An acquaintance recently turned 30 and fretted mildly about it. A mutual acquaintance and I chimed in immediately to reassure her that the thirties are by far the best decade. You finally know who you are – usually none of the anxiety and trying too hard to please others and finding your footing that shade your twenties. The mutual acquaintance and I are both on the threshold of 41. Neither of us felt one way or the other about turning 40, but somehow we’re both dreading 41 because it’s a nothing age.
I concocted a dream birthday party for 40 – maybe, despite not being a party person, I would invite everyone from all spheres of my life (Seattle, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, work, non-work, the past, the present) to one big event (in Seattle, in Iceland?). But the big trick would be to get 1. some bands I love that are still small enough to be able to do something like a big party (thinking here about stuff like The Wedding Present/Cinerama and Seattle band Tomten, for example), 2.the ubiquitous everywhere-man Tom Skerritt to choose his favorite poem and attend the party to recite it (haha – I know – crazy), and 3. a place big enough to accommodate all these dreams. And of course enough people agreeing to attend. It would be less a 40-year-old birthday for me and more a gathering of people who made the 40 years memorable, for better or worse.
In the end, I did nothing. Not a single celebratory thing. But now that I see 41 on the horizon, I wonder if I should aim for some big thing sometime this decade.