Today I'm going to introduce you to my best friend Jen. (Pictures to follow!) I met Jen the summer before my senior year of college when I quit the job I'd had since I was 15 and took a job as a graphic designer at a small printing company in the next town. Where I knew absolutely no one.
The day I walked into the printing company, I was wearing a black knee-length pencil skirt I'd borrowed from my friend Katrina, a fitted short sleeved button-down top, sheer nylons and heels. I'd taken care with my hair and makeup and accessorized with small, tasteful jewelry. When I'd interviewed with the owner of the company he had stressed how his emplyees took special care to dress extremely professionally and almost never wore casual clothes like jeans or teeshirts.
I walked into that place on my first day determined to fit in and EVERY SINGLE PERSON was wearing jeans and a freaking teeshirt. Most also sported ratty sandals and sockless feet. A few appeared to be severely hungover (despite my middle of the week start date). Being the serial conformist I am, I wanted to die of embarassment. Right after stabbing the damn owner with a pencil, of course. After leaving a job that I'd had for seven years, I was
fucking terrified a little nervous for my first day to begin with and I could immediately tell that the first impression they were all getting of me was complete and utter tool.
In an effort to mask how flustered I was, I went over to my desk and started arranging my things. When the front door opened I looked up to see a pretty young blond girl in an orange tank top, a short denim skirt and cute sandals walk in. She was wearing huge, glamourous sunglasses and carrying a big, funky looking bag, and the moment she walked through the door everyone gave her a warm greeting.
Damn, but I hated that popular little bitch on sight. I just knew she was exactly the kind of snotty, superficial little fashionista I could never be friends with.
(Because... she was cute! And well dressed! Therefore... she must be a bitch? I know. Not exactly logical. Look, I was self conscious ok? I was dressed like a dork out on a first date. I was perhaps a touch judgmental.)
What I failed to realize is that she was actually about 2 seconds from becoming my best friend. One Saturday night not long after I had started at the company, Jen and another girl invited me to go to a bar out on the water with them. I was a little hesitant to go since I didn't really know either of them yet, but I went to jen's house that night and got ready with Jen and Sayfone, and by the end of the night Jen and I were sharing fishbowl drinks and taking silly pictures with people outside.
This is Jen, Say and I at Paddy's that first night, already bonded:
And Jen and I, much later that night:
See?! We were tight already. The beads are from the fishbowl drinks we bought. I think we started out with many strands so I'm not really sure why we're each only wearing on here.
Pretty soon Jen and I were such good friends I tended to forget that we'd only met recently. We shared a lot of experiences in a short amount of time and we built a shared history quickly. Soon were going shopping together on our lunch breaks and going to the casino for concerts and slot machines on the weekends. Insert gratuitous pics of good times here:
Jen's boyfriend Ray was a lot of fun and he had fun friends, so sometimes we brought him out with us...
...In spite of the fact that many, many times I feared for my life in his car. Sorry Ray!
Jen is one of those friends with whom I have a lot of great little "stories"... Like the time we drove (through a total blizzard) 2 hours away to my friends' party in Boston (which took us more like 4 hours because we somehow got completely lost many, many times) (in spite of the fact that I had been to this apartment multiple times in the past) (which pretty much sums up Kimmers Navigational Skills) and we missed our exit (and subsequently had to go through the toll) so many times that we ran out of money and the guy at the tollbooth made Jen WRITE HIM A CHECK for the (dollar) toll. While many very annoyed drivers sat very impatiently behind us. Yes.
(Far from our most ridiculous moment by the way.)
The guys at the party refused to give up on us and kept calling my cell to help us with the directions. Eventually we finally got to the party and we kind of weren't feeling it (which, really? It's pretty much a freaking GUARANTEE that if you spend 4 hours desperately trying to get somewhere? You will arrive and immediately want to leave. It's the laws of physics. Or something.)
Anyway, after an hour or so Jen started getting a really bad migraine so we decided to throw in the towel and go home. We proceeded to get lost many times AGAIN and finally collapsed in exhaustion at my house somewhere around 4 a.m. And yet? It's a few years later at this point and we'll still occasionally talk about that night and laugh. (Have to say, didn't get invited to those parties after that! Sorry boys!)
Or there was the night that we were all hanging out at Ray's apartment and Jen and I decided sometime around 3 a.m. that we wanted to make brownies. Desperately. So we walked to the 24 hour grocery store, bought a ton of ingredients, got back to Ray's apartment and realized that because Ray is a boy living on his own, perhaps we should not have assumed that he would own things like baking pans. He had nothing even close to what we needed to bake the brownies in. Naturally there was NO WAY we weren't making the brownies at that point, so our solution? Was to pour the brownie batter into a saucepan and stick it in the oven. (There may have been some alcohol involved in this story.)
In our defense, we ASKED Ray if it was ok before we did it. Whether or not he fully understood what we were asking, I cannot say. Pleading the 5th on that one.
And then (after we ate our delicious brownies) we made Ray and his friends sleep on his couches and Jen and I went and slept in his bed and gossiped.
There was the time we decided to have a yard sale at Jen's house to make some extra money, and we stayed up all night putting price tags on everything and hanging fliers around town and setting up tables, and then no one came to the damn yard sale so we packed up and went out for coffee instead.
Jen is the kind of friend who text messages my mom to say happy birthday or just see how she's doing. She randomly text messages me the first half of a song lyric to see if I can guess the second half. We went through a phase at one point where we were obsessed with finding random things to take pictures of and picture message to each other. She's my scrapbooking buddy and my secret keeper and the friend who will honestly tell me if my sweater looks like it belongs on a homeless person.
All of which is to say that Jen? Is a really, really wonderful friend. She's the friend I could call at any time of day or night and know that regardless of where she was or what she was doing, she would answer. We've laughed and cried and pretended to go to the gym together, and one day soon I know she will stand up at my wedding and say wonderful and embarassing things about me.
Summing up with a few more fun photos:
Thanks J-Nif. :)