I’d been thinking and dreaming about my 50th birthday for a year. I knew it was coming (of course), but I really wasn’t too thrilled about it. I hang out with a lot of younger women. Sometimes, they make me feel really old. Most of the time, though, I just like hanging out with them.
50 just sounded so . . . old.
I’m the third one of my siblings to make that step, and they seemed to survive it. So, after tossing around the idea of just having a small group of close friends join me in celebrating this momentous occasion, I decided to blow it out. You only turn 50 once, after all. And I hadn’t had a birthday party in many years. My last one was a surprise for my 30th.
My husband, David, took my guest list and emailed them all, hired my good friend Laura, cake maker extraordinaire, to make a lovely red-velvet cake with the words “50 is the new 30” on it, and we prayed for good weather.
Then the doubts crept in: Would anyone want to come? Seeing as how my birthday is 5 days after Christmas, would anyone be in town? Would they be bored? Please, God, don’t let them be bored.
Soon, the replies started coming in: if they were in town, they wanted to come.
Two days before the big day, we scrubbed the pool deck, cleaned the house, and hit Sam’s Club for the goodies. When the day finally arrived, the weather was perfect, we floated candles in the pool, set up a chocolate fountain, laid out the fare (smoked salmon, cheese logs, pigs in a blanket, mini-quiche and more) and waited for the first guests to arrive. I had made up a “Steph-trivia” quiz, posted around the house newsworthy facts of the year I was born and found a wonderful “Hits of the 60s and 70s” Pandora station that we kept on throughout the day. The songs made me smile.
But more so, the 50 guests (yes, if my counting was right, there were exactly 50 people there) who filled our home made me smile. Only downside was that I hadn’t appointed anyone as the photographer for the evening, so I have only a couple of shots of the event. But it’s there in my memory forever. And the thought that kept running through my head as the guests kept coming was this: “You like me. You really like me!”
Maybe turning 50 isn’t so bad after all. Not when you’re surrounded by such good friends.
Thankful today for:
111. a decaf skinny black and white iced mocha from Starbucks’
112. daylight savings time
113. a fun event to look forward to