very distinctly the moment that i stepped into the
masonic temple with nothing but a knapsack carrying
lunch money, a granola bar and a bottle of water...
i felt obviously unprepared and scared shitless.it
was my second job in the glorious world of television
and i had been given the coveted title of 'viewer
relations', aka 'email girl'. i didn't know anybody
on the show but as my dad always told me, "firm
handshake and look 'em in the eye"... the recipe
for making new friends.so i did.
my way through pretty much the whole staff (around
65 people at the time) and latched on to a few individuals
straight away.i really loved my bosses, al magee
(who to me was very impressive without tv cred,
that of 'sleep country' fame), john & barb (who
frightened me with their random surprise visits),
and commander-in-chief (also known as payday lady),
crew's personalities began to emerge and people
started to mesh. i don't remember how it happened,
all i know is a few post show drinks at the bar
next door, a ctv christmas party, the first annual
'alcopalooza' and you got yourself some friends.i
didn't expect to become buddy-buddy with any of
my higher-ups, but thought that they were all very
unique and i was intrigued by them... one in particular.
as i watched
sue work, i thought i pretty much had her figured
out. bookworm. dedicated wife and mom. money manager.
straight laced. enforcer of rules & regulations.
strong willed. proper, and sometimes prim. organized.
awesome speller. fierce. funny. loved milk. loved
order. sue brophey.
well, i had
some of it right.
one day, i
was laughing with a co-worker about my body type
and i cracked a joke about the size of my non-existent
chest & my lanky frame. from out of nowhere
and over at the other side of the office came the
comment, "jeni b, you are just like me when
i was your age".
mother and order-lover? i don't think so.
i was talking about some of my shenanigans 'out
on the town' and again, the shout out from over
yonder, "i tell you... you are just like me
when i was your age".
wife and milk-drinker? think again.
as the years went by. sue would tell me over and
over again how much i reminded her of herself at
my age. she would tell me about the times when she
and laurie and kim would laugh until they spilled
their wine, about her jobs as a PA, switchboard
girl and her stint on the Tommy Hunter Show. i always
agreed and smiled when she would say it, but being
a young, free, party girl 'on the town', i never
really fully believed it.
so straight. so organized. so married!
but as time
went on, i watched my moneywise boss belt out tunes
at karaoke, break her own rule of 'no smoking' in
the green room, down a couple of bottles of wine
in one sitting, super-sleuth out an employee's not-so-tricky
ways, dance her feet off, challenge me to a spelling
bee (& our host to a duel on more than one occasion),
plan parties, travel the country, work more than
one job at a time and always manage to be the life
of the party. all this while staying true to her
husband and helping her kids with homework over
the phone. every. single. day.
she is dedicated
to her friends, co-workers and family more than
anyone i know. she cries at the good stuff.
and she can (and does) don a pair of sparkly pants
in front of a crowd of 1000 without batting an eye.
this is someone to admire.
now here i
am married, organized, strong willed, emotional,
a lover of order, adament against spell check and
blessed and honoured to have been figured out all
those years ago.
i am her at
her age. a mini-sue.
and i can
tell you, there is no better compliment to be given.
if i can be even half the woman you are at your
age sue brophey, than i'm a lucky gal.
for being my friend.
me, i'm off to grab a glass of milk.