When I turned 40 in early November, my Aunt Ann called me to welcome me to the 40 club. She had turned 40 nearly a year and a half earlier and informed me that it wasn’t so bad besides the weight gain and the achy bones! We agreed that we would put the zing in 40 and show all those 20 year olds how much fun it was to be 40. Ann came in town for Thanksgiving and she, along with my aunts and my mom, held a celebration for me on Friday. We got together at my Aunt Julie’s house, which is the site for most of the Heile get-togethers. Julie’s condo carries a party aura around it. I think it is because Julie is so nonchalant about it all. Someone spills some wine on the carpet – no big deal! Someone rams into the wall and breaks a picture – we’ll fix it! She is definitely more absorbed in the party and having a good time than she is in worrying about spills or breaks. I strive to be more like that in my new home.
Jon’s mom, Patty, took Mario for the holiday weekend because Jon headed to Michigan for the OSU/Michigan game and she knew it would be chaotic having Maria and Mario in Cincy when I was trying to enjoy my party. She is an angel. I made the wise decision to take Maria’s cousin Alana with us. I have learned that it is much better for me to bring a friend for Maria because she has someone to hang out with and play with; if not, she still is in that stage of wanting me to do everything with her. And Alana is a good kid – she listens well and is intrigued with every place we go.
As soon as we got to Julie’s house, the girls wanted to walk Julie’s two dogs, Butters and Willie. Alana loves dogs, actually she is infatuated with dogs, and so any person that owns one is her best friend. We walked the dogs around the neighborhood, laughing hysterically at Butters who stopped to pee on every bush and tree he saw. When we returned, pink was everywhere. Ann had bought pink roses for the tables and even pink paper to wrap around the cheese block. My grandma’s favorite flower was the pink rose so I know she was there with us, too. Maria and Alana made themselves comfy in Julie’s basement with the dogs guarding their fort and loving the mega treats that the girls fed them. The girls slipped upstairs every so often to perform a dance routine for us (dancing to their favorite boy band – Big Time Rush!).
Meanwhile, my aunts, my two older girl cousins, and I sat around Julie’s table drinking Prosecco (the same sparkling white wine I drank in Italy for my 40th) and nibbling on cheese and crackers and fruit and nuts. We got out old photo albums containing pictures of Ann and I as kids, my aunts as young adults, and my cousins as babies. There were some good laughs at the outfits and the poses. It was so enjoyable to sit around the table with these women who have been a part of my life since I was a baby (and cousins who I have been around since they were babies!) and share memories that we had of growing up. We all had different snapshots of our lives together that we held dear. I remember my Aunt Ann and I swimming in the metal horse troff that we only knew as a swimming pool. I remember Christina taking me to her high school with her. I remember my Aunt Julie taking me to her cheerleading camps and letting me spend the night at her apartment. I remember my Aunt Jane driving me home from Kings Island and talking to me about superballs. I remember Laura and Maggie always being there when I needed help with the kids or needed my hair dyed (my 40th b-day present from them was dying my hair!). I love these women tremendously. They raised me and I raised them – all of our intricacies and mannerisms being passed along to one another.
After drinking too much wine, we headed to the couch for Bridesmaids. Just the movie we needed to see after a few drinks. We were hootin’ and bollerin’ throughout the entire film. We had to pause it when Maria and Alana came upstairs to show us the poster they made for me. It stated “40! You are too old for sex!” Yeah, really. We all gasped. I asked Maria and Alana where they had heard of sex and they just shrugged their shoulders. I asked what sex meant. Maria said “when two people are naked and kiss.” I asked where they learned that and they both shrugged their shoulders again. I guess if this is what they are going to talk about at school, I am glad that they are talking about it with me and their aunts and cousins!
The movie ended at 11:30 pm. I thought I had gotten out of a trip to the bars that I had promised to my cousins. But, little did I realize that 11:30 was early for them. They were ready to go. WIth all my might, I got dressed and headed out with my cousins and two aunts to the bars. We lasted about an hour and a half but the young blood circulating the bar room drowned us and we had to head out! We left the two young cousins there to whoop it up for us. Nothin’ better than a 20 something bar to make you feel old as heck. But I am glad that scene is over for me; I have no desire to have to go through those shenanigans again!
We woke up the next morning and headed over to Julie’s to clean up the mess from the prior night. Rod walked in the house and declared “The place is not too messy for having had a hen party!” Yeah, call it what you want, a hen party, a girl party, an old-lady party, it was a good time. After the clean up and breakfast of goetta and panckaes (total Cincy meal!), Maria and Alana begged to go to the Blue Ash Park. They had a blast swinging on the tire swing and see-sawing and swinging. After the park, we hit the McDonald’s play land for a half hour of indoor play and a huge ice cream cone to get us the rest of the way home. I needed that bolt of sugar after that crazy night with my fellow hens!