An Ode to Thirty-Two

Today I am 32.

I’m a real adult! Well, sort of…Thirty-two feels like full on adult imposter, a knock-off of real responsibility yet with glorious things like taxes, mandatory retirement savings, and buying sensible shoes for work. I’m considering a practical Subaru for my next car, but I’m also considering a new tattoo. It’s all a balance of reliability and poor decision making really.

2d5d499a0554bf45373fc4d17cc47b7c

If you liked mandatory retirement savings as required by your job, you’ll really like the new aggressive investment options open to you!  The scent of ROTH, Eau d’IRA.

I haven’t gotten into any of the real adulty stuff yet, babies, mortgages directly attached to my name, marriage (though that will change in approximately 43 more days), houseplants that live longer than a year. I melted succulents last year as I forgot to water them and shelter them from the cruel, cruel desert sun. They became piles of melted brown leaves with significant black char on the ends of each leaf. It was sad. I have, however, managed to keep the rescue mutt, Pepe the Doxiepin of glory, alive for almost two years…though he does eat a lot of our other dog’s poop and subsequently gets his teeth brushed quite frequently.

11416188_618874514733_135911622897153798_n

This is the face of a shit-eater. Do not trust his happy licks and wiggles or his heroic pose in front of a Batman poster. He is not Batman. And, he will happily clean up the backyard of all leavings. 

Today, I woke up before my alarm at 7:00am and put on a little too much eyeliner to celebrate the day, carefully selecting a dress I purchased when I was 24 for the day of THIRTY TWO. I could be all, “Oh yes, I still fit into the same size as I did in my early twenties, la de da, I am so fancy!” But, it’s a sensible black wrap dress and I’ve worn the same size, uh, probably since I was 14. It’s been two decades of the same penchant for jersey dresses with a little bit of stretch, fancy sandals, too much eyeliner, and a statement necklace that looks like armor, though my body has rearranged itself in numerous different and sometimes interesting ways (here’s to you, stomach paunch of the 30s!).

ugly-prom-dress

Do you like my cute little black dress? I think it’s so flexible, wear to work or out for the evening! Good for any occasion, a cougar prom, a coven meeting, a Russian bride meet-up, etc. 

Half my life ago on my 16th birthday, I celebrated with my mom, her best friend Ginny, and Ginny’s two daughters/best friends/essentially my sisters by going out for Indian food and painting pottery at one of those places usually found near a movie theater and mid-range cafes. As a holdover from our even younger days, Robin and I ordered around Lisa, the youngest of us all, and had her fetch us paint colors are we painted heinously ugly objects. I believe I painted a claw-footed bathtub (about the size of Pepe) in a mottled blue color…for it to sit unused for a decade because really what is one to do with a foot long bathtub to then be donated to Goodwill in my mid-twenties. Fast forward to now, and this event actually sounds exactly my speed as I am still a fan of naan, overpriced ceramics, friendship, and being bossy. These ladies are also in my wedding party in a few weeks so perhaps we can revisit the whole shebang — This time in yoga pants and with wine because those 30s cliches are so real. I make no promises about ordering Lisa around though…

Print

Minus the single part, it’s so true. Except my version tends more bourbon, chicken wings, and stretchy jeans. Also, if I have to yell to be heard in a bar, I’d rather just leave to go home and sit with my love, the normal big dog, and the small poop-eater while watching HGTV.

 

For celebrating another year of the early thirties, my mom and I went on an adventure of sensible work-shoe buying, wedding jewelry shopping for her ensemble, wedding dress altering and accessorizing, and fancy, fancy restaurant dining yesterday to ring in the olde 32. Pastry, like a Cylon, has a plan for Sunday involving the symphony and crab legs. I also went out to lunch with a friend to talk over spicy Thai noodles about life, loves, and weird ex-boyfriends. Due to Pastry’s crazy work schedule, I’m thinking about an evening of bourbon, chicken wings, and Star Wars with the hounds, normal and poop-eating. Maybe I’ll transfer some money around in a few accounts to truly feel like an adult, maybe I’ll plan a giant mermaid tattoo for my thigh. You know, a balance of responsibility and bizarreness.

 

Advertisements

This is a Sad Post About Friendship, Love, and Death

Dearest blog,

I have not forgotten you. I have just been terribly busy with wonderful things, very sad things, and all other sorts of things in between.

In the past six days, I have finished my first semester of my doctorate, gone on a staycation with my Pastry love courtesy of a door prize win at a venue we did not book, interviewed a DJ for our karaoke reception, marveled at said DJ’s amazing Indian Jones’ themed backyard and pool, started the ring design process for the every so lovely custom engagement ring, finalized the wedding gown I want to buy, harassed my best friend into coming to visit me this coming weekend, booked a pie tasting adventure, interviewed a wedding coordinator, read four books on building communities of practice, worried when said best friend suddenly was in the hospital, signed up for a gym membership to tone these arms, and lost another good friend of 27 years as she decided to end her life after struggling with her bipolar disorder for so long.

That last bit is definitely an immensely sad addition to a generally frivolous wedding blog, but it’s true and powerful and painful. 

The last time I talked to her was about how excited she was to come to the wedding next May and how her husband was recovering well from a recent surgery. She was a gloriously eclectic, whip-smart, charismatic, and vibrant friend since the time my family moved in next to hers when I was around 4. She was almost 7 at the time, and she told my mom she was disappointed it was us as she had been told a nice Chinese family was moving in instead. We had all sorts of growing-up adventures, playing street hockey, raising kittens and trapping scorpions on the hillside, racing down the street on skateboards (me, very badly), going to the beach to body-board or just to be seen, stealing squashes out of a neighbor’s yard, learning the finer points of adolescent flirting, going to college parties while I was still in high school, visiting each other in our respective cities as we both moved around during college and post-college. We shut down karaoke bars in Hollywood, and ate cheap Mexican food in the middle of the night in a variety of locales. After my dad passed away several years ago, she was one of the only people to visit my mom and I after his memorial service, bringing a bag of carefully selected snacks and an orchid (that we inevitably killed due to lack of water shortly near after). I took for granted that she would always be there, loud, talkative, slyly challenging people with her wit. She was not perfect in my memory or in hers, and she seemed to constantly worry that she was living her life in an inherently flawed way, struggling with a history of severe mental health issues and the sudden loss of both of her parents in the last couple of years. And, so she ended her own life.

I am so sad that she is gone. And, I feel so privileged to have known her.

It would now be easy to frame this in terms of a wedding for the sake of blog coherency, new beginnings and endings all becoming very transparent in the process of creating a new, little family. But, I don’t want to diminish my friend, her experiences, or the loss. So, simply, I am a bit sad, but I will be okay. And, though she is gone, I know that she will be okay in the end. And, the rest will continue to move-on, arrangements for weddings and memorial services, plans, lives, families, losses, loves, and deaths. Friendship moves and changes people in such unexpected ways. And, she changed me to be me, flaws and all. I will miss her dearly.