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Jenna in your life
October 14, 2015
4:16 pm
avatar
Oh My CAT

I mentioned it before (and I think some hamcats get frustrated with it) that Jenna is basically like my mother. I feel like I am watching what other people saw when they saw us interact with my mother. My mother has horrible/trashy taste in clothing yet she started a fashion blog (no I will not link, ever). My therapist firmly believes that I was raised by a narcissist (and this felt like home http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/6-ways-to-know-you-were-raised-by-narcissists_5616b091e4b0082030a18f72)

I really don't care that Jenna outsources all the childcare because I wish my mother did that. 

Did you guys know that when I was a tween my mother would wear trashy clothes in front of my friends (really short dresses, see through blouses) and then ask me (afterward) if any of my male friends talk about how hot she is? I think this will be T1's life one day.  

October 14, 2015
9:55 pm
avatar
Feeding my Self with Swavek's $$$
Senior Hamcat
Meows: 503
Snarking Since:
September 23, 2013

Jenna is a textbook narcissist. She has a very grandiose sense of self importance yet nothing backs it up. Her husband finances it and her parents wear kid gloves likely because they worry for her children.

If I willingly surrendered my small children for a MONTH to have a breakdown, drink, and god knows what else, my family would demand an intervention.

October 16, 2015
2:20 pm
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Party Falcon
Hamcat
Meows: 131
Snarking Since:
October 24, 2011

This is a worry that pops up in her old threads from time to time: What if I am the Jenna in my life?  Because, honestly, as long as a few core loved ones stuck around and supported you, how would you truly know?  

~That friend doesn't talk to me now because of X (not me). They fired me because X (not me). I failed at coding because X (not me). The barista is always so grumpy to me and not anyone else because X (not me).~  And on and on.  

I don't really think I'm a Jenna. I, you know, have a career, a household that I care for and support on equal terms with my husband, the ability to see multiple sides of an argument, friends who aren't photo props and impulse control.  Oh, and basic f**king empathy.

But I assume she also thinks those things about herself, or similar.  

So, while I am fairly confident that I am Not a Jenna, what about the behaviors like selfishness, laziness and immaturity that I also have to claim?  I don't consider them a part of my 'personality' because I forgive myself for being human and move on. Which again, I assume she also does.  

However, from any perspective but hers, selfishness, laziness and immaturity are the center of TWs personality.  So what happens when you ARE a Jenna?  Could/would you ever truly see yourself?  Is there a way to crack through the shell of faux positive traits that you deceive yourself with? Or do you just live in your distorted reality forever?  

October 17, 2015
12:46 am
avatar
Lindsay Weir
Hamprince of Meowtonia
Meows: 6364
Snarking Since:
December 5, 2011

^^^^ I'm always paranoid when I read her thread. You're right – if I AM these things, I probably tell myself the same things Jenna tells herself, and so I have no idea.cry

October 17, 2015
1:05 am
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Purple21
Feline Porklord
Meows: 4053
Snarking Since:
July 28, 2014

Lindsay Weir meowed
^^^^ I'm always paranoid when I read her thread. You're right – if I AM these things, I probably tell myself the same things Jenna tells herself, and so I have no idea.cry

I know I've had Jenna moments, but I think if you can actually step outside yourself and think about someone else's perspective or take an interest in someone else's journey, you are NOT Jenna.  Most of her self-delusion is she is probably oblivious to the efforts other people put into their careers/ families/ making it to the toilet on time.  She only sees the end result and thinks "Why not me?" One of her friends has adopted two children – other friends are successful and good photographers – obviously in the last few months she's fraternized with people who are good at coding. There's also a whole family of Andersen women over several generations who are resourceful and hardworking.  But she's never taken enough interest in their side of the conversation to respect their efforts and the journey that has brought them success.

 

Plus when you are consistently paid for your work, you don't need verbal validation from friends and strangers – you know you are good at what you do, because people are prepared to pay you. Jenna sees her friends being paid for their photography work, it doesn't stop her lecturing them about photography from her IG account. She didn't back down and say, maybe I'm just a hobby photographer.

So I'm not Jenna – you're not Jenna! 

October 17, 2015
2:57 am
avatar
Ladycoder Tantrums
Senior Hamcat
Meows: 808
Snarking Since:
February 2, 2015

Party Falcon meowed
This is a worry that pops up in her old threads from time to time: What if I am the Jenna in my life?  Because, honestly, as long as a few core loved ones stuck around and supported you, how would you truly know?  

~That friend doesn't talk to me now because of X (not me). They fired me because X (not me). I failed at coding because X (not me). The barista is always so grumpy to me and not anyone else because X (not me).~  And on and on.  

I don't really think I'm a Jenna. I, you know, have a career, a household that I care for and support on equal terms with my husband, the ability to see multiple sides of an argument, friends who aren't photo props and impulse control.  Oh, and basic f**king empathy.

But I assume she also thinks those things about herself, or similar.  

So, while I am fairly confident that I am Not a Jenna, what about the behaviors like selfishness, laziness and immaturity that I also have to claim?  I don't consider them a part of my 'personality' because I forgive myself for being human and move on. Which again, I assume she also does.  

However, from any perspective but hers, selfishness, laziness and immaturity are the center of TWs personality.  So what happens when you ARE a Jenna?  Could/would you ever truly see yourself?  Is there a way to crack through the shell of faux positive traits that you deceive yourself with? Or do you just live in your distorted reality forever?  

I think if you're self-aware enough to consider that you MIGHT be an asshole, you are already leaps and bounds ahead of Jenna, and most likely NOT an asshole. Part of adulting is being able to assess your own behavior and consider the feelings and opinions of others, and if you're capable of some self-reflection, you are most definitely not Jennariffic.

October 18, 2015
6:37 pm
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Jennie Bobowicz At Work
Feline Porklord
Meows: 2736
Snarking Since:
February 13, 2013

Jenna complaining about having to leave a festival early because one of the kids was not in the mood reminds me of an argument with my father when I was in my 20s during which he brought up how horrible I was for wanting to leave a movie theater mid-movie when I was 5. I'm guessing T1 and T2 also have that to look forward to…having a parent who never takes responsibility for their actions as an adult, but will gladly dredge up things you did as a little kid.

October 18, 2015
11:44 pm
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Officer Meowmeow Fuzzyface
Hamcat
Meows: 143
Snarking Since:
April 30, 2015

Arist/Sprinkler/Absolute Liver meowed
Jenna complaining about having to leave a festival early because one of the kids was not in the mood reminds me of an argument with my father when I was in my 20s during which he brought up how horrible I was for wanting to leave a movie theater mid-movie when I was 5. I'm guessing T1 and T2 also have that to look forward to…having a parent who never takes responsibility for their actions as an adult, but will gladly dredge up things you did as a little kid.

I feel you, on all this.  My mom is coming to stay with us for a week soon, and I'm a nervous wreck about it.  My husband is basically like, "WTF is your problem? She's your mom."  And we finally had a conversation about why she makes me so anxious – and all of this stuff came flowing back, about her "shaming" me for doing normal kid stuff, being tired/hungry/cranky, having emotions, having wants and needs that weren't exactly in line with hers.  It sucked, sure, but the major problem NOW is that she will STILL bring up this stuff even though I'm an independent, married, grown-ass adult! She'll be sitting there in my apartment and say stuff like "Do you remember when you were 7 and we had to leave the Johnson's Christmas party early because you decided it was a good time for a tantrum? God, you were so dramatic."  Like, you were 5 and had to leave a movie early.  I was 7 and they had to leave a party early.  WHY is that even memorable, much less shame-worthy, decades later?!

I can totally see Jenna doing this to her kids, too, if they even speak to her once they leave home.  Or if she speaks to them (I can see her completely converting to the always-drunk, overly-made-up neighborhood wench who shuns her actual family but latches onto everyone else's.)  

October 18, 2015
11:47 pm
avatar
836185
Feline Porklord
Meows: 1814
Snarking Since:
July 13, 2012

Party Falcon, bandwagonbandwagonbandwagonbandwagonbandwagon

Rockstar Diaries brought me to GOMI (I could never remember her URL and would always google the blog), but That Wife kept me here long after I was over the RD thread–for exactly this reason. She reminded me of my mother and my fear that I would become my mother, especially if I had a child. 

EVERYTHING that's happened to my mother in life is because she's been victimized. Her DUIs (she has a right to go out and have a few drinks! She wasn't even over the limit! How dare the cops! This is harassment because I have red hair!). All of the subsequent problems those caused (being denied entry into our home country; AA commitments; suspended license resulting in many, many fees and fines) never her fault. Nobody notified her that her license was suspended! AA is for losers! That's just one example of many drama snowballs. My mom also began to extricate herself from a strict religious system when I was in my mid-teens and the next ten years were chaos. Money gone overnight, every child for themselves, ten years of phone calls involving an endless monologue about all of the problems in her life. Divorce followed by endless court judgments and parents suing each other into bankruptcy, and on and on. 

A few years ago, she came out the other side (FINALLY. OMG, FINALLY). Once in a while, you can have a phone conversation that's actually a dialogue. But now the conversation has shifted: my sister is victimizing her! How come my sister gets to say mean things to her and be abusive! Everyone is abusive! My sister has attachment disorder! My brothers won't accept how cruel they are to her! All she wants to do is love her children and they just won't let her! According to her, she's just a happy, hardworking mother who's just doing the best she can in the face of her childrens' ungratefulness! It's not her husband anymore–it's her children because they won't accept her narrative of everything that happened over the past 15 years. 

That's Jenna in my life. It's exhausting. I fully believe this is exactly the experience that awaits the Ts. Whatever they go through in childhood/adolescence, it'll be nothing compared to their mother's life's TRIALS. She had to be a MOTHER due to the PATRIARCHY and there was lots of MESS and it was SO HARD and her kids just keep NEEDING her and they wouldn't STOP and she couldn't GROW and she craved CHANGE and PEOPLE and she did the best she could *sadface, like when T2 is having a hard time with her working at home*

puke

October 19, 2015
1:17 pm
avatar
FallingWaters
Expert Hamcat
Meows: 243
Snarking Since:
October 8, 2015

grouphug forever to you poor hams that have had to deal with a "Jenna in your life."  Yikes!!!  I hope you have lots and lots of kind, loving karma in your lives.

October 19, 2015
6:07 pm
avatar
Jennie Bobowicz At Work
Feline Porklord
Meows: 2736
Snarking Since:
February 13, 2013

fashun blogger pineapple prop wearing sunglasses meowed

Arist/Sprinkler/Absolute Liver meowed
Jenna complaining about having to leave a festival early because one of the kids was not in the mood reminds me of an argument with my father when I was in my 20s during which he brought up how horrible I was for wanting to leave a movie theater mid-movie when I was 5. I'm guessing T1 and T2 also have that to look forward to…having a parent who never takes responsibility for their actions as an adult, but will gladly dredge up things you did as a little kid.

I feel you, on all this.  My mom is coming to stay with us for a week soon, and I'm a nervous wreck about it.  My husband is basically like, "WTF is your problem? She's your mom."  And we finally had a conversation about why she makes me so anxious – and all of this stuff came flowing back, about her "shaming" me for doing normal kid stuff, being tired/hungry/cranky, having emotions, having wants and needs that weren't exactly in line with hers.  It sucked, sure, but the major problem NOW is that she will STILL bring up this stuff even though I'm an independent, married, grown-ass adult! She'll be sitting there in my apartment and say stuff like "Do you remember when you were 7 and we had to leave the Johnson's Christmas party early because you decided it was a good time for a tantrum? God, you were so dramatic."  Like, you were 5 and had to leave a movie early.  I was 7 and they had to leave a party early.  WHY is that even memorable, much less shame-worthy, decades later?!

I can totally see Jenna doing this to her kids, too, if they even speak to her once they leave home.  Or if she speaks to them (I can see her completely converting to the always-drunk, overly-made-up neighborhood wench who shuns her actual family but latches onto everyone else's.)  

Good thing for us, my dad and your mom didn't have social media then to shame us in real-time as Jenna does with her kids now.

October 25, 2015
9:38 am
avatar
cheerful Starbucks cups
Expert Hamcat
Meows: 253
Snarking Since:
October 1, 2015

I think some of my family members (extended and immediate) have certain Jenna aspects–like the revisionist history. And just the other day, my mom told me another story about a friend of hers who, while very nice and talented (she makes beautiful embroidered items), has a history of WTF conversations, twisting my mom's words around, a really messed up relationship dynamic with her husband, and generally scamming my mom out of rides to places (the family has a car and the husband is retired–but my mom has frequently picked up the friend while the car was in the driveway and the husband was sitting on his ass, with no plans). She also likes to say stuff like, "Oh, let's go grab a sandwich somewhere! I'm starving!" during one of these rides and when they're ordering, pulls out the "Oh, I didn't bring my purse because I wasn't driving so you'll have to pay" routine. And my mom, being way too nice and passive for her own good, is so taken aback that she just goes along with it. There's all these other random things that, when added up, are just crazy. So after my mom told me the most recent story on Friday, I was like, "wow, this sounds like a ThatWife story. The changing one's story, acting helpless to scam rides, obsession with day drinking*, husband being an oblivious ass…did Jenna suddenly move to the East Coast and become a middle-aged mother with two adult children?" My mom now screens her calls and texts very carefully but it's so hard to avoid being sucked into people's drama sometimes. 

 

I worry that I might be like Jenna sometimes but I feel like that's a longer story. I will say this: if ThatWife's social media is any indication, she spends more time in cafes, all day every day, than I do. But I have 0 kids, spouse, or pets who would miss me. And I have a full-time, out of the house, actual job from Monday to Friday. And I'm finishing up a part-time graduate school program, which includes a thesis project. So yeah, I do spend quite a few Saturdays at the library or coffeeshop because it's hard for me to concentrate at home (I live with my parents and they have my nieces and nephews over a lot; plus you know, it's their house, they're allowed to live in it and make noise and stuff). And I do spend enough time with my parents when at home that hopefully, they don't feel like I'm just ignoring them. And I'm not a total moocher! I basically pay my own way for everything except these last 3 grad classes (long story but tuition assistance stopped because I changed jobs, I couldn't take enough credits in one semester to qualify for a loan while still working full-time, and unexpected expenses wiped out my savings which is why I had to move back in with my parents in the first place. I was so close to finishing school that my parents were like, "just shut up and take the money, we're happy to do it, we don't want you to put this on hold forever when you're so close to being done"). 

I've also been working (regular babysitting gigs, retail cashier, library circulation desk, admin assistant, and now medical writer) since I was 12 so that's almost 2 decades of jobs. And it's frustrating to see ThatWife's …pride in being so lazy when I know people who can't work because of disability, illness, etc. but would love to do so. They may not have "regular" jobs but they throw themselves into every other aspect of their life 100 percent! All right, shutting up now. Sorry for the word vomit. Reading about Jenna's antics make me feel like I have to justify everything because I swear to God, I'm not as shiftless or self-involved as she is. 

November 8, 2015
12:32 pm
avatar
Taylors Gonna Tay
Expert Hamcat
Meows: 294
Snarking Since:
July 29, 2015

Purple21 meowed

Lindsay Weir meowed
^^^^ I'm always paranoid when I read her thread. You're right – if I AM these things, I probably tell myself the same things Jenna tells herself, and so I have no idea.cry

I know I've had Jenna moments, but I think if you can actually step outside yourself and think about someone else's perspective or take an interest in someone else's journey, you are NOT Jenna.  Most of her self-delusion is she is probably oblivious to the efforts other people put into their careers/ families/ making it to the toilet on time.  She only sees the end result and thinks "Why not me?" One of her friends has adopted two children – other friends are successful and good photographers – obviously in the last few months she's fraternized with people who are good at coding. There's also a whole family of Andersen women over several generations who are resourceful and hardworking.  But she's never taken enough interest in their side of the conversation to respect their efforts and the journey that has brought them success.

 

Plus when you are consistently paid for your work, you don't need verbal validation from friends and strangers – you know you are good at what you do, because people are prepared to pay you. Jenna sees her friends being paid for their photography work, it doesn't stop her lecturing them about photography from her IG account. She didn't back down and say, maybe I'm just a hobby photographer.

So I'm not Jenna – you're not Jenna! 

I mentioned before in these threads that I use Jenna to remind myself to work harder and complain less because I've actually got a nice little first-world life going on. So instead of worrying about whether you're a Jenna or not, just Don't Be a Jenna.

party0006



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