Today, my one-and-only sister Katie turns 29.
Happy Birthday Katie!
Do me a favor? Drop Katie a line and wish her a happy birthday. You can find her on Facebook here. I’m pretty sure she’s got some decent privacy settings, so you probably won’t be able to message her without friend-requesting. She’s pretty picky about who she’s friends with on Facebook, so maybe just friend-request her with a message that says “Happy Birthday from The Quixotic Jedi, you don’t have to accept this request, I’m just sending you some blessings.” Feel free to copy and paste that; it’s the thought that counts.
OR, you can email her at HappyBirthdayKatie@QuixoticJedi.com – that address will direct to her personal address and I’ll shut it down after a few days so she doesn’t get spammed all over the place.
If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know I talk about Katie pretty regularly. If you’ve spoken to me in person, you know I talk about Katie pretty regularly.
Without getting into the whole hyperbole thing by saying things like “Katie is the perfect sister” or “Katie is the best sister a guy could ask for”, let me just say that I love my sister very much. Besides the fact that she’s my sister and, technically, I have to love her, I have real-life, adult reasons for saying this:
I have a great deal of respect for Katie. She is at-once the most mature and the most immature person I’ve ever met. And she seems to be moving from the latter to the former more and more every day. To repeat: Katie regularly strikes me as being extremely mature. She’s one of my most trusted confidants. She’s a great sounding-board. Katie always shoots me straight, never sugar-coating things. Sometimes this deflates my ego, or even hurts my feelings. But I need my ego deflated, and my Katie never intentionally hurts my feelings. She tells me the things I need to hear because she loves me and doesn’t want to see me get hurt by my own defects of character. Katie is not simply painfully frank. In fact, she’s not simply anything.
Lest you think that my love and respect for Katie comes from her unending criticism of me, please let me explain myself further. Katie’s criticism is by no means unending. Katie is one of my biggest supporters. Besides the fact that she reads my blog every day [ ;-) ], Katie regularly points out to me when I’m doing something right – especially when I’m not sure of myself. Katie is a consistent source of inspiration for me. She’s constantly telling me how cool she thinks I am and how proud of me she is. Katie’s blood, and that means a lot. It also means a lot to me because her compliments are genuine. As I said before, she’s not afraid to tell me when I’m wrong, acting like an idiot, or need to apologize to someone (NOW).
To say “Katie’s always there for me” would be an understatement. When I split up with my (now ex-) wife, she and John dropped everything and picked my no-good drunk ass up from DC. I told them what happened at 11PM (on a weekday), and by 10AM the next day, they were packing up my stuff and pouring me into the moving van to bring me back to NJ. I hardly did anything, and they didn’t complain or chastise me once. They just helped their brother out of a tough spot without a second thought or judgment.
For the few years preceding and just after my divorce, I was an incredibly arrogant prick. I was constantly offering Katie free advice, acting holier-than-thou, and doling out criticism in large measure. Katie has since forgiven my indescretions. She let me apologize once and that was it. She won’t let me apologize again, no matter how many times I try. That’s pretty cool because it lets me be ok with who I am today, instead of constantly dwelling on my past asshole-ishness.
When the first reader at Katie’s wedding ceremony didn’t make it on time, she pointed to me to do the reading without a second thought. There wasn’t even a pause in the ceremony. I can’t begin to tell you how good that made me feel.
Katie also genuinely appreciates my opinion. She’ll ask whether I think something is a good idea, and often takes my advice. This is so good for me. Besides the fact that it’s nice to have one’s opinion validated, it also reminds me that I can’t be cavalier with my words. Katie has taught me to weigh my thoughts before saying them aloud, because I love her so much that I can’t bear to give her bad advice. She’s taught me to hold my tongue when I don’t have anything pertinent to say, and she’s taught me that she’s perfectly capable of making good decisions on her own. And, by asking my opinion, she’s also taught me that it’s ok (and probably better) for me to solicit the opinions of others before making a big decision. For a headstrong eldest son like yours truly, that was a tough thing to learn. But Katie showed me how easy it can be, and made the lesson that much smoother.
Katie is the reason John, Danny, Katie, and I are going to see Metallica on November 17th. She’s my favorite concert-partner. Heck, read Apocalyptica or Led Zeppelin Show on Saturday. Katie was also one of the winners during Rap Appreciation Week – and believe you me, she had some stiff competition. Katie is the reason I have pages on Facebook and MySpace – partly because she suggested I get profiles thereon, and mostly because she set the profiles up for me. If you want to read more about Katie, plug “Katie” into the search bar waaaay up at the top-right, or click here, here or here.
Happy Birthday Katie. And thanks for being the one who always remembers to bring the awesomeness.