Raven hair & ruby lips
Sparks fly from her fingertips
Echoed voices in the night
She’s a restless spirit on an endless flight
(Lyrics from Witchy Woman by The Eagles)
That song came out in 1972, the same year that Jeannine “bewitched” and stole my boyfriend. Oh, did I mention that she had beautiful, long, jet-black hair? So, naturally, every time I heard the song, my blood boiled. (There’s so much high drama in life when you’re 15.)
To be fair, we went to the same school, but didn’t know each other at the time. He was her family’s paperboy and she thought he was cute, so she set out to win him, and she did. It wasn’t just that she replaced me in his affections; it was that she also claimed a place in our tightly-knit circle of friends. Anywhere I went, there she was
Jeannine (@ 1973)
with her black hair, hazel eyes and her hand tucked into the crook of his arm. Being rejected for someone else at 15 is painful; the thought of losing your friends to that person too is unthinkable. (Again, drama is everywhere when you’re 15.) I had no choice but to put on a good face and just keep showing up. And then a strange thing happened. I discovered she wasn’t all bad. In fact, there was nothing “witchy” about her – either in the evil or in the enigmatic sense. She was actually a little quirky and fun – a good balance to my shy, introspective nature – and a friendship was born.
Fast forward a few years and I’m a bridesmaid at her wedding (and no, said boyfriend is not the groom, although he remains to this day a very good friend to us both) and a year later godmother to her firstborn child.
More recently, Jeannine and I went out for dinner with our husbands. At the restaurant, a lady at a near-by table asked if one of us could take a photo of their little group. It was a girls’ night out for two adult sisters and their elderly mother and they wanted to capture it for posterity. Jeannine jumped up right away and offered to take the shot. A few minutes later, I looked over and saw her standing behind one of the women’s chairs. She was talking to the group and, as she talked, she was gently rubbing the woman’s back in little circular motions.
“Do you know them?” I asked when she came back to our table. “No, but they’re really nice,” she answered. Always one to state the obvious, I said, “OK, but you know you were rubbing a perfect stranger’s back, right?” She just shrugged and smiled. She’s like that. A touchy-feely person who’s genuinely interested in others and appears to be an open book herself. It’s only when you know her well that you understand that the last part is an illusion, smoke and mirrors.
She’s easy to approach, has no problem starting a conversation with just about anyone and can be very vocal on certain topics. She engages others easily and is a good listener. But if you’re paying attention, you’ll realize that you have to probe to find out what’s going on in her head and in her heart. You know you’re getting close when her voice gets soft and quiet, almost inaudible. And you don’t dare ask her to speak up for fear of breaking the spell and sending her scurrying back to her inner self. There may not be anything “witchy” about her, but there’s probably some truth to the restless spirit part of the song.
She’s many things including a mother, wife, naturopath, artist and friend. She’s uber-sensitive in a way that sometimes leaves me confused because it causes her anguish.
Jeannine & I (@ 1999)
But regardless of her internal dialogue, her desire to help others is real. I’m sure it has a lot to do with why she became a naturopath. She’s passionate about not messing with the natural order of things when it comes to the human body and to our beautiful planet. That’s why that jet-black hair is now generously streaked with gray. Keeping it black with the help of hair dye products would go against everything she stands for. But to paraphrase a line from Seinfeld, “It’s real and it’s spectacular.”
Cause that’s close to her heart:
Natural health is something I have been working hard at for many years….and at times well, you know, I feel that I am not always doing what I preach: exercise (not enough!!), drinking water (not as often as I should!!), am taking meds for my BP which I am not proud of and that bugs me like crazy!!!!
Probably of dying……..to know that our bodies are finite scars me….but I am confident that our spirit lives on….only: where?????
Chocolate…I looooooooooooove chocolate….and reading books!
What makes her laugh:
Babies and children. I love to watch them and play with them. I get right down on the floor and play with them…any child, I love them all.
This is a hard one. As I get older and am wishing to be more Zen, I realize that I do have pet peeves not just one! I have a hard time with people always criticizing others! I hope I don’t do it…omg! do I?? Another pet peeve: Wishing people would accept me as I am….
My good life-long friends are very important to me as is my family of course! Actually my friends are my family.