60 and not out: How to celebrate birthdays as we get older?
A recent experience with an adult birthday party made me wonder how best to mark such occasions when getting to fifty and above.
Last weekend, I went to an old pal's sixtieth birthday party, and it wasn't obvious she wanted to celebrate this particular coming of age.
We were asked not to bring presents; there were no candles on the cake and please no singing of 'Happy Birthday' either.
Speeches were outlawed, although I managed to sneak in an extended toast in her undoubted honour and to her many achievements.
Naturally, we are free to gather for this or any other age milestone as we see fit and as modestly or extravagantly as we can afford or choose.
So what about your 60th or another birthday? What were the rules you laid down if you've already had it? If it's yet to come, what will you ban/insist upon/enjoy most?
For my 60th birthday party, I wanted to camp out in the bush with all the food cooked over an open fire. If you didn't like sleeping in tents or snakes, tough luck.
Some accused me of not including everyone, so there was also a tamer gathering by the city beach.
Of late, I've also been invited to a birthday bash at a posh and costly restaurant, and guests are expected to pay for their supper upfront! Our host has admitted the cost will exclude some old friends but says it's what they want.
So you can see these birthdays come in all shapes and sizes and with just a little baggage and expectation. It's a fascinating and sometimes exasperating mix.
However, every birthday in my book is worth celebrating, and the older you get, the noisier it should be.
Do you agree? Would you expect your guests to pay for their food or even BYOG for this kind of senior celebration?