I've had a lot of fun the past couple of days celebrating this big birthday. Yesterday my friend J.T. was in town for an important church meeting. He got a 7-0 vote from the interview team of the board of ordained ministry. The unanimous vote means he's set for ordination in June at the church's annual conference. It's been a long journey, so this is particularly great news. (There have been additional steps he's had to go through after having been ordained in another denomination, to over-simplify the explanation.)
So last night we had dinner together to celebrate his great news as well as both of our birthdays. He noted that between us, we were celebrating a century of life! (YIKES!) We dined to excess at the Deep Fork restaurant in Oklahoma City, a very nice, very beautiful special-occasion place. The waiters heard us talking about celebrating and treated us to appetizers and a to-die-for dessert. And guess what! J.T. gave me the new Billie Letts book! I'm so excited, I'll probably read the whole thing tomorrow! (I gave him Jimmy Carter's "Sharing Good Times." I hope he enjoys it as much as I know I'll enjoy Letts' book.)
Then, we enjoyed some mighty fine theater, a production of "Three-Penny Opera." Now, this was a small production played before an even smaller audience in a tiny theater on the lower level of the Civic Center Music Hall. I promise you I am not lying when I tell you there were more people in the cast than in the audience. Honest to Pete. Our seats were on row C, seats 7 and 8. Well... Row C turns out to be the front row, and there are only eight seats per row. That means two rows of similar size behind us, and not all the seats were filled. You do the math. The two side sections were completely empty. In addition, it was a cabaret-type performance, so the hard-working actors were literally in our faces, sometimes embarrassingly so. I think I should send some of the young ladies some additional Velcro to help keep their costumes (and body parts) in place. All in all, it was an entertaining, yet strange, event.
Today an e-mail friend from the Chicago area, whom I'd not yet met in person, was in town and we met for lunch. That was also fun, yet strangely interesting. Twice he excused himself from the table. The second time, he had left a credit card to pay the bill. During his absence, the waitress returned asking for a different card because it had been declined. For a few minutes, I started wondering if he had stiffed me and left me holding the bag. He hadn't, thankfully. I mean, I would gladly pay the bill for lunch with a close friend, but when he returned he argued with the manager, an exchange I wish hadn't happened.
Happily, I got some work done this afternoon before going to dinner with my friends in the singles group at my church. We went to Charleston's and had a great dinner. They even brought presents! Girly presents! Like candles, jewelry, good smell-um stuff and flowers. And I got another free dessert.
I have to say, turning 50 is fattening. But the greatest thing has been spending so much time with so many great friends. I'll spend a little extra time on the treadmill any time I can do that. It's worth the trade-off!