Thursday, November 01, 2007

The Gift That Keeps On Giving

For those of you that know my friend Jenny, you know this: She is warm, genuinely caring, funny, thoughtful, and spontaneous. And she is very, very generous. She will, quite literally, give you the shirt off her back. On my recent visit to Chicago, I stayed with Jenny. The morning that I was packing up to leave, she was rushing around her house finding things to pack into my car.

"I bought these three new shirts, and I love them so much. I want you to pick one to keep!" she declared.

After I picked a very cute black t-shirt with a dragonfly on the front, Jenny went on to give me a wooden table, a clock, and many more things that I dare not mention for fear that her husband, more of a collector as opposed to his purging wife, will find out.

In addition to all of the above-mentioned lovely qualities, Jenny is a bit--let's see--zealously spontaneous? disorganized? abstract? artistic? I'm not sure exactly how to describe it. Her home is lovely and well organized in many ways, streamlined and beautifully decorated. But keys often elude her, and the set of measuring spoons that I gave her upon learning that she couldn't find hers has mysteriously disappeared. She wonders why her baking sometimes flops.

When Jenny both emailed me and called me while I was on vacation in Alaska this summer to find out my new address, I was not surprised to discover that it was because she wanted to send me a gift.

"I want to subscribe to Eating Well for both of us. It is such an inspirational magazine!" said Jenny. Not one to take a list to the grocery store, she will often pick up a copy of this magazine and shop based on the recipes that look good.

I had been looking forward to receiving my first copy in the mail here at my new home, and I was not disappointed when I did. It features beautiful pictures, delicious recipes, and the added bonus that it reminds me of Jenny each time I open the pages.

A few weeks after receiving the first issue, I got piece of mail from Eating Well. It was a bill. For my subscription and for Jenny's. Well, clearly someone had made a mistake, so I ignored the bill.

A few weeks later, another bill arrived. It included a gift card that I could mail to Jenny. I decided just to pay for our subscriptions.

On my recent visit to Chicago, I decided to tell Jenny about what had happened. She has always been a friend that I could really laugh with, and I just couldn't resist sharing this with her. As I expected, she found the whole thing hilarious, and we enjoyed chuckling over the situation all weekend.

Last week, I received another notice from Eating Well. My credit card information didn't go through for some reason. Our subscriptions will be cancelled if I do not pay immediately. I'm off to call them right now.


Lucy said...

Jenny called me to tell me she'd accidentally billed you for the subscriptions because she knew I'd think it was funny.

You describe Jenny so well. I remember when I first met her and John--their lovely well organized (except for the closets) apartment--only they had no kitchen towels or washrags or sponges. I didn't understand the lack of these basic items, but Jenny just used paper towels--for almost any purpose--and the dishwasher for everything else. Let's not even discuss keys.

Beck said...

She sounds like a wonderful friend...

Jenny said...

Oh Ser,

I'm crying, really crying--with laughter at your description. I so wanted to read it to John, but you're right--better safe then sorry.

I'm in serious purge mode tonight and he and I have already clashed--I found this long, segmented stick in our bathroom (must be about eight feet when all components are attached)and I couldn't figure out what the heck it was or where it came from, so I thought to myself, "Out to the dumpster with you." But John came by and saw me. I had to tell him what I was doing and he said, "We must first try to remember what it is for before we throw it out . ."

And I said, "If we can't even remember what it is, do we really care about it enough to keep it?"

Anyway, you're one of the most generous people I've ever met. I'm so lucky to know you and so glad that we can laugh together.

How did it go with your little Grim Reaper?