Today marks a most special day here in Blogland; it is the birthday of one of my most special Pig-Pilers, Fritz. To know her is to hold a rare gem in the hand, if only for a moment.

Michael helps her realize how beautiful she is; we knew all along.

Fritz first caught my attention in this comment thread. It was a debate of sorts, something about vaginas ... BOBI really stepped in it when he tore apart (figuratively) the twat. Fritz came at him with both barrels blazing, and won my respect from that day forward. She helped me to see that expressing your opinion (and vehemently) doesn't cost friendships, it galvanizes them. I wish I had her bravery and her conviction.

Then she wrote me this ode. To this day I have received few gifts so touching. I keep a printed copy by my bed and often read it before sleep, to remind me that, hardly knowing me, she saw the best in me. I wish I had her love for humanity and her depth of feeling.

Then we had a fight, in which we called a draw. It wasn't a real fight; it was an imaginary wrestling match. I loved that she drew me as a svelte fighter-girl. I love that she thinks I am some skinny willow-wisp of a blondeen, when in truth I am a pleasure liner of gigantic womanly proportions. I wish I had her ability to see the best in everyone.

Fritz's avatar has undergone numerous permutations; here are two of my favorites:


The first one, and my favorite.

Fritz wrote a story once, that continues to be one of my favorite things EVER. It is called Symphony for Life and here is just one tiny excerpt: "I was born in the rumble of the city, beneath the elevated rail, beside the gassy bus, above the bright yellow taxi cab, shrink-wrapped in checkerboard. I was born in the spring of Chicago, a crumpling between cold and hot, a defrosting of the grimy streets at dawn. I was born in a nondescript hospital room, cinder-blocked walls, a cross over the bed, a doctor, a nurse, a wailing woman. The room had a window; the woman insisted on a window. Through the grimy panes came the faded city sunlight that morn, and as Barber's Adagio for Strings grows with strength, so did the sunlight as I emerged from the cave of fertility. I was born unto light, in the simple white linens of sanitary bedding, between the gristle bone and blood of my mother."

Writing like that makes me want to stand under naked trees and wail in ecstacy. I wish I had her talent.

But at least I take comfort in knowing that Fritz and I are two card-carrying members of the Mutual Admiration Society. She has, alternately, dubbed me both Athena and Arachnae, nicknames I embrace as my own and cherish. And she thought my real name was Muthana, after she took my quiz! How adorable is that?!?! In seeking the perfect name for her, I did a little research, and settled at last upon a choice.

So then ... My dearest Fritz, in honor of your birthday I name you Eleos, Greek Goddess of Mercy, Pity and Compassion (Roman counterpart: Clementia, or Misericordia). You extend an arm of comfort and solace to those who most need it, the weakest and most pained members of society. You stand up for your beliefs, even in the face of termination. You see the ills and flaws of those around you, and love all the more fully. Happy happy birthday to you, with sincerest gratitude for helping me to be a better person. I love you!


aka Fritz
aka Elizabeth
you have more names than a Tolkien character!

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