Contrary to Popular Opinion, Fifty Does NOT Suck
I am a bit behind on my blog, as I have been busy being old.
I turned the big 5-0 on Saturday, which isn’t as horrific as many assume it will be. Every decade seems to bear a certain responsibility. In your 20s, it’s all about having as much fun as possible, because everyone expects it of you (time of your life and all that). In your 30s, you are charged with making your mark on the world. In my case, I was doing the baby thing, and my kids were 1-11 during those years. I was tired. In your forties, you endeavor to have as much fun as you did in your 20s, because you can, damn it, and now you have more money to do so (but you tire easily. Those 30s kinda killed ya).
But 50 feels like it’s time to chill, in a good way. No pressure to do-be-act-experience. It’s about doing what you want, and enjoying it all. Not to say there aren’t pressures (would still like to get back to what my 40 year old self thought was fat), but they are different. I retire from my school volunteering duties in June, and the empty nest thing happens in August. I look forward to dusting off that old bucket list and crossing shit off (I love me a good list). So I started that this week.
I danced on the Champs Elysee on my birthday.
It wasn’t a major production — just a few laughing steps. But at 50 you realize it’s not about the grand gesture (although, yes, being in Paris is pretty damn grand). It’s about enjoying the moments. And this one was special, as I did it with the person who made it happen, and who matters most.
What else did we do on my birthday? Sightseeing of course! We first stopped off at Napoleon’s tomb, at the Hotel d’Invalides and saw the Musee d’army (http://www.musee-armee.fr/accueil.html). That dude had quite the ego — check outthe pic below of his sarcphagus, filled with him inside 6 coffins. Thing was the size of a minivan.
Next it was brunch at La Comtesse (love a waiter that walks backward after bringing you your order) (https://comtesse-hotel.com/). Then we wandered the Champs du Mar park on our way to the Tour de Eiffel, then to the Pont D’alma to see it from a different angle (the spot for bridal pics for sure). On to another viewing spot at the Palais de Chaillot on our way to the Arc de Triomphe. A word of warning: there is no warning when you start those stairs. You show your ticket and you are off. It hurt.
Then it was the Champs Elysee — not as fab as it was back in the day, but still pretty cool. At 50, you don’t lament that it’s not like it was in Audrey Hepburn’s movies, you’re just glad that you are there and focus on the Cartier store, not the McDonald’s.
We strolled the Jardin des Tulieries next to the Louvre, then headed home to ready for our BIG DINNER.
HWSNBN was given one task — decide where we would eat o our bday (oh yeah — in case youd idn’t know, he and I have the same bday). He did good. When we told our bike tour guide where we were eating, she did a head swivel and practically drooled with jealousy.
The tOur d”argent. If you click one link, make it be this one: https://tourdargent.com/
It was gorgeous. The windows reveal a view of Notre Dame and the surrounding areas like you would not believe. And the food! And the service! (And the food.) And the wine. (THE FOOD!)
We chose the six course duck tasting menu. Sublime (it’s listed on the website, starting with the Autour de Caton). I gave my first course to HWSNBN — duck tartare mixed with lobster (I don’t do seafood), and avoided the egg and mushrooms in course three, but everything else I could’ve had three times over. What the French can do with sauces is obscene. Before we even ate our meal, we had three amuse bouches — dear God. And after our dessert, they brought us more desserts. And after that they learned it was our birthday and brought us another one. More than three hours later…
We waddled to see the cathedral du Notre Dame in the moonlight. Here we were, fat and happy, and folks were lining up for a midnight race. Not us. Uber for this girl, and bed.
Fifty is just fine!