this is almost 40

I can remember my dad’s 40th like it was yesterday, or maybe last week. Or it just happened recently. It feels familiar. My mom, sister and I were in cahoots with the neighbors and set up a “dead” farmer’s market in our yard early one summer morning. (Sidebar: I grew up near Madison, Wisconsin and summer Saturday mornings were spent walking around the Square at one of the best farmer’s markets in all the land.)

Dad loved going to the farmer’s market and we thought “oh aren’t we funny” if we set up a bunch of dead fruits & vegetables and spray painted some carnations black, then sneak back inside to tell him the house had been TP’d. He’d run to the front door angry, then be greeted by our neighbors. “HAPPY BIRTHDAY!” All a great plan. The only thing that could go rogue is….Dad slept in his tightie whities. Nothing scared me more than the idea of my Dad going out the front door in his tightie whities. Luckily for us, and maybe even more the neighbors, he slipped on some pants, went outside and we had a very entertaining morning. That was my Dad, turning 40.

Now I’m looking at 40. Me. The daughter of the man in the tightie whities. 4-0.

Let me be clear, I LOVE MY BIRTHDAY. I have high expectations that I should have the shit spoiled outta me each and every March 2nd. And if I don’t, I’m depressed for 2-11 months. Okay, maybe just days…But my birthday is big. Expectations HIGH. And here comes 40. My 40th.

What do I do for my 40th? Get a red Ferrari. Party it the hardest in Vegas. Fly to any warm island and drink fruity drinks. Furthermore, how am I the one turning 40? Tops, I’m 27. Sure I’ve got 2 kids, drive a minivan, have 2 dogs, a full-time job, another full-time job as a mom, living closer to a cul-de-sac than I ever imagined. But 40?? Already? So, what should I do? Well I know one thing I’m going to do. I’m flying to Germany to spend a week with my sister.

My sister. The one who helped us devise the dead farmer’s market for Dad is going to help me kick-off the party. My sister. The one that lives far, far away. The one that I wished lived so much closer, except when I want to fly away from my own reality and visit hers in Europe. My sister. The one that I want at whatever party my amaze balls husband sets up (no pressure, honey. READ: “Expectations high. Depression 2-11 months.”) in our suburban enclave. My sister. The one I’m gonna spend a week with drinking, hiking, reading, writing and relaxing naked in multiple spas/saunas (here’s the part that all/most/several of my American friends shriek. “NAKEDNESS”)

But this


And this


And some of this


But maybe not in that order! (NOTE: To avoid any reader confusion I feel the need to point out that is not me in 3rd photo. My hair is shorter.)

Now if you’ll excuse me, I leave soon and I need to start packing, prepping my body for public nudity and gently asking the husband to spill the beans on his big plans for me in March. (Really, no pressure Mikey.)

As for you entire country of Germany, brace yourselves as I’m coming ‘atch ya! For this is almost 40. Me. Almost 40. And I’m not sure on how this is going to go. (Also, all you friendly Francophiles at Charles De Gaulle, I’ll be swinging through so learn some English and throw on a smile. Please & thank you)

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