To my future daughter. Or son. Or dog(s).

To my future daughter. Or son. Or dog.

You’re beautiful (to me anyway) and probably naïve (like me). I hope you have inherited my eyes and my quick wit, and hopefully you haven’t inherited my constant need for affirmation and Burger King.

I made you a list of lessons, live by them. Hopefully I’ll be around to tell them to you in person, if not – I’ll be right back, I’m probably just watching reruns of Parks and Recreation.

1. There is no shame in eating a donut. Or two donuts. Don’t tell anyone about the third. Make fun of the fourth. When you make fun of your own shortcomings, you own them.

2.  Never let anyone walk on you – emotionally or physically. (Basically, you don’t know where their feet have been and sometimes people look like they weigh less than they actually do).

3. When someone asks you how much you weigh – smile, look them in the eye and say, “not enough”. Pull out a pack of Oreos and don’t offer them any.

4. Don’t just give yourself to anyone. This includes your time, money, love, affection, body, and chicken nuggets. All of these things are precious and should be treated as such.

5. Be where you are. But if you are somewhere you don’t want to be, call me and I’ll pick you up. Or pretend to text someone really important.

6. Don’t let a boy (or girl) dictate your happiness. You dictate your happiness. Follow your joy – whether that’s religion, or love, or the ocean. Follow it.

7. We all pee our pants past the age of fifteen. I think. It happens to everyone. I think.

8. If you are anything like me, you talk faster than your brain can think. Know the right time to be talking about hot topics like marriage equality, and feminism and the store Hot Topic.

9. Know your strengths – build on them. Know your weaknesses – work on them. Know your way back home – to me. Know your future is bright – so bright you can’t even quite see where it’s headed yet.

10. Smile when you’re happy. Frown when you’re sad. Scream when you’re mad. Feel what you are feeling, you don’t have to pretend you are okay.

11. Fall in-love with yourself first. Someday someone else will come along that falls for you – I want you to understand why. In order to let them properly love you, you need to love yourself. Love yourself like Kanye loves Kanye.

12. It’s okay to be skinny, it’s okay to be chunky. It’s okay to be quiet and it’s okay to be loud. It’s not okay to be an asshole.

13. Lastly, and most importantly, know that your mother didn’t know anything at the age of 20 (and neither do you). These are just guidelines, as thought up by someone who doesn’t really have her shit together. Someday, when I meet you, I probably will still be wrong about a lot of things. A few things I know I’m not wrong about: I love you. I love me. Fall is the best season. Nick Jonas is the hottest Jonas Brother. Everyone cries to Coldplay.

(I’m actually not sure that Nick is the hottest. So, I guess I don’t know a lot of things for sure.)

Love always,

Your mother.

An Open Letter To The Tourists of PEI

Dear Tourist visiting from away,

I love you. I really do. I love that you like to wave to me while riding the Harbour Hippo and I like that we get uncomfortably close because you walk too slow on Queen street. I understand PEI is a tourist destination (and I love that), but also please understand that everything you are doing and asking right now has been done and asked by one million other tourists, and it was probably more exciting when they were a B-List celebrity.

Here is a list of 10 things you will do/say while on PEI, we expect it.

10. Sit With John A MacDonald. Let’s be fair, a majority of us have also taken a photo with Sir John A. amongst our youth (or drunken nights), but tourists take it to the next level. How many ladies have I seen sit on John A’s lap? An uncomfortable amount.

9. Ask where Anne is buried. I don’t know how many dreams I have crushed, trying to use hand gestures to explain to Japanese tourists that Anne isn’t here and at no point actually existed. I have, on a few occasions, sent tourists to Lucy Maud’s grave. I’m not proud of it, but it happened.

8. No I don’t know anything about potatoes and lobsters just because I’m an Islander. But to be fair, I actually do know a lot about potatoes. Don’t stereotype me though.

7. Wonder why there are so many automobiles. I have had a guest ask me why there are so many cars here, since everything is within walk distance. The same guest asked me how long it would take to walk to Tignish, which I promptly answered with “why are you going to Tignish?”

6. No disrespect to Tignish. 

5. Wonder where they can get Lobster. Literally anywhere, practically everyone serves lobster. You can get lobster out of the Superstore parking lot. You can get lobster at McDonalds (my grandmother would like you all to know their McLobster is good AND cheaper than Subway lobster sandwiches)

Screen Shot 2014-07-07 at 8.01.54 PM

4. Wear their bathing suits everywhere because “Life’s a beach on PEI”. Yes, but at the WalMart we generally wear clothes. **I should put a disclaimer, because I have seen a naked man at WalMart once and it was just as impressive as it sounds.**

3. Can you take our picture? How many times have you been walking downtown, when an overly ambitious couple from Texas ask you politely if you can take their photo? I actually love this. One time, though, the photo-shoot took 10 minutes while I watched them try to catch a seagull. That’s a fact.

2. What’s Ca-Lie-Duh? Actually understandable, we’ve all been there.

1. You don’t really SOUND like a Islander. This one gets me. I once asked a guest what she expected me to sounds like. “I expected it to be more uneducated,” she said. This makes sense, because in PEI we don’t have schools – we just work for Ma and Pa on the farm.

** No disrespect to anyone who works on their parents farm.

Sincerely,

Not Anne – just an Islander

You can follow Jenny on Twitter (she thinks she’s hilarious, talking about herself in the third person): @jwool94

How to drive in Prince Edward Island (as told by a professional)

Island drivers are the worst kind of drivers. Nobody uses their signals, a one way really just means “a really narrow two way”, and pedestrians never have the right of way because they are the worst – “Get a car, already”.

Here’s a driving manual, written by an Islander.

1) Signals are only to be used when you are pulling over and leaving the car so you can run into the store for “I swear, just a second”. Occasionally, you can can use them when the police are behind you and they look like they haven’t yet reached their quota for the month. *signals are never to be used to indicate you are a) switching lanes b) turning c)doing an illegal u-turn.

2) Round-a-bouts are new to the Island (as in, have been here for 3 years). Islanders are still not sure how we feel about them, so we approach with caution as the local radio station drives around them 76 times. 

3) Pedestrians are to never walk when the “red hand” is on at the light, only walk when the light has the little man. However, jaywalking is to be done at any time possible. On the by-pass? No problem, just do a friendly wave to all the cars stopped to let you walk.

4) When a police car, ambulance, firetruck, or hearse is driving by with sirens on or four way flashers – you pull over. If the person behind you doesn’t have the same courtesy you should give them the stink eye to let them know you don’t approve.

5) When you are at a stoplight, it is only common courtesy to roll down the window and start talking to the car next to you. Light turns green? No problem, you can meet at the next light to finish that gossip session.

6) The speed limit says “50” but what it really means is “60-75″. The judge will back you up in court, don’t worry.

7) Flashing your brights is illegal, but you can do it to warn other drivers of the police parked on the right hand side of the over-pass. Not worth everyone getting pulled over in the last two days of the month.

8) When driving over the new stretch of road to the bridge (also known as Plan B) every Islander must reassure themselves how safe they feel. 

9) If a driver approaches a road that is filled with cows, chickens, or goats proceed with caution. Blinking your lights, honking your horn and Instagramming this experience will help nobody. *Call your local radio station so people will know to stay away from that section of the Winsloe road)

10) Respect the rules of the road and the road will respect you. Unless, of course, you are from away. If you are from away, there is no hope for you. Islanders will assume you are a bad driver. Welcome home.

** rules may not apply to the elderly, people from up west, or the farmer in the tractor. Pamphlets for these can be found at the DMV (where you haven’t been in six years to renew your license or get a licence plate).

 

Things I’ve learned in my first year and a half of college.

1. When you get accepted they will pack your acceptance letter with pieces of confetti. (This may be a myth, I have been accepted to four programs and have never gotten the confetti but everyone else I know has. I am upset about this.)

2. When you’re the designated driver you get absolutely no thanks but your pay will be accepted in the lack of vomit in the backseat of your car. You will learn quickly, don’t let someone down an entire bottle of vodka and get in the back of your car with all the windows up.

3. Speaking of being a designated driver, don’t leave anyone behind – allowing someone to drink and drive is stupid. Also, people will talk about anything when they are drunk. Tell everyone they have to say something nice about you before the car will turn on – they will 100 per cent believe this truth. 

3. As soon as you walk in the door, there will not be boys lined up to date you. You are not Jennifer Lopez, pretending to be poor in a heartfelt movie. This will not work out for you.

4. Every Friday night will not be a party. You’ll spend most Friday nights working because the more shifts the better. In fact, Saturday and Sundays will be the same story because college isn’t cheap and we’re broke.

5. You will lose the shame in buying things completely in quarters and dimes. You will become one with that old lady in the grocery line.

6. Take the stairs. The elevators in college look like they haven’t been updated since 1960. Only take the elevator when it’s Monday and you just had lunch and those five flights of stairs look like Mt. Everest.

7. Opening the plastic on a 125.00 book is the most painful thing you will ever experience, possibly including child birth. Rip it off like a band-aid and cry the rest of the year because your teacher never uses the text book.

8. Remember how awesome it felt to have your own car? The freedom was great. But now it’s a necessary $50.00 a week and it will slowly kill you.

9. Accept that you won’t look like Kelly Kapowski every day, but more like John Belushi. (That’s actually a photo of me wearing a college shirt).

                            Image                                                    Image

9. Choose your seat wisely on the first day. Surround yourself with people who look like they are wise and won’t talk during every lecture.

10. Sit behind someone who will stare down the Chatty Cathy’s in the class. 

11. Breakfast is important but not as important as that nine o’clock class, so skip it today… and then every day for the rest of the year.

12. Know your strengths. If you’re a good writer – capitalize on that by writing good papers. If you’re broke – offer to write other people’s papers for them. 

13. The teachers that scare you on the first day, in my experience – become your favourite. Don’t tell them that, they are too intimidating.

14. There’s always that one annoying table in the cafeteria that listens to music out loud – don’t be those people.

15. The library is a public place. This doesn’t mean you have to publicly tell everyone about your last break up or your favourite drink from Starbucks. I promise I will live tweet your conversation. 

16. If you don’t know what the food in the cafeteria is – don’t buy it. I have ended up with cinnamon covered potatoes, spicy peas and a pickle-filled-pork all in the same meal.

17. Fill your breaks and lunch times with people you enjoy spending time with. This is your only free time so embrace the human interaction.

18. Show up to school on time, the parking lot fills up fast. Nothing enrages a college student quite like having to walk three blocks only to be locked out of their lecture.

19. Around October third you will start looking forward to Christmas. You will think of all the things you will buy for your family and friends. Christmas will come and you will buy everyone a piece of paper that says “I-O-U”. 

20. Embrace your college years because they pass so quickly and then real life will start – this is the worst line ever invented and I strongly dislike anyone who says it. Watch a lot of movies in your free time and adopt their stories as your own – people will think you have a booming social life. For example, did you know I went to outer space with George Clooney last week, after being freed from twelve years of the Hunger Games? 

21. Whopper Wednesday. 

That is all.

 

It’s a great day at Jewell’s Country Market, this is Jenny.

Well, it has come time to post my final exerpt of Dairy Bar tales. After four years I have decided to hand in my dairy bar scoops, my 23 Jewells T-Shirts, and my 7 pairs of ice-cream tattered sneakers.

Image

End of my first day at JCM.

I am studying to be a journalist and unfortunately, my knowledge of ice-cream, produce, goats, and flowers won’t get me too far in that career. So I have traded in my love of ice-cream scooping for some pen and paper (and hopefully a microphone).

I will miss JCM though. Here’s a taste of what I will miss out on (and not miss out on).

I won’t need to know how many times a goat will circle before finally deciding that sexually harassing it’s play-mate is acceptable.

I won’t need to know what flavours are gluten-free and what one’s will give lactose intolerant people the least amount of trips to the bathroom.

I will no longer have to carry around a pen and pad of paper for Mrs. MacDougal (who always forgets her shopping list and will always request one at the cash).

Image

Still my favourite. MelCat.

I won’t have to clean that ice-cream machine every Saturday morning. Which means I won’t accidentally forget I left the lever down and end up mopping a bucket load of hot water off of the floor.

Which also will mean I won’t get to spend every Saturday at 9 a.m. with Avery and Darcy and their grandfather, Mr. Wilson. I won’t get to hear all about their week, swimming lessons, and get to scoop them three orange sherbert ice-creams.

Image

Pranks. daily.

I won’t have to listen to customers complain about my inability to scoop a proper cone. Which means I won’t have to apologize for actually scooping the cone right when in reality, I scooped it the same way I have scooped the last 700 that day.

Which, therefor, will also means I won’t get to scoop those first 700 ice-creams to those 700 customers – which means that’s 700 less people I get to meet and grow to know over the summer.

I won’t get to await Stirldiddle every day.

Image

Bails and JWool

I won’t get to witness awkward first dates between people who are going to be together forever. And also those people that are definitely not getting a second date. I once watched as a boy demanded a girl pay for his ice-cream because she didn’t eat all of her dinner.

I will never have to explain again that no lobster’s were harmed in the making of “lobster potato chips”.

Hopefully my knowledge of begonias will never have to be used again.

I will miss Ted and Melissa – who have been dating for seven years and still both get chocolate ice-cream. No matter how hard it is to scoop. They also leave a five dollar tip for their “favourite dairy bar girl”.

I will miss Jesse and Jamie – both of whom still call me J. Although after four years, and three ice-creams a week, they know my real name is Jenny.

Image

I will miss the couple I have watched go from just married and adorable. Then to 8 months pregnant and craving Orange Pineapple/Bubble-gum mixes (but still adorable). To parents of twins who always buy an extra baby vanilla because one of their kids will drop their cone in the car – still adorable.

I will no longer have to pick up the phone and explain to people that we don’t sell jewellery.

And thank God, I will never again have to explain to children why it is unsanitary to lick the goat fence.

I will never have to bag corn again or have to ask one of the farm boys to help me lug 50 pound bags across the market.

I won’t get to hear all about the dirt bike boys or watch them count out their nickels to afford a pop.

I doubt very much that Cindy will stop trying to set me up with every single guy she meets and telling them, “That blonde one is single!”

Image

Best part of graduation is coming to JCM and seeing your name on the sign!

In all honesty, I really will miss the place. I will miss most of the people there – especially the girls i have got to learn about over the past few years and have had the pleasure to call “friend” and most important “sister”.

The Wooldridge girls have served you well, and for the longest time – so did you.

Goodnight Jewells.

Jwool.

Image

Note the ice-cream machine in the background please. Goodnight, JCM.