You’ll Never Know, Dear

July 8, 2014 — 63 Comments

(editor’s note: You are now part of a blog hop, with each title part of the song “You Are My Sunshine.” Just give in. Give in to the hop. DO NOT RESIST THE HOP)

Am I really posting 2 days in a ROW?

That has NEVER happened. Except today is Mandi’s birthday, and I want EVERYONE IN THE ‘SPHERE to know it!




When we first formed the SisterWives, Mandi came as part of a matched set (I thought). There was Beth and Mandi, two impossibly beautiful blonde real-life friends from Texas.

And then gradually,

There was Mandi.

There were so many of us, it took a while for each of us to connect, one-on-one.

She was worth the wait.


She’s a bit of a wizard, that one. She isn’t boisterous and edgy and “I’m strange, LOOK at ME” like some bloggers we know (*cough*). But damn, she is extraordinary.

She’s incredibly modest about her writing. So much so, that she almost has you convinced it’s “no big deal” and then you READ her blog and all of a sudden – WHAM!

She does everything from rock us to the core, with gut wrenching posts like The Cycle, to make us laugh bawdily, with her Penis Monologues.


The fact is, she’s so busy cheering US on, she doesn’t really take the time to dwell on her own work – which is magnificent.


She is so full of love and encouragement – and not the phony kind, the real, down deep genuine kind – that Lizzi has dubbed her “The Cheerleader.”

This of course, led to one of our hilarious and endless comment threads. At one point Mandi asked, “Does this mean I get to do a hurkey?”

To which Lizzi replied, “I have no idea what that even means!”

And off we went into one of our bizarrely charming Sisterwife tangents. I found a picture of one online and posted it- it’s a very complex jump:


The SisterWives Training in the Clubhouse

The SisterWives Hurkey Training



Lizzi found a YouTube tutorial on how to perform one, and evidently sustained some injuries attempting it.

The next day, Mandi posted a picture of herself executing the aforementioned hurkey!

SHE ACTUALLY DID THIS THING! It was astonishing!

That’s Mandi. She takes you by surprise with her amazingness.



Last week I wrote the most difficult post of my blogging career.

Three days later, it was Mandi’s turn to post.  Her post was (I thought) going to chronicle some struggle, some adversity she’d overcome. There are many. Although Mandi is just as she appears in the picture on her blog, full of light and laughter and blondeness, she has been through some SHIT.


She didn’t write about any of that.

Instead, she chose to write a gorgeous post, honoring me, and my decision to come forward and share my story with the world.

See what I mean?

THAT is the epitome of Mandi. Taking a moment that was supposed to be hers, and giving it to ME.

She is truly my Sisterwife, and I love her dearly.



Since I’m (just a few years) older than Mandi, I’d like to let her know that getting older is not the end of the world – BUT IT’S A GIANT STEP TOWARD IT!

So do NOT go gentle in that good night. Instead, age disgracefully. Here are some suggestions of things to do while still in your 30’s:

Go skydiving

Have sex someplace you shouldn’t

Talk to strangers

Go to Bonnaroo (Jennie will go with you)

Skinny dip

Take a cross county road trip (I’ll go with you)

Take risks

Learn one really great card trick

Make out with a woman

Go to Burning Man

Don’t care what other people think. Take the “Fuck You” pill – as of today

Get a tattoo

Don’t be afraid to say “I love you”

Dance inappropriately. Grind with your girlfriends on a dance floor

Send that naked selfie

Go to Las Vegas with the SisterWives

Stay up all night and watch the sunrise

Eat dessert

Travel to another continent

Get a piercing

Travel to New Orleans for Mardi Gras

Perform random acts of kindness



And remember, no matter how old you get – I’ll always be older.

Happy Birthday, Beautiful Girl. Write Free!




FOLLOW THE SONG to read the next post in our celebration: How Much I Love You

START AT THE BEGINNING OF THE SONG to read the whole thing, as it bounces around the Blogosphere singing: You Are My Sunshine



63 responses to You’ll Never Know, Dear


    This is a lovely and wonderful tribute to a talented friend. Fun reading



    Happy birthday Manders!

    Mind you, I’m sceptical of the authenticity of her hurkey attempt – her left hand is out of shot and she may well be using a pipe, pole, or some other plastic product of protruding pliability to play with our plebeian psychosis.

    For some reason I read ‘continent’ as ‘condiment’.

    But apart from that, Happy birthday Manders!

    Deanna Herrmann July 8, 2014 at 8:33 am

    Aww SS, this is so adoring and funny. Love your heart!


    You did AMAZINGLY with this, Samara. It’s so fun and perfect. Love it.


    Hooray for bloggy love!


    Ah, the birthday blog hop.
    Here’s to falling in with a great crowd of people, Mandi!


      We ARE a great crowd, aren’t we? I love the way we never compete or judge or any of that crap that women sometimes do to one another.

      REDdog wants to start the male counterpart to our group. Brothers of the SisterWives. Cool dudes who support and respect women. It just occurred to me how perfect you’d be for a group like that.


    This is fun, Samara! You did a wonderful job!


      As did you, my dear!

      Just read your vacation post- DAMN you’re funny. I commented there, but I was just thinking of the visual of an RV pulling a boat on a trailer followed by an SUV. It’s a traveling circus, not a vacation!


    I love this so much. What a wonderful tribute to your friend!


      Thanks, Michelle!
      (I’m just gonna say this to you privately but doing a blog hop on 12 hours notice almost killed me. I’m too old for all this excitement).


    OH MY GAWD! You guys are too much. I am such a mess. What in the world did I ever do to deserve so much love. I can’t. …I don’t know how to put into words how special I feel. Seriously. I’ll just say this: that post that I wrote for you came from my heart because I wanted to honor your bravery. You have balls, and I wanted to point that out. I just used pretty words. So about your list: let’s see…

    Sex some place I shouldn’t – I can do this (maybe already have, but who says I can’d do it again.) Skydiving (maybe in vegas?)I’d love to go to Bonaroo. I L-O-V-E music festivals. If I ever see you, I might accomplish one of those…*puckers* I skinny dip all the time in my backyard, but it’s more fun with friends..There are several that I haven’t done:
    A tattoo
    A burning man…not sure what that is, but I can think of at least one man I’d like to burn.
    etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

    I’m humbled. And overwhelmed. And lots teary eyed, and I haven’t had any coffee, but I just can’t stop going to the next post.

    Thank you, sweet Samara.


      I’m so happy for you, Mandi. 🙂 This is birthday magic, and you deserve it! And I would so totally utterly rock out with you at Bonnaroo!!! We could paint each other… with paint that flows from a giant mushroom shower… just saying. Who doesn’t want that?



        I’d love to paint you from paint that flows from a giant mushroom shower at Bannaroo! For sure. Let’s get this on the books!


        Burning Man is 70,000 people from all over the world at a week long festival in the Nevada Desert. The last week of the summer.

        Music, art, and insanity. The good kind.


    I like “(G)etting older is not the end of the world – BUT IT’S A GIANT STEP TOWARD IT!” I’m going to get that put on my gravestone, which I actually do have.


      You have a GRAVESTONE? That’s creepy. I guess you’re a planner?

      You don’t keep this around the house, do you? Like in a big Tupperware storage bin?


    S. You. Thanks for including me here, in all this gorgeous Mandi-love. MUAH. ❤


    Happy Birthday, Mandi! How have I not read her blog? I will go find you! I like your list of suggestions, Samara. I can still do them in my forties?! Ha ha.


      Amy, you have such a youthful spirit, you do these in your 60’s. Whataya say? You, me, Burning Man 2014?

      Mandi’s blog is awesome. She got FP’d for “The Cycle,” which is a heart breaking story about her mother’s mental illness. But her funny stuff is SO funny.

      She’s also just a phenomenally supportive blogger. I told her about LAP, for instance. BOOM! A week later, they’re on her Blog Roll. I don’t even HAVE a blog roll.

      I suck. *runs to put up a blog roll*


        You don’t think I’m sixty, do you? Ha! I hope not. I don’t have a blog roll either!


        NO! I meant you’re so youthful you COULD do these things in your 60’s.

        You’re ageless. You could be anywhere from 30 to 45. With some people it’s impossible to tell. I know your sons’ ages so I suppose you’re not 30, but without that info it’s impossible to tell. You write young. I’ve also seen pictures of you, and you dress young too.

        Rock on, you ageless warrior!


        Ha ha! You are cracking me up. Ageless!! I love the sound of that. Lately, I’m not feeling that way. So thanks, Samara!


    How come I didn’t get invited to hurkey training? I would have liked to have seen that.


    After reading these awesome birthday wishes from various bloggers, I went over to Mandi’s site and started following her. I am already happy that I did! 🙂 🙂

    Ouch on the hurkeys, that’s just not right. Love your list of things to do while still in your 30’s. I guess I’m a bit behind and didn’t get the memo on time. I better get doing! 🙂


      That list is for ANY age, Maria. Just some of those things can be a little hard on the knees. 🙂

      At 44, my knees snap crackle and pop like the castanet section of Carmen.


    I saw Mandi’s own post on the subject, and gave my birthday good cheer there. I hope you’ll pardon me if I don’t follow the blog hop just now… I’m in agony today and I’m lucky if I can’t think straight to realize the pain. When I can resist the pain enough again, maybe I’ll explain at my place.


      No worries, Jak. Hope your pain is more manageable today.


        Not really, but I am trying to find some humor in it. Mandi is a sweetie and I hope she did get all the birthday goodness she deserves.

        In a month, my sister plans to embarrass me in all sorts of ways for the 4-0… I’m afraid I’ll have to disappoint her. She insists that she’ll need to get me an “old man” wizard’s staff. Sure, I’ll tell people that Gandalf and Santa Claus somehow mated to give birth to me. My folks will probably argue a little bit on who is supposed to be Gandalf…


        I give up.
        Who is Gandalf?


        Oh my dear Samara… you’ve heard at least of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit movies based on JRR Tolkien’s books, yes? He’s the main wizardly protagonist. Y’know, “fly, you fools!” and “The ring must be destroyed!” Ian McKellen portrayed him.


    This is AWESOME – I love it!!! I’m going to her blog right this minute : ) Your advice is perfect. You’ll be proud to know I’ve checked off almost every one of them – I’ve been very busy since my divorce haha! Love you – you’re the greatest!


      Molly, I didn’t know you were divorced- all of a sudden, I have an urge to drive to where you live and get into all sorts of trouble with you.

      Let’s make a new list and see how much havoc we can wreak on the world! Love you too!


        Yes my dear – for six years. But good Lord it was a super easy split compared to all the hell you’ve gone through. We’re great friends and he’s a kick-ass dad. We just prefer to never be naked in the same space again as long as we live haha…Any time you want to take a road trip to Atlanta, you have guest quarters available at my house : ). Bring bail money.


        Don’t EVEN joke cause I am so there! You seem like you know how to have fun. Any good places to meet men? (A friend wants to know)


        Well come on then! I have fun wherever I go – true story : ). As for the men part, it depends on what kind of men you want to meet. I could hook you up with a gay guy or college student in five minutes. Finding you a husband might take a bit longer. Mainly bc I don’t go to church or work in a hospital. Atlanta is notorious for having 9 women for every one single man, but if anyone can beat the odds it’s you honey. I’ll be your wingman : )


        A HUSBAND?

        Hello, I’m Samara. Have you read my blog? hahahaha

        No, darlin’, I’m looking for something a little more short term. Something to last about the length of my visit to Atlanta. A gay guy is not a good candidate, but a college student would be just fine. *makes cougar-like noises*


        Hahaha – well you can meet a dude to hook up with in about four minutes. Easy! Lemme know some dates and we’ll get it on the calendar : )


        4 minutes?

        I’m not even joking. I WILL come and visit you, as long as promise not to be so pretty 🙂

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