This is what you do when you turn 40

15 suz bday 001

Actually, this is sort of what Suzie and I have been doing for years: a whole lotta nothing, and much of it foolish. Gone are the days of endless car rides to Renaissance Faires or Beaver Sanctuaries (you may think I’m joking about one of those, but both really happened). Instead, as we get older, our birthday celebrations have somehow turned into even sillier affairs.

Most times, this one included, we end up simply hanging out at someone’s house. It used to be the Victorian on Locust Ave., where Suzie grew up and I spent all my childhood holidays. For a few years we ended up gathering there for her birthday – as the summer was about to begin, when the daisies and mock orange were in bloom, and the fringe tree just starting to pepper the yard with its enchanting perfume.

They were simpler days, but sadder in a way too. Our cares may have been largely non-existent, but our hearts could still riot. I wish I’d known then to just calm the fuck down and relax, that somehow it would all turn out more or less all right. Instead, I think we worried more than we needed to, and pondered serious things that no one so young should ever ponder.

To get us through, we found nonsense and frivolity in most situations. A bat hanging in the kitchen window, for instance. I was able to laugh at that because I wasn’t sleeping there. (Suzie may have found it less funny, but if so she never let on.) A drastic pruning job on the wilderness of viburnum bordering the front porch (I told you they’d grow back fuller than before!) The haircuts we gave to each other, and the hair dyes we tried when we didn’t look ridiculous enough. Rites of passage gone through together.

For this time around it was hot dogs wrapped in soft pretzels. And yo-yos that lit up. We will do a formal 40th celebration in Boston come September, but for now the birthday girl has to cut her own bread.

Andy made a valiant effort at a peanut-butter, fluff and jelly cake at the request of Suzie’s son MoMo, but it exploded in its own over-the-top madness. It appears that fluff does not take kindly to being trapped between layers of peanut butter.

Thank God for the peonies.

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