Say this aloud:

“Wad”.

Now, put an “O” in the front of it. “O-Wad”.

Now put a “Reee” at the end of it. “O-Wad-Reee”.

Say it again! Faster!

From now on, when you read the name “Audrey” in any of my blog postings, that is how you must pronounce it. “O-Wad-Reee” = “Audrey”.

Why? Because I have a new bff here in Denver. She’s a 100-or-so-year-old red-headed Jewish woman from New York with an unmistakable East coast accent. “O-Wad-Reee.”

Audrey and I first met at the mailbox of our apartment complex, where she asked me to open a package for her right then and there. It was an electric can opener. “For my arthritis,” she explained.

Since that glorious day, Audrey and I have had numerous titillating conversations that have solidified our best friendship. Some examples of these times are:

–The time she brought me a stack of magazines to read at work and then took them back an hour later, assuming that I was done reading them.

–The time she made me copy three newspaper articles she had torn out of her Denver Post for me to read and then discuss with her.

–The time she came into the office to ask me if I could tell whether or not her new Aveda Color Conserve shampoo was working.

–The time she analyzed the weights and body types of every female in my office. Aloud. In front of a bunch of people.

–And (who could forget) the time she showed my friend Susan how to perform a self breast exam by demonstrating on herself.

Yes, Audrey and I are modern-day BFFs.

The other day, I was walking around the community, and of course, in true Denver fashion, it started pouring down rain. I was running back to the office from the opposite side of the community when I heard my name being called. I looked up to see that it was Audrey yelling from her porch.

“It’s raining!” I yelled to her, as I kept walking.

“Jillian! Jillian! Come ova hea!” she yelled.

So, I turned around and walked to her patio.

“What are you doing?” she asked as she lit a candle on her wicker table.

“Running back to the office, trying not to get too wet,” I answered.

“Well, come in through my apartment. It will be much dryer,” she said.

I walked through her patio into her dining room. I’d never been in her apartment before. There were bookshelves lining the walls, filled with lopsided books and photos of grandchildren. The tv was blaring the local news. As I was looking around, I noticed that one of the burners on her range was glowing bright orange.

“Audrey!” I exclaimed. “Did you know your burner is on?”

“Oh yes,” she said. “I cooked salmon for lunch, and I thought it smelled fishy in here, so I lit the burner to take the smell away.”

Hmm.

“Well, just make sure you don’t set yourself on fire!” I reminded her.

She gave me a brief tour of her apartment, showing me exactly how she makes her bed in the mornings and how she organizes her closet.

Finally, she made me sit down with her and share a dark chocolate Hershey’s bar, explaining that she eats one every day because it “helps with one’s bowels”.

After finishing the snack and being shown how she programs her alarm system, I left Audrey’s apartment and ran the rest of the way to the office.

Oh Audrey. Although there is an 80-or-so year age difference between us, we really have become fast friends. It’s nice to have a “grandma” around here to take care of me.

Jillian + Audrey = Best friends forever.

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