As of now, it’s been about 10,957 days, 6 hours, and 22 minutes since you were born and I speak only the truth when I say I am grateful for each and every millisecond you’ve been alive, even for the ones I wasn’t around for. Since biding your time behind high-waisted pants, you haven’t wasted a second living up to your old high school AOL screenname: RADAnitra. Let’s talk a little more about your name “Anitra.” When I tell my friends I have an older sister named Anitra, I get 1/3 responses 1: “A-nee-what?” 2. “God Bless You!” and 3. “Um, is she…the same race as you?” (That’s how they ask if you’re black without directly asking)
However, the name ‘Anitra’ is actually taken from a character in a play written by Henrik Ibsen. It is a poetic tale of a young lad named Peer, and his trite and troublesome adventures from a lavish upbringing to struggling to find himself as a man in a world that is not inherently good. It’s a very reminiscent of the story of Siddhartha except I don’t think it ends with enlightenment and nirvana. Anyways, in this story Anitra’s character, for the sake of using an honest description – she’s basically a Arabian Princess Whore. Ladies and Gentlemen: that is my sister’s namesake.
Anitra, I love you for so many reasons and I’ve had a lifetime to accrue these reasons why. Today is about celebrating the best friend I could ever have; the yin to my yang, the peas to my carrots, and the vodka to my soda. Today, I want to give tribute, and give you a few reasons, why I’ve learned to love you so:
1. You didn’t leave me alone in my ‘Saved By The Bell’ bathing suit. Sure the bottoms went well above our navels, but I think that’s the style now; some may say we were ahead of our time.
2. You slept beside me for 16-years of your life. I snore, I drool, hell: I take up 90% of what should be shared bed space. Maybe you didn’t care because you were my sister, but other girls don’t really seem to dig it.
3. You never minded being my twinsie, even when it involved Blossom hats (which didn’t look good on anyone, not even Blossom) and polka dotted onesies. Yabba Dabba Do.
4. We shared the same interests whether it includes robots,wine, babies wearing glasses, living in places with really big mountains, the comedy of Nick Swardson, having no sense of direction, making fun of people who don’t stand a chance, or doning ourselves in crazy cat lady apparel.
5. With the two years you had above me, you taught me about fashion; like that JNCO jeans were flattering. Because what is more flattering for a teenage girl than shapeless jeans that had enough space to grow tomato plants in?
6. You’ve always believed in the power of your dreams. Whether your dream included saying “Do you want fries with that?” or obtaining enough degrees to make a bonfire thrive, you’ve made it happen. Your Master’s in Forensic Anthropology and Crime Scene Investigation makes my Master’s look like a big blob of douche – you’re bad ass sister-friend.
7. Not only have you always been along for the ride, but you’ve been behind the steering wheel.
8. You have good values and morals. Even if you didn’t, the crimped hair, halo, and white chiffon dress could convince anyone otherwise. In all sincerity – my code, although it may be wrought with imperfections and faux pas, it’s a good one, because you helped me make it.
9. You could always and will always make me laugh. Regardless of what was going on, you always reminded me that if I could laugh at it, then I was okay. At that point, I had worked through whatever the issue was. Comedy and laughing about something; whether it was a little or big thing was my acceptance. It is what it is, it was what it was, and life goes on. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you are in your life, there are things that are going to bother you, get on your nerves and make you mad. That’s normal. You always reminded me of that.
10. You’ve always been my person, whether that involved hikes out in Cottonwood Hollow where I wore an awesome jacket that I wish I owned now, or regaled in the simplicity of sticking my tongue out and maybe or maybe not having something written across my head in permanent marker – having you to my right; if you weren’t there I don’t think I would have wanted to know what life would have been like.
11. We are collectively the cutest. Whether we go out at 2 and 4 or 28 and 30, we are stylin’ in our midriffs and floppy hats.
12. The only thing cuter than #11, is how we’ve maintained that connection through the years:
13. And the years:
15. And the years:
Despite the DNA, genetics, and sharing the same parental unit – I’d want you by my side regardless of the facts which make our relationship inevitable. I give you the full credit for raising me into the weird human being I have become, for introducing me to things like the ‘Upright Citizens Brigade’ and teaching me how to break the rules without getting caught. I thank you for that, and I also thank you for always being the crazier cat lady because without you as a basis of comparison I think I’d be a lot more worried about my cat situation.
You’re my everything, and you’re righteous and rad and what I aspire to be. While you’re not the reason I choose to move back out West, please know that you were a reason. A really big one.
For the last two years I lived close to my “family” for the first time in a long time. I had to define what that word meant to me. I lived within miles of everyone suddenly – my Mother, my Father, Grandparents, other extraneous members that I never saw. Suddenly I was making time for these people and getting to know them on a level I never had. But I missed you:
I love you Neets, and at the end of every day you are my family. The hook line to my sinker, the ebb to my flow. Happy Birthday Anitra. Much like the ballad from 90’s rock band Extreme, I love you “More Than Words.” You’re the iceberg to my Titanic, and I won’t ever let you sink. I love you.