I had a beatnik-themed party when I for my 13th birthday, in 1960. I vaguely remembered playing spin-the-bottle. I had an intense crush on Neil Maltz, who was about 5 inches shorter and 20 pounds slighter than I. I don’t remember the outfit I concocted.
My sweet sixteen party was at a Manhattan restaurant called La Fonda Del Sol, in what was then the Time Life Building. I can still taste the rich, luscious Mexican chocolate candy cake. We gave maracas to all my girlfriends. I wore a pale aqua chiffon dress. It was a Sunday afternoon. My uncle took pictures, but it turned out his camera wasn’t working, so all we got was one fairly dark photo.
My best friend, Lois, threw me a surprise party for my thirtieth birthday. It wasn’t really a surprise, but I made believe it was. I remember throwing up in her bathroom for hours because I drank too much. I also remember my father being there. That’s about it.
I gave myself a party for my fiftieth and only invited fun people, whether I knew them a week or decades. Edgar, my boyfriend 14 years my senior, came up from Florida, where he was retired. I had been with him 9 years at that point, but he still felt threatened if I paid attention to anyone but him. He turned out to be a Class A Creep, but the party was great.
I turn 63 tomorrow. Lois (the same Lois from 33 years ago) and her husband, Eliot, are taking David and me to dinner. Birthday parties don’t hold the same fascination to me.
I don’t care much about presents either.
My children, sisters, nephews, David and Douglas, brothers-in-law, friends, health–and, of course, dog Rigby and cat Remy–are all the presents I need.
P.S. My friend Jane turns 63 tomorrow, too. Happy birthday Jane.