Last night I had a very special delivery. But first, let me give you a little background.
Even though lots of people know me as Amanda, there is a significant portion of the people in my life who call me Mandy. My parents nicknamed me Mandy when I was born and so that’s how I’m known to all of my family and to the people I grew up with. When I went to college, all of the stuff on my admission paperwork said, Amanda, that being my proper name and all, and I figured one day I might want to be known as Amanda (when I was a professional of some sort...insert eye roll here) and so I just didn’t correct anyone when they used that name. It was never that I didn’t like Mandy…I just saw it as a strategic career move at the time. I wish I was kidding, but I’m not. All of the people that I have met since entering college call me Amanda…including my husband. They think it’s weird to hear my family call me Mandy. My family thinks it’s weird to hear people call me Amanda…so formal! I like them both.
I do have a couple of friends here who occasionally call me Mandy. I like that and I think it is because, Mandy, always sounds so intimate to me, since the people who call me that have known me forever. It feels kind of like a term of endearment.
Not too long ago, I found a laundry bag that had been given to me as a high school graduation gift by my youth pastor and his wife (shout out to Kenny and Cassie Stanteen here). Cassie had it embroidered with my name, Mandy, on it. I have kept it all these years, even though I haven’t used a laundry bag in ages, opting for the more matronly hamper instead. Since Jen, one of the friends who calls me Mandy, has become quite the seamstress in the last year, I gave it to her one day and said, “I wondered if you could do something with this…maybe a purse or something.” I think I might have even said it was “no big deal, something simple,” or something along those lines. Of course, this is Jen we are talking about and I seriously should have known better.
Over the last few months, she has spent countless hours (I am serious when I say it was probably close to 100) on this bag. She has done it and redone it, sewed it and then pulled out all the stitching to start again, lovingly fixed the original, fraying embroidery, taken trips to Pueblo to find materials, including a darling piece of blue floral fabric that lines the inside, done and redone it again, and, in her own words, she, “almost threw up on the way over last night” to give it to me. Silly girl. I love it…not just because it is perfect and so much better than I ever would have imagined it on my own. I love it because it was made by my friend, who loves me extravagantly, and who somehow managed to weave that message in every stitch. It is the truest of treasures made by one of my truest, treasured friends. I love it, Jen, and I love you!