and now the sink is full of dirty Tupperware. I start washing the dishes again. Geez, I wonder why I feel so tired. Babe, I’ll finish the dishes after my nap. I wake up. Not a dish in the sink. My sweet husband washed them.

Jenny during conversations with her family:

Mike: “Babe, listen to this hilarious story. I’m going to say the person’s name I’m talking about fifteen times.” The story concludes.

Jenny: “Wait, who are you talking about?”

Kylie: “Mom, I want to talk to you about this problem at work.”

Jenny: “I’m all ears.”

Kylie: “So, what do you think I should do?”

Jenny: “About what? Hey, do you want to go to Starbucks?”

Jenny writing

I can’t use the word distracted again. Let me use the thesaurus on my phone. Hey, I got a Facebook notification. I spend the next hour stalking people on social media, reading random articles posted by a friend, and watching a few funny cat videos. Right, I need to get back to writing. I look up distracted in the thesaurus. Oh, frenzied is a fun word. That leads me to the word corybantic. Wow, what does that mean? I look up the definition. Oh, it means frenzied. Back to the thesaurus. Oh, berserk is a neat word. I then start singing the berserker song from the movie Clerks. Hey, I wonder if that actor is in anything else. I then fall down the IMDB rabbit hole and don’t find my way out until forty-five minutes later. Oh yeah, I’m supposed to be writing. What’s another word for distracted? Let me check the thesaurus.

Never a dull moment, my friends.

Uncategorized

Hope is a Gift

Hope is the thing with feathers

That perches in the soul

And sings the tune without the words

and never stops at all

Emily Dickinson

Hope has been the one constant in my life, even as a child. I may not have had a word for it, but I believed things would be better one day. I believed every hurt and fearful moment would pass, and I just needed to hang on a moment longer. So, I tightened my grip until it was safe to let go.

I’ve always had hope, it just looked and felt differently at different times in my life. As a child, hope saved me. It was the only thing I truly had. As a young adult struggling with depression, I had hope I would feel better again because hope carried me through much worse. As a young mother, I had hope my children would know how much they were loved because I had so much love to give. I had hope for their future and that they would grow into the people they were always meant to be. When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I had hope that no matter the outcome, I would be at peace because I was surrounded by those who loved me.

I’ve been gifted with hope. Even when I question everything in this world, my belief in hope is unwavering, not because I choose to see things differently, but because it has proven itself to be real in my life. I hope for the best, even though I know not everything will be as I hoped. I believe anyway. I have hope in the midst of despair and uncertainty, especially now. We must have hope for this world and our future. Otherwise, all is lost, and I refuse to belief that it ends this way. I refuse to live in a world without hope.

I have hope, even though our world may be different after the pandemic, we will continue to love, dream, and believe in our collective future. We were meant to be hopeful, and when we hope together, we fight for a better world. It gives us strength. It inspires us to create, persevere, believe in our abilities, and triumph.

Hope truly perches in our soul.

Uncategorized

Thank Goodness I’m Not a Good Wife

Creepy AF

I was packing up my 80-year-old mother-in-law’s kitchen to move her into her new home across the street from us. That’s a whole other story, my friends. I came across her copy of Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book. Maybe this was new fifty-five years ago judging by the pictures and yellow pages. I’m pretty sure my mother-in-law rarely used this cookbook from the stories I’ve heard about her cooking. I couldn’t throw it in the Goodwill box. I was strangely drawn to it.

Here is what I’ve learned from this cookbook:

1. I’m a horrible mother and wife for not making my family breakfast every morning and sitting them down at an “attractive as possible” breakfast table.”  Clearly, the fend- for- yourself breakfast is a no-no. “Try to serve each member of your family the foods he particularly likes.” What? Who has time for that non-sense? You get cereal! And you get cereal! “You won’t have to force your family to eat if you set out a breakfast that smells, looks, and tastes good.” Force my family to eat? Eat what I cook or go make your own damn meal.

2. If I didn’t already feel like a failure at breakfast, I might as well jump in front of a train as punishment for the dinners I prepare. “Plan each dinner with as much thought and care as a company meal.” Right. Plan. My planning involves stopping at the grocery store after work and wandering the aisles trying to figure out what I can throw together quickly because I’m tired as hell from working all day. Even worse, I don’t serve coffee and dessert after dinner. Fail.

3. “Plan meals the easy way.” I’m directed to choose items from six columns: meat, starchy food, vegetable, salad, dessert, and “nice to serve.” Six fricking columns! On a really good day, my family gets three columns worth of food. The meat column is a choice of beef in all its glorious forms (steak, ribs, loaf, and corned) and one chicken option – chicken fried steak. The starchy food column is every single way you could possibly serve a potato. Just about every thing is buttered in the vegetable section. Way to go butter! If you struggle to eat a salad, this column will not help you. I would rather eat a bowl of snot than a molded vegetable salad. Come to think of it, maybe those are the same thing. Pear and cream cheese salad? Pass. If I were to serve dessert, it would be whatever pre-made thing I grab from the bakery section of Safeway. Homemade desserts. As if. I could probably pull off the “nice to serve” column. Here’s your dill pickles and grape juice. Enjoy.

4. If you really want to torture someone and make sure they never eat again, serve something from the “meals built around a variety of meats” section. Maybe I’m wrong. Someone must be into liver loaf, scrambled brains (from what, I don’t know), and stuffed veal hearts.

5. Another reason I suck as a wife and mother. No one gets a packed lunch. “A good general rule for planning lunch-box meals is: pack something hearty, something sweet, something good to drink, and something for a surprise.” The surprise would be if I actually packed a lunch. Here’s your lunch money. Try to buy something resembling food.

6. Just in case you didn’t know, “meat is money—take care of it.”

7. I tell you what, if I’m at a party that serves hors d’oeuvres consisting of codfish balls, anchovy puffs, and liver pinwheel canapes, I’m out.

8. Here’s the intro to the casserole section: “Park dinner in the oven to look after itself while you greet guests, catch up on your mending, or just relax a little.” Mending? Who do they think I am? We have learned to live with holes in our socks.

9. Anyone in the mood for a baked prune whip?

10. Table settings? “Have a sufficient variety of everyday dinnerware, too, so your family won’t tire of the same setting meal after meal, day in and day out.” Listen, I’m not moving the table into the living room. We’re just fine eating off our mix-matched, chipped, dinnerware in front of the T.V. And by the way, the kids wouldn’t notice our dinnerware if it was on fire.

I haven’t used an actual cookbook in quite a while. I have a smart phone and Pinterest. Maybe that’s why I love these old books.

Bon appétit!

Family · Life

One Sassy Mother

Jenny with sassy girl #1
Jenny with sassy girl #2

I’m a sassy gal. It goes without saying that I’m a sassy mom who raised sassy, strong women. I’m honest in a way that is completely inappropriate and embarrassing. My grown daughters share with me the bits of wisdom and advice I gave them during their formative years and I can’t believe my absolute absurdity. I either sugar-coated the shit out of something or told them the good, bad, and ugly. I either told them everything or nothing at all. There was no in-between. There are things I wish I would have told them when they were younger, like my struggle with depression, but I didn’t want them to worry. Maybe they did and I just didn’t know.

A lot of times, I gave my girls a heaping pile of sass with a side order of unwelcomed advice and attitude. I sprinkled in my opinions, observations, nagging suspicions, and worry. When they gave it back, I was petty, pushed buttons, and pouted. It was hard to tell the teenager from the mother. I shared my moodiness and negativity willingly, even though no one wanted it.

I have a sassy sense of humor that can be a little dark and questionable. Does that stop me from sharing it without discretion? Absolutely not. I will say the craziest, most incredulous nonsense just to hear my girls’ authentic, addictive laughter.

If you want to see real sass, I dare you—I double dog dare you—to mess with my girls. I won’t fight for myself, but I will go medieval when it comes to my beauties. I won’t be polite about it and I won’t compromise. I won’t back down until you back away. I will not hesitate to rip your face off, figuratively of course.  I’m not a psychopath.

Yes, I’m a sassy, stubborn mother. I’m a little bit of a handful. But I’m also the mother who encourages her girls to dream, chase adventure, be true to themselves, live in awe of the moon and the stars, love deeply, and love life. I’m the mother who reminds them they are brave, brilliant, and so much bigger than any challenge that comes their way. I champion them, cheer for them, and celebrate them.

I am the mother who loves them to infinity and beyond.

Uncategorized

A Few of My Favorite Things

My favorite thing is my 30 year love affair with my husband.

Who hasn’t hummed or sang My Favorite Things from The Sound of Music? I guess not everyone was held captive by their grandma and forced to watch musicals as a kid. It’s a catchy tune even if the list of favorite things is bananas. My list doesn’t include bright copper kettles or woolen mittens, but to each her own. I’m fascinated by the thought that everyone’s lists are different—it’s what makes everyone so unique.

What if instead of asking people what they do for a living the first time you meet, you ask about their favorite things?  You would get to know them on a whole new level. Have I done this? Not before this morning when I asked my sister. Everyone is going to say the people they love, but how many people love fat puppy bellies? My sweet sister does and so do I. Just the thought of it makes me smile.

There are the big categories of favorite things like kids, family, animals, jobs, hobbies, etc. I’m more interested in the specifics. To me, kids are little balls of chaos, but one of my favorite things is watching them draw or paint. They are totally free—no worries about perfection or criticism. I don’t want to hold a baby, but I do love those open mouth kisses that gobble your cheek and the smell of their hair freshly washed with baby shampoo.

I love my bratty weenie dog, but my favorite thing is when he burrows under the blankets and all I can see is his sweet face and big brown eyes framed by his old man eyebrows. I love my cats, but my favorite thing is when they visit me while I take a bubble bath to keep my company. Of course, I love my kids but my favorite thing is hearing them laugh at something completely absurd I’ve said. I love writing, but my favorite thing is when I string together a few words that end up being perfect together. I mostly like my job, but my favorite thing is having that first cup of coffee (with the perfect amount of creamer) with my friend who is more like a sister. It goes without saying that I love my husband, but one of my favorite things is, when I’m spinning out of control, he kisses me and everything is instantly better.

Some of my favorite things are just for me to know, but here are a few in no particular order:

  • A full golden moon.
  • Sunsets that light up the clouds with fuchsia and gold.
  • Birds chirping all around me while I read outside.
  • Internet videos of unlikely animal friendships.
  • My husband wrapping me in a blanket right out of the dryer.
  • Finding the perfect gift for someone and being so excited I can’t wait to give it.
  • Having lunch with my girls before they run errands with me.
  • Making people laugh because I’m too sassy for my own good.
  • Bubble baths with lavender oil.
  • Listening to my oldest daughter break into song in the middle of Target.
  • Going to a Blue October concert with my favorite concert buddy.
  • My youngest daughter saying something so unexpectedly funny that I can’t stop laughing.
  • Eating all the chocolate covered caramels from a box of chocolates before anyone else has a chance to grab them.
  • Looking through people’s photo albums.
  • Watching my mother-in-law laugh so hard it looks like her face is going to crack in half.
  • My oldest sister’s reaction to shirtless pictures of Chris Hemsworth.
  • My youngest sister exchanging move lines from Stepbrothers with my husband.
  • Seeing a folded towel in the morning left for me on the edge of the bathtub by my husband.
  • Holding hands with my honey while we lay in bed watching television.
  • The way my brother hugs me like he is keeping me from floating away.
  • When my sister says turds and wieners to make me laugh.
  • Sleeping Beauty and sassy Tinker Bell.
  • Seeing a picture of my husband with my youngest daughter at a Blazer game.
  • Snuggling up in my favorite blanket while watching movies with my husband.
  • Reading a line from a book that makes me wish I had written it.
  • An unexpected bouquet of roses.

When I’m having a hard day, “I simply remember my favorite things and then I don’t feel so bad.”

What are your favorite things?

Life · personal growth

What if?

My best decision was marring my best friend in 1990.

It’s human nature to ask what if. What if I said yes instead of no? What if I chose the road less traveled? What if I left home three seconds later or turned left instead of right? What if everything was different?

Life is a series of choices. Sometimes your life is shaped by the choices made by others before you even knew you had a voice. Sometimes the choices you make have a profound impact on those closest to you, and even those with whom you may have shared a handful of moments. Every second presents us with choices to make, some mundane and insignificant, but others shatter your world—the life you made for yourself, dreams you chased, a future you thought for sure was certain. Sometimes life presents you with one opportunity to make the right choice. Sometimes we get to make the same choice time and again until we learn to choose better. Sometimes we never learn.

My life has been a series of calculated choice—each decision led me away from a life of poverty, addiction, and abuse. I chose hope. I chose to end cycles that passed from one generation to the next. I chose me. I could have easily made other choices, no one would have blamed me if I had, but I wanted more for myself. It wasn’t going to be gifted to me. I fought for it.

What if my parents would have made different choices? Would I be as stubborn and strong as I am now if I hadn’t struggled every day until I left for college? Would I choose to be as compassionate as I am now if I didn’t know what it felt like to carry around pain and fear I collected as a kid? Would I be as creative as I am now if writing and reading stacks of books hadn’t been my only escape from a chaotic, violent homelife? Would I be as hopeful as I am now if hope had not been the only thing I had growing up? Would I diligently manage my mental health now if I had not watched depression and drug addiction destroy my parents? I could choose to see the tragedy in each choice my parents made, but instead I choose to see triumph. That which did not kill me makes me stronger. That may be true, but it sure hurts like hell.

What if I would have made different choices? I’ve made choices out of fear that absolutely broke my heart. I’ve made decisions I knew were right, but hurt those I love. I chose with my heart instead of reason, and chose reason when my heart begged me not to. I chose to be stubborn and irreverent, when being open-hearted and open-minded would have made all the difference. I chose skepticism over faith, pessimism over positivity, pride over humility, and doubt over confidence. I chose passivity when I should have shouted from the rooftop and anger instead of forgiveness. I chose denial when confronted with facts and chose to believe my worst fears couldn’t possibly be true.

But I chose to try again, knowing I can be better.

There are choices I am so proud I made—being hopeful, going to college, reaching out for help, marrying my best friend, getting out of bed every day, buying a home, raising strong, sassy girls, loving with my whole heart, writing, letting my self be vulnerable when I needed to and strong when I had to, and never giving up.

What if I am living the life I’ve always wanted?

I am.

Uncategorized

Don’t Care How, I Want It Now!

I think we can all agree Veruca Salt was an asshole—a spoiled, impatient brat who got what she deserved. She was a bad egg who took a quick trip down Willy Wonka’s garbage chute. Was it really her fault she was such a turd? Her parents were enablers—the Oompa Loompas nailed it. In her parents’ defense, raising kids is super frickin’ hard and all you want is for them to be happy. So, maybe I’m being too hard on Veruca.

I’m an impatient brat, too. My impatience borders on assholery. I hate waiting for anything. I whine about it, become indignant, and pout. Don’t care how, I want it now! It doesn’t matter what it is. I need instant gratification. The say patience is a virtue. Well, that’s one of many virtues I don’t have. When I instant message, I want an instant response. I want all green lights. I want you to like my latest Facebook nonsense now. I want. I want. I want.

Sometimes waiting is exciting—welcoming beautiful daughters into the world. But even my body didn’t like to wait. My uterus kicked those kids out early. I busted out of my mom’s uterus almost three months early (seriously, I do not like to wait).

Sometimes waiting is foolish—expecting someone to be who you always needed them to be, knowing in your heart you will never come first.

Sometimes waiting is heartbreaking—holding my grandma’s hand after all the machines tethering her to this world were turned off.

Sometimes waiting is unexpected—a letter inviting me back for a diagnostic mammogram.

The hardest part of having breast cancer was waiting. Every minute waiting for appointments, procedures, biopsy results, surgery, and a treatment plan felt like an eternity. Everything moved so quickly, but felt like it was in slow motion. From the time of my screening mammogram to when the lump was removed, one month passed. I felt every single second in that month and so did my husband. The week it took to get the biopsy results back was the hardest—do I have cancer? Maybe I don’t. Maybe it’s a bit of harmless boob garbage. Maybe I’ll die. Maybe I won’t. Don’t worry. Maybe I should worry more. Nothing will change. Everything will change. That week made me dizzy.

 I got the call Friday afternoon going into a holiday weekend—invasive ductal carcinoma. After the lumpectomy, there was more waiting—is the cancer in my lymph nodes? It wasn’t. Do I need chemo? I didn’t. Is it in my genes? It’s not. Radiation and medication. Two years later, I wait for mammogram results in the mail just like everyone else. Although my risk of reoccurrence is low, I will always wonder if the cancer will become an unwanted visitor again. I guess I’ll just have to wait and see.

You would think that experience taught me patience. Nope. I’m still as impatient as ever. It did teach me that waiting can be a gift. A wait is full of moments—another day with my family, a second chance, a celebration of dreams realized, apologies and forgiveness, and love to the moon and back.

Life is worth the wait.

personal growth · Uncategorized

Did I Actually Write That Nonsense?

The one thing I have perfected as a writer is the beginning of a story—no middle or end; no inciting incident; no idea where it’s going or what it wants to be. I then squirrel it away for years, sometimes twenty. I was a completely different person twenty years ago and it is painfully obvious when I re-read the words of a twenty-something aspiring writer who never cracked open a thesaurus. It does make me appreciate how far I’ve come and am excited to say I’ve had several of my short stories published. It wouldn’t hurt to dust off The Chicago Manual of Style. Who am I kidding? I bought the laminated tri-fold. Its quality is described on Amazon—water resistant, lightweight, compact, and durable. My writing has two of those same qualities. I’ll let you be the judge.

For your reading pleasure, here are the gems I dug out of my squirrel nest. Be prepared to be underwhelmed:

  • “Mitch’s enthusiasm could be seen by the blind and heard by the deaf.” Let me first apologize to the blind and deaf communities. That one is painful.
  • “He would have noticed two damp towels laying on the cold bathroom floor.” Ugh, seriously? Does anyone care the bathroom floor was cold and the towels damp? Lazy.
  • “Her limp, mousy hair falls straight… hanging lifeless over her shoulders.” An ellipsis has no business in this sentence. These words have no business in this sentence. What the fuck is mousy hair? So embarrassing.
  • “She would rather pluck out her own eyes than let anyone see her hurt.” Uhm, that’s not how vision works.  People can still see you even if you pluck out your own eyes. I want to pluck out my eyes so I can’t see this horrible writing.
  • “Although she loves Chris and has allowed him to explore every curve of her body, she has not let him inside her soul. He has tried to scale them, but he always loses his footing and falls to the hard ground below. So, he stands outside of those walls and licks his wounds.” First off, I just threw up in my mouth. “Let him inside her soul?” That’s not a thing. The thought of him licking his wounds just made me throw up again.
  • “Janie worked six nights a week at Heartstone Nursing Center, changing Attends and cleaning up vomit off the cold linoleum floor.” What is up with these cold floors? Heartstone? What a marketing nightmare. Do you really want your mom staying at a stone-hearted facility?
  • “Even when you don’t know where you’re going, you end up somewhere, usually at a place called Regret.” I think I was trying to be deep. Did you see what I did there? Regret is the name of the town. So, so bad.
  •  “I went to wash my hands as to not spread germs.” That’s just the right thing to do, people! Good hygiene is everyone’s business.
  • “Maggie, her legs crossed” – that’s it, folks. Not even a period or point. I didn’t even finish the sentence. The story just stops.
  • “Maggie lay supine on the hospital bed with her eyes closed.” That’s a little clinical and redundant.
  • “Tim kissed Maggie’s parched lips ever so gently, yet passionately enough to remind her that she was still alive. It was like an unexpected rainstorm over the desert in which the dry earth drew long awaited water to its depths.” What a sloppy, disgusting kiss! So gross, Tim! Keep your saliva to yourself.
  • “As he left, the majestic pink petals of the single rose fell to the floor.” That’s ineffectually dramatic and ridiculous. What the hell are majestic petals? Get it together, Jenny.
  • “His voice was small and fragile, as if the words he struggled to speak would slip from his tongue on to the cold, grey pavement.” It’s not just bathroom floors that are cold, my friends.

I leave you with this gem. “The house was a hideous gold-brown color that reminded me of baby poop.” Yep, I actually wrote that. Jealous much?