Once Upon a Time, I Cooked Breakfast. Naked. At Someone Else’s House. This Morning.

Once upon a time, I cooked breakfast.


At someone else’s house.

This morning.

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.

Practically dead.

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…

Painted in Waterlogue

…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.

P.P.S. If you’d rather read about Jesus, you can click here or here or here.

P.P.P.S. If you want to read more about body image, you can click here or here.

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22 responses to “Once Upon a Time, I Cooked Breakfast. Naked. At Someone Else’s House. This Morning.”

  1. I would never, ever ever do this but if someone else did it to me, I would laugh my jiggly bum off. I would laugh until there were no tears left. I would laugh so hard I would never physically be able to be sad again. You rock

  2. As someone who is about to turn the big 5-0 in a few weeks, I’m not sure how I feel about this. I haven’t let myself be crazy since I was 18 years old. I feel ancient. I need your boldness to rub off on me. : (

  3. Soooo… I currently live in Florida and I am 48. My baby boy (age almost 27) lives in Portland. I’m thinking I might be able to swing a move in the next 18 months (when I’ll be 50). If I do, can I join your family? Because I REALLY want to be an Auntie too!

  4. Thank you, Beth, you’ve done it again! For years, as we plodded through, my friend and I have asked each other, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” and neither of us had an answer. Now we are both widows and in our (ahem) late 50’s and still weren’t real sure, but by golly, I think you’ve nailed it! We are/want to be “Aunties”.

  5. This is far and away my new favorite post!!! I’m 40 next year and I’m genuinely excited about the permission to revel in the fabulous forties. People giggle nervously but sometimes they just need permission to let it all hang out, literally and figuratively… It’s way more fun than being all repressed and wishing to be free and enjoy the moment. I recommend your blog to everyone who needs to loosen up, you rock all the time!

  6. I absolutely adore you out loud! It’s how I blog/write, although you sing it in a way I’m still trying to figure out.

    Also, for the first time turning 50 doesn’t sound so bad. I have a big ol’ Auntie inside of me just waiting to burst out in a few years!

  7. Ok. So I am a little bit “sweet” but rule-breaky. I LOVE this! But I am way more sensible than sweet, and I found myself hoping for hot splattered sake that bacon wasn’t involved. Also, I am a little bit jealous – I am 55 (!) In 5 years will you come cook me breakfast? Actually, I’ve decided that 60 is the new 40 anyway.

  8. Whoa.

    For the first time in the 9 months since I began planning the 50th birthday child-free vacay for my lovely wife…I’m thinking I could have gotten off cheaper. I mean, Cozumel was quite wonderful for the two of us, but this seems…wow.

  9. LOVE IT! I only hope to be this bold and true to myself when i get to this age! The indelible marker on the behinds is ROCKSTAR!

    Fabulous days to you! 🙂

  10. I’ve decided I would rather be me out loud () than hide joy….

    I think I just found my New mantra. Just need to find a naked breakfast victim now I guess…. or maybe I need someone to come and do it for me

  11. I wouldn’t be surprised if your 50 year old friend never realized that he’d always dreamed about having 2 naked women cook him breakfast until it happened…

  12. I love you. You have been a huge part of my ability to give myself permission to be my authentic self. Thank you! I’ve been doing my best to pay it forward too

  13. And here I was hiding my love for this song because I thought people would think I was weird ; ) Thank you for not being afraid to live with joy, out loud!!!!!

  14. Ok, so this post just kicked the pee in the bathtub post out of first place for me. I LOVE naked breakfast and maybe your Aunties have been my people all along. Um, is swimming naked not in the dark something we’re NOT supposed to do?

  15. I kind of maybe just a little bit want to be an Auntie. I am slowly learning to accept the bits of myself that are just a little bit weird and wonderful. To be me out loud instead of hiding joy. I don’t know if that will ever extend to Naked Breakfast, maybe I’ll just sew that Renaissance cloak I’ve always wanted and wear it somewhere spectacular.

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