Things I Hate

Last day at my current job! Woo!

Ok, now the real post.

Maybe they’re on my brain because I’m starting the new could-be-the-dream job, but I feel like I’ve been thinking a lot about insecurities lately.

I think everyone has their thing. You know. The thing that keeps you at the bathroom mirror a few seconds longer. The one that makes you shy away from pencil skirts or sleeveless tops. The one that keeps your hair long or your makeup a touch heavier. Or the one that makes you laugh louder or speak up less.

We all have something that makes us feel less adequate, whether it’s all the time or just every once in a while.

I’ve written about my own insecurities a few times. (After all, overcoming the bulk of them was what helped me score a spot in Glamour magazine and a guest post on Espresso & Cream.)

But one thing I’ve only recently become aware of is how insecurities can evolve.

For example, growing up, I was always conscious of my crooked teeth and big feet. Braces straightened the teeth and a growth spurt (sort of) balanced out the feet, but puberty was less kind in other ways. Suddenly I was tortured about the size of my thighs, and later, the flatness of my stomach, the jiggle of my upper arms, the fullness of my face, blah, blah, blah.

Healthier living and healthier thinking helped me outgrow and get over most of those insecurities (though I’d be a bold-faced liar if I said I never had a day where I dismissed skinny jeans because, well, I just wasn’t feeling all that skinny that day), but the really interestinghorrible part about growing up is that just because you outgrow or get over one (or nine) insecurities doesn’t mean you’re good for life.

Over the past few months, every time I see a picture of myself I think, “Hmm…is my forehead…big? Like, weirdly big? And have my teeth gotten more crooked? Maybe I should have replaced that broken retainer…” Plus, you already know my issues with the crooked nose. And I’ve always wanted to be about four inches taller.

I think the biggest difference between these insecurities and the ones that plagued me in the past, though, is that I just don’t care as much. Sure, I wouldn’t be devastated if they suddenly went away, but I don’t let it affect my entire life like I used to. I would never describe myself as an insecure person.

Part of that is due to a revelation I had when I was at my worst in terms of insecurities. I remember being in my car crying about something or other I didn’t like about myself (because I am queen of the driving breakdown…super safe, obviously), and suddenly having this flash of, “Oh my GOD, would you get over yourself?”

It was kind of a startling moment. But the fact is, insecurities are petty and selfish. There are people with real problems out there. The size of my jeans is not a real problem.

I think, in general, people know this. Usually when you’re freaking out about something like what your shoulders look like in a tank top, you’re just not thinking clearly. You’re obsessing. You’re fixating. The biggest thing you lack is not muscle tone — it’s perspective.

Really, the gaining of perspective is probably the real biggest insecurity evolution I’ve experienced. So when I’m frustrated that my torso is kind of short or that my ribs are so wide it looks like I have no boobs at all (it’s a real thing, I swear), I let myself have a, “Well thanks A LOT, genetics!” moment, and then I roll my eyes and get on with life.

Because, en general, I’m good. I’m fine. And I’m thankful that my biggest problem is filling out a bathing suit.

Do you think your insecurities have evolved as you’ve gotten older? Would you describe yourself as an insecure person? And, spill: What’s your lamest insecurity? It can’t be worse than wide ribs or a (possibly?) large forehead.

You guys! You guys, I’m back! I’m back, you guys!

I missed you so much. Seriously. Cried myself to sleep every night.

Okay, not really, but I did think about you. Occasionally. I mean, I’m not a stalker. I JUST REALLY LIKE YOU GUYS OKAY?!?

Phew. Feelings, amiright?

So anyway. Some of you have called me out on the fact that I did not return as promised on August 14th. You are very, very correct in this accusation.

BUT. I have a good reason. A very good reason. A reason so good that I have honestly been putting it off for a bit because I wasn’t ready to re-live it.

I’m ready now.

First things first, we had a lovely trip to Iowa. Those of you who follow me on Instagram (@justinelorelle, if you’re interested) or Twitter got a few sneak peeks at everything we did, but for those of you who missed it, I promise to do a post after this one with the deets. (And, let’s face it, most likely an Instagrid to sum it up.)

But first, the bad news.

It all started at an all-too-early hour on Monday morning. The hubs and I were due to depart at 6:30 a.m., which meant a 4:00 a.m. wake-up call. We had grabbed a drink with Susan and Matt the night before, so we were running on approximately four hours of sleep at this point.

It was, predictably, just lovely.

After throwing ourselves together in about 20 minutes, we loaded up the car and I checked my phone. Missed call at 2:30 from an 800 number. Strange, I thought. Then I checked my email.

Only to be greeted by a lovely message from Orbitz informing me that our flight had been canceled. And rescheduled for 5:30 a.m. the next day.

Um…come again?

Barely awake enough to even process this information, I hopped on my parents’ computer and confirmed on United Airlines’ site that our flight had, in fact, been canceled. Seemingly without explanation.


The thing is, we were both supposed to be back at work on Tuesday. Something that would be difficult to do if we were, you know, 3,000 feet in the air above the Midwest.

I called the United customer service line and was told our flight had been canceled for “mechanical service,” (which, in case you didn’t know, can mean anything from a broken engine to a broken seat belt to a hungover flight crew) and that there was nothing that could be done for me and enjoy my flight in 24 hours.

My father, being slightly better rested than I was, found this unacceptable and called them back. Seeing as it was (we found out later) a call center in another country and not a dedicated customer service line, we were connected to a different person and had to brief them on our situation all over again. This person repeated what the first person had told us, but my dad told them that wasn’t good enough and they would need to schedule us on a different airline for the same day.


First, they tried to convince us to take another United flight that would get us to Newark at midnight. Um, sorry. Thanks, but no thanks. Then they told us we would be rescheduled on a Delta flight leaving at 8:10 that morning. We would get in to LaGuardia at a bearable 2 p.m. That was acceptable.

Here’s where things got a little hairy. After my dad agreed to this new flight, he was put on hold for about ten minutes. The problem was, the cheery hold music that had been playing previously never came on, leaving us to speculate as to whether or not we were even still connected. Finally, we hung up and called back (reaching yet another representative), explained our situation again, and were told that we had been re-booked onto the 8:10 Delta flight. Huzzah!

Or so we thought.

I feel obligated to mention that we never asked for a confirmation number. That was our mistake. But when someone from an airline tells you that you are on a flight, you tend not to assume they are bold-faced lying to you.

We made our merry way to the airport. My dad dropped us off, and Joey and I got into a virtually motionless line at the Delta counter.

Thirty minutes later, we reached the desk and explained what had happened (again). The rep looked up our names in the computer.


Just in case you aren’t grasping the severity of this moment, we are just now realizing that we might not exist in any of the airport’s computers on any flights. We. Didn’t. Exist.

I’d also like to note that the women behind the Delta desk were super nice and helpful. They offered to let us stand to the side while I tried to work things out with United so we wouldn’t have to wait in the long line all over again once it was sorted out.

I called the same United number and was met with yet another representative in their call center.

This is what I like to refer to as “the darkest part of my day.”

I explained (AGAIN) what my morning had consisted of. The rep looked up the Delta flight we were told we were on and informed me that, “Oh, that flight is full.”

Radio silence.

I (as calmly as possible) explained that, yes, two hours later, it probably was full, but that we had been told we were on the flight. She told me the agent had (for WHATEVER REASON) canceled that booking.

I think the most irritating part of dealing with this woman is that she would tell me a mistake that HER COMPANY had made, and then just pause as if to say, “So…there you have it. You’re welcome!”

Struggling to contain my frustration, I pointed out that we had not told them to cancel that booking. That was their mistake. So what were they going to do to fix it?

She blandly repeated my option to take the 5:30 a.m. flight the next morning.

Wrong answer.

“Isn’t there another flight on another airline you could book me on?” I asked, doing my best not to cry/scream/both.

This was a trick question. I knew there was a 2:00 p.m. Delta flight and a 10:30 American Airlines flight leaving out of Des Moines that day. I knew it.

“Well, I can’t transfer you to a different airline over the phone,” she replied casually.

UMMMMMMMM…WHAT. Because I’m pretty sure you did just that an hour and a half ago.

I pointed this out to her (okay, I was yelling at this point), and asked what was the difference now.

She told me that she couldn’t override what the original “agent” had done and that “agent” would have to transfer us again.

“Okay,” I replied, working again to keep my voice level, “then can you please transfer me to that agent.”

“Oh, well it’s a call center in India…so…no.”

Cue the implosion of the part of my brain that controls my urge to not scream.

I don’t know about you, but having an airline call system that only allows one person to transfer a flight and then LOCKS IT IN FOREVER NO MATTER WHAT sounds like a broken system to me. Especially because I had already had two agents offer to switch my flight that morning. You know. AN HOUR AND A HALF AGO.

Basically, she was lying to me. And I knew she was lying to me. But there was really nothing I could do when she is just repeating the line, “There’s nothing I can do” and then putting me on hold when she doesn’t want to answer my questions anymore.

Except, well, ask for her manager. WHO COULD CERTAINLY DO SOMETHING, RIGHT?

After another ten minutes on hold, another woman answered the phone. The only redeeming quality she had was already being somewhat briefed on my situation so I did’t have to repeat the sorry tale over again.

That was her only redeeming quality.

She basically gave me the same “there’s nothing I can do” song and dance.

Side note: I’ve decided there is nothing more infuriating to me than someone in the service industry telling me there is nothing they can do for me. You know why? Because there is literally always something you can do. (Sound familiar?) Even if you legitimately cannot move my flight (even though I know you can), you could move me to first class. You could check my bags for free. You could give me a meal voucher. You could give me a freaking free drink. I am not an unreasonable person. In fact, I would say I am probably too willing to forgive businesses if they make the slightest effort to show that my business is in any way important to them. Especially when making such effort would cost them virtually zero effort.

Anyway. Back to our story.

This is the point when I essentially lost my cool. I angrily pointed out that all her company had done for me was cancel my flight for no reason and then repeatedly lie to me under the guise of “helping.” I asked her what possible reason they had given me for continuing to be a United customer.

She sniffed and told me that if I was looking for compensation, I would need to go online and file a complaint on their website.


I roared (internally) and asked her (audibly) what she could do for me, because so far I so no reason for her position to exist.

She told me she could give me a confirmation number for a Delta flight they could put me on later that afternoon. (So much for our relaxing day back in New York before we started work again.)

Somewhat defeated, I said fine. And proceeded to wait for five minutes while I listened to her computer keys clicking in the background. After five minutes of silence punctuated by clicking (during which I assumed she was fetching that confirmation number), I asked (nicely, I swear) if there really wasn’t a single other flight out of Des Moines that could eventually get us to New York.

She repeated the story of how she couldn’t transfer me to a new airline over the phone (BUT YOUR COMPANY JUST DID A COUPLE OF HOURS AGO!), but if I could go to the airport they could possible help me at the desk.

Cue the other side of my brain imploding.

“I’m AT the airport. And apparently I’m going to BE at the airport for SEVEN hours. Didn’t you think telling me that they could actually HELP me here would be a good thing for me to know HALF AND HOUR AGO?”

Instead of answering me, she tried to interrupt me three times to tell me all she could do was give me my confirmation number.

Again, I admittedly lost it.

“I’ve been waiting FIVE minutes for you to give me my confirmation number and you STILL HAVEN’T GIVE IT TO ME.”

She gave me the number. I hung up after she reiterated that there was a possibility the United desk could do nothing for me. Fantastic. Thanks for nothing.

I went to the United desk and waiting 15-20 minutes to get through their line. I want to point out that the woman at the United desk was very nice. She genuinely wanted to help me and started scouring all the flights leaving out of Des Moines that morning. They were all booked solid. While she looked, I told Joey he could get out of line at the Delta desk because it looked like we were just stuck on the later flight.

While he was sitting, one of the (SUPER NICE) Delta reps came up to anything and asked if she could help him with anything. He asked if she could get us to New York, and she replied (with the voice of an angel), “Well, let’s see!”

Joey called me from the Delta desk and (after the United woman sadly told me there were no other open flights) I went over. It turns out there was a Delta flight that was supposed to leave earlier that morning, but had been delayed a few hours. It was leaving in about ten minutes, and they just might be able to sneak us on.

The problem? United apparently STILL had not transferred our information to Delta’s system. STILL. After about FOUR of their employees had told me that we were ON a Delta flight.

I gave them the confirmation number the United manager had given me. GUESS WHAT? IT WASN’T A DELTA CONFIRMATION NUMBER. IT WAS MY ORIGINAL UNITED CONFIRMATION NUMBERS.

It’s important to note that those Delta women did EVERYTHING they could to get us on that morning flight. One of them was literally sprinting back and forth between the desks (which were located on opposite sides of the room) trying to get our information in their system. There just wasn’t enough time.

After we missed that flight, I may have broken down crying at the desk. In my defense, I was going on four hours of sleep and we had been dealing with this for about three. It’s not good when you’ve already had a long day at 8:00 a.m.

I pulled myself together, and they finally got us on a Delta flight leaving later that afternoon. My mom took an earlier lunch break so she could pick us up for a few hours and take us out for lunch. (She also offered to just drive around so we could sleep in the car. Like babies. we almost took her up on it we were so exhausted.)

The rest of the day went so-so. We finally got on our flight, but Delta wasn’t able to check us into our layover flight on the computer because it was so much later in the day. And when we landed in Detroit, our flight had been boarding for about ten minutes. And we had to get to the opposite side of the airport. And when I asked a Delta rep if they would give away our seats if we weren’t there right away, she snootily rolled her eyes and told me they don’t do that until the door is about to close. (BECAUSE YOU KNOW I NEEDED A LITTLE MORE ATTITUDE THROWN MY WAY FROM AN AIRLINE EMPLOYEE.) And as we were hustling toward our gate, the airport reminded us via loudspeaker announcement about the importance of checking in at least 20 minutes prior to departure. (We were about ten minutes from departure at that point.)

I screamed again. (Internally, again.)

The good news is, we made it. We got on the flight. We got back to New York.

As I said, the most frustrating part of the whole experience was United’s refusal to help us. Even the women at the Delta desk asked us if they were at least giving us meal vouchers or something. I told her they said we had to file a complaint online, and she laughed and said, “Really? We just hit a button and print it out on the computer here.”

I would have laughed along with her, but I think I was closer to tears at that point.

In the end, we got home. But the most frustrating part of the experience was United’s refusal to help us. Their refusal to do anything on their part to make up to us the fact that they had reneged on our contract. Their refusal to even apologize for the inconvenience.

Not a single person told me they were sorry. Not once. And excluding only the woman at the United desk, every employee I spoke with treated me with attitude. Which, I’m sorry, but I’m the one whose day has been ruined. I’m the one who has been lied to repeatedly. I’m the one with the right to be upset. Not them.

Ugh. I hate whining. We made it home (thanks to Delta). I just don’t understand how a company can exist if they don’t show the slightest bit of regard for their customers.

Suffice to say, United no longer has to worry about me as a customer anymore.

Phew. That was a lot, right? Blah. Okay, on the bright side, the rest of the trip was great. I have a ton of pictures. And I promise to post something cheerier about it next. Just had to get all this out. AND WARN YOU TO NOT FLY UNITED AIRLINES. (They don’t even give you a snack! Just a tiny cup of soda, water, juice, or coffee! NO SNACK!)

Anyone want to share their own flight nightmare story so I feel better? Please do so in the comments.

Hooooooo-shah, folks.

Let’s have a little update on the state of Justine, shall we? Or, really, another blog post of topics I couldn’t flesh out into full posts. Because…well…you’ll understand by the end of this.

First (and most pressing) things first, something is wrong with my shoulder. At least, I think it’s my shoulder. Last night, something in left shoulder, upper back, left side of my neck suddenly shifted out of place, and now certain movements result in quite a bit of pain. Especially when I’m lying down. (ASK ME HOW AWESOME SLEEPING WAS!!!)(Or rather, not sleeping.)

So…yeah. Awesome.

Fortunately, I recalled that I had an Amazon Local voucher for an hour-long massage and chiropractic evaluation. SCORE. Unfortunately, they’re closed on Thursdays, so I can’t go until tomorrow. BUT A GLORIOUS DAY TOMORROW SHALL BE.

I also have a physical tomorrow, so hopefully I can talk to the doc about my sore heel and finally get a referral to a dermatologist so I can get my skin cancer check. Party.

SPEAKING of that sore heel. Welp, folks, it finally happened. Despite not having any kind of running injury for a couple of years (sigh), all is not well. It started a little over a week ago, when I began getting these little flushes of heat in my left heel at random times. It’s the weirdest feeling. One second I’m just sitting there, the next it feels like my left heel floods with warmth. It’s not uncomfortable at all, it just feels weird. But the actual heel doesn’t feel warm when I touch it. Has anyone experienced anything like that?

Anyway, then it started just feeling sore from time to time. Not good considering I have to start training for my third half in a couple of weeks. Not good at all.

So for now, I’m trying to keep up with my cardio without actually running. Last night, I got on an elliptical for the first time in literally years. Blah.

In other “Justine’s body” news? I need to get my hair did like whoa. Right now, I’m sporting what you might call “accidental ombre.” Or rather, my roots are just quite grown out. The appointment is on August 4th. Let’s DO this, remaining 16 days.

In other words, I’m falling apart. Such a great precursor to turning 25 in just over a week. Excellent.

Let’s all whine together, guys! Leave me a comment telling me something that’s bugging you. I promise to respond with RESOUNDING agreement that you don’t deserve whatever is happening to you.

Before I tell you this story, I want to make one thing clear: I have always hated when delis and other eating establishments give their sandwiches or meals “clever” names.

Why, you ask? Because undoubtedly I’m going to want the thing on the menu with the most ridiculous sounding name. In my head, I’m ordering the spinach, brie, and turkey wrap. But on the menu, I’m ordering Laverne’s Dream Wrap. In my head, I want the chicken cutlet sandwich. On the menu, I’m ordering the Cousin Ed.

Awkwardness is unavoidable, and I hate it.

But you know what else is unavoidable? Delis with awkwardly named sandwiches. Or so I’ve learned.

Case-in-point, a certain deli caters our cafeteria. It’s fine. Rumor has it they’re being replaced soon, but none of the employees are supposed to mention it. Lest we spend a couple of weeks choking down spit sammies. But I digress. It’s fine.

EXCEPT FOR ONE THING. All of the wraps and sandwiches have funny names.

And sure, I could list out every ingredient I want in my sandwich just to avoid saying the name, but that’s not efficient. And when there’s a line of people behind me, I’m bound to panic and say something wrong. (THERE’S JUST SO MUCH PRESSURE TO HURRY UP.)

So instead, I’ll do what they want me to do. I’ll order the Samson Swinger. Or Carla’s Favorite.

But here’s where the real trouble begins. Because apparently the deli that caters our cafeteria has no idea what is on their menu.

A few weeks ago a little sign appeared on the counter advertising Karen’s Special. It sounded delicious: turkey, gouda, spinach, sauteed onions, and Russian dressing on a roll. What’s not to like? I noticed the sign when it went up (obviously this must be something new), but didn’t have a chance to try it until, well, today.

As I approached the counter, already dreading having to order some other woman’s special, I bit the bullet and ordered.

And the guy behind the counter stared at me blankly.

“What’s that?” he asked me, as if I was just some chump making up sandwich names.

I gestured at the placard and giggled nervously.

“Um…that.” He looked where I was pointing, but apparently had never noticed the sign before.

That had been there for weeks.

I turned it around to face him and he spent a solid thirty seconds staring at it.

“I don’t know if we have that cheese.”

Um…ok? I’m mean, it’s fine for you not to have every kind of cheese, but then why would you make a special sign for the sandwich you cannot make?

“Oh…that’s fine. Provolone is fine.”

He and the other cook conferred for a minute about the ingredients. They both looked stumped. They both gave me weird looks. Like I had made this weird! Like I had somehow tricked them by smuggling in my own sandwich sign when they weren’t looking.

“Really, provolone is fine!” I chirped, eyeing the line behind me uneasily. They both shrugged, made the sandwich. I took it, paid, and fled.

I mean, the sandwich was delicious. So it’s not all bad. But I’ll probably never order it again. Because lunch should not be that stressful.

And, you know, they’re getting replaced soon.

So I’m just going to say this fast to get it over with. I’d honestly rather not talk about it at all because it just SUCKS, but since I opened the door yesterday, I feel obligated to give you all some closure.

We won’t be getting a dog for at least another ten months.


It turns out that when we signed our lease that said we could get a small pet and paid more of a deposit, what it MEANT was that we could get a cat. One cat. And only a cat.


So…yeah. That was a super fun landlord conversation yesterday. I may have cried. Today I’m just frustrated. Tomorrow I’m expecting acceptance and maybe optimism or something stupid like that.


Thanks again for all your nice words and super helpful advice yesterday. I promise to revisit it all next year.



Well, you guys, I’m a little bummed today.

I’ve made no secret of the fact that I would really, really like to get a dog. Joey feels the same. It’s part of what makes us such a great couple. (Ok, a fairly small part…but it doesn’t hurt.)

But we’ve been holding off. Partly because we feel guilty about having a dog at home all day while we’re at work. (I know, I know, everyone does this. People have to work. And since we plan on adopting a shelter dog, isn’t it better that at least they’re in a loving home than in a cement cage somewhere? Trust me, I have played out this inner dialogue more times than I care to share.)

We also take the commitment of a dog pretty seriously, and we want to make sure we have the time to dedicate to training and giving the pup plenty of attention. So even though we would love to get a puppy, we’ve become open to the idea of getting an older dog.

After over a year of going back and forth on the idea, and after a host of job changes (on my part), we’re finally at a place where we’re ready to make the leap into pet parenthood. (Yup, I called it that. You’re taking on a completely dependent life form, so yeah, I think it applies.)

The problem is, we haven’t found the right dog yet.

We came dangerously close to taking home a puppy a few weeks ago. We were with our friends Brett and Heather, when Heather (who is equally as enamored with dogs as we are) casually suggested swinging by a pet store to kill some time.

You know. Just for fun. To look. Nothing serious.

This is known as the point when we should have known better.

After I nearly sprinted into the store, I was immediately drawn to two tiny beagle pups. I made myself do a lap to appreciate every dog (Am I the only one who does this? Dogs are apparently like fine art to me.), but it wasn’t long before I found myself crouched in front of that little glass window.

One of the puppies stood out. She had immediately spotted me and was licking the glass to try to get to my fingers.

I asked if we could play with her. You know. Just for fun. To look. Nothing serious.

This is known as the point where I started playing with fire.

One of the store associates fetched the puppy (see what I did there?) and set us up in a little room with a bench full of toys. After a few minutes of warming up, it’s safe to say my husband and I were in love. (With the dog. I mean, with each other too, but that’s nothing new.)

And just to give you a point of reference as to exactly how tiny she was:

I know it looks like I’m begging for the puppy in this picture, but really I’m having a joy-meltdown because she started licking my fingers. Let me tell you, I am an excitable individual around dogs.

In a matter of minutes, our just-for-fun-to-look-nothing-serious puppy visit turned into Joey and I playing with the numbers, debating names, and figuring out how much work we could take off to train her.

In the end, though, we forced ourselves to step away. Besides the fact that pet stores skeev me out a bit, the puppy was really expensive. To the tune of $1,300. Ahem.

(For the record: A quick internet search when we got home led me to a local breeder who charged a third of the pet store’s price. AND the puppies would be more socialized and we would know where they came from and the list goes on. Don’t even get me started on what we would save by going to a shelter.)

In short, we made the responsible decision. And sometimes being responsible sucks. We’re both still a little heavyhearted about the whole ordeal. (I mean, come on. Look at that face!)

Then earlier this week, family friends of Joey’s parents told him that they were trying to find a home for their 1-and-a-half-year-old boxer/pit mix, Bella. Joey met her first, and she’s a total sweetheart, but as soon as I met her, it was pretty clear she was way too big for our apartment. A hyper beagle-sized dog is one thing; a hyper 50-pound ball of solid muscle is another.

So despite her totally loving disposition, we again made the responsible decision that we weren’t the right people for this dog.

This story could end there and still be a total bummer, but, in true me style, I’m going to take it a step further.

Last night, we decided to swing by an animal shelter to see what our options were there. We scoured every single cage, but we didn’t find anyone that really jumped out at us and headed home dog-less yet again. I mean, there are other shelters we can check, but I’m just feeling a little disheartened.

I’m just…bummed, you guys. I’m one of those people who truly believes life is better with a dog. Both Joey and I always had them growing up, and it’s a little weird to not have a furry little body snuggling with you on the couch after work.

For my pet-owning readers, where did you get your dog/cat/whatever? Do you work full-time? How’s that going? Any advice for me on finding the right dog?

Sorry for this bummer of a post. I’ll work on something more upbeat for tomorrow.