It is true what they say about birthdays. The older we get, the less fuss made.
And this is okay for those who have always preferred to keep their special day low-key.
I was just never one of them.
To me, birthdays have always been about rounding up a fabulous bunch of friends, dancing your buns off and drinking gallons of cocktails.
For most of my 30’s, I celebrated my birthday as if it were my last.
Mr Surfer is well aware of his wife’s past extroverted party animal tendencies. He is constantly counting the blessings that marriage and parenting have subdued her…somewhat.
In the lead up to this year’s birthday (yes, of bell bottoms and Afro wigs), Mr Surfer casually mentioned his plans to a throw a party. It was to make up for the fact I didn’t have a celebration for my milestone birthday last year.
While trying to keep the excitement at bay, I couldn’t control the teeny tiny inkling of hope that maybe, I could have a raucous birthday again.
The day prior, I was just about to head out to the gym when Mr Surfer saw the lone birthday card.
“Oh? Who’s this from?” he asked, a little bemused.
“Just the gym.” I replied.
“I guess everyone else forgot this year. Doesn’t matter…” I muttered, failing miserably to disguise my disappointment.
A storm started to rumble.
“Look, Lovey…I know you really wanted a party this year. I tried to call everybody…”
His apologetic tone was too much to bear.
“No, no…it’s okay, “ I cut him short, not wanting to face the cold hard reality.
That I had indeed transformed into Nigella No Friends.
“Don’t worry about it. I’m fine…” I was aiming for emphatic. But I think I just managed unconvincing.
“No, seriously. I tried to organise a picnic but they were all busy…”
Of course I could see that my beloved was trying his hardest to do something very sweet and loving for me. Yet, without him realizing it, he was making matters worse, reminding me that I was no longer that cool party chic.
So, he continued to rub more salt.
“I mean, *Kylie has just had her baby…and *Joanne is still overseas.”
It was becoming increasingly difficult to keep my cool.
But he persisted, listing off more of my friends who had declined.
Seriously! This man had no hand brake!
“Stop!” I finally shouted.
I even gave him the “talk to the hand” motion.
“I got it! I have no friends!” I grabbed the keys and headed for the front door.
“Look, babe. It’s just that time in our lives, you know. Everyone’s busy with children and stuff…”
Boy, oh boy. He just didn’t know when to let up.
And in a flash, I drove off to my new found friends…at the gym.
The big B day came along and was beyond my expectations. I was showered with beautiful presents and incredible love.
The greatest memory from the day was of the twinlets both handing me a gift and saying, “’py Birthday, Mama”
That night, Mr Surfer took me out to dinner to a posh Japanese/French cuisine restaurant.
And while swigging down 2 glasses of Pinot Grigio was a far cry from past festivities, I was truly happy and content.
When dinner came to an end, Mr Surfer offered the opportunity to continue the party as best as he could…with just the two of us.
“So, do you want to go to another bar and drink some more?”
“Nah, let’s just go to the movies”
Even I was surprised with my answer.
And that was the moment I came to terms with this new identity of mine.
Nigella No Friends.
But I reckon she’s not sticking around. Just until she gets this mothering gig under control.
*Names have been changed to protect identities. I promise they’re not imaginary friends. Somewhere out there, I do have some.
Joining Jess for IBOT