Happy Birthday Amanda!!!!!

After a really great weekend with friends, I am back at home today…trying to settle back into the insanity, I guess.  More importantly, I am home in time to spend a very special day with my favorite now-five year old, as my youngest turns five today.  Additionally, and equally as important, my best friend and writing partner ALSO has a birthday today!

So today I want to write just a little bit about Amanda.  Yes Amanda, you can begin cringing uncomfortably now.  Consider this your yearly roasting or something.

I think most know that Amanda and I met in 2004 at the Friends of Mine convention in New Orleans. I think I sensed her dry humor and sarcasm immediately.  She didn’t have trouble laughing at the band (Listen, we can find the “funny” in nearly anything…), and she certainly had no trouble partying it up.  I had met many people that weekend, but somehow I found myself most comfortable talking to Amanda.  Then of course we kept in touch via the message boards and email throughout the 2005 tour, and our friendship has continued to grow.  On one hand, it is hard for me to believe that I’ve known her now for nearly nine years and on the other, I can’t imagine being a fan, going to shows and participating in the community without her.

Let me tell you some things about Amanda that you might not know.  First off, Amanda is probably the most loyal person I’ve ever known.  I am not really sure that I can even properly describe that in terms any of you would understand. The thing about Amanda is that her loyalty doesn’t come easily. I don’t think it’s wrong to say that she does not trust quite as quickly as I might.  She is very thoughtful about things, and thinks before she jumps. But, once that trust is given, it’s given implicitly. I can honestly and truly say that out of all of my friends, Amanda is the one person I never, EVER have to worry about my words going elsewhere.  What she and I discuss privately simply never goes any further. She knows my deepest secrets, and never once have I ever had to be concerned that she would somehow use that knowledge against me.  I am lucky to have her as a friend and confidant.

Amanda isn’t someone that is easy to get to know beyond the surface. She’s private and she doesn’t let anyone and everyone in. Her trust doesn’t come immediately, and I admire her for that. Friendship matters to Amanda. It is not something that is just handed out to anyone and everyone and then yanked away the minute something goes awry.  She is friendLY with many, but her true friends know exactly where they stand.  I don’t know many people like that.

Amanda has real conviction – if she says she believes something, she doesn’t just use the words, she “walks the walk” every single day.  For her, it isn’t enough to say that you don’t like something or that you wish something would change – she gets out there and tries to make it happen.  That’s probably why it is so natural for her to commit to campaigning or getting involved in the political process.  I simply say I’m a “voter”.  Amanda is a “do-er”.

Not long ago, I had a tiny nagging worry in the back of mind that maybe my friendship with Amanda was changing.  There had been some things that had happened over the summer and into the fall that made me wonder if we were growing apart. I felt as though I couldn’t share some of things I really needed and get the response I was most desiring. Yet I had no idea how to really address the situation.  Sometimes this happens amongst friends, and it can really be the beginning of the end.  I didn’t want that. Never mind the blog and the book, this is my very best friend.  The one person on the planet that I can count on to just be there. This past weekend, I had the chance to gingerly bring it up, which for me was greatly uncomfortable.  I needed to know she had my back, no matter what. I need the encouragement to do what is right for myself, even if right now, I don’t know what is actually right.  Amazingly, Amanda knows. She is just the kind of person that already knows what is right, but she also knows that sometimes, for whatever reason – we can’t always act.  She’s a good friend and I’m sorry I doubted that I could even come to her.

Never mind all of the crazy things – and there are LOT of crazy things – that we do, most of which we openly discuss here on the blog, Amanda is a genuine friend.  A good person.  She isn’t the type of person who thinks of herself first.  She is the type of person that always wants to know how she can help. In fact, whenever I go to her about something, that is literally the first thing she asks as soon as I’m done unloading.  “How can I help?”  What she doesn’t know is that she already IS helping, just by listening.

Amanda, I wish you the very happiest of birthdays.  You deserve nothing but happiness and great things to come your way. I am so grateful that this silly band brought us together and that we can work together, talk on the phone and even curse at the band whenever necessary.  If for no other reason (and we both know there are plenty), I am SO thankful for Duran Duran existing because indirectly, they brought you into my life.  Fandom has been great that way for me, and I really hope that happens for others out there.

Now, if THAT isn’t a good reason to go to the convention, I don’t know….

One of us is celebrating far more than the other!




6 thoughts on “Happy Birthday Amanda!!!!!”

  1. Awww. what a nice, heartfelt blog. I also met my best friend thru the band. We are going on 32 years of friendship and it all started with our love of all things DD. She's my partner in crime, and I don't know what I'd do without her:). Like you, I feel extremely fortunate:)

    Happy Birthday Amanda!

  2. Awwww! What a wonderful tribute to a fantastic (pun intended) friendship!!! Thank you for sharing and giving others a glimpse of how wonderful a best friend can be. I have had close friendships end and can fully appreciate all the nuances you spoke of here. 😉 Some day I hope to meet both of you ladies and personally toast your closeness and what it has brought to those of us who are casual observers!Happy Birthday Amanda!!!!!
    Michelle Browner

  3. Well, best wishes Amanda and have a great DDay!

    Giving and receiving is a great thing in life, it's so rare to find in the long term friendships.
    I think I'm lucky I got my “Amanda” too…,so for me having so far 2 Amandas sticking around is a very good thing to see.

    Thanks for sharing great blog posts Amanda!

  4. Loved this heartfelt post. DD also brought me and my friend Alana together. We went to middle and high school together but ran in different circles and never really kept in touch after graduating. 18 years later (man, I'm really dating myself… has it really been that long?!?), I saw her post something DD related on FaceBook and we starting talking about Duran via FB, which lead to emails, then phone calls, then in April of 2011, we met up in ATL to see DD perform at Center Stage for the first leg of their AYNIN tour. Even though we had an almost 20 year gap, it felt like we had been in contact with one another all along!

    She is an amazing person and friend and I look forward to all the fun Duranie mayhem and adventures we're going to experience together in the future. Much like you, I am thankful for Duran Duran (and technology) for bringing us together after all these years.

    Wishing Amanda a wonderful birthday — I hope it's a great one!

  5. Wow. I wasn't expecting this type of post at all. Next time, it should come with a warning so I don't read this at work and scare everyone with my emotional reaction. Rhonda, I don't even know what to say in response to this. Thank you for all your kind words. I am not sure that I am as good as you say but I will strive to be. Thank you and love ya lots!

    Thanks everyone else for the birthday wishes.


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