Pumpkin pie and WTF, girlfriend


It’s possible I am not, empirically speaking, a “good girlfriend,” or a “good person.” I have peeled away from curbs, leaving men who only moments earlier were passengers in my car stranded on the side of the road (and not gone back for them). I once kicked a very handsome young urban planner out of my apartment at 2 a.m. because he’d failed to give me an orgasm. I also kicked a very handsome business-type person out of my apartment at 2 a.m. because we were done having sex and I just couldn’t see the point in him staying.

And these were the people I liked!

Over the years, men (and women) have said the following things to me:

  • “I will never forgive you!”
  • “Whoa! That’s cold!”
  • “You’re a bottom feeder!”

The last one still makes me laugh, which only seems to further prove that I’m not a good person on, like, the inside.

Strong Jawline, my provider of intercourse for the past six months, has been extremely patient with me using him for target practice. To wit, this is a transcript of a recent conversation we had in bed:

Jenny: Why are you wearing a T-shirt?
SJ: Because I’m cold.
Jenny: But why are you wearing a bright white T-shirt? Are you trying to blind me?
SJ (ignoring me and opening his 300-pound hardback about the Spanish Civil War. Then): Is the Warsaw Ghetto in Berlin?
Jenny: (Bursts out laughing, reaches for phone.)
SJ: No! Do not put that in your blog!
Jenny: Please?
SJ: No! (Settles back in to read.)
Jenny: Hey, SJ.
SJ: (Ignores me.)
Jenny: Where’s the Seattle Space Needle?
SJ: It’s just the Space Needle.
Jenny: Where’s the St. Louis Arch?
SJ: Jenny.
Jenny: (Crying laughing.) Where’s the Washington Monument? Where’s Arlington National Cemetery? Where’s the Leaning Tower of Pisa? Where’s Niagara Falls?
SJ: Your blog is funniest when it’s at your own expense.
Jenny: (Wipes away tears, typing.) You’re the only one who thinks that.

Then, the other day, we were driving to a movie, with SJ regaling me with tales of growing up on the mean streets of Portland, Oregon.

Jenny: Portland was dangerous?
SJ: Oh, yeah. There were these guys in downtown Portland who would hang out in clumps and beat you up and take your money.
Jenny: What? Did that happen to you?
SJ: Yes.
Jenny: Wow. That’s terrible.
SJ: Well. No. They didn’t beat me up.
Jenny: (Sniffs.) Sounds like you gave them your money.


Guess who all this reminds me of?

Rose: For your Dad’s birthday we’re going to the zoo. I don’t want to go to the zoo, but it’s his birthday so I’m going to the zoo.
Jenny: Dad, you want to go to the zoo?
Dave: In the primate house it’s really difficult because you have to push all these kids out of the way. And the enclosures have all this 1 1/2-inch-thick glass on them. So you can push your nose up against the orangutans and the chimps. I like that.
Jenny: Mom, you don’t sound excited.
Rose: I’m going because it’s his birthday.
Jenny: Are you going to take the cooking class with Dad? (I bought Dad a coupon for a cooking class in Chicago.)
Rose (under the lifelong impression that she’s being tactful): I think your dad should take full advantage of it on his own.

Also, like me, my mother is always spoiling for a fight. Last spring she texted me and my aunt about her ongoing war with “Agata,” her first cousin, downstairs neighbor, and nightmare landlord:

Rose: First [Agata] fight of summer: took a break from gardening and [Agata] put my bucket – which was on the grass – in my garden bed. Seems it was in her way although she was working in her garden. We did a [Agata’s mother]/[Agata] thing shouting across the yard. Me: Do not touch my garden! Her: It’s my dirt under that garden!

My aunt: You are asking for it! Hahaha

Rose: I am ready!

After another recent movie, as Strong Jawline was driving us home, conversation turned to how we met online six months ago:

Jenny: Two of your three profile pictures were not good. Your main one was good. The second one was not good. You looked like a middle-aged doofus in a Hawaiian shirt.
SJ: I was in a Hawaiian shirt?
Jenny: And the third one was not good. All my pictures were great. I’m glad we can talk like this.
SJ: (Quiet for a moment.) I really missed you this week. It’s like cocaine. I don’t feel it doing anything. But then for some reason I want more.

Fortunately, SJ can hold his own. Recently we had a phone conversation in which he realized his phone was dying:

SJ: Oh. I have 10 percent on my phone.
Jenny: (Pointedly) Where’s your charger?
SJ: In my bedroom.
Jenny: (More pointedly) Where are you?
SJ: In the living room. (Yawn.) If things get really interesting, I’ll walk down the hall.


This pumpkin pie recipe, slightly adjusted from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything, is SO MUCH BETTER THAN LIBBY’S. Also, Strong Jawline made this pie, because even though I’m not a good person he has not yet tired of regular intercourse, which is how male-female relationships work. You need:

  • Frozen organic pie crust
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • Pinch ground cloves
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 cups fresh pumpkin purée (Get a pumpkin, but not the overgrown grocery store kind. Roast it. Scoop out the meat, enough for two cups.)
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream

You need to:

  • Heat oven to 375°.
  • Roll out pie crust (with plenty of flour so it doesn’t stick to whatever you’re rolling it on and whatever you’re rolling it with).
  • Poke pie crust into pie pan; make sure edges are up to/over rim of pie pan so crust doesn’t shrink in the oven. Weight center with something oven-safe so it doesn’t bubble up. Bake until just set, 3-4 minutes (I think).
  • Beat eggs and sugar.
  • Add spices and salt; stir.
  • Add pumpkin; stir.
  • Add milk and cream; stir.
  • Put pie pan with crust on a baking sheet. Pour pumpkin mixture into crust.
  • Put pie pan in the oven and bake for 35 minutes.
  • Let cool in pan on a baking rack.

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