Tuesday, April 16, 2013

How to Plan Your 60th Birthday Celebration

by Claudia Gold, copyright 2013 www.shameintojoy.com

First you wonder what the heck you are going to do to celebrate, ‘cause you know some of the other years have felt a bit lonely without celebrating, and this is a big one. You are kind of the different one in the family, you are more Santa Cruz, and they more Los Angeles, so the immediate family isn’t rushing to hold a celebration. It’s the year to finally be proactive and celebrate this being who is you – at 60. Who are you? A good question to ask between now and your birthday this Saturday.

Next your consistent, practical friend Jackie who you have Chinese food every Friday night invites you to go to a restaurant for birthday dinner and to invite others.

You agonize over which restaurant, worry about the cost, and though friend says her and hubby will treat me and everyone can pay for themselves, it seems cheap to have people pay themselves.

Next you call one of your favorite friends and chat with her. She invites you to come the afternoon before your birthday, Friday afternoon, for a visit to Ross to buy a birthday outfit for you, for dinner and a sleep-over that night, possibly to go to a salsa class that night or maybe a movie at home, birthday breakfast in the morning, and a time for creative writing afterwards – with delight in her voice that has the cute British accent. This is better than expected!!

You tell her about the planned dinner with Jackie et al. on Saturday night, and that you realize you don’t actually like dinners in restaurants with a bunch of people. You prefer one on one and small gatherings where you can do something meaningful. While brainstorming an idea arises.
You: ask a friend if he is willing to have the evening gathering for friends/family at his house, a cozy condo with streams running through the area and scents of the pine trees throughout. He says yes!

You remember as you're falling asleep that your friend Jackie who had the idea of this gathering is allergic to cats, and that host Jim sometimes stays home to baby-his cat and make sure he's OK at night.

Ask Jim if Romeo can stay outside, he says yes until 9 because the weather is good.   

Call Jackie who says she will take antihistamine.

Call loving step-mother to see if she can come. She probably can’t but tells you loving, valuing things! Yum.You’ll get together another time. This means you can invite the other side of the family.

Drive to Trader Joe’s and while shopping meet woman who cooks and discuss casseroles for potluck.  She suggests chile relleno casserole, recipe from Food Channel. You vascillate between that and childhood food “Cheese Belinzes.”  You think of buying chili rellenos at the little dive on Bandini in a pinch. Chile relleno casserole wins.  Shopper says she wouldn’t bring anything if it was her birthday.

Sit at your desk, Taz Chihuahua behind you, and make little invitations with a poem:
You are invited,
though not much time to prepare,
to an event at which candles will be lighted
to launch the 60th birthday year.

I hear these are the best years
and one wouldn't want to go back,
so I won't be stopped by fears,
and won't give God any flack.

Stress about who to invite.

Invite people to bring poems, songs, recordings relating to the word 60, living life fully, letting go gracefully, and women getting better with age.

Hope only half or less of the people will come, because you really like one on one, small gatherings.

Tomorrow:start planning for sleep-over with delightful girlfriend, including possible salsa dress and shoes, pajamas, toothbrush. 

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