Hau’oli la Hanau!

My birthday is fast approaching.  I have always viewed birthdays as a time to celebrate.  Perhaps in my 20s they were an excuse to celebrate.  This year, my birthday celebrations will be executed in a three-phased plan.

One week ago, nine days before my actual birthday, I flew to NYC one day early for a business trip.  Lucky for me, my boyfriend made quite a bit of effort to meet me in the city.  We booked a room in a fun and funky hotel, one of those modern rooms that has a magical keypad to control the climate and the lighting.  I liked the sparse furniture and clean white décor but the best part was the shower! It featured a rainforest shower head and a fancy bench inside the shower. Too bad I didn’t need to shave my legs, that would have been quite convenient. Our day was spent exploring Times Square, stopping in front of “The Late Show” studios, and strolling through Central Park like good tourists.  We enjoyed lovely Spring weather and a ton of laughs together.  The next morning, much to my delight, we went to Chelsea Market to grab a quick lunch and spent the afternoon walking the High Line.  I was surprised to such a variety of sculptures along the High Line.  Because of the nice weather, there were a lot of people up there.  We saw kids running around, parents pushing strollers, and young people drinking coffees.  The trees bloomed with colorful blossoms, the grass areas were such a bright green color, and the sky was clear with a few puffy clouds hanging high. This was a really nice way to enjoy the City.  We walked hand in hand, talking about everything and nothing, stopping to take obligatory selfies.  And when we stopped, I enjoyed hearing the variety of languages around us. I had been wanting to walk the High Line for years, since I had first heard of it’s existence, but my business trips to NYC rarely leave time for leisure activities, other than late night dinners or cocktails with friends.  Spending time with him felt like the best way to kick off my birthday celebrations.  We have a connection that doesn’t require external distractions to keep us entertained.  In fact, my favorite moments are the quiet ones together.  His brain fascinates me, his humor entertains me and his smile delights me, what more could I want?

When I returned to LA, my girlfriends had planned a fun three D evening to celebrate birthdays for two of us:  dinner, drinks and dancing.  Three of my girlfriends who I have known for over 30 years were involved in the planning.  I added six of my newer friends to the mix and away we went.  Dinner was delightful, we didn’t overindulge in food or drink but somehow, a man at a table nearby decided to purchase us a round or two of sake. After dinner, we deliberated about where to go first.  Apparently, there is a “club” nearby that I will call the One Hundred Club.  We heard they had dancing so we followed one of our friends there.  She took us to a dark doorway that looked like an elevator or a stainless steel refrigerator door.  There was a trail on the ground that led to a keypad with blue lights and she just started pushing buttons there.  Suddenly, the door was opened and we were ushered inside to a bar with TVs, a pool table, small booths, large booths, no dance floor and face to face with a group of sort of middle aged Caucasian men, staring at us.  Did I mention we were a group of nine ethnic women?  I might add, we are all extremely beautiful women.  My friends represented a multitude of Asian and Latin countries by ethnicity with a strong representation of Hawaiian born beauties.  We definitely turn heads when we go out but unknowingly walking into a “members only” club was quite an experience.  It is a cliché to mention the “record scratch” sound effect so let me say that we stopped everything in the club.  AA asked me what I wanted to drink a proceeded towards the bar when the adorable waitress with the Russian accent asked us, “Who is the member?”  My blue light button pushing friend responded by saying, “Yeah, so that is what I wanted to ask…”  The waitress walked away to speak to her manager to ask if we could order a drink and promptly returned to walk us back to the door.  Once we were all safely exited from the private speakeasy,  HO said, “Did we just get kicked OUT of a bar?  That has never happened to me.  This is a great night!”  Chatter ensued about the speak easy, the creepy clientele, the Russian waitress and just the strange vibe we all felt inside the private club.  Next stop, a restaurant/lounge that has dancing. 

The scene here was a typical beach city bar scene.  A few people were dressed in LA fashions, a few more were much more beach casual.  Faces were mostly young, 20somethings and 30somethings.  The music was loud and the drinks were strong.  What more could a birthday girl ask for as part of her celebration?  Someone handed me a shot of Patron, glasses clinked and I headed for the dance floor.  One of my favorite past times with MB has been to imitate people on the dance floor who just can’t seem to count to four.  That always produces minutes of entertainment.  MP enjoys working the sexy sexy dance moves up close and personal with random attractive people on the dance floor, gender be damned.  When there are no hot strangers near by, she will just choose one of us.

As the evening progressed, there were make-out sessions all around us, including a couple within our group.  We took over the dance floor, enjoyed participation with cute boys.  It was fun to sweat out the Patron shot with friends, for old times sake.  I hadn’t been dancing for about three years.  In fact, my closet had been rid of “clubbing” gear and replaced with corporate dinner attire.  I suppose I thought that my engagement and short-lived marriage meant no more fun, sweaty nights up in the club with the girls.  Actually, I decided I was over the meat market scene.  I really enjoy dancing with the girls but I am so over dealing with the pick-up lines and BS from men.  I need to start crashing wedding receptions, bar mitzvahs and quincineras so I continue to get my boogie on and celebrate.

My real birthday is on Tuesday.  Unfortunately, it is a work night so I have no expectations to go out with friends.  My daughter and I will either go get massages and have a quick dinner out or we will go to our favorite Italian restaurant for homemade and gelato.  Birthdays were always very important in my family. Big parties with lots of food like grilling rib eyes in the backyard, mom’s homemade lumpia and pancit in the kitchen, and a chocolate dobash or Paradise cake from King’s Hawaiian Bakery. This year, I am turning 44 and I feel like huge changes are on the horizon.  Perhaps I will change careers or move to a new company.  Whatever is to come, I know that my life is ripe for creating new happy memories and being filled with lots of love. 

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