“I can’t wait to come to your house, crawl in your bed, read US magazine, and not talk.”
That is who my friend, Jenny, is. We don’t need to talk. We already know what each other is thinking. Jenny is the kind of girl that everyone wishes they could be… Cool. Jenny is just cool. Her whole demeanor is just cool. She’s not one of those embarrassing mothers. Jenny has two kids and they actually like being with her. They’ll go to concerts together and they usually take Gracie and somehow my invitation gets lost but I know the truth… I’m not cool enough. But it’s okay, as long as Jenny likes me, all is good in the world.
I met Jenny when I was 17 years old. I think she was 15. Jenny’s brother Jamie was my first serious crush but shhh, don’t tell him. I like to pride myself on the fact that I have excellent taste in men. It all started with Jamie.… Gorgeous, surfer, writer, smart, witty, so funny it would make you blush, and according to Surfing magazine Jamie is a “21st century philosopher.” Whenever I would call the house to
stalk talk to
Jamie, his sister Jenny would answer. These phone calls ignited a lifelong
Jenny cries a lot and I like that about her. She is very sentimental and wears her heart on her sleeve. If I play the song from Macy Gray, I Had the Time of My Life, the floodgates will open for Jenny. You know how you have friends and, of course, they do things to bug you sometimes. Big things and even little things. But not Jenny, she has never bugged me even once. I like everything she does and I like how she does everything. Honestly, to me she is perfect.
It is not just Jenny and I doing our own stuff. We always have our children, David, Jenny’s family and sometimes other friends. We are always a group. Our favorite thing to do is order food and watch HBO series because remember, this is the Jenny that does not cook. However, this girl can order takeout better than anyone on the face of the earth. She doesn’t miss a beat and never forgets the guacamole or extra vinaigrette. When we are in Los Angeles we order from the same places that we have been going to since high school. Chin Chin Chinese chicken salad with extra crunchies and peanut sauce on the side. La Scala chopped salad extra dressing. Tito’s tacos and burritos with extra salsa. When we are in New York our favorite dinner is Pastrami Queen to go. When we were young in Malibu, we only ate falafels at Malibu Mutt or tuna melts at John’s Garden. Jenny and I still are upset (and discuss it often) at the fact that California Pizza Kitchen took the goat cheese pizza off the menu.
Jenny is definitely from a family of intellectuals. She was raised in an environment where humor, wit, observation, satire, conversation and literature were as important as breathing. Jenny has passed this down to her children as well.
My very most favorite thing about Jenny is her laugh. Her laugh makes the world better. I am lucky because I get to hear it all the time because we are always laughing. Lately we have been laughing because there was this one time about three years ago when Jenny and I laughed harder than we have ever laughed in our entire lives but the funny thing is that we cannot remember what we were laughing at. Jenny and I see the humor in everything. Sometimes we send each other text messages of pics of our bank accounts that say “your account is at negative 10 cents.” That can make us laugh for two hours.
Jenny and I have been having sleepovers since we were teenagers. It’s never stopped. I still call her, as an adult and say, “Can I sleep over?” I love sleeping at Jenny’s house because she always has really good product. The best shampoos, best makeup, the best hairdryer and regular coffee with Coffee-Mate creamer and great magazine subscriptions.
Jenny is the kind of girl who is always on your side… Even if I fuck up. If I hate someone you can bet your bottom dollar that Jenny will hate them too. But if I decide to like them again, so will she. Jenny will go to bat for you without a blink of the eye. The only person she has ever not hated for me is David. For the past eight years, I have complained about David to Jenny. She has never thrown him under the bus and is always his biggest supporter… No matter how annoying he is. She has never once said a disparaging word about David even when I complain about him. For some reason she understands David and “gets” David. A few years ago, Jenny and her kids were at our house celebrating Easter. We had decided to make a big fat Easter brunch. We decided to send David to the market to pick up some bacon. What we did not realize was that David had just taken a superstrong muscle relaxer/painkiller for his knee and was rather… “Loopy.” David was gone for over an hour at Whole Foods market. When he returned, he gave us the bag of groceries. The bag of groceries consisted of two things. There were two white butcher paper packages. We opened the first one. Inside the first package was exactly one slice of bacon. Not two slices, not 12 slices. Just one lonely slice of bacon. We opened the second butcher paper package. It was about 275 pounds of salami. Jenny and I just looked at each other and burst out laughing. She just understands my crazy David.
Jenny has been one of the greatest gifts of my life. I value and love her as much as I love my Gracie. We have an unbreakable bond that I know will last until infinity. I secretly hope that the day that I die, Jenny dies also, so that I will not ever have to spend a day without her. Our children will just have to fend for themselves. :-)
Jenny is the type of girl who you can go to an Irish bar with, the kind with sawdust and peanuts on the floor, have a few vodka tonics and Jenny will get up on the stage, sing karaoke, not look like a fool and totally kill it. One of the best nights of my life has been with Jenny and the kids at a Korean karaoke bar on the lower East side of Manhattan singing karaoke until 2 o’clock in the morning. Yes, with our underage children… Relax, they loved it. Jenny is the kind of friend who will join you in a midnight In-N-Out Burger run… With the children, on a school night. Relax, they loved it.
The hardest thing with Jenny is knowing that my ALS will take me from her. What is she going to do without me? I know that sounds crazy and narcissistic but it is the truth. What is Jenny going to do without me? Because, this Jenny, this Jenny loves me as much as a human being can love. I know it, I feel it, I see it and I cherish it. In August 2011, I had been diagnosed with ALS for only two months and in this time, I had spent six weeks in France, moved back to California, spent a week with Yolanda, her family and Gracie on a boat, yet I had not had a one-on-one with my Jenny. Finally, we got our chance to be alone, just she and I. Since the day of my diagnosis, I held back the tears. I did not want anyone to see me weak, vulnerable, terrified or sad. When I finally got to my Jenny, we sat outside in her backyard and it all came out. I have never cried as hard as I cried that night. Jenny cried just as hard. We cried because I had ALS, we cried because I was going to be paralyzed, we cried because Gracie was going to lose her mother, we cried because we were going to lose each other, we cried because our lives were never going to be carefree again, we cried for everything, we cried for all mankind. It wasn’t a pretty cry either. It was a sloppy, mascara running, gagging, coughing, snotty, can’t breathe, hysteria, never-ending cry that lasted until the sun came up. Yes, we sat in the backyard and cried from dusk to dawn. No alcohol, no cigarettes, no blankets… Just two girls holding onto each other for dear life.
So that is my Jenny. I am excited because in exactly 16 days, Jenny and I will be sitting next to each other in my bed in Paris, reading gossip magazines, drinking wine and not talking to each other. I couldn’t ask for anything better. Oh, and by the way, no, I will not share Jenny.