A very merry 40th Birthday (mostly because it wasn’t mine).

Bryan's 40th birthday party

Bryan turned The Big 40 on December 10th, so I threw him a big party in Seattle this weekend for all his friends to celebrate with us. I want to give a big shout out to our friends, Nate & Beth Grigg for hosting the party in their lovely home! Apparently it was a practice run for them since they both turn 40 next month.

(oops, did I say that OUT LOUD Nate?)

The highlight of the evening was the Good Things Rapid Discovery Slam in which a few of us presented cool things inspired by or that remind us of Bryan (detailed explanation here). I read the following essay, written especially for this occassion:

On making an entrance into my life

You came to a BBQ at a house filled with single women, setting out your green salad with mandarin oranges, almonds, and a poppy seed dressing. Sitting there next to the bags of chips and buckets of KFC brought by lesser men, that salad made its first move on your behalf.

You get there first, and you make an entrance.

You came to the office for a meeting one day, and stopped by my desk to say hello. I mentioned we were all going to a show next month, and did you want us to get you a ticket.

“I’d love to take a beautiful woman to a show,” you said, and before I knew it, the group outing became a date.

You get there first, and you make an entrance.

And then I remember sitting at a table across from you in a loud, smokey room, drinking something pink and eating something wrapped, feeling that familiar panic of what-if’s and how-do-you-know’s. I’d pushed back on lesser men before, and they all went away into history, leaving behind affirmations of fear.

But when I pushed back on you with my what-if’s and how-do-you-know’s, you anchored me with you eyes, and said you’d keep asking until I said no.

You get there first, and you make an entrance.

So I followed you off into the sunset, knowing our destination lies somewhere between limitless possibilities and certain painful death. But as they say in our song:

We’re sailing on a strange sea
blown by a strange wind
Carrying the strangest crew
that ever sinned

We’re living in a strange time
working for a strange goal
We’re turning flesh and body
into soul

You set our course on this Strange Boat way back during those salad days. I didn’t know it then, but I know you knew it, because that’s how you roll in this set-up upset reset life.

So I raise a glass to you, Bryan Zug, on this, your 40th birthday. Thank you for setting our course as we follow after that Strange Star.

Maybe others came this way before you, but you got here first, and you made an entrance.

3 thoughts on “A very merry 40th Birthday (mostly because it wasn’t mine).”

  1. Thank you for sharing that essay Jen. I’m sorry I wasn’t there to celebrate with you all. Know that you all have become like family to me and I couldn’t have asked for a greater blessing if I knew what to ask for. Love you guys!

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