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Happy Birthday aunt_deen!

I could have sworn I did an aunt_deen top ten for her last birthday, but I was wrong! I did something for her, but it wasn't this. So here are the top ten reasons I love and appreciate aunt_deen.


Warning, I realize this is sort of a self-centered list – some of it’s less about her qualities and more about what I get out of being her sister. So shame on me, but it is deeply sincere. :-)

And it was this or an extreme macro, so feel fortunate that you missed even more profanity than usual.

11. She and misreall totally saved my life when it started falling apart several years ago. They had the right combination of time, shared interests, mixology skills and affection for me. We have spent many an hour on one sofa or another, distracting ourselves with cute boys brilliant works of cinema.

10. We like a lot of the same stuff. See? This list sucks. But it is SUCH a joy to find something that makes you squeal and know exactly the person to run to with it. (I try not to run to her with sentences as poorly constructed as that last one...) She probably has an entire folder of emails from me with “OMG” in the subject line.

9. Total. Partner. In. Crime. Crimes against the dignity that my age and life status should confer, that is. Most recently, she absolutely drove three hours with me to Indianapolis to see the American Idol concert, at which she totally HELD UP MY HOMEMADE SIGNS MADE WITH GLUE AND GLITTER SO THE BAND COULD SEE. That kind of thing. No one else would do that for me, and I wouldn't blame them, it's ridiculous.

8. We agree on a lot of things. A lot of social issues, political issues, who’s awesome and who sucks. Most of the time, life stress what it is, what I need is to rant via email and then have someone reply back “OMG I KNOW, RIGHT?” I’m tired, people. I don’t really want counterpoint. I don’t want to grow. I want a high five, and she gives the highest of fives.

7. She appreciates the hell out of me. Don’t think I don’t see you there, appreciating me.

6. She’s a great teacher. I haven’t watched her teach but just by the way she talks about the kids and the curriculum she presents, I know this is true. She teaches high school English to a very challenging group of students, in a very challenged community. My sense is that the kids’ default setting is “highly disengaged.” So, for example, she shows them the Lord of the Rings trilogy, A Knight’s Tale and other movies that she’s passionate about, fully supported by her curriculum. Even as a relatively committed student, I would have loved a teacher that tied very cool stuff like that (stuff that, BTW, most of these kids would never have seen...) to an English lesson. That's on top of her rigorous attention to language and her great love for and knowledge of literature.

5. Her teaching is the source of much humor for those of us lucky enough to know her. I would imagine that, after you’ve spent every drop of energy and talent you have trying to get these kids to master the language for a school year, and they present you with abominable work, the only thing you can do is laugh. The stuff she shares with us from her students’ final papers is GOLD. I look forward to May for this reason.

4. Speaking of which, she has a great sense of humor. Ha, maybe that’s me being self-centered again. She sort of has MY sense of humor, so of course I like it. For example, if I write her a satiric email, she immediately gets it. There’s no need to explain anything or define my terms or give references. Her brain just goes to the right places. And she cracks me up in email or online on a daily basis.

3. She’s a wonderful aunt. You need only visit her apartment to know that; there is a photo of our parents, sisters, brother, nieces and nephews in every available space. The place is covered in smiling family faces. And the kids really love her. I told my daughter it was aunt_deen’s birthday today and she gasped and ran into our “art room” to start a birthday project. They literally perk up and often jump up and down a little when they hear she’s coming over. She loves them without coveting them, if that makes any sense. She likes it that they live where they do, but loves to see them as much as possible. She knows and appreciates each one for all the right reasons.

2. She’s a great sister. Sometimes that means filling in with the voice of our mom, who isn’t there to provide that perspective anymore. She’s a great source of vivid memories of our dad, because they were so close and she lived with our parents for so long. She is my go-to person when I’m absolutely stuck and need help; I know that she’ll do anything I need if she can possibly manage it. She encourages harmony among us sisters, speaking kindly of each one to the others. Really, you couldn’t ask for anything more. So glad the parents didn’t stop after three.

1. She’s fun. She's buckets of sparkly fun. She comes in the door with a smile and she’s ready to party. Heavily or lightly, whatever you want. When I get excited, she gets just as excited. She’s got a great squee. She senses when you need her to clap her hands and say “Yay!” and she does it. She does not ever leave you hanging.

<3<3<3

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Comments

( 25 comments )
olsonm_raymond
Sep. 12th, 2009 09:35 pm (UTC)
Happy Birthday Aunt Deen!
aunt_deen
Sep. 13th, 2009 05:19 am (UTC)
Thanks, Ray!

(awesome icon, btw. mine's blurry, but equally joyous.)
m_e_a_o
Sep. 12th, 2009 09:55 pm (UTC)
OMG, I know, right?

A. She saved my life, too! Right after Mom died and being here alone every evening was hell, she came over with some of her vast and eclectic DVD collection on a regular basis. misreal wasn't with her because...

B. She's the only one allowed in my house. It's partly the house's fault, but mostly my non-existant housecleaning gene, but there is no one else that has ZERO judgement. Yeah, it helps that her place is messy too, but it's not just that.

C. She and I do not have the same taste a lot of the time, but she totally gets me. She often says, "That was a great movie, but you would hate it" and she's right. Invariably, if she says I'll like something, I do. The best part is that even if I don't really like something that she LOVES (hello, Adam) she understands, and doesn't question my taste. She just recently said to me "I am not at all surprised that he's not your thing." of course, she dared me to question his talent, which I do not.

D. She helps me finish the crossword puzzle. Her knowledge and recall is impressive.

E. When I crawled into her bed at night because there wasn't enough room in Mom and Dad's, she never complained or made fun of me and she held my hand until I fell asleep. And she still does that, metaphorically.
aunt_deen
Sep. 13th, 2009 05:23 am (UTC)
A. Hey, I was totally in need of the company myself. Not a chore, sweetie.

B. I just imagine what MY place would look like if I had four kids. I'd need a backhoe just to get into the house every day.

C. Ooh! Have you seen Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day? You'll love it. I'm coming over soon. We'll order Thai food and watch the silly.

D. What's a six-letter word for show-off ...?

E. That is part of the big sister contract. It never expires.

Love you a lot.
misreall
Sep. 12th, 2009 09:56 pm (UTC)
Ok, apart from the aunt and sister things I could have written THE EXACT SAME LIST! Just substitute "drove 9 hours to Bethlahem Pennsylvania to the see the Red Elvises and then danced in hay with me to the best wedding band in Philadelphia" for Indianapolis and glittery signs.

Oh, and I have seen her teach. It is both hilarious and educational at the same time.
aunt_deen
Sep. 13th, 2009 05:24 am (UTC)
Oh, the road trip was EPIC fun, wasn't it?

Oh, and I have seen her teach. It is both hilarious and educational at the same time.

If only it were both of those things for the kids...
anatolealice
Sep. 12th, 2009 10:07 pm (UTC)
Mary, these lists make me feel all warm and fuzzy about how wonderful you and your family are. I think I have something in my eye...

Happy Birthday Aunt_Deen!
aunt_deen
Sep. 13th, 2009 05:26 am (UTC)
Thank you!

And we have an awesome family, 'tis true. Don't know what I'd do without them.

m_e_a_o
Sep. 13th, 2009 12:26 am (UTC)
OH, the aunt thing. How could I have forgotten that? See, Kris is shocked as well.

Her username, email, etc. should prove how much being an aunt is a part of who she is. My kids are just as excited to see her. It backfires on her, however, since when she comes over they NEVER STOP TALKING TO HER ALL AT ONCE.

aunt_deen
Sep. 13th, 2009 05:30 am (UTC)
Yeah, and really anyone who tries to drown out E in that scenario is just out of luck. :)

gatsbyfan
Sep. 13th, 2009 02:25 am (UTC)
Happy Birthday, aunt deen!
aunt_deen
Sep. 13th, 2009 05:31 am (UTC)
Thank you so much!
ok_with_that
Sep. 13th, 2009 03:28 am (UTC)
Happy birthday, aunt_deen! I hope it's the start of just the year you're hoping for.
aunt_deen
Sep. 13th, 2009 05:32 am (UTC)
Yeah, I've been wanting one of those. :)

Thanks!
aunt_deen
Sep. 13th, 2009 05:43 am (UTC)
Most recently, she absolutely drove three hours with me to Indianapolis to see the American Idol concert, at which she totally HELD UP MY HOMEMADE SIGNS MADE WITH GLUE AND GLITTER SO THE BAND COULD SEE. That kind of thing. No one else would do that for me, and I wouldn't blame them, it's ridiculous.

That was the most fun I have had in YEARS AND YEARS. I was on a total glitter high the whole night and I don't think I've completely come down yet. Anytime you want me to do such a selfless favor for you again, just say the word.

She appreciates the hell out of me. Don’t think I don’t see you there, appreciating me.

Not like I'm trying to hide it!

I would imagine that, after you’ve spent every drop of energy and talent you have trying to get these kids to master the language for a school year, and they present you with abominable work, the only thing you can do is laugh. The stuff she shares with us from her students’ final papers is GOLD. I look forward to May for this reason.

And I SURVIVE May for this reason.

Whether it's something about Macbeth's "conches" getting the best of him, the fact that Marlowe was "determinedly homosexual," or the earth-shattering revelation that "you could die from the plague," my students never fail to deliver.

She loves them without coveting them, if that makes any sense. She likes it that they live where they do, but loves to see them as much as possible. She knows and appreciates each one for all the right reasons.

I am filled with wonder at the amazing bunch of human beings my siblings have produced. They are impossible not to love, every one of them.

So glad the parents didn’t stop after three.

Me, too!

She’s fun. She's buckets of sparkly fun. She comes in the door with a smile and she’s ready to party. Heavily or lightly, whatever you want. When I get excited, she gets just as excited. She’s got a great squee. She senses when you need her to clap her hands and say “Yay!” and she does it. She does not ever leave you hanging.

You totally barged into my brain there and extracted my description of YOU.


Thank you for making me cry on my birthday, and then taking me out and making me laugh for a few hours.

Love you.



tomfoolery815
Sep. 13th, 2009 06:38 am (UTC)
Happy Birthday (plus 1 hour, 38 minutes) aunt_deen!

Dick Winters is giving me a disappointed look for being so tardy with the well-wishes. (I was at the U2 concert.)
aunt_deen
Sep. 13th, 2009 06:16 pm (UTC)
A U2 concert is an excellent excuse.

Thanks for the wishes!
tomfoolery815
Sep. 13th, 2009 08:50 pm (UTC)
My pleasure. It sounds like you and Mary had a nice time. :-)
m_e_a_o
Sep. 13th, 2009 01:50 pm (UTC)
How very aunt_deen of you to match your icon to the one to which you are responding!
aunt_deen
Sep. 13th, 2009 06:18 pm (UTC)
I have no Matt icon to match yours. But Kris & Matt are bestest buds, so this will have to do.
misterreal
Sep. 14th, 2009 01:46 pm (UTC)
She it the BEST TV little sister ever. :)
aunt_deen
Sep. 14th, 2009 02:59 pm (UTC)
I better be! I think you invented the category for me!

<3<3<3
misterreal
Sep. 14th, 2009 03:00 pm (UTC)
You were just so original you needed a category all to your self.
aunt_deen
Sep. 14th, 2009 03:14 pm (UTC)
And you are one of the few people who recognizes that True Fact. ;)
misterreal
Sep. 14th, 2009 06:26 pm (UTC)
No bigger fan of you than I.
( 25 comments )