Saturday, October 10, 2009
A perfect birthday, I must say.
I remember when I turned ten pretty vividly. I remember my dad saying, "Now you're a decade old." And I asked what a "decade" was and I thought, "My dad is a genius to use ten-dollar words like that!" And my dad told me and I felt it was this big accomplishment. I had reached the age of ten.
I have no memory at all of turning 20.
I remember I turned 30 at SNL when I was lying about my age and ridiculously saying I was one year younger than I was. Partly this was because I had just been hired and when they were casting they said they wanted girls under 30. So I gave myself an extra year. (BTW, they said guys could be up to age 45. Also, if you are going to lie about your age, don't make a measly year - go for it, make it make a difference! One year is just a constant math adjustment and means nothing.) Anyway, I was turning 30 but everyone thought I was 29. I remember there was cake and there was Phil Hartman and all the rest. I remember to be so glad to be out of my twenties. Even if only I knew it.
When I turned 40 I was single and i knew I was about to adopt a baby. I wanted to be somewhere exotic where I didn't know anyone. So I went to Bhutan (with a hiking group - so I guess I did kind of know people by the time my birthday rolled around...) I remember looking out the window of my hotel room at the glorious mountains.
Now, another decade has gone by. 50. I would never have guessed i would be living in Illinois. Never in a zillion years.
I spoke this morning at a cancer convention in downtown Chicago - the National Cervical Cancer Coalition. I listened to a few panel discussions. It was really interesting. A revolution has happened since I had cervical cancer. I gave my speech and it went well. Then they surprised me with a cake! They sang "Happy Birthday." I was so tickled.
Then I gave myself about four hours alone at the Art Institute. This was my gift to myself. I had lunch and a glass of wine, I read my book (City of Light by Lauren Belfer) and I wandered around that fabulous museum. I came home where Michael and Mulan had been planning a celebration. I got flowers from my dear, dear friend Donna (that's the picture) I got gifts from Mu and Michael, (Michael also gave me flowers, but alas, they didn't get photographed - maybe tomorrow...) we ate pizza and had gelato. I laughed a lot. And now I'm pooped and I suppose ready for another decade.