I wrote about my hair in Part 1. Now I'll write about the rest. I didn't know how to feel about turning 40. I still don't even want to discuss it because I think I care and don't care simultaneously. For the first time, I just sort of ignored my birthday. Usually I'm all about it. I invite a bunch of people to go out and have dinner. It's always a different mix of people, anywhere from eight to sixteen of us. But I just wasn't feeling it this year and didn't want to plan anything.
In the winter some time, Bryan said he was going to plan something so I let him. I didn't ask questions, I didn't give him any guidelines or anything. It was kind of freeing. I trusted him to do something I'd like. He knows me really well.
He didn't disappoint.
No one really asked me about my birthday and what I was doing. I was kind of bothered. Just like, damn, if I don't plan anything, no one cares. I wasn't really having a pity party because I felt like it's partially my own fault for not really making plans and I'm terrible about the phone. I never call anyone. I guess I was just a little bah-humbug about the whole thing.
I was told we were "going out" on Friday August 1. I was told just to "dress up". Get beautified. New shoes. Whatever. Look my best. I got my hair cut & colored, nails and toes done, new dress (needle-in-a-haystack Nicole Miller at Nordstrom Rack), and I was ready. The way he made it sound, it was more we were going "somewhere". Like, I thought we were going to a show, or a special restaurant. I didn't really think about other people being there. I hadn't spoken to anyone really as I'd been kind of a loner so far this summer. Just going to the pool every free minute with E. We never go out Friday night and most of my friends work. So I never thought about them being around on a Friday.
B said we had to stop at Greek Taverna next to my store to talk to the owner, who is also our landlord. He told me some story that made sense somewhat. I didn't question as to why I had to get out of the car and go in. Because I didn't plan anything, I was sort of go-with-the-flow of whatever he had us doing. I also wasn't thinking this had anything to do with our night ahead. So off my radar. It wasn't raining anymore, so I didn't mind. If it had been raining...well, that would have been a different story. I walked in and....
Like, forty of my friends were there. Aimee & Jesse came from Pennsylvania! Tadd & Christine came from New Providence when they both work in opposite directions. Megan, Yules, Tara, JGlass, and Lindsay all work in the city. Cohen's Mark works in the city. I'm sure a lot of the husbands do- Rob, Matt, Brad....and Charlie works close enough to the city. Then there were my mom-friends from E's dance school- Melissa & Andrea, and Andrea's husband Pete. My oldest friend Ann and her husband Kirk. My girls from GRJC- Jordan, Amy, Susan, Michelle & Marissa (and some husbands). Our only GR "family"- Liz & Joe. Jenn & Anthony braved flood waters, and Don (and husband Neil), DON, cancelled his hair appointments to be there. Stein, who was working at camp all day. Cohen, who ran around picking up a cake bigger than her. And of course- Picken.
I had a real life Sally Field moment- "They like me! They really LIKE me!"
Everyone kept asking if I was surprised. My answer- YES! Anyone that knows me is aware that I eat like a child. Very plain. I have never even eaten Greek food even though the restaurant is next to my store. So why would I think I was having a party there??
It was wonderful. The room itself was really intimate. There is a nice fire place in that room too, which I think would be lovely in the fall or winter. Plenty of room for the amount of people and we totally could've still fit more comfortably. The staff was friendly and helpful. The food was plentiful and came out in a timely manner. The wine was flowing and every time I turned around there was a waiter asking if I wanted a glass.
There was spanakopita, lamb, chicken skewers, tahini, roasted vegetables, and hummus. I didn't get to eat much because I was chatting. But I know how much we took home. It's a good thing I have a spare refrigerator. The staff packed up all the food to take, which I thought was really nice. I also now have a lot of extra plastic containers for my arsenal, which is like an extra birthday present for me.
Greek Taverna is just a really great space for a private party. There is a lot of parking in the back, across the street, and down by CVS. It's also RIGHT off the train line if you have out of town guests. I'd definitely consider it for any party I wanted to do in the future. Although, I don't really have any occasions to throw parties. Since my son doesn't eat anything, getting him to eat Greek food seems a long way off.
I want to thank B for throwing such a wonderful party. He wrote a hilarious and heartfelt poem-speech that wowed all. He's good like that. Everyone said they had a fabulous time and it was just a fantastic mix of people. There were friends who were left off the guest list, but that was not by design. More that B has no idea who I talk to on a regular basis. He likes to tell people that for all he knows, I could be a superhero, leaving the house to save lives between the hours of 11p and 3am (he's fast asleep) and he would never know. I actually don't know how he cobbled together the amazing group he did. It was a great job.
I also can't leave off some of the awesome gifts I received. I'd been eyeing this ergonomic beach lounger from Brookstone for two years now. I'd NEVER buy it for myself. I just wouldn't. It would be a total luxury purchase. I mentioned it to Cohen once and I put it in my recent beach accessory post. She and Stein presented me with giant box that everyone at the party joked has to be the Barbie Dream House. I really had no clue what it could be. I opened it and put it together at about midnight after the party.
Another stand-out was the gift of fillers. As in Botox. Don, Neil, Ann & Kirk for a win with gift cards to The Plastic Surgery Group in Montclair. I couldn't be more thrilled & it couldn't be a more perfect gift. Buh-bye 40 year old wrinkles. (Who knew you could even get real, actual gift cards for plastic surgery??) And then I can go get a facial at The Fountain from the Paradisos and the Wises.
Everyone knows I LOVE gift cards. So I was doing a dance to have some fab ones now to my nail place, Garden State Plaza, and various restaurants in Bergen. Don't think I didn't go shopping & out to eat already, because I did. I also ate my fill of chocolate covered fruit from The Yertons. I'm going to thank everyone separately, I couldn't resist posting some here too.
If I have to complain about one thing- the rest of the weekend's weather pretty much sucked. But luckily Jordan watched the weather forecast and bought me a tanning session. Tanning to give the wrinkles, Botox to smooth them out. I've got it down now. By 40.
Happy 40th to me! With a little help from my friends.