Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Aging Gracefully

Yesterday was my birthday. It is officially less than 365 days before I turn 40.

Years ago, we threw my dad a surprise 40th birthday party. I was 13 and his friends seemed really old. Heck, I was 24 when we threw a 40th party for my boss, Andy. Although he was cool, mostly because he knew music and really didn’t do anything around the office except balance Jenni’s checkbook (yep, same Jenni), he still seemed ancient. He pointed out that he got his driver’s license the same year I was born.

Larry’s 40th surprise party got cancelled because the hostess had an ectopic pregnancy. No, seriously. You think I make this shit up?

Well, I’ve arrived at that same age bracket and realize there is no way I would go back to being 24. Sixteen years ago, I remember inviting Andy to my group house party and he’d never show up. Now as I linger over 40, my feelings are the exact same.

Last year, I had a work lunch with two 20-somethings who during the course of our meal, discussed a party they had attended that weekend. I sat there; silently dismayed at the fact I’d been overlooked. I began planning my revenge of forcing them to buy Christmas wrapping paper that my son would eventually sell to supplement the rising costs of day-care. At that point, I tuned back into the conversation to hear the young woman say:

Well, the next thing I know, I threw up all over the cab driver. I tried to vomit in my purse, but I missed. He was pretty pissed even though I gave him an extra dollar tip.

Nope, you couldn’t pay me to go back to that age again. Back to the birthday…

Larry is a good spouse when it comes birthdays, though sometimes I find his methods funny. I’m not a person who really celebrates the day and my standard line to him is, “I don’t want anything for my birthday.” As you recall, we had that Vegan chili party last Saturday. A whole bunch of my friends were coming and began mentioning that it coincided with my ‘big day.’ I adamantly pointed this was a matter of convening six couples’ schedules and nothing more.

Two days before the party, he says to me, “Hey, do you think I should get a birthday cake for you?” OK, see … the joy and surprise of it all has just been thrown out the door if you have to ask.

I respond in my oh-so-direct-and-sarcastic manner, “Babe, I don’t need anything for my birthday.” Well, ask and you shall receive. HA!

So last night, we went to dinner with our good friends, Don & Jan. (Sidenote, every time I’d mention them to my mom, she’d ask, “Are they a boy-boy couple or a boy-girl couple?” It makes our friends seem like they are 13, doesn’t it?) So Larry, Don and his wife–you were dying to know–went to this new restaurant in Silver Spring, MD called Jackie’s to celebrate.

As we were reading the menu, this chiseled, 6’1, beautiful hottie named Chad comes up and asks if he can I get us anything.

I looked at Larry and said, “I just thought of something I need for my birthday.


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