Saturday, August 8, 2015

Changing My Age, Quietly


My birthday is Monday. I will be 53.*

I have always loved my birthday — an entire day devoted to the celebration of me, me, ME!!!!

And I do still like that idea, in theory. But last year, when my dad's death was still so fresh, I didn't want a party or any hoopla — and this year, honestly, I feel kind of the same way. I don't think it's about my dad, per se; I just want a chill celebration.

Partly, I think, I'm a little birthdayed out. Mimosa's Big 18 was super fun but also took a lot out of me.

And also: Li'l Martini will be at sleepaway camp for an entire week, and this is a Heaven-sent opportunity for me to do something I've been dying to do for a year or so: upgrade his bedrooom from little-boy room to almost-man cave. His baby-blue walls will become navy blue. His third-grade desk will become a proper computer table (big enough for his computer and something else in addition, like homework). He will have an actual guitar stand for his guitar, rather than have it float aimlessly around his room. All the toys and things that he no longer plays with that are taking up valuable space will be neatly packed in bins, labeled, and stored in the basement.

I am SO excited about this!! I plan to go to Ikea and Home Depot tomorrow to get the furniture and paint, prep the walls Sunday night, and start painting on Monday . . .

. . . i.e., my Birthday.

It will be a totally fun day! Just . . . slightly different from the usual. But fun nonetheless.

Every year on my birthday I make a goal to focus on for the upcoming year. When I turned 50 I decided to be more mellow. At 51, my goal was to stand on the side of love (i.e., when faced with a decision, to make the most loving choice). I actually can't remember last year's goal (was it forgiveness?) – it's possible I didn't make one. (Maybe it was simply to get through the year in a way that honored my dad.) This year's goal will be a challenge for me, but I'm excited about it. Sort of. Excited and also a little nauseous.

My goal is:

I believe I have mentioned that I hate parties. I have a fairly sturdy case of social anxiety, and I am the queen of either making excuses not to attend or saying that I will attend and then backing out at the last minute. But this year — and for just this one year! — if I don't have any other plans, I am going to say YES. I will muster my wits and attend social events.

Unless it's something hideous like a kayaking party, which I did just get invited to.
(My response: 
I keep thinking: It must be a typo. Lynne must have meant another Lady, or another Chardonnay.

I don’t even like to go *outside*. Or sweat. Or move, really, at all.

But thank you so much for thinking of me! It’s always nice to be invited to a party, even if it’s the most horrifying-sounding party I can imagine.

lots of love,
Lady C [an indoor kitty]
Lynne assures me that the next event will be something like community theater. Thumbs-up from me!)
Off to take a bath. I'm really only blogging to pass some time; I just started the dishwasher, and I like it to be closer to the end of its cycle before I start the bath water. I'm reading four excellent books and also have a stack of magazines — such riches!

I plan to photo-document the transformation of Li'l Martini's room — stay tuned!

— Lady C, on her antepenultimate day of being 52

* A conversation with Mrs. Cynicletary, my usual birthday lunch partner — we have rescheduled for the 14th, when I expect to be fully done with the room and ready to partay:
  • Me: Thanks, doll — looking forward to it. Fifty-whee, fifty-free, fifty-three!
  • Mrs. C: Yay to late lunch on the 14th! Fifty-gee! Fifty-we! Fifty-knee, oh wait. 
  • Me: Fifty-pee.
We funny girls!

p.s. Here's a little something-something for Lady Darcy:


  1. My dear Loki --- aka hunky Tom Hiddleston --- is never low-key! Thanks, Lady Chardonnay!

    Have a lovely day of painting, boxing and labeling --- aka getting things DONE!

    And, you know, reading "subpoenas".


    1. Of course, I don't fully get how anyone can even *see* another man when MY BOYFRIEND MARK RUFFALO is onscreen, but in my memory, we have never had the same screen boyfriends, oui? Probably just as well. And I am very psyched to read your legal document on my natal day!!!

      Here's how I think birthday week will play out:

      Sunday night: Remove things from room and walls, including rug; spackle

      Monday: Tape, newspapers, sand, paint

      Tuesday: A break in the action, as I have an editing job that will likely take all day

      Wednesday: Assemble new furniture, arrange; begin sorting/returning items

      Thursday: Hang pictures, do whatever is left to be done

      Friday: Partay!!!!!! Hey, did I mention that it's my birthday? :)

      Fingers crossed! Baby comes home on Friday. He will be shocked, of course, but I think also really pleased.


  2. Re: Kayaking invitation...Some of us remember a story about a canoe, the Concord River, and the one active paddle in the hands of your pregnant friend. A outdoorsy woman, you are not, this I can attest to.

    Enjoy the room transformation; they are a pleasure.

    A subpoena, Lady Darcy?


    1. Hee! In retrospect, whoever suggested that idea was on crack. :)

      But it makes such a good story -- the time my pregnant friend rowed me around the lake whilst I lounged. Hey, what did Parker's room transform into?

      Lady Darcy sent me a birthday letter in a plain Priority Mail envelope, which she didn't pretty up at all. I don't care, I'm excited to have a letter, but she is kicking herself for sending what looks like an official legal document, like a subpoena. I said that it will make me feel mysterious and important and very in-demand on my birthday.

  3. Oh, and happy birthday! Let us not forget that, too.


    1. Thanks honey! The coffee just perked, I shall go open things from my friends!! Birthday, birthday, such fun, even with navy-blue paint and hard labor involved.


  4. What an amazing birthday you must have had eighteen years ago:
    * * * HAPPY, happyhappyhappy BIRTHDAY * * * to you and the adult Mimosa ! ! !

    Redecorating and painting feels like a good way to start a new year.

    I've been repainting my apt. and today a workman is taking the windows out and away to put in new tracks (? things to seal them better).
    Mostly I just feel displaced right now, but I'm looking forward to working windows that don't leak and freeze up (as much?).

    I like your motto for the coming year:
    SAY YES!
    "Yes" is such a marvelously elastic word:
    one can, for instance, say, "Yes, I am not going to do that."

    1. For sure! 18 years ago, my mom made me Russian Cream with Raspberry Sauce (yum!!), Husband and I lived in a different house with different cats, and the Maybelline Queen brought me a Scandinavian Almond Cake (yum!!), and even though I was completely freaked out about this new life, I was also wildly in love with my redheaded baby and beginning to believe that I could in fact handle this.

      Good times! (Mostly in retrospect. I had a pretty bad case of postpartum depression, alas.)

      New windows are AWESOME. You will be so happy this winter!!!

      And I am sending many love-vibes into the world for you, my friend. I too hope you can find someone you love to share your space with, whatever form that love takes. Love is good! Say yes to love!

      Lady C x

  5. You know, your birthday is written into my engagement calendar every year. I saw it at the beginning of last week and picked out a suitable TJ's card from my stash -- plenty of time to send it by last Thursday or Friday and get it to you in time. I put it in the shoulderbag I carry to work and felt very organized.

    What happened to all those days??? It's now early in the morning after your birthday and I didn't do anything in time! I'm sorry! But I am happy to hear that you're sort of celebrating all week because now I can mail it tomorrow.

    And I've just sent you an e-card which you may not be able to play on your computer?

    Well, late or not, I am sending you love and good wishes for your birthday week and for the year ahead. I hope we'll get to say yes to lunch together soon!!!

    Love, SDF

    1. I adored the e-card and you are not to worry! Birthday wishes are always welcomed.

      I'm still in the throes of mad room redecoration and determined to finish today. *Tomorrow* I will properly celebrate my birthday, with no bending, pounding, scraping, or moving of heavy heavy things! This is my vow!!

      So see, you were actually early.

      much love to you, dear friend!

      Lady C x