A Parade For Aubrey

The school child who always finds herself seated next to a classmate who is prettier, more popular, more personality laden has a terrible cross to bear.

It’s the same with birthdays.  They are all wonderful fun, but when it is the next birthday that all eyes automatically turn to, the number becomes a little problematic.

So my celebrations for this year will be kept a little low-key.  It will be an introverted time, spent speculating and internalizing.  It will also be a thoughtful time, celebrated with a select few.


But next year I will be 60.  Things will be a little different.  In fact, I have a list.

I want a parade.

It will have many horses – Frisians in particular.  Aubrey loves those proud and gentle creatures.

Marching bands are fine – but I want all formations to show an obvious Busby Berkeley influence.  All routines must be submitted for approval.

Floats must be of a very specific kind.  No themes.  No flowers.  No prizes.  All animals.  They must feature surfing cats, skateboarding dogs – vice versa, if possible.  Entire floats with nothing more than groups of kittens or puppies.  One float must have an aquarium, filled with otters.  This is an idea of what I’d like to see.

The route of my parade will be undetermined.  I think it should be improvised.

I will be at the end, like Santa Claus.  On my Frisian, riding English style and dressed in a riding habit, ca. 1898.  Top hat, veil drawn.   I’ll be ignoring everyone, because that’s part of my charm.

And then we’ll have a party.  I’m pretty sure of what the menu will be, but nothing is confirmed.  Pizza, potato salad, and a possible mile-long mezze.  Aubrey loves her hummus.

Unlimited drinks.  Guests are free to choose an existing cocktail, or compose their own.

Anyway, you have your year’s warning to begin strengthening your stomachs.   Because I don’t think there’ll be room to construct a vomitorium.

If you’re reading this you are probably already on the preferred guest list.  I am working on a new method of inviting – not arriving via mail or the internet.  With this new method, the invitation – date and time – will suddenly be in your thoughts.  It will be as if a pleasant idea suddenly appeared in your memory.   But if this doesn’t work, maybe I’ll employ talking birds.

The start of the celebrations will be indicated.  But the end will not be specified.

Because the party never ends.



12 responses to “A Parade For Aubrey

  1. Hope you enjoy this birthday and have happy days until the next.

    As to that ‘special’ number, I’ll get there later this year. No fanfare planned, but I do dream of the perfect cake, lot’s of it, and more muscle so I can burn it off like nobody’s business. I hope I’m one of the lucky ones invited to your party. Sounds like a hell of a celebration.

  2. I’d be honored to be your animal consultant as this just sounds like a party to remember. I love all the foods you mentioned. I think I had a storybook about Frisians when I was little.

    I never, ever enjoyed my own birthdays. Like New Year’s and any gathering where I’m expected to clap along, you can find me hiding under the bed with all doors and windows locked.

  3. This is wonderful. A whole year of anticipation is part of the fun. I’m already anticipating my next special day, although I’m a bit more than a decade ahead of you. The thought of being 70 amuses me greatly — it seems rather like a cosmic joke I’ve pulled on the universe.

    I will being fine-tuning my invitation radar tonight. When I saw potato salad on the menu, there was no hope of keeping me away.

  4. I’d love to join your party, especially if you reserve one of those Frisians for me to ride. I’d require a stepladder to mount it, and I would definitely ride astride, not because I am unladylike but because I want to stay on the horse, not underneath it.

    Happy Birthday, Aubrey!

  5. Hahahh! I think your parties would be a fantastic sight, the way you envision them (and no worries, I’ll supply the endless hummus and trained animals!)… Here’s to another year ’round the sun; many blessings to you and all the wonderful writing you provide us. 🙂

    (I can’t stop laughing at that first image of the girl in the cake. It’s so uncannily personal, I must re-use that for every birthday.)

  6. I just bumped into this, and thought you might be interested.

  7. I plan to come in chariot pulled by fifty hairless cats, so I may be delayed. Don’t wait the buffet on me.

  8. Sparks – sometime in May, 2017, keep your mind open and accessible. The invite will be there. But if this method doesn’t work, as I said, expect a talking bird. Mockingbirds possibly, as they’re pretty talkative already, although they can get a little feisty.

    Emmy – I understand the revulsion against the obligatory ‘clap along’. During the few times that I attend a baseball game, whenever the crowd erupts into ‘the wave’, I stay firmly in my seat.

    shoreacres – age is laughable, is it not? And I like the idea of the cosmic joke – for some reason it makes one feel closer and more amenable to whatever plans the universe has for us. And I Love the link you provided – hardly surprising that only last Sunday at the Getty museum I bought ‘Fashion in the Middle Ages’!

    hangaku – no need to worry about those dear Frisians! From what I’ve read, they are both noble and gentle. You’ll come to no harm! (also, if you ride sidesaddle, you’re literally locked onto your saddle – hard to fall off, which can be problematic if you’re riding to hounds – if your horse trips at a fence, it’s nearly impossible to free yourself of the saddle)

    Fey Girl – HummusHummusHummus PleasePleasePlease. Even though I have it at breakfast EVERY DAY I still crave the stuff. The photo just speaks to us, doesn’t it? Thanks for your good wishes!

    Redz – let your cats set their own pace, DO. We’ll save a chair for you – do you prefer gilded with satin cushions or velvet brocaded ones?

  9. A belated Happy Birthday Aubrey.

  10. man, you do NOT look close to 60!
    i’m all in for the parade and willing to offer my house as auditorium as the cats have already gotten a head start
    i also have that riding hat that you want (for real)

  11. Oh, how wonderful!
    I turned 60 this year and my pushy friend at work (who thinks everyone is dying for a party) planned for anyone who wanted to come out for dinner after work at a nearby watering hole.
    It was fine, but I was uncomfortable. I’m with Emmy, hiding under a table.
    Your parade will be spectacular! 😀

  12. fifepsychogeography – thanks so much! There is no statue of limitations on birthday wishes.

    leendadll – that is much appreciated. And to have an auditorium already established (along with kitties) can only mean that my party has a grand head start. And give me that riding hat. No lie.

    Lauri – I met some friends for a pre-birthday brunch. The only reason I myself was considering sliding under the table was because of all the champagne I drank (7 of us devoured 4 bottles)

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