Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Big 4-Oh! is Finally Here!

And so the big day arrives...not with a bang, but with a whimper. I woke up at 4 a.m. feeling not fabulous as much as fatigued, flu-ish, and fatter.

Despite all my best efforts to see the fab side of forty, I have to admit the depression rolled in earlier this week, compounded by the fact that I haven't been able to breathe through my nose since Sunday and the post nasal drip is making me feel perpetually nauseous. On Tuesday, I made the depression worse when retail therapy backfired in the form of the dreaded dressing room three way mirror and the fact that in that entire giant department store, all I could walk away with was one dress that kind-of fit. And they don't do alterations.

But you know me, I believe that you are in charge of your own happiness, so let's look at the bright side -- all the really great things that have already happened for my 40th birthday (and it's only 5 a.m.!)

#1. My Boss and Co-Workers Threw a Surprise Party for Me Last Week. Last Wednesday, my boss asked me to have drinks with her and a rather important person. Imagine my surprise when we walked to the back of the lounge and 10 co-workers yelled...what else? "Surprise!" Not only were there drinks, a table was set for dinner, and there were fun T-shirts for everyone, riffing on this blog. (The rather important person, by the way, was not there.) The piece de resistance was THE JAR. A beautiful etched jar from Anthropologie was filled with envelopes in fall shades of burgundy, crimson, orange, silver, and gold. Inside each envelope was a memory of me shared by a colleague - a funny moment at a sales meeting, a serious one at a memorial service, dancing in the back of a conference trying to make the speaker laugh, an outrageous flight across country. They went around the table, reading each other's entries -- I couldn't have been more touched.

Then, after most of the group departed, a small late night crew remained and I drank ridiculous amounts of white wine, hiccupped my way home, and woke up the next morning feeling greatly appreciated yet physically ill.

#2. Bobbi Brown.
After the discouraging three-way mirror experience on Tuesday, I made my way back to the main floor and went directly to the Bobbi Brown counter and said to the woman there, "Would you please do my makeup and I promise I'll buy something?" So, she did a fantastic job, glamming me up and by the end, I felt better. In fact, I felt better than better, I felt pretty. And I bought $100 worth of makeup.

#3. Nice Drycleaner Lady.
I couldn't bring the "it kind-of fits" dress to the cleaners until last night (and of course, I want to wear it on Friday night), but the nice lady at the drycleaners, said "No problem. You're my longtime customer and I do it for you." She declared the dress elegant and said I looked pretty, which is very kind to say to someone with a runny nose.

#4. Afrin.
What would I do without it? It has propped me up all week, through work meetings, a benefit, Mom's Night Out, homework, school interviews, Curriculum Night, and it will get me through my 40th Birthday today.

#5. Flowers From My Godmother.
Last night, beautiful flowers arrived from Ilene, Pattie, and Dusty the dog. Besides my parents, and depending on the day, the kids, nobody loves me as much as my godmother...and she always lets me know.

#6. Facebook Message from 6th Grade Crush.
No kidding. The hottie of the 1981 Sixth Grade sent me a message on Facebook wishing me a Happy Birthday. And you want to know how much cooler I am now than I was then? I haven't even written him back yet.

So...that's where we are, and still the rest of the day ahead of me! Happy Fabulous 40th Birthday!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Back-to-Back 40ths Make Me Feel 80

We went to two 40th Birthday parties over the weekend and the cumulative effect of back-to-back celebrations left me feeling about 80.

Friday evening's soiree was the epitome of downtown cool, with about 30 people at Shorty's 32 in the heart of SoHo. The birthday girl, Stafford, looked fabulous in a black leather trimmed sheath and killer heels, and every single one of her girlfriends made 40 look fantastic. It was fun talking to friends of hers that I'd heard about for years, but never met.

After several terrific toasts at the end of the night, it was time for clubbing! Yes, me, clubbing. We all loaded into a waiting coach where we chatted and sipped plastic flutes of champagne until we arrived at the meatpacking district, where we descended into the dark, basement-level club en masse. I stumbled in - was it the high heels? the darkness? the Champagne? -- and took it all in. I can't say it was my scene, but the birthday girl was there to dance and dance she did!

We got home at 2 a.m.! I can't tell you the last time that happened. Needless to say, Saturday morning was not my finest hour, but after a bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich and the kids wanting to know why I got to drink Coca Cola in the morning, I enjoyed the beautiful sunny day...and at 6 o'clock, we geared up for round 2.

Out we went to New Jersey, to the next birthday girl's (Suzanne's) bash. Aside from a girl with the same birthday (October 8), the other thing this party had in common with the one the night before was a doting husband who had attended to every detail. There was a DJ who had been carefully instructed to play all the birthday girl's favorite tunes, a bartender, a tent, terrific caterers with really tasty food, and TONS of friends and family.

Suzanne's kids were there for the beginning of the party, "We're only staying for a little while," her son told me. I also learned that his favorite movie is Alvin and the Chipmunks the Squeaquel, his favorite baseball team is the Yankees, and he told me the names of all of his best friends. I was so glad to see him. I also caught up with Suzanne's mom, who reminisced about dropping her daughter off at college and feeling that I was a nice girl to leave her with...I was sort of glowing in that until she added, "Can you believe that was 20 years ago?" Ugh. Way to rub it in, Mrs. D.

Suzanne - who always looks fabulous - didn't disappoint in a pretty dress with ruffled shoulders. She is one of my funniest friends and as usual, she had me in stitches. She was making fun of me (and my Boggle habit)at the time - all the better.

I was honored to be included in both celebrations. Honored, but EXHAUSTED. I capped off the weekend by hitting the hay at 8 p.m. and sleeping for 10 hours straight. By morning, I no longer looked 80, just a good almost-40.