10 Reasons I’m Happy I’m 50 Because OH MY GOD

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I don’t spend much time thinking about the differences between lived experiences of adjacent generations of women. Sure, the differences between women who grew up in the 50s versus the 90s are easy to compare. But the differences between groups of women separated by only 20 or 25 years are a little harder to see.

When the Aziz Ansari story broke earlier this week, it was as if women 45 and older were reading a completely different story than younger women were. No one seems to dispute what happened. I think everyone believes “Grace”. But whether you were in the Bad Date camp or the Assault camp seemed to be largely determined by age.

This post isn’t about that. It’s not about Aziz Ansari or #MeToo or #TimesUp. But it got me thinking about how different it is to be a middle-aged woman in 2018 versus being a younger one.

I’m not bashing millennials. Not even a little bit. Nor am I yelling at them to get off my lawn. They’re welcome on my lawn anytime!

I’m just glad I’m not one. Here’s why:

1. I never had to plan a gender reveal party. 

Y’all, what even is this?

Why? Why are folks doing this?

When I had my first daughter, who’s now 21, WE — her parents! — didn’t even know her gender until the moment she was born. What? I figured if I’m gonna do all this work, I’d like to have a surprise at the end. So gender reveal parties are just one of those things I totally don’t get. Frankly, it seems like a thinly-veiled excuse for presents and Instagram flossing.


2. I never had to talk to little kids about pussy-grabbing or shithole countries.

I just . . . I don’t . . . I can’t . . . I mean, I really have no idea what to say about this. I can’t imagine what it’s like raising younger children in 2018.

I suppose it would have been tough to explain “I did not have sexual relations with that woman” if my daughter asked questions about it. But you can save all that “What about Bill Clinton?!” bullshit. The chasm between that and ALL OF THIS is difficult to even fathom.

I’m sorry, y’all. That’s got to be really tough.


3. The men I’ve been with did not grow up on free Internet porn.

This could be an entire post on its own. I’m not saying guys had no exposure to porn. I’m just saying that it wasn’t available 24 hours a day in the comfort of one’s home. Even guys 10 or 12 years younger than me* had to go buy a magazine or a DVD. And the variety was pretty limited by today’s standards.

In general, I think the expanding definition of what’s “normal” when it comes to sex is a really good thing. But I’m not sure the proliferation of porn is enhancing real life sex for women. The things I hear from young women are jaw-dropping. The things they’re expected to do. And to be “cool with”. If they’re into it, great. But it seems many are not and yet they’re subverting their own desires to satisfy someone who expects them to behave like a porn star.

It’s gross and it makes me sad.

(*This is my way of letting you know I can pull younger dudes. IN CASE YOU MISSED THAT.)

4. We didn’t know smoking was bad for you. 

LOL. Just kidding! Of course we knew it was terrible. But we could do it without other people looking at us like we were stomping kittens. It was fun.


5. I don’t have to make my life Insta-worthy.

The loudest voice in my head is the one that unfavorably compares everything about me to someone who’s doing everything better while having more and looking gorgeous. And that’s always been true. It’s not healthy. I’m still working on it.

But when I was young, I compared myself only to people I actually knew or to people who were famous enough to be in magazines. I didn’t have access to Insta-perfect lives; to people who are neither famous nor personally known to me but who somehow have a worldwide audience that enthusiastically covets the look of their curated lives.

Blerg. Nope. Do not want.

Also, R.I.P. Big Ang.


6. There is no record of my public or private shenans.

The other day, I saw a video on Twitter of a guy getting a blow job on a parking lot shuttle. You could clearly see his face. I felt extreme, painful, cringey secondhand embarrassment for everyone involved.

Should these people have been engaging in public mouth love? Absolutely not. But, damn! They also don’t deserve to have their (probably drunken) antics broadcast all over the world because someone whipped out their phone! Just think about things you’ve done in a public or semi-private place. If you feel no embarrassment or shame, you’re probably not the kind of person who would find this blog interesting and why are you even reading it?

I’m eternally grateful that there is no record of my, um, more impulsive years.


7. The music of my youth was actually GOOD.

I KID! Every single generation says their music was better. And it’s never true!

What is true is that it’s important for younger people to make music that does not appeal to the Olds. That’s how it works! Oh, Migos is trash? You don’t “get” Cardi B? Guess what? It’s not about you! Have at it, kids. This is your time.

(Fun fact: if you open your mind, there is good music everywhere, all the time.)


8. Fucks-to-give supply levels are dangerously low.  

Like, dropping a little every day.


9. When I got married, the wedding industrial complex was just a glimmer in capitalism’s eye.

Sooo, y’all know there’s an entire billion-dollar industry devoted to convincing you that you have exactly ONE day in your life when you get to be a pretty, pretty princess, right? A whole bunch of businesses make their money solely by coaxing you into believing that $35,000 is a reasonable amount to spend on a party.

I had the first manicure of my life on my wedding day. I got my dress at a store in Underground Atlanta. The rings were silver, $35 each, and we bought them at some store in Toco Hills Plaza. Our cake was homemade. The ceremony was in a family friend’s front yard and the reception was out back. (Business in the front, party in the back — aaayyye!)

And it was amazing. It was so beautiful and so special and so fun and my marriage lasted a long, long time.

Y’all. Don’t let this industry take all your money!


10. I’m more open to possibility than ever before. 

And here’s where it gets a little serious.

A little over four years ago, I fell completely and totally in love. It happened in the loveliest, most unexpected way.

(Note: After typing that, I spent several minutes staring into space thinking about how incredible it was.)

Ok, I’m back.

It was magic. The man, the way it happened, how it made me feel — it still takes my breath away.

For a few complicated reasons, it ultimately didn’t work out. The pain of that is still a little raw. But the fact that it happened at all, that it happened at 46 years old, when I wasn’t looking and I never saw it coming? It still kind of blows my mind. And one of the things that made it so special was that this man saw me, saw as true a version of me as any person could, and I was loved and adored anyway.

When we met, I felt like I’d sort of done it all and the rest would be, honestly, kind of downhill. I’m embarrassed to say that but it’s true. I’d been married, my kids were growing up and away, I’d had a couple careers. But he believed and he made me believe that there was so much more life to coming to me. It changed the way I see the world. I know now that magical things can happen to anyone, anytime, anywhere.


I don’t love everything about being fifty years old. I wish I’d worn more bikinis. I wish I’d saved more and bought less. But there’s a lot to be grateful for. All the time.

And who knows what’s to come?

Uncommon Grace in an Unlikely Place

sweep-1Let’s start here: my 18-year-old daughter was arrested for shoplifting.

When you learn that your daughter has been arrested for a stupid crime — a crime made even stupider for the fact that she turned 18 just three days prior — you either cry or scream, right? I nearly always choose tears.

But somehow I didn’t cry. I heard the lady robot voice say the word “inmate” through the phone — it sounds exactly like the intro to Serial, by the way — and I didn’t cry. I drove without tears to the Atlanta City Detention Center in the freezing cold to pick her up. When the bored lady behind the counter turned her computer monitor so that I could see my daughter’s mugshot, she offered the commentary, “She need a whoopin’”, and I didn’t cry. I left her there overnight. I came back to the empty house, numb. I didn’t cry.

A friend who works as a prosecutor for the city advised me that showing up in court the next morning would go a long way toward leniency. I didn’t cry when I watched my baby, the child who made me a mother, come into the courtroom in handcuffs and red scrubs. Standing before the judge, I played the role of the distraught but remorseful single mom flawlessly, without a single tear. As the hours between the court appearance and her release from jail dragged on, I started to wonder if maybe this was the tipping point, the Thing That Happened That Finally Dried Up All the Tears. I wondered if maybe there just weren’t any left.

After passing through the metal detector at the Atlanta City Detention Center, I’d had to place two quarters in a pitiful little locker and lock up my phone to enter the waiting area. I’d forgotten to bring something to read, so I sat in the ugly plastic chair with only Steve Harvey on mute to distract me. I gave up hope of any good people watching because it turns out that the overwhelming majority of people released from the city jail walk right out the door alone. For most inmates, no one is waiting to take them home for a shower and a hot meal and a “what the hell were you thinking?” So there was only a handful of people like me, waiting for someone on the other side of the locked doors.

The afternoon wore on and I lost any remaining interest in looking at Steve Harvey’s face. I looked outside at the shadows growing longer over Peachtree Street. My mind wandered. Was it that I had been so stubborn about not giving her a bottle that she’d starved while she learned to breastfeed? Had I deprived her tiny brain of nutrients? Was it that I hadn’t fought hard enough for the special services she needed? Was it that we didn’t have religion? Was it that we’d gotten divorced? Was it that my genetic You’re Not the Boss of Me Syndrome had been passed on to my oldest child? Was it that she did, in fact, need a whoopin’? Lots and lots of whoopin’s?

As my mind wandered, I started to crack. The tears that wouldn’t come suddenly began welling up inside. Welling so fast and so hard that it was like the ocean roaring in my ears. I briefly imagined my tears swallowing up every plastic chair in the room, the salty water rising and rising ‘til people and furniture and iPhones — freed from their lockers — bobbed on the surface. I got up and hurried to the ladies room, trying to look cool and not like a woman seconds from losing her mind.

In the safety and quiet, the tears became more insistent to be released. The ladies room at the Atlanta City Detention Center is exactly like you picture it, exactly as dark and cold and depressing as you think. I looked at myself in the dirty mirror and thought the word “haggard” seemed about right. I said out loud, “Stop. STOP. Get yourself together,” as I blotted my eyes with a rough brown paper towel. I turned to leave just as a girl I’d seen earlier pushed through the door. She was every Fox News trope come to life: a pregnant teenager in a black hoodie and pajama pants, whiling away the hours in a jailhouse waiting room.

Softly, sweetly, she tilted her head and asked, “You ok?”

I sort of chuckled and said that it had just been a really long day.

With an openness I can’t even comprehend, she asked, “You need a hug?”

Wearily chuckling again, I cast down my eyes and said, “No. Thanks,” and reached for the door. But before I could stop myself from saying it, I turned back to her and said, “You know what? I do. I do need a hug.”

And then she wrapped me in her arms. She wrapped me up and held me while the tidal wave gathered strength and broke through everything I’d used to hold it back. I sobbed freely. Sobbed for all of it: sitting alone on New Year’s Eve waiting for my baby to get out of jail, sobbed for all the times I couldn’t get through to her, sobbed for all the times people judged the way I parented her, sobbed for the fact that inside every mother is a scared kid who needs to be hugged and told it’s going to be okay.

I backed off a bit as I realized the hug had gone on awkwardly too long, and said, “I’m getting snot on your shirt!”

She never wavered, never released her hold, and just kept hugging me, softly saying, “This is a rough place to be, huh?”

I thanked her and we went back to our spots in the waiting room, she sitting beside her two friends and me sitting by myself near the counter, growing quietly impatient as the hours dragged on. (Jail isn’t really a place where you complain about poor customer service.) Eventually, the boy my friend had been waiting for was released. She hugged him and they made their way toward the door. The girl’s eyes scanned the room until they met mine. She waved and smiled, her eyes telling me it was all going to be okay.

A few minutes later, my daughter was released. There were no hugs; I had a point to prove. But we came home and we ate and we talked. She was appropriately remorseful and we cried and we eventually laughed that this would be the way we’d always recall the last night of the undeniably shitty year 2014.

Lying in bed that night, I thought back to the girl in the bathroom. And I realized that I had received grace. I’m not a Christian, but I’ve read enough Flannery O’Connor stories to be captivated by the concept of grace: the free and unmerited bestowal of blessing. “Unmerited” is the part that pushes on the tenderest part of my heart. I didn’t do anything to deserve that hug. And for that moment it didn’t matter. The girl in the bathroom gave her blessing freely and for a moment, it was enough just to be human.

She’ll be a great mom.

“Eat, Drink, and Remarry”: The World According to Ms. Patricia

When Bravo’s “Southern Charm” debuted last year, I tried so hard to hate it. I really did. But despite my best efforts, I’m now out and proud as a huge fan of (almost) everyone on the show. I mean, Shep’s adorable! Cameran seems genuinely nice! Thomas is a lovable doofus! Whitney should be named Wit-ney, am I right?! Landon is…pretty? Craig and Kathryn? Well, as we say down here, bless their hearts.


But there is no one on this show – hell, no one on ANY show – who can compete with Ms. Patricia Altschul when it comes to wit, glamor, and bell-ringing, gin-scented gentility. She is the true star of the show. Whitney bugs sometimes, but I have to give him this: as executive producer of the show, he gave the world a gift when he introduced us to his mom.

Patricia’s over-the-top interior design sensibilities are matched only by the quickness of her wit. She lives an amazing life that she seems to truly enjoy. And she enjoys it with the effortlessness of someone who was born fabulous and has spent a lifetime cultivating good taste and good times.southern-charm-season-2-photo-diary-patricia-01

From this day forth, I intend to model my life on hers. I haven’t asked her for a list (yet) but from her appearances on the show and her activity on Twitter and Instagram, I imagine she would recommend the following as her guiding principles. Continue reading

Jessica Biel’s Restaurant or “Bye Felicia”: Which One’s Worse?

Let’s play a little game.

I’m going to tell you about two things, and you’re going to tell me which one is worse. Ready? Okay, here we go.

1. Jessica Biel is planning to open an “exclusive, organic restaurant for kids”

If your first thought was “who?”, welcome to my blog. I like you.


Jessica Biel seems like the kind of person you’d accidentally sit next to at a party. You would spend the next five minutes nodding your head and pretending to listen. And wondering why she’s here. In fact, Jessica Biel’s entire celebrity persona can be summed up with “Why is she here?” She’s married to my husband – Justin Timberlake – and I just DO NOT GET IT.

There is just something relentlessly C-list about Jessica Biel-Timberlake. As a heavy consumer of celebrity-related “news”, I put her in the same category as people like Garcelle Beauvais or Lisa Rinna or Jessica Alba and all the people on all the shows on the USA network. Which makes it even funnier that she is the person opening an “exclusive organic restaurant for kids.” Um, what? Is this a thing we need now? Is this a thing the One-Percenters are clamoring for?

This can probably be traced back somehow to Gwyneth. I bet Gwyneth was chillin with Jess one day (Beyonce was busy) and said, “Wouldn’t it be cool if we could take our kids somewhere exclusive to eat? You know, somewhere where we could get away from the, like, riff raff? Somewhere organic. Exclusive and organic.”

Yep. I just figured it out. Jessica Biel saw an opportunity to – literally – sit with the cool kids and she hatched the idea for a place that’s being called a “Soho House for kids.” Blech.

WORST PART: The place is called – no lie – AU FUDGE!




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BREAKING: Chris Martin Consciously Coupling With Costco-Sized Bags of Cheetos

My #FreeChrisMartin movement never really caught on the way it should have but it doesn’t matter now, does it? As you’ve no doubt heard, Chris and Gwyneth are “consciously uncoupling”.


What’s that? You say “consciously uncoupling” sounds like “divorce”? Wrong! Divorce is for Normals. Divorce is for lazy failures who probably feed their kids breakfast cereal from a box instead of artisanal, locally grown spelt in Malabar chestnut milk, hand-milled by indigenous women. Divorce is for people with office jobs and minivans who drink non-premium beers. Divorce is for people who cook their pizzas indoors. Basically: farmers. (The type Jack Donaghy refers to; not the “young hippies who sell arugula at the market” type.)


All joking aside, divorce – sorry, “uncoupling” – pretty much sucks. There are bad feelings and painful conversations and months spent wondering how you got from “I do” to “Get the f*** out”. It’s no fun, no matter how well both parties try to behave. There are silver linings, though. One of them is that divorce is sort of The Great Equalizer. No matter how perfectly you try to live your life, when your marriage fails, you’re in the same boat as everybody else.

And that’s exactly where Gwyneth Paltrow heard opportunity knock and told her maid to tell it she wasn’t home. Because announcing the end of a long (by Hollywood standards) marriage was her shot a relatability, something she desperately lacks. It was her shot at erasing statements like “Some days I feel like everyone in the world has plugged themselves into my kidneys. I’m so tired” from public memory.

beyonce and gwyneth

Still mad at Bey for this.

But nooope. Gwyneth had the chance to come across like the normal working mom she constantly claims to be and what did she do? She turned the smugness up to 11 by using her lifestyle blog to announce not run-of-the-mill divorce, but organic, expensive, better-than-you “conscious uncoupling”. That’s the reason the Internet exploded in Schadenfreude yesterday. She just makes it impossible to feel for her. She tried to build an empire on telling other people how to live like she does. Gwyneth Paltrow attempted to “curate” a perfect life and found out – like we all do – that life is messy as hell.

So back to Chris. I’m sure he played an equal role in whatever happened between them (no I’m not). But he’s not getting the hate she is. A friend of mine suggested that the marriage ended because she’s an awful person and he’s gay. Nah, I don’t think Chris is gay. I do think Chris Martin is the type of guy who isn’t all that into sex and probably prefers stuff like giving you back rubs and looking meaningfully into your eyes while he strums his guitar for you. He seems like a mellow dude and frankly, it’s very easy to see how a person like that would get completely fed up with the quest for perfection that is Gwyneth Paltrow’s entire existence.

So, Chris? Get INTO it, man. Smoke a blunt, buy gallons of that cheap, foamy ice cream that comes in huge plastic containers. Grab enormous bags of Cheetos! Better yet, buy generic Cheez Puffs. Get some bottom shelf liquor and lose a weekend watching Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. You deserve it. You’re free.


10 Things That Happen In Your 40s

I don’t generally enjoy reading things about getting older. They usually fall into one of two categories: relentlessly upbeat, as if it’s all one huge menopause party, or a complete horror show (I was nearly on suicide watch after reading Nora Ephron’s I Feel Bad About My Neck).

Based upon my comprehensive and exhaustive research (i.e., drinking wine with my friends), I’ve drawn some conclusions about what really happens to us in our 40s.

1. All young women look pretty to you.

I’ve really noticed this over the last few years. When I see a woman in her 20s or even early 30s, I automatically see her beauty. I look without envy because God knows I wouldn’t want to be back where she is just to have that young pretty face. But when I hear one of them complaining about their looks, I want to say, “Shut your mouth. Every last one of you is f***ing beautiful. Go read a book.”Jersey-Shores-Sammi-Waves-You-Away-In-a-Club-Reaction-Gif


2. Your dancing looks really stupid but you have absolutely no f***s left to give. 

There are times – even vodka-free times – when I feel like I’m a legit really good dancer. I have rhythm; I feel the beat. Sometimes I feel like I’m such a good dancer that I bust out my professional grade moves in front of a mirror just to confirm. SUCH A BAD, TERRIBLE, BAD IDEA. elaine-s-dance-o

But here’s the thing: I would actually pass out if I cared any less. I will seriously Dougie my way through cleaning the kitchen, wop while I fold laundry, and Tootsee Roll while I vacuum. My children are horrified. And I do not care in the slightest. How did that happen?

3. Your body makes weird noises.

When I was a kid, I heard people like Johnny Carson make jokes about their joints creaking and their bodies making noises when they got out of bed in the morning. That shit seemed so stupid and corny. I also never thought it would happen to me. Wrong! When I come down stairs in the morning, I hear clicks and squeaks that don’t sound entirely human. All my parts are OEM so it’s not like I have a store-bought knee or something. It takes some getting used to, you guys. tumblr_lzjmucFcTz1r6394xo2_250

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Southern Charm: New Favorite Hatewatch?

If you can’t say anything nice, come sit next to me. We need to talk about Bravo’s newest offering, Southern Charm.imgres

Last night the series premiered with an episode titled “Peter Pan Sin-Drome”. (I see what you did there, Andy Cohen.) As expected, the episode was little more than a “meet the cast” showcase, but it gave me some thoughts about what we might see on this show.

It’s hard for a reality show to find the perfect balance between genuine interest in the cast, and genuine interest in slapping the cast hard. I may be speaking way too soon here, but I think Southern Charm looks like a winner. So let’s meet the cast, shall we?



Shep ::

Shep is basically a giant human puppy.  He takes leisure very seriously and spent 5 years at UGA because of course he did. I (grudgingly) give him credit for using the word “tomfoolery” in his bio. Shep is cute and seems 10 years younger than the 34 his bio says he is. I enjoy thinking about how his sixth generation South Carolinian family members feel about seeing him on the show, blowing the family fortune on trucker caps and fun socks. 


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Seven Great Things About Justin Bieber’s Move to Atlanta (Seriously!)

It’s happening, ATLiens. Don’t fool yourselves into thinking they’re just rumors. Word on the street is that Justin Bieber is on his way to the A – and not as a visitor. He’s been seen all over town partying with various full-grown adults who oughta be ashamed of themselves

Sshhh. Be still. Sit with your feelings for a minute. It’s normal to feel this way. The first step is acceptance. Let me help you make peace with the inevitable. Here are seven things that should make you feel better about it.

1. Nene will have a word with him.

In many ways, Atlanta is still a small town. It’s especially small for famous – and “famous” –  Atlanta residents. It’s why you see Alton Brown hanging out with T.I. (I made that up, but it seems believable, right?) If Justin moves here, there is no doubt he will eventually make the acquaintance of Ms. Lennethia Leakes, whom you may know as the larger-than-life Nene from The Real Housewives of Atlanta.

Say what you want about Nene, but she does not tolerate foolishness and f**kery. A few minutes with Nene and Justin will be “yes, ma’am”-ing and “no, ma’am”-ing around this city, and getting the home training he obviously lacks.


Get into it, Nene. Dismiss him when you’re done.

2. Strippers will make a killing.

Our strip clubs are legendary. So many deals are made among the hip hop elite Justin is striving to become a part of that Magic City is like a second office for these guys. Wee Justin will be working overtime to impress and that can only be good news for Atlanta’s single moms.

3. Buckhead Betties are not residential drag race enthusiasts.

Even though JB is working on thugging out his image, with the tattoos and sippin’ lean shirtless in da club (barf), I’m pretttty sure he won’t be moving to Bankhead or Peoplestown, where the real thugs are. Curbed Atlanta has a round up of some of the properties Bieber’s people are looking at and early reports indicate Buckhead will be the lucky winner.

Hollywood tolerates all sorts of hijinks from famous people. Atlanta does NOT. (Remember what happened to Reese?) Most of Atlanta’s new rich live in the far southern and northern suburbs of the city. But people with old money – people who prefer to be described as “wealthy” rather than “rich” – still live in Buckhead and they are not known for their tolerance of bratty pop star shenanigans.  I’d love to see Justin try something like egging the Swan Coach House. SCANDAL. Continue reading

Slut Shaming Kandi and Phaedra? Have A Seat, Chuck Smith

Heeeeeyy! Happy 2014, dolls.

It’s been awhile since I felt inspired to write something reality TV-related. I suppose there are lots of reasons for that. At least one reason is because – just like an actual housewife – the whole “housewives” concept is getting tired. The staged fights, the endless “let’s get all the girls together with no drama!” road trips, and the general fakery makes for boring and predictable TV. But last night’s episode of The Real Housewives of Atlanta really got under my skin.

Let’s get into it.

The episode opened with Kenya Less (™ Awesomely Luvvie) meeting Ms. Lawrence for lunch to spill the tea on the “Sa-VAHN-nah” trip. Ok, really, Kenya? The talk in ATL is that Kenya doesn’t even live here. Given the fact that she has a new place every couple of episodes and can’t even pronounce Savannah, I’m thinking she does, in fact, just come here to pick up a check. (Also, why does she never have any furniture? At least Sheree had a blow up mattress for her kids.) Funky Dineva‘s theory is that Kenya and Ms. Lawrence are both just working together to cling to relevancy and that no one at Bravo cares about either one of their uninteresting asses. Seconded!

Me describing Kenya.

Me describing Kenya.

So. Chuck Smith – husband of boring Monique with a ‘y’ and retired NFL person – wants to meet Nene and Phaedra. N and P naturally assume this is some kind of fallout from the dustup in Savannah. Remember? When Monique with a ‘y’ learned that her hubs not only dated both Phaedra and Kandi, but also paid Kandi’s bills when her credit was busted and bought a Louis bag for Mama Joyce? But it turns out Chuck just wants his old Athens buddies to accompany him to speak at the Boys and Girls Club over in Clarke County. Ok, cool. (See this fakery I’m talking about? These supposedly “crazy busy” people meet for lunch and then take off for a spontaneous 5 to 6 hour day trip. Gettin’ sloppy, Bravo.) Continue reading

To Me, From Me :: 46 Things I Loved About Turning 46

First of all, apologies for the second post in a row that’s basically a listicle.

But the form is just right for what I want to do today, which is to share with all of you the best things about this day.

I decided a few months ago I wasn’t gonna celebrate this birthday the way I celebrate most of them. Forty six was the last birthday my dad ever had. My heart just kept talking to me about that whenever I thought about this birthday. I’ll celebrate 47 in the usual way – including my helpful emails to friends reminding them IT’S COMING! – but this one has been special in a totally different, much more quiet way. Having low expectations often works in our favor and today just proves that. So, I’ll tell you about my day in a form best exemplified by the inimitable John Waters in one of my favorite essays of all time, “Puff Piece (101 Things I Love)”. I don’t know if I could link to it even if I wanted to, but I don’t want to because I want you instead to buy his book Crackpot.

My gift to myself: the back porch sign of my dreams.

My gift to myself: the back porch sign of my dreams.

I slept late (1) – really late – and woke up to find a table already set with a breakfast that included strawberries (2) and sausage (3) and a hot cup of coffee (4). My sweet little girl (5) prepared this unexpected feast for me because she knows I love a good breakfast (6).

Alongside my treats were a couple of beautifully wrapped presents (7). The only thing better than a good breakfast is a good breakfast WITH PRESENTS so I opened them right up! Lucy gave me a little packet of blueberry face wipes – they’re called “Age Refresh” and I don’t even care – along with eucalyptus scented votive candles (8), sparkly votive holders (9) and some lovely chocolate spoons from Alon’s (10). Great start to the day.

Once Hannah (11) got up, she presented me with her gift, which was handcrafted, fancy-schmancy dark chocolate sticks. These chocolate gifts sort of crack me up. Because I don’t even really care that much about chocolate. But I guess in pop culture (12), moms go bananas for chocolate and this is where my kids got the idea to get me expensive candy. No complaints.

For weeks I’ve been wanting to pressure wash my front porch (13) and when the girls asked me what I wanted to do today, I told them I wanted their help with pressure washing. Their confused faces (14) told me this wasn’t what they expected but they couldn’t say no (15)! We pressure washed the damn thing so thoroughly that I even took off some paint, but I don’t care because it’s all fresh and clean (16) and pretty now. Lucy rode her bike to pick up lunch from the coffee shop and we experienced the singular joy of eating outdoors (added after, too lazy to reorder all the numbers).

We finished our chore around 2 o’clock and I decided to take a mid-day shower (17). Just like day drinking, a daytime shower is basically a declaration that you are a BOSS (18) and can do what you want (19) when you want to (20). I took my time lotioning up at a leisurely pace (21) and used my favorite hair product (22), Moroccan Oil Curl Control. That scent (23)!

My fingernails were looking a little ragged after the hours spent on the front porch so I decided to treat myself to a cheap mani (24). I went to a local (25) chop shop and got one of my all-time favorite colors, Essie’s “Ballet Slippers” (26). I left the salon too early, so of course one nail is already jacked but who cares? I came home to find that my Lucy had DVRed “I Love Lucy” (27) so together we watched the episode titled “The New Neighbors” in which Lucy thinks the new tenants are murderers. Naturally, hijinks (28) ensue. By the way, Nicki Minaj, you owe the estate of Lucille Ball Arnaz a check because every face you make was on “I Love Lucy” way before you were born.  Continue reading