A Very Brief Essay on Peanut Allergies and Cocaine

Originally posted on Blogspot 10/9/17

I recently asked a homeless man on the A train if he had a peanut allergy before offering him the rest of an entire container of dark chocolate covered peanuts.

Which seems like a very courteous thing to do.  

And I am nothing if not courteous.

But apparently it is a stupid question to ask a person who is begging for food on the A train.  Because apparently, as it turns out, a person who is begging for food on the A train just wants to eat some food.  Hives be damned.

Several people were kind enough to help enlighten me on this issue.  For example, a man beside me wearing flip flops (MAN FLOPS, if you will–a detail I would be remiss not to include) treated me to some grade A side-eye underneath the uni-brow he had clearly tried (and failed) to trim earlier that day.  And if there is one thing I hate more than man flops and haphazardly trimmed uni-brows, it’s side-eye.  

Side-eye is passive aggressive.  I, Jesse P, promise you that if I ever have the urge to give you side-eye, I will do you the courtesy of just BLATANTLY GIVING YOU A DIRTY LOOK.

Because I am nothing if not courteous.

The second indicator was an audible laugh from somewhere in the peanut gallery (GET IT?  DO YOU GET WHY IT’S SO FUNNY THAT I SAID PEANUT GALLERY?)

And you know what?  I can take a lot.  I get a lot of smirks on the A train.  A short white blonde with an uneven bob and giant pink sunglasses is bound to stand out a little bit in Washington Heights.  But don’t laugh at me and my peanuts.  That’s uncalled for and it is certainly not courteous…

The third indicator was the look on the face of the homeless man himself.  

And okay, folks, I get it.  Blondie may have come across as a naïve little Priss whose mommy cut the crusts off her sandwiches (SHE DIDN’T—CAROLYN), and has clearly never been so hungry that she’s had to ask for food on the A train (although the peanuts in question were my dinner).

But you know what?  What if he DID have a peanut allergy?  And by trying to help him, I KILLED HIM?  

Yes, I am aware that he could probably read the label.  But as a FOOD SERVICE PROFESSIONAL it is my JOB to ask about allergies and sometimes it just comes out…and it IS possible that he couldn’t read (in all fairness, one could argue that I, myself, cannot read, as earlier that day when I tried one of the dark chocolate covered peanuts in question, I thought to myself this dark chocolate covered raisin tastes funny…)  

I don’t know!  I don’t know this man’s life!  All I know is I was trying to be nice.  Genuinely.  Not just because I feel guilty about my hatred of the man who wants money for holding the door open at the 183rd street station and gets mad at me for just opening a different door for myself.  (Courteous of him, you may be thinking?  No, no.  This doesn’t count.  This man wants to ruin me).

No.  I thought to myself…I don’t need this container of dark chocolate covered peanuts that were supposed to be raisins.  Man flops and the peanut gallery are just ignoring him, and on many occasions I do the ignoring as well, but today I have something and goddammit, I NEED TO MAKE SURE HE DOESN’T HAVE A PEANUT ALLERGY.

An insignificant sacrifice, I’m aware…  

A day in the life, folks.  A day in the life.  I don’t know that I really have a point to this one.  Is it to give the homeless what you can and hope they read the labels???  Or maybe we should take food allergies more seriously???  Don’t wear man flops??? Carefully groom your uni-brow???

I’m just rolling with the punches here.

We’ll go with that.  


One minute you’re trying to help, and the next a homeless man sasses you about how of course he’s not allergic to peanuts! and snatches your dark-chocolate-covered-peanuts-dinner out of your hand.  

One minute you think you have dark chocolate covered raisins and they are really just dark chocolate covered peanuts and you are illiterate.  

One minute a guy wearing MAN FLOPS is giving you side eye, and the next a rich Chuck Bass-type wants to do cocaine off you, but doesn’t offer you any.

I would’ve politely declined the cocaine, of course.  But it would’ve been nice to be asked.  It would’ve been courteous.

And I am nothing if not courteous.


**PS.  Recently have been getting new messages and feedback from cancer survivors just discovering “Confessions of a Disgruntled Twenty-Something Cancer Survivor”.  THANK YOU for your kind words.  I hope you’ll continue to check out my writing here…and I’ll try not to wait four months before posting again.  I am forever grateful to people who read and enjoy my (weird) writing!

Instagram: @itsmy_pardee

I Refused to Title This Post

Originally posted on Blogspot 6/13/17

I am a lazy shit.

But that is beside the point.  

And I’m not going to cuss like a son-of-a in this new blog because I am such a lady now.

Hi, I’m Jess and I used to write a popular blog about my super special-interesting-swell cancer and I used to swear a lot in said blog and bold things like this when I wanted to emphasize something or be really dramatic so you would pay attention and say, “Wow!  She is adamant about this part!”  

Run-on sentences were also a thing I did, and will probably do more of.  <—–I am also a firm believer in ending sentences with prepositions, and I also believe that by telling you in advance that I believe in ending sentences with prepositions, it makes it okay that I’m ending sentences with prepositions.  It’s what I believe in.  (SEE!  See how I ended the section about prepositions with a PREPOSITION!)

I am also under the distinct impression that I am very funny and witty. 

But you can be the judge of that.  Just don’t tell me to my face because I am also very neurotic, and a simple critique like “Jess, you are not as funny as you think you are!”  or “your joke about the use of prepositions was both pretentious and NOT witty at the same time” could result in a massive dissection and deconstruction of the very person that I am and there is not enough Effexor in the world to cover that.

Effexor is the drug that I take for anxiety/depression.  Remember what I said about the super special/something-or-other cancer?  Well, as you can probably imagine, cancer produces a lot of anxiety and it can also be very, very depressing as it makes people very, very sick and sad and kills a bunch of folks.  I also have OCD.  Which I had before the cancer.  So yeah, medicine.  Medicine is a thing I take.  I take 3 of those lil pills every day and it makes me very tired (if this were my old blog I would’ve used the “F” word in place of the word “very” in the previous sentence.  But like I said I’m a classy lady now so I don’t swear).  These lil pills contribute in part to my laziness, which was literally where we began but not at all where we ended up.

Okay, so I’m lazy because I’ve been meaning to write again for quite some time but it just seemed like it was this whole thing.  Like, for one thing I would need a good reason to write a blog.  Like CANCER! Cancer was a super great reason to write a blog and cancer is a good reason and excuse for just about everything.  Even 8 years after the fact.  People just don’t know enough about cancer and don’t want to pry and ask questions about it so I can use cancer as an excuse for pretty much anything and no one  bats an eye.  But writing about cancer every week got to be pretty depressing, and I also came to realize that I wasn’t writing that blog for myself.  I was writing it based on what I thought people would want to hear about in regards to my life with an illness that most of us only know affecting little kids or grown adults.


(I sometimes write in all caps).

Some of the other reasons I was putting off writing a new blog:
*I would have to actually create a new blog and choose a domain, and should I find another one?  Or just be lazy and keep using blogger?  (You see how that ended)
*Templates are hard, and right now the template I chose has a picture of a cat on it and the cat is not even cute.  So.  That’s something ELSE I have to tackle now.
*I have to tell everyone I wrote another blog, and that means being self-indulgent and asking you to pay attention to me.


Well.  I started realizing as of late that the blog should be for my benefit, with the hopes that others read it and enjoy it and if you don’t FUCK OFF.  (That is LITERALLY the only time.  I promise).



I’m a blonde now!  Like platinum blonde now and it’s all due to that ever-so-cliché fact that I’m semi-recently out a relationship that I was in for four years and had to change up my life in a dramatic way to prove “oh, yeaahhh girlfriend you’ve moved on!”  #basic

And yes.  To everyone who read my cancer blog, I am not with the long-time boyfriend that I used to write about.  

I would say I’m a pretty different person from the girl who wrote that blog.  I’m a delicate flower of a woman now, let me tell YOU!  I am currently sitting on my bed wearing a blue maxi-skirt and a neon green tank top that I deemed acceptable to wear to the bodega where I picked up a diet coke and a bag of Boom-Chicka-Pop and that’s all I’ve accomplished so far today.  SO FAR.  (A note on Boom-Chicka-Pop:  I was so against this popcorn for so long because of the name.  I didn’t want to ever have to say it out loud, and I hated hearing other people say it out loud because it is so, so embarrassing to say and I would become embarrassed for whomever said it. But the sweet and salty popcorn is any woman’s wet dream, okay? My roommate and I can kill an entire bag in less than a day).  
         I’m listening to “Say It Right” by Nelly Furtado.  On repeat.  Like I’ve listened to it about 12 times now and I don’t know why.  I’m drinking out of cup that LOOKS like a red plastic solo cup but it’s not!  Its a real life cup!  That you put in the dishwasher!  This is so funny to me!  The things we come up with these days!  Because who has the money to buy red solo cups anymore?  To keep replenishing your red solo cup supply? Not me!  Yesterday my seven year-old cousin called me on the phone and asked me if I was rich and how many dollars I have and I shed a single tear in the bathroom of the restaurant where I work.  

I am an elegant being.

So yeah, I’m gonna write when I feel like it and post it and you should read it because I sometimes think that I’m the only person who thinks the way I do.  But maybe you also think the way I do.  Maybe you also think that because a whole bunch of flies got into your first floor apartment when the temperature dropped last week that one laid eggs in your mouth in the middle of the night because you’re a mouth-breather and now you have a family of larvae in your intestines.  Maybe we could talk about that sometime.  Together.

All the Best,