Sunday, July 22, 2012

BIRTHDAY MANIA

what, aren't you SUPPOSED to put the gift wrap on your head after?

Welp, I have turned 60, a three-day gala.

Thursday, the actual day, I met my girlfriends Christine and Hilary down in Little Tokyo. Here, we took in the origami exhibit at the Japanese American Museum, had dinner at The Spice Table, and generally cackled away the eve.

orgami shoes, anyone?
60 is the new 10!
Christine, c., Hilary, r.
No flies on these gals.
Friday...early onset dementia...I already forget what I did Friday. Oh I know, Friday Christine--guardian  angel, benefactor, and all-around helpmeet--came over to where I was house-sitting and was kind enough to accompany me on a food-shopping run to Jons and a paper-product-shopping run to Smart and Final. This went well save for a difficult moment in the aisle of Jons when I made the hideous faux pas of proposing that we buy a case of Gerolsteiner, prompting an anti-imported water tirade from the usually mild-mannered Christine that reminded me, once again, of the myriad ways in which I am obliviously and hopelessly politically incorrect. I refrained from interjecting that if left to my own devices I would serve dry rusks and tap water and instead let my hands fall ashamed to my side and meekly answered, "Okay, we'll get Crystal Geyser."

Christine and I came home, nibbled on Sicilian olives, French feta and Armenian flatbread crackers, and discussed interior design, books, Palm Springs (where Christine lives: I've house-sat for her, too), men, and each and every one of our friends for the remainder of the evening.

Saturday morning Christine and I felt quite smug. The party, a potluck, was scheduled to start at 3. We'd prepped, cleaned, set out flowers, planned outside seating arrangements, made our respective salads. Our four big racks of spareribs, our chicken thighs, our chicken breasts, our exotic juices, and our sparkling water chilled smugly in the fridge.  I prayed, did my nails, sipped coffee and looked forward to Robert arriving at 1. Robert is my friend who'd been slotted to preside over the grill. "It'll be great to have a guy here to help move tables and haul ice," Christine and I assured each other a number of times. "There's just something about a guy by the grill that makes everyone breathe easier."

Around 9 I got a call from Robert saying he had a cold and couldn't come.

Here I must pay homage to the very brave and resourceful Christine who, in a black-and-white mini dress and   kitten heels, proceeded to single-handedly grill all the ribs before our friend Joe arrived with a large container of his famous barbecued salmon. I thrust the tongs and a pan of poultry at the poor man, and he proceeded to produce several plates full of perfectly-cooked chicken.


People drifted in bearing insanely great dishes, the food and conversation flowed, the house was beyond beautiful, the spirit was of love, and what can I say? I have the best friends in the world.

Erin K. Smith (soon to be the proprietor of a pop-up Tarot-reading truck)
and the ever-stylish Hilary
Patrick and Joan
Lisa G. 
Maudie
I got tons of presents.
roses from my friend Phillip, and
from Father Terry
gift kit from my friend Glenn: cause you want to be AWAKE
while you go through the dark night...
unbelievably great catalogue of the painter William Congdon
from my friend Rita
I put this bracelet, made by jewelry designer Hilary Beane, on my wish list a few months ago.
Hilary and Christine gave it to me AS A GIFT
luxe bath products from Maud
the one and only Maudie also made the chocolate birthday cake
she turned 60 on June 28 and we have celebrated together now for many years
party photos courtesty, btw, of another great friend, Terry K. Carr
So now I'm back home with my leftovers, my lavish gifts, my gratitude, my memories, and real life resumes.

Though before leaving July 19 for another year, I must say that, just as left to my own devices, I'd eat dry rusks and tap water; left to my own devices, I'd also stay in my room, tell no-one of my birthday, and "celebrate," if at all, alone.

All social outreach is always a stretch, for me, and I know for my friends. But one more time I'm reminded, look what happens when we step out!

Magic.

blowing out the candles in clown pants
thank you, seriously, for the best birthday ever xxx

14 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing your social sixtieth birthday with the rest of us cloistered away. Great to hear is was a great success and hope it catapults you forward knowing you are loved, near and far, Heather.
    So, from a small cabin in a gorgeous setting in Alaska, after 4 days of solitude, introspection, mediation,I, from some sort of shred history, I emerge to wish you a happy birthday!
    Joanie

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  2. Thanks for sharing your social sixtieth birthday with the rest of us cloistered away. Great to hear is was a great success and hope it catapults you forward knowing you are loved, near and far, Heather.
    So, from a small cabin in a gorgeous setting in Alaska, after 4 days of solitude, introspection, mediation,I, from some sort of shred history, I emerge to wish you a happy birthday!
    Joanie

    ReplyDelete
  3. ¡FELICIDADES! I was actually in Segovia, where John of the Cross was buried, on your birthday. Signs and wonders...Yes, coffee is a key ingredient to spiritual attentiveness, at least for some of us! Much love and many happy returns---Victoria

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  4. Who's that mouthy broad in the first shot?!

    Seriously, Heather, I'm sitting here with paint still under my fingernails, wishing I'd been there to see your bliss in person. How rich you are, in all the right ways.

    And speaking of paint, props to Rita for getting you the Congdon book.

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  5. You are abundantly wealthy with good friends, food and laughter.

    Hope you had a terrific day and you look very attractive.

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  6. Oh I enjoyed that up close, personal and very social recount of your 60th! Thanks for the courage to share Heather and a very happy birthday to you! You looked smashing in the stripes! e.

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  7. From a reader who feels blessed to enjoy your work, Happy Birthday and may I say, I hope to look half as fantastic at 60 as you do! many blessings to you and as always, thank you for sharing your many gifts with the rest of us!
    Cheers,
    Dana Laviano
    New Hampshire

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  8. This is a
    Hilarious account no pun intended re:your dear friend. Social outreach worked stunningly well, it seems. Friends make a big difference and you've got some....and they do, too! It's YOU!
    Thanks for being there for me,...onward, I say.

    ReplyDelete
  9. This is a
    Hilarious account no pun intended re:your dear friend. Social outreach worked stunningly well, it seems. Friends make a big difference and you've got some....and they do, too! It's YOU!
    Thanks for being there for me,...onward, I say.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Your posting is a wonderful gift for you to give to us. Can't think of a better thing for you to do on your birthday than pour out the treasure your earthen vessel contains, sharing yourself with those around you, and those you reach in cyberspace.

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  11. I love Hilary's hair.

    Happy birthday.

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