Monday, April 11, 2011


My birthday was last week, and to celebrate we had people over for a potluck on one of the first truly nice spring days we've had this year. It was a lovely evening, except for the fact that people kept asking me if this was a landmark birthday, which of course was a sneaky way of asking me if I was turning 40. When I said NO, NO NO NO, and also NO, my friends immediately backpedaled and said it was just that I was so mature, that I seem a little older.

Apparently I'm not trotting out my repertoire of fart jokes nearly enough.

One friend was blunter, and when she showed up to the party just came right out with it: "So, are you turning 40 or what?" I was a little taken aback, and I think she regretted her directness a little after I started quietly weeping into my birthday cake. I don't want to add to her embarrassment, so I will refer to her by the pseudonym "Elizabeth Amundson," which will completely disguise her identity because she normally goes by Liz.

David did all the set up and cooking for the party, which was nice of him although he insisted it was no big deal. He turned 50 back in January and we had a big party, as was appropriate for someone who actually was having a landmark birthday, which I WAS NOT, by the way. I organized his party and while I did make the arrangements with the bar, order the food, get musicians lined up, etc, I strongly objected at the time when David characterized these activities as "throwing him a party." Mostly this was because David was in charge of inviting his friends to the party, and he apparently didn't want any of them to attend.

In the weeks before the event, any time he got together with a group of friends, I'd ask him to let everyone know about the party, and every time he would say afterwards that there hadn't been the right moment to bring it up, or he had forgotten. Apparently the party was top secret, and very few people had the appropriate security clearance. David was disseminating information about the partly on a strictly need-to-know basis, and the CIA couldn't have done a better job of keeping the event on the down low. I was afraid that when they day of the event actually came, the party would consist of just him and me and I definitely didn't want to be tagged as the one responsible for throwing him such a lame party.

The story has a happy ending though, because David's friends got wind of the event after all, possibly from Wikileaks. Everyone showed up and had a lovely time, once they completed their retina scans to confirm their identities. Once David's party was over and deemed a success, I was more than happy to retroactively take credit for throwing him a party.

My birthday party was a success too, especially when one of the yardsticks for measuring success is the number of leftover birthday cupcakes that I get to eat the next morning for breakfast. Now THERE's a context where I like the number 40.

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