30 Day Challenge- Day 5

by - Friday, March 08, 2013

Day 5- Someone who is beautiful because of their confidence- Princess Hess, Amanda

I met Amanda when we were 20 and were in the same study abroad group in Vienna. It took us a while to become friends (this is really when we bonded, on a trip to Berlin). If I remember correctly, Amanda hung out with all of the opera singers in the program (yes, that was a group), who were kind of sophisticated (and which would eventually get super incestuous and obnoxious). It was a great pleasure to realize that Amanda was pretty dorky, just like the rest of us.

The glory of Amanda is that she is both dorky and funny AND completely sophisticated, self-assured, and on point. She has a plan, and she is in control, and she is not going to pretend otherwise for your benefit. I genuinely don't know anyone like her, who is so incredibly confident in who she is, and that is what makes her so beautiful.

This picture is one of the first I have of her (we already had mutual friends, but we really weren't friends). We were at a ball in Vienna, and while the rest of us were just sort of staring at the amazing room (and I know I was avoiding having to speak German to anyone), Amanda basically summoned men to her with her eyes, because she loves ballroom dancing and she wanted to dance. I remember being totally struck by how well she just drew men to her, and then she would go out and waltz like she had been doing it her whole life. She had confidence getting what she wanted, and then once she got her chance, she nailed it. Austrians had nothing on her. I have found her to be this way with pretty much everything and it blows my mind. 

I think Andre and I gave her the title Princess Hess because she is a princess, but kind of a scary tyrant princess. We had a running joke that if you defied her will, she would kill you and throw your body in the Danube. 

Amanda's personal style is right in line with her personality- everything is usually perfect, intentionally and aggressively so. She is another one of those women who dresses strategically to highlight what they know are their best traits. She has great blue eyes, and she almost always wears blue to show them off. Her clothes are usually simple, no patterns or fuss, because she doesn't need to hide behind anything else. Amanda approaches her looks in the same way she approaches most everything- she knows what she wants, she has a plan of how she will get it, she executes this plan, and if you get in her way she will destroy you (with just a stare, and then she will hide your body in a body of water).

Because Amanda and I were both from Penn State, we remained good friends throughout school. We even took an ice skating class together. I am sure Amanda is like an Olympics level skater now, and I sprained my ankle a few months later trying to skate in a straight line. Amanda has a super cool personality, where nothing seems to ruffle her feathers, so it is always a hoot to see her soft spots (namely, her dogs and horses and sister). She is the kind of person who sends me jam at Christmas and wrote me a card in the last few weeks of wedding planning, just to encourage me. She is a great friend, even if she is also a total hardass.

I like people whose personalities can't be tied up in a neat package with a bow (though I bet her wrapping is on point), because I think if you fit a mold too much, you are probably compromising parts of yourself. I don't believe Amanda could compromise herself, even if she wanted to. I have seen her be overly pleasant with an old boyfriend, and it was creepy. She knows when to show her badassery, but even when it isn't front and center, we know it is there. It is the combination of being so happy,  so tough, so pretty, so disciplined, and so secretly silly that makes her beautiful. She has lots of layers, and I respect that.

We now have a pretty established routine of the Vienna friends meeting up once a year. One year, Amanda told us all that she was going to get married, and have stables, own the world, and have kids (I am certain there is an exact number and they were already named and gendered).When she told us the plan, she didn't have a boyfriend. One of our reunions, 2 years later, was at her wedding, and I am willing to bet she will be the first one to have children, and they will probably look on point all the time, be master horsemen (because I have no doubt that stable is coming), and respond to whistle calls like the Von Trapps. And damn it, they will be awesome. I would never bet against her, because her pure power of will makes things happen.

Going to her wedding was a treat, partially because we got to see her interact with her family, and see where some of these qualities came from. Her mom has to be the most perfectly detail-oriented person I have ever seen, and the wedding was genuinely perfect. Also, her dad is just all heart and you can tell he adores his girls, so you can see where Amanda's (well-hidden) soft spots come from.  She and her sister couldn't be more different, and it makes them a total hoot. Erika is Amanda's complement, more athletic and tomboyish, late, absent-minded, and generally carefree. She drives Amanda crazy (even though you can tell she adores her), and even the way Amanda says her name is hilarious. But they both have absolute confidence in who they are and how they look, at least a whole lot more than most people I know. And that's pretty amazing.

So here's to you, Countess Kriebel, for never apologizing for being the beautiful powerhouse supergoddess of all things. Ride your horse of into the sunset, and you just keep destroying anything that gets in your way!

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