T Minus 40: Ghosts of Birthdays Past

Over coffee the other morning I turned to Yves and asked if he thought my project was totally narcissistic. I stopped him before he answered. I realized I didn’t care. I’ve never made things all about me.

Some birthdays are just supposed to be milestones.

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On my first birthday my mom made me a Winnie the Pooh cake. She drew Pooh in icing herself. I only know this from the pictures and the stories.

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On my 10th birthday I just remember being super-psyched that my age had two digits.

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My sweet 16 was a backyard BBQ with approximately 12 guests, two of which were my aunt and uncle. We weren’t fancy or rich and it was long before they invented reality shows about birthday parties that whipped young people into a frenzy of having to outdo one another’s lavish events.

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On my 21st birthday I went on my first real date with Yves. He arrived carrying a single red rose and a gift, Fiona Apple’s Tidal. We went for sushi and then went back to my friend Sarah’s apartment which she had lent me so that I wouldn’t have to bring my 30-something date back to my dorm. I had already planned to put out. Don’t judge me. I had known him for years and he turned out to be the love of my life. OK, maybe I was a being a little slutty, but the heart wants what it wants.

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My 30th birthday was on the same night as a friend’s 75th. My mom and grandfolks were visiting and we were in the country for the weekend at Yves’ dad’s. We skipped the dinner portion of the 75th and went to Ca’Mea in Hudson, NY. We didn’t want to overwhelm the hostess with extra dinner guests. After our meal we headed to the party to wish the guest of honor well and hear the band they had hired play. I danced with Yves a bit, but what I really remember is watching my grandparents dance. They had been married for 55 years then and had the most amazing moves. I had seen them dance so many times before, but there was something special about this night. Maybe it was the milestone birthday or the fact that I had recently married Yves or that Yves and I were quietly celebrating the ninth anniversary of our first date. I watched and wondered if we would ever get our moves as tight as Nammy and Grandad. They were a well-oiled machine on the dance floor.

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My 40th is coming fast, I have no formal plans for the day. I’ve been too busy working for the last couple of weeks to focus on them. In a way this project has been a wonderful distraction from the impending decade shift. It’s forcing me to think more about my life than my age. Maybe I’ll throw a T Minus 40 wrap party.

 

 

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