Beware, this is a long post. I'm making up for lost time since I haven't kept up the blog for a while.
So. I finally came to the end of the road to 50, on Tuesday the 15th. Let me tell you about my day.
I got out of bed late, since I took the day off from work. (I'll be damned if I'll work on my 50th birthday.) I slogged out from under the covers, stood up, and immediately felt like my hip socket was a gearbox filled with sand. I picked my breasts up off the floor, tied them around my waist, and hobbled to the bathroom. Looking into the mirror, I located the irritating kernel of popcorn that was wedged into the inch-deep wrinkled groove on the side of my face that had kept me up half the night. I plucked it out with my handy industrial-sized tweezers and suddenly noticed a twenty-three inch hair growing out of my left ear. Took a shower, counted six new white pubic hairs, slathered on lotion to counteract my crocodile skin, and put two cans of iced tea on my under-eye-bags so that later I'd be able to see out of my swollen, bleary, rheumy eyes.
Okay, I exaggerate, but only slightly. Aging really fucks with your perspective.
A few days before D-day, I treated myself to a facial and a massage, which is one of the most fabulous gifts you can give your body. The massage got out all the kinks in my neck and shoulders, which was excellent preparation for the assault on my face. I've had facials many times, but this time I met my match in the form of a tall Russian woman who zoomed in on my clogged pores with the zeal of a cockroach exterminator. She cleansed, exfoliated, steamed, creamed, and zapped the skin of my face and finished up by saying "Ho-kay!! Now ve veel remove ze clogged poresss!!! I vill try not to hurt so much, but you have leetle bit clogging and must get reed of ogly poresss!!!" She stuck her finger UP MY NOSE to get the gunk out of my pores, and I tell you, if I hadn't been zonked from the massage I think I would have leaped off the table and pelted her with hot stones.
So I was ready for the weekend with a brand-new face full of skin and antioxidants. It's a good thing I had taken care of my body with yoga and healthy food, in addition to the facial, because I was about to be swept into the spotlight which normally makes me cower and run the other way.
Most of you know Diana from yoga class - she of the tiny perfect body and cheerful disposition. She is my dearest and most enduring friend, but let me warn you she is also one sneaky little devil. Diana and my girlfriends surprised me the Saturday before my birthday with dinner at Palomino and a loooonnngggg night out downtown. They had even booked a hotel room so none of us would be drinking and driving, spoiled me with dinner out, gifts, champagne and all sorts of other goodies, and what went on in that hotel room is a story for another venue but believe me, the pictures would be inappropriate for a family newspaper. We laughed so hard my teeth hurt the next day.
Of course my husband had been in on the surprise plan. He was extremely happy, because it meant he didn't have to take me to the ballet which was the original plan for the evening. Heh.
Anyway, the whole experience over the weekend totally kicked the shit out of my feeling sorry for myself for turning 50 and being eligible for AARP. I ask you - how could I curl up in a ball of despair with friends like these? I felt like George Bailey at the end of "It's a Wonderful Life" - like the richest man in town.
So I didn't get to go to Italy, or climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, or snorkel off Fiji. I don't have a million dollars in the bank. But I have love, and health, and family, and friends, and good times and great shoes and music and yoga and everything that makes life worth living, and right now, at the age of 50, my soul is full.