Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Jenny, Jenny who can I turn to?

I met Jenny in 6th grade. We were both in our middle school's "gifted" program which ensured we'd be seeing a lot of each other over the next few years. There were only a handful of girls in the program so we stuck together pretty tightly but Jenny and I didn't really cement a solid strong friendship until high school.

I'd have to say it started when my best friend at the time, Brian, got himself a bit of crush on her. She got herself a bit of a crush on him back and the next thing I knew I was being a third wheel to their summer romance. Until he somehow convinced me to break up with her because he was too chicken to do it himself.

Every time I think back on that I want to find him and smack him for convincing me to do it. Then I want to smack myself for actually doing it.

Somehow, though, Jenny and I were always close after that. Even when we got our first "real" boyfriends and cars and had different classes, Jenny was always someone I could turn to when crisis struck.

We decided to lose weight together and ate fruits and veggies and alfalfa sprouts and ran miles together. When I wrecked my mom's car she was the first person I called in a panic. When I was sure I couldn't stand living at home one more second, it was to Jenny's house I ran, even though I had friends who lived much closer. We were co-editor in chief's of our high school newspaper together, formed our own literary magazine, and banded together against injustice at all costs.

When we graduated from high school we went off to the University of Florida together and moved into dorms right across the street from each other. Before long, we moved into an apartment together.
Here we are in that apartment. It was the 90's and we were rebels. She's the one in the amazingly cool Goth purple cross dress. I'm the one in the fishnets.

Here we are in Boston. I'm the one hugging the snowman. She's the one sitting on him. It's my first. In fact, this was the first time I had ever seen snow and getting to Boston was the first time I'd ever been on a plane. Jenny's the one who convinced me it was alright to just buy a plane ticket and go somewhere. I remember feeling like such an adult... though maybe not at this exact moment.

Jenny and I have changed so much since that first day of 6th grade. I was the perpetual rebel and she was the good girl back then. Somewhere along the way it's almost like we switched. I settled down and had kids and Jenny did stuff.

She went to Europe... many times. At some point she decided to move to Oregon. From Florida. I'm not even really sure why, and back then I protested. I mean, really, could she PICK a farther state to live in (little did I know)? Why did she insist on being so FAR AWAY?

But that's Jenny. When Jenny decides to do something she does it. Nothing seems to stand in her way. I am in awe of her. I remember when she packed up her little car and drove across the country with her dad. Clear across America they drove stopping to see the Grand Canyon on the way. Jenny arrived in Portland and decided that wasn't far enough. She moved to Juneau, Alaska.

She met her soon-to-be husband and they were married in Vegas on Halloween. Because that's what Jenny would do. I can't picture her in the white dress with the big veil with bridesmaids and a DJ. That's just NOT her.

After she decided she'd had enough of Alaska, Jenny tried Portland again but again it didn't stick. She's found herself a home in Braddock, PA where she and her husband are renovating a 100 year old house.

Her bravery and sense of adventure always amazes me. Her life is a journey and I don't think she knows what her destination is. I can't imagine it being any other way. I live vicariously through her so if she stops being adventurous I guess I'll have to pick up the slack.


Jenny said...[Reply to comment]

aw :)

so when I get this house under control and don't want to move for a while does that mean you'll pick up and head to Finland? 'cause I'd love to visit!

bighairenvy said...[Reply to comment]

There's nothing better than a best friend :)

Drama said...[Reply to comment]

I really need someone to explain to me why there are SO "gifted' girls out there that are blogging...are there just way more of us than I thought or are we all just trying to find a way to share with the world???? I truly am perplexed by this as of late!

You are so lucky to have such a great friend that has known you as long as so well...they are the best kind!!!