50 shades of freaking out (and one shade of grey)

My ex is turning 50 this weekend and it’s freaking me out on so many levels.

First level … my ex is turning the big 5-0. How on earth is the wild 24-year-old I first met waaaaay back in the early ’90s turning 50?

That’s just SCARY.

I’ve only known DD since he was post-50, so it seems completely normal that he’s … mature … like a fabulous shiraz.

It’s the photographs of DD as a young fella that mess with my head – I can’t quite reconcile that dark-haired, 20-something uni student with the person I love now. I’m not interested in that fresh-faced version of him either, I don’t yearn to turn back the clock. I’m perfectly happy with the bloke I’m cuddling now.

But my ex, despite the grey hair, should NOT be 50. It’s just WRONG. It’s a disturbing reminder that I am getting old. I don’t like getting old. I want it to stop.

Second level … I’m freaking out about what to get my ex for his 50th as a gift from the kids.

I was at Bunnings the other day and briefly considered getting him a kettle BBQ because he’s such a chef these days, but then I remembered his infamous line during our darkest days: “Happiness is not to be found in a new BBQ, Alana.”

So I decided he might think the gift had smart-arse connotations. I mean, smart-arse connotations aren’t such a bad thing considering our history, but I don’t think they’re appropriate on his 50th … me being a champion of “doing the right thing” and all that.

I’m thinking a 50th birthday requires something special to cherish. But as the ex I’m not entirely sure about boundaries. Anything too personal seems … well … too personal. It should be bought by SSF, not me, even if it’s the kids handing it to him.

Maybe he’d like a watch? I don’t know. I stopped understanding what he’d like a long time ago.

Third level … He’s having a birthday party the weekend after this one.

It clashes with the year 6 cocktail party, so that will feel a bit freaky too, as some of my friends had to choose between the two functions. I’m not invited to the party because SSF will be there as the arm decoration and it might be (would definitely be) awkward.

Oh, and there’s also a family celebration with his parents and siblings and the kids over Easter.

I’m not invited to that either, which is totally understandable and completely fine. SSF is probably going to that too, though it’s not something we’ve discussed.

Separation inevitably means not being part of those celebrations any more, though it’s lovely that I’ve been invited to two Christmasses with his family post-separation.

But it will still feel a bit freaky, not being there. You spend 23 years with someone and imagine you will grow old together and look jointly and fondly on your grandchildren from your matching front porch rocking chairs as they gambol on your front lawn and then suddenly the future completely upends itself.

There will be no matching rocking chairs or joint care of grandchildren during school holidays. There will be sharing of the grandchildren between my ex and his partner and me and mine.

I’d imagine even the communication will have petered out by then to the occasional sporadic message. Not much need to talk to each other anymore, other than for weddings and the like.

But I’m getting ahead of myself here. There’s just a 50th birthday gift to navigate. All that other stuff is many years away.

And I have NO idea what to get him.

Any suggestions?

Song of the day: Rick James “Super freak”

8 thoughts on “50 shades of freaking out (and one shade of grey)

Add yours

  1. Ask the kids… since its from them… take them to the shops & if they want to, get him a watch – they should pick it, or if they decide he would like a bread maker, or whatever… otherwise its not from them…

  2. Haha. Hubby did get a new BBQ for his 50th and he can actually cook on it (no more incineration – or perhaps that was related to the quantity of wine consumed while bbqing rather than the quality of the appliance), so there is happiness in a new bbq here!
    The last birthday gift my ex got was being told that I was moving out. I think it was his 34th.

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