Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Beginning of the Rest

On the eve of my birthday I was laying in bed reading People magazine, because that’s what you do when you’re 36, you read People, cover to freaking cover. See, when you turn 12 you get a subscription to Seventeen and then when you turn 20 you read Cosmo and then it’s Marie Claire around 28 and then in your mid-thirties you just say oh fuck it and read People and then I think around 50 you make the switch to Reader’s Digest except in saying that I am surely going to piss off my readers that are older than I am so slash that. When you’re 50 you don’t read at all because you can’t find your glasses. I kid, I kid. Where was I? Ah, yes, in bed reading People feeling sorry for myself for turning 36. And then feeling sorry for myself for feeling sorry for myself. And then I turned the page to an article about a little girl who has been missing and was probably murdered and just like that my 36 year old hormonal pity party ended. Feeling sorry for myself for aging is a luxury and I decided to shut the fuck up about it all. To which I am fairly certain I just heard a collective sigh of relief.
On Saturday we packed up the car and headed out to the beach in Point Reyes. For those that don’t know: Point Reyes is heaven. A peninsula protected as Point Reyes National Seashore. It looks like this:

On the drive out there Zoey feel asleep in her carseat and Bryan was driving and I had my feet up on the dashboard just sort of zoning out. And I suddenly realized: I am at peace. This is it. Peace. Long slow blinks in a warm car driving out to the beach with my family and a bag of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Peace. And I wanted to tell Bryan but I was afraid that the minute I said it the car would crash because isn’t that just the sort of thing someone says right before they die? I am at peace? So I waited but the feeling just wouldn’t go away so I said it quietly, hunching down. I am at peace, I said in a whisper. Hm, Bryan said back, and that made me happy because if it were a movie and the heroine had said that right before dying in a fiery car crash then surely her lover would have replied with something a little more final, right? His hm saved me.

Except now I just read that last paragraph and I wonder about writing it. Is this the blog entry that you will all read and re-read, wistful and dramatic, after somehow finding out a blood clot burst in my brain, killing me instantly on a nothing of a Tuesday afternoon? Killing me before I ever get to see the new 90210? Is this the blog entry you will forward to your friends with the subject line: This is so Incredibly Tragic! My life honored with a sad face emotion? If I point at it enough, the situation and the possibility of me being at peace inviting my swift demise, does that somehow render me safe? Because surely the universe wouldn’t be so hackneyed as to kill me after I posted about not only being at peace but thinking that I would die for saying that I am at peace, right? These are the thoughts that clutter my brain, this and calculating if Sarah Palin’s 17 year old daughter could have really given birth to the baby boy with Down's Syndrome and now be 5 months pregnant. I mean, does that work? This is the closest I get to ever really being at peace. And this is good enough for me.

Happy Birthday. ‘Tis the End of The High Holy Days and the beginining of the rest, 'til death do us part and Happily Ever After. We should all be so lucky.

Except this: Pins and Needles, I know. You are all on pins and needles waiting to find out who won the first annual Petunia Face ¡Cumpleaños Felices! Con Regalo!: the coveted fossil. It was a difficult decision, I mean what with all of you clamoring for the prize. But last night I read all of the comments and immediately disqualified my entire family from ever receiving a present from yours truly ever again and then I decided to give it to…

KristiniMartini! Come on Down!

I love love loved all of your well wishes and flattery (note to Nathan, you made my day and I am now going to walk up and down the mall hoping to run into you), but KristiniMartini was the only commenter to flat out say she wanted the fossil and that she had a place to put it. So KristiniMartini—email me where you’d like me to send it. From Agadir, Morocco to my house to yours: Happy Fossil To You!


Susannah at 36


Chazzy said...

Just found your blog. Not sure where you've been all this time or why I haven't heard about you sooner. Happy Belated Birthday. I'm 30 but I still read Seventeen (just joking).

Deann Johnson said...

Happy Belated Birthday !
my birthday was just in July (errr older than you) and I would like to request that I get your parents to comment on my blog as a present next year ! those comments were hilarious... maybe I should up the ante and request all of you for dinner at my house next year? western NY is lovely that time of year and there are plenty of wine tours !

dee said...

You rock my world, now and forever!!!

Anonymous said...

you are perfect.

karey m. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
karey m. said...

happy birthday, susannah...

why the heck am i so happy that you're at peace? huh. i must adore you.

i don't think i tell you enough how much i love your writing. {multiply this statement by seventy-eleventy.} and happy birthday!

Sarahviz said...

Yeah, I graduated from Teen Bop and Seventeen and Glamour and Cosmo to?

Self magazine. My friend just bought me a subscription after my woe-is-me post about how I have no time to exercise.

Aging sucks.

But happy birthday!

JackeeG4glamorous said...

Do they make PREVENTION magazine in Large print?
Yeah, that'd be for moi.
I love how your mom talked about High Holy week, because we have a certain daughter in our family that has announced that the whole month of April is dedicated to celebrating her birth.
However now that I think about it, I should give gifts to her brother and sister for simply that reason!

Happy Birthday! and when do we get to celebrate your Blogiversary?

Hill Country House Girl said...

Oh, just wait! One day you turn 36 and then in the blink of an eye you are 40 and then, I am not kidding, you are about to turn 55 and you wonder "when did THIS happen"?!!

The good news is, no, you do not read Reader's Digest in big print. You read Vogue, More, Domino, Oprah, InStyle,all the great design magazines (if you are sick like I am) AND you still read People, if you want to.................but you might just stick to the ones that really interest you and excite you about what you are going to do next in your life!

Oh, and that cute baby girl - all of a sudden you are helping her choose bedspreads and lamps for her dorm room and you remember when she first walked down the hall to her first preschool room and turned and looked at you and in her husky little voice said "Bye Mommy". So, I try to remember to embrace life as it is right now, because I am living proof of how quickly it passes. Happy Birthday and enjoy!

benson said...

I'm a year away from 50 and it's MORE magazine. We read MORE magazine. With our glasses on.
PS I'm older than you and I still think the same way as you do...sorry; you're screwed with your thoughts :)they don't change into common sense at any birthday thus far.

katiedid said...

First...let me just say I LOVE your blog. I have been a lurker for quite awhile because...well let's just say I cannot hold a candle to your prose. Anyway....I wanted to wish you a happy birthday! And I wanted to let you know that turning 50 has it's good points...after you get over the whole thing about starting to disappear cuz you just don't look as good. But then perhaps one can concetrate on their inner self instead, right? right? Anyway....I will have you know that I read People at the salon, just like I did at 36. I also watch things like Flipping Out, and Gossip Girl...but only while flipping back and forth to the conventions. I do stop short at 90210, however.

Regarding peace. I find that too...just never when my husband is driving. Then it is just stress...and more stress. Then is when I think about crashing. I find peace when I'm driving.

I am glad you didn't crash and I hope you find lots more peace!

P.S. What is Reader's Digest?

Janice La Verne said...

i'm 55 and i read people in airplanes because i am deathly afraid while flying and people is like a couple mg. of ativan!

i read all my moms mags compulsively as a kid. my fave was "can this marriage be saved?" (Ladies Home Journal). I HATED Reader's Digest because it was always about someone who had both arms torn off by a bear and survived.

my dearest friend is Kristin and she makes the most beautiful artwork and she was the right person to choose to get a fossil.