Image Map

Birthday Dance Party

Apr 2, 2014

"You planned your own birthday party? That's so depressing!" a married friend of mine who lives in Suburbia told me last week.

Here's the thing: When you are single and of a certain gotta make things happen if you want them to happen. And, sometimes, that means planning your own birthday party.

For my 33rd birthday (there's no anniversary of a 29th year -- I love my 30s and wouldn't want to go back to 29!), all I wanted to do was dance. My ankle is finally recovering after last year's surgery and the previous three years of constant pain, and I now that I can fit into skin tight dresses again, it's on, Save the Last Dance style (in my head of course).

I sent out a Google Calendar invite to about 20 friends and told them to come to Penn Social from 8-midnight (after midnight twentysomethings take off their shoes, so it's time to go). It's a great venue because it's large and has lots of games (like Skee Ball!) if people don't want to dance.

Full disclosure: 900 was not my score, but I did get 260!
Red Velvet Cupcakery, my second favorite cupcakes next to Cakelove, had a Groupon last week, and on Friday, Groupon had a 15% off coupon for any Groupon. So I got a dozen assorted for about $17 to make it a true birthday party.

The weekend before I helped a friend clean out/organize her closet (how I wish I could do that for myself) and took home a barely-worn Guess violet number that she didn't want. Then I ordered a gold tiara on Amazon to finish the outfit.

And that's how easy it was to plan my birthday.

A good number showed up, brought their friends along, and stayed for some or all of the night. I was pretty impressed that five of my friends hung around for dancing! About four other people were there for their birthday as well, not to mention a bachelor party who thought I was a bachelorette and needed a picture with me for a scavenger hunt. My friends were worried they would notice the absence of a honky diamond on my finger, but, um, hello they're boys! So I got away with it.

Lots of people I didn't know asked if it was my birthday and how old I was turning, and I told them 50 at first so I could do Sally O'Malley...

...but no one was buying it and I was having a difficult time kicking and stretching in my skin-tight Guess dress, so I told everyone I was 21...and they believed me. Well, I'm sure not all of them did, but a lot did. I don't know why, but I was really disturbed. So eventually I just said it was my Sweet Sixteen. By this time DJ Sheeno was playing and it was really too loud to talk, so I pulled out my best white girl dance moves until all my curls turned into a big ball of frizz on my head.

Now, you might be thinking I was consuming a lot of alcohol during all this, but you would be quite mistaken. My entire life people have assumed I'm wasted when I'm dancing, but the truth is, if you drink while you dance you won't be able to dance well to the best of your ability, and then you're never going to be discovered by Usher for his next video. So it's important to stay hydrated. I know this was a downer to the white dude who reminded me of Kenny on Dancelife and wanted to buy me birthday drinks, to which I replied, "Sure! I"ll have a glass of water." I refuse to be that girl who falls while breaking it down to Britney ("3" to be exact).

DJ Sheeno played all my requests: "3", "Dark Horse" and "Regulate", as well as a bunch of old school favorites like "Ignition (Remix)" and "Fresh Prince of Bel Air", not to mention "Sandstorm" and "Better Off Alone" from my college days. (I couldn't pass for 21 any longer when only my friends and I could find the beat in those last two.) While I wasn't offered a new career option, I did learn a a new dance move from a girl that randomly joined our group. And I broke my bracelet. And my feet still hurt. It was a great night and a very happy birthday!


  1. Looks like you had a great birthday, but I wouldn't expect anything less! Sally O'Malley is the best, and I agree - there's no reason to celebrate your "29th bday x times around." 30's are great- live it up!

  2. As an old married woman, I have also discovered that it is best to plan your party if you really want one. Dan is not the "let's have a party type" but always has a good time if he doesn't have to plan it. And it is sooo much better not to set myself up for disappointment on these big days. For example, our 40th anniv is in June and who knows what condition we'll be in by the time our 50th rolls around so I suggested we throw a party for ourselves. It will be so much fun-can you fly into Nashville, Mary El, for the event on June 21st? Includes vow renewal and then a party at home. Our son, the chef, is preparing all the food so it will be awesome!!

  3. The best parties are the ones you plan yourself, that's just a known fact. Though I don't even do that anymore. My husband could careless about doing anything. But I'll be all, let's go visit my sisters and do a get together or something. My life is so boring.

  4. It's true! You should host a wine/cheese party where you buy the food and tell everyone to bring a (fill in the blank) Spanish wine or all sparkly or zinfandels, something like that. It's an inexpensive way to have a great party! Your husband might even be persuaded to join. ;)

  5. "Old married woman"? You're too funny. :) If you had anything to do with your retirement party, I know you are a superb party planner! Congrats on almost 40 years! I will definitely look into tickets and see if I can come. That would be fun!

  6. Woo! I can't even remember what I did for my 29th birthday, so I know it wasn't as fun as this year's!

  7. Mary El. There will be some young people here too and Justus is doing all the food. You would add so much spark to this party. Have an awesome weekend.