For the Kid Sister-in-Law on Her 31st Birthday

by Bill Brenner on January 11, 2011

I like to use this blog as a birthday card for the people I care about. I did one for Sean and Duncan and one for Erin. I did one for my sister. I even did one for my deceased brother. Now it’s Amanda Corthell’s turn.

The youngest of my three sisters-in-law is 31 today.

Mood music:

Yeah, this is essentially the one I wrote for her last year when she hit 30. But my fondness for Blondo is still captured pretty well in here, so I’m reposting it as a reminder to people of how cool she is.

It’s the thought that counts, right?

Amanda was just 12 when I first started coming around. She wore glasses that were bigger than her head and she reminded me of Cousin Oliver from the Brady Bunch. Sometimes she’d act like him, which irritated me a little.

She also had a pretty advanced sense of humor for her age, and I was only too happy to teach her some of my dirty tricks. I showed her how, if you lightly placed a piece of scotch tape on the back of a cat, the animal would squat close to the ground because it thought it was under a piece of furniture. I also showed her the ball-of-tape-on the-cat’s-paw trick, where the cat shakes its paw trying to get it to fall off. Before you call PETA on me, I should note that the tape was placed gently on. It was no more dangerous than making the cat chase that little red dot around as you sit with the little flashlight behind it. The cat lived a long, happy and obese life.

I also taught her the joy of smearing the lens of someone’s eye glasses with a spit-saturated finger.

As she got older, she started to test her parents’ patience. She’d wise off to her father at the dinner table and he’d slam down his silverware in anger, which was always fun to watch. And you could never stay mad at the kid. She was just too amusing.

I started calling her Blondie because sometimes she said things that were worthy of a blond joke or three. The name stuck. I’ve modified the nickname to Blondo in more recent years. It’s funny that the name stuck, because most of the time her hair is some other color.

In recent years, she’s made a name for herself as a photographer. Here’s a sample of her work:

My favorite pic of the niece

She works her ass off, and just got offered a manager’s post at a local studio.  We’re all very proud of her for that. I’m also proud that she’s such a good aunt to her niece and nephews.

Happy Birthday, and don’t worry: Stuff won’t start to sag until you reach 40. Actually, I’m in better shape now than I was at 35, so you should be OK.

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