Well, I have officially made it to my 50th birthday. Technically, I entered the world at 11:40am eastern daylight time, having been born at the now defunct Dixie Hospital in Hampton, Virginia on June 20, 1972. I turned 40 in Hampton, since Bill had business trip, and we lived in North Carolina at the time. We visited my parents, and I got to see an old high school friend of mine, who treated me to lunch at a pub. I turned 45 in Alveringem, Belgium, and now I’m turning 50 in Antwerp. Antwerp has turned out to be an awesome place to celebrate.
This morning, I was surprised with a delicious mascarpone strawberry tart and champagne, coffee, an orange juice, and absolutely no room for anything else. Half the tart is being saved for later. Bill just handed me a birthday card. I usually get a mushy one from him, but this time, it was a funny card.
As I sit here looking at Bill, I thank God all of the crushes I had in my earlier years never worked out. I can’t imagine a more perfect man in my life. A lot of women dread turning 50, but I have to say, it’s not such a bad thing… at least not yet. I feel pretty good, and I have most of what I would ever want or need… and I get along great with Bill. So life is pretty okay right now, in spite of everything that’s happened since… well, since birth.
I may not be as young and pretty as I used to be… not that I was ever particularly pretty… but I did used to have a nice figure, smoother skin, and better eyesight. I do think I’m saner than I used to be. Things don’t upset me as much as they used to. I don’t have panic attacks anymore, and I don’t often have crying jags, unless it’s because I’m listening to beautiful music or watching a particularly moving scene in a movie, or something. It’s usually music that makes me cry, though. Especially live music. That’s better than crying because someone was mean to me or I’m overwhelmed by something.
And I’m grateful that I’ve been blessed with basic good sense and better health. I’m especially grateful that when I met Bill, even with all the challenges he was facing at the time, I knew he was the right person for me to spend my life with. I never thought I’d be that lucky, given that I don’t have tons of friends and never dated much. And yet, there he was, just when I thought I was going to be single. He’s perfect for me, and the best gift I could ever have.
As we were sitting at breakfast this morning, enjoying the strawberry tart and bubbles, I mused once again about how I somehow found the right person in the least likely place, ever. I have never met anyone who makes me feel more comfortable and at ease. The miracle is, I think he’d say the same thing about me.
This point was driven home over breakfast, when another couple showed up. They barely spoke to each other and seemed dissatisfied and unfriendly. Here we are in one of Antwerp’s best hotels. The staff is super friendly and helpful. And the lady is complaining about the coffee and cutting the crusts off her bread. She sent the coffee back twice, then the two of them sat at the table in silence, making it seem awkward for conversation even among ourselves. Who knows what was going on, though. God knows, I have my days, too. It was just something we both noticed. Maybe they’re both just very introverted… or they have the Monday blues.
Anyway… I’m sure the day will be full of surprises. Time to get off the computer and celebrate. Going to go home tomorrow and write up our visit, which has been a lot more fun than I was expecting. Antwerp truly is an awesome town… as long as you aren’t driving. 😉
By the way… just discovered this album. If you like jazz and Sesame Street, it’s fun!
I think we’re going to do some shopping today… and probably more beer drinking. I can’t think of a better way to spend my first day of being 50. Nor can I think of a better person to spend it with.