How will I celebrate this momentous occasion? Let me reflect on some past birthdays.
When I turned 37, I decided to splurge on a destination concert. The trip came together quite unexpectedly. I overheard co-workers talking about taking a trip to see U2, which was on my list of bands to see, so I expressed my interest. Sometime later I asked one of the guys if they were really going. It turns out the others couldn’t go. I half-jokingly said I was still interested in going and after more discussion, and him getting permission from his wife (whom I had met), we went. Just the two of us. Flew to Philly. It gets better.
My co-worker had enough hotel points for a free room. He offered to let me stay in his double room for free (also cleared with his wife) to help me defray my cost of the concert and plane tickets.
The weekend of the concert also happened to be the weekend of the Hilly Hundred, which is a bicycle ride in southern Indiana consisting of 50 miles on Saturday and 50 on Sunday. It’s very hilly down south, hence the name. I usually ride both days unless it’s raining. This particular year I rode 50 miles Saturday, caught an early flight to Philadelphia Sunday morning, had dinner at a great restaurant (Cuba Libre) and saw U2 that night. We got up early the next morning and flew home. I think I even worked a half day.
U2’s opening song was City of Blinding Lights. Every time I hear that song I recall my whirlwind, un-romantic weekend with my married co-worker, what a great show it was and what a great time I had.
For my 40th birthday I decided to get my nose pierced. I had a conversation with a co-worker about nose piercings and she mentioned she had hers pierced in college. She had to take it out at her previous job and thought about getting it done again. One night after work we went together to a tattoo parlor/piercing shop. We had to sign waivers and as I filled mine out I sneaked a look at hers and saw her age was 25. Sigh. She let me go first. They marked the piercing spot with a marker, put a metal tube up my nose and then WHAM. “Owwwwwww!” I sounded like Will Ferrell. My left eye immediately teared up. I looked at her and she said, “That’s why I made you go first. If you’d heard me yell I thought you wouldn’t do it.” I’m not that much of a scaredy cat.
I got the tiniest stone possible and was pierced on the left nostril. My thinking was the same as when I had my ear double pierced - Left is right. Right is wrong. A year later I read something that said a nose piercing on the left nostril means you’re a lesbian. Great! Maybe some tall, single guy saw my nose and assumed I was a lesbian! I really don’t put too much into what others say, and since reading that I’ve seen other women I know are straight with their left nostril pierced.
I also experienced my first surprise party for my 40th. My friend Julie set it up and I had no clue. I did a bike ride that morning/afternoon and she volunteered at the ride. Afterward she asked if we could stop at another friend’s family gathering at McCormick’s Creek State Park. As I walked into the building where the other “party” was supposed to be, I got a big “surprise!” Unfortunately I had taken longer on the bike ride than Julie thought and one of my friends had to leave immediately after I arrived. We ended up having a nice time – a cookout and corn hole out in the woods.
This birthday will be pretty low key. No big trip. No holes in my nose. No big surprises (that I know of). I will probably get together with close friends/family and have some laughs. It’s alright with me!