Fantasy 50th Birthday

It’s funny how the current lockdown situation makes you want the things you can’t have, even when you maybe never wanted them much before.

For example, all my life I’ve been a poor traveller. I don’t enjoy travel; I tend to panic in new and unusual situations. I am not comfortable when I don’t know the language, or where to get food, or how the public transit works.

When we go on a family trip, I spend hours and hours planning in advance so I feel okay about it, and I have reams of paper detailing backup plans should anything go wrong. During the trip I’m like a drill sergeant keeping us to a strict schedule and freaking out if someone wants to deviate.

And yet now that we are trapped at home, unable to travel, I find myself dreaming of trip planning and new and exotic locations as if they are FUN and EXCITING. I wonder if this will be a lasting change in my attitude? Or will I go back to panicking as soon as the government announces the all-clear on travel again? HM.

Anyway, dreaming of taking a trip has led me to think about my 50th birthday, which is coming up in just two weeks. I am not someone who likes surprise parties AT ALL, they are a firm no (to both the throwing and being the guest of honour). I definitely did not want a big celebration, and one of the hidden blessings of coronavirus is that it stopped anyone who thought they’d plan a birthday-fest from planning such a thing, WHEW.

But now that it is finally here, and I am actually giving it some thought, I have been thinking it would have been so nice, as a first choice celebration thing, to take a trip with Sir Monkeypants to a romantic urban location. Maybe Paris, or London, or both. How lovely that sounds (in my head, when it’s not at all a potential real thing I would probably be panicking about).

As a backup, I would have loved to take a train ride to New York City, and take in at least two Broadway shows, again with Sir Monkeypants but possibly also with my sisters and their significant others. It would have been so easy, in the Before Times, and so much fun. Alas.

So now I’m on the backup-backup plan, which I think is this: wake up to my favourite breakfast of coffee and muffins; visit the new L.L. Bean store in town where I will definitely be buying PJs, slippers, new sheets, and cozy sweaters, assuming I did not get any of these as gifts; return home to do one of my favourite puzzles while drinking a lot of tea and perhaps watching a marathon of Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Downton Abbey.

Even in regular times, I think such a day fits me to a tee – full of Spoiling Treats, but nothing too fancy, and nothing involving the need to dress up. So although I still wistfully dream of Paris and New York, it’ll probably be a pretty good day, after all.

4 thoughts on “Fantasy 50th Birthday

  1. Moira Grunwell Reade

    Netflix recommendation: Emily In Paris. It’s light and fun and fabulous…and all the views of France!

    And…happy birthday!

  2. Oooh Happy Birthday! I love birthdays. I think you should celebrate exactly how you want, so I assume there will also be pie? I think we are the opposite, because I love big (but not surprise) parties and travelling. One thing about Covid is that there was always such a flurry of activity during the festive season and now…not. It’s a very strange feeling.

  3. I do not mind traveling, but I usually screw it up. I am banned from booking flights. I once bought ‘am’ when we needed ‘pm’ flights. Disaster. I tend to shy away from imagining traveling somewhere with a language barrier and with lots of forbidden food – like pasta. I have celiac disease and I fear not being able to tell waiters of my issue. Italy is one of my ‘How will I manage that place?’ destination dream/fears.

    I am turning 50 after Christmas and I admit to feeling like a 5 year old and for some reason believing that my birthday is a ‘place.’ Like the 5 yr olds who say ‘my birthday is Chuckie Cheese.’ I guess if I get to go somewhere it will be when I am closer to 51. Knowing I’ll have to plan it and that it’s likely to be forgotten by those close to me by then, I just assume it won’t happen.

    Note to self: come up with a good backup plan.

    Enjoy your birthday!

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