Trust I'm not alone preferring birthday celebrations to funerals. Consequently, I'm looking forward to attending a good friend's 70th birthday party this weekend even if the words "friend" and "70th birthday" in such close proximity feels a little weird.
Anticipating this party did get me reflecting, however. What was the first birthday party you recall attending, your own or otherwise, when the number gave you some pause? Don't remember my 20th but my 30th, 40th, 50th and even 60th passed without too much drama. In those years, to keep the Irish melancholy at bay, I whispered clichés like "It's only a number" and "Beats the alternative" to myself; worked reasonably well for each of my own milestones.
But in 1985, while still a ripe 36 years old, I clearly recall attending a 40th birthday party for a work colleague that sent me into a tailspin. No clichés, Hallmark sentiments or consoling words soothed me that time. Driving home from that party (which, by the way, was a serious dud), I was silent, sullen and self-pitying.
Would be good to know others have had similar experiences when a birthday number got your goat. In the meanwhile, I plan on having a great time celebrating my friend entering her 8th decade.