September 20, 2011

Four Seasons Fun with My Least Likely Junior League Friend

By Jacquetta Lannan, Provisional Committee

There are hundreds of reasons why I love the Junior League. Making great new friends is certainly at the top of the list.

I met Valarie Dennis within the first hour of our Provisional Retreat. Val & I, along with Catherine Ross Stoll and Rachel Pickworth were mentored by Nina Bailey. We went around the table introducing ourselves. Valarie took a turn just before I did. Her introduction went something like this: I'm Valarie. I love volunteering and used to be very active in the National Charity League with my daughter. My husband and I just move here from Orange County and I just started my new job as a paralegal at Ropes and Gray. I'm surrounded all day by 30-something lawyers. I just can't take any more thirty year-old lawyers! So, I joined the league to meet some like-minded ladies to be my new NorCal friends.

Valarie didn't know that her worst nightmare had come true. It was my turn to do introductions. My introduction, paraphrased, was as follows: I'm Jacquetta. I just moved to Palo Alto to take a new job. Blah. Blah… Something about my poodle Lola. I'm a thirty year old lawyer. And you- directed at Valarie- are going to be my friend!  That is exactly what happened. While Valarie may have been looking for a different kind of friend at the league, she found me too, and we are both better for it.

Now, let’s jump forward several years.... It was a sunny but windy evening in May. I was at the JCC and it was time for the last JLPA*MP General Membership Meeting of the year. Out came Eugenie Atherton. The Endowment Committee was holding a raffle: a big spa day a the Four Seasons. Tickets were only $25. I bought a few tickets. My friend Valarie bought even more. I knew even if I didn't win, that one of my great new junior league friends would take me as a date. Sure enough, Valarie won!

Now, jump forward again to Friday, July 29. It was our day of leisure. I arrived to meet Kim, Valarie's daughter, and her friend Josie. Also, Valarie had invited a work friend, Nikki. We started our day with a little sparkling rose by the pool along with our spa lunch. Valarie put together adorable spa totes for each of us complete with towels, flip-flops, sun block, snacks and a handmade card. We retreated to our cabana where we lounged around until our yoga class began. The Four Seasons arranged for poolside yoga, setting up our mats with towels adorned with flowers. After yoga, we each were indulged with an aromatherapy massage. >We ended the day with cocktails down in Quattro with Valarie's husband Mike. Thank you Valarie for such a great day! And don’t forget to buy Four Seasons tickets at the next GMM!

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