Tuesday, August 23, 2005


As I really, REALLY dislike being the center of attention, it can't shock you to know that I hate birthday parties. My own birthday parties, that is. I am happy to go to the parties of others and eat lots of cake and drink to their health and laugh at the gifts, all comfortably from the corner of the couch. I will even wear a hat if everyone else does. I have not celebrated my own birthday with a gala since I was 13 or so. That one was at some pizza parlor and I remember I got a poster of Donny Osmond (hated him) and a 45 of David Soul singing the wretched "Don't Give Up On Us, Baby". Yes, yes, each year I had a family birthday party with the grandparents and cake and presents and all, I am not without avarice, my loves, but not a formal, planning-required, streamers, party favors and games huzzah.

OK, of course I went out on my 21st birthday with a fistfull of close friends, including Charles, and this guy who none of us liked but who had lots of money and this enormous 1970s faded red convertible that sat, like, 53 people. He drove and bought most of the drinks. I figure he was the actual present, so the rest of us broke college students could order really expensive shit and drink heavily and not have to drive. This was before designated drivers and MADD and way before any of us realized we were not immortal. You know: Back when if you were caught drinking and driving and were underage with open beverage containers in the front seat, the cops would just make you "dump 'em" and tell you to drive straight home, because, hell, kids will be kids. Or so I've been told.

So anyway, I have been blissfully not celebrating my birthdays, except to maybe go to dinner with Charles and open some nice presents that I really did want, for ever-so-many years.

Until last year.

Last year, on my birthday, while driving home from work, Charles and I simultaneously turned to each other and said, "We probably should stop and get a cake, because, you know, Colin."

And so we did. We got a cake and had candles and sang and I opened presents in front of more than Charles. Because when you are a mom, sacrifices are required and, dammit, any 6-year-old knows what has to happen on a birthday.

And tonight, as it is, well, my birthday, we will do the same.

And how old are you, Diana?

Well, I would be 40, thank you very much. I am middle-aged. There is no denying it. I am actually a bit proud of it. Given what I do, it is a liability to be young. Looking young is another matter, though, and actually lends credence to your professional mystique. But being too young, no-no. (She must be good, look how young she looks!) I used to not exactly lie about my age, but would imply that I had a few more years under my belt, when in my late 20s/early 30s and starting to do all this for pay, rather than just the marvelous experience and stimulating pay of learning it. Hell, everyone expects a resident to look young. They are just out of school.

So I am 40. The new 30, according to Cosmo, unless it was Glamour. I dunno. One of those waiting room magazines.

40: I embrace you.

So, a happy stinkin' birthday toooooooo meeeeeeeeee!

(And now for the cake! No, no, make it bigger....bigger....a bit more.... so it includes that big dab of chocolate frosting. There you go. Fork, please.)



Blogger Karen said...

Happy Birthday!

I just celebrated my 40th a few months ago. I almost wrote "..years ago" - it hasn't aged me that fast!



9:33 AM  
Blogger Teri said...

Happy birthday! (sacrifices for the kids. I hear you. Eat lots of cake to make up for it. With extra chocolate on the side. All that virtue deserves a reward!)

10:36 AM  
Blogger The Lioness said...


I hope you had a fabulous day and got loads of delectable things to eat - oh! I have found the most gorgeous mint ice-cream, will sock up when you come [yes, am currently food-obsessed, shut up!][almost 96h free of nicotine and I am still my usual graceful self, who could have predicted this?]

I see the point of celebrating for the children more and more. Ater his year I gave up on this birthday thing. And now October is coming up LALALA SING ALONG W ME, NOTHING TO SEE, LALALA

So it might be a good thing that children will force you to celebrate bcs rituals are important, and so is celebrating life. Aknowledging the day is a nudge in the right direction, I think. [Hope rather but - the thing w feathers and all that.]

Why don't you take some days off in November and hop over for some minty delight? Everyone in favour raise your hand!


10:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

40? No big deal!! Try having a daughter 40 and now we have a BIG deal. However, I was my best physically at 45. I achieved my best marathon time then and have never approached it since...mainly because I have not run one since.

Anyway, HB, DC.

Love, DAD

1:30 PM  
Blogger CarpeDM said...

See, I love the birthday thing. I love being the center of attention, of course, as both Beth and Keem will attest to.

I am oddly pleased to know that you are 40. I think it is because all of my friends are younger than me and it's nice to actually have one friend that is older than me. Only by two years but still, I'm still excited.

So my computer is refusing to make that CD. I may just send you the original CDs as a birthday present. I have them on iTunes. I don't need them. Hmm, must get CD mailer.

1:32 PM  
Blogger moegirl said...

How time flies...seems just yesterday we were hanging at the Southgate, and Charles was the only one who could legally buy the alcohol! I hope you have a wonderful birthday- I've been enjoying the 30s a lot and I'm actually looking forward to the 40s. You pretty much have never aged (Gail and I suspect some potion? Deal with the devil?) So I assume you will continue to be as lovely as ever. Enjoy the b-day and eat some delicious cake! Best wishes and love.

2:40 PM  
Blogger Rozanne said...

Happy 40th!

I'm glad you're not freaking out about it or anything--so 40 is the new 30?

I like that. And then in 10 years time will 50 be the new 30?

Eat some cake on my behalf. Now I'm hankering for a nice, rich piece of chocolate/mocha cake.

6:23 PM  
Blogger Cagey said...

Happy birthday!!! And YES, 40 ain't what it used to be. It's no longer an excuse to be OLD - you'll just have to think up another one, eh? :-)

10:46 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

Karen- Hello! Nice to meet someone "on the other side" And you are Canadian as well! That makes you extra lovely in my book. (Charles was born in Ottawa, by the way.)

Teri- Parenthood certainly has its rewards, eh? As Colin sang a line or two of the Birthday Song when we got home, I also got to have the oh-so-chocolate cake without the candles and singing. Yippee!

Johnny- Oh, that ice cream would have gone just wonderfully with the cake. I was treated to lunch by my two close friends, Irene and Irene (actually, we are all "Irenes" together, none of us actually being named Irene), topped with an ice cream sundae with whipped cream and a cherry on top, Charles took us to have donuts for breakfast (lovely man!) and then a bit of turkey sandwich in the car on the way to cake (had to have some ballast for all that sucrose. Portugal in November. Mmmmmmmm. Sounds lovely. Some day, sweetie, some day. (and, shhhh, congrats on the sans nic. thingie....shhhh)

Dad- It is a bit terrifying that when MY daughter is 40 I will be thisclose to 80. I may not even remember her by then. Must. Keep. Exercising. Brain. (As well as body.)

Dana- Honey, don't worry about it, please! Tell you what, whenever it is that we meet, you can play it for me, OK? What if something happened to your iTunes and then you didn't have it and you really needed to listen to it and so you were reduced either to madness or calling me and having me place the receiver next to the speaker. No. Unthinkable. I just wouldn't be able to live with the guilt.

Stacy- The combination of Charles and your porta-bar. Time does go, doesn't it. Charles still gets carded from time to time and he is 42. He is not-so-secretly very proud of that. Aren't the 30s lovely? They were my favorite, so far. Got many lovely things, including a weather vane with a dragon on top from Colin. It was soon planted in the herb garden, where we can see it and say, "Yup, the wind is sure blowing from the North. Yah-sure. You betcha. Should get a good bit of snow, there." Good winter entertainment for Wisconsoners.

Rozanne- Yup, highest authority. 40 IS the new 30, which makes you no older than 20-something, unless 30s is still 30s. Then I would be younger now than I have been for a decade. And how does this fit with Einstein and his general theory of relativity? Now my brain hurts. Need more of that very chocolate cake. And look! There is more. Lots more. Here, let me cut you a nice piece.

Cagey- Thank you. Since I am no longer old, It must be pure laziness to blame for everything. I feel like a phoenix. Young and dewy fresh am I.

8:35 AM  
Blogger Jamie said...

Oops, I'm late! Hope your birthday was fantastic, Diana.

I used to think that my current age (35) was old, but I definitely don't think that now. I suspect the 40s will be just as much fun as the 30s! (Maybe even more so.)

11:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As your evil sister I should be the first to say "Lordy! Lordy!, look who's Forty"

Happy Birthday -G

4:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ack. I'm late, too. Don't forget to make sure you get a piece with the big frosting flower on it.

Happy Birthday!


11:18 PM  
Blogger Babs said...

My nephew takes great pleasure in reminding me that when HE turns 20 I'll be 40.

He's never going to make 13 if he keeps it up, the snot.

Happy Birthday!!

(Even if I am a bit late, as always lol)

2:43 AM  
Blogger Diana said...

Jamie- Thank you and, yup, 35: very young. Screemingly young. 40: Still young, just starting to be interesting. Yes. That's it.

Gail- Remember, dear, everything may be visited back on you in 3 years. Indeed.

Christine- Thanks. How did you know I had a weakness for those frosting flowers, a weakness that is inherited, as I find. It is a tribute to the mother-of-the-year contestant that I am, that I let both progeny have pieces with big flowers while I took an ajoining piece with only medium flowers. I expect a plaque any day.

Babs- Thanks, hon. I have all sorts of ideas for disrespectful, yet loved-enough-not-to-want-to-murder-unless-as-a-last-resort relatives. 13 is such a socially vulnerable age. Too bad he is not aware of it, if he is taunting his beloved auntie Babs so cruelly.

7:38 AM  
Anonymous Gerah said...

Well, happy belated day to you!!!!

7:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

D- 40 old? No way! Remember what your mum got for her 40th BD (minus 1 day). JGˇ

3:19 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

Gerah- Thanks, honey. By the way, I don't know if anyone is having the same problem, but about 2/3 of the time I can't access your site. Doesn't seem to matter the computer or blogroll or directly typing in the URL. It just stalls out.

Mum- Well, that would be the birth of your 3rd child, my only brother. And what an amazing present he was!

7:54 PM  
Blogger Teri said...

Hey. We miss you. Come back.

4:43 PM  
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