I take a deep breath and lean back in my chair. Tina seems to feel more comfortable in her skimpy Mrs. Claus outfit, so I think I’ll let her wear it for a little longer. Until she starts getting on my nerves again. The faces behind my back soooo need to stop.
I turn and look at my friend and hope we’ll still be friends after this. I reach for my hot cocoa and take a sip. The nights are getting fewer, bringing us even nearer to the release of Babes in Toyland II. I can barely wait.
Jenna Stevens appears behind Tina. Time to get started. Jenna is a petite thing with a slim build, reddish hair the firelight made it look like it was kissed by the sunshine and brown eyes that twinkled when she smiled at me.
“Thank you for joining me tonight.” I put down my file and pick up my notepad and pen.
“You’re very welcome. I look forward to speaking with you tonight,” Jenna said a little shyly. “It isn’t every day I get interviewed by someone and in a very comfortable setting, too.”
“Then I feel honored to have you here. I hope you don’t mind if I take notes this way. The last time I used a tape recorder there were…difficulties.” I was getting a little tired of saying this because of the looks that accompanied the responses. I don’t want to go into detail, so I just smile and hold my pen at the ready.
Jenna smiled with mirth. “I can just imagine what...err...difficulties you can have with electronics.”
“Are you ready to get started? Can I offer you some refreshments? Food and beverage, name your desire and my super-efficient helper will be delighted to bring it.” I ignore Tina’s glare and smile at my guest.
“Sure thing,” Jenna said as she smiles at Tina. “I would love some hot chocolate, if it won’t be any trouble.”
After Jenna settles into her chair, I raise my pen and smile. “What are you?”
“A human being who is looking for love. Or is that too vague?” Jenna says after thinking on it. “I am single, and not expecting it to fall in my lap. But Christmas is the season of miracles right?” A smile teases Jenna’s lips.
“Yes it is. So, what do you do for a living and do you enjoy it?”
“I own a candy shop in Devon Falls with my partner and friend, Raven DeMarco. We are gearing up for the holidays as Raven is in charge of the candy making and I am in charge of sales and actual running of the business. I really enjoy it. It is fun and you get to meet so many different people every time the door opens.”
“ Mmm. You said candy, one of my downfalls. Sounds like a fun business and a good way to meet some interesting men.” I smile and return to my notes. “What do you do for fun?”
Laughing softly, Jenna says, “Fun? You got to be kidding right? I work till we close and then I go home alone and basically listen to music or I go for a drink with Raven and watch her get all the good men and I get the loser guys who want to meet her through me.”
“Ugh. Been there, done that. I imagine it’s as hard for her to have her best friend used, as it is for you to be used. I think one day soon you might find a man who’ll sweep you off your feet.” I hope I’m not embarrassing Jenna, so I rush into my next question. “Do you have any hobbies or interesting information about yourself you’d like to share?”
“I love to read, listen to music. I have an eclectic range of tastes in the music department. I like everything from classical to rock to the Top 40. Plus I have a major Johnny Depp crush. Anything he does, I own and watch constantly. Though I think that may annoy some men I talk to when I mention I find JD very interesting. ”
“Oh, we’re alike in that regard. What are your plans for this holiday season? Which holidays do you celebrate, if any, and how do you celebrate them?”
Jenna settles more comfortably in her chair with her drink. “We are gearing up for the busy holiday and as it is one of our busiest time of the year, not excluding Valentine’s day and Easter, we basically will work 15 hours a day. I will celebrate the holidays with my family, since we close early Christmas Eve and are closed on Christmas itself. This year we are letting my sister, Alicia, make most of the desserts since she owns the local bakery, I am bringing one of our specialty boxes full of candies and my mom is making the dinner itself. It brings back lots of wonderful memories of my childhood.”
“Those are the kinds of things worth focusing on this time of year.” I hesitate, then ask anyway, “Soooo, is there anyone special in your life?”
“Not really.” Jenna tries to not look a little sad.
“Are you looking for someone?”
“I impulsively made a wish one night and, frankly, I am not expecting tall, dark and handsome to come for me at all.” Jenna sighs. “Those types of guys don’t go for me and all I want is one who loves me completely and accepts who I am without trying to change me in some physical way.”
“I have to agree with you there. They need to love us for who we are, not what they think we are. Moving on, then… What are your goals for the rest of the year?”
Jenna smiles. “My goals are to expand the candy shop next year, hire some more help and then maybe take a long-awaited vacation to some place where they serve drinks with an umbrella in them and soak up some rays.”
“Mmm. Sand, sun, and some hot guys. I can dig that.” I wink. “Thank you so much for joining me tonight. I really enjoyed getting to know you.”
“Thank you for having me,” Jenna said as she stood up and took a small box wrapped in bright red paper with a candy cane bow on top out of her pocket. “This is a small token of appreciation for this interview and I hope you can stop into Candy Kisses when you drop into Devon Falls.”
“Ooo.” I accept the package happily. “Thank you so much, Jenna. I’ll definite put your shop on the top lists of places to visit.”
As I watched Jenna leave, I was grateful for the reprieve. I had STILL been all hot and bothered from my interview with Dave, and the fun interview with Jenna was what I’d needed to cool down.