30 Is the New 50
Let me work backwards. Justin and I climbed into Josh and Sarah's car, me sneakily carrying a pint glass from the bar--their little birthday present to me, unbeknownst to them, ha ha ha. That'll teach them not to take steak salad off the menu, I thought at the time (2 a.m.) I was wearing a black hat with BOTOX written in rhinestones on it and a white BOTOX T-shirt--gifts from my cousin, who works for a plastic surgeon.
We had stopped in at the Regal Beagle--the Gaff--for a beer after the party, but stayed so that I could bestow on everyone my philosophy of turning 30, which is...I don't remember because until last night I didn't know I had one. It had something to do with neuron development because, you know, I am a brain surgeon.
The Gaff was Romanelli's, a steak and spaghetti place popular with the 70 and older set. Now it is the neighborhood hangout for everybody and their second cousin. We ran into my sister-in-law's cousin and my friend's cousins and some friends.
It was pretty empty last night, so there was plenty of space for people to stand in the middle of the bar and howl or take swigs from wine bottles or yell "Hey, Botox" and laugh. If you think I'm referring to myself doing those things, you are sorely mistaken. I was too busy acting like a know-it-all. I stood with Justin and the guys until I realized that I was the only girl at the table and went to sit with the girls. I gave a mini-lecture on brain development, which I'm sure they found riveting. At least I think I did. If I didn't, I should have.
Back at my parents house, J.J. was asleep for the night, after having a big day at the dairy farm, which I'll tell you about tomorrow. Johnny and Richie and their friends and my cousins were curled up on the couch watching Ghostbusters. The crowd had thinned out and my parents were going to watch the boys for the night.
Presents stood by the door, including a blanket my friend Jen gave me that is the stuffed animal fabric I wrote about in a blog, saying I wanted to uphulster the world in it. She read that and bought me the blanket, which I thought was awesome. My sister-in-law Sarah and her family and my mom gave me a gift certificate to Let's Dish, where you make dinners to freeze for later. We're all going to go together. The presents were awesome, but the presence of everyone was the real present. There were neighbors and friends and family. My brother Luke came in from Chicago. My cousin Curran came in for my party all the way from San Diego--or maybe he came in for his brother's wedding next weekend. No, it was for my party. Joe Joe, my brother's best friend from grade school, flew in from an island in the Carribean or South Sea or somewhere. Just for my party, he said. I'm not surprised. His life and my cousin's are all about me. If you weren't there, I wish you were. And if you were there, I'm glad you weren't not there.
Justin and I pulled up earlier in the night, supposedly for a small family party to celebrate Justin's April 5 birthday, my birthday on the 12th and my dad's on the 9th (today--Happy birthday, dad). Maybe next year, guys. This year, it is all about me. And Botox.
When we saw the cars, Justin said, "Someone must be having a party." Richie, who had gone to my parents house earlier, pedaled a tricycle to the backyard, naming everyone who was there. I began to suspect something when Johnny ran around back and yelled, "They're coming!"
Still, when I got in the backyard, and everyone yelled, "Surprise," it really was a surprise. So thank you to my brother Josh and sister-in-law Sarah, Luke and my mom and dad, Katie, Justin and everyone else who helped plan it or came to it. It was a great surprise, which is good because I'm sure all the surprises from here on out will be bad ones. Surprise! You have arthritis. Surprise! You need a hip replacement. Surprise! Your health insurance went up because of your age. Surprise! Your head feels like someone mistook it for a coconut last night while making Pina Coladas.
As Josh said last night, "30 is the new 40."
"No, 50," our friend Betty corrected him.
Neurologically speaking, they're both right. You see...oh, never mind. I was so much smarter last night.