4 for 40! – First of the Four

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Check it out! As of Feb 8, I’m 40 and yeehaw! WHAT a ride.
Not the life it took to get here (though that too of course) but the actual celebration. Or should I say celebrations.
They were absolutely amazing x 1,000,000 and I’m crazy touched by what people did for me (we’ll get there) but it sure didn’t start that way. Let me tell you…
I was nervous about my birthday. Not because of the age but that, in an often painfully ironic turn, I’ve noticed that the events that are supposed to create the biggest happiness all too often seem to become the biggest letdown. My worries about this were confirmed when my sister-from-another-mister Kati ended up doing an intimate weekend with her sisters and husband with an informal beach gathering later for everyone else after enough people made her feel like her 40th was imposing on them. I mean, wow. If someone who everyone digs as the bees-knees got that kind of reaction, what chance did I stand?
Not much. Let me tell you.
Especially given that I constantly take off on everyone and have missed many of their celebrations. Because of that I knew I shouldn’t expect much. Still, I still wanted to at least try, so I planned a cruise. First in mind for my sick pop and second for the mounds of kids who have taken over the lives of my friends and family.
Kati, Nikki and my family would have gone and that’s who’s really important. Still, the 90% of others who didn’t bother to respond at all and the not great comments of the few others who did bummed me out so much that I canceled it. It’s fair to be said that the travel agent set it up for failure by being greedy with pushing to announce it too early. Still…
From there I announced that I was going to the Envision Festival in Costa Rica and anyone who wanted to come was welcome but that I wasn’t going to be responsible for planning any of it. I’d go by myself if need be and was (sadly) fully prepared for it. I mean, I knew it wasn’t fair for me to expect much but it still hurt.
Two or three friends said they would come, though I wasn’t about to believe it until tickets were bought. Nikki, not being able to go, took the reigns to plan a trip to a resort in Mexico she loved by the name of Las Rocas. Once again the dates weren’t working for everyone else to go, and I refused to bend any more for people who hadn’t shown any sign of caring, so it ended up turning into a plan for a sister birthday trip of just Wendy and I. Nik said it wouldn’t be right to go given that Doozer (sister) was coming to town. Something I didn’t exactly accept with grace (yes, I see the pattern) given that I had reached out to both before Dooz had planned the trip.
Debbi (AKA: Doozer) was super sweet about trying to see me while in town but, as far as my stubborn-ass was concerned, they both had known the dates. While I would try (because they are the best, actually do care and are family), I wasn’t going to go too far out of my way. Being somewhat of a shit, I also stood firm on my comments that I refused to end up in TGIFridays on Feb 8 in order to bend for others, which understandably upset Nik who had been trying so hard, but she was also quick to understand.
On a random whim a week or two later, I threw out the idea of going to one day of a reggae fest. Well it worked. She was so excited when she called asking if I was serious that she yelled out to her husband/my bud Brent asking if they should buy my ticket for a b-day present. That was that. My little love bug was successful in her mission to make my So Cal birthday special. Something I suspect was extra important to her given how much the previous attempts had bummed me out.
Soon after I left for three weeks in the Bay Area to make some money driving for Lyft. Well, one drunken hot-tub skinny dipping night in the woods with my burner buds Brigit and Aaron, we were BSing with my high school bestie Nicki (spelled different than Nikki at home in SD) about doing something up there and all of the sudden she was planning a wine tasting in the woods and dinner party with all the old school buds. Something that was a wee bit fuzzy when I asked later if she was going to make an evite. Not only had she already done it but she started cracking up about how I hadn’t even RSVPed to my own birthday party.
Meanwhile back in San Diego at a pizza and zipline party at Nikki’s house with Kate, Wendy and our friend Angie in attendance with there with their kids, Angie and Wendy decided they were going to come to the reggae festival as well. Super yay!
Pretty sure Kate had already been on board before that but I hadn’t wanted to even ask Big Red since she was already going to Mexico with me. Come soon my friends Shana and Juliette were also in. Shana, working for a hotel line, was even able to work a deal for Hotel Maya in Long Beach for the night of. Something that provided even more excitement as I had already really enjoyed that place from a time we had stayed before.
Take a step back. The day of the Nor Cal party Nicki was throwing me came. Or should I say the morning after the craziest six hour escapade driving for Lyft ever in which the passenger was a child star turned drug addict.
Back to the morning of the party. I drove 45 minutes to Nicki’s from right by the first winery (by Brigit and Aaron’s) for the pre-party and was not disappointed. Let’s just start with the blow up unicorn covered in unicorn lights that was directly in front of me when I walked in. Then look left or right and there’s a cute little setup of pictures of me, my name stenciled out all pretty and a nice setup of hors d’oeuvres that she had put together. Even a fancy schmancy cake. I felt So! Fucking! Special!
After our first little celebration there, we loaded into the minivan she had rented for the occasion (hahahahah) and headed back to wineries in the Santa Cruz Mountains while I filled them in on the crazy ride I had the night before. Arriving there close to an hour late (of course) some super special pals I hadn’t seen in a long time were already waiting at Hallcrest Vineyards and then MJA Vineyards. They were the cutest little wineries and we had a blast. Especially sitting out on picnic tables in the sun with the expansive field surrounded by Forrest at Hallcrest. Sitting in hardcore traffic to get to dinner after that meant we were way beyond any chance they would save our reservation, though we managed to find a spot in the back to finish up the party. My finishing up meaning taking a few too many of the tequila shots I had bought for others when they wouldn’t take them. Whoopsie!

Flash forward to my praying to the porcelain god the next morning with mumbled comments about 40 not being the new 21 while Nicki’s husband Anthony laughed that I was the new president until the next friend turned 40. This is the guy that once, years before, had been high-fiving me as we both threw up jager-bombs in the tub and toilet next to each other.
Finally managing to pull myself together by the time they got home from church, I was ready to work to pay for the next celebration. Well, I thought I was until I threw up in my mouth while giving my first Lyft passenger a ride. 🙈 Yeah…it took a few hours from there.

They DO love me! 💖

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