When I finally was home I felt sad. How is that even possible?
I am turning 60 tomorrow. Amazing numbers. Hard to grasp. I have decided to embrace it though, and why shouldn’t I, I have every reason to! And the best way to do that is a real party. And the best place for a Maria party is Restaurant Maria!
Today is the day after. I am stranded on my couch having a hard time verbalizing my feelings and the events of the event. I guess the one word that would work is amazed. But let’s add overwhelmed. Happy. And incredibly grateful.
26 out of my friends and family had chosen to come celebrate this day with me, having a three-course sit down dinner at Restaurant Maria in Umeå, conducted by the devoted and shamelessly flirtatious owner Sirwan. That’s a good start just there!
My evening though took off with Hawkar, who works for my home care company, picking me up in his Kurdish birthday/wedding decorated car, that’s the first surprise! Pink fabric draped over the hood, flowers at the front and on the mirrors. I laughed my head off and was so moved by this loving gift. And that’s how I arrived at the party, actually wearing a gorgeous fair coat I am hiding at the far back of my closet. In company with my bodyguard.
My guests were a motley collection from all through my life. From my oldest friend Ulrika and my sister who both have been there since I was two, to Hawkar who started working with me in October. They all got to know each other over the chèvre toast, the beef tenderloin, the char, the salmon and finally the cake, specially delivered from the patisserie in Nordmaling where my father was a pastry chef and composed this special cake, Martin’s Special.
As my fundamental feeling about myself is that I am toxic and I feel sorry for everyone who has to be around me, inviting people to spend time with me is a hard thing for me to do. Add to that, asking them to pay part of their dinner, and the anxiety attack is close.
Imagine my astonishment when Hummerklubben (my friends who gather once a year after Christmas for the famous lobster soup) performed an Acrostic, a piece of art on adjectives describing me, on the letters of my name! And the adjectives were all…nice…and that’s an understatement. My sister and brother in law had written an initiated and fun chronicle of my life in ten verses, which everybody joined in and sang to me. Trouble 2 told the long and entertaining story about my father’s cake, and Trouble 1 and his middle school friend Anders performed for the first time a new song by Trouble 1, Storm Bells, which left everyone, and especially me, breathless.
I couldn’t believe this all happened. It was actually hard to take in.
Then everybody who wanted and was able to danced, I had worked long and hard on the perfect playlist, that is, perfect for my generation. And why, anyway, are the youngsters so lame when it comes to dancing?
At around 2 AM Hawkar and his friend Nihad drove me back home. I had started my day with my back pretty much acute not knowing how I could get through the day. It surely wasn’t a day to be on stage. And here I was, having had the most amazing evening. I was so tired, nearly falling asleep to the beautiful sounds from the Kurdish language, which I don’t understand. Like a lullaby.
But back in the house I suddenly felt sad. And my Post Social Anxiety hit me. Which always happens when I have taken up a lot of space. As on this occasion I was the space, I was the stage, the PSA was severe.
About the sadness, I remembered once hearing a musician talking about the on tour life and the hotel rooms after the concerts. He said, the greater the show had been - the more connection with the audience, the emptier the hotel room was afterwards. The discrepancy became a hole. I think that’s where I ended up in the early morning hours.