I Miss Jennie
Today is a tough day for me.
And, I’m warning you this post is all about someone in my RL that you don’t know or care a thing about. It’s also probably not funny, so now is your chance to escape.
Her name is Jennie.
She was named for a female jackass, by her loving daddy, and grew up with a fondness for jackasses.
She’s a great deal older than me, but in the nine years I’ve known her she’s become the childlike model for the woman I want to be.
She’s irreverent, bawdy, warm, kind, and when she has to be she can be a real bitch. Her sense of humor is wicked and I have never met a more inventive prankster. She once brought a co-worker a mayonnaise and tomato sandwich (full well knowing how he felt about the two), presenting it with a great flourish, and then acted crushed when he refused to eat the two foods he detested more than anything else in the world. Another time she LOUDLY proclaimed, in a crowded restaurant, that she now understood fully the word “queef”…go look it up, I will wait.
*files nails, answers phone*
You back? See what I mean and why the rest of us at the table wished there was a small hole directly under us at that moment?
I love her dearly, and she’s one of my three best friends in the world. It’s a small circle of friends I have, because I’m fiercely independent, lack any internal filters so I speak my mind, and live in a wrong/right/black/white world. As one coworker said recently, “There are no ‘grays’ in your world, are there?”
Damn straight there aren’t, buddy.
But, I digress.
Today my dear friend and longtime coworker – Jennie – retires. I look at the words I just typed and want to cry. I can’t believe she won’t be calling me at six in the morning just to whisper “jackass” into the phone.
Let me explain.
To Jennie, ‘jackass’ is a term of endearment. This is information that would have been helpful before the first time she called me one. Instead I was left wondering what I’d done to incur her wrath, seeing as how I think I’d rather walk over broken glass before I endured Jennie’s wrath.
She had to explain it to me, and now when she calls me a jackass I smile warmly and know I’m loved.
So, today – probably as you read this – I will be prepping for Jennie’s retirement party. People from all over are coming, as her influence is far more reaching than even I anticipated. I have gotten RSVPs from folks Jennie hasn’t worked with in twenty years!
We are going to do a roast, in the spirit of the “Dean Martin Roasts” from the days of television yore. Go look it up, I’ll wait…again.
*grabs tea she forgot about in kitchen*
See what I’m talking about? It’ll be fun.
It’ll also be so incredibly bittersweet. Bitter for those of us privileged to long-know Miss Jennie, and sweet for the same reason. She, who always gave her all, will finally be able to relax and enjoy the ‘golden years’.
We’ll remember her fondly, and no doubt the ‘jackass’ term will be used long after she leaves.
Besides, she’s already warned us ‘jackasses’ she’ll be back from time to time.
And you know what?
Some people never change. Thank God.
p.s. that’s not snot..kids…that’s that glue-y stuff that comes off the back of labels sometimes…she was acting goofy…just being Jennie.