Scenes From a Friendship

All of my old photos — the hard copy, pre-digital ones — are in storage.  Cleared out, with many other items, in preparation for Project Pimp My Basement.  I had forgotten this when I impulsively decided a few nights ago to dig out all of the photos of Jen that I had. 

And then I couldn’t.  They weren’t there.

Until I remembered the photo book that was given to me at my bridal shower — the one that was tucked away in the living room bookcase.  I knew Jen had put some photos in there.  I walked down the stairs, saw the white book on the edge of the shelf and remembered exactly at that moment one of the photos I would find.

This one.  From a Jersey Shore photo booth, circa 1988.  I can pretty much guarantee you that some song from Bon Jovi’s “Slippery When Wet” was playing within a mile radius.  Obviously.


Look. At. Our. Hair. 

{If you’ve never met me in person — I’m on the right — the one with the sky-high spiral perm.  Jen’s on the left, sporting a tan achieved in one day that I could not match in a lifetime.}

This was 1980s New Jersey at its finest.  I remember Jen’s older brother had come home from his first year of college around this time with a friendly warning — a revelation, even:  Girls outside of New Jersey don’t do this to their hair.  And so, he urged, we may want to consider that if we ever wanted to date anyone outside of The Garden State.

And who did we think we were in that top photo?  I don’t know.  But I love it.

* * *

The day she put that photo in the white book was 17 years later, in 2005.  It was this day — my bridal shower.  We had long ago heeded her brother’s advice and toned down the hair.  We cleaned up OK from our photo booth look, don’t you think? 


* * *

And this may be one of my favorites.  March 2007.


Here’s the funny part:  She had two babies in there, while I had one giant child.  Who looks that good at nearly eight months pregnant with twins — with a 15-month old at home? She did.  Amazing. 

* * *

And this is the last picture I have of us together — at our 20th high school reunion.  October 2010.  More fun than we ever imagined, with lots of talk of those high hair days.  Actually, we laughed about those times often — but that night was particularly nostalgic.

* * *

There were hundreds of photos taken of us before and between these shots — many of them away in that storage pod (and yes, all very well protected, bagged, sealed, etc.) — but these are some of the ones at my fingertips right now. 

For those of you who have frequently visited my blog for snark and fun, I’m sorry it’s all a little sad right now.  But it would be disingenuous of me to not write about this, since the loss of Jen so unexpectedly is pretty much always on my mind.  She was really just so special to me.  Funny seems far away.  But I know some days are better than others, and somehow this will all be OK. 

So, what I’m trying to say is thanks for indulging me while I share these photos, these memories. While it makes everything harder, it also — for a few moments at a time — makes it all just a little easier.  Because I can laugh about these times. 

Like the 1988 hair. {Which you should feel free to laugh at, too.}

And all that came before and after.

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  1. You two were beautifully connected. I’m so sorry.

  2. I am so sorry for your loss, Kim. I am glad you have this outlet to grieve and to share your feelings. I hope you are feeling some support.

  3. What great memories! I’m so sorry for your loss. Jen looks like a ball of fire. What a smile! (I won’t mention the hair since there are plenty of pics of me that could be produced.)

  4. Ed says:

    well that’s it. i’m totally posting the prom photo now.

    also, great post.

  5. seadragon says:

    I agree that it’s great you have this blog as an outlet. And no one said you have to be funny all the time.

    But that hair. Just wow. I had NO idea.

  6. alicia says:

    Thank you for the very honest writing.

  7. You two look gorgeous in all the pics! She was obviously such a special friend. And you definitely need to do this – write about her…write about what is important to you. The funny can be brought another day.

  8. those are some beautiful photos of a wondeful friendship, big hair and all.

    (we rocked the big hair where i was from in va too)

  9. Glamamom says:

    Kim, I’m terribly sorry to read about the passing of your friend. What a wonderful way to celebrate her.

  10. Erica says:

    You were/are both gorgeous, in both the 1980’s photo and the more recent photos! I personally LOVE the 80’s style!! Even though I never met or knew her, I could tell that Jen had — and HAS — a beautiful spirit. xoxo

  11. Thank you for sharing such a piece of you with us. I had a good cry after reading your post and it reminded me to take the time today to make those phone calls I keep putting off…

    On a lighter note, my favorite is the belly bump photo (you are both GORGEOUS pregnant women!) and I too rocked the high hair of the Long Island variety. wow that could be a post in itself!

  12. Loukia says:

    Oh my goodness. I am so, so very sorry for the loss of your very special friend. I am so heartbroken to hear this. She was beautiful. Again, I’m just so sorry. There are no words.

  13. Debbie Lightner says:

    I am so glad you are writing again.

    I love love LOVE the pictures of you with Jen through the years. Pictures are the greatest pathway into the recesses of our minds that bring us back to those cherished memories, even if they bring us to tears sometimes.

    I hope you’re finding your smile too.
    Sending you much love…

  14. Hold on to these photos. They’ll make you feel so much every time you stumble upon them.

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