Ritual Confessions

February 29, 2008

Jen’s visit

Filed under: Uncategorized — elissakaren @ 6:33 am

So, Jen arrived in Portland today at a little after one in the afternoon. I can’t believe she’s here and that she finally got to meet Charlotte. We all had a very nice afternoon and once Nick got home, we left the little girl in his care and went to dinner on Hawthorne.

In the days before she came, I spent a considerable amount of time thinking about how to best convey the joy of Portland to her. And I have to say, this question had no easy answers. Portland has incredible culinary offerings, including the best Thai and the best sushi that I’ve ever had. But Jen is not a fan of Asian cuisine, or any ethnic cuisine, for that matter. Truth be told, she is all but indifferent to food. She would choose a decent diner over nearly any other place to eat.

She also doesn’t have much use for nature. The many mountains surrounding this city were visible in all their glory today. She said they were pretty but admitted that mountains have never done anything for her.

A lot of women enjoy shopping in unique and interesting little boutiques, which Portland has in abundance. But not Jen. She’s not interested in clothes or art or even feminine luxuries like bath products.

So what did we do in New York all those years? We had our writing dates, usually in diners, sometimes at a burrito joint. We went to bars. Very occasionally, we’d take a day trip to some beautiful natural setting, but she generally went along just to indulge me.

When people come to visit from far away, they always say, “It doesn’t matter what we do. All I care about is spending time with you.” I’ve always taken that statement with a grain of salt (or, occasionally, with a grain assault). But I actually believe it coming from her. So we probably won’t be going to the Japanese Gardens, or the Arboretum, or Mt. Tabor, or Saburo’s, or any of the dozen other places on my can’t-miss list. But we’ll catch up on each other’s lives and by the time she boards her plane for L.A., we’ll probably both know exactly what we need to do with our books-in-progress.



  1. It’s wonderful that you have a friend like Jen; one who doesn’t have to be entertained but is happy to just spend time with you and your precious Charlotte. And writing dates sound absolutely delicious to me!

    Enjoy your time with her.

    Comment by Corina — February 29, 2008 @ 7:40 am

  2. Jen sounds like my kind of visitor! May the two of you have a wonderful time catching up.

    Comment by Shawn W — February 29, 2008 @ 2:11 pm

  3. I’m that kind of visitor, too. If I end up going to France, I probably won’t venture more than ten miles from Josh’s house. However, he and I and his partner all love food and wine, so I guess we’ll be stuffed, drunk, and immobile.

    I’m looking forward to hearing whether your writing projects get a boost from her visit.

    Comment by davidrochester — March 1, 2008 @ 2:15 am

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