Last year, due to a lethal combination of a TAL psychotropic perfume, child plague, an empty stomach and a lot of lemon drop shots, my head was in the toilet at 11P like a fucking amateur.
This year, I celebrated my birthday proper by going for an aperitivo and mussels with my mom and Jow and then to have oysters and more cocktails with Jow. All the waitresses were especially attractive, one looked (and spoke) just like my beloved Joan Holloway.
Turning 35 has given me the most existential angst that a birthday has ever given me. When I turned 30, I had what I called “a double quinceañera” with all kinds of pink decorations I made, everyone dressed fancy, I served charcuterie and cosmos and everyone got completely faced with me and then played/howled to Rock Band, took off a lot of clothes and passed out on my floor. It was everything I could have wanted in a birthday.
35 feels like a progress report about my thirties where I’m being marked unsatisfactory in almost every area. Logically, I know that’s not true – I’m in a good marriage, I have a lovely little condo, I’ve made a lot of financial progress, I started my own business, I’ve written a book and I’ve been published a decent amount but it’s hard to hear over the internal screaming (you don’t have a child, you haven’t written more full length books, you’re out of corporate america, you don’t drive a BMW, you’re not famous and you never ever have any fun anymore!).
On Saturday, I had a party with friends at my place. I started the party cranky as I was “in the weeds” as the pros (i.e. those of us who watch Top Chef) say. The weather didn’t help either. Most of my friends were sick, the weather was crummy but still, there was champagne and truffles and a huge Crumbs cupcake (chocolate with pink frosting). I could tell that everyone had a good time by how much food was plowed through. I’m going to list my menu to pretend this was a smooth Miss Martha experience that did not have me cutting out an anti-thief device out of my pink princess tulle skirt ten minutes before people started showing up because the stupid cow at Kohl’s didn’t take it off and I didn’t know until just then. Still. I wore my Manolo shoes that I bought when I was 25 that I just finished paying off this year, wearing them felt triumphant for the whole half hour I kept them on.
Menu for a Birthday With Venus in Retrograde
Bacon dip with pita chips
Baked Brie with Apricot Jam
Chicken Pate with Black Truffles
Artichoke with Fig Balsamic Crostini
Mini Taylor Ham and Cheese on Potato Rolls
Salted Chocolate Caramels
Chocolate Brandy Beans
Champagne with Hibiscus Flowers