Last Thursday was my 36th birthday. I know, big deal, right? Yeah, well, when you start inching closer to 40, you can tell me what a big deal it isn’t… For some reason, this birthday seemed like a bigger deal than when I turned 35 — because this time I’m celebrating someone else’s life. (Preston’s OBV.) Whenever people ask me how motherhood is going, I always say the same thing: It feels like my life started when Preston was born. I recognize that I’m still treading in new mom territory, so I may not always feel that way — but I feel that way now. Birthdays, and other milestones, seem so much less important to me now — unless I can trace them back to Preston. So for my 36th birthday, I looked at it more as my first birthday as a mom. And because of this major milestone, Jay organized a little dinner with a great group of friends whom I love — the Pactors, Winshalls, Welleses, Hanaus, Jennifer D. and her boyfriend Dr. Roger, and Sheila all joined us at De Cero last Saturday night.
Because this isn’t a group that gets together often in this exact configuration anymore, it was such a treat for me. It’s funny, these are all people I’ve spent the better part of the last 20-some-odd years of my life with, but because it doesn’t happen very often anymore I appreciated their company in a totally different way. Getting together with good friends is getting to be much rarer these days; you know how it is once kids enter the picture. So rather than spending the night bickering, giving each other a hard time about everything and nothing, like good friends who are as close as family often do — instead we laughed, we ate great Mexican food, we drank pitchers of margaritas, and we enjoyed each other’s company. Pure and simple. And no one got bombed, or stayed out past midnight.
Why on earth did I think I had to stay out till 4 a.m. in order to have a legitimately good time for all those alcohol-soaked years? It turns out, I actually like the company of my friends — sober. We actually have things to talk about, other than what party we’ve just been to, or who’s hooking up with whom. These are shocking revelations, people.
I swear to god, there was a time not too long ago that I thought married people were so lame, that for all intents and purposes their lives were basically over. That the minute they got engaged, they were signing a deal with the devil, and they might as well be dead. I felt sorry for people who got married in their twenties, because of all the fun they were missing out on. I was one of those single girls, for most of my single years, that honestly thought I had it so much better. Like I had beaten the system, staying single into my 30s, squeezing in a few more years of fun.
Then I met Jay, got married, had Preston, and here I am — having the time of my life, at 36. Before midnight.