Wednesday, August 26, 2009


It's my birthday today, and I'm forty-six years old. I'm not one of those people who hates birthdays and fears getting old. I actually am unashamedly really into my birthday, and I'm really into celebrating birthdays, my kids' birthdays, my friends' birthdays -- I just love them. I love presents, both giving AND receiving, and I love birthday cake even more. I love getting the attention, actually, and I love giving it. I really do.

So, last night two dear friends took me out to dinner. I got to the restaurant first, as always, because I'm always, always on time (I'm a Virgo), and was led to my seat by the host, a young, pretty woman dressed in a navy blue and white polka dot dress. It stopped about three inches above her long, smooth legs, buttoned up to her chin and looked amazing and sexy.

I said, I like your dress a lot.

She answered, Thank you! I like your tunic. (And as an aside, I cringe at the word "tunic" -- it just conjures up "matron" or maybe even Maud from "and then there's Maud")

I said, When I was first married many years ago (and blog readers, if you don't know, I have a PAST that included another marriage but that's a whole other story) I had a "going away" dress that looked so much like yours. It was navy and white polka-dot, too.

Looking down at her dress, she answered, Yeah, I love this dress. It's vintage. When I saw it, even though it had a huge stain on the front, I had to have it.

VINTAGE!!!! How perfect is that on the eve of my forty-sixth birthday?

I'm vintage. When my friends came in, we laughed in the way that good, close friends laugh.

And then I ordered a Pim's Cup with ginger beer, cucumber juice and something deliciously limey. I had a salad with baby lettuces and tiny slivers of vegetables and a bowl of homemade papardelle with bolognese. I opened my presents, a tiny book of Emily Dickinson's poetry and a beautiful Indian scarf. We talked and talked for hours, until the waiters began to blow out the candles and move around the chairs and then we walked out into the cool Los Angeles night, warm and full of good food and conversation.

I love birthdays and I might even love being vintage because there's nothing better than "old" friends.

Thank you Emily and Sylvia!


  1. WOW. You and I are cosmically connected tonight. You've got to come read the post I just put up!

    Aside from that, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! You are fabulous, I am glad to have 'met' someone with such a sharp intellect, wonderful sense of the ridiculous in life, and large heart.

  2. Happy Birthday...I too enjoy getting older.

  3. Happy Birthday! Wishing you many more wonderful years to come!

  4. Happy b-day my dear Elizabeth. I tend to forget birthdays, honestly. A couple of weeks ago was mine and until Beloved mentioning having a romantic dinner in a secret garden at a local restaurant - which we didn't do because it was 107 and I don't do heat - I didn't realize it was my birthday. But I never forget anyone else's.

    If at 46 you are vintage I am dear at 64 an ancient ruin. I will make my favorite drink tonight and toast to your happiness, your health and wish you the same wonders I wish to all those I love.

    Get this: the verification word is blessou. Indeed!

  5. :) I completely understand the image of being vintage! I wrote about it in a story once called Slip of the Spoon (there's a link to it under my publications if you'd like to see it). It is an interesting image/tag to attach to ourselves. Kind of classy, elegant, treasured :)

    Happy Birthday! So glad to have found your blog from Kate's MotherWords.

  6. Happy Birthday, dear Elizabeth! Ah- you are not vintage. You well-seasoned and salty, sweet and wise. That is what I think.
    Enjoy every bit of goodness that comes your way today. Every morsel, crumb, ray of light and note of music. I'm glad you were born.

  7. Happy Birthday, youngster.
    I'm glad you had a wonderful evening.
    Miss you.

  8. so glad you had a good night :)

  9. yes...

    i also am gld you were born; glad for your shining example of motherhood married with grace, glad you enjoy your ripening.

    bless you!

  10. Happy birthday! It has been quite cool in the evenings, hasn't it?

  11. OK, so I TOTALLY thought that you were going to say, "MY dress had a stain on it too!!! On my goodness! THAT IS my dress!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"...

    I happen to love anything vintage.

    Happy Birthday. I would love to treat you to the salad bar at Chuckee Cheese.

  12. It sounds like the perfect evening. A very happy birthday to you, my lovely friend.

  13. Happy happy birthday Elizabeth!! I love that sweet picture of you -- I can see the kids in you.

    In our family we have a "birthday season", because no one is ever on time with gifts or phone calls, and parties and outings can't always be on the exact day. It started as an excuse but has become a way to keep on celebrating. So I wish you a long, fun-filled birthday season. Wish I lived closer so I could help you prolong it!

  14. Happy Birthday!
    .... and vintage? .....
    actually it make me think of some really good wine :)
    ..... and tunic? .....
    well - I'm not too sure what that makes me think of - hey how about tonic? as in gin and tonic?

    sounds like a lovely gem of a time .... all the very very best to you this coming year. All the best :)

  15. Can one really claim vintage under 50? Happy Belated Birthday!! My best friend celebrates hers all month long and even has special clothes to wear to the many dinners she attends in her honor! It's a blast.

    I am so happy I've discovered your blog. You're a beautiful, refreshingly unafraid writer--the design is it!

  16. I'm so happy to get to read this post, finally...I hope it was a wonderful birthday! The evening sounds as if it was perfect.
    I love your story about the dress. Your hostess sounds as if she completely missed her own hilarity...too young, you see! Vintage is much more interesting, with its complex layers of color, its flavors, aroma and the beauty of experience & meaning. =)

    I too, have a past, and I'm also vintage. XO

  17. Vintage--as in wine achieving complexity with age.

    About five years ago I was in line at a Chamber of Commerce function and turned to make small talk with the young woman behind me. When I asked what her favorite thing was, she said antique shopping and her favorite period was the 1950's. I was born in 1952...vintage sounds ever so much better than antique...

  18. PS Have been thinking of you as I listen to the news of the wildfires. Scary.

  19. Oh, I hope you had a LOVELY birthday! I'm in love with this photo! Vintage... my favorite word!



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