Remaining Budget: $247.86
I have great news, and then I have even better news. I DID accomplish all 52 activities over the course of the year. Now the better news, I have been so busy (good busy), and have been enjoying my 30’s so much that I haven’t managed to sign on here and tell you all about it. So sorry! I will make up for it now.
I remember a party. It was probably the mid-early 90’s, so it is all getting a bit blurry because it is so far back, but I was probably around 10 or 11 at the time. My parents were part of this dinner club with a bunch of their longtime friends, and there was going to be a surprise birthday party for a woman that was turning 30. Of course I thought that they were all ancient, but there was something cool and sophisticated about the woman turning 30; at least that was my appraisal of her at 11. I haven’t really seen her since then, so I can’t tell you how accurate my judgement was. I do remember she preferred red wine, and there were silver balloons, and a wonderful dinner was prepared. It was a small gathering, probably about 12 adults. Who knows! Like I said, this was a really long time ago. Anyway, that probably was when my fascination with the age 30 began. I wanted to be like the trendy girl with the red wine and silver balloons when I turned 30. Well, here I am 19 years later; clumsy, flexible to a degree but particularly adaptable, and sometimes (usually) awkward. I do love red wine, but I am far from trendy. I am ok with that. I am really happy with who I am, and what I have accomplished. That’s what it’s about!
So, about the “unexpected experience.” Well, it was about to be my 30th birthday, and I had no plans whatsoever. Pathetic right? I wanted to have plans, but I didn’t know how to go about asking my friends and family, so in the end I just didn’t ask. I mean, my family has been so busy, and all my friends are all far away, pregnant and/or married…I felt uncomfortable asking anyone to join me for anything that day, so I just sucked it up. I wasn’t like that sleek girl in my memory; I wasn’t going to have that trendy 30th bday blowout. Well, I can be pretty resourceful when I want something. I decided that I was going to buy the stuff to make Cosmopolitans, and that I would watch Mama Mia that night with my tiara on. Not a half bad plan right? I was excited about it. Anyway, that was the game plan, and I was looking forward to it for the two weeks leading up to my 30th birthday.
Inspiration hit again about a week before I turned 30 while I was cooking dinner for the family.
I asked my brother, “Hey Mike, do you think you could make me a homemade pizza on my birthday?
“Of course! What do you want on it?”
“Olives, roasted garlic, artichoke hearts, and onions.”
I don’t like pepperoni. I also don’t like bacon. Stop Judging Me Reader!
“Ok, and pepperoni” he decided for me.
This was a fabulous addition to my otherwise dull evening. My own personal party was getting more and more awesome every day! But then my mom chimed in, “Hey Celina, what day of the week is your birthday on?”
“It’s next Friday.”
My moms face went into complete shock.
“Oh Celina, you are not going to believe this. The little girls down the street are having a birthday party that night and they wanted you to come. I said that you would.”
I used to baby sit these little girls when I was in college and I absolutely adore them both.
“Shit mom, that’s my 30th birthday.”
“It’s ok Celina, I am sure that I can explain…Of course they will understand.”
“No mom, don’t worry about it. I want to go. It’s not a big deal, I had no plans.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes, I am sure. But let’s do something after. Maybe we can go to the Willow Tree (best German place outside of Germany) after and try out Das Boot? I can make it a blog experience. I have never drank Das Boot!”
I started to get really excited about this new addition to my plan. I have always wanted to try Das Boot.
“Oh, that sounds great. Let’s do that!”
On the morning of my birthday I drove to work pretty pumped up about my evening plans. Amy was the first to call and wish me a happy birthday, followed closely after by my grandmother, and Tara. My Facebook exploded with amazing friends that I have made over these past 30 years, and I was overwhelmed by the number of people willing to take time out of their day to make me feel special. Work was rough though. I was really slammed that day, and had a hard time catching up. I have to say that I worked pretty relentlessly, even working through the majority of my lunch break just to get through it all. By 5pm I was the last person in the office (everyone had taken a vacation day or left early) and I was pretty exhausted.
My brother called me up:
“Hey, who is buying the stuff for that pizza tonight.”
“I don’t know Mike.”
“Oh, did you want me to go get it?”
“No of course not, I can go now. I pass a Publix on the way.”
“Oh man Celina, I don’t want you to have to buy your own birthday dinner….”
“No, it’s cool. I pass Publix on the way. Not a big deal.”
So there I was, buying my birthday dinner. New levels of pathetic… Disappointment that I didn’t even realize I had been feeling for weeks built up, and my temper was getting a bit short at this point.
I pulled into my driveway, dropped $35.00 worth of organic pizza ingredients on the kitchen counter, and started getting ready to go to the little girls party.
“Yeah Mike, what’s up?”
“You forgot the pepperoni.”
“I don’t like pepperoni! It is MY birthday dinner. Can I please have pizza the way I like it this one damned time?”
“I will make two, but I am not eating this healthy crap you bought. I am going to Winn-Dixie.”
“Do whatever you want Mike. I don’t even have the energy to care anymore.”
And with that, my brother was off to the grocery store to change the ingredients I picked for my birthday dinner. Now, anyone that knows me knows that I am pretty chill. I very seldom flip out, but I was definitely getting to that point, and my brother got a bit of it before he raced out of the house to buy different ingredients.
I started slowly re-applying my makeup; most of it was worn off from my day at work. The little girls party started at 7, and it was already 6:55, but I felt no rush. I had ZERO intention of being on time to a kids party. I thought that I would look awkward if I was one of the first people at an 8 year olds birthday party. Fashionably late is what I was shooting for. My dad had picked up a nail in his front passenger tire that day, so he was in the kitchen waiting for me to drive him. He kept sighing out loud, and trying to hurry me.
“Dad, why are you in a rush? Why are you even going? No one expects you to go to this.”
“Your mother expects me to. Let’s just go. I can’t stand being late.”
“Are you coming to the Willow Tree after?”
“No, why would I go to the Willow Tree?”
“For my birthday beer…”
“Oh, why don’t you ask your brother to go? I am tired Celina, I don’t want to be at a bar all night.”
And with those words, it was officially the worst 30th birthday evening I could have ever imagined for myself.
The birthday party was going to be held at a museum in downtown Sanford. We pulled up, walked in, and the first thing that caught my eye was that there was a huge bar full of alcohol. Why would they have a bar at an 8 year olds birthday party?
And then… SURPRISE!
My family had thrown me the greatest 30th birthday party that has ever taken place in the history of 30th birthday parties.
My mom is an artist
Do you recognize friends from previous posts? Amy, all the way on the left, and Christina, all the way on the right, were both in my first post about karaoke singing. Amy was also in the Rocky Horror Experience. Katie and I rode the sling shot and watched soccer together. Mike was in about 99% of my posts.
I didn’t get to drink Das Boot as #51, but instead I had my first ever surprise party! It was the greatest evening of my life. I never expected it; I never had any idea at all. And now I am 30. Life is amazing.
I wanted to be like the trendy girl with the red wine and silver balloons when I turned 30. Well, here I am 19 years later, and surrounded by people that I love. My childhood desire to be that trendy lady is not even pertinent anymore. I am really happy with who I am, and what I have accomplished. That’s what it’s about!