Yes, adults celebrate birthdays. Even birthdays they really don’t want to mark. Especially those.
Let’s face it: in some ways, the milestone birthdays are easier. You might not want to advance a decade, but everyone else wants an excuse for a party. You’re just the sacrificial lamb. And if the party’s good enough, you forget about the number … for a while.
But what about the random mid-decade birthday?
My friends with kids would scoff. They’re too busy trekking to kiddie birthday parties and worrying about how to make their 2-year old’s birthday “memorable” to wallow in their own anxieties – not that anyone was wallowing at our house, mind you …
In my case, knowing how much G hates his birthday, I’d been focused – obsessing, really – on just the right touch: fun, without being festive (what’s to celebrate, he’d say).
In the end, the guiding principle is this: celebrate an adult birthday, just the way you did as a kid, starting from breakfast and lasting the week (or month).
Get the pets involved. G’s birthday celebration started with a dog-themed card which I dropped onto the floor of the bedroom. Our little dog can’t resist paper – he loved the taste and, I think, the sound of tearing it to pieces. Sure enough, he picked up the envelope and trotted downstairs with it, straight to dad.
Birthday breakfast. As a kid, a friend’s mom made homemade pancakes with pineapple sauce for her birthday. Keep in mind this was the 70s, when pancakes came out of a box and pineapples were super exotic. My 2014 version? Waffles, sausage, coffee. Strawberries – which I purchased, then left in the refrigerator. Nothing too decadent for Mr. Fitness, but not your usual workday either.
Yes, champagne goes with take out. Have you seen the scene in Sideways where Paul Giamatti drinks Chateau Petrus in a disposable cup at a McDonald’s? Well, champagne goes with takeout, particularly if it’s a melange of Indian dishes from Rasika.
Gifts, lots of ’em. A Varvatos shirt – for work or for play. “Bonds” because he needs updated swimwear from this decade.
Birthday +1 Dinner out. I was almost thwarted before I started because restaurants seem to like to be closed at the end of August. That said, I was able to get us into Restaurant Eve, which was lovely – great drinks and fun, unusual wine recommendation, excellent food, friendly service, romantic atmosphere.
Birthday +2 Dinner out. And the celebration continued as we headed to New Heights for gin drinks and the last day of their summer lobster tasting menu. And so we sampled many combinations of gins and tonics – who knew there were so many – and partook of squid ink seafood pasta and lobster in a super-rich cream sauce.
And thus did the birthday celebration continue.