The time I was THIS close to getting a real monkey (named Hallie)

The closest I have ever come to receiving a real live monkey pet was in college. The year was 2007.

I began taking German in the fall semester and in the first week, fate placed me at the same table as Jennifer and Lonna. As well as becoming two of my best college friends, banana bread-baking buddies (we had a craving for this a lot…and we made it…a lot), and homework buddies, these two friends schemed together to get me a 21st birthday present I would always remember. Unfortunately, things didn’t work out, and I am still monkey-less. But, the thought meant so much to me.

Not too far into the semester (my birthday is in October), Jennifer and Lonna told me about a monkey they had found on Craigslist. We all laughed about the possibility, I dreamed of owning it as my own, and then I received a facebook message from Jennifer. All three of us almost died from laughter, with tears streaming down our faces as we quoted our favorite lines for weeks (years, really) to come.

Even now, I can’t read it without laughing. Perhaps, in some way, this was the birth of Little Monkey. Or, at the very least, it aided in his inception.

I put in italics, all of our favorite parts. But really, the whole thing could be in italics.

Jennifer: “look at this: as a joke, i sent an email to the monkey guy and this was the response..:


Hallie is very playful with children, hallie
demonstrates intelligence with actively bright eyes
and curious nature. she is the pets for everyone. she
requires committed, long-term (lifespan 20-40 years)
resources (time) for care, and a balanced diet
(similar to humans,) a large cage or sanitation
(diapering) support, and annual checkups and a photo
album that she will coming along side with from the
Cameroon where she is presently at.she is also diaper
trained potty trained and do go along side with kids
and other house hold pets
.she will make the perfect
pet for you.we are ging her out because my son is now
sick and Allergic to the monkey so the doctor
instructed us to give out as soon as possible. He has
asthma.I don’t want to give the baby out to a pet
rescue adoption association.I am looking for a good
home that will continue to take care of the baby and
give her all the love and care she needs to have. and
Will come with all its Vet papers, registration
papers, Health Certificate, and all its cloths and
toys free as I won’t need them anymore. We are going
to miss her a great deal but the nature of my home now
with my son’s ill health we can’t keep her anymore.
All we want for her is a loving home where she is
going to be loved and spoiled as was with posse
a few questions,
Are you God fearing?

will you treat the baby with all the love and care in
the world.??
will you love and take her as a family member??
Have you ever had a baby monkey before or any other
get back for her pic if really interested in
having her.
thanks and waiting.
Remain blessed…

Little Monkey is disturbed by images

After spending a few minutes browsing through my newsfeed and seeing one too many girls I used to babysit/hold in the church nursery posing with their friends in micro shorts and bikini tops, I would just like to see about getting a megaphone that will reach out to every American girl between the ages of 10 and 15. This is what I would like to say (Oh, you aren’t between the ages of 10 and 15? Weelllll, I just need this moment for my sanity. Please give me this moment for my sanity!!):

Hi. Hello there.

Ummm, I just wanted to say that, you look great in your pictures. Some of you more than others. But here’s the thing that bothers me: it’s not necessarily that more skin is showing than not, it’s that apparently, no one has ever told you that you will never be a super model.

In fact, you should probably spend some time reflecting that someone will always be prettier than you. ALWAYS. That’s a guarantee. Someone will also always be smarter than you, funnier than you, better traveled than you, have more boys like them, and have a more exciting life than you. The advertising industry would like you to believe that you can obtain perfection, but you can’t, you won’t, and a perfect face does not equal happiness.

If that’s depressing, you are looking at things the wrong way. Because, you should not be depressed! Far from it!

My comparatives are not meant to be a formula for discontentedness. Nay. I say this because you have the potential to stand out just by being the best version of yourself. I realize the cheesy alarm is sounding loudly right now, but let’s overlook that and focus on reality: you will never be anyone but yourself. So you should probably not waste one second trying to be someone else. Stop ignoring ideas and interests of your own just. Pop Culture is not inherently evil, but she gets paid (big bucks, too) to make you think you can never be content! It’s her job.

I realize that nine years ago, I was 15. And I realize I am not the wise old grandmother I think I am despite the lifestyle I lead (early to bed, early to rise…eggs, toast, coffee and a table spoon of cod liver oil every morning. Make cookies to make other people happy. Encourage them to eat them because I don’t want to gain 15 pounds in one night. Also, you can go dancing without me. I’m tired. That life style.)

I realize you might not want to take advice from me because I just told you I drink cod liver oil daily. So, if I have lost all credibility with the crowd I was trying to reach…please at least do this for me: Next time you want to do a photo shoot of yourself at the beach, go through this check list:

1. Ask yourself what kind of people admire those pictures you will be posting to facebook.
2. Then, ask yourself if any of those people are the kind you want to fall in love with you and share a bed with you when you are wrinkled, saggy-skinned, and half-blind.
3. If they are, reevaluate your definition of love.
4. If they are not, don’t take the pictures, and enjoy the beach. A hundred years ago, before facebook, people found creative ways to be able to enjoy the beach.
5. Then, read a book. Repeat this step over and over until you die (happily, I might add).

Follow this list to a T and your life will be perfect (Not true, not true! But, it won’t do you any harm. Promise).

At this point, I would hand my megaphone back to Pop Culture (I was borrowing it from her), who will continue to scream “YOU ARE NOT BEAUTIFUL UNTIL YOU LOOK LIKE THIS PERSON OVER HERE…


until no one remembers anything I said. But I feel better. And twenty years older.

Little Monkey is formerly introduced

There is someone I left out of yesterday’s introductions. You might have noticed him in the banner up there. He sort of looks like he might be adopted, because of the way he looks photo-shopped in and, I cannot say you would be completely wrong if you were to guess he was not originally part of the family.

His name is Little Monkey.

I hesitate to introduce him because Eric made me promise that if I let the world know of his existence, I have to introduce…someone else to you. And I don’t know if I am ready for that yet. Because it is weird. It is really weird.

This is confusing. Let me start over.

So, first, this is Little Monkey.

Unlike me, it is very easy for Little Monkey to share his thoughts and feelings with the people he loves. Little Monkey is often brutally honest, sometimes overly blunt, occasionally politically incorrect and always adorable. He gets away with anything, that little monkey. Some people might accuse him of being my Guinea pig of sorts, but he is not. He is clearly a monkey.

Who is he? Are you crazy? Are you pulling our legs? These are all legitimate questions. He is a monkey drawing I made up but he is very real inside my heart, and now very real in Eric’s heart too, no, I am not crazy, yet, but ever since I was a child I have reconciled myself to the fact that it is probably inevitable, and yes and no. I am pulling your leg because Little Monkey is not real. But I am not pulling your leg because who would really believe I honestly have a pet monkey? (PS I have ALWAYS wanted one. I used to beg my parents to let me get one. A baby one that never grew up that could live in a hypothetical shed in the woods near our house. PPS Wedding present??)

Little Monkey was invented because one day, I was overcome with how much I loved spending time with Eric that I had to tell him somehow. We were not together in that moment and a plain ol’ text message didn’t seem to cut it. Also, there was no way I was going to start texting things like, “If I don’t see you right now I MIGHT DIE. I love you soooooo much.” It was too early in the relationship to start obsessing over him. But, a little monkey could. And no one would blame him. So in that moment, Little Monkey was born. And he lives on.

More to be said

Okay, I will say this: this blog is my own personal experiment to not try and make my life sound interesting for the sake of trying to make it sound interesting. That is tiresome for the writer (me) and the reader (you. If you exist). I would love to write a blog about fashion, food, my awesome job (it’s not that awesome), or all the cool things I do around this city (I am not 18). But I will leave that up to the people who are actually good at all of those things.

First, a few introductions.

Hi. My name is Jenny. I am an Oklahoma girl living in Washington, D.C. When I was about 15, my family and I were walking around Capitol Hill on vacation, and I looked up at the beautiful, multi-colored row houses that were so unlike anything Oklahoma has ever seen and said, “One day, I would like to live here.” And so I do now. I graduated college and moved out here with two suitcases and no permanent housing in the foreseeable future. But, I had a job and I was in love with the city.

A year and a few months later, I fell in love with a Virginia boy, who fell in love with me, and Oklahoma. I think he is the most wonderful thing in the world, and he makes me feel like I am home, half way across the country.

In 157 days, we are going to be married in Oklahoma. And we cannot wait.