“If you are single, after graduation, there isn’t one occasion where people celebrate you…” Carrie Bradshaw, “A Woman’s Right to Shoes”, Sex and The City
I did not want to have a quinceanera. But my parents threw me a house party and got me a beautiful white gown for the obligatory portraits, one of which still hangs in my parents’ living room for all to see. When I was an awkward teen, I winced at all that attention, at having to dance with all of the dads, of having to smile in my braces. It was a rite of passage I did not anticipate or appreciate.
When I was in my twenties and in my first healthy long-term (and coincidentally, long-distance!) relationship, I dreamt of my wedding. My girls would wear royal blue. The favors would be bookmarks since the boyfriend and I were avid readers. I would wear Manolo Blahniks and buy a pair for each of my bridesmaids. But I probably spent more time planning an event that was destined to never happen than investing in a social life close to home.
In the months leading up to my 40th birthday today, I decided I would host my own birthday bash. It’s my own version of a quince, a gathering in a rented hall for 110+ of my relatives and friends for dinner and a show. In a little over twelve hours, I and some of my dearest friends will perform on stage for the guests before we all dance to a couple of my favorite songs. I will be reuniting with friends from high school and my club days and introducing some of my Dance Party companions to the rest of my blended and extended friendship family. I’ll be wearing my only pair of Manolo Blahniks. This is one rite of passage I have long awaited and plan to fully enjoy.
It has taken nearly four decades and plenty of heartache and hard work for me to finally love me. So this is one hella happy birthday! Feliz cumple to me!