Thirty-Seven!

by Erin on August 12, 2008


cakedress

"One absinthe drinker had a mania which made it impossible for him to see a blue silk dress without attempting to set it on fire. He was arrested on a national fête day for having put his lighted cigar to no fewer than thirty-seven dresses."

As some of you have winkled, it is indeed my birthday today, and I claim thirty-seven years on this fête day (although I do NOT countenance the torching of blue silk dresses today or any day, under the influence of absinthe or not). Hurrah!

Searching on "thirty-seven" got me (in addition to the marvelous excerpt above) some other real gems:

"There is nothing extraordinary in the existence of a beautiful, vivacious, attractive woman of thirty-seven, nothing strange in the fact that lovers should collect about her … still the situation is unusual, to say the least … thirty-seven is a very good age, a very good age indeed — if Lady Matilda would only think so, and would only show that she thinks so. Why there are plenty of ladies who are quite passé by thirty or thirty-five — they are full-grown women, they think sensibly and talk sensibly about their children and servants and domestic affairs — those are the things that ought to interest women of Lady Matilda's time of life." (found here)

She was a woman of thirty-seven, rather tall and plump, without being fat; she was not pretty, but her face was pleasing, chiefly, perhaps, on account of her kind brown eyes. Her skin was rather sallow. Her dark hair was elaborately dressed. She was the only woman of the three whose face was free of make-up, and by contrast with the others she seemed simple and unaffected. (from here)

September, 1856, when she was thirty-seven years old, marked the beginning of her effort to become a writer of fiction. She had always desired to write a novel, but she believed herself "deficient in dramatic power both of construction and dialogue," although feeling that she would be at ease "in the descriptive parts of a novel." (about George Eliot)

A Lady about thirty-seven years of age, having an oval face, represented in nearly a front view. She has on a white cap, and wears a very large full ruff, edged with lace, and a black silk dress, and is adorned with a cluster of gold chains, suspended round the neck, and reaching down to the bodice. Dated 1633. (from here)

Oh, and in other birthday news, Rita celebrates her birthday this month, and is offering 15% off at her site, Cemetarian … use the code "Birthday".

Hope you all have marvelous days today, whether it's your birthday or not. (But extra-marvelous if it's your birthday.)

{ 64 comments… read them below or add one }

the_lazymilliner August 12, 2008 at 2:10 pm

If 37 is lovely, 38 is even lovelier! Again, happy birthday, Erin.

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Anonymous August 12, 2008 at 2:11 pm

Happy birthday! What a great idea–I’ll have to search (cough) forty-two.Tina W

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xstpenguin August 12, 2008 at 2:11 pm

And why not? A dress made of cake would be the ultimate in stunt dressing, no? (didn’t somebody make one out of profiteroles??)I am also 37 (predate you by 1 day less than 3 weeks) but it never occurred to me there would be so many literary instances of this odd age! Many Happy Returns of the Day!Cheers,AJ

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Lisa Simeone August 12, 2008 at 2:18 pm

Auguri, Erin!Never thought to look for literary references, but what a good idea. Will do from now on.(And hey, 50 is even better, and 51 better yet!)

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Cookie August 12, 2008 at 2:26 pm

37 is fabulous…I’ve been it for years! And what a darling cake!!Here’s a post I just put on last entry, re: fakery. Your birthday is SURE to steal all the thunder (as it rightly should), so I’m repeating it here, should no one ever go back to that last comment page again.HAPPY BIRTHDAY!++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++Here is a prime example of a fakery we live with every day, in all communities: SHUTTERS BOLTED TO BUILDINGS THAT WOULDN’T EVEN COVER THE WINDOWS IF CLOSED! This started to drive me crazy once I noticed it. You’ll see a long picture window on a Colonial Revival house, flanked by one slender shutter at each end, perhaps even sporting cunning cutouts. You’re fooled into thinking, “How quaint…how pretty. What lovely contrasting shutters in Williamsburg Blue.” Then the shock sets in, for one does not have to be an MIT graduate to grasp that those dinky little shutters would NEVER span the window’s length. You trespass and grasp at the shutters, vainly trying to prove your theory by closing them…but the nightmare continues as you realize they’re fixed in place, and what you have in your trembling and soon-to-be handcuffed hands are shutters that will never actually SHUT! How can we expect our nations children to grow up honest when THIS is what we give them??

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Amy G. August 12, 2008 at 2:29 pm

Happy, happy 37th to you! And thanks for the search results….my 37th is in October and I’m saving this reading for inspiration then.

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Kate R August 12, 2008 at 2:31 pm

Happy Birthday, Erin!!!!

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Little Hunting Creek August 12, 2008 at 2:37 pm

Happy Birthday, Erin! May you never encounter a make-believe pocket :)

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Nicole August 12, 2008 at 2:48 pm

It is my birthday today as well! I had no idea we shared the same birthday.

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Sara August 12, 2008 at 3:00 pm

Happy Birthday, Erin! Have a pocket-ful, fauxlero-tastic, midriff-band-zing day. :-)

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ISS Man 71 August 12, 2008 at 3:08 pm

Erin, Here is an article on another 37-year-old, although, technically I think her age is 250+.http://www.nbc11.com/news/13503360/detail.htmlHippo birdy two gnus.Terry

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Lydia August 12, 2008 at 3:20 pm

Happy Birthday, Erin!

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Glamoursurf August 12, 2008 at 3:22 pm

Happy Birthday Erin, a fellow Leoine! 37 is the new 17 don’t cha know!

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Kate in England August 12, 2008 at 3:36 pm

Many happy returns! I’ll be 37 next birthday so I’m going to keep the Lady Matilda quote as I have no intention of ever becoming a full-grown woman who thinks and talks sensibly!

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ambika August 12, 2008 at 3:41 pm

Happy birthday!!! I was just referencing your blog the other day for your sewing machine shopping advice. Something I’m sure I’ll continue to do as long as you keep doing this!

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Chantelle August 12, 2008 at 3:47 pm

Happy birthday, Erin! There was many a day where I might have thought about wearing a birthday cake dress… and really, the dress shown is like a tiered dress with some extra embellishment. Cute for a 7-year-old, maybe, but perhaps a touch too young for anyone over 10.

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Ann August 12, 2008 at 3:49 pm

Happy birthday to you and to me! My coworkers and I (who all have MAs in Fashion History) all love your blog. Thanks!

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bani August 12, 2008 at 3:51 pm

A very happy birthday to all of you birthday girls!

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Elizabeth August 12, 2008 at 3:52 pm

Feliz cumpleaos!!!

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Bella Bliss August 12, 2008 at 4:06 pm

happy birthday!!! i’ll be 36 soon enough.

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CEMETARIAN We Dig Memories August 12, 2008 at 5:04 pm

Happy Birthday to all the August babies……and I use the term literally…….what Erin graciously left out of my Birthday Sale announcement was that I’m running the Sale cause it’s the BIG 60! Happy Birthday Erin and all you other babes………I hope I’m around for ya’lls’ 75th.Rita

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Arion August 12, 2008 at 5:19 pm

Happy birthday!

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Myra August 12, 2008 at 5:25 pm

Happy birthday, enjoy your day!

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Birgit August 12, 2008 at 5:28 pm

Well, the very best of Birthday Wishes! Hope you celebrate with a bang and in a darling dress!Cheers,Birgit

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Stacy August 12, 2008 at 5:36 pm

Happy birthday! I hope you have had a wonderful day….

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KibitzKnitz August 12, 2008 at 5:43 pm

“She was a woman of thirty-seven, rather tall and plump, without being fat; she was not pretty, but her face was pleasing, chiefly, perhaps, on account of her kind brown eyes. Her skin was rather sallow. Her dark hair was elaborately dressed. She was the only woman of the three whose face was free of make-up, and by contrast with the others she seemed simple and unaffected.”Thank you for this! I never knew a better way to describe myself; too bad it’ll only be true for another 9 days. Although, based on the first comment, 38 looks to be grand!Have a wonderful Birthday!

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Vireya August 12, 2008 at 6:12 pm

Happy Birthday, Erin! Prime numbers are fun.Thanks for this wonderful blog.

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'nora August 12, 2008 at 6:15 pm

Happy Birthday to you! Oddly enough, I just turned 37 yesterday. So far it seems to fit well enough.

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lucitebox August 12, 2008 at 6:28 pm

Happy birthday to you, Erin! And I second vireya–thanks for the wonderful blog! Oh, and of course, happy birthday to Rita, too! Holly

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Hope August 12, 2008 at 6:38 pm

Happy Birthday to you!Happy Anniverary to me!You’ve been alive 37 years,I’ve been married 2 years! What a great day!I love your blog, btw! :)

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Chantelle August 12, 2008 at 7:03 pm

I just ran across this…. while you wouldn’t want to wear a birthday cake (so to speak), apparently that restriction doesn’t hold for weddings.A bride cakeIt’s the rickrack that makes the cake something really special.

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Adrienne August 12, 2008 at 7:52 pm

Happy Birthday from a 51 year old teenager! (or, is that my hip size? I can’t remember anymore…}May God Bless you and keep you in the palm of His Hands.Adrienne

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tiddleywink August 12, 2008 at 8:29 pm

Happy birthday, Erin! I beat you to 37 by a couple of weeks, but it hasn’t been too bad so far. Best wishes!

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lorrwill August 12, 2008 at 8:33 pm

There is no way I can top “Hippo birdy two gnus” so I’ll just say, Rock on Dress Lady!

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Zoltar Panaflex August 12, 2008 at 8:35 pm

The Happiest of Birthdays to the Nicest of People…who else but Erin!Yeaaah!!! Got cake?http://cakewrecks.blogspot.com/Best regards and Many Happy Returns!!!Dianne

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lorrwill August 12, 2008 at 8:36 pm

and maybe you should consider a Cake Stunt Dress. you know. just in case a party breaks out.

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Rose Red August 12, 2008 at 8:36 pm

Happy Birthday Erin, from another who’ll be turning 37 this year – thanks for the fabulous quotes – love them all especially the first one!

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Robin Edgerton August 12, 2008 at 9:00 pm

happy birthday!

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oracle August 12, 2008 at 9:32 pm

Happy Birthday!

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Hilatron August 12, 2008 at 9:32 pm

Many happy returns, Erin!

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Penny Hodgson-Dell August 12, 2008 at 10:20 pm

Had to wish the Queen of Fashion the best birthday ever. I almost forget what I did on my 37th birthday, exactly 25 years ago!!! Thank you Erin and best to you always.. Penny

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Ellie Finlay August 12, 2008 at 10:51 pm

Happy birthday and long life to you! Thanks for this wonderful blog!

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wundermary August 13, 2008 at 1:36 am

A very happy birthday to you! I followed the link for “things I will regret posting”, you’ve managed to go for so long with so little anticipated regret!

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Ju August 13, 2008 at 1:38 am

Happy Birthday! Continuing on the cake theme, have you seen this site yet? http://cakewrecks.blogspot.com/.

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Lenore August 13, 2008 at 1:55 am

Many happy returns of the day! My birthday is starting in a few minutes, and I’ve decided that it’s good to be thirty-something.

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Primatoide futile August 13, 2008 at 2:50 am

Happy birthday from a longtime lurker…

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frken lila August 13, 2008 at 3:22 am

happy birthday!!!

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Cassie Louise August 13, 2008 at 4:21 am

Have a wonderful birthday Erin – have fun take care!!!

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Gigi August 13, 2008 at 5:04 am

Happy Birthday Erin!

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Eirlys August 13, 2008 at 5:40 am

Happy birthday again, Erin! Wow, I love those “37″ quotes! Have none to add to your collection but wonder what is said of 43 (I turn that later in the month). Will have to rifle through some of my favourite novels for thirties/forties references now.Aging (as my old pa used to say) is a heck of a lot better than the alternative. But it’s a funny business. Anyone under 40 looks improbably young to me now (you’re still a baby, Erin!), and I’m beginning to understand Billy Connolly’s observation on getting older: that everybody starts to look strangely and compellingly attractive. I also join him in wondering what physiological threat one’s body is preparing for by growing inordinately long hair in certain places (my bete noire is straggly eyebrows – yeuch!). The very few white hairs that have appeared on my head in the past year haven’t driven me to the Because-You’re-Worth-It bottle yet, but I’ve been pulling them out in what can only work as a short-term strategy (I have a thick head of hair, thankfully). Let’s have a DaD conversation another time on how to combat the phenomenon of Older Female Invisibility (my mother used to complain that cars ceased to stop for her at pedestrian crossings post-50 – a good argument for the wearing of purple, I suspect. Here’s another from one of Britain’s favourite poets, Jenny Joseph: http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/warning/).But I’m beginning to see some of the immense benefits of getting older – there’s a lot of hay in the barn these days, and (as they say) all, in the end, is harvest. Even being invisible must be quite impishly interesting now and then.Ha, Cookie! Well observed! As you’d probably guess, we don’t get many such shutters in the UK; the sun here is only a distant folk memory.

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Dilly August 13, 2008 at 6:00 am

WOOO!!! Happy Birthday Erin! I really think you SHOULD wear a dress made out of cake today, that would be great. What have you actually chosen to wear today? Something fabulous no doubt.Incidentally, I was watching some of the highlights from the Olympics yesterday, and upon seeing the “pretty ladies” standing around by the medal presentations, I said “ooh! Look at the Fauxleros!” My other half gave me a very odd look.

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Theresa August 13, 2008 at 8:39 am

I plan as going as a woman jumping out of a cake for Halloween. I have figured out it will reguire the modification of a hoop skirt and an industrial corset. My daughter is going as cotton candy.

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Vegan August 13, 2008 at 9:37 am

Happy birthday! Yes, thirty-seven is a very good age, a very good age indeed!

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Kristen August 13, 2008 at 9:47 am

a very happy birthday to you!

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freudian slips vintage August 13, 2008 at 10:17 am

Happy Birthday Erin!!

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Sugarmama August 13, 2008 at 12:16 pm

Happy (late) birthday from a fellow woman of 37. I loved this post, by the way. Makes me feel a little better about my laugh wrinkles and practical clothing these days…

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Laura V August 13, 2008 at 12:23 pm

I’ve often said that I want there to be a cure for aging by the time I am 37, so that I can be 37 forever. It seems to me like the perfect age. Congratulations upon reaching it!

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Mimi August 13, 2008 at 12:54 pm

Happy, Happy Birthday (a day late) and Many Years to you!

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enc August 13, 2008 at 5:11 pm

HAPPY belated BIRTHDAY!

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deanne August 13, 2008 at 11:15 pm

happy belated birthday Erin! :)

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chelle August 14, 2008 at 2:03 pm

Happy birthday! Thank you for many enjoyable days on your blog!

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Nora August 15, 2008 at 6:51 am

Happy Belated Birthday, Erin! Thanks for making the internets both cleverer and kinder, more beautiful and practical and be-pocketed. Also, thanks for the great reading – I love the quote about George Eliot, I’m only just now reading Middlemarch for the first time and am blown away.Thirty-seven is great. I agree that more posts on aging would be interesting (I’m turning 40 in a few months)!

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Heather August 18, 2008 at 12:03 pm

Happy belated birthday, Erin

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Dr. Birdcage August 18, 2008 at 9:48 pm

Ah, happy happy. I, too, will be 37, twelve days after you. So here’s to 37! My wish for this year is to finally finish a dress. Any dress. With pockets.

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