Friday, June 25, 2004

I Love Jen

It is easy to like Jen. Affable, engaging, she has impeccable social skills honed from her father Tony, who is the master, and from her years in sales, among other things. I will never forget the first time I met her at Melissa and Bill’s great place in Collingswood. She had been a bridesmaid in a wedding and was cutting out on the stiffs to go out with us to Dirty Frank’s in Philly. Her hair was lacquered to within an inch of its life and she appeared to be pulling hundreds of bobby pins from it. All the while kibitzing with us! I liked her, but had no clue of just how intertwined our lives would become.

At first when I met her, I thought she was a very pleasant, friendly and dare I say it, lightweight gal. Boy was I ever wrong. Over the years I have gotten to her on a deeper basis. There’s a lot going on under the surface with Jen. As cheerful as she can seem, she’s no twinkie. This is a woman with substance, who stands her ground, often quietly. I always marveled at the ease which with she appeared to live her life. Everything seemed to come effortlessly. Nothing seemed to rock her world. Until her mom died, I don’t think she internalized much, or questioned things. That’s when she came fully into her own. We talk about the death of her mom and my dad a lot and about the transforming effect it has had on each of us. We both weathered some pretty serious personal storms in the wake of those events. I know that my outlook on life changed after that and so did Jen’s. It’s easier to stand up for ourselves now, , and above all, to say no.

So now she is my closest friend here in Munich, someone to whom I just went running in tears the other day, who bolsters me and makes me realize, at times, just how silly I am. I adore her and Paul, feel that I can confide in them about anything without being ridiculed. They introduced me to Chris too, which certainly buys them big points. Jen also introduced me to Joanna, an amazing gift in its own right.

It’s hard here without my huge entourage. I feel really lucky to have Jen and Paul, and of course several others. They have helped the transition a great deal. To be able to talk to Jen about Jersey is great. Makes home feel much closer. To paraphrase Martha, a very good thing.


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