I Would Get You a Gift,

October 17, 2008 at 7:57 pm 2 comments

but I got this new bag on Wednesday…!

Today is my friend Jennifer’s birthday. If you’ve known me a long time, then you know Jennifer. She’s been my buddy since 7th grade, and my true friend and confidante since 9th.

She’s terrific.

If I close my eyes and get a mental picture of Jennifer from way back, I can see her in Coach Dorman’s science class, wearing jeans and a “Guess Who Loves You, Jesus” tshirt. With the sleeves rolled up.

She was the nicest person in my entire Jr. High experience. God gave her to me as a friend at a time when I was trying way too hard to be cool.

I remember her inviting me to go shopping with her and her mama, Beverly. That may have been the first time we ever hung out. The three of us went to the Metrocenter and I think Jennifer got clothes for her birthday. I remember thinking her mom was so pretty, and just as funny as Jen.

From that time on, we have been so close. I mean, there were years where we didn’t talk much. We went to different high schools and colleges. But she was there. I don’t think we’ve ever gone more than a couple of months without talking.

Before you get the idea that this will be a mushy, squishy post, let me take a detour. Jennifer is not a mushy squishy person. She laughs at me. She rolls her eyes. She tells it to me straight.

And I love her for it.

There was the time we shopped with MY mom…at the Metro…and after a night of picking on her for being a size 0, we ended up in the hat section of McRaes. We were all laughing at each other trying on the biggest and gaudiest hats when I picked up one in particular and as I stretched the elastic under my chin it slipped, and smacked me under the nose. I had to walk around with a big red line across my face the whole night. I think mom and Jen busted a gut laughing at me.

Then there was the prom. Our Jr. High had a ninth grade prom. Normally, it was held at a local country club, because 14 year olds have earned a swanky night out. Right.

Our ninth grade year we had a budget crisis, long story. So our prom was held in the cafeteria. It was a big room, just right for dancing…with a huge mural of trees painted on one wall. Stunning.

Jennifer and I were all gussied up in our finest taffeta, hers purple, mine green. She had the oh-so trendy high-low hemline and big ruffles on the shoulders. I had the sequined bodice and ballskirt the size of Idaho. And if I remember right, there might have just been a banana clip in Jen’s hair. Maybe not…but still, you get the picture.

Our dates were lovely, too. Jennifer is tall. She earned the nickname “Sketti” in 9th grade because of her tall, thin form. Personally, I thought she had the build of a supermodel, and all clothes looked good on her. But her date had a beautiful view of her clavicle while dancing to such memorable songs like “Friends in Low Places”. My date…what was his name again? He was from out of town, and that’s about all I can say about him. I met him at a concert, and thought it would be fun to import a guy for Prom. When he never wrote or called after that night, my sweet friend Jen wrote him a scathing letter. I love her so much for that.

There were many, many nights that we spent riding around in whatever car her dad had most recently purchased. We would go to the video store on Terry Road and look for guys while checking out the latest PG flicks. Jen, my favorite car of all time will always be the black Honda. The world got a little sadder when it was gone.

We thought Steven Curtis Chapman’s rap “Got 2 B Tru” was a great song.

She didn’t judge me or make fun of me when I dated guys from you-know-where.

I didn’t make fun of her when we had to go out in the car her parents brought her home from the hospital in.

Talk about unconditional love.

I don’t think there’s anything we haven’t talked about. When something big happens, she’s the first friend to know. When I found out I was having Paisley, I told her before I told anyone, even my family. I knew she would understand how I was feeling. When she went through a really rotten time a while back, she sent me an email with devastating news and we prayed. We are still praying.

This is turning out to be much longer than I thought…but how do you condense a 20 year old friendship into a couple of paragraphs?

When Jen met Joey, there was no doubt in her mind that he was the one. There was no doubt in anybody’s mind! They go together perfectly. She is living the life she has always wanted and worked for. She stays home with 2 precious girls and serves alongside her husband. I think God worked them out perfectly for me, too…because I went to MC with Joey and so I got to see Jennifer a lot when they got together. Joey and I worked together at Lifeway one summer and he shared my love for all things Veggie. Now that we have kids, I think we’ve both outgrown that. He’s a Worship Pastor at a great church and I’m so proud of both of them.

I’ve been going over my life with Jen all day today and basically I guess I’m trying to say that I hope my kids can have that one friend that lets them be themselves. Jennifer tells me when I need to rethink my behavior. She loves that I can be a little crazy and even introduces me as, “my crazy friend, Anne”. She always has been verbal about her faith. She is unashamedly a Child of God. In Jr. High, you don’t find many kids with that in common. We have always talked about Jesus, and how he’s working in our lives. We pray for each other. Yesterday, I had to have a difficult conversation, so I called and she said, “When I hang up, I’ll pray for you.” And I know she did.

Maybe I was really sheltered, but I thought friendships like this were common. Now as an adult, I know how rare they are.

Happy Birthday Jen. There’s so much more I could write about, but this is a public blog. I love you more than all the Steven Curtis Chapman cds in the world. May your day be filled with Barry Manilow, clean floors, squash dressing, and no jewelry that makes you feel hot (oven hot, not Paris Hilton hot).

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Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

The Kids Go To Bed Early, and I Get the Urge… Maybe It’s the Music…

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. nicki  |  October 18, 2008 at 1:45 am

    That’s awesome! Friends are great!

    Reply
  • 2. musicmanswife  |  February 23, 2009 at 1:20 am

    I just wanted you to know that I am going through my blog from the beginning and I saw my link to this blog about me. I love you and teared up just as much this time as the first time I read it. You know I don’t cry…not a mushy person! Hope you have a wonderful week! I am praying for you.

    Reply

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