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September 12, 2007

The Zen of Jen (and Ben)

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Still, she tried to resist. "I kept saying to him the first year we were together, 'I'm not going to hook on to this team and declare myself a fan just because you are ... and I won't wear a hat, and I won't wear a T-shirt.' Then, yeah, we got married, and now I can't help it."

Apparently, she's in deep. "When Pedro Martinez left, I cried," Garner says. "And then when Johnny Damon left, I couldn't get out of bed." It fell to Affleck to give his wife the downside of life as a citizen of Red Sox Nation. "He just was like, 'This is something you're going to have to learn to get used to. It's just pain and disappointment.'"

It all reeks of the healthiness you simply expect from anything Garner's involved in. There's never a peep anymore about Affleck spending his weekends at casinos or buying Rolls-Royces on a whim; he has even given up tobacco. "Three weeks before we had Violet, he went to a hypnotist and has not smoked since!" Garner exclaims. "I so admire him, because it was so painful. But he is sick so much less often, and I don't lose him every 15 minutes while he wanders around outside. He smells great. It's a huge gift that he gave me — and our daughter as well. I probably annoy him, I celebrate it so much."

The one thing Garner isn't celebrating these days is how far she lives from her family — her dad, a retired chemical engineer, and her mom, who "did all the cooking and cleaning, made our clothes, and cut out paper dolls for us" before returning to school for a master's and later working as a teacher. "My mom has always said that the one thing she wishes she had done differently is have a job. She felt like the single-mindedness made her a little nuts sometimes, and she could have used an outlet for herself when we were little." Garner and her two sisters were expected to attend church every Sunday and weren't allowed to get their ears pierced until they were 16. "But my little sister went out and did it, and we all sat at the dinner table waiting for my father to see this. My older sister and I were quaking in our boots! He was never mean to us, certainly never physical. He just commanded so much respect, my dad — still does. He said, 'Susannah, something happened to your ears.' Susannah said, 'I got them pierced.'"

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