Once upon a time, I cooked breakfast.
At someone else’s house.
Dear The Internets,
Please don’t read this if you are a) modest and horrified by immodesty or b) sweet and therefore easily shocked.
You’re going to have to self-select, here, friends. Do your best.
If you are a) modest but giggly about immodesty or b) only apparently sweet but secretly, deep down inside, a little bit rule-breaky, feel free to continue.
If you’re immodest and/or a lot rule-breaky, ignore this whole introductory letter, because you won’t understand it at all. Like, at all at all. And I think your latest piercing is rad.
Have we self-selected for this post now?
My friend turned 50 today.
Which, I think we can all agree, is old.
Or it’s the start of a freer and fuller life. One more comfortable in our own skin. A life in which we’re more willing to be ourselves.
I mean, I don’t know for sure, since I’m still a decade away from 50, but so far, so good, and I’m sure hoping the trajectory continues.
In my family, we have a tradition among the women. When you turn 50, you’re officially inducted into the Aunties. And, I’ll be frank here; the Aunties have all the fun.
The Aunties swim naked. Sometimes when it’s not quite dark.
The Aunties can have a splash of bourbon with breakfast.
The Aunties make ribald comments and have a Devil May Care attitude, and they’re cheerful and dramatic and reckless in all the best ways.
The Aunties are opinionated and annoying and a little smug and full of themselves, because they know down to their toes that they’re just fabulous – and right – exactly the way they are.
The Aunties laugh louder than anyone I know. And sometimes they fart as accompaniment. Accidentally, you understand. Except when they let one rip on purpose and then try to blame it on someone else.
I feel like I’ve spent my entire life wanting to be an Auntie. But NOOOOOOOO. It’s an exclusive club, and one cannot – absolutely cannot – gain entry until age 5-0.
But I can still act like an Auntie. And train to be an Auntie. So that when I am and Auntie I’ll have all my Auntie muscles stretched and flexed and ready to play.
And so this morning, when my friend turned 50 (FIFTY!), I woke up at 5:30am, and I grabbed a frilly apron, and I snuck in the side door of the kitchen to cook a surprise breakfast with a partner in crime.
And, clad in aprons and jewelry and make-up, we cooked and giggled and wished our friend the happiest of birthdays…
…with indelible marker on our butts.
And I know this is nuts.
Believe me, I know.
It’s just… I really doubt when I’m 88 that I’ll regret cooking Naked Breakfast.
Or making my friend laugh like a loon on this Day of Celebration.
Or turning a mundane morning into one of Mirth.
Does it shock you if I tell you Naked Breakfast felt like a small, holy ritual? To be exposed and giddy and goofy… and to glory in it?
The longer I live, the more I know we’re all in the process of healing. Of becoming. Of being lost and found all at once, which is grace. We are, all of us, stretching — reaching throughout our whole lives — to become our truest selves and learn somehow not to merely accept, but to revel in our weirdness and our wildness and our wonkiness… and to discover in that place, eventually, that we’re wonderful.
I guess I’ve decided to be weird and wonderful now, instead of waiting for later.
As a sacred act.
And an Auntie in training.
And I’d like to wish my friend a very, very happy birthday…
…with lots of bass.
P.S. If you’re wondering if it’s ever hard to tell you this much about myself… and whether I question the wisdom of sharing so much… and whether I wonder if it is too much… the answer is yes, absolutely. But Naked Breakfast was a thing of joy, and I guess I’ve decided I’d rather be me out loud – including Naked Breakfast Me – than hide joy. I think we all face this question: how much of myself is it OK to be? I’ve picked All of Me as my answer.