When my dad turned 40, we threw him a funeral.
A family friend was an undertaker, and he filled our living room with white folding chairs. There were plant stands holding dead flowers, and we even had that little stand with a guest book. My dad came home from work to find all his friends seated in the living room, crying softly while looking at a Skippy Peanut Butter jar full of fireplace ashes.
And then us kids were shipped off and they tapped the keg.
But yeah. A funeral.
I’m turning the big 4-Oh in a few months, and it doesn’t feel like a death at all. It feels kind of badass. Like I’m just getting smarter and stronger and more interesting and well on my way to knowing exactly what everybody needs to be doing because I’m so smart and they would be lucky if I told them what they’re doing wrong. My inner old lady who doesn’t give a shit is alive and well. I like her.
So, I’m trying to decide how to celebrate my birthday. I turned 21 during finals week, so my big “party” was having a morning exam, downing beer at lunch, sleeping it off in the afternoon, and then studying all night. When I turned 30, my life was basically in the toilet, but my parents and friends conspired to throw me a wonderful, humbling party. It was lovely.
Now, looking at 40? I don’t need a party. I want to go someplace special with My Guy and do something empowering. Maybe hiking or kayaking or getting a really nice coat at a deep, deep discount. The possibilities are endless.
Well, the possibilities within the continental United States, anyway.
What should I do for my birthday extravaganza? How have you celebrated big birthdays? Any advice? Operation: Eff Yeah, I’m 40! needs your input.