Victor knows me very well and also doesn’t know me at all.

So yesterday Victor flew back home early because my favorite portrait artist ever was having an special artist talk in Austin and he wanted to take me to it, and I was like, “I LOVE HER.  But I don’t want to leave the house and I’m afraid of small talk and can we just skip this party and go see her art next week when there aren’t a ton of people at the gallery?” and he was like, “No.  Stop being weird.  We’re leaving the house and seeing real people” so I was like, “Fine.  But I’m hiding in the back and I’m not wearing makeup or dressing up so I can blend in with the walls.”  And then we get there and when I walk in I see the artist (Sara Scribner) and she’s in the middle of a talk with all these people and she waves at me and I notice people staring at me even more than normal and I was like, “Am I bleeding?  Is there a bird in my hair?” and I’m trying to blend back into a corner and Victor keeps staring at me and I was like, “WHAT IS YOUR DEAL?” but I did it with my eyes because I didn’t want to talk out loud and then I looked over and saw me on the wall and I was like, WTF?

Um. Is that me?
Um.What.

And I thought, “Hang on.  Is that a portrait of me on a gallery wall?” Because it totally looks like me when my friend Maile did a photo shoot of me a few years ago but then I was like, Why would I be in a portrait?  That can’t be me.  MY GOD, JENNY, YOU ARE SUCH A NARCISSIST.  But turns out it was me because Victor contacted Sara and commissioned her to do the painting to surprise me.  And it was awesome and lovely because my favorite portrait artist did my portrait, but also, I was living that moment when you try to hide from everyone at a party that I was too scared to go to and then I find a painting of me in a spotlight, which is exactly the opposite of hiding at an art show.  And I told Victor thank you, and that he really knew me and also didn’t fucking know me at all and he agreed.  And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

156 thoughts on “Victor knows me very well and also doesn’t know me at all.

Read comments below or add one.

  1. Such a lovely painting. I wish my husband appreciated art like that. I work part time in a Gallery and my husband thinks it is all a waste of time and money. YOU are a very lucky woman. Give Victor a big hug for me. 🙂

  2. Soooo beautiful! What a thoughtful gift…Victor might change my thinking about men….eventually. Lol Just wonderful! Like you!

  3. That was so sweet of him! Even though the sudden attention probably raised your heart rate a bit. The portrait is lovely, by the way!

  4. Victor and my husband never have a lot in common…First off … they are both married to hot babes with issues. I too suffer from anxiety. And they love us regardless. So as much of a pain in the ass they can be sometimes, they do something so thoughtful as buying you a portrait with your favorite artist. It always puts me in shock! Love your blog

  5. I hate surprises because they ALWAYS put you in the spotlight, and it’s SO MUCH pressure, Plus it’s embarrassing when everyone is looking at you. Still, that is one fabulous surprise! Well done, Victor.

  6. Victor scores a point! Not that I am keeping score between you two, but if I was, he wins this one. You are the LAST person I would call a narcissist and hopefully that doesn’t mean I am one.

  7. I commissioned an artist friend to do a painting of my husband’s cat once. Then I took a picture of the painting and had it printed on a t-shirt and gave him the shirt so that when he said, “Hey! That looks like my cat!” I could say, “Well, that’s because it is!” Maybe the best present I ever put together.

  8. Well done, Victor! He may be wrong in the moment, but he’s very, very right in the long run. You know what I mean. 🙂

  9. And that’s why, in those defining moments, you realize you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be. My anxiety manifests itself by making me feel displaced, so moments like that are precious to me because they ground me, again. It’s lovely and so is your Victor.

  10. You are beautiful and Victor is lovely. I know because I have my very own Victor and I wouldn’t have it any other way either.

  11. thats pretty ironic, i became an artist specifically because i knew if i was ever to become well known i could hide behind my work and the spotlight would be off me. can i do your portrait?! i work mostly in landscapes so basically i dont even need you to be IN it… they’re designed to make people feel things. I would love to do your landscape!

  12. Aww… Victor’s a sweetie… though I sympathize with the whole wanting to hide thing. And the portraits are gorgeous. You look amazing.

  13. I love that when people stare at you your first thought is to wonder if there’s a bird in your hair.

  14. That is both really, really, incredibly, astoundingly awesome, and also sounds like a nightmare. But that’s so cool, and so sweet of Victor to have your portrait commissioned by your favorite portrait artist!

  15. I’m barely hanging on from falling into my black hole but this lifted me up a little. Thank you for sharing! You are lucky to have a husband who “gets it.” Mine just doesn’t get it and is so frustrated all the time with my depression and anxiety.

  16. You look stunning. I understand the wanting to hide but at the same time I’d be like yah that’s me I’m beautiful. I hope the had wine. Wine helps. I know how hard it must have been for you but I’m glad victor did it. Good job victor

  17. My friends took me to a Ladies Night Out for my birthday once and I didn’t know man strippers were included. I was enjoying the drinks and laughing and being with friends and suddenly the music changed and firemen came pouring out of the back and just when I decided I should head for the nearest exit, they started taking their clothes off! And I was still okay with that as long as they kept their distance, but then one came straight to me and a spotlight lit me up and this greasy dude was shaking his junk in my face and he wouldn’t leave when I tried pushing him away. An EX-friend handed me a 5 dollar bill so I lifted my arm to wave it in his face while my right cheek was getting greasy. He wouldn’t take it!! Another EX-friend told me I had to put it in his banana hammock before he would leave. So, very carefully, with an index finger and a thumb, I pulled the string on his left hip, placed the $5 bill and let the string snap back. I spent the rest of the evening glaring at each EX-friend.

    And before you judge me……I was 20 years old, lived in a tiny town and had never seen strippers – male or female – before. Which is probably why all my EX-friends thought it would be a hoot.

    So, I get the whole spotlight thing and suddenly being the center of attention and being wildly unprepared for the situation. At least YOU got a portrait of yourself by a wonderful artist. All I got was a rash on my face from body grease.

  18. Victor is nailing this, “Everyone has a flaw, but if there’s gotta be one, they picked the perfect-for-you one to have” thing.

  19. Oh Jenny, you are so absolutely perfectly wonderful. How lucky we are to have you in our lives. ❤️

  20. When you last came to Dayton, Ohio last I had the date saved on the calendar for so long. I was counting down, told people I had plans, and was so excited. When you were here I ran out of spoons and had crippling anxiety and couldn’t go. I regret it but know I couldn’t help it, especially without a Victor forcing me to go. Your experience is the best, and I am glad he got you to go. He’s a keeper!

  21. So I’ve been going through a pretty low spell myself, but I keep living because of my daughter and grandkids, and I read your posts and cry and feel better. And then I read this and cried and hugged my husband, because he also does and doesn’t know me, and is understanding and compassionate to the point of being a bit enabling. A lot, actually, and I wish he could be more take-charge like your Victor, but wishing that he could “take care of me and everything else” makes me feel worse about myself, because I’m supposed be a Strong Independent Female, and right now I’m just too fucking tired for that shit.
    You know what I’ll never get tired of? That wonderful drawing you did regarding the songbird, which I keep going back to again and again, and its words comfort me and make me cry every fucking time, and I wish I could buy the print to hang by my bed and on the back of a tee to wear like my heart, which is always on my sleeve anyway.
    Thank you for being you. Whether you’re feelin’ it or not, You. Rawk. Never forget that.

  22. My dear hubby of 32 years is awesome but I’ve been a little bit in love with Victor since I read he said his life might be easier without you but not better…SIGH The 2 of you were meant to be.

  23. as someone with a lot of the same behavior disorders i hope (and know) that you would have for a moment “outsmarted” your disorders and had a moment (even if just a moment… loving all the disclaimers yet?)of feeling safer and more secure in a room full of people, because for a moment it got to be about you and you husband. His thoughtfulness is touching and so sweet. I hope, demand, beg you hang it somewhere in your house that gives you strength and confidence. Please put it somewhere you see each day, maybe in the mornings? Let it be a reminder of the love of your family, a photoshoot with a friend and a beloved artist who passionately crafted you into a canvas. This piece is fullllll of love and memories. How wonderful 🙂

  24. What a romantic thing to do! Like most men, I’m sure he loves you to death and is also perpetually confused by you. I tell my husband it keeps things interesting.

  25. Awwww that was really sweet of Victor but I completely understand the anxiety. I’m the person who throws a party but ends up listening to the party in the living room from the kitchen because being in the middle of a crowd is too much, but listening from another room to other people having a good time is oddly satisfying. I loathe being in front of people who are staring at me and being in the spotlight.

  26. Am I the only one that says Victor is a total asshole! I mean really, who would do something like that?! Only a super sweet, romantic, and one of a kind guy. You are a lucky lady Jennifer! Hold on tight to that one. Wait, wait, wait….maybe he really is an asshole….what does he want? Usually grand gestures come with a little expectation (at least that is my experience)! Hahaha, nevermind, the painting is amazing and STUNNING, who cares what strings it may come with!

  27. It is pretty fucking cool. My husband isn’t confident enough to buy me anything. He’s afraid I’ll hate it. Sometimes I wish he would…

  28. Victor deserves a slap and a cookie at the same time.

    Your portrait is so beautiful. As are you, you sparkling, flawed, fearful, brave woman.

  29. Whoa… you really need to watch last night’s episode of Pitch!! While you were at the gallery, staring at this portrait, Ginny was at a sponsor’s party, staring at huge portraits of herself on the wall and having panic attacks and acting inappropriately while wearing A RED BALL GOWN. It’s like the writers know you better than Victor!

  30. You super rock! My husband would try hard like this, and I would be feeling so awful about the difficult part, I would probably yell at him about not knowing me at all. But here you are in distress but going high anyway and appreciating the positive part. You’re my role model in terms of being the depressed spouse in a marriage.

  31. Thank You, Victor for being an amazeballs husband! I’m so happy for you, Jenny, that he knows you well but doesn’t know you at all. And he knows it! You are a very lucky Lady!

  32. If there was any way to know someone but also not at all, this is the best way to do it! So sweet 🙂

  33. I wish birds would land on our heads more often. It would force us to look up every now and then. Plus adding a raven to your hair in that portrait would give it a little something extra. Even without a bird, it’s beautiful portrait! Thanks for sharing it!

  34. Victor is so sweet! I love that he pushed you just a little bit out of your comfort zone too and that you trusted him enough to let him.

  35. That’s actually really sweet. I think I’d be having a meltdown had I been I your place, but doesn’t make it any less sweet of him.

  36. This feels like a John Hughes movie moment. Wracking brain ….Some Kind of Wonderful!!!! Some Kind Of Wonderful (1987) – The Date (2/3) – YouTube
    Some Kind Of Wonderful (1987) – The Date (2/3) – YouTube

  37. I think you are so lucky to have a man who can still surprise you even after 20 years together. You kick ass, Victor!

  38. Flashbacks to too many moments in my life. Also, slight anxiety about just thinking about this happening to me. It’s a really beautiful moment, though.

  39. Yeah, it’s a sweet thing he did, but he shoulda somehow given you a heads-up (like, maybe tell Hailey not to tell you? or something)…

    I have a nude nearly-full-size portrait of myself that has lived over my bed since I got it after our college production of Three Penny Opera. It is not by my favorite portrait artist; it is by the figure study instructor by whom I was employed as a model for two years. I think it’d be pretty cool to have a new one done now, twenty-five (or so) years later. I may even pose exposing more “naughty bits” (the first one is REALLY tame). But I wouldn’t want my husband to take a nude pic of me and then send it to be commissioned for an art gallery! That would NOT be cool.

  40. My husband says he feels your pain, because that is both very nice, and also a nightmare LOL He may also have a touch of social anxiety. All the best people do.

  41. Victor clearly adores you and knows you well enough to know you’d like this enough to not want to murder him for doing it for you. That’s love, right?
    The portrait is stunning and you are stunning and gracious even in this anxious situation.

  42. I love the paintings too. I see why she is your favorite artist. She is amazing!!!! What a great guy Victor is to do something like that for you. He must love you very very much. You are very lucky. Also, by the way the paintings are beautiful and so are you!!!!

  43. The painting is beautiful. So is your marriage. I have thought similarly of my husband–you GET me, dear husband, while in the next breath, I think, “have we met?”

  44. Wouldn’t it be cool if it was like the paintings in Harry Potter and when people gathered around, you could say in a very imperious and English way: “All you people need to get the fuck out of my gallery so I can have a little peace and quiet.”

  45. I’m in the middle of Let’s Pretend This Never Happened (in preparation for reading Furiously Happy) and omg, you and Victor are both amazing.

  46. Okay, I am a total lesbian. Having said that, I must apologize because I’m pretty sure I just fell in love with your husband.

  47. I looked at Ms. Scribner’s website. Wow! Beautiful, mysterious women. Each of whom has something going on….

  48. Aww, relationship goals.

    And also sad weeping because I’m feeling particularly lonely and single today.

    But mostly aww because this gives me hope.

  49. TEAM. VICTOR. <3
    Also, please have it hung above your daughter’s bed when she’s in senior school so you can be like ‘I’m watching you. I see EVERYTHING. If a boy comes over, leave your door open.’

  50. I totally get this. All of it. Except for having a portrait of myself in a gallery.
    I was getting an award for work at the annual party – big fancy dinner most people love – and I totally skipped the entire dinner because it was the only way to avoid that giant spotlight.
    Love you. Love your strength.

  51. This is the most beautiful story! What an amazing experience to be treated to such a wonderful surprise by someone you love who knows you SO well, but who you can look at and go “What in the FUCK were you thinking bringing me here??? I LOVE YOU!!!” The portraits are AMAZING, Jenny. She truly is a talented artist, and your portraits turned out so lovely 🙂 I’m SO thrilled that you had this experience! <3

  52. I think it’s kind of awesome he pushed you to go through. I sometimes just want to hide in and cuddle with my Kendall when the world gets to scary and everything hurts, but I think he’s the happiest when he knows I’m smiling and participating in the world. The portrait is gorgeous and you are gorgeous inside and out.
    x0x0 Caroline http://thecarolove.com/

  53. Gorgeous painting. But if I’m honest, being such the centre of attention would scare the shit out of me most days. I slide between introvert and extrovert…but mostly introvert.

  54. Hello Bloggess. I have nominated you for “Three Quotes a Day Challenge”

    Please take the challenge. It will be fun and what a great way to start your day and inspire others with your quotes.

    Rules:

    Do 3 quotes for 3 days.
    Display 3 quotes a day on your blog.
    Nominate 3 bloggers per day for 3 days.
    Notify each of their nominations on your blog.

    This will be a very fun challenge. Enjoy, have fun and have a fabulous day!!!

  55. Oh my god! That is so sweet it made me cry! Admittedly, I haven’t been Victor’s biggest fan as I’ve journeyed with you through your books and blogs, but every now and again he surprises me. This is one of those times.

    I’m so happy for you right now! 😊😊😊

  56. I love what she captured in the top one; there is a darkness in your eyes that echos the demon shadows that periodically eat your brain (aka depression), but you are still there.

  57. I wore the shirt in Miami and I’ll say it now. ” I’m on team Victor”. Our entire family adores you Jenny. Fight the good fight. You inspire so many! (My wife is on your tea, of course)

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