March 16, 2012
A Conversation with Brandi Glanville & Jennifer Gimenez
I have interviewed both Brandi Glanville and Jennifer Gimenez. I find them both to be entertaining and interesting. My interviews were conducted over the phone and they were great. There is a reoccurring theme when talking to them, and it is each other. With a friendship spanning 20 years, they have a special bond. By special of course I mean hilarious.
If you didn’t know anything about these two, and met them randomly, you would think they were an old couple who have been married for 50 years. They finish each other’s sentences, answer questions for each other, laugh often, and have inside jokes. There are knowing glances, and language peppered with f bombs. They are my new favorite celebrity couple.
I went to Brandi’s house to meet them both in person for the first time. The meeting was spontaneous as I simply asked them if we could chat and they extended an invitation. Granted I am harmless, and they like my work, but that I was invited to their home was both odd and lovely. These are down to earth women.
I pulled up to the house at the same time as Jennifer. She was coming back from working out, had no make-up on, was wearing work out clothes, and is absolutely beautiful. She is tall, thin, and very warm. She greeted me with a hug and I must tell you, it felt personal, not like a Hollywood fake hug. I don’t know what it is about this girl, but she is powerful.
Maybe because she looks more like my mother more than I do, or maybe because she is just an open human being, but I feel like I know her in a way I can’t quite understand. She is very aware of herself, and puts forth an energy that makes you feel like she’s got your back. There is a reason this woman keeps rising to the top. She is a star and can’t be kept down.
We walked to the house together and let me just say when Brandi opened the door I was intimidated for a second. This is a beautiful woman. It’s almost unnatural. Her body is quite simply, rocking. She also hugged me and it was with ease and comfort. She feels like an old friend because there is nothing pretentious about her. She is real, sweet and very, very tall.
Brandi is very much a mom. I was not in her house for more than a minute when she was offering food and drink. There was no saying no either. She was going to feed me, and make me drink a little something. I should have taken my laundry over because she would have washed it, folded it, and wrapped it in a bow. Brandi is a mom first, and you feel it instantly.
These chicks must do yoga because it required some serious bending for them to get down low enough to hug my 5’3” self. I settled into the land of the Amazons and spent the next four hours hanging out with the girls. We spoke about their friendship, and why it has endured for so long. They have a love for each other that is inspiring, sincere, and heavy with history.
We gathered on the couch and the fun began. Before we got to chatting Brandi let us know she got a splinter. Jen went to get tweezers, and removed it. It was huge actually and must have really hurt. They never once stopped their banter. They just kept on going. Chatting, poking fun at each other, and joking that she could have lost her finger. These chicks are funny.
They have known each for 20 years and met at a fashion show they were both walking in. Brandi had seen Jen on the cover of Allure and went over to say hello and tell her she loved it. Jennifer not only dismissed her, but told everyone else to dismiss her too. Jennifer knew of Brandi because they had dated the same guy, and Jen was not into her.
Brandi was a new model, Jen was already a supermodel, and the brush off was a little shocking to Brandi. She was small town sweet, while Jen was already a jetsetter. They crossed paths a few more times and eventually became friends. Really good friends. Jennifer was a bridesmaid in Brandi’s wedding, and Brandi led Jennifer to the light when she was in darkness.
Lots of things can define a friendship between women, and for these two their history is certainly important. Twenty years is a long time in a regular life, but these girls are not regular. They are ordinary women who have led extraordinary lives, and their bond transcends a simple friendship. They are connected forever, in profound ways, and are fiercely loyal to each other.
When Jen was struggling with addiction, Brandi stood by her. People in her life told her to let Jen go because she could not help her, but Brandi never did it. She knew she might not be able to help her, but she was going to try, and she was not going to let her go. She was a new wife, with a baby, but she was going to hang onto Jennifer and if nothing else, just be there waiting.
When Jen hit rock bottom, it was Brandi who got her somewhere safe. Brandi partnered with Jen’s mom Nelly, and together they hung on to a woman many had left behind. It has defined their relationship because it established Brandi in a mother role with Jen. She was the Momma bear, protecting her cub at all costs. She was invested and not turning back.
Years later, when Brandi was faced with leaving her marriage, it was Jen who became the mom. Brandi had young children and a husband who was cheating in a public and hurtful way when Jen stepped in. She picked up her friend and helped get her footing back. While one would think that addiction and divorce have nothing in common, they actually do.
They are places of complete darkness. You become exhausted, and no matter how many things are good in your life, it can make you want to give up. Pain is pain and no matter how you get there, getting out of it is difficult. In defining moments in the lives of these women, they led each other from the darkness to the light and it has created great love.
They interact like two halves of the same person. They finish each others sentences, give knowing glances to each other, and each thinks the other one tells stories better. They are sisters by choice, not by obligation. They constantly give each other advice even though they rarely take it. They have a very grown up relationship in terms of rules.
Nothing is off limits. They can scream at each other in one moment and when it’s done, it’s over, they are hugging, and life goes on. There is no judgment, no fear, and no pressure. As I watched them interact I found myself laughing often, but also in a bit of awe. These women have been to hell and back, both alone and with each other, and you can feel the power of their history.
They are supportive of other, but their banter is like a classic comedy routine. It’s not bickering as much as it’s the way they remember things. There are clearly two sides to every story and in their case, both sides are heartfelt, funny and caring. These chicks are like Lucy and Ethel, or as some Twitter followers suggested, Laverne and Shirley, or perhaps Thelma and Louise.
When Jennifer was in the depths of her battle with addiction, Brandi did not leave her. When Brandi was going through the end of marriage and public humiliation of a cheating husband, Jen was there. They take turns being the mother figure to each other and have been blessed that in their 20 year love affair, they have never hit the bottom at the same time.
Brandi is very funny and let me say again, prettier than anyone has a right to be. This chick is smoking. She is the glue that has always kept her friends together, and the divorce took its toll on her friendships. Some people left, and now that she is famous in her own right, some are trying to come back. Bridges have been burned, her feelings have been hurt, but she has Jen.
Sidebar: Brandi told me her family is proud of her and get a kick out of her being on television. Her nieces are convinced she is a Kardashian, which I think is freaking hilarious. They don’t watch the Real Housewives, but it’s reality TV so to them she is not only a Kardashian, but the prettiest one. Awesome. Kids are cute and Kardashian’s are bad, but that’s another blog!
At one point Jen told me that Brandi saved her life and Brandi quickly jumped in to say that Jen saved her own life. The moment lasted about a second but it was really great. There is a pride in each other that is very special. In a world were trust is hard to come by, and celebrity can bring out the crazy, their friendship began in a simpler time, and it transcends crap.
Brandi suffered a broken heart when her marriage ended. She lost the family life she wanted her whole life and to hear her talk about it is sad. Not a feel sorry for her sad, but the sadness all women feel when their marriage ends. Interesting to note that during our visit we talked a lot about love, marriage and divorce. She never said anything negative about her ex or his wife.
Regardless of what her feelings may or may not be, he is the father of her children and that trumps everything. She is classy. There is a vulnerable quality to her that is very genuine. She wants to move on and hopefully find love again. Like all women who have been scorned, it’s about self discovery, and rebuilding self-esteem. Divorce can break a woman’s soul.
I asked Jen to describe Brandi in 3 words and she chose vulnerable, feisty and beautiful. The 3 words Brandi chose for Jen were survivor, realist, and beautiful. These two women are my new favorite celebrity couple and thus must be given a celebrity name. From this day forward, Brandi Glanville and Jennifer Gimenez will be known at Brennie G. And so it is written!
Jennifer is learning to love herself in a meaningful way and understand that she is worthy of a good man. Brandi is lonely, and while still hurting, looking to rebuild her spirit and find love again. They wish the best for each other and it is lovely. Their friendship is strong and bold, but also calm and nurturing. These women are authentic, just like their friendship.
Sidebar: While gentle when needed, and forceful when required, there is no competition unless you are talking about board games. Then all bets are off and these chicks go a little crazy. Their charming interactions jumped a notch when it came to games. I love you turns to I will cut you. They really are funny and should have their own show. Someone needs to get on that.
Jennifer is lit from within and there is something spiritual about her. We all have demons in our past and although addiction is not an issue for me, you can face your own darkness through her, which brings peace. Brandi is a spectacular beauty who had her heart broken and has been able to get past it because her children bring her peace and joy. They are just like you and me.
The Amazons are tall, beautiful, funny, and living big lives, but in the end, they are just girls, like all of us, trying to get through life with dignity and grace. They are unapologetic, open, honest, brave and transparent. They are willing to air their dirty laundry with the hope that it will help someone. They are unselfish in terms of allowing people to see their struggles.
What is so interesting to me is that though they have seen each other through a lot, and did not necessarily like each other in the beginning, they do not keep score. There is no list of what each other has done or said to the other one. Their history does not look hover them or define their relationship. They are simply friends with a past, which is refreshing.
I asked them if they thought they would be friends now had they just met, and for a moment there was panic. Neither one could fathom the past 20 years not existing. They tried to answer the question but in the end couldn’t. There was a look of relief that they had a history nobody could take away, and as I looked at them I saw two little girls with endless secrets.
They are very different. Brandi is gentle but tough, and Jennifer is tough but gentle. They don’t tolerate crap from each other, and won’t allow each to take crap from anyone else. They are strongest when supporting each other, and at the end of the day have no fear they will ever be alone again because they are forever. Everyone should a friendship like this one.
We will have many options to see this dynamic duo on television. They are both doing what needs to be done in order to support themselves and their dreams. They are celebrities, but also just a couple of chicks. I like them. In spite of their offensive beauty and ridiculous height, I like them. Brennie G. is good people. When it comes to them, and us, they are keeping it real.