I'm officially 28. My birthday was yesterday and now I am officially in my late twenties.
I wish I could fit in and say I am freaking out but I kinda feel fine. I freaked out for a minute and now I'm fine. I brought 28 in watching Bewitched (an oh-so-thoughtful gift from my husband), laughing, and eating (for the very last time since it is closing forever) at the Pepe's in Chicago Ridge with some of my favorite people. I spent my day with my husband, my two favorite little boys, my parents, my grandparents, and my sister and her husband. I spent my first evening of 28 laughing while Jackie was adorably yelling at me, "You get nuffing! I get sumfing!" and Charlie ordering me to tell the waiter we need more salsa ("No, Sera Cupcakes, stop talking to Ryan. Tell the other man we need more salsas. And more chips.").
The location was pretty special even if the food isn't great. I've been going to Pepe's since I was a little kid. I can remember my late grandpa taking me there in fifth grade, just me, when I was sad because kids were bullying me. "Come on, let's go out, Rosie. Just me and you." I felt so special and so worthy. The food will always be mediocre but the company will always be cool.
It was in that corner booth that my Grandpa Pat said, "Who cares what those other kids say? Know what you say back? 'That insult will be SO funny to me when you are pumping my gas in twenty years.'"I miss him and sitting there eating our last meal ever reminded me of him and his tough love. It reminded me of learning to be an assertive and strong woman. It reminded me of good report cards. It reminded me of my older brother who lives so far away. It reminded me of high school evenings spent in those booths with old friends and the years that have passed since then. It reminded me of pouring my heart out to my cousins over RC. It reminded me of so many things that can happen at a franchise restaurant table.
I walked out of our family favorite yesterday with a smile in my heart. I was turning 28 and life was going to be fine. I had spent the evening with some of my favorite people, laughing and smiling. Our family's favorite trashy restaurant was closing but I was going to be kind of fine.
I am 28 now and life is so good.