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!|
HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMANDA!!!