Monday 30 September 2013

Fifty is the new 50!

And so this is 50.
And what have you done?
Is half your life over?
Or has it just begun?
(with apologies to John Lennon)

That was then

This Saturday, 5 October 2013, I will turn 50.  I've been practising saying it for almost a year now. Fifty. Fiff-tee. The Big Five-Oh. The ol' half century.  Fiddy.  Nothing sounds right.  It's not a number I can relate to myself somehow.  Like an uncomfortable garment I'm supposed to wear and pretend I love, it doesn't seem to fit me.  It feels weird in my mouth.

So bear with me while I work my way through this.  I'm not 50. I can't be. Fifty is old. It sounds old. It's, well, it's not me. But of course it is.  The driver's licence doesn't lie. It's got 1963 emblazoned on it.  There's no getting away from it.

On the plus side, my skin is great, I still have a sensational set of boobs, I have minimal grey hairs, and very few wrinkles (thank you family genes!).  And I'm relatively healthy, the blood pressure thing notwithstanding.  So I don't have too much to complain about really.  But seriously. Fifty? Me? When the hell did that happen?

I'm having a party.  I didn't want one but various people nagged and hassled and said I had to do something to mark the occasion.  So I gave in, threw together an invite and sent it out into the ether (a sign of the times that I didn't post a single one - they all went via either email or a link in a DM on Twitter or FB).  I'm having it at home and the idea is whoever turns up, turns up.  There could be anywhere from 3 to 40 people.

I'm actually still smarting from my 38th birthday where I planned a big party and everyone I invited (from memory more than 30 people) said they'd come.  I put in heaps of effort, even catered a bit (and I don't do catering!) and five, yes, you literally could count them on one hand, five, people turned up. And one of them was my ex-husband.  It's no easy thing to do the walk of shame in your own place.  My workmates couldn't meet my eyes on Monday morning and it was never, ever mentioned.  The shame of that failed party still stings a bit and I vowed never again.  And let's not mention the bright blue vomit deep into the night as I drank anything I could get my hands on to try to blot out the embarassment.

Yet here we are, and if I'm really honest, I'm a wee bit nervous that it will happen again.  At the time I was single and my son was 6.

Only this time, I have my partner and my now 17-year-old son and even if absolutely no one else turns up, I have those two wonderful people who love me and I will be in our little house, in my party frock which I love even if I did buy it in a fat chicks' shop (albeit in the smallest size they carry but that's little consolation - my weight is at an all-time high and I'll blog about that after my party when I'm ready to deal with it properly), and I will dance alone to my YouTube party mix of music that evokes a time and a place for me - that means lots of 80s dance tracks, some rockin' 70s stuff and other songs meaningful to me in one way or another over the decades.  I'm my very own Rage guest programmer.

Of course it will be great if people do come - it's so much more fun to dance with others.  I'm sure they will.  I hope they will.

To make myself feel a bit better, I Googled to see who else is turning 50 this year.  Check this out, I feel a lot better!

  • Brad Pitt
  • Johnny Depp
  • Edie Falco
  • Phoebe Cates (what the? I always thought she was much younger than me!)
  • Lisa Kudrow (even Friends get old!)
  • Mike Myers (groovy baby!)
  • George Michael
  • Helen Hunt
  • Elle Macpherson
And me.  I'll be 50 this year.  This Saturday.  And actually, I think I'm going to be okay with that.
This is now