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Monday, November 08, 2010

Abandon All Preconceived Notions Ye Who Enter Here

The Story of Jenn Kabacinski, Part 2 (see Part 1 here)

Jenn has been stressing a little bit about her birthday. Today is Jenn's 30th.

From her first email last week:

My birthday is actually next week. The big 3-0. I know turning 30 won't change a damn thing about me but I can't resist complaining about it anyway.

From her second email to me:

My birthday on the 8th. Pee Wee on Broadway on the 10th. [Pee Wee Herman was my high school sweetheart... only he never knew anything about it]. My anniversary on the 11th. I'm excited about everything except the turning 30 part.

What can I tell Jenn to reassure her about aging? That 30 is really young and her whole life is before her? That she can still do virtually anything she wants? All true. But empty words when you hit those mile markers on life's highway. I won't lie to you Jenn or insult by giving you the "wisdom" of an older person. I don't like aging either.

Jenn speaks of her heritage:

My last name is Kabacinski. It's pronounced how it's spelled. I didn't take my husband's name because I almost find that disrespectful to my dad. I'll always be my dad's daughter - married or not. I think the world of him. ... I'm a European mutt. Dad's Polish and German. Mom's Irish, German, Swedish, Scottish, English, Welsh, and Danish too.

Jenn is no poser. She is as authentic a New Yorker as they come:

I was born and raised in Brooklyn - Gowanus... South Slope... whatever people are calling it now. ... My parents were born and raised in Brooklyn. Their parents, if not born and raised in Brooklyn, at least lived here most of their lives. Same neighborhood too actually. So I have Gowanus Brooklyn blood running through these veins.

Jenn is very close to her family:

And I lived with my parents for most of my life. I lived with them until I got married. Even when I moved three blocks away from them, I was there all of the time so I might as well have been paying them rent then too. Ha.

I did the whole move in with the current boyfriend [while dragging my sister along] stint in 2005 but that only lasted the year. I moved back home shortly after the MTA hired me.

I'm super super close with my parents. My mom and I used to joke about us being our version of Grey Gardens if it was just us. And I'm definitely daddy's little girl even though I'm the oldest.

Her marriage to Anthony:

This is my one and only marriage. I never really believed in monogamy or *love and marriage* in the traditional sense before Anthony. I didn't think any of that was natural but getting to know him instantly screwed those beliefs all up. I was suggesting to him within that first month that we should get married and three months later, we were in Vegas exchanging vows and rings in front of Elvis.

I ended up moving to Staten Island last year for a few months after Anthony and I got married. He was born in Brooklyn but lived in Staten Island most of his life. I'm a Brooklyn girl at heart but you're supposed to sacrifice for the ones you love, right? Anyway, I couldn't take that ferry anymore [I can't drive] so I kidnapped him and we've been back in Brooklyn since June.

Jenn talks of her love of school and work:

I took the 6-year plan in college [I went to Brooklyn College] because I wasn't sure what I wanted to study. I actually liked school. If I could be a professional student, I would. But I ended up majoring in both Philosophy and Early Childhood Education and minoring in Math. I wanted to teach Pre-K or Kindergarten but the MTA ended up calling me once I graduated. I did tutor and work for summer camps and after school centers but that was all part-time. I loved it but I love money and benefits more so now the MTA owns my soul. I'm a Train Conductor. Yes. I'm that person in the middle of the train opening and closing the doors and making those wonderful announcements.

The MTA also introduced me to my husband [he's a Conductor also and that's how I met him] so it makes it all the better. And my sister is actually a Conductor too. We're taking them over. They just don't know it yet.

Jenn talks of her appearance:

As for my "goth" look... I don't know what to say about it. I wouldn't actually consider myself goth. I wouldn't actually consider myself anything. How original... I know. It takes me maybe a half hour to put the face on. It used to be more dramatic and colorful years ago but I don't have the patience for that anymore. I don't really encounter any problems. Some looks. Some comments. Some bad. Some good. I like it so I'll continue to do it as long as I do like it. I think it works for me. It doesn't bother my family as far as I know. My parents are used to it and any other family should be too. My sister's look is kinda sorta similar so I'm sure they all realize that's just us by now. And now that I think about it, my mom had that crazy permed poofy 80s hair with the black eyeliner and red lipstick when I was growing up so I guess we can blame my offshoot on her. The look runs in the family. ;)

And her final words to me:

But yes, I think it's time to get lost in your website for a bit before Anthony gets home from practice. I hope this is what you wanted and I hope it didn't end up being too wordy. My fingers can get carried away. Thanks again and it was awesome meeting you Brian.

... thanks for giving me the opportunity to ramble about myself. Broads usually love that. And I think you found yourself a new soon to be regular reader of your blog. I did lose myself in it for almost two hours last night. I love reading about your own personal experiences in NYC and abroad and I love how you highlight things that would normally just be overlooked by the typical NYer you find now [that happens not to be an actual NYer]. So thank you again.

Thank you Jenn for being so candid and forthcoming and letting the world share the life a real New Yorker. It was awesome meeting you too. Oh, and Happy Birthday and Happy Anniversary from all of us!


René said...

A wonderful portrait of a lovely young woman.
Happy birthday, Jenn!

Someone Said said...

Thirty is not that old, especially for a New York broad ;)

Another fine story.

Brian Dubé said...

Someone Said - You are 100% right. But I certainly did not think that at 30 either :)

Rigel said...

Happy birthday, Jenn! :)

Leslie said...

Thanks Jenn, Anthony, and Brian for sharing another fascinating story, one of millions, about a real card carrying New Yorker.
Jenn-Wishing you a fun Birthday! Consider that each moment lived is an addition to your abundance of wisdom. Just as there are countless moments behind us—there are also infinite moments of opportunity in front of us...but mostly there is the beauty of this very moment! Celebrate!

Lily Hydrangea said...

I love the way you wrote about your life Jenn, you seem to have a natural talent for writing a personal story that really drew me in. You & your hubby sound & look like the perfect couple & I can see why Brian was intrigued to know more.
Thanks for being bold enough to approach this sweet young woman Brian.
Happy birthday Jenn & please know, Brian is so right, you have your whole life ahead of you provided you do one thing- please quit smoking! You are a beautiful YOUNG woman who sounds like a great person. The world needs more people like you in it to stick around.

Sally Darling said...

Happy Birthday Jenn. What a great story. Thanks so much for sharing your life, and thank you Brian, for having a way with people. Just like myself, see how easily people open up to you for your stories. You have a gift, so keep it up!

Jack said...

Happy birthday to Jenn. As an old geezer, it is tempting to philosophize about age, but no one cares, so I won't. We each need to walk our own walk and feel the way we feel. I always enjoy your postings, and this one -- with you guiding Jenn's emails along -- is a particularly interesting one.

Meroflee said...

Happy Birthday Jenn ! And thanks to you and Brian for telling us a bit of what makes you. You look like a very nice person and i love the way you're looking at your life... just being yourself and driving it as it. Wish you the best !

Russ/rfduck said...

Happy 30th birthday, Jenn! I'm there too. Thank for letting Brian photograph and interview you. You seem like a really cool and down-to-earth person.

Mary P. said...

Happy Birthday, Jenn! You've got a long way to go!

Jarart said...

That was great! Happy Birthday, Jenn!

Anonymous said...

My son (origin:California) and family moved to Gowanus 3 yrs ago. How nice to read about this couple and their family being my son's "neighbors". This California reader loves your blog.

Von said...

I´m reading this blog for almost a year. And for almost six months, is my favourite blog.

In April i flew to NY, for the first time, and spend a week there. My expectations were almost none, cause NYC wasn´t one of my dream destinations. I do it for my wife and my two kids. They love it. I was fascinated. The truth is, i never felt a city like NY. And feel is the right word... and the right idea. NYC is a city to feel, more than see or even explore. So, after that week, NYC become almost an obsession. And your blog become the place to visit every day, to feel again, to explore, to know a bit more every day. Until the next, "must happen" visit. Or, who knows, a definite move. Cause reading your daily posts, i find and discover all these people that make NYC the story to write (i´m a writer). And people like Jenn and Anthony (by the way, Happy Birthday Jenn) are the salt and sugar of a city that you offer us so well. And for that, my many thanks, Brian. Over, and over again.

ps: sorry for my rusty english...

Anonymous said...

LOOOOOOOOOOOVE IT!!!! This Brooklyn broad is amazing. Please Brian keep doing these series of of "Abandon All Precoceived Notions..." Also enjoyed the one about Driss Aquil.

abrazos desde el Caribe,

Anonymous said...

LOOOOOOOOOOOVE IT!!!! This Brooklyn broad is amazing. Please Brian keep doing these series of of "Abandon All Precoceived Notions..." Also enjoyed the one about Driss Aquil.

abrazos desde el Caribe,