Archives for category: Brittney-PW&W

By Brittney

On September 11, 2001, as would be the case with about 85% of the following decade’s major events, I was asleep. When the first tower was hit, I was a thirteen-year-old high school freshman in Aurora, IL, drooling on my desk in my darkened second-period World History class while my erstwhile teacher, Ms. Ferkenhoff, dutifully read her overhead projector notes, slurped her Diet Coke, and attempted (unsuccessfully) to scratch herself discreetly. I’d just gotten out of gym class at an ungodly early hour, our class’ swim unit well underway, and I was exhausted from doing laps.

When class ended and I wiped the drool from my face, preparing to go to my next class, the hallways were eerily silent. I entered my choir class and it was Mr. Degroot who told us that something terrible had happened. He explained that someone had bombed a building in New York City. He turned on the TV as the second airplane crashed. I remember that there was a girl whose father was in NYC for a business trip. She began sobbing hysterically, convinced that her father had died. The girls nearest her comforted her and urged her to call home. (I never found out if her father was okay or not.) The rest of us began quickly mentally running through our list of acquaintances and family friends, anxious to make sure that everyone was accounted for.

By the time third period had ended, everyone in the school knew what had happened. The hallways were abuzz with rumors and hearsay about what was going on. There were rumors that there were planes headed for LA and DC (we would later find out about the crashed plane at the Pentagon). Rumors that we were under attack, in a war, that Chicago was next on the list. Just all kinds of reckless rumors come up with partially by shell-shocked sensationalist journalists…and also by really stupid teenagers (No one could tell the difference in the chaos).

I honestly don’t remember much else about the day. The teachers were just as shocked as we were and no lessons were taught. We simply went from classroom to classroom on our schedule, to watch more news coverage. I remember watching people jumping from the towers to substitute a fiery death for one much more final.  We saw the blood-stained cement and couldn’t comprehend what could produce that much blood – until we realized that’s what probably happens when you jump from over 100 stories high. I remember seeing the footage of people struggling through the ashes of downtown New York. I remember feeling perpetually nauseous, light-headed and wishing that I could cry so that some of these feelings, many of which I couldn’t even begin to name, would go away.

One thing that I remember though, is a conversation I’d had with some of my classmates in 2000. We were in our classroom across the street from what would be our high school, ruminating on the possibility of a nuclear war. Our logic was this: We lived in a suburb of Chicago that was, at best, about 40 miles from the center of the city, which, we reasoned, was far enough away that we would have mild radiation poisoning but ultimately live. Though Chicago is a major city, our main export is local government corruption, therefore making it much less likely to be a target. We would be safe.

On September 11th, even knowing this information, facing the fact that our country, the United States of America, which hadn’t been attacked in almost 60 years, was vulnerable to acts of terrorism that would take thousands upon thousands of lives, made us wonder: Would we be next?

9/11 didn’t really hit home for me until 2003. We had just moved from our cramped apartment in Aurora to a cozy house in Plainfield, IL and I unwillingly transferred schools in the middle of the second semester of my sophomore year. My father, caught up in a whirlwind of financial straits and civic-minded duty, rejoined the Army and was deployed with his Reserves unit to report for duty in Georgia as a training post on their way to Iraq. For reasons that are as hilarious as they are sad (that both my father and Homeland Security would probably kill me for sharing), their mission was scrubbed six months after my dad left and he returned home, never having left American soil.

Saying that I was “one of the lucky ones” implies that I was ever in any danger, which is completely untrue, but on September 11th, underneath all the confusion and the anger and the fear and the sadness, I felt lucky. Lucky that I didn’t live in a major city. Lucky that I had never been collateral damage in the wrath of faceless, terrifying terrorists. Lucky that I was able to go home and all of my family was present and accounted for.

Lucky that when all was said and done, I could go to sleep at night. Or in World History class.

Lucky that I would wake up.


By Brittney

This literally JUST happened to me, so excuse any lack of cohesive narrative. I have to tell this story while it’s fresh in my mind and I’m still in a state of disbelief so as to get every genuine reaction that I’ve felt tonight.

I work at a video store. To those of you that are asking: “Those still exist?”, yes, they do and I work in one. Sit down, shut up and listen.

A lot of strange things happen in the video store. I’ve been working there on and off for about a year, and I’d thought I’d seen a lot of what goes on: stolen videos, mismatched movie cases, irate customers who lie about whether or not they turned in their movies on time (the computer does not lie, people. It simply does not lie.), damaged items with questionable rental histories, etc.

I was wrong. Tonight has to have been one of the most fucked up nights I’ve ever had.

Steph, Genna, and I were minding the store tonight at around 11pm, when Steph was putting out some movies and heard strange sounds coming from our “back room” (read as: porn area). She came back to tell Genna and I about what she’d heard and Genna went to investigate. She returned with a skinny black dude, holding a video and told us a tale that was as ridiculous as it was hilarious.

Apparently, she found this kid, who was now standing in front of us, nervous as hell, in the back biting the security pins out of our DVD cases to steal the porn. She found a bunch of busted up, empty cases and chewed on pins and caught the kid in the act of biting at the pin of the movie she took from him.

Found: A shit-ton of these, bitten and empty.

Now, every summer, it seems, we find a ton of broken, empty cases and stolen movies, but this was the first time we’d actually caught someone in the act, much less caught someone who came quietly up to the front of the store and had been biting the pins out. With his teeth. Steph, Genna and I looked at each other and gaped at our porn thief, who was still standing there, and informed him that we’d have to call the police. He stood quietly with a blank stare on his face, sweating profusely. As soon as Steph picked up the phone, however, homeboy took off running. Genna started to chase after him, but I yelled at her to let him go…obviously this guy was both crazy and desperate and there’s no telling what a pin-biting porn thief would do while being chased or detained by someone smaller and infinitely less stupid than he.

The cops showed up as we were calling our managers and the other nearby branches to let them know what had happened, and we got the dubious pleasure of showing Shorewood and Joliet’s finest what movies were missing, as well as the movie our thief had left behind.

This is where it gets even more hilariously awkward. The titles stolen included gems such as (and my memory’s not perfect on these titles, but you’ll get the gist):

  • Buttwoman Returns
  • Awesomely Anal
  • Top Heavy Sluts
  • Big Booty Bitches #7
  • Cum in 60 Seconds or Less

And the movie left behind (and this is the actual title) was:

  • Jon and Kate Fuck Eight…A Parody

We and the police got a real kick out of this while they were dusting for prints and taking DNA samples…because this idiot had to have been drooling all over the cases in order to get the security pins out. The cops got a ton of good fingerprints and I hope that they catch this kid. They did, however, give me full license to dive-tackle the kid if he’s ever stupid enough to come back to our store…I eagerly await the day. I’m gonna bring some nunchaku and pepper spray to store behind the counter.

I’m just waiting for your bitch-ass.

My mind is just boggled at the idiocy of this kid. If I ever got to talk to him again, after I dive-tackled him and maced the shit out of him, this is what I would say:

What the ever-loving hell? First of all, why the hell are you stealing porn from a video store? The interwebs is full of pr0n that is free for the taking! What is wrong with you?! And I’m sure your booty fetishist ass can find more than enough bodacious babes online…just Google “ass” with SafeSearch OFF.

Second of all, if you’re going to steal porn from our store, please, for the love of God and all that is sanitary, DON’T BITE THE CASES! Do you have any idea how much powdered semen is probably all over that stuff? Do you enjoy the taste of another man’s baby gravy? You nasty…just all KINDS of nasty. Nasty ass nasty. Just foul, yo. That is just disgusting. Use a goddamn screwdriver or something.

Third, Jon and Kate Fuck Eight? Really, though? Really? I will never look at TLC the same way again.

Fourth, why didn’t you run in the first place? Why’d you stand there and let us all get a really good look at you? If it came down to it, we could even pull the records of the people who rented from the store during that period of time and they could identify you.

Finally, you’re an idiot. And you kind of made my night. But really, don’t come back. Like, ever.

The moral of this story is: Don’t steal porn from video rental chain stores. Just go online. It’s cheap, easy and fast. For those of you in search of NSFW fun that doesn’t involve paying or stealing from your local video rental chain, here’s a few websites that you can go to for good, dirty fun:

And since this guy just really loves the booty, here’s a clip of a man who appreciates a fine derrière just as much as Bitey McPornFace:

P.S. If you live in the Plainfield/Shorewood/Joliet, IL area, this guy was black, about 5’10”, maybe about 150lbs, 16-18 years old and last seen in a red graphic tee and black baggy jeans. Last spotted sprinting like a thoroughbred horse (or possibly just a black man outrunning the cops…take your pick) south on Route 59. Ugly bastard, too.

By Brittney

How can I start this post without sounding completely scandalous….

…To hell with it. One of the greatest joys I have in life is sounding completely scandalous.

I have the most annoying habit of groping my boyfriend in public. I can’t even help it at this point. We’ve hit the six-month mark where the physical chemistry hasn’t worn off and yet we’re so comfortable with each other that it’s second nature to seek skin-to-skin contact. Throw in the fact that out of the past six months, four of them were comprised of that dreaded state of “Long Distance Dating,” wherein I lived in Illinois and he lived in Michigan and our only point of contact was via text, email or Skype, and the ability to touch him whenever I feel like it, to reassure myself that he is, in fact, here, is one that I cannot resist abusing.

I have been judged by so many passers-by, innocent bystanders until they witnessed my sexual assault of the poor young man who accompanies me. I apologize to you: Barnes & Noble shoppers, Target employees in the electronics section, TJMaxx customers, moviegoers at all theaters in the tri-county area, and especially to the owner of that used bookstore – we didn’t knock over any books and we did actually buy stuff, so I’m only sorry you had to listen to us kissing in the stacks for 15 minutes.

It’s a very good thing that my boyfriend doesn’t mind the constant petting, stroking, kissing, and occasional butt-squeeze, otherwise, I may actually have to find a new outlet for reassuring myself that he’s actually within arm’s length instead of nearly 300 miles away. Then again, if I weren’t as discreet about it as I try to be, he’d probably be more upset about it. He finds the occasions when I we get caught amusing, like the time that several clucking older ladies came out of absolutely nowhere to give me us the stinkeye when I, ahem, had my hands full.

Those women, and the multitudes of other older women who have caught me during the many shenanigans over the years with various young men, seem to be on the lookout for girls like me. During high school, I was at a store with my (gay, but I didn’t know it then) best guy friend (that I’d had a crush on for two years) and invited him into the dressing room with me to see if he liked a particular outfit (again, I didn’t know he was gay, but he certainly knew I wanted him). I heard a gasp followed by a disapproving scoff… and there was, again, several clucking older ladies giving me us the stinkeye.

"You should know better, young lady."

Sometimes, I get the impression that these ladies secretly seek out girls like me. Their attention is drawn to the outspoken, to the scandalous, to the mindless joy of the misbehaving young women of the world — not because they inherently disapprove (even though they probably do), but because they were once girls like me.

They see themselves in the ridiculous antics I get into. They see their old flames in the boys I maul for affection. Perhaps they feel a need to reprimand the wild youth they spy acting out in stores because they remember the situations they couldn’t talk themselves out of.

A part of me knows that I will do it when I’m their age, but a larger part of me refuses. I want to be that old lady with the severe hairstyle that kindly directs the rambunctious couple to the corner of the bookstore on the other side of the romance novels, to the right of fiction, out of view of the children’s section and the store cameras and tells them to carry on. I want to be the older mom strolling through the park, winking at the couple necking in public, as if to say “Good for you. There should be more love in the world.”

Though as much as I’d like to be the elder advocate of the freedom of youth, those same disapproving ladies probably said the same thing when they were 23. We’ll all end up as old, disapproving people if we’re fortunate enough — and a lot of us will envy young people. It’s a part of life.


Unless you lived your life as a young person so thoroughly that all you can do is cheer on the newbies as they discover the freedoms that come with the reckless abandonment of being young. That’s my game plan. Be so thorough in living that all I can do is look back and sigh when I see a young woman pinning her boyfriend against a wall in the back corner of Barnes & Noble for a nice, long kiss.

Of course, knowing myself, I would probably cluck loudly in disapproval just to see the fear and shock pass across their faces as they realize that they’ve been caught yet again and then laugh softly to myself….after all, growing up doesn’t mean you have to grow old.

By Brittney

I recently came into a wee bit of internet fame (or would infamy be a better term?) as an article, as well as a slideshow gallery, was published on CNN Money about “Generation: Lost,” featuring interviews with myself and several other recent graduates who have found themselves unable to find jobs in their fields of study.

I also made the mistake of reading the comments.

I took most of them with a grain of salt because these people don’t know me and they don’t know my story. Not the whole of it, anyway.

There were a lot of aspersions on my character, however, quite a few of them that I’d like to address:

  1. While I am a minority, I made it into Princeton on the power of my own accomplishments, without the aid of any “connections” or affirmative action, and I made it out under my own power.
  2. This one is threefold: I know exactly how much money I spent at Princeton. My parents didn’t pay for my education. Princeton has a fantastic financial aid program, and while I do have student loans, they are manageable. And most of all, my finances are none of your business.
  3. I didn’t major in French and Spanish – I majored in Comparative Literature, which can be explained easiest as a double major in French and Spanish, since those are the languages I concentrated in. I also didn’t major in this because I expected to be a high school teacher. I majored in CompLit because I have every intent on teaching at the collegiate level.
  4. My decision to get a Master’s in English is not a plan to hide out in academia until the economy improves. It’s part of my 7-year plan to gain a teaching position at an institution of higher learning. I don’t care if I have to waitress until I get there because I actually do have a plan and it’s a damned good one.
  5. To those of you who stated that I should have majored in something more marketable – I agree. I completely and utterly agree with you. I actually started as a pre-medicine major – but I was completely and utterly unsuited for it. That’s not where my strengths lie. I’m terrible at math and horrible at memorization, but I’m a really good critical thinker, writer and teacher. Hence my aspiration to teach.
  6. To those that said that my generation is spoiled because we expect to be happy and wealthy from the beginning? Not entirely inaccurate. Except that I’m not happy and I won’t be until I’ve paid my dues and gotten to where I want to be. I also don’t mind slogging it out in the lower end of the salary pool (or even hourly wage pool) until I can get there. I’m more than willing to work hard to get what I want. The issue here is, the thing that I want is a job that makes me happy. Even if it doesn’t pay very well.
  7. To those of you who said that I wasted time and money on a Princeton degree when I could have majored in the same concentration at a far cheaper school? Absolute truth. I could have easily gone to a cheaper school, but I got into my dream school and it was affordable with financial aid. So I followed my dream. Sure it wasn’t practical, but at least I’m living with no regrets.

Yes, I am working at a video store as well as freelancing other jobs. Yes, I am picky about the work I choose to do. Yes, my parents have gone above and beyond the call of parental duty.

But it’s my life. And I’m not representative of all the problems that my generation faces, nor am I representative of all the problems that my generation is causing.

I’m just me. And I’m finding my way. It’s just taking a little longer than anticipated.

So, I’m not Generation: Lost. I’m more…Generation: Detour.

P.S. Thank you to everyone who had nothing but kind and helpful things to say. I appreciate it more than words can say. I made a lot of mistakes, missteps and had quite a few mishaps, but I’m getting back on track. I’ll be in graduate school in the fall, working to offset my costs, and I’ll be on my way to teaching and researching in no time!