50th birthday coming up
July 19, 2009 11:01 AM   Subscribe

The big five-O is coming up for me in August. Does this mean that I have to do something especially significant and particularly memorable? I don't want hubby to throw a party...although I do like to attend parties. Actually, I'd like to take a little trip somewhere alone--is that selfish? How did you celebrate your 50th birthday?
posted by sandra194 to Society & Culture (16 answers total)
It's your 50th. Celebrate it your way. You only get one.

If you want to go on a trip, ask the people who want to give you a gift to put some money into a fund that you use to pay for the holiday?
posted by Solomon at 11:14 AM on July 19, 2009 [1 favorite]

It's your birthday. Do whatever you want, whiners be damned.

OK, maybe go out to dinner with a few special folks, if they're going to be hurt otherwise.

I am only 27, so perhaps I lack the perspective that being closer to 50 would provide. *shrug* That being said, after a few horrific birthday parties, I plan to celebrate the rest of my birthdays forever with a solo motorcycle trip. And dinner with my best friend.
posted by mollymayhem at 11:31 AM on July 19, 2009

I've done a number of birthdays alone instead of with others. Even part of a day alone can be a great reflective and refreshing time. I've done overnights to places of natural beauty, but I've also stayed in or near my home and gone to botanical gardens, bookstores, and restaurants where I could take all the time I wanted.

That said, capping the day off with a nice dinner with a few close friends can be nice, too.
posted by BlooPen at 11:34 AM on July 19, 2009

On my dad's side of the family, every 50th is celebrated with a trip to Vegas. It just seems to fit the occasion. Plus the city is super cheap right now.
posted by martens at 11:40 AM on July 19, 2009

I spent my 30th alone in a cabin I rented out; 3 days cooking for myself, reading and sunbathing. It does feel like some milestone birthdays deserve a bit of solitude as they can be great times to do your own private balance and have time to dream and plan what's ahead. Yet, even though I knew my loved ones would understand my decision, I also knew they'd love to be part of the memories of that day. So I compromised and on the day of my birthday (which was, conveniently, a saturday) they joined me for lunch (the cabin was a 3 hour drive away).
posted by lucia__is__dada at 11:50 AM on July 19, 2009

For my mom's 50th, my brother and I visited (it was kind of a surprise that we did) and we went to her favorite restaurant. That was it. That's what she wanted and I think that was more special to her than anything else would've been.

I love presents and all of that, but mostly, for me, my birthdays have become about celebrating myself. I may take some sort of trip to visit family or friends but it can just be that sometimes I'll buy myself something or do something special for myself (this year, I opened my two-year-old bottle of Dogfish Head's Fort).

So I'd say if you want to go off somewhere by yourself, that's what you want. If you don't want to do anything at all, that's fine too. It's your birthday. It should be about you.

(I'd say if your friends/family want to celebrate it, go out to dinner before or after the actual day. That might take some of the pressure off in terms of the actual day's significance.)
posted by darksong at 12:05 PM on July 19, 2009

Mr. gudrun and I had a nice meal at my favorite place, and my workmates gave me a low key party (they wanted to do a party, and I said ok if it was low key). In other words, my family and friends asked what I wanted and then honored my wishes. Nthing that it is your birthday. Do what you want.
posted by gudrun at 12:32 PM on July 19, 2009

I'm planning to go to Hawaii, where I have never been, purely so I can make Hawaii 5-0 jokes.
posted by CunningLinguist at 1:08 PM on July 19, 2009 [5 favorites]

You never have to do anything in particular for your birthday, you just sort for the thing that feels authentic and right for you and then you do that. I wish I'd spent my 30th in as cool a fashion as lucia_is_dada did.

Make a memory for yourself that you feel proud of, that will make you happy to look back on. There's no selfishness about it--it's your birthday. Do what pleases you.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 1:35 PM on July 19, 2009

I did absolutely nothing for my 50th. Couldn't afford to even have a party. I think I make have made a pizza or something.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:41 PM on July 19, 2009

Went around the world and made a pilgrimage around Mt Kailash.
posted by Xurando at 2:22 PM on July 19, 2009

I think we had a party (since DH and I turned 50 within days of each other). Or maybe we took a trip? Hang on, it was a nice dinner out. Geez, who the fuck can remember, at our age.
posted by nax at 2:40 PM on July 19, 2009

My two best friends since the 6th grade and I (all turning 50) are going to get together and celebrate. What we do is not as important as that we do it together.
posted by acrasis at 2:43 PM on July 19, 2009

Actually, I'd like to take a little trip somewhere alone--is that selfish?

Do what works for you - it's your birthday.

My employer gives us a day off for our birthday [you can choose any day of the week your birthday falls in]. I took a day-long scenic train excursion that I'd been thinking I 'must do' for years but had never found the time.
posted by HiroProtagonist at 7:58 PM on July 19, 2009

As a younger man, I enjoyed drinking a celebratory toast each year, in a good single malt Scotch that was older than I was. As I grew older, it became harder and harder to find Scotch that had been laid down before I was born, and what I could find that fit that criterion got exponentially more expensive for each passing year. So, for my 50th, I just drank twice as much 25 year old whisky as ever I did before, and that seemed to work out fine.

Really, really looking forward to my 75th birthday...
posted by paulsc at 9:13 PM on July 19, 2009

On my 50th birthday I stayed at my sister's house and annoyed everyone within earshot to no end by walking around, kicking up my leg and announcing in Molly Shannon/Sally O'Malley style, "I'm fifty...I can kick and I can stretch...I'm FIFTY!!!!" They all still laugh about it, and so do I. Of course, copious amounts of alcohol were involved. But, hey I'm still kicking, just not as high.
posted by wv kay in ga at 4:57 PM on July 20, 2009

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