I made it 2017. It was super busy, extremely expensive and quite the challenge. Here are my top 15 experiences. I wanted to be more clever and have 17 but couldn’t do it. I could go in chronological order but this year was a huge blur and I had to consult my planner to remember so much of it.
- Biggest accomplishment: I turned 40. 40 seems so old and sometimes my body reminds me that it is. My husband’s former mattress was awful on my back and that made me feel old. But otherwise, I still think of myself as 32 and nothing really shakes me of that until I meet other 32 year olds.
- I got engaged. When I was turning 30, my coworker sat me down for an honest discussion of how I was quickly becoming an old maid. Another lady in the office confessed that she married her husband at forty. I thought: “Oh no. Does that mean that I will get married at forty?” Yes, that is exactly what that reassurance meant. I would be getting married at forty. Being engaged is a huge time suck and so much of my life was devoted to site visits and vendor interviews.
- I had an adult birthday party! My now-husband insisted on throwing me a real birthday party when he realized that I had never had one, except when I was 1. Of course, I tried to control things and was successful with some (I picked the location and food) and not on others (budget). It was great and I am forever grateful.
- I went to a yoga retreat. People rave about retreats and I went solo to prepare for crazy year I had ahead. It was different. I think my reluctance to drive was too my detriment because it really is in the middle of nowhere. So I took the train and still had a 75 min ride to the retreat. I also realized that I like bohemian things but not bohemian people. I have this same issue with my love of geeky things but not geeks.
- I made a vow to see a show a month.
- January – Liv Warfield, but it was really a concert of the three Prince backup singers. It was good but forgettable. Thanks planner!
- February – Ledisi. It was yet another Nina Simone tribute concert, plus at the Kennedy Center. So she steered away from some of her sexier songs. It was lovely seeing how moved she was to be in that legendary space and with Patrice Rushen. However, I wouldn’t call it a traditional Ledisi show.
- March – Hamilton! We got tickets by determination to see Hamilton on Broadway and it was simply amazing. It definitely lived up to the hype.
- April – It was a twofer. The Revolution. Prince’s original band reunited to pay homage to the late singer. I now wish they would have reunited when he was alive. Leela James and Daley. I really loved Daley and that’s all I got.
- May – Meshell N. I am too lazy to google the correct spelling of her last time. I am still mad at our Uber driver who got lost en route to the Kennedy Center and thus we had to stand. Takeaway: I was in love with her backup singer.
- June – Gladys Knight. I am an alto and hated being an alto because everyone loves sopranos in choir. So basically I had the Alicia Keys disease, but usefully as a child. So to cure me of that, my mom made me listen to Gladys Knight. It worked. I also saw Big Daddy Kane, who was great but cannot headline a show simply because he doesn’t think he has enough material. He relies heavily on radio hits and hey, throw some album cuts in there. No one will die.
- July- Isley Brothers. This was postponed to November. This is my husband’s favorite group, so he thinks this is the best thing that ever happened to him.
- August – I didn’t plan anything because this is when the money started getting funny.
- September – Dave Chappelle. I scrounged up some money to take my husband for our dating anniversary. Thankfully, it wasn’t wasted.
- October – Solange. She was definitely on “getting my spirit right” time. I buried how much A Seat at the Table resonated with me during a particularly difficult time of being a Black woman in a dismissive White space. However, it all came rushing back in the best way.
- November – Janet! She’s back and I still know the choreography
- December – Chris Rock at the Barclays. It snowed and the Barclays is a bit of a cluster. So I was thrown off a lot by how dysfunctional everything was. But we did sit by Zoe Kravitz.
- I went to South Africa.
- I wore great hats. My style for my regular traditions is getting better and better. I still wish that they would at least paint Pimlico in anticipation of Preakness. And we really had Diner en Blanc in the middle of Pennsylvania Ave which was a bit chaotic this year (shh!). Apparently, the organizing team isn’t into constructive criticism. Well, I had a great hat.
- I got my fitness back. I did successfully lose 15 pounds for the wedding. Yes, I’ll never be thin again. Yet, I can do jump squats and full scorpions. Plus tried trapeze, trap yoga, and pole fit classes.
- I made it into my birthday mate, Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrors exhibit. I wanted to surprise a friend with tickets via my DoD status. But I discovered that you had to go the day that you purchased the membership. Eh, I stay ready and made it in.
- I had the perfect bridal shower. We went on a lovely, chauffeured winery tour with lunch and two tastings. It was all I wanted.
- My Treat Yo Self day was epic this year. We went to the new spa at the Watergate. It still has some hiccups but has amazing potential.
- I became a pseudo-supervisor. This is harder than it looks on paper.
- NMAAHC. I became an Ambassador in fall of 2016 and who knew it would be the hottest place in town. Getting tickets to visit and attend events became the most competitive thing I have done in years. It was worth it though. We have a museum – for us, by us.
- My brain continued to rot but man, was tv awesome this year – Underground (RIP), Queen Sugar, Insecure, Master of None.
- I got married. It was a lot and I still have to write reviews of my vendors. Planning this wedding was one of the hardest things I have ever done for a myriad of reasons. I had some awesome vendors and great help. Some of my vision wasn’t realized but there were some eye-watering moments that I will cherish for a lifetime. And my family came to visit and some of them (ahem: granddaddy) never go anywhere. Plus, my cousins surprised me by driving 14 hours to come.
Now, this year wasn’t all sunshine and roses. I was in the world’s grumpiest golf league and despite the fact that the course in seven minutes from my house, I have my handicap goals to consider and cannot go back.
The season for some of my relationships are surely over. There is mourning period when you figure out that certain people won’t continue our journeys together. But it happens and you have to transition.