May 26 was my birthday, but I plan on celebrating all month long. I can't figure out why some people don't enjoy these special days, like my husband. As long as I can remember, I've loved, loved, loved celebrating birthdays--not just my own (although this is quite enjoyable), but anyone's. I'd even celebrate a birthday with a stranger. Having birthdays means you're alive and celebrating them means you're enjoying life and having fun.
I remember my very first birthday, I really do. I was sitting in one of those little confined, square, wooden tables and my mom had baked a massive chocolate cake for me. In the photo, I recall my hands waving wildly in the air before they came crashing down into all that chocolate. I'm sure my mother had wished she'd wrapped me in plastic, too.
I also remember another early birthday at my dad's house. We all wore little pointy hats in the basement and there was a sheet cake with "Happy Birthday Candy" on it. (Don't try calling me this now, fyi!) It was all my little girlfriends and one little boy, Raymond Bark. He lived across the street from my dad and I considered him my boyfriend. He was very brave and/or very smart to accept this invite with a bunch of screaming girls. God bless him.....
One of my most memorable birthdays was for my 50th in St. Tropez in the South of France. The party was held at our favorite hotel, the Byblos. They did an amazing job. For the cocktail reception, the entire stone patio was covered in rose petals. A French quartet serenaded us as we moved to the dining area.....About 100 friends had flown in from all over including renowned tennis player Jimmy Connors and his beautiful wife (my bestie), Patti Connors. Before the presentation of the birthday cake amidst a sea of sparklers, friends gave memorable toasts. And, for the first time in history, they closed down the world famous Les Caves du Roy disco and we partied until the wee hours.
Recently, my parties have been local, but the most important element has remained the same. I've been able to spend time with friends I love and adore. I don't have words to describe how special these moments are for me and how much I appreciate them.
So, if you're trying to ignore a big birthday or feel like it's a waste of time or say to yourself 'oh no, not another birthday', I beg you to think again. Nothing matters as much as being surrounded by people you love for a celebration of life.
PARTY ON!!!! (I hope you enjoy my photo gallery filled with birthday memories, many by friend/photog Mila Samokhina).
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Filed under: human interest
Tags: Andrea Schwartz, birthdays, Bonnie Spurlock, Byblos Hotel, Dede Lubeznik, Donna Rotunno, Frances Renk, Gale Gottlieb, Gayle Anthony, Heather Farley, Helen Melchior, Jan Flanagan, Jennifer Brieva, Ji Suk Yi, Jimmy Connors, Joyce Winnecke, Julee White, Katie McLenaghan, Korinna Isselhardt, Kristina McGrath, Leslie Hindman, Lori Allen, Lynn McMahan, Michaela Parrillo, Mike McGrath, Mila Samokhina, Nina Mariano, parties, Patti Connors, Patti Nalepa, Paul Iacono, Rebecca Besser, Rhonda Sanderson, Rochelle Trotter, Sheila O'Grady, Sherren Leigh, Sheryl Dyer, St. Tropez, Stacie McClane, Tracey Tarantino