Good morning, Thursday. Oy vey to the first week back meshugas. It's a bit much, innit?
So I'm fortunate to have been born in a year that starts a decade, and this year I turn the big 5-0. It's amazing to me that when I have these big birthdays marked by new decades for me, it's a new decade for the world as well. That's pretty serendipitous right?
And turning 50 has me stressed. not because it means getting old, getting hot flashes, or any assorted things that could occur. But because turning such an auspicious age requires a bit of ritual. In the form of a soiree. Or a big trip. Or something indulgent or delicious or spiritually motivated. And because I am who I am, I have always looked at the world's best party as the mark of how to celebrate. Truman Capote's Black and White Ball, pictured at the top of this post. Bianca Jagger on horseback at Studio 54. And of course, the very epic Malcom Forbes bash in Tangiers, Morocco (photos above), where his lavish digs played host to the likes of Liz Taylor. This was in 1989 and somehow, I remember it like yesterday as I'm a bit of a party nerd. I love the glam, epic blowouts of a historic nature. Sue me. At the time, his lavish lifestyle was a point of fascination to me- looking back now and realizing they sailed on the Lady Ghislaine (yes named for that Ghislaine) and was mostly filled with 80s era Republicans? Not so much.
And in my mind, I remembered this particular soiree being held in honor of Mr. Forbes's 50th birthday. So it caused me panic. Do I need to go big for my 50th? A Moroccan sojourn with all my nearest and dearest? Would Khan (my divine pup) need a kaftan? Scratch that. Several kaftans. Not to mention the number of kaftans I'd require...
Thing is, I am not a woman who enjoys self-celebration. It embarrasses me completely. I have rarely if ever held a birthday party for myself, and when I did, it made me feel weird. Don't think this is any kind of self-loathing. It's just I'm not the type to toot my own horn. Plus I hate putting people out or forcing them to celebrate ME. I know they want to, but you know what I mean.
But 50 feels different somehow. Because I'm clear and I'm happy and I'm grateful to be here and I am unequivocally, unapologetically ME. And lately I've been exploring a more spiritual approach to life handling that has led to an interest in ritual. And how rituals and celebrations to mark big occasions is important. And beautiful. And why should I hide myself from the world? So as this magical year of 50 comes full circle, I'll be thinking of how I can go big in my very own, mavenesque way. I may just decide to be quiet. But I doubt it. Chances are, the right ritual will come to me, guided by my beloved intuition and card carrying sense of self. No passport required for that, ps.
Oh and as for Malcom Forbes and that crazy, money dripping shindig? It was for his 70th. Quel relief. If I start saving now, you're all invited to Morocco in 20 years. If you are curious about this iconic party, read this fab archival piece from the Washington Post here. So good. A favorite excerpt here:
"The guests will have their hands washed with fragrant water before dinner," said Ruth Schwartz, the events planner responsible for all the arrangements, which required seven trips to Morocco from New York. "We have silverware for fastidious Americans, but we hope they'll dig in with their hands." Dinner was a great leveler. At least the cliques that had formed Friday were temporarily disbanded. Designer Calvin Klein and wife Kelly of the too-cool-for-words clique, who flew in on Rolling Stone Editor Jann Wenner's jet, had been hanging out with writer Fran Lebowitz and Barry Diller, the head of 20th Century Fox, but when they arrived at Forbes's party, by lottery they were handed tent assignments for dinner that didn't put them together. Not pleased".
Cause that's what's up this ritualistic Thursday in the magical 212. Yours, in decadent decades. Party on. XO