“Surprise” This chorus of cries came from folks who’d been crouching in the darkness, awaiting my arrival, for quite some time apparently.
I almost dropped the two bags of groceries on the floor, so great the shock of seeing many of my family members and friends jump out from behind the island in our kitchen. It was three days before my actual birthday, so this was the last thing I expected when I opened the door that led from my garage into our home.
“Wow!” was all I could utter, as I fumbled with the cloth bags and tried to take stock of what I was seeing. I had not noticed that the shades were all closed on our front windows. Nor had I noticed any additional cars on the street. Hubby had asked them to park around the corner.
“Oh you guys! This is truly amazing! How long have you been here?”
I’d just returned from a long series of errands that evening and I was running late. Fifteen minutes earlier, I’d phoned Hubby to ask what he’d like for dinner, given that I was coming home much later than I’d anticipated I was too tired to cook.
He assured me there was no need to stop. “We have plenty of leftovers that I can prepare. How soon will you be home? I will start warming up food, right now”.
I’d just returned from a three week trip to Brussels and was craving Mexican Food in a big way. I suggested “Fish tacos! There is still a lot of that Red snapper from last night. I will stop and get some of the hard shells on my way home, Okay?”
“Oh no, no need to stop at all, I bought some tortillas last week when I made dinner for our son. Just come right on home and food will be ready when you get here. You must be starved.”
He sounded so sweet. I should have known something was up.Hubby hates leftovers! Especially if it is is a repeat from the day before! How could I not have known?
Earlier that afternoon I missed another clue! Hubby swept and mopped the floors… without my even suggesting! My 60th birthday was coming up the middle of the next week. I’d mentioned splurging on The Maids ™ to come to do a bit of “deep cleaning” before the party I was planning for myself. I was pleasantly surprised when he hopped up and said he wanted to try out our new Dyson sweeper on the upstairs rooms.
Usually it is we women who clean and tidy up before the maids arrive. Men are like… “Cool! Bring it on!” They suffer no embarrassment what so ever at having total strangers see their dirt and clutter!
I was feeling a bit of jet lag and had flopped on the bed to cuddle with our dogs. I savored a few horizontal minutes before heading out to drive our son to two different music gigs that afternoon. I had shopping for some essentials planned at stores close to both of his gig locations. My efficiency truly exhausted rather than exhilarated me. Saturday afternoon traffic in Seattle was amazingly smooth and a gift I gladly accepted in my efforts to get back home and horizontal once again.
Back to my shocking surprise; I kept marveling at how smoothly my hubby hid all of this from me. I truly had no clue!
When our son chuckled “Enjoy your little party” as he left the car at our last stop, I supposed he’d meant the party I was planning for the actual day of my 60th. He’d known I was shopping for food to be used for that event. He’d been sworn to secrecy by my hubby…but his Aspergers syndrome got the better of him. He just could not resist blurting out this secret. Hubby had mentioned several times during the previous weeks, that this was a “Surprise for Mom!” We are not going to tell her about this party, OK?” Luckily I was still in a funk from flying across the pond and it didn’t penetrate the deep fog of my consciousness.
My hubby was so stealthy that he’d even made a trip to the local Good Will and purchased some inexpensive storage containers. He feared that I’d get suspicious if I noticed that some of my Tupperware® was missing in action. Yes, I am just a bit OCD about my plastic bowls, I admit it. I’ve been known to hound my kids to get back those pale blue square containers I’ve packed with surplus from a family meal. They swear I have cards on file, like the library, to track them down.
A window of time while I was at the club the evening before the party was utilized by Hubby to prepare most of the party fare. He even stored all this food in the spaciously empty fridge at our youngest son’s nearby home. The youngest was also in charge of the cake. He picked a wonderfully decadent chocolate number from the Stone Cold Creamery which was stored in the freezer at his place.
As soon as my car backed out of the drive, they all swung into action. Some of my girl friends were part of the plot! Hubby has my old Droid phone. He had their phone numbers and three whole weeks while I was out of the country, to get all the plans in place.
He was a bit worried initially when he received my email note on the “Day at Home” birthday party I was planning for my 60th. I knew I’d be spent from my travels. In addition I was facing another out of town gig the following weekend, with our musical performer son. The Southern tradition of having an “at home” day truly appealed for this big birthday celebration!
Distraction with plans for my own event aided Hubby’s execution of his stealthy soiree. He pulled off a “surprise” party that rivaled some of my best efforts!
In fact, for his mother’s 60th I had sent her an invitation to come to our home for an Art Party. All of her girlfriends were in on the deception. We’d even managed to keep this off my father in law’s radar screen. The look of shock on her face when greeted with shouts of ” Happy Birthday” at our front door was absolutely priceless! “I do not know what to say to you!” was all she could muster as she stood staring into our home. I was delighted that I’d managed to pull off this party.by