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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.




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.

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. :)