Jenny Wooldridge. Follow Your Joy.

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.


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.


Lessons I wish I knew now.

Here are lessons that I know to be true but always forget to actually listen to.


1. If you look like an idiot because you smile too much – that’s okay. Leonardo does. 

2. People don’t care about your dog as much as you do. Cherish the people who pretend to take a serious interest in her.

3. You know how you feel awkward and scared when you try something new? So does someone else. Find them and be their best friend.

4. “If a guy is treating you like he doesn’t give a shit, he genuinely doesn’t give a shit. No exceptions” – He’s Just Not That Into You

5. You’re always the rule – not the exception. 

6. Everyone pretends to be famous. I think.

7. You’re probably going to look back at this age and wish you still weighed this much so stop stressing over that “baby fat”.

8. You can’t be too kind. If someone hair looks good – just tell them.

9. This isn’t the end of the world. There will be more days and more decisions, just do the next right thing.

10. Don’t laugh at boys jokes if they are not funny. At the same time, don’t expect them to either. Always appreciate when they do but know that it’s okay to laugh at your own jokes too. (Amy Poehler)

11. Don’t be cynical. Conan O’Brien hates cynicism.

12. Dress to impress… yourself. If you think you look good in tights and a sweater – wear them. 

13. Remember when it’s time to “Chill Down and Man Up”.

14. That thigh gap probably isn’t as important as you think it is. 

15. When you have a bad day hang out with some comedians and let yourself laugh it off.

17. Over play albums.



Don’t even talk smack about my dog.

Let’s just talk about the elephant in the room – I’m obsessed with my dog. There’s pictures of her all over my Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. She has her own Twitter page and she expects ice in her water bowl when she goes to get a drink.

After being a mother to Gatsby for the last nine months I can honestly say that if you say she is ugly – we aren’t even friends.

I waited sixteen years for a dog – that’s sixteen anxious (and disappointing) birthday wishes, sixteen Christmases listening to the box before shaking it, and constant begging to both of my parents.

Here’s five facts I already know about my dog that you DO NOT have to tell me:

5. I know she has a ridiculous name, but as far as I know she’s the only dog/kid/thing-I-get-to-name ever. It is not an easy task. So, yes, her full name is Gatsby Gwynethen Beyonce Garth Beyonce Wooldridge. No, I didn’t stutter – one can never have too much Beyonce.

4. Gatsby is still a puppy. She’s still learning – so if you expect her to roll over when you ask her too, it probably won’t happen. She’s not stupid, she’s just little. If you say she’s stupid – I assume you don’t want to be friends with me. You are not going to get a “happy birthday” on your Facebook page when the time comes around.

3. I do know that we take too many pictures together – you don’t even know the half of it. I only post .01 percent of Gatsby and Me pictures. I spare you the pain of having to see us. We take so many pictures together that when you say the word “selfie” she knows to look at the phone.





2. Yes, she sleeps in my bed and she jumps on the couch. She sit on the chair in the kitchen when I eat dinner and she sits with whatever person will give her the most attention. She’s allowed on all the furniture – this is her home. So, you know, don’t kick her off of the couch when you come over because you’re scared she’ll mess. 


1. If you don’t like Gatsby, you’re blind. 

                            ….. And probably the worst person in the whole world.



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.


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).


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.


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.


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.


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!”


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.



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

The Great Gatsby.

My dog refuses to poop when I ask her to. I just stand there for 15 minutes:

“Come on, Gatsby, I know you have to go. Come on.”

As soon as we get inside and my mother asks for the millionth time, “did the dog poop”, Gatsby has to go back out.

She’s stubborn. It seems I am getting a taste of my own medicine.

I don’t think anyone should HAVE to poop on queue, but I know she has to go and she just doesn’t.

I waited 16 years for a dog. I really do not think there has been a day that has gone by that I haven’t asked for one.

A month ago I was posting pictures of a puppy all over the house and my parents computers of a puppy. Today she is sleeping on my lap. Which is all she ever does. I’m not complaining I love her all the time.

I am the kind of dog owner who clothes the dog and is constantly yelling, “where’s my dog?” Of course, this comes honest as it is every second phrase out of my grandmother’s mouth.

I have always wondered what kind of mother I would be.

I consider myself Gatsby’s mother. I mean – I feed her, clothe her, make sure she’s not sick and cuddle her.

This is what I tell Gats every morning when we go for her morning bathroom run (the one that takes 25 minutes).

“Gatsby, you can be whoever you want to be. You can be fat or skinny. You can be black or white, but that’s not really up to you. You can like ABC or NBC. You can like any late night show host. In our house we would prefer it’s not Jay Leno but I’m going to love you despite your faults. You can like any dog you want. You can like any music you want to – even if it’s Lil’ Wayne. I’d like if it wasn’t, though. You can graduate from Harvard if you want to. This is your life – you do what you want. I would really appreciate if you pooped, though.”

It sounds crazy.

But I think whenever I have kids I will try my best to incorporate what I was taught – believe and you can achieve.

I see parents that knock their kids down because of the way they look or their grades. I just hope that if I ever have kids they know that I don’t care about those things. I wouldn’t want my kids to think that their self worth depends on things so passing as looks or grades.

I also tell my dog how beautiful she is. Her body is a little disproportionate right now, so she has a little wiggle when she walks. It’s pretty cute, “I know I’m cute”.

I also take a picture (actually 20) of her a day. People say it’s too much but I don’t even care.


Me and Gatsby – named for Jay Gatsby from my favourite modern classic – The Great Gatsby


First Christmas.


How taking pictures with a puppy actually work.



The three Wooldridge girls.


Mia, my aunt. Also known as “scruffbucket”

Massive Moustache Man

I personally believe that grown-ups forget what it’s like to be a true employed teeanger. You know, the one’s that clean up your kids barf when they puke all over the workplace floor. The people who go to clean the bathrooms at their work and find vulgar phrases written with human feces on the wall (and have to clean it up). The people who pick up cigarette butts you so rudely left on the ground. These are all true accounts of my life. This is why, when I go to places such as a restaurant, a play, or the movies I always clean up after myself. I never leave my trash on the floor because I know how unpleasant it is to pick up other people’s trash. Is it to much to ask this of others?

I went to the movies with my dad tonight. It was just  father daughter time, you know? We went into the theatre and got our seats. We picked seats in the middle of the theatre and on the end of the row – prime seating arrangement. Two minutes after the movie starts struts in a wife and her husband. I politely remove my purse from the seat beside me allowing the husband to sit down. This 500 pound (this is an exaggeration, he was probably around 280 but let’s allow the white lie) man sits in the seat and his body generously spills out onto my sise. However, I am polite. My body does not take up all of my own seat so I shift to give him more room.

He reaches into his pocket and pulls out a water bottle and a granola bar. He takes two large bites and completely devours the bar. He reaches in his pocket for another, ripping it open with his teeth like he is a savage beast, and devours it again. He does this while eating as if he is chewing cud. (If there is one thing to know about me I cannot stand when people eat with their mouth open. It makes my stomach churn and my head throb.) I push through his rude chomping and enjoy my movie.

He pulls out an apple – an apple – and bites into it. (Hold up, I go to the movies at least once a week and I have never seen anyone eat an apple. This is not prime movie food. This guy is obviously an idiot.) He chomps into the apple is if he has never eaten in three weeks. He continues to eat his apple for a good fifteen minutes. Then he spends another two minutes sucking the remaining juice out of it. He then proceeds to drop the apple core on the floor and act like nothing happened. At this point I am ready to jump out of my skin and punch him in the face. He does this again with another apple that is also in this magic pocket that seems to be the equivalent of Mary Poppins bag.

At this point I am watching my film and trying to come up with the best way to confront this man without being a complete embarrassment to my dad. I know this man (who I have named Massive Moustache Man) is going to walk away from those apple cores and wait for the people who work at the movie theatres to pick it up. I cannot, as a decent human being, allow this to happen.

Everything he does from this point on is a nuisance. He starts to rock his body up and down with his leg. His stomach goes in a complete different direction than the rest of him because it is so “jiggly” (as an aspiring journalist I should not use this word but I have to.) He does this through the entire movie – I guess he doesn’t know what to do when he isn’t jamming food into his mouth.

As a Wooldridge I pride myself in the ability to be passive agressive. It’s how I deal with most issues and how I dealt with this one. Let’s be honest here, in most cases I would pick up the garbage so someone else didn’t have to. However, there was no way that I was picking up this mans left over apple pieces, granola bar wrappers and water bottles.

The movie ends and I get up. I pick up my garbage and stand up. I look at the man, smile and say, “I think you dropped ALL your garbage on the floor there.” I take a little laugh. “I would just hate to have to pick up someone else’s rotten food.” I smile and walk away.

Did he pick up his trash? I will never know. He taught us all a valuable lesson though: do not ever be so lazy that you think it’s acceptable to leave your crap in a public place for a stranger to pick up. The people who work there do not need to pick up your rotten apple cores because #1. they are not your mothers and #2. you should just really have the decency of not being a complete and utter (as my grandfather used to say) “stupey-dupe”.

So, Massive Moustache Man, if you ever  read this – I don’t hate you, but I strongly dislike you. Next time, pick up your trash and you won’t get an angry blog written about you.

Also, I am so sorry to the people who work at Empire Theatres 8 and find that apple core. May you know this – karma will get that man in the end.

My Top Ten Books, Movies, and Television Shows

Top Ten Books I have Read

10. Jane of Lantern Hill – Lucy Maud Montgomery

9. Paper Towns – John Green

8. Where Things Come Back – John Corey Whaley

7. The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath – Sylvia Plath

6. The Complete Works of e. e. cummings – e. e. cummings

5. Looking for Alaska – John Green

4. It Is Kind Of a Funny Story – Ned Vizzini

3. Anne of Green Gables – Lucy Maud Montgomery

2. The Fault in Our Stars – John Green

1. The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald

*bonus – The Edible Woman by Margaret Atwood

Top Ten Movies I Have Seen

10. Freedom Writers

9. 50/50

8. You’ve Got Mail

7. Breakfast at Tiffany’s

6. When Harry Met Sally

5. The Breakfast Club

4. Toy Story

3. We Are Marshall

2. Back to the Future

1. Life is Beautiful

*Bonus – Free Willy

Top Ten Television Shows

10. Sienfeld

9. Parks and Recreation

8. Parenthood

7. Anderson 360

6. NBC Morning

5. HBO Documentaries

4. CNN

3. Friends

2. One Tree Hill

1. The Newsroom

*bonus – Scrubs


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 397 other followers