Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Jenny from the block

All a girl needs is five kinds of friends. One that knows style, one that knows books, one that knows money, one that knows food and one that knows men. If you have a friend that scores four out of five, you have hit the jackpot. Like I did, with Jenny.

Okay, so she can never give a satisfactory answer (at least according to her) to the utterly unimaginative, “What do you do?” or worse, “Where do you work?” query. She doesn’t have a real job (read doesn’t get a pay cheque which comes attached with a salary slip that constantly reminds her how much she has sold your soul for). She will probably never make it to Lotus Notes or KRAs or any such trappings of working in an organization, but she’s got what it takes.

She knows people (she has that sixth sense), clothes (she is a trained designer), money (although she doesn’t make too much of it), taxes (at least ways to get the husband to save them), food (she is the only carnivore who can make also love to vegetables) …and she knows a good deal when she sniffs one. Plus she knows men—she is as much a guy’s girl as a girl’s girl—one of the few people I can have a long (read more than five minutes) conversation with on the phone.

Her high-achiever brother, the cross-dressing son of a friend, the stubborn karigar who wants his way, the gay neighbour, the laidback husband, the cool brother-in-law, the boisterous uncle, the spirited grand-dad (who died recently), the rough-edged husband of a friend—they all rely on her for advice or just words of wisdom—though sometimes she pretends to be on the receiving end just to humour them.

Jenny has also spent a large part of her life negotiating with doctors—she is a rheumatoid arthritis patient who goes into surgery with nonchalance—each time to replace a major bone in her body. After a knee, a hip and a neck surgery, she might be scheduled for another knee, shoulder and elbow replacements in the future, but that has never deterred her from being a yes-girl to life.

So we meet.. and exchange notes—about the extremely lazy but golden-hearted men that we have married, their extreme incompetence when it comes to money or matters that involve paperwork, their extreme similarities (of falling asleep on the couch at 3 am), their extreme idiosyncrasies (being uber-attached to tattered pyjamas and cold-cuts) their extreme unreliability as far as keeping time or finding directions goes. What binds them is they love us to bits, are among the ‘few good men’ left and have never been disrespectful to women (known or unknown).

At 5’ 10, she is amongst my tallest, most elegant girlfriends. I have never seen her sloppy, or have a bad hair day, even though she doesn’t really have an‘office’ to go to. Her logic is, why dress up for others? She says it like it is. She’s my kinda girl.

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