Christie: An Ode in Three Parts

Together in Prague Christmas 2005
Not actually an ode in the elaborately structured poem sense, but three things I just absolutely love about my cousin Christie, my almost sister:
Stylish in Vegas 
1. She's a guaranteed good time
Not in the Jenny- 'for a good time, call' sense, but that you can count the fact that you do anything with Christie and know it will be enjoyable. We pretty much giggled across Prague and London when we went there almost a decade ago, and she was fresh off a broken engagement - well within her rights to be miserable.

Heading into or Girl's Trip I'm pretty sure I was 25% excited to see Justin Timberlake and 70% excited to just hang out with Christie and feed off her energy for life (that leaves 5% for just being excited to go anywhere, a traveler's reserve). Whether cajoling our 'too-old' concert neighbors into getting up and dancing or selling me on some seriously awesome lightning-shaped dollar store earrings, she's just plain fun.
Rockin in London 2005
Ready for Justin Timberlake

2. She's real
Check her Facebook for proof: there's no sugar coating her moments of parental angst. Talk to her on the phone and she'll be honest about the good and bad in her life (no taming excitement on the good, no downplaying the bad for the sake of being tough).

One of the things I often lament in my moments of hating on the world is how easy it is to have superficial connections with people. I'm pretty great at maintaining acquaintances, but it takes real energy to truly connect with someone in a meaningful way. Christie is an inspiration in being genuine. A couple years ago she called me in a flurry because she had met a woman in the WalMart parking lot who she wanted to help. She had offered to watch this woman's kids so she could go to work and wanted to brainstorm long-term solutions for people like her. Not in a patronizing save-the-world kind of way (the way I'm prone to and self-conscious of) but in the way that she had connected with this random woman literally on the side of the road and wanted to improve her life to the same degree that she wants happiness for her closest friends and family.

After a long day playing

3. She's got depth
Sometimes I pick my brainiest, nerdiest, most conundrummy questions and save them up for Christie because I know she can take it. There's no pretense of knowing all the answers, but there's also no question too big or faux pas she's not willing to stew on or opine. She's well-read, actively feeds her brain, is thoughtful and careful about her spiritual and political convictions- treading the fine balance of believing something with enough fervor that it means something and questioning it enough that it's not all-consuming.

I keep trying to convince her and her husband to move right next door to me so I can see her every day, but it hasn't worked yet. Boo.

And an adorable babe to boot, right?

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