My friend-as-long-as-I've-been-in-Houston Cyndi turns 50 next week. Her family asked me a few weeks back if I would host a surprise birthday party for her. I hesitated only on the "surprise" part. Experience has shown me that usually the only surprise is how early they discover there's a surprised planned.
We did it!
Last night, Cyndi thought she, her husband, and I were going out to dinner. She called to tell me that my chariot awaited and I told her I wasn't quite ready and asked if they could come in for a few minutes.
One of the guests (who were all now standing in my dining area, eyes glued to the window and the gate that Cyndi would be entering) said that the ease with which she heard me lie kind of scared her.
Surprise! Freckles buy me more trustworthiness than I probably merit!
They entered and before she turned the corner into my den she knew something was up. Could have been the Warning: Someone's Turning 50 crime scene tape covering the foyer or maybe the explosion of color and balloons the family had decorated with, but that was the first clue she had. She truly didn't know.
We shouted. We sang. We ate (my contribution was a buffet menu based on some of her favorite things to order in the restaurants we frequent). We played a trivia game about her life (I knew that one of her first boyfriends later got a job as an exotic dancer but I didn't know why she'd been kicked out of church camp). We even decorated flip flops (her shoe of choice) for her to take home.
Cyndi wasn't the only one surprised by the evening. I had fretted that it wasn't going to be received well or that the mix of folks might not work, but I was totally wrong.
And I'm NOT lying when I say I had a great time celebrating a great friend.