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The events of last weekend were quite a surprise…..a surprise to my parents, that is. Myself, Paul, sister Michelle, brother Joel, sister Katie, sister Holly, Holly’s boyfriend Joe, and family friends Sonny & Peggy and Dale & Tans put together a huge surprise party for my parents on their 30th wedding anniversary. And I’m pleased to say, the surprise was a success!!

Around 6 months ago, the idea of the surprise party originated between Holly and myself. Plans were made, invitations were sent, and we all kept our mouths zipped shut…tight. So tight in fact, that my parents didn’t think twice about scheduling an operation on my dad’s back for Friday, October 20th, 2006. Noooo!!!! That’s the surprise party date!!! Crap. Oh yeah, and let me point out that we found this out on Wednesday, October 18th. Uh yeah – 2 days before the party.

On to Plan B: So we somewhat break the news….kinda…to my parents. Through a few convincing lies we tell them that we have a little something special planned for them on Friday for their anniversary and that my dad HAS to reschedule:

“No really, this is BIG…VERY BIG…and you MUST reschedule. (The cake has been ordered!)…We’ve bought you tickets…yeah, tickets!…tickets to an event…..(We can’t cancel – I don’t have phone numbers on all these guests!)….very, very, VERY expensive tickets….(hell yeah, expensive tickets – the price to fly from Tucson, AZ to Syracuse, NY for 2 days ain’t cheap!)…..that are non-refundable, non-negotiable, non-transferable….(what if some out-of-town guests are already on their way!)…..You will be soooooo disappointed if you have to miss this. (I am never throwing a surprise party again)….You MUST reschedule!”

So after about 10 pleading phonecalls and 8 nail-biting hours later, my dad says “ok, let me see if I can get the doc to change the date of the operation.” (The planets have aligned, the sky has opened up to the heavens above, and the gods are giving me a chuckling slap on the back – no worries, April!) Whew.

Game on. Places everyone. Places, please.

We decide to all throw a few more fibs out to my parents too while we’re at it, so that they don’t get any wise ideas on what we have planned:

“Paul and I are heading to Bishop, California this weekend with Grit & Manu from Germany to climb.”
“Holly has to stay at school and study.”
“Joel has to work.”

So here we are now, about an hour or so before show time. Katie is at the house with my parents, standing stealthily by the phone – awaiting their departure from the house so that she can telephone myself and the other party planners that the coast is clear and we can come over and start setting up. The agreed upon plan is that Peggy and Sonny will be taking my parents out to dinner for Sonny’s birthday. They are the decoys. It’s around 6:00pm. Guests arrive at 7:00. Parent’s are expected back home at 7:30. Holly gets the phonecall from Katie:

“Uh. We’ve got a problem here. Mom, dad, Peggy and Sonny are climbing into the hot tub.”

WHAT???!!!!!!! Does Peggy have her calendar days mixed up or something?! She is the DECOY. It is her and Sonny’s JOB to get my parents out of the house!! There’s no way they will have time to head out to dinner and be back by 7:30! It’s ruined. It’s all ruined. No. Stay calm. Have faith. Maybe uh…they’ll only sit for like 2 seconds and then jump right in the car to head out to dinner – bathing suits and all. Yeah! Maybe that’s the plan! :-\ Holly decides to take control. She calls back to the house and gets my mom on the phone:


My parents are soon out the door. We get the official coast-is-clear from Katie and we all race to the house. It’s now 6:50pm. Well, guess we’ll just have to put the party guests to work when they arrive. 🙂 And we do.

Alright. Now, nothing more can possibly go wrong at this point. The guests are here, the decorations are up, the food is out, the alcohol is being drank, the mood is merry. It’s 7:30…hmmm….no parents. 7:40…no parents. 7:50….no parents. Is this a cue to start stressing again now, or what?!

Haha, thank goodness, no. Finally, around 8pm some headlights start coming up the road. Lights out! Quiet! Shhh!!!

“SURPRISE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” 40 guests cheer!

First a look of surprise, then confusion, then smiles and tears. We did it. 🙂

So yes, I am very, very, VERY pleased to say that our classic surprise party was indeed a success. A few hiccups along the way, but nonetheless, a genuine surprise. My parents were beaming all night. This was the best feeling gift any of us had ever given.

This entry (Permalink) was posted on Saturday, October 28th, 2006 at 7:43 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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