I was convinced my 40th Birthday came and went like any other. Then, four days later, I was surprised – not just with friends and family, but another version of “me”.
I actually thought it was worse, as on my birthday I had car trouble and, after spending part of the afternoon in the hot Florida sun, stuck on a bridge, I spent the rest of the day at the mechanic. It was a typical day for those who, as my Dad says, “have a black cloud lingering over their heads.”
My family and friends, though, came to the rescue the following Saturday.
Those who know me well are aware of two passions in my life: cooking and my Palm device.
The invitation to my surprise party, as you can see, was quite appropriate.
Yes, that’s a Palm Treo 650 in my left hand. I currently use a Palm Pre Plus, but still have an affinity for my “now sitting in a box” Treo 650 and my soon to be sold 755. I was also presented with a large wall hanging of the illustration, which my sister says is going in my office. (Another fact about me, I know nothing about decor and fashion – my sister is my coordinator on those fronts.)
The ruse was well-planned. My sister was picking me up to take me to a Mystery Train Theatre, which had been planned for weeks. On our way she realized she’d forgotten the tickets so we had to return to her condo, where I was surprised with some close friends and family.
After the excitement settled, my sister talked about all the little “panic moments” whereas she had to catch herself from dropping too big a hint. Like the iPod in her car, which was my nephew’s. She said she’d borrowed it for driving (but he was at the condo; had been for two days). Several text messages came in during the drive over to her place, so she wanted to make sure I couldn’t see her phone. But, if anything would have been a giveaway, it would have been what I smelled as we took the stairs to the upper floor.
“I smell food,” I said, most likely wrinkling my nose. It’s not that it smelled bad, no, on the contrary. It was because, well, my sister doesn’t cook. Ah, I shrugged it off figuring she’d left whatever microwave snack she had out on the counter, uneaten.
And that was it. The rest, as they say, is history. Oh, but I did receive a chef’s jacket and hat. Lots of flashes went off with me wearing that, but I couldn’t tell you who all took pictures. I’m sure you’ll get to see them someday.
Until then, I have to say, not only is it heartwarming for friends and family to make long treks to make you feel, well, special, but even more so when they “know” you well.