A lot has happened these last few months,  not the least of which was that I turned 30. Quite a milestone, and one that too many people seem to freak out over. There was a whole FRIENDS episode devoted to the stupid things people do when they turn 30, one that I’ve often thought about pensively regarding my own 30th birthday. Beth and Sarah and I went out tonight for Beth’s 30th, and we had a great time, so I thought I post some of the fun that we had for mine.

A poet friend of mine from college now living in CA wrote this: “There’s something priceless and dear about having so many people who bring you joy in one room. It is a gift of temporality that shimmers.” For my 30th, I got two SUVfuls of my family and best friends in the world together, and we made the trek to Choctaw Casino, just over the Oklahoma border. On the way there, I looked in the rear-view mirror to see all these wonderful faces from different areas of my life all in one giant car, chatting with each other, there because they loved me, and it was most definitely a shimmery gift.


We had lunch out by the pool, and then cake and presents. It was also my sister-in-law Gina’s birthday party – that’s us down there with the cupcakes. And below that, the candle glasses I’m wearing are from Frank – they’ve been passed around in our group of friends over the last several years, and they made an appearance at Choctaw.






Then we headed inside for the main event – the GAMBLING. Lindsey did pretty well! She gambles like me – timidly enough to keep from spending too much. Mom and Dad and a whole slew of folks gave me gambling money, so I was set – I even gave some of it back the next day, since I didn’t need it all.


My family got a hotel room there, and we made it Party Central for the excursion. These are a few pictures of a brief respite from the slot machines. Lest you think I am selfishly inviting all my unemployed and poor friends to spend money they don’t have, my mother gave away $10 bills to everyone as party favors for them to gamble with. Mary there, in the middle between Mom and Frank, used it and won $100 on a 50-cent machine! She was the the big winner of the evening! Her birthday party was gambling, too, at Lone Star Park, right after a bunch of us lost our jobs when our company closed. I thought it was an awesome time to gamble just a few dollars away and have a good time, and I followed suit!




Although I love my friends, they are not the consummate gamblers that my mother and I – and recently my sister – are. WE stayed up until about 3 a.m., flitting from machine to machine, and we went back for more at about 9 a.m. the next morning.




I may not have it all together at 30.  In fact, I’m facing quite a bit of uncertainty and some of the biggest decisions of my life, and I cannot say that I am fearless. But I am joyful, and more importantly, I am hopeful. So for those of you not there yet, don’t let them scare you. This is face of 30. And it rocks.



2 Responses

  1. Great post!

  2. you most certainly do rock. now that i’m here with you, i hope i can rock the big 3-0 as well. 🙂

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