I always told myself I would throw a party for my 40th birthday.
Usually I’m pretty discreet about my birthday, mainly because it just isn’t very important to me, but this time, I wanted to make it count.
And so did everyone else around me – I’d been hearing “You have to celebrate!!!” for months. And, as I explained to you here, I totally agreed.
The thing is, I’m a little terrified of parties. I went through a phase where I used to organize giant, enormous parties at my house (having 300 people didn’t scare me) and I finally stopped throwing them one day when I got tired of cleaning up broken glasses, trying to fend off the police and to wipe footprints off the walls (with a hangover).
So this time I had a few ideas about how my birthday party would be:
1/ I wanted everyone to feel at home, but I didn’t want it to be at my apartment*
2/ I wanted to know and like everyone there**. My idea was that every time I turned around, I’d see the face of someone I love. And I imagined this in slo-mo, of course.
3/ I wanted us all to have an amazing time with absolutely no stress***
So we kept it simple.
Well, simple. Haha. says the girl who’s totally lost all perspective. Simple for a 40-year-old me, I mean. I rented out a suite on the top floor of The Standard East with a 360° view of New York (That part was my gift to myself. Super symbolic, right? As in, we made it in New York) and a big balcony (That part wasn’t symbolic, it was just so the smokers could smoke outside).
One of the most important things for me was that it wouldn’t be too big. I didn’t want to feel forced to invite people just to fill up the party. Especially since I’m prone to getting paranoid at the last minute and thinking “Aaaarargggg no one’s going to show up!!! No problem, I’ll just invite strangers off the street.”
So I only invited people I have an obvious, day-to-day relationship with. The people who know my secrets. My real friends.
We had a Cointreau cocktail bar, champagne, and a real bartender (none of this, “shoot, there’s only red wine left!!” at 11pm), a little food, but not too much (I wasn’t too sure about that choice. Were my guests going to die of hunger?) and a gorgeous cake from Ladurée, because I’m worth it.
We also rented a karaoke machine, and bought a bunch of Polaroid cameras so everyone could take photos. And Chris, my boyfriend – I don’t know if you’ve followed since I’ve been a little cryptic about it for months (it’s not that I’m being secretive, it’s just superstition)(but I’ll explain who he is in more detail in an upcoming post because he’s so cool) – is a musician, and he promised to have a concert for me.
I didn’t want to have a DJ, because I wanted it to feel like we were at home and I wanted to be able to listen to Ellie Goulding (no shame) (I love Lights) (I’m sure you do to).
So we all made playlists of our favorite songs.
And that’s it! Now let me tell you how much fun I had.
Well, first of all, let me tell you how much I stressed out about it. I was supposed to go meet Emily (who, make no mistake about it, made the whole thing happen) and my team (yes, they were invited – they are all enormously important in my life)(as you know, I’m not the queen of separating work life from my private life) at 7pm, and my walk over to the Standard East was kind of torture.
What if I ended up like Carrie Bradshaw at her birthday dinner? What if it was too cold (it was pretty cold) and nobody wanted to go out? What if there wasn’t enough food? What if the elevators broke down? And I should have gotten a DJ!!! What was I thinking???
A few minutes before the party is also when you get text messages from the people who won’t be able to make it — in other words, for someone like me, the text messages that make you want to commit suicide.
“Shit. I knew it. No one’s coming.”
(I stopped sending those text messages for parties, by the way. It stresses the host out for no reason.)
Once I arrived on location, I had a raspberry margarita, and since I hadn’t eaten anything because of my stress and I really can’t, but I mean, guys, I can’t hold my alcohol, by 7:30pm, before the guests even arrived, I was already completely drunk.
[You can tell in this pre-party Instagram photo. The glass I’m holding in my hand is the culprit.]
Fortunately, everything had been perfectly organized by Emily and the team at the Standard.
The good thing about being drunk at your own party is that you don’t feel responsible for anything at all. Even if there’s no one around, you dance, you have fun, you say hello (even to the walls).
So that’s exactly what I was doing when suddenly I see someone I don’t know come into the room.
The watchdog in me goes on guard, and I decide to go say hi nicely, but firmly, German Shepherd style: “Hello, are you friends with someone here?” I got a vague response, which made me laugh, because I must have crashed at least 356344 parties in my life, and I know the vague response by heart. So the Labrador in me resurfaced. We chatted, introduced ourselves, and he finally told me his name: “Theophilus”.
And that’s when it clicked.
“Are you Theophilus London?”
“Yeah, yeah that’s me !”
So I say to him, “If you want to stay, you can play a song for me (ah, the uninhibited personality of the raspberry margarita) and he says, “Sure, just a second, let me go get my laptop.”
And I assume he’s never going to come back, but it was hilarious, hahaha. Theophilus London. So cool. So adorable. And I took a picture of him.
In the meantime, (somewhere between when I had my first raspberry margarita in an empty room and when I almost kicked out Theophilus fucking London, the room filled up, it’s already dark outside, and I’m drinking water)(well, a glass of raspberry margarita in one hand, and a glass of water in the other) my friends are singing karaoke at the top of their lungs, and I’m wondering if karaoke was such a good idea after all, since it’s hurting my ears, but they seem to be having fun and I don’t have much time to think about it because I’m on a mission to take everyone’s picture.
Chris suddenly arrives, and Theophilus too.
Not only does Theophilus have his laptop, but – it’s crazy – he’s also brought along two of his dancers.
Chris, who I thought was just going to sing a song for me, has brought along a group of 7 musicians.
And that’s where the party got crazy.
Theophilus is incredible and plays two songs (People can’t even believe it!! Me most of all!)
And Chris plays after him and that’s when it’s total hysteria. I don’t really know what’s happening anymore, I dance, my cake arrives at some point (unfortunately, I didn’t even taste it – but I blew out the candles!!!), I get lots of hugs and kisses, and most of all, I feel very, very, very loved (one of the best things that can possibly happen to a person – when people you adore show you how much they love you)(I’ll never forget it!!!) and suddenly, bam.
They tell me the police are at the door.
It seems weird to me since we are in a hotel, but my memories of parties ending at the police station for disturbance of the peace come back to me, and I start to stress out, when suddenly, I have a cop right in front of me.
Yep, a very strange cop. Very tan. Very muscular.
Oh noooooooo! A male stripper!
My friends must have confused my birthday for a bachelorette party, I don’t know, but at the same time, I deserved it. Look what I put on the invitation:
So, that’s how I ended up in the arms of a male stripper, legs up, cursing my friends, and laughing hysterically, begging for it to stop.
Fortunately, he and his fringed thong finally left and, after that, the party continued, we put our music on, we danced, we hung out on the balcony, it was so beautiful and cool, and people slowly filtered out without saying goodbye to me, which I think is so much better, because I get way too sentimental when I’m drunk.
By the end, there were just a few of us left, and it was so great. Everything had happened so fast!!! I spent the rest of the weekend relaxing and thinking about the party. It’s cool to throw parties, after all.
Next year will be the 10-year anniversary of the blog, and we’ve already started thinking about throwing an enormous party where EVERYONE will be invited… Do you have any ideas how we can pull that off?
* No footprints on the wall or any other nonsense. Have you ever found a couple in full graphic porno action in your bed? I have.
** Have you ever thrown a party and realized you barely know anyone in your living room? I have.
*** Have you ever thrown a party and felt more like a supervisor (or even a bouncer) (or a cop) instead of a host? I have.
Translated by Andrea Perdue