A Remarkable Woman
Making a new and meaningful friendship
By Cecily Hastings
I recently heard a brief summary of three things you can do to help people take a liking to you. First, display an upbeat, positive attitude. Second, take an interest in other people by asking gentle questions and carefully listening to the answers. At the same time, be candid about yourself. In other words, engage in conversational give and take. Finally, be confident.
My mother did all of these things and, hence, had many meaningful friendships throughout her long life. I recall her saying was that making new, deep friendships later in life could be tough. Hence, it is important to nurture the older connections that give you joy.
I am very grateful for mother’s positive influence in my life. And when I met someone who is like her, I happily reflect back on my mom’s lovely personality.
A few years ago, I met someone whose life has roughly paralleled mine in many ways, and who clearly possesses these likable characteristics. Jane Einhorn is a legend in our city, mostly for her PR acumen. Her former partner (and husband of a friend of mine) introduced us at lunch several years ago, and we hit it off immediately. For 37 years, she was a partner in the venerable Runyon Saltzman & Einhorn agency (now called RS-E). In 2016, she left the partnership to lighten her workload and strike out on her own. Her departure was in the works for more than a year as she transitioned out of the firm.
I had heard lots of interesting stories about her over the years. I play tennis in the park across from her former home in Arden and first saw her out on her porch in her pink peignoir, letting her dog out in the early morning. The thought of that sight still makes me laugh! And her husband, Jeffrey, played with my mixed-doubles tennis group many years ago.
On the surface, we have many differences: She’s short and I’m fairly tall. (I tower over her when we hug!) She’s a fair-skinned blonde with perky short hair. I’m a sun-loving brunette who’s always favored longer hair. She dresses seriously well, favoring designer dresses and separates, complemented by glamorous jewelry. I’m more likely to wear tennis and yoga outfits or rolled-up jeans, and I can count my simple jewelry pieces on one hand. She’s Jewish and I’m Christian. She has a New York accent, while I have a bit of a Midwestern twang. She marvels that I am so domestically hands-on in cooking, gardening and design. I admire that she has sat through thousands of board meetings and helped run a company much, much larger than ours.
But far more important is what we have in common. We are roughly the same age, in our early 60s, both with long marriages. Our youngest sons are close in age. We both graduated from University of Michigan and were on the Ann Arbor campus at the same time. We are both voracious readers and exchange book recommendations every week.
And that is just our life histories. It is our similar personalities that have sparked our deepest connection. Both of us really like people. We like meeting them, connecting with them and sharing those connections with others, trying to help others in the process.
When Jane left her firm and went out on her own, I admired her ability to reinvent herself. Her confidence stemmed in part from the fact that she often befriends those she does business with, and those friendships continue.
She did seem a bit concerned about the transition in terms of practical matters—the things she took for granted at a large agency. When I asked her about business cards, she wondered if she needed them. I said absolutely and designed her one, taking into consideration her colorful, bubbly personality. Underneath her name, I put the words “Extraordinary Connections in Public Relations & Marketing.” I sent her a proof of the design, and she loved it. I ordered them and had them sent to her. I also had our IT manager help her set up her home office.
Jane clearly loves her new freedom and is thriving in her new role, working directly with her business and nonprofit clients.
Jane has been an excellent source of suggestions for interesting people and projects for us to cover at Inside Publications. Given her early background as a writer and journalist, she is usually spot-on.
When our book “Inside Sacramento: The Most Interesting Neighborhood Places in America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital” was being planned and released, Jane was very helpful. She connected me with potential sponsors, bucked me up when I hit obstacles and wrote an early recommendation that is printed inside the cover.
A few months ago, I chatted over coffee with Ed Goldman, a mutual friend. When I mentioned hitting it off with Jane, he was not the least bit surprised. “You both still have the hustle to make things happen. And that is a powerful asset to have in common,” he said.
Jane and I are a good example that one can make new and meaningful friendships at any age. When there is common ground and both parties are willing to put care and energy into each other, good things can grow in any season of our lives.
Cecily Hastings can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.