Because that's probably how long it will take me to get over the shock... I still can't seem to believe it happened.
I'm turning 30 this Wednesday at 10:06 am. I love my birthdays. Every year, I look forward to the one time the whole year where I can put together all my favorite people (my friends) and all my family (also my favorite people) under one roof for a few hours just for me...with all the selfishness that entails. It's MY birthday. It's what I want.
I never quite see my age as a factor to worry about. Ever since I was very young, I've always wanted to be older. I've never really looked my age, probably until now. Finally, I feel that my real number age is starting to catch up with how I've felt for the past, oh, 20 years? Exaggeration? Perhaps, but very close to reality.
However, this year, I was kind of done throwing myself my own birthday. Don't get me wrong, I've enjoyed every birthday party I've planned for the past five years: beer and dinner at Lompoc, drinks at the Bitter End. Dinner at Noodles followed by drinks at Touche, dinner at la Calaca Comelona followed by dancing at Mambo Lounge. And finally, the scariest of them all: Kareoke! This was the tough year, however, after having been with the same person for 5 years, my first birthday with out him. I was lucky enough to still be on speaking terms with him, but at least I had my friends to distract me from his absence, not to mention cute boys to flirt with.
Now comes 30. I thought it nice to do something big and over the top, but I felt that I'd pretty much already done all I could do to top myself...except a surprise party. I always had this Romantic notion that my significant other would plan this elaborate party for one of my birthdays and we'd all laugh, and I'd cry and the night would be tied up in a fantastic fushia bow with dancing. After 5 years it never happened, but that is also A LOT to put onto one human being and a lot to expect on my end. So when my friends and sister-in-law started to inquire about my birthday plans for the year, oh in APRIL, I said, "Eh, no big deal. Perhaps something quiet. I know thirty is a big year, and I'm not afraid of it, I'm just don't feel like throwing myself a huge party." A surprise party, I was asked? Yes, I've always wanted one, I replied.
That was April.
Fast forward to last Saturday. Things had been coming together nicely for me. My cousin finally gave me the go-ahead that he and his gf Karla were visiting. I rounded up a few of my friends for some beers and pool the Friday following my actual birthday, dinner with the family on my REAL birthday was finalized so I was pretty much set. I was really excited too because my SIL was planning a cocktail party just around the time my cousin and his gf were gong to be here. Perfect, I thought! What a great way to celebrate a welcome to Portland. Little did I know...
Saturday rolled around, and my best-friend Kelly drove up from Corvallis to take me out for a pre-birthday breakfast. She can't make it to my celebration cuz she's busy being an amazing DIY bride! We hit one of my favorite breakfast spots, Byways Cafe in the Pearl and proceed to wonder around for the next couple hours, talking weddings, family, boys and getting older. We have so much history together that if I'm in a foul and negative mood (which I totally was! Thanks for putting up with that Kelly!) she's just tell me I'm wrong. Ha! It was great. She even held back a bit of banter, all in my honor!
Finally, our lovely day was coming to a close and I had to get ready to go to a cocktail party at my sister's, (you can read her account of my party here )but I really wanted to get a pedicure. And because I'm so anal, I had all my clothes and jewelry and set out for said party and good thing, because I was running late! When I got home, I was a frantic mess! Ah! I thought, but its ok, its just a few friends. Usually I primp and prim for about, oh, an hour to get things just right. Not this time. I threw on my strapless brown dress, which incidentally caused a little bit of a mini-drama: I finally broke its zipper. Morgan helped me pin it closed because I knew I'd have to be cut out of it, oh well. But no fear. Off we went: pin-ed dress, vintage jewelry and hot pink flip flops. It's just a small get-together I kept telling myself...it's not like its that big a deal. (This is what I tell myself to stave off the freak out...little did I know.)
My friend Kristin texted me just as I was getting into Morgan's car. When are you heading out, she inquired. I told her we were on our way. So I'm in the car telling Morgan how hungry I was and trying to steer clear of any negative thoughts to do with my dress, or how I didn't really do my hair or that I didn't re-do my make up. I just chose to be positive about the whole ordeal. It's ok, it's just a small get-together...
We get there and I start looking for Kristin's car. Ok, she's not there yet. Then I grab my stuff (right, I had a change of cloths because I knew I'd have to get cut out of my dress) and walk up the stairs. I try the door. It's locked. Ah, the 2 second frustration. I knock. Paulo screams (as usual) "IT'S OOOOOOPEN!" and I think to myself "no it's not" then *poof* magically the door *is* open. I push through and to my surprise there's a group of people that look vaguely familiar all standing in the entry way screaming "SURPRISE" at me. At first, I thought "what? for who?" and then I saw streamers and I sign that said "30" as well as a few familiar faces that weren't *supposed* to be there, and being the smart cookie that I am, I put it together. The surprise is for ME! They're here for ME! (I'm actually shaking as I write this right now, haa haa, reliving it!) And in true Navarro form, I start crying, crying and shaking and laughing and crying, and more shaking. I didn't know what to say. Krista hands me a drink to calm my nerves, but no matter, I can barely get it to my mouth without spilling! And in true Navarro Mom form, she comes rushing up to me as I'm basically weeping and just hugs me for a while. I'm her baby you see, her little tiny baby who is turning 30 this year. I'm so overwhelmed with happiness that all I know to do is laugh and cry, all at the same time and one by one my family members come and give me hugs. Man, if this is how I get at a surprise party...imagine a proposal and then my wedding? Future husband be warned =)
So as the crying finally subsided, hugs for everyone. There some new faces (Z and G) and some old faces (Kelly, you totally lied, Kristin, Golda and Bruno) and some faces I'd not see in months (Diane) and of course, my tried and true (Payal and my family, (Tom and David are pretty much family).)
Hungry? Yeah, that went away fast, so drinking it was. Krista, being the caretaker that she is, shoved a plate in my face and I began to fill it with a few things I thought I could down: some salad, roasted beets and mini sopes. Other than that, no food for me and there was a lot of food I regretfully did not eat!
I had a wonderful time. Better than I could imagine with great company, a great location and fantastic food and boos. I was in Andrea heaven. And the cherry on top? An impromptu dance party filled with Sir-Mix-A-Lot, Beyonce, and Christina Aguilera, just how I like it followed by an impromptu Argentine Tango performance with Bruno.
This year, I've come to realize and appreciate how lucky I am to have a family that loves me and I love them, and this moment was just an even bigger example of why and also of how grateful I am. And this even showed me how my friends are a big part of this too. I've never felt more loved. I've been through little emotional bits here and this past year and a half and am just so happy I have this support system.
I'm so happy (perhaps a little exhausted) all all those months of lying and my mimi freak out was so worth it all in the end. I'm not really sure how else to say it so I'll just say it simply: Thank you and I love you.