“This here’s my Jenni”

(she is gonna kill me when she reads that title)

Getting that card last week from Jenni, really threw me back to a state of nostalgia.

I first met Jen through a mutual friend, our first week of college. “Met” is hilarious because I really just came barging into her life without so much as a warning.

My friend Shawn called me my second day at school just to see how I’d settled in, and while we were talking, he told me about how his friend Jenni just left for school too and he was pretty damn sure it was the same school. At the time, there were three girls’ dorms. One was actually closed for renovations, and I was sure she didn’t live in my dorm, so it HAD to be the dorm next door. I rudely rushed Shawn off the phone, told him I loved him and I’d call him later, blah blah blah, and made like lightening to the neighboring dorm. I ran from room to room reading the names (they had our names posted on our doors) until I found Jenni’s. I knocked on the door and this tiny little blonde opened the door and I immediately asked:

“Do you know Shawn (last name withheld for he might just kill me)?”

“Um…yes?”

“I know him too, I just got off the phone and he told me you were here!”

“No way!”

“Way!”

And that was that. We were immediate friends.

Jenni and I had some of our BEST times in college. I remember our little “traditions” like Tuesday nights at “Taco Bell”. We’d eat the Nachos Supreme and drink Ice Water, because it was cheap and when you’re in college, unless you come from a rich family, you are BROKE. We’d split a pack of Marlboro Lights or Camel Special Lights. We would carpool to “The Cellar” on Tuesday nights (after Taco Bell) and Thursday nights. (Both nights were “Ladies Night” so it was always free) She and I could tear up a floor. No kidding. She drove a Nissan Sentra and the MILES we put on it. We saw each other through “one night stands” with people we cannot even believe we went out with now. (T-Bone? Eric? Good LORD!) We dated all kinds of boys, from thugs to college geeks, to frat boys.

Then we began to grow up. She saw me in the early years of my marriage, when I was suffering from a lot of growing pains. I saw her through her first serious committed relationship. There were many nights we would cry to each other on the phone. We saw each other through a lot of pain AND a lot of happiness. Through many drunken nights too. Shots of “Buttery Nipples” chased with Keg beer at my mother in law’s 50th birthday bash? In which she stayed by me because I was so drunk I barely remember anything past that first shot. Lord, that girl has seen me at my all time lows and has been there steadfastly when I decide to pick myself up. I have tried to be the same for her.

Then she moved to Colorado and I remember the last night we spent out at the Lenoir Moose Lodge, because frankly, Lenoir is a small town, and there really wasn’t any other place with a jukebox AND a dance floor. So we danced until late into the night and left each other with a tearful goodbye.

Selfishly I miss her and wish we lived closer but moving to CO was the best decision she ever made. She is the happiest I’ve ever known her to be…and I’ll take that over anything.

When we have the rarity of both being back in North Carolina at the same time, we always try to steal time together, even if it is just a couple of hours. The last time we were together, we were on Mama Jean’s front porch, drinking Captain Morgan’s and Coke.

She and I have become very busy with our lives as of late but I know I could pick up the phone tomorrow and it would be like no time was ever lost between us…

I am blessed to have a tight circle of close girlfriends and I’m blessed to have Jenni in that circle. And though years actually pass between real live talks on the phone, I know that if I ever need her, I know her number and she’ll be there to listen.

2 Responses

  1. Jen Says:

    My wonderful caring friend Chris:
    I sit here with wet eyes as I read your heartfelt comments. Yes, my dear, I will be here if you ever need me as I know you for me. Remember, that invite for you and Howard to come stay with me is open anytime you want to visit.
    Miss you sooooooo much and hugs and kisses to you!
    Oh yes and don’t forget going to Taco Bell at 9 pm with those damn bear claw slippers on our feet. I have no idea how I drove a stick shift there and back! $1.04 will get ya a nacho supreme and ice water. Ah… always having to be the center of attention at the Cellar by standing right at the DJ stand. What about the haunted house visit? Lord, I haven’t been back to one since. Such great times. I’m so glad you were there with me.
    PS… who’s Eric? (JK)

  2. Chris Says:

    Damn, I forgot about the bear claw slippers incident. Weren’t they Virgil’s? And I completely forgot about the whole Haunted house thing. My sister nearly clawed my hand off!
    P.S. Wanna lay bets that T-Bone and Eric are probably in jail now? And probably for something lame like knockin’ over a Payless or something. I love you girl!

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