Monday, August 13, 2007

August 24th is Nigh

We haven't talked about me turning 40 in a while. I've kept the volume down on that freak out. And now my birthday is less than two weeks away. I'm feeling more solid about it all. I think things like, I know when I'm turning 50 I'll long for 40 so just love 40! It takes hard work and deep introspection to truly believe that horseshit. That type of saying is fluffy rhetoric, really, but I'm absorbing it, man; letting it be.

40 was hard for me because I've always felt like the secret golden child, an infant old soul, a baby genius that has lurked in the shadows of others; always waiting for my own time. In most ways I feel developed and whole and practically me and in many ways I'm still waiting. The patience has betrayed me. The patience is a mossy rock in a downhill brook. Time is a-rushing. I'm pressed with an urgency realizing that a golden child doesn't get plucked and praised (oooh movies and books can be a cruel expectation builder). The window feels nearly closed. At forty I feel like I'm flirting on the outskirts of ordinary. When I was younger I felt sparked and humming with greatness, untouchable as craziness swarmed around me. I felt then that at any time I was going to jump ship and swim to brilliance. And now I feel seasoned and grounded weighted by a familiar self-imposed patience that is snuffing out the spark. The shore looks pretty distant now. This is how forty has felt to me.

So I decided to have a party on my birthday, August 24th. A party planned exactly the way I would plan a party. A big blow out. A coming out. I'm giving myself a Cuarentañera. I'll be coming of age at 40, I've decided. It's the year I'll drop kick some stale, useless patience. The party is going to be held in a big banquet hall where vegan appetizers and a vegan three tiered cake will be served and a salsa DJ will spin my favorite hits from the early 80's: Eddie Palmieri, Ray Barretto, Hector Lavoe, Ruben Blades, El Gran Combo. And the party is prom-themed. I've told my friends they have to dress in prom gear from any era, any interpretation. I've hired a photographer to take our posed prom pictures. I'm going with a contemporary 50's look. I can't wait.

I have to admit that the Quinceañera spin on a forty year old's party is not my idea. My good friend Rebel Girl came up with the Cuarentañera idea years ago. But her 40th came and went without a peep of a celebration. I gladly steel it. I'll knock it out of the park for all forty year olds -- anyone really -- just coming of age, shirking ordinary, dog paddling an ocean back something interesting and true.

14 comments:

rita said...

You Go Girl! How simply fabulous, just like you! You are so fantastic, that words cannot even begin to describe the marvelous! Have a great time and I can't wait to see pictures. Someone who loves to read your blog!

degan said...

yay, that's so awesome! happy birthday, hope you have a fabulous party and take lots of pictures! =)

acumamakiki said...

dude your party is going to rock the house! and i can't wait to see the photos.

Maven said...

I wish I could be there.

ESB said...

That is totally cool....At forty, things are truly REAL, and it's definitely a milestone, yet since people live so much longer these days, it's really like the new thirty, and not such a big deal in terms of aging, etc., from one perspective! I read something this year from julia louis dreyfus that has stuck in mt brain: she said that when she turned forty, her doctor told her that her forties would be her insurance policy for the rest of her life.....i thought that was kind of profound.

Wendell said...

Rock on!

I turn 30 on the 26th so we'll both be ringing in a new era.

madness rivera said...

Thanks ESB, that actually helped.

Wendell, happy birthday. I love me some virgos.

Maven, I wish too.

Don't Get Mad Get Vegan! said...

i so identify with what you said about your youth and feeling like a you've been just waiting for when you'll explode into that special force of nature on the world you know yourself to be (ok, so you said it a bit more eloquently hehe)...but honestly? from someone who knows only a glimpse of who you are via your blog? you are shining so much more briliantly on this world than even you know.

happiest birthday to you, madness. you do forty proud, 'm sure. hell, you do all women proud just by being you.

now if you'll excuse me...i have to go start the We Love Madness Fan Club ;)

Rachel said...

Your party is going to be the bomb.
Now where do I sign up for this We Love Madness fan club?

madness rivera said...

ah man,Get Vegan & Rachel thanks so much. Get a prom dress and come on by.

Rebel Girl said...

just got home - just got teh invite - more soon from me - hope to be there with bells on!

Jonathan K. Cohen said...

Tuxedo T-shirts have been purchased. (Beth was unable to find a prom dress which didn't need serious alterations, so we're coming unisex.) Looking forward to it! (We used to be great fans of Jazz on the Latin Side with Jose Rizo from KLON/KJazz.)

jennifer said...

i love the prom party theme! happy birthday madness... your party is going to rock! i can't wait to see pictures.

Tofu Mom (AKA Tofu-n-Sprouts) said...

Way to GO! Turning 40 isn't as painful as anticipated, and it seems you've got it all planned... the party sounds ABSOLUTELY FABOULOUS!!

Good luck and post tons of pictures!! You're going to ROCK!