I'm proud to call the infamous Naked Jen my friend, no, not on line...in real life. I've stayed at her home. She attended my wedding. Although we did meet on line, and it's a good thing we did because we very well might not have been friends if we'd met in person first. And that would have been entirely my fault, and my loss. You see, despite the daddy issues which led to some poor choices, and a role or two in some B movies where I may or may not have had a scene where I was kidnapped and chained to a bed in my undies, at heart I really am kind of a prude. It's true. I can talk a big game and make some wild jokes but at the end of the day I am a big ol lily livered prude.
I'm definitely NOT a naked person. I'm the type of gal who wraps in a towel before she steps out of the shower. Plus, I grew up in Boulder surrounded by Grateful Dead loving, long skirted hippies and I couldn't wait to get out of there to a land of shaven armpits and Jackie O sunglasses. (BTW Naked has exceptional hygiene. I feel like I need to state that for the record.) Naked Jen actually did traipse about the world following the Dead, she had pink hair! I'm pretty sure at one point in her life she smelled like patchouli. Go ahead Jen, deny it!
So you see...I was completely, wholly, and totally, prejudiced against hippies.
To call Jen that, though is really...not right. It certainly doesn't encompass all that she is. So here she was, this tiny, loud (oh yes, you can tell she's loud even on the Internet!), pink dread locked woman. I've no idea how we linked up but she challenged every prejudice I had formed, knocked down every barrier I had. She, without even knowing it, became someone I looked up to immensely. She has never greeted anything I've brought her with anything other than love, even while she read me the riot act a time or two! I deserved it. Yes, many is the time I've been wrong and she has counseled me lovingly even while giving me hell for being such an ass.
Naked Jen isn't just a friend. She's never afraid to roll up her sleeves (or take off the whole shirt) and help out. At my wedding the cake was unceremoniously dumped upon the table, the flowers weren't arranged, the topper sat on the side, undone and alone. Naked took one look at that and decided that would not do at all and lovingly arranged everything, and I do mean everything. She soon had a crew of people futzing with the centerpieces which obviously needed a little more oomph, oh! and the candles on the head table. Between Naked Jen and our amazing friends (and begrudgingly dsd although he is DEAD to me, in that special 8 th grade way that only a boy who hurts your friend can be) when we entered our reception it was simply beyond belief. I think my Jr. Bridesmaid Miranda said it best "you got married at Hogworts!" and it did look a bit like the great dining hall. If Naked had more time I'm fairly certain she could have suspended the candles in thin air, or conjured the night sky.
Naked Jen was born at the wrong time, perhaps. She really is a wise woman, a sage. Can't sleep? She's got a tincture for that. Having a panic attack? A tea will show up on your door. Pregnant? Sticky baby tea is for you. Bless her and her organics, she has helped me so many times. It's a good thing she was born now because she surely would have been hung for witchcraft! She is certainly not a witch, but she really might be a good fairy. A good fairy with a great shoe collection! Jen and I do have many things in common. We are both vegetarians and animal lovers. We both love pink. We both love our pets like people, and believe beyond a shadow of a doubt there is a soul in there. You might not think it given her moniker, but she is actually quite a clothes horse!
So yeah. She takes off her clothes. So what? She's all about empowerment and love. Body image and accepting yourself. Jen trills her triumphs from the mountaintops and wrenches open her heart to share her grief. She doesn't know any other way to be and for that I am so grateful. Naked isn't just naked in body, she is naked in soul. I am truly grateful to her for so many things. Including bringing me closer to God. I shudder to think of the friend and all the love I would have missed out on if I hadn't gotten over myself. Jen is in a word: spectacular.
That's why, when she snuck off behind the big Christmas tree with our photographer, Zach and I quickly scampered up after her. We weren't going to miss getting our picture taken with Jen at our wedding. And honestly? I love the pink dreads. They are my favorite of all her hairstyles. She is a natural pink head. Pinknette? hmmm...