This is Amanda.
|26.2 miles later and still full of pep.|
Amanda is the little sister of one of my best life friends, Courtney.
I have known Amanda since she was 17, when she was a cheerleader and homecoming queen and future SMU sorority girl. If I had only looked at her Popularity Resume, I might have assumed that we'd never be friends. Luckily, Amanda's personality is bigger than any silly little piece of paper. And so is her heart.
I am Amanda's Other Sister.
No, she doesn't think of me as Juliette Lewis playing a mentally disabled girl in a romantic comedy...
...but if she did, it would be okay. Because the reenactments with her, Court, and myself would be outstanding. This is probably because we'd have had several Roman Cokes before any performances began. Roman Cokes (rum and Coke) are a complete Amanda-ism. Amanda-isms are family famous, unintentionally hilarious, verbal miscues, and God bless her, they never go away.
There are few people I enjoy entertaining more than Amanda. She delights in my daily battles with teenage stupidity, and she encourages my wicked snark like few others. And not many people can make me laugh as frequently or intensely as Amanda. She is unafraid to find the absurd, point out the awkward, or revel in her own mishaps. She and her husband, Ben, have a knack for encountering the weirdest people and strangest situations, and their stories beg for re-tell after re-tell.
If it makes for a good story, Amanda is in. (This might be how she and I wound up together, in our tangerine bridesmaid dresses, at the world's shadiest karaoke bar after Courtney's wedding.)
|These are my Black friends. They're very dignified.|
|Amanda, Ben, and their Black babies.|
For all of her laughter and hijinks though, she's also fairly adept at saying just the right thing (or leaving me just the right comment), out of nowhere, right when I need to hear it. Those Hopkins girls coached me right into this blog, and when I would think no one was listening, there they were, encouraging me yet again. They come by it naturally, as so many times, their family has been as close as my own.
Amanda is many things: a faithful Christian, a nutso marathoner, a cheap wine connoisseur, a silly Aunt Manny, a strong-willed daughter, a loving wife, a dedicated Mama, and a super sister.
Even if she's just my Other Sister.
Happy Birthday and olive juice, Manders.