So, a birthday that started with a G-rated dinner with teenagers and a fake baby, spawned five more events, each different in nature but with the same theme: lots of great friends, lots of laughter, great food, and of course, lots of alcohol.
The first get-together was just me and a close friend, with her baby, bottles of champagne, appetizers and a constant flow of chatter about everything under the sun. A lot of fun and something we both needed, since we hadn't had time to ourselves since her baby was born nine months ago.
That was followed by the second event, which involved a group of close girlfriends who have become my surrogate family in California. Ranging in age from mid-20s to mid-60s, all our gatherings are filled with laughter, interesting dishes, dogs everywhere and oodles of champagne, and this one was no exception.
The third gathering was a lovely summer evening in a beach cottage with a group of my writer friends, who are a very talented bunch: two published authors and one about to be published. Again, lots of fun, lots of great food, more wine and tons of excellent writing encouragement.
The fourth event was a complete surprise. We had a plan for dinner: just me and two couples, at a local restaurant. When I showed up at their house that evening though, they'd hatched something completely different. A surprise party. And yes, it was a complete surprise. I'm so naive that I totally believed the story of the "baby shower" that was being set up for the next day on the outdoor patio and courtyard area. And even when a few people just showed up, I didn't think too much about it. I think after the third group arrived and then Fiona entered, I realized something was going on and became a blubbering fool. OK, guys, you really got me on this one! I was completely overwhelmed, completely emotional and exceedingly grateful. It was one of those really cool nights that could have gone on forever.
As if all of this wasn't enough, I'm lucky enough to live in an awesome neighborhood with great people on the street and our block organized a block party on Memorial Day. This was yet another excuse to celebrate, especially since another of my totally cool neighbors also turned 50, one turned 40 and there were two teenage birthdays as well.
So, thank you to all the wonderful people who made my 50th birth month such a memorable one. I couldn't have wished for anything better than to spend time with the people I love. Oh, and I know that a few more of my friends have "zero" birthdays coming up this year - you know who you are - and I'm looking forward to celebrating with you too. In the meantime, time to detox...