Birthday parties

Rumour has it I turned 57 today. Last night, I had a combined birthday party with someone turning 44, and according to their calculations during the cake speech, our combined age was 101. Since most of the people at the party didn’t know me, and no one pointed out the mistake at the time, I got to enjoy a few minutes of “wow, you don’t look more than 50” style compliments, and sharing my health tips – eating midnight slabs of cheese and slumping all day in front of the computer – before my real age emerged.

It was the best birthday party of my life.

OK, so it was only my second birthday party as an adult, but still.

I’ve rarely been inspired to organise a birthday party. As a child, birthdays involved some last-minute studying for the next days mid-year exams. The most memorable one was me crying on the bed, I don’t remember why, but thinking “it’s supposed to be my birthday!”

As an adult, I organised one – a sedate dinner at home, and my memory of that is people sitting around the table arguing, and me finding it all pointless and wishing I could just go to bed.

I’ve always preferred meeting people one one one, or in very small groups, so the idea of putting lots of people I know together and then not getting to spend much time with them each wasn’t too exciting.

But still, I usually enjoy other’s parties, and it’s about time I had one. After agreeing to pitch up if someone else organised it, three friends got together to form an organising committee.

Thinking my part was done, and I could just make a brief appearance at the actual event, was wishful thinking. I soon had to intervene to untangle some organisational gridlock. The committee had creative differences, and ideas for a vodka slushie machine, magic mushrooms, a night in the mountains, dancing in town and dinner at home weren’t fitting together well.

Dancing took priority, and even if the party had turned into a disaster, putting together the playlists, including a 90’s trance hour, reliving 90’s anthems like Sandstorm, Madagascar, For an Angel, made it all worth it.

90’s trance hour lasted for 4 and a half hours. I’m surprised I can walk today.

So while others (re)forged connections, had intense talks about flat earth(s) and the like, tried to throw Buddha statues in the pond, struggled to get the playlist they had spent ages on working, and whatever else went on behind the trees, I mostly just danced.

Even if it was more like the first minute of the video below, rather than the last:

Thanks to all who helped organise and to all who came, even if I never got to meet you, or spend much time with you. Here’s to another 47 years of dancing.

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