The Garden State

It’s the age old dilemma.

Girl has period. Girl takes wrapper off tampon. Girl drops tampon on moist looking public restroom floor in a rest stop off the I-80 Pennsylvania. Girl has no more tampons.

It’s basically the plot of a mis-named Alanis Morissette song.

We’re in New Jersey. We’re supposed to be in Texas but a series of events had us, instead, coming to the land of Springsteen and Manzo.

I have never been to New Jersey, but I’ve seen it from my hotel once in the city, and I’ve watched The Sopranos and Coyote Ugly, so I feel like I have a pretty good handle on things. I also slept on a full size air mattress in my brother-in-laws apartment with three kids, so just take everything I say as one part delirium for the next seven days.

Sigh, it’s not love unless we all touch each other all the time.

Long Branch

Follow along with me on Instagram!

I plan to make due by eating all the seafood things I can get my hands on and bouncing around between here and the city as soon as I figure out another way to get to NYC without having to somehow cross water. I have very few delusions of grandeur, but I can say with the utmost confidence that had I been Jesus, the walking on water thing would have been a non-event.

They’d be all, OMG guys, come on, I heard Jesus was gonna walk on water, and I’d be all, you know what y’all, thanks for coming out, but I’m gonna put a pin in this, but definitely come watch me do this nose spaghetti thing I’ve been working on.

Manzo Sightings*: 0
Times I Tried To Pump My Own Gas: 2
Oysters Eaten: 6
Jersey Accents Faked: Infinity

*I set traps outside my brother-in-law’s apartment baited with BLK Water, I’ll keep you updated.


Facebook Comments



  1. Tawny says


    I hate that you can’t pump your own gas. Hate it. I love the Jersey beaches though, land of everything fried and bad for you. Yum!

    • Brittany says

      Seriously, they just need a list of rules. Stay in your car. Give stranger your credit card. Don’t tip him.


      • says

        Don’t tip them? I’ve never had someone turn down a tip. But as a native Texan, I too hate that you can’t pump your own gas. It drives me ca-razy.

        A couple of years ago there was a move to get rid of the law, and people actually wrote into newspapers that if they had to pump their own gas on the way to work, they’d have to shower again once they got there because they’d stink of petrol fumes.

        Say what now? How’s about you take that cup o’crazy entitled bullshit and get out of my way?

        As for getting into the city, hate to tell you girl, but you’re either going over that water or under it. If you use the PATH, just get on the train and close your eyes for the 63 seconds it takes to get over to NYC. :)

      • says

        In Oregon they totally love you if you tip! Also, here the gas is cheaper if you pay with cash vs. paying by credit card. I also totally don’t mind someone else pumping my gas… I feel so important.


  2. Kiana says

    You’re in my neck of the woods! You’re lucky you got stuck here this week and not last week, we had a 7 day heat wave. Ridiculous!! Wish we could go shopping together , I feel like I know you. Hope you have fun here. P.S I’ve never had a Manzo sighting either!

      • Sarah says

        OMG YES! I am moving this weekend and my husband will think I’m more nutty then normal but I will forgo sleep to hang out with yall.
        I realize that sounded stalkery but I’m in need of quality say inappropriate things and not be judged girl time like woah.
        Selfishly, I vote for somewhere close to Philly. Haddonfield is adorable.

        • Brittany says

          Make sure you are following me on FB, I’ll through something up there when I figure it out!!!

  3. Ally says

    Ohh! Jersey! The Armpit of America! (I kid. I’m from Queens. NYC has a natural rivalry with that state.)

    Don’t walk on the water. The Hudson is effing filthy, and you’ll probably come out of it with an extra limb and a third eye.

    Want to stay landbound: Check out the outlets. Also, in Elizabeth (exit 13A on the turnpike) there’s a massive ToysRUs with a ferris wheel inside. The kids will shit themselves. But if Gigi isn’t potty trained yet, that would be expected. It’s a lot cheaper then Six Flags Great Adventure, also in Jersey. And if you want to see a Manzo, try Little Town NJ in Hoboken. The sons are co-owners. I have no idea how good the food is though. But Albie’s hot so it might be worth it.

    Feeling brave?: With enough Valium (which should buy you time until the rain passes through) you can probably bear the Ferry on over to Liberty Island (for Miss Liberty herself, now reopen to visitors) and Ellis Island (anyone you know come through Immigration in the last 150 years? Find their actual name in the actual registration book. No, Will Smith did not make that up for Hitch). Bonus points for being able to shut up the moms on the car line in September, that you took your kids on “educational trips”. You supermom, you.

    Or try the PATH trains. You’ll go through the tunnel, not see one drop of water, and you’ll be in the city in no time. Takes like 5 minutes from Jersey City or Hoboken. Then come up to Rockefeller Center, and I’ll buy you guys dinner lol Or better yet, drinks at Silver Lining in TriBeCa–it’s a speakeasy/jazz lounge, where you ask for “Bartender’s Choice” (give the guy parameters – “I like sweet, fruity, preferably rum” – and he custom-mixes a drink JUST FOR YOU based off fresh ingredients and unknown mixology). It’s amazeballs.

      • Ally says

        LOL Never been on the PATH. All I know is that’s the train half my Jersey coworkers take. And after growing up in Queens with the disasterous LIRR and the infamous 7 Line (you gotta be extra ghastly if even John Rocker rips you apart!), I thought I’d seen the worst of mass transit. Thank you for frightening the shit out of me lol

  4. Maggie says

    Welcome to Jersey! Make plans to head “down the shore”, and while you are there, eat a pork roll (taylor ham..depending on what county you are in) and cheese on a hard roll. Heaven. Glorious artery clogging heaven.

  5. Adria says

    I had no idea you couldn’t pump your own gas in Jersey. Thanks for teaching me something I’ll probably never use today. Who knew? Do we know why they can’t do it themselves?

  6. says

    I’m from New Jersey and I don’t know what the heck a Manzo is. Now I’m off to the internet to look it up. I’m thinking it must be an underwater monster, kind of like Nessie, but it lives in the Atlantic off the Jersey Shore.

  7. Lesley says

    Please do definitely figure out a meet-up! I live up the street from your brother-in-law, apparently. You can absolutely have a Manzo sighting if you stay around long enough either there, or go to Little Town, the boys’ restaurant downtown… and the best and fastest and easiest way to venture into NYC is the NY Waterway ferry – kids heart it and it goes so quickly and has free buses on the other side to take you almost anywhere you want to go…

  8. Desiree says

    Hubs is from NJ. Pre-TV show when we would visit his parents I would start asking when we were going to the “Jersey Shore.” He would get so mad, since his hometown is pretty much smack in the middle of the state. I would reply with “Hey! I’m walkin’ ‘ERE!!” He would have to leave the room. Then we would get there and I would read all the freeway signs in creepy voices. “MahhhhhWAHHHHHHH.”

      • Desiree says

        Needless to say, he was ecstatic when his parents moved to Florida. But I still like to whisper “Mahhhhwahhhh” to him in the dark.

  9. Elizabeth says

    I grew up in Jersey, but left as soon as I went to college. I visit fairly often as my dad’s whole side of the family lives there (My mom’s side is in Ohio like you!). I mainly get annoyed with other’s stereotypes of the state (albeit, a lot of them are true). From living in the southern half of the state, I can honestly say North and South Jersey are two very different places. The infamous Jersey accent is from the north (I blame Long Island), but in the south, it’s like Redneck central. I mean, I grew up on a farm in the middle of the Pine Barrens (see Sopranos episode for reference). I will say, though, NJ has some of the best food I’ve ever had in my life. Mack and Manco’s Pizza (Now just Mack and Mack’s) in Ocean City and Wildwood, NJ, Pic-a-lilli wings in Shamong, NJ, and pretty much any hoagie from any sandwich shop. Oh, and porkroll with egg on a biscuit. Get this for breakfast ANYWHERE. Enjoy the state and all it has to offer (or lack thereof haha) but appreciate some of the other beaches in other states that don’t charge you to enter the beach. And yes, I HATE pumping my own gas, so I’m happy to be living in MD where I an do it on my own time and at my own pace.

    • jasi says

      central jersey girl here. right from the middle. we are the best part of jersey! we have lots of good shopping, lots of rolling green fields, tons of beach and sea food, artsy places (red bank) and culture (count basie). markets with tons of fresh produce, high end gourmet farms with exotic and really impressive eateries. every kind of ethnic shopping and food you can think of. ikea to the north, 6 flags and outlets to the south, parks everywhere. awesome!

      not everywhere in jersey is industrial or urban or straight out of deliverance. visit the middle parts for the best of everything. then hop a train into nyc and work your way up from canal to broadway. stop and eat a little everywhere, through chinatown, little italy, soho, and finish off at some museum on the upper east. have a cab take you back to port authority and go home with ugly i <3 ny tshirts and chinese slippers. really do it up!

  10. Carlyn says

    Its a union job, If you do it yourself, your taking work away from the gas attendant… people trust.. when its pouring rain, or FREEZING out, I am happy to not have to get out of my car to pump gas, I lived in NC had to pump my own.. hated it when it was raining or cold, or HOT! lol.

    Also… a meet up?? um ok!!!!! You need to head to point pleasant, great boardwalk for the kiddies.

    Also if you want a springsteen sighting, head on down to Asbury Park, it may happen!

  11. Jane says

    Welcome to Jersey! Would love to meet you while you are here, but I don’t do Facebook… Please post your meetup here so I can join in the fun!

  12. says

    I am Jersey born & bread…South Jersey by Philly. If I had to pump my own gas I’d probably curl into the fetal position & cry. I wouldn’t know where to start. Enjoy your stay!

  13. Liz says

    Okay, so having worked in a barn for many years, I have plenty of stories of “the last tampon” dropping where I should not have picked it up. However, in my opinion a dropped tampon beats out on a makeshift maxi pad made of hard, folded up paper towels. However, I do wonder how I never got a raging UTI at some point in my younger years lol. But I gotta ask–did you use the dropped tampon?

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