49 for 49
Today’s my 49th birthday, so I guess it’s time to face the fact: I’m nearly middle-aged.
It’s a strange thing, facing the fact that you’ve officially completed the growing-up process and are now headed on the downslope. Will I ever feel grown up? Does that mean I have to start listening to adult contemporary radio?
That's right, I’m going to live and go to concerts until at least my 100th birthday, so I’m not officially middle-aged until next March. Please humor me.
Let’s not get reflective and doomsdayable. Instead, let’s celebrate with a self-indulgent list.
1. I don’t work on my birthday. I believe it should be a national law — hell, a commandment.
2. I did work once on my birthday, in 1993, as I was flying to San Francisco the following morning. Miserable. No parades, no applause, no balloons, nothing.
3. I will never work on my birthday again.
4. I may forget your phone number, or the type of car you drive, or to get your package to the post office — but I will never forget your birthday.
5. When we reconnected after twenty years, Filegod1 was surprised to learn I still knew his birthday.
6. I quietly celebrate the birthdays of my beloved rock stars by wearing outfits that reflect their personalities and listening to their music throughout their special days.
7. (Why, oh why, hasn’t my neighbor Paste hired me yet? Josh Jackson, please call.)
8. One regular commenter — Renae, the cutie in the blue plaid dress — was at my eighth birthday party.
9. Except for this lovely shot (thanks to the hat and the glasses), I take horrible photos.
10. That’s why you only see the top or back of my curly head.
11. Gawd, I hope I’m really not that washed-out and pie-faced.
12. Nick Lowe and I share a birthday.
13. Favorite Boy and Elvis Costello were born on the same day.
14. If you’re a fellow music geek, you’ll think that’s totally cute, too.
15. I don’t feel old.
16. I feel younger and happier than I did at 39.
17. I guess fifty really is the new thirty. I’m actually looking forward to that decade of my life.
18. Four regular commenters — HollyC, RCofCHS, Filegod1, and Renae — and one (very) occasional commenter (Janice) were at my “surprise” 18th birthday party.
19. Those quotation marks are necessary. My mother let the surprise cat out of the bag because I was moping around over getting dumped.
20. My eyebrows are more gray than black. They’re grayer than the hair on my head.
21. We won’t discuss the gray-to-black ratio on other body parts.
22. Most of the women in my family tend to go blonde instead of gray.
23. I don’t think I can pull off blonde, though, unless I decide to embrace the wallflower side of my personality.
24. I’m currently hoping for the Susan Sontag/Bride of Frankenstein look: a shock of white on the black mane.
25. I have to admit, I like the gray shooting through my hair.
26. So far.
27. I have no desire to be younger, or to go back to a younger phase of my life.
28. I love my age and what I’ve lived through.
29. I just wish my a** had the firm strength of my adult personality.
30. I threw myself one kick-ass thirtieth birthday party. I remember parts of it, too.
31. I ended the party in a completely different outfit — which is interesting when you consider that my duplex apartment had an open floor plan.
32. (Lucky partygoers.)
33. I think I love R.E.M. more than I did most of my lovers.
34. Yeah, I know I’ve written that once or twice (or eighty-three times) — but you should never miss an opportunity to shout about the great love of your life.
35. Their new album — Accelerate — comes out a week from today, so be sure to check in for album updates and tidbits.
36. My 36th birthday was spent with Nick Drake, several bottles of wine, some goat cheese, and meandering drives through the North Georgia mountains.
37. It was my one quiet, reflective birthday — a birthday that marked a new direction in my life.
38. I’ve been at peace and I haven’t been lonely since that March of 1995.
39. I may be 49, but I've lived during six decades.
40. My fortieth birthday was spent in New Orleans — the best place for your fortieth.
41. We dined at K-Paul’s and Emeril’s … drank hurricanes, a lot of wine, a little champagne … hit the voodoo museum and the Blue Dog Gallery.
42. And, appropriately, spent hours snapping photos at the Lafayette Cemetery.
43. (If I were organized, I would have scanned some of those photos for this post … the key word being “If.”)
44. My lips are now enclosed inside parenthetical grooves on my face, as if my mouth is a facial aside.
45. Why do I continue using a magnifying makeup mirror at this wrinkled age?
46. As forty-eight counts out its final minutes, I realize how lucky I am to have my group of loved ones …
47. … the experiences I’ve lived …
48. … true joy for life.
49. Forty-nine is here. Favorite Boy will be here soon. Happy birthday to me!
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