Friday, November 16, 2012

My Girl Jenny

This is my girl Jenny.
We have been friends since coke-bottle glasses were all one could buy for eyewear.
We have been friends since 72 oz. Snappy Mart mugs were worn as hats (as pictured here)
We have been friends since before email, smart phones and Skype.

We have only one person to thank for our friendship:

Yes, THE Rebecca St. James is responsible for our friendship.
See the picture: Sunday Apil 5 1998. That is the day our friendship was born.
And life has not been normal since.

Let me tell you about my girl Jenny.
She liked to say, "Let me tellllll you!"
We met because a mutual friend bought us tickets to the Rebecca St. James concert.
I was 19, she was 13 and we had both never been to a concert where we sat 5th row.
Our immediate bonding came when she offered me ear plugs. I didn't think we'd need them.
I now know that I'd be deaf today if it wasn't for her bright orange ear plugs. The Rebecca St. James You're the Voice concert was anything but quiet.

Anyway, we were sitting in the car after the concert, talking. Jenny told me that she wanted to grow up and be a photographer. 
I had a package of new film in my pocket (I know, I'm dating myself.  But like I said, we've been friends for a loooooooong time.)
I felt God say, "Give her the roll of film. Tell her that you believe in her and hear dreams to be a photographer."
I did and she was incredibly thankful.
And since then, we've been really good friends.

By the way, guess what she does for a living now?
Yep. You guessed it. Photographer.
The Lord works in mysterious ways, right?
Random Amen from the crowd.

 Jenny and I remained friends when I moved away.
Jenny is pointing to a picture of me that she taped to her wall.
It was one way that we could still be together!
She is nothing, if not, loyal.

We wrote each other letters.
I told her that I got new black rimmed glasses that were all the rage.
She started wearing pink gorillas on her head, as pictured here.
We wrote and mailed letters. 
We have been friends before email, before smart phones, before Skype.

She would write to me about what God was doing in her life,
what boys she had a crush on, what the youth group was saying about Dawson's Creek.

I would write to her and tell her about what God was doing in my life,
how I didn't think any boy would have a crush on me and I avoided telling her that I was watching Dawson's Creek.

She would write and tell me of her accomplishments in skating, her going ons with best friend, April, and update me on the fact that BELTS ice cream parlor was no longer painted lime green but now a boring beige.

I would write her and tell her that I found a boy who had a crush on me, update her on the crazy going ons with my best friend and sister, Amy and I would let her know that it was really a shame that they painted the BELTS ice cream parlour.

And I'd send her photos to remember the time:
...when we loved to take photos with our mouths open,
or wear fake hair and orangey-black sunglasses.
She'd remind me to be a diva, but not to be rude about it.
We would dream about being under cover spies,
or dream of taking flight like Mary Poppins,
and we would always remind each other to always act like a lady.
you were posing for a weight loss commercial.
Then all bets were off and ....
you could brag as much as you wanted to!

We were always honest with each other. 

And that really let things go straight to the heart.


Then came the day when the boy who had a crush on me asked me to be his wife.
And Jenny came and stood by my side.
(This is a photo that really sums up our friendship. We are both leaning on each other, laughing so hard).

I got married, we danced to Carman at my wedding and then I said good bye.
This was the last day that we saw each other....until now.

Eleven years went by.
Email was invented, and we wrote copious updates.
Me about married life and being pregnant.
She about a skating buddy named Jennifer and why they would never date the same guy again.
I would tell Jenny that I quit my job to spend time with my kids.
She would tell me that on her last day at K-mart she announced over the loud speaker:
Attention K-mart shoppers, the '80's are over. Please dress accordingly.
Skype was invented.
I would meet Rome, the love of her life.
And she would witness me being severely bandaged up after a surgery on my legs.
She would send me emails from her smart phone and I would eschew technology.

I would write to her almost daily after I worked on my novel. 
She would encourage me and tell me that I would one day be published.
I would tell her that one day she would be a published photographer and we could celebrate each other's success'.

And then the day came.
I wrote her and told her that my book was getting published.
She wrote me back this big, long email about how tired she was because she had been photographing a wedding all day.
And then she wrote an immediate email after saying, "Wait. You're getting published?!!!!!!"

We arranged a phone chat to delight in the success.
And then she dropped a bomb of her own.
A magazine had just picked up her photos and were looking at doing a few-page spread of her work.
(insert high pitch screaming here!!!!!!!)

So, it made complete sense that she should come to visit me and we would celebrate our
publishing successes.

And when she got off the plane we did what all good friends do when they see each other.
We acted like we'd never been apart.
We ate all you can eat sushi and talked endlessly about the literary themes found in The Hunger Games.
(That is soooo Capitol)
We went to Starbucks in our pajamas and made jokes to grumpy businessmen in the elevators.
And we drove to the mountains.
We boarded a gondola and ...
tried not to think about falling to our deaths.
We hiked about and took pictures of us with toques on our heads.
Red toques. No one's going to miss us if we get trapped and lost out in the woods.
I am wearing a siren on my head.
Must be payback for all my smart aleck gorilla and Snappy Mart hat jokes.

Jenny and I are all about history. When it came time to rent a swim suit for the Hot Springs, it was obvious we were going to kick it old school in these early 1920's matching Grandma swimsuits.

In the next few days we managed to cram in late nights (who needs sleep when you're older and more mature, right? That will kick us in the butt next week!). Late nights of Tim Hawkins comedy watching, sharing all our favourite country music, 
reading Robin Gunn Jones and eating a large amount of Schmoo.
(Schmoo is a Jenny Original recipe)

We went skating and she showed me that she still has what it takes to be a diva-performer.
And I showed her why she is the photographer and I can't take pictures that look decent.
She ate the pickles I made and almost ate the whole jar.
She bonded with my kids over telling them her homeschool stories.(Jenny was homeschooled with the exception of two years).
She stayed up wayyyy too late with my husband and I trying to watch My Fake Fiancee off of youtube.
And I'm not going to lie...
There may have been a few rounds of karoake to Rebecca St. James GOD album.
I mean, of course there were....

it's the only way we can thank Rebecca St. James for her helping hand in making us become the friends we are today!

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