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Suburban Island

The Big 5-0
Wednesday, Nov. 05, 2003, 8:54 a.m.

QUESTION: What's in a number?

WHAT I LEARNED: Fifty can be fun.

What is it about those decade birthdays – 30, 40, 50 and beyond - that feels momentous? You see it coming from a long way off – that birthday with a big zero trailing behind it - and it is just roaring straight towards you. No matter what you do, the big something-0 day does arrive and suddenly whether you like it or not, you are of a whole new age. One of my friends was surprised that I revealed here in my diary what my real age was, as if I was giving away some anonymous facet of myself. I understand her concern since everyone is supposed to be perpetually young in our culture but that’s no more real that Pamela Lee’s breasts or a proper pro wrestling match.

Really, the fact that I have now crossed the official 50 line is not a shameful thing and is entirely worthy of a diary entry (maybe several). I worked very hard to get here and it is quite a blessing – one that it is easy to take for granted – to be walking around watching my kids grow up and to have another day unfold before me each morning. Also, writing a diary and reading other’s diaries has really underlined for me how much age is indeed a state of mind. For me, being young at heart will always be a priority but even if it were not, when you turn 50 it doesn’t really feel very different than when you turned 30 or 40. Strangely you wake up on a big 5-0 birthday feeling remarkably like you did the day before. It’s almost a let down. That is until the first black balloons arrive. You have to love those.

I should know. I had a black balloon floating like a neon sign over my table last night at a very fancy restaurant for the entire meal. It was okay though because I did get a crème caramel with a bright pink candle in the middle of it after dinner. Also, my pals sprung for the delicious meal and produced presents and cards throughout. I am grateful for them for making a fuss at 50. It rounded out my birthday celebrations. With their help, I had the perfect 0 year birthday. Carry out Chinese, a Disney movie (Holes), and ice cream cake at home - with cards, presents and red roses on Monday. A gracious feast with dear friends on Tuesday. And today, lunch with dad downtown – Indian cuisine I think. This weekend we are topping it off by attending a matinee dinner theater performance of Camelot with my parents. So you see I negotiated fried rice and the dinner theater as my official birthday dinner – a two for one deal - thus stretching out my birthday adventures for an entire week. Now that’s using your 50’s noggin.

Yes, it’s good to be 50 and I have a feeling it’s going to get better all the time. However, I must admit that I particular liked the card my brother sent, in which he wished me a great 39th birthday – again.

Thanks to all my Diaryland friends, whom I count so dear, for all the delightful birthday greetings and wishes over the last few days! And remember, if anyone asks you how old I am just say – her, she’s just a kid.

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