Back when I was planning my 25th birthday extravaganza, I got teased a lot. I was an adult planning my own birthday party, so I realized a few jokes might come with the territory.
All that teasing was worth it, though, when I overheard my dad telling my mom how glad he was I was carrying on our family's legacy of celebration.
That concept -- a legacy of celebration -- is something I want to blog about in more detail at a later time, but for now, I want you to know: It is okay to celebrate.
I'm not advocating some blowout party in which you go into debt and rent out a humongous venue and expect your friends to buy you gifts from Tiffany's. (Though in some circles, sadly, people call those weddings.)
But I am telling you it's okay to throw a party. Any kind of party. A birthday party. A book club get-together. A dinner gathering. An outdoor barbecue. A party where people share their favorite things. A party where people come and go. A party where people stay all night. A party celebrating life and love and friends and family. A potluck. A happy hour. A thanksgiving meal.
Life's too short to wait on someone else to start celebrating for you.
Maybe it's dumb to throw yourself a birthday party. Maybe that's just not what "grown-ups" do.
But here's the thing: Making it through this life relatively unscathed is worth celebrating. Another year of breath is worth celebrating. The older you become, the more, really, your life is worth celebrating.
Tonight, I'm helping my cousin celebrate her 18th birthday. I've been buying drinks and fun colored straws. I've been setting up photobooths and plotting out games. I've developed a playlist and brainstormed food ideas.
I am doing it, of course, because I love her.
But I am also doing it because one day, when she's 25, or 43, or 58, I want her to remember that life is worth throwing a party for.
A blog reader once asked what I thought about throwing yourself a party. She wondered, I think, whether it was something Emily Post would approve.
I have to say that as much as I appreciate good manners, I really don't care one lick what Emily Post thinks about throwing a party for yourself. Whether it's busy-ness or intimidating Pinterest boards or hectic schedules or "I'm-too-mature-for-that" ideology, celebration kind of peters out as we get older, and it's a shame. I think it's maybe time to bring celebration back, by whatever means you deem appropriate.
And you know what? I think Emily Post would probably say it's okay.