I’ve been in Connecticut for 24 years now, enough time to watch my friends get old. Well, not old, exactly. But older than what I had considered old back in 1989. I was 24 then, and I remember thinking of my 32-year-old colleagues as pretty much “up there.” Yesterday, I went to a birthday party of one friend who helped me celebrate the big three-oh way back when. He had me killing time at the mall while Paul was back at home setting up a big surprise party. Now, this friend has turned the big five-oh. It seems like I’ve been to a string of five-oh’s And next year, I’m next.
I’m inviting all my friends to next year’s big five-oh party. (Please don’t make me actually type the number.) I’m still hoping to have it at Casa Nana, which by then should be completed if all goes well. I think that makes it a cinco-cero party. Is that a thing, or did I just make that up?
For now, I’m just saying “save the date.” I haven’t actually gotten to my 49th birthday, so I can’t really start beating the drum too much. But I haven’t told many people where this will be. We’re still mum about this little project. For a number of reasons, we don’t want to spill the beans until the project is completely done. The last thing we want is some long goodbye, although eventually, down the road, we will indeed be living far away from Connecticut.
Will my friends be up for a “destination birthday?” Who would travel so far to celebrate with someone who’s been so remote and distant lately? We’ve stopped the unending dinner parties, and we gave up on lawn parties after a Memorial Day washout about 10 or so years ago. I shop online and connect with friends on Facebook. I work and live in the same city, a three-mile commute, so a trip to Westport seems like a big outing these days.
The trips across the county to visit friends, or to Massachusetts for our vacations have been replaced with trips to the airport, to Mérida via Houston or Cancun. They’re not really vacations anymore; maybe they never were. They were exploratory trips, looking for property, and then overseeing construction. I’ve let out to some friends that we’ve been vacationing in Yucatán lately, touring the haciendas. (We’ve seen only two haciendas, so far, and that’s only if you consider Xcanatun a real hacienda experience.)
I imagine myself giving the little speech over dinner somewhere, making that announcement to our friends that we’ve been busy bees south of the border. This morning I rehearsed that speech in my head, and it came out a little gloomy. Making it more upbeat only made it sound glib and unfeeling. Ugh, it’s going to be a long road to five-oh.