Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Birthday Trifecta

Today marks the birthdays of three of my dearest friends – Sara, Steve and Amanda. With two celebrating milestone birthdays (Sara is 35, Amanda is 30), I can’t help reflecting upon the milestones I’ve shared with all of them over the years.

Sara and I met in our student days at Mount Holyoke College, though it was during our junior year in London that we really bonded. From watching the late, lovely Princess Diana flip the switch on Regent Street’s Christmas lights to day trips to Bath and Stonehenge, we truly made the most of our stint in England’s capital. Since then, I’ve watched with pride and awe as Sara has obtained her phD in law and psychology, served as a congressional fellow, appeared on C-Span for her role in drafting the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and brought her passion for children’s rights to NYC’s Department of Children & Family Services. Her dedication is tireless.

It was also during my time in London that I got to know my British-born buddy Steve. We met in the dinner queue on our first night as residents of Commonwealth Hall, slipping into easy conversation about the dreadful food - a conversation that has continued for 15 wonderful years, with Steve’s wisdom and understanding guiding me through countless twists and turns in life and love. Steve was my greatest champion following a disastrous fling with E, one of our dormmates. I’ll never forget his reaction when I feigned civility toward E during a communal dinner one night.

“That was an Academy Award-winning performance, Darling!”

Just as travel led me to Sara and Steve, so did it acquaint me with fun and fabulous Amanda. We met three summers ago when I invited her on a press junket to Barbados (I work on PR for the Hilton there, she’s a magazine writer who covers travel). We clicked immediately over our shared wanderlust and tales of romance gone awry. Since then, Amanda has inspired me not only with her flair for the written word but her passion for following her dreams -- including a year-long journey around the world with friends to be chronicled in a future bestselling book. Visit for more about her amazing journey.

As Amanda, Sara and Steve celebrate their special day, I too feel a cause for celebration -- of who they are and the difference each of them has made in my life. Happy, Happy Happy Birthday, my dear friends.

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