In the seventh grade, I asked Jenna Heffern to go steady with me twice. Both of my proposals were met with derisive, blithe rejection. She refused me over landline She refused me via IM. Today, both of these technologies are antiquated, but every time I think back to those moments of dismissal the wounds of my heart are born anew. Despite the perpetual nature of my heartache, I am so glad to know Jenna. Over the course of middle school I spent more time on the phone with her than I have with every person in my life since combined. Her phone number is etched into the desiccated wood of my memory (732-YYY-1485). I tend to be less than proactive conversationally, but, for innumerable reasons, my middle school self could hold marathon breeze-shooting sessions with Jenna Heffern. I would literally tell her I was going to take a shower and she would literally reply that she would wait on the phone until I got out. In hindsight, this is baffling, but, as our interactions have grown more limited in recent years, as my agoraphobia and reticence becomes more steroidal by the day, I can see that I will rarely if ever be as comfortable talking to another human being as I was talking to Jenna back then. Even today, when I do run into her, there is a reverence in our tone, a respect paid to the candor and intimacy of the past us-es and how they remain infinitesimally but definitively a part of the current us-es. Truth is, I despise talking on the phone. I always have, barring one exception.
Interview Series Day 6: Jenna Otiepka Heffern
CP: Where and when were you born? Where do you currently reside?
JHeff: I was born at Hackensack Hospital in Hackensack New Jersey on April 29, 1988 and currently reside in Toms River , New Jersey.
CP: What is your first memory?
JHeff: My first memory sadly was being thrown out of one of those Fisher-Price jeeps. My sister went over tree roots. I went flying out.
CP: What is your animus or power animal?
JHeff: I love my koalas but, I would have to say a dove because it symbolizes peace.
CP: What is the most spontaneous thing you ever did?
JHeff: Is it sad I don’t have any? I plan everything.
Note: That is extremely sad!
CP: What names will you give your nine cats?
JHeff: Spanky (in honor of my pup), Jerry, Oliver, Sigmund, Lily, Jude, Amadeus, Inka and Gomez.
The Sentence Completion Portion of the Interview
CP: My name is Jenna Heffern, whilst buying cigarettes at the local Wawa, I notice that the cashier is Michael Jackson, I immediately scream _______!
JHeff: RIP MJ and I don’t smoke!
Note: In this situation, Michael Jackson is in hiding under the guise of a Wawa cashier, and is explicitly alive. Screaming “RIP MJ and I don’t smoke!” at him, while apt in this reality (at least the first section of the clause), seems a tad nonsensical in this tangent one. Jenna’s informing him that she doesn’t smoke cigarettes remains pertinent regardless of universe, but it does beg the question: who is she buying cigarettes for?
CP: My name is Jenna Heffern, if I could undo one event in world history it would be ____.
JHeff: The Holocaust. It makes me sick thinking about what those people went though .
CP: My name is Jenna Heffern, in my previous life I was _______.
JHeff: I actually heard that in my past life I was a Latin singer or actor, strange huh?
Note: Jenna didn’t cite her sources on this information, whether she heard from a ghost, fortune teller, or cnn.com is up to speculation.
CP: My name is Jenna Heffern and I just won a billion Canadian dollars I’m totally going to ________.
JHeff: Buy a house on the water for my Mom and Dad. Buy a farm and give a home to every animal that needs one, give money to my friends, and, of course, I would give a large sum of it to charity and cancer research.
Note: Jenna did not specify whether this was a house adjacent to the water or a futuristic floating domicile, similar to the one pictured. Continuing, whether the farm she intends to purchase would feature any of the homeless animals she would buy homes for wasn’t clear, though one would suppose buying a house for every stray cat in the world would cost at least $2 Billion Canadian dollars.
CP: My name is Jenna Heffern, I think the one actor I would love to marry besides Ashton Kutcher would be _______.
JHeff: Johnny Depp, especially with the dreads and eyeliner in Pirates of the Caribbean. Yum.
The Basically Personal Questions Portion of the Interview
CP: Can you describe yourself in a series of hand gestures?
JHeff: I don’t know, Carmen. A peace sign?
Note: A peace sign is fine, though not a series of gestures. Multiple peace signs would work.
CP: Would you rather your husband be a compassionate, loving, ugly dwarf or a harsh, degrading J Crew Model?
JHeff: A compassionate, loving, ugly dwarf. Looks can only last for so long, at the end of the day you want to be in loving arms.
Note: I should have made this dwarf deformed with a minimal life expectancy.
CP: What was the angriest you ever were in your life?
JHeff: I really don’t recall. Most likely a fight with my mom.
CP: What is your dream job (this includes any time period, but excludes male porn star, of course)?
JHeff: Damn it! A singer.
CP: If you had to eat one candy bar for the rest of your life, which candy bar would you choose?
JHeff: Baby Ruth.
CP: You have been elected The President of the United States in a landslide win over your Martian opponent Remulak 4 in the 2016 election. What policies would you enact? Which would you discontinue?
JHeff: I would most definitely try to legalize marijuana. Too many people are incarcerated unjustly for having it on them. I’m not saying go get high as a kite and drive. It would have to be a limited amount. Our healthcare system needs major re-tweaking, that makes me sick. I would keep the new energy policy and attempt to find an alternative for fossil fuels, oil causes so many problems. I heard that a vehicle ran on soda at the World’s Fair in 1964…come on now.
CP: Why wouldn’t you go out with me in the seventh grade, and why am I still waiting for my apology?
JHeff: You are silly. My apologies!
Note: All your sorries won’t make the hurt go away.
CP:What celebrity couple would you most like to be your parents (This includes only future celebrity couples)?
JHeff: I would have to go with Reese Witherspoon even though she’s newly engaged. She seems like a good mommy and Dr. Drew because hes just amazing.
Note: Dr. Drew is awful. Reese Witherspoon is adorable. I want her to hug me.
CP: Three dinner guests living or dead who would they be?
JHeff: Marilyn Monroe, Mother Theresa and Dr. Drew
Note: Dr. Drew is awful.
CP: Redo one moment in your life?
JHeff: I wouldn’t want to..the events in my life made me who I am today. I wouldn’t change a thing.
Note: Obviously Jenna overlooked opting to have dinner with Dr. Drew instead of everyone else that ever existed and wasn’t awful.
The Word Association Portion of the Interview
CP: What’s your favorite outdated type of transportation?
JHeff: Horse and Buggy.
CP: What is your favorite public place on earth?
JHeff: Seacrets in Ocean City, Maryland.
CP: What is your favorite Christmas memory?
JHeff: Last Christmas, we thought my Grandma was going to pass, so we tried to make it the best one yet for her. We did. We had a few drinks and just enjoyed each other’s company. It was so nice.
CP: What’s your favorite song to sing in the car?
JHeff: Probably Crush from Dave Matthews Band or any Taking Back Sunday song.
Note: PROBABLY CRUSH BY DAVE MATTHEWS BAND OR ANY TAKING BACK SUNDAY SONG.
Jenna’s Question for Carmen’s End of the Month Self-Interview
Q6: How could seventh grade me not want to go steady with seventh grade you, especially considering how incredible and handsome you were even at that formative age?
Note: I forgot to ask Jenna to ask me her question, and appropriately manufactured the exact question she would ask without consulting her in the least bit.