Jessica Lee

According to our dear friend Webster, the definition of a soul mate is a person ideally suited to another as a close friend or romantic partner. I don’t even have to think about it. I know my soul mate is my beautiful boo, my bestie, the Serena to my Blair…Jessica Lee. Don’t worry, my husband is aware of this. He knows there’s not even a competition. We even have our songs… Piano Man and Don’t Stop Believing. If you are lucky, you can catch us performing these songs when we are a few drinks in. I couldn’t imagine my life without her in it.

We met when my mom and Joe got together. Jessica and her family lived next door to Joe. The first memories I have of her are when she would come over to our townhouse in Fishkill. That’s when she was first introduced to our crazy. And it magically didn’t chase her away. Maybe it’s because we both come from a screwed-up family, or we both sensed a lifelong connection. I don’t know but I’m glad she didn’t run for the hills.

We really started to become close when my mom moved in with Joe. It was awesome having your best friend right next door. We have so many memories from that time. Remaking classic movies (Newsies), swimming in the greenest pool you have ever seen, getting in the car and just driving (going into creepy gas stations to ask for directions), burger king, sneaking into the city, seeing if she could cut me with a butter knife, seeing if it hurts to be hit with a soda bottle, mall trips, and my favorite, going to Ocean City Maryland with Jessica’s family. We felt like such adults when we went. Walking on the boardwalk, playing mini golf, eating at restaurants just us kids and staying up all hours of the night. Getting back to the hotel when the sun was coming up with Nanny sitting on her deck, drinking her coffee and just shaking her head at us as we headed inside.

One time, I was so sick when we were leaving Ocean City that Jessica had to drive us home. She only had her Learners’ Permit. I felt like death in the passenger seat and Ashley sat in the back. It was quite the learning experience. But she did it! Even having to drive through the city at one point. But I wasn’t worried because she had been learning from a fantastic driver all along. . . me. I taught her everything I know.

The August after I graduated from Cobleskill with my Associates’ degree, I got an apartment with Jessica, my brother Danny and our friend Sean in Poughkeepsie. Oh boy was that a wild time. Jessica and I started attending SUNY New Paltz. If you ever wanted to see what different students we were, all you had to do was sit in on our English class. Jessica would raise her hand and participate, while I sat there and prayed the teacher didn’t talk to me. We really balance each other out. Some of the best days were when we would drive to class together and couldn’t find any parking, so we took that as a sign to skip the day and head home. We would always stop for burger king on the way back. Needless to say, I wasn’t the best influence. It was probably a good thing I left New Paltz and finished my bachelor’s degree online instead.

It was a crazy time when we lived in our apartment on Hammersley. We were young, on our own and living with our friends. Every weekend was spent drinking at night and being hungover during the day. We had dinner parties, Halloween parties, fell off porches and had our only real fight. I have never really had a physical fight with someone before. I am usually known to attack with my words. But the one and only time I was ever punched was by my best friend and honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way. It makes for a great story. We were having a party like every weekend and Jessica went to leave, saying she was goinging for a walk. We didn’t live in the best part of Poughkeepsie so I went out after her. I was nervous about her being out by herself. She was not pleased and let me know. To be fair she did tell me if I didn’t go back and leave her alone, she would hit me. She has always been a woman of her word. So, she hit me. I remember we fell to the ground, looked at each other and then I walked away. We didn’t speak for a week. And then one day we just moved on and it was over. Now we laugh about it. This is one of the things I love about our relationship. If we fight (very rarely if at all) or disagree with each other, I know it will never come between us. Because our friendship is more important then all that petty bullshit.

Whenever we get together, I know it is going to be fun. Take our wine nights for example. We cook dinner (usually a fish dish), have a bottle of wine (when we were younger it was two) and watch our guilty pleasure shows like Gossip Girl. We love experimenting with wine. We have tried some that are amazing and then we have tried some that made us want to throw up (looking at you, Booberry wine).  We always seem to get ourselves into situations that I swear would only happen to us. One time at Planet fitness we were looking for a parking space. I found one and put my blinker on to turn in when this woman cut me off and took the spot. Jessica and I were annoyed but moved on and found another spot. We went in, did our workout. But on the way out, an employee stopped us. He asked us if we had an altercation in the parking lot. We were so confused. The only thing we could think was that they meant the woman that took our spot. He said her mother called and told them Jessica and I got out of our car and started kicking the car and attacking it. The mother said she was on her way down there to find us. We were speechless. Thankfully the man believed us and told us to head out. We still laugh about it today. It was so ridiculous. The only thing I can think is that when the woman cut us off, she hit her car into the wall and damaged it. Then she was afraid of getting in trouble so came up with this crazy story of Jessica and I attacking her.

We are always trying to go out and do fun things. Every year we go to the Tap Fest beer festival and we love Woodbury common trips. This year, we took a trip to the city for her birthday. We went to Bryant Park, saw the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center and ate at a delicious restaurant. Another time recently Ashley, Jessica and I went to an interactive Van Gough experience which we loved. And the August before Covid-19, Jessica and I went to Rosé Mansion in NYC. Rosé Mansion is an interactive wine tasting with many different photo opportunities. We had such a fun time trying wines, dressing up, going in the ball pit and exploring the wine bar at the end. We may have gotten a little tipsy. And we may have forgotten Jessica’s purse and had to climb up the down escalator to retrieve it. But boy did we have fun. After the mansion we met up with my husband Dan and some friends of ours. We went for delicious Korean BBQ, had some sake and then ended the night at a bar. By the time we got to the train station, Dan was having a little trouble corralling us to the train. We were on a high and felt free. Dan may never let us forget what we put him trough that night, but we had the best time.

In October 2018, Ashley, Jess and me took a trip to surprise our dear friend Steph and her family in England. It was one of the best trips we ever went on. It was short but we were able to go to a cidery, visit family, eat and drink at beautiful restaurants, see Stonehenge, crossed Abbey Road and explored London at night. Next, we are planning a trip to Germany for this Spring and I can’t wait. I also hope we can plan many more trips in the future.

Jessica amazes me all the time. She has been through so much and keeps going. She may not always realize it, but she is by far one of the strongest, loyal, hardworking and smartest people I have ever met. We have been through tough times together, seen each other at our best and worst, but through it all we have supported and stood by each other.  My husband has deployed twice now and she was always there for me. Making sure I didn’t sit at home moping, watching our shows, making sure I didn’t get murdered by people showing up to my house with backpacks (long story) and just being there for me. He will be deploying again next year and I know she will be right there with me. We have so much to look forward to and I feel very lucky knowing she will be by my side through it all. Even when we are old and in the nursing home. We will be running that place. I can’t wait to see what adventure comes next.

“A best friend is like a four-leaf clover: hard to find and lucky to have.”

  • Irish Proverb


4 Replies to “Jessica Lee”

  1. Thank you so much for honoring me with such kind words. And the hilarious memories of course! You’re such a great friend I’ve cherished every moment being by your side. Our friendship means the world to me ❤️

    Ps. I’m still sorry that I hit you that day. For your birthday next year you get a free pass to punch me in any place of your choosing 😬😋 I at least owe you that. Love you!

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