Sunday, June 12, 2016

I have turned 30!

On Saturday, May 14th, Jack and I celebrated our 30th birthday.  Leading up, we'd had a few discussions about what we wanted from the party.

I meant to post about the party after the actual party, but May was a busy month.  I'll cut to the chase: it was the best birthday party I've ever had.

I try not to fall into the trap of assigning too much significance to birthdays.  Our lives are not lived for one regularly-spaced day every year, and it makes no sense to judge our live by the events of such a day.  That said, birthdays tend to be times of reflection and self-assessment, and having a bunch of awesome people party their asses off makes for a very positive self-assessment.

The planning inspired a rare disagreement between Jack and myself.  He wanted to keep it casual and easy-going.  I wanted a spectacle, and I wanted the party to effect a mature impression.  I don't want red solo cups when I'm turning 30.  I don't want a party that looks like an attempt to hold onto the trappings of my 20's, I want a party that makes it clear that aging doesn't mean losing a certain familiar element, it means gaining a much cooler element.

In the end, we compromised for the best.  Jack convinced me that I was being way too stuffy.  Our friends don't want to put on suits and go to a 50th anniversary party.  Still, I convinced Jack that a little prestige would do us good.  So I rented tables and chairs and he rented a bouncy castle.  I sewed birthday sashes and he bought a pinata.  I filled it with 80% standards (Snickers, Butterfingers, caramel chews) and 20% Russell-Stovers chocolates.  Also, instead of red solo cups we engraved custom souvenir glasses as party favors.

Jack was alarmed that I'd told people to come over as early as 4 PM.  I intended to start with a bbq and then transition into a dance party.  At 3:30 Jack expressed his fear that by telling people our party started when old people eat dinner they would think this was a lame party and skip it.  Turns out, he was wrong.

A few guests trickled in early.  I've got friends of all ages now, and for some it was great being able to stop by, raise a glass, and head out to get on with their busy lives raising families and such.

We grilled.  Julie MCed a roast.  I followed hers with a routine of which I was very proud.  As the sun set we lit up a fire pit.  I changed from my day clothes into a suit, with a waistcoat and a bowtie (plus the same bright red sash I'd been wearing all day).  Jack tried to ridicule me for overdressing, but no one took the bait.  After a few minutes of people correcting him that I actually looked great he changed into a button-down shirt.  It's called class, Jack.  Look it up.

Eventually our party began bleeding together with our neighbors', who were holding a birthday celebration as well.  They had live music by some friends, and it was amazing.  It went all fucking night and I could've have been more proud of the friends I've acquired over 30 fantastic years.

   

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