Amanda Blair turns 50
Forget the razzmatazz – turning 50 is going to be a date with the couch and a crochet needle.
My 50th is fast approaching. I’m not disturbed about the actual turning 50 – apart from the odd creaky bone, incontinence pad (note: only required when dealing with an occasional persistent cough) and comfortable shoe insert I’m ageing well, like a ne Shiraz. However, I’m disturbed about the interest shown in “the big day”. It seems everybody has a suggestion on how I should celebrate this momentous occasion, ranging from a dress up party for 300, a trip to Africa to go on safari to get up close with a lion (why?) and one of the more ludicrous – lunch with my “Top 50” girlfriends. Ludicrous because of the conversation I’d have with number 51 – “Look, I’m really sorry. Thanks for years of loyal friendship but you haven’t quite made the cut. I’ll put you on the waitlist. If somebody drops out you’ll be the next lucky lady to get a seat at the table.” I’ve been asking myself some big questions leading up to the day. Where did 50 years go? Is there more juice in life’s lemon to suck and will it taste like lemonade? Why didn’t I do more kneeling before it became dif cult?
Party? No. I’ll be left cleaning up. I could get husband to surprise me and organise something, but last time I did this I unwrapped an oven mitt and ate leftover casserole on my 42nd birthday. Okay, it was an attractive oven mitt and the casserole (made by me) delicious, but I think you understand my reluctance.
The only gift I want is time for the things I want to do but never do, because everybody else comes before me. So I’m going to be uncharacteristically sel sh and like Sophie Monk said so beautifully, it’s “moi for moi” time. I’ve compiled a list of the Top 50 things I must do at 50. They’re not grand or ambitious – I’ve no desire to conquer Everest or run a marathon – but they are things that will make me happy. Like learning to cook Pastitsio the traditional way with my friend Tom’s mother Toula. Or making a quilt from my collection of handembroidered tablecloths and giving crochet a crack. I’m going to sit on the couch and nish knitting the jumper I started when my 14-year-old was in utero. Later, I want to spend a whole day on that same couch under a rug, icking through magazines, preferably in my PJs. I want days when I don’t leave the house, even if somebody has left their lunchbox or school computer at home. Stuff ’em. I want to climb a tree because I still can and show the kids why I was “one to watch” in the Roller City Speed Skate ’84.
I want to get rid of things I don’t use like my G-strings because let’s face it, a piece of string up your wa-hoozie has never been comfortable, and if my husband protests because he likes them so much he’s getting a Mankini for Christmas. I’m going to write letters to old friends who I miss, go to the movies during daylight hours and eat choc tops without guilt. I’m going to read more books, including at least one Jane Austen. I’m enrolling in hip hop classes so I can really up the ante on embarrassing my children at the school disco, and growing a dahlia bloom. I’m forming a choir that sings songs only by The Carpenters, and exploring the local Middle Eastern supermarket. Without shame I’m hiring a 12-year-old to teach me how to use my iPhone and I’m going to start wearing those magni cent clothes I’ve found in op shops over the years, even if I look like Magenta from The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Who cares, right? I’m 50. As she said, it’s astounding, time is eeting ...