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Once upon a time you turned of age and your parents used to organise a huge party for you and your friends (and for themselves and their friends, actually). We all looked forward to those parties and spent some of the best years of our lives strolling up and down the peninsula to partake in the various balls. We used to call them that: balls. We travelled in small groups to reach our destinations (often in the countryside) where we literally overran little pensions or small hotels nearby like high-schoolers at a field trip. We met old friends coming from every part of Italy and abroad and made new friends, danced a lot, drunk a lot, smoked a lot, every now and then somebody even vomited a lot  (those were the late ’80s, until the mid ’90s, people still used to nurture a lot of bad habits: we used to call all these activities, collectively, “having fun”). We ravished in bliss.

Then the time came when we all had turned of age since long before and all the 18th birthday balls’ fun simply vanished. It was the time of university and exams, which actually was possibly even funnier, but did not offer those outstanding occasions to gather from all over Italy. And after that the wedding parties era started but – with some remarkable exceptions – they were not comparable to the 18th b-day balls in the slightest. We all were adult or at least much maturer, more dignified, more disillusioned. The period of the christenings and so on I don’t even want to mention. Thus you just acknowledge that those days are gone and will never come back because none of you is the young, hopeful, outgoing bud you used to be, so there’s little or no chance to meet altogether again as if it were yesterday, so spontaneously and gleefully. Finished. 

But then the first 50th birthday party card comes in…

 50-year-olds are just as restless as 18-year-olds, but don’t have any lack of self confidence or shyness. They desperately want to party, they fancy partying and also have money to put on it. They just throw themselves into the fray, grooving to the beat of music and forgetting everything else (including behaving sometimes: they have been spending the last 30 years or so of their lives selfbehaving, don’t bother doing it while celebrating their birthday). They eat a lot, drink a lot, dance a lot but thanks God they usually also hold their booze. And they don’t disdain singing as the case may be.

In their turn, the happy lot of the 50-year-olds’ friends don’t hesitate to embrace with enthusiasm whichever peculiar initiative possibly connected with the “theme” of the party: fake moustaches, wigs, 70s costumes, no matter what.  So Saturday we were in Milan at the Circolo Del Giardino at Giuseppe and Riccardo’s birthday, men very “movemberly” wearing moustaches and women covered in diamonds. That was the theme at least. Pretty neutral, isn’t it? Well, I spotted a very dignified gentleman sporting a huge pair of soft pink plush moustache. People dancing in boa feathers and spit and polished professionals singing with the orchestra with the abandon of Fado singers.

Last month we were in Côte d’Azur all dressed up like the Bee Gees and the ABBAs according to the ’70s theme for Stefano’s surprise party.   

Maybe the least “extreme” theme was that of Antonio’s party earlier in September: “stardust”… But Antonio had a secret weapon that nobody could expect. He was celebrating his 50 together with his auntie who was celebrating her 70 and it was… wicked! The lady is as smart as a whip and so very classy (she wore an embroidered white gown that was to die for, actually). We were loads of people from 30something to 80something and we “youngsters” went on dancing until late night.  Pink, green and white wigs, people with their ties tied around their head and somebody doing the robot dance as in an early ’80s coreography. I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe…

So, when it comes to celebrating, it appears 50 is the new 18 and 70 is the new 50: the older you get the funnier it is.

Now is the winter of our discontent made glorious summer by this sun of mature people.

Let’s see what comes next ☺️