Zena Zendejas and Imani Parkinson

Recorded July 30, 2020 Archived July 30, 2020 40:08 minutes
0:00 / 0:00
Id: lmn003990


Partners Zena Zendajas (31) and Imani Parkinson (28) discuss their relationship, how it began, and the things that make their partnership important to each of them.

Subject Log / Time Code

IP talks about first meeting ZZ at a shared work location. They both recall first impressions of each other and finding the other compelling.
The two talk about respecting each other as people and colleagues initially and how that impacted their relationship when they started officially dating.
ZZ says this is their relationship where they don't argue with their partner. Says that a lot to do with how IP communicates and how she is as a person.
They tell each other their love languages and the ways that they've been working to show affection and care for the other.
ZZ gets emotional while telling IP all the things they love about her as a partner. IP tells them "I want you to see yourself the way that I see you".
They recount their first date.
The two tell each other their hopes for one another.
They end by giving notes of advice to other people in relationships.


  • Zena Zendejas
  • Imani Parkinson

Recording Locations

StoryCorps Virtual



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00:02 My name is Dennis. And because I'm 31. Today is July 30th, 2020 in Whittier, California. Then our conversation partner enzyme is she is my partner.

00:21 Hi, my name is Imani Perkinson. I'm 28 years old. It is July 30th 2020. I'm located right now in Whittier, California last name is done and they are.

00:41 So how did we meet?

00:46 Well you and I both got it that's weird and Cupid and we're both apart of the group and family program. So you did a lot of the teaching with Blake the kids and we stopped back-to-back. We just sit back to back.

01:17 Better make you nervous thing back to back with me.

01:22 Mike before we started dating. Yeah. I thought you were like hot intimidating but cool cool guy in the office finale.

01:46 Boundary monitor

01:50 And I worked really hard during the fellowship.

02:03 Admire your work ethic, you know you would you would go and teach a lesson and every time you came back you would reflect something all that traffic and I thought process was.

02:21 Do you know what I like? Well what I want to work on and I think I'll just

02:44 I felt like I guess I was nervous to sit behind you because like your desk was pretty neat and definitely like under your pussy to the governor.

03:08 Is insulation I don't even know it was.

03:12 I think I just would like it if I wanted doesn't think I have to work it focused. I was just in town.

03:29 What is the Ensign I was like what?

03:37 Yeah, I don't think you were trying to like yourself to me at all.

03:49 And I really think that I had a

03:53 I don't really think I have a chance and you know, there was like no fraternizing so I would also like there's no point in me thinking romantically about you.

04:06 Brown song you're beautiful and I found moments to compliment you whenever I could yes. Oh your eyeliner looks really nice.

04:16 Pretty stupid buzzer court and you complimented my hands look really beautiful fire. I was like freaking out.

04:49 El Sereno to see the smallest details

04:59 Because I like hats so I tend to look at him.

05:03 You have very elegant hats.

05:07 Prisoners

05:15 I'm glad we got there, you know hundreds of people apply to that. It's your

05:21 I think about how grateful I am to that Fellowship just for the chance of getting to meet you since I'm pretty sure you're not like the only reason I got it, but you were such a

05:42 You were the gift, you know.

05:45 You are the gift.

05:54 Gangnam Style

05:57 And then we were like, well you give me butterflies you give me like hot butterflies.

06:06 Then we decided to do something about it.

06:10 And here we are. Yeah, and I think it was interesting. Was that a kind of wedding starting to date?

06:21 I think because we respected each other so much as a friends and colleagues that it wasn't.

06:31 About

06:34 I don't know. I feel like we weren't trying to play games again. I feel like we're really respectful about.

06:42 Starting to like see each other and I feel kind of jumped into being serious pretty

06:50 Pretty quickly. We didn't date for six months before deciding to be together together. Yeah, but I do think there was something about you and I were just in the dating thing like I'm like

07:06 You can't be raggedy and we hanging around for six months, but there's still something I saw it.

07:21 Yeah, so I think that

07:27 Yeah, and I think you you left for like you're a 4 En Mexico for the whole summer.

07:39 My sister also was a great foundation for us and like I think what our strength is is like our Comfort Inn, like being apart and just and I think having those moments so early in a relationship, I think all this month.

08:04 I think whenever you want.

08:12 So, how would you describe our partnership?

08:18 I would say chill funny.

08:23 Very nice.

08:27 I do think we really hold each other accountable.

08:33 Definitely higher expectations

08:39 What kind of high expectation I think we know each other's like insecurities and things. I think he's really do push each other. So like hey, I know you're working on that thing. Yeah.

08:54 So like here's an exact moment is right in this time where you could like practice like we working that pattern, you know?

09:09 Like my own history with like freezing up and going silent and like choosing not to express like when I'm feeling hurt and stuff like that. I think in a speeding you're very miss someone who likes advocates for themselves and I feel like to be successful in this partnership. I've talked to you also find some strengths and things and speaking up a little bit sooner stimuli how old you are as a colleague the boundary monitor

09:57 Kind of like standing up for yourself when you're not like when you're feeling

10:04 In a way, I'm holding each other accountable cuz Austin times like I think when we had miscommunications and things like that, it is is pattern that both of us are working on. So it's like the moment to talk about it is the moment the kind of like the other person towards Lake where they want to be actually and I think and learn bike not to rush you to share how you're feeling, you know, like you help me be patient and like I want to going to take a little bit to communicate like rushing you to tell me what's going on.

10:48 Yeah, I know I think.

10:53 I think that's a good really important part of like we don't fight and I think it's because

11:02 And I guess I'm getting to know each other's Constitution where?

11:07 I know you said know how someone you know has someone experiences things then it's being more mindful not so like falling in the chat with making something about you and I feel like I send money with me like a really quiet and like in my get bummed out and stay there but it's never about the other person is very much about meaning to life.

11:35 Choking in my feelings is not about internal.

11:45 People make it a like all like you're upset and it's like because of me is like

12:07 I guess that kind of girls. I'd rather question each other.

12:19 What do you think we fart?

12:29 It's not that I've learned it yet. But like it seems like a more aware of like

12:36 Being confident

12:39 I can always kind of pointing out.

12:45 Where my confidence level is no more like

12:49 I mean like where I'm feeling.

12:53 Personally comes directly from what?

12:56 Otherwise

13:08 Is something else that I've learned is like?

13:15 Another thing that I don't really have a grasp on yet, but like kind of like staying in the present like we're leaving early next week, and I'm doing very like

13:40 Because I know you haven't told me you would just tell me like we're not even there yet here, you know, even though I thought it was like getting to see my parents. Yeah. Yeah, that makes me sad.

14:08 Like I think she's really holding on to me. I still have time cuz I loved it and it's not that I've learned this from you. But this is the first relationship that I'm in that I don't argue with my partner.

14:33 And also I mean like who I want to be as a partner Now versus who I was

14:40 In the past with my capacity has completely shifted where I don't want to be playing into rolls with like arguing or any kind of life cycle are new to fight and have to take payments with any makeup at all.

15:06 Play the style at all. I feel like I was shut down.

15:11 And don't be scared.

15:17 Never be like frustrated that you shutdown your alarm and set an appointment but staying present. I think it's helpful.

15:34 Elegance for me as a good day dreamer, like I'm always like kind of it's easy for me to be a little spacey necessarily real are happening but kind of like imagining different scenarios and things and I think especially for us it's been helpful to kind of just do you know, even though we do have a really pretty expensive Visions for futuristic?

16:18 It is helpful at the kind of just take it day-by-day and I can appreciate like the sweetness that comes with every guy that I think helps.

16:29 Ben Carson everyday

16:39 Yeah, this is the longest longest I've ever had.

16:51 It's nice not to be tired of you for sure.

16:58 Days are gone by.

17:01 Someone arguing mix

17:04 We surround you.

17:10 I'm still excited to see you everyday.

17:23 Neither one of us have become trolls relationship. And this is the most successful relationship is how little we see each other in reality.

18:07 But that for me as toy car healthy and it doesn't start about me, you know, you have the same and then it makes the time that we spent together super sweet and like super bass, you know, yeah.

18:32 I think a partner who is like independent because their own interests and Mike.

18:39 And my things that people like to talk to you is like so important to me. Yeah, I think being raised as an only child.

18:50 Take care of twiddle my thumbs and have a great time by myself for a long time.

19:00 Open up my little bubble. Are you ever like damn? Where are we going to the same art opening a seminar in chess?

19:20 I mean, I'm glad that you like and things like that. We do have like a chunk of a friend group. That's because he work together in the same field. So I think you know

19:43 Really generally rooting for us. I think they are in the village of support and it feels really good. But because we're both think so independent and have like a consoling Wild Wing in our communication that we haven't become like the partners in our friend group. Everyone hates are like we're driving people in our business or something like that.

20:18 It is really good at the time that I did. She's to be in a serious relationship with this being my first one choice of my life.

20:42 Can I jump in the question? I'm wondering if you guys can.

20:48 El say to each other

20:52 Wet like how you express your love for the other person if I'm asking if I was making sounds like what are some ways that you and things you intentionally do to show the other person that you care about them.

21:10 Here

21:15 I don't do anything.

21:27 How do you take care of your money?

21:30 I think I know I think I just I do the little things that I think.

21:38 I know you like meeting your basic needs like feeding you yeah feels really I think cooking more something that we think it's really good to show love and care for you to know your farming in that might this way is working like they're feeling it.

22:13 So that's nice. I'm also bring mission to gift-giving and like random gifts. Like if I see something then like kind of like that as long as I can. Yeah you do.

22:48 Yeah, I think we've been patient with you like when you are frustrated and sometimes I'll just give you space reaches other times. I think I'll carry a little bit really hard.

23:06 I think just like learning in that way with things like food is like really special and important to you and patience in like

23:18 And then like my way that I that I brought with me, so

23:25 One of the main ways that I showed love for you is like Words of Affirmation you do. I'm like constantly are forming you I love to compliment you. I love reminding you how amazing and talented and intelligent passionate you are what an incredible educator and how everyone who encounters New is blessed to have had any time with you at all. You impact everyone's lives and I love getting to remind you that

24:08 I really love you.

24:17 Yeah, yeah. Yeah, I feel like I was looking for a while. And then yeah, I do think I try to remind you the power of your words and try to

24:43 A little myself. Yeah, it's kind of catch you every time you rework reword cuz I want you to see you high.

25:26 Ask another question. Can you guys be count your first date? What you remember about your first date?

25:40 Our first date we weren't together. Oh, yeah. I was going to say so.

25:50 A friend had an art opening her friend. That's true story Frankie rated or so, and then we went and then someone should anything happen?

26:21 And in order to get away from that little

26:26 I think we can meme.

26:30 I was called in a way in a crowded Gallery space to just laying weren't of the crowd of the people. Who were there were there for the creepy line?

26:46 And yes, I was surprised you stood up for me. Yeah, that's your partner. Like the only reason why I was there for you.

27:08 Yeah, and then it turned into like a homophobic comment and then it's a shame.

27:21 Ladue Schnucks in nuts is Shady enough to be like cat calls in the cross in that way. Make sure your last minute but then I was also feeling like

27:34 I guess I'm shame that it happened in front of you that happened in front of her friend.

27:48 It happened.

28:00 But I knew that I couldn't let you go home like after that to get something warm to drink or to eat, So then we went to have Ramen and I remember sitting across from you and I was just like

28:29 I know I shouldn't feel like I might like with you.

28:57 I was like at this point. I had a little bit of a crush on you and put them also.

29:04 Oh and I was like, oh you are.

29:13 You also talked about dating people and stuff like that at work in your lady at all having Brown and I felt like I was like coming after on a date with you. I'm like, how did I even get here?

29:35 Can be here early. I felt very like

29:40 Play I was a spy sent in Disguise to be on a date with you.

29:53 Yeah, I didn't think you were so like cultured and cool and you're talking about your trip to Japan and whatever have used welder.

30:08 Yeah, it's a rubber feeling a little doll.

30:11 A little intimidated by did Nicholas really sweet that we can experience that really sucks.

30:25 I don't remember like our first official date who knows what that was supposed to be in Congress today. Yeah, but like where I was like is this what it feels like to be out with my Mom feels really good.

31:05 Remember that

31:08 Oh, yeah, and I did my eyeshadow and cute. I don't really do.

31:22 Grand hello good time left.

31:28 So

31:33 What is your hope for me?

31:37 Future and so I hope that you have your own.

31:47 Hope you have your own practice being a nutritionist and educator and then you're able to combine the boat.

31:56 I hope

32:02 Alarm

32:04 Well around you well and family well in health.

32:14 Turn off particular reason that would benefit me, but I would prefer to just come down on you.

32:30 I hope for a big family.

32:33 With different amounts of legs

32:46 What else do I hope for you? Genuinely? I just hope you find something that feels really good to use or is true.

32:55 That feels like your purpose is being completed.

33:00 And I think you're really on that path.

33:03 And I hope that anytime you feel scared that new trucks that you're brave enough to keep going forward.

33:12 I hope for you to put a doctor in front of Sunday, huh? Okay. Yeah. I hooked up to your house.

33:27 I hope that you have a professional life that you feel valued you feel excited by that you kind of can see see your strength shine through you know, and see the fruits of your labor very clearly. Are you confident, you know staging that's it mean if you know, you know, I think in that connection and tuition for you.

34:11 Relationship astrology sign says you are a vivid dream where you know, so I hope in like we can run the world, you know, you are a very talented baby and you have so you already have the tools if you don't open the universe around you, you know, so I think the more you run towards that and not away from it. I think you'll be able to see your strength Shine for you.

34:59 Really like a spiritual abundance to slick.

35:03 I think once you like stopping to that all the other like Mama stuff will follow us what you've been wanting and I think those are things that you circled back to you over and over again, you know.

35:23 Yeah.

35:25 Thank you. Thank you.

35:32 We're almost at 40 minutes. So it's the last 5 minutes. If you guys when I asked each other one final question, and then you can think each other before we wrap up.

35:46 Would you have one last question?

35:51 Remember that you want to talk about?

35:54 Do you have one driving advice?

36:00 Shirts like you

36:03 I think so, I think.

36:09 I think some advice. I think I could give you any new love making you love us Bossa mean. Yeah, I believe just take the time to learn your partner without touching.

36:28 You know, I'd be able to see how their past how they're you know, childhood experiences be able to see clearly while then she will person that they are you know, and I think the more I've learned more about who you are.

36:51 Is Henry about 6. Can I see someone more fully and like love them or folding? You're not loving them for what they do for you or like bits and pieces of someone or the parts of them are most comfortable but you'll be able to see you because of how honest and vulnerable you are with me and just being an observer of that. And so I think that's really powerful is too kind of taxes.

37:24 It's learning your partner and not for the reason of all the I want to get married or we got you want a successful relationship really just learning them just as a person in the world and the one being able to love all of all of us.

37:45 Spell any advice to a new love is please.

37:54 Nintendo eShop is really disturbing to me.

38:08 Cosine actually thinking the time to really learn their partner during our love them. So I would I would guess my advice and similar to yours is just like take your time no rush.

38:31 You're not a very time-sensitive.

38:40 And my last thing would be

38:44 Chiraq your patterns and relationships. Like if you're feeling like you're perpetuating a story and maybe you've seen your parents. If you see this some kind of like awareness and Consciousness about like the way that you shall love the way you receive love how we communicate and let's kind of figure out where did you learn that from?

39:08 I think about it the way that sometimes incredibly should like perpetuating like just head toxic things, you know, like someone and you completely free create your own dynamics of a partnership. So yeah coccyx straight run.

39:39 Thank you for being you.

39:49 On your hand a little climbing.