Friday, January 4, 2013

A Very Peculiar Birthday Party

There are two kinds of people in this world: the ones who think all birthdays should be celebrated, and those who ignore  birthdays.

The former get a flash of childhood glee as they approach the anniversary of their own birth. They countdown to the day, awake excited to greet a new year.

The other might enjoy some birthday attention but if no one remembered that would be okay, too. They think that birthday celebrations are for children or perhaps an occasional, milestone party would be ok but keep it low-key.

The former are walking around in a cloud of party glitter on their birthdays; the latter are walking around pretty much the way they always do.

I am a former.

My husband is a latter.

Several years ago I decided that I had reached a point in life when waiting for people (my husband) to throw me a birthday party simply wasn't the right strategy. The family members who were picking up the celebratory slack needed to be given a reprieve. It was time for me to take charge.

So I threw my own party. Well, sort of. I planned a meetup of members of a local message board on the weekend of my birthday.

And it was awesome.

To be fair, "threw" is a bit of an exaggeration. Everyone picked up their own tab at a restaurant that was kind enough to let us hang out there for several hours.

It was so much fun, we did it again the next year and it sort of became a thing- Susan's Birthday Party Lunch.

But we missed a year, last year I was visiting my family in Connecticut. I got to spend it with the guy who followed me out the door- so to speak- my twin brother, and my parents. I did things that I had never imagined doing. It was a very, special birthday.

I got to give myself a double chin on the ferry to Martha's Vineyard in late  January

I got to shovel the snow off the decks of my parent's boat

And I got to blow out my candle on a shared cake. We hadn't done that since we were kids.

This year, for this milestone birthday, I want to have a day that exemplifies how I feel about turning 50. I want to share the feeling that my collective body of life experiences and attitude earned is something to be celebrated.

 I want a day that shows how I feel: perfectly seasoned, not aged; wise not weak; fresh and sassy not stale.

I have been thinking about what this year means and how best to celebrate it for a long time. I want to stage dive into 50.  I want to slap on a  Hello, I'm Having a Mid-Life Crisis name tag  as an excuse to get away with some particularly hair-brained schemes. But mostly I want my friends to get rid of the over-the-hill, washed-up, too-old-for-that-mentality and join me if only for an hour.

Because if you want to stage dive, you should. And when you do stage dive, someone has to be there to catch you. That's what makes the leap worthwhile.

So my inner control-freak is taking charge.  I'm planning a day where I can go to the places in my city that I have always wanted to, but lacked time. I want to look into the eyes of people that I don't see nearly enough and those whose face I have never set eyes on but have longed to. I want memories with the people I care about- that's the best birthday gift I can imagine.

On that day, I will travel North, South, East and West in our city. I'm a little fuzzy on the details, but if you are in Kansas City on my birthday, I will be near you. And if you are reading this, I want to meet you.

It's a little weird, divaish and peculiar to plan your own birthday party- but I like to think that I am a little weird, divaish and peculiar so I suppose it's very fitting.

You who has made it this far in this highly self-indulgent post, are most cordially invited to share the day with me- Susan's Peculiar Mid-life Diva Stage Dive Tour

RSVP in the comments, or send me a private message via facebook, twitter or G+.

 If you don't know my birthday, I'll give you a hint: my mother got a 2 'fer1 when she gave birth to twins. Yes, it's a school day, but the schedule goes early and late. And, because my husband may be out of work by then, I'm afraid we have to go dutch. I know, peculiar. 

PS: Not posting any RSVP comments for this post to keep your participation choice private- so feel free to not use your public voice.