A Little Chat About Jenny Craig

At the beginning of this summer, while I was down in DC visiting family, my aunt took a photograph of me and all of my cousins standing together. It should’ve been a beautiful shot; we had posed in her garden, the light was mid-afternoon light, and it was the first time we’d all been together as adults.

When I saw the photo on Facebook, though, I gasped audibly. We’ll put it this way: my first thought wasn’t, “Awesome, I totally had that whole ‘John Goodman-meets-Jiminy Glick’ thing going for me that day!” I was totally bummed that I had ruined what could have been a lovely memento by looking like I should’ve been wearing a burlap sack and ringing the village bell.

My aunt had joined Jenny Craig a few weeks earlier, and soon after I saw the photo, I went with her to one of her meetings and to pick up her week’s allotment of food. For those of you who haven’t been blessed with a hearty appetite for pie and/or Lady Television: Jenny Craig is a weight loss program on which you eat ONLY Jenny Craig food (and vegetables) until you’ve reached the halfway point to your goal weight.

At the Jenny center, two different women asked me if I needed help while I was waiting for my aunt. I figured this probably meant that the Eileen Fisher shmata I was wearing was not doing as great a job of concealing my girth as I had previously thought. Then I figured I should probably join Jenny Craig.

So I joined Jenny Craig. And lost all this weight. Just kidding! I paid hundreds of dollars to gain five pounds and get harangued about being fat for a month.


A Hair’s Tale

When I was 16, I had my hair chemically straightened for the first time by a surly gentleman in a hair salon in Koreatown. It was a surreal experience; the whole process took – I kid you not – 8 hours, and I was left with a lasting memory when the guy BURNT MY SCALP so badly that the hairs on that patch of head don’t grow right anymore.

Anyway, since then, I’ve been on a quest to find my holy grail of hair conditioners. When I saw that Ulta was selling something online called a ‘Macadamia Natural Oil Deep Repair Masque,’ I knew I had to have it. It seemed so exotic – and people said it magically transformed their hair from dry, straw-like birds’ nests into silky, touchable Mermaid hair. I bought it.

The little brown package finally arrived in the mail a few weeks later. As I was opening the wrapping, I could hear a chorus of angels softly humming a Take 6 song. I felt like King Arthur. And when I finally untwisted the top of the jar and smelled the glory of the Macadamia nut? Well, hey, I’ll admit it – I cried a little bit.

I decided the best way to make use of this ‘masque’ would be to leave it on overnight. That way, it would have time to work into my poor, dry hair, and in the morning, I would look like Alessandra Ambrosio. When I finally rinsed it out, I decided not to put anything else in my hair, to just let it dry naturally. You know, mermaid hair, a chorus of angels, etc., etc. And so I let it dry.

It was like a scene out of a horror movie when, a few hours later, I finally looked in the mirror and saw a member of the Westboro Baptist Church staring back at me.

Attention, Woman in Line at Duane Reade:

Hello there, Miss Lady! You know, I can’t really think of a more embarrassing or revolting duo of goods to buy at the drugstore than Monistat and rubbing alcohol. Congratulations on being the 3pm winner of ‘The Grossest Lady in Duane Reade’ Award (and no, you cannot shake my hand)!

Also, there’s a great website called Drugstore.com where you can buy all sorts of crazy things without anyone judging the shit out of you like I’m doing right now. You might want to check it out when you’re feeling more up to task.

Occupy My ASS!

Yesterday, I was down by Union Square Park, which is where the Occupy Wall Street crew has migrated. Those Occupiers are really something. One girl was wearing ratty, cropped khakis with no shoes, and in between taking drags on her cigarette, she was blowing a vuvuzela. First of all, if you’re not trying to be the most abrasive, fucking irritating person of all time, then don’t blow a freaking vuvuzela. The sound of it makes me feel like my spine has been severed. My first instinct was to go over to her and punch her lights out, but then I saw someone even stranger: a real, live WARLOCK dressed in a purple robe and weird pointy hat staggering around with incense in his hand. Can someone please explain to me how dressing up like Snape and burning Nag Champa is going to help fix our economy? GRR!

In which Caroline talks about Old New York.

If I could pick any year and place to time travel back to, I would chose 1899 in New York City. Preferably, the night in question would be like it is tonight – cold, windy and desolate – so that I would be able to walk around old New York without having to talk to anyone. Actually, now that I think about it, who the hell am I kidding? My walking around alone in New York City in 1899 would probably result in a man with an old-timey mustache and filthy hat beating the shit out of me for wearing pants and then stealing my coat.

I like to romanticize the past when I read about it, though. What’s that, you say? Most of the city used to smell like the Devil’s foot? Whatever! People wore monocles back then, and that is undeniably awesome. It’s really just that it sounds like the New York of the past was a lot more vibrant than the New York of right now – at least downtown, since it’s always been stuffy and pretentious above 14th Street (aside from in Hell’s Kitchen, where Battle Annie’s Gopher Girls, numbering in the hundreds, were known to engage in gang fights in the 1870s. Now THAT’S what I’m talking about). Back then, people enjoyed simple pleasures like sitting and talking with a friend for a few hours, undistracted by smartphones – or any phones. There was nothing else they could do, really – they were fighting to survive and working their asses off to get by. Plus, there was no pressure from the media to be richer, be cooler or have more stuff. If you had extra money, you used it to buy a new coat (unless you were lucky enough to come upon a lady time traveler who didn’t know her place, in which case: bottoms up, good Sir).

This New York appeals to me, perhaps expressly because I can observe it from afar without having to experience it. It’s easier to romanticize the past than the present, that’s for sure, and I like thinking of a time when every other store in this town wasn’t a bank, nail salon or Starbucks. Damn you, global community! Damn you to hell!