Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Reader of the Week: Meet Jill Z

There was such an overwhelming response when I asked readers to introduce themselves on a weekend open thread that I decided to give you all a weekly column to do just that. I’ve always said this site wouldn’t be what it is without the engagement and participation of its readers and this column is the place to learn more about who you are what makes you tick. After the jump, let’s meet Jill Z.



1. What’s your name, age and whereabouts?

Jill Z, age 35, and currently live in Chicago. I was born in Indiana so consider myself a Hoosier, and grew up in New Jersey, so had exceedingly awesome hair and mall-shopping skills in the 80s.

2. What’s your relationship status?

I am happily married going on 10 years. We’ve been together for 15 years, and I like to tell my husband I’m the last person he’s ever going to sleep with, just to be mean.

3. How do you spend your weekdays?

I am currently unemployed, as of October, and love being a full-time kitty cat mom to Sharon, Stumpy, and Bane as I job-hunt. I’m an urban planner by trade, but if you can think of a more interesting way to make money, please let me know!

4. How do you spend your free time?

I love to read (particularly young adult fantasy), do hot yoga, read blogs, research genealogy, experience new art, go hiking & camping, cook vegan meals, hang out with my three month old niece and my sister, travel to new places, plan vacations, watch Netflix with my husband, do fun things with my girlfriends, crochet, watch football on the weekends, and find cool experiences on Groupon (skydiving and getting lasered are my favorites so far).

5. What are your top likes and dislikes?


Getting my baby niece to smile, snuggling with my kitties and husband, seeing the kitties snuggle with my husband, getting to the airport and relaxing with a book just before a new adventure begins.


Bad customer service, jobs that don’t respect personal boundaries, close-talkers, lousy internet connections, terrible drivers, not being able to meditate, and other people’s pet peeves. When people tell me what their pet peeves are, I start noticing them and then they bother me too!

6. What’s the best relationship advice you’ve ever been given?

If you love somebody, set him free. If he comes back to you, he is yours… if he does not, it was never meant to be. If only I had followed that advice back in the day!

7. What’s the best relationship lesson you’ve ever learned?

He wasn’t that into me. I wasted way too much time obsessing over boys when I could have just become a better, more interesting person and used that time more wisely.

8. Besides DearWendy.com, what are some of your favorite websites?

My Google reader app is one of my favorite things on my phone, it keeps me up to date on blogs, which I love. Besides Dear Wendy, who I have been reading now for eight years (!), I also like to keep up with my talented, crafty friends, like www.Pennypickles.net, www.photosbyannabelle.com, and www.maida-vale.com and I like to get new vegan recipes from www.choosingraw.com. Gena encourages me to get the most from my food choices, and I always feel better after eating her recipes. I’m inordinately obsessed with Pandora… it keeps me sane while job hunting, and I’m lazy about finding new music, so I’m constantly exposed to bands and songs with no effort on my part.

*If you’d like to be a Reader of the Week, shoot me an email at wendy@dearwendy.com with “Reader of the Week” in the subject line and I’ll send you some questions to answer.

26 comments… add one
  • Kristen January 17, 2012, 12:54 pm

    “Relaxing with a book just before a new adventure begins.”

    I love this! That’s such a great feeling.

    Reply Link
  • cookiesandcream January 17, 2012, 1:14 pm

    It’s nice to meet you! You sound like an awesome person! 🙂

    Do tell us more about your skydiving experience! I’m really curious about it and it seems like a lot of fun, but I have to admit I’m way too scared to try it out for real. I have a huge fear of heights and falling…

    Reply Link
    • Jillie Z January 17, 2012, 9:45 pm

      I signed up for the skydiving groupon bc a girlfriend talked me into it, and a week before, i completely freaked out and started panicking. i tried to sell the groupon, give it away, and eventually out of guilt, bc i didn’t want to be a jerk to my friend, i decided to suck it up and go. It was absolutely amazing, terrifying, and one of the best things i’ve done! Totally put me out of my comfort zone, but it was so exhilarating and awesome. The poor guy i tandemed with said i was a ‘screamer’ – which i have NO recollection of – apparently i screamed during the whole two minute free fall =) If you ever have a chance, i absolutely recommend it!

      Reply Link
  • Taylor January 17, 2012, 1:20 pm

    I want to hear about your laser experience on groupon! Does it work? Did it hurt?

    Nice to meetcha =)

    Reply Link
    • LennyBee January 17, 2012, 1:33 pm

      I totally read that as “getting tasered”. I was like “huh, not sure I’d be up for getting tasered, even if it was on Groupon.”

      Reply Link
      • Taylor January 17, 2012, 1:35 pm


      • Jillie Z January 17, 2012, 9:48 pm

        Tee! Yes, the lasering hurts, but yes, it’s worth it and it’s not worse than waxing. Not to be too tmi, but in my experience if you’re doing bikini, it takes way more sessions than something like underarms, which stopped growing in just a couple sessions.

  • EscapeHatches January 17, 2012, 1:28 pm

    Hurrah for Google Reader and sites that actually account for RSS feeds being used!

    Reply Link
  • va-in-ny January 17, 2012, 2:03 pm

    Does your last name start with Z?? I’m an end-of-the-alphabet-er too!

    Zs unite!

    Reply Link
  • FireStar January 17, 2012, 2:14 pm

    Nice to meet you. I have to say I hate the close talkers too…anyone in my space for no reason is a pet peeve… it’s okay – since we share this one it’s okay for me to tell you…

    Reply Link
    • Budj January 17, 2012, 2:20 pm

      I worked with my first close talker last friday…she had poop breath…it was bad…and awkward.

      Reply Link
      • FireStar January 17, 2012, 2:50 pm

        Oh no – that is a whole different dimension of wrong :s

  • amber January 17, 2012, 2:16 pm

    We had a close talker at my old job. She creeped me out when she invaded my space. Also I love groupon too, only I use it for boring things like sushi and oil changes for my car. I don’t think I’ll ever be brave enough to jump out of a plane for fun!

    Reply Link
    • FireStar January 17, 2012, 2:53 pm

      I bought my husband a flying lesson. He goes up with an instructor for a couple of hours. And then that started a whole debate about if the instructor died of a heart attack or something would you try and land the plane or jump?

      Reply Link
    • Kristen January 17, 2012, 5:21 pm

      Sushi isn’t boring! 🙂

      Reply Link
  • Addie Pray January 17, 2012, 2:25 pm

    Hi, Jill Z! You’ve been reading City Wendy for 8 years?! I didn’t realize Wendy had been blogging that long. You sound great – do you ever eat at the Chicago Diner on Halsed? I love their vegan dishes.

    Reply Link
    • Jillie Z January 17, 2012, 9:55 pm

      Hi Addie! i started reading Wendy (in the Windy City) when i moved to Chicago… i was bummed about the move, missing friends and family, and her hilarious posts would crack me up in my cube, give me something fun to look forward to reading, and make me more excited about living in Chicago. And as Michaela and Heather note below, we all started reading… texted one another when she got married, got SO excited when she was expecting, she had a baby, etc etc!

      And yes, i love Diner! Have you ever had their milkshakes? My husband makes the vegan ice cream that they’re made with. We could have a local book discussion there for the Marriage Plot =)

      Reply Link
      • Addie Pray January 18, 2012, 12:19 am

        Let’s!!! But confession: I have barely made a dent in The Marriage Plot. I started it, but I’m having trouble getting into it. Maybe we could have a “book” club meeting for the February issue of Vanity Fair instead? That, I’m all over. 😉

      • Addie Pray January 18, 2012, 12:19 am

        p.s. I want to be friends with you, Heather, and Michaela. That’s all.

  • Michaela January 17, 2012, 2:43 pm

    Hey Jill Z – you sound just like this girl I know. Hope you are planning a new adventure – maybe somthing near Chicago – like say – Michigan in the summer. I hear there is some great camping in Michigan. I can’t believe its been eight years of Wendy in the Windy City and Dear Wendy – where did the time go?

    Reply Link
    • Wendy January 17, 2012, 2:52 pm

      That’s what I was wondering!

      Reply Link
      • Michaela January 17, 2012, 4:42 pm

        Hey Wendy! When did you start the WitWC blog? The funniest part is that Jill Z. and I were turned on to your blog by a former male co-worker of ours – and here we are 8 years later!

      • Wendy January 17, 2012, 7:39 pm

        I started it in May of 2004, so just about eight years ago. Hard to believe. Where does the time go??

  • Heather January 17, 2012, 7:28 pm

    Yay Jill! I love your responses to these questions. I can confirm that she had awesome hair in the 80s. Jill also turned me onto reading Wendy. =)

    Reply Link
  • Anna January 17, 2012, 7:48 pm

    Nice to meet you Jill!

    Reply Link
  • Annie January 17, 2012, 10:15 pm

    Jill you ARE the coolest – so glad you got to highlight it here! Sweet! xoxoox-Annie

    Reply Link

Leave a Comment