Because I had just had a baby a week and a half before my 30th birthday — and because instead of partying like a rock star at the official “Dirty Thirty” celebration everybody seems to get these days I was wearing granny panties lined with diaper-grade pads and hobbling around, hoping my baby pooch would somehow suck itself back into the black hole that was my c-section incision — Mr. Sammich decided to throw me a super secret 30th through 33rd birthday party last weekend.
He successfully rounded up several of my closest friends and family with an invitation that read “Loose Lips Sink Ships”, inside of which were threats laced with the most terrible malice directed toward the person or persons who should accidentally spill the beans before party time.
Either because my friends and family are good at keeping secrets or because they truly believed Mr. Sammich would cut their eyeballs out and feed them to rats while their spouses and children looked on in horror, they all kept the secret, and I had a smashingly supriserific, two-day birthday extravaganza.
Balls. To. The. Wall. Y’all.
As this was the first surprise party I’d ever attended where I was not the surpriser but rather the surprisee, I had no idea how I might react when placed in such a situation. Given this, I thought it my duty to prepare future surprisees with what they can expect should they find themselves the unknowing center of attention at some future, well-orchestrated event.
1. Expect that the day your party is scheduled will be the day you feel like donkey balls and neglect to take a shower.
There’s this terrible thing going around what seems like our entire state characterized by a scratchy, sore throat; overpacked sinuses; low grade fever and chills; and a general sense of malaise. It’s not quite a cold, but it’s not quite the flu either. It’s just…it.
Well, I contracted it last Thursday afternoon, and let me tell you: It isn’t pleasant.
I went to work Friday looking like something that had just crawled out of a raccoon’s ass, parked myself behind my desk with my tissues and cough drops, posted a note on the Smart Board in my classroom instructing students to sit and work quietly, and locked into survival mode for the next 7.5 hours.
I was supposed to meet my best friend for an afternoon catch-up date, but I was feeling so craptastic, I had to text her to cancel. She wouldn’t take no for an answer. After agreeing to meet her at the local mall, I went home, took a nap, rolled out of bed, slapped on my scrubbiest attire, tied my hair up in a knot, and ran out sans makeup. When we returned, I walked in to find people who normally aren’t in my house eating food and drinking booze and exuding what can only be described as merriment.
Good news is, nobody ran in terror despite my mugshot appearance, and we partied well enough into the evening to start making questionable decisions. IT WAS A BLAST!
2. Expect to linger in a state of awe and utter confusion for at least a half to full hour after entering your party.
When I did finally walk into the shindig, offensive appearance and all, the only things I could do were smile and look around at all the friendly faces while repeating, “Hi?” over and over — not as a statement but as more of an apologetic question.
Eventually, I grabbed myself a drink and composed my person enough to jump in on the festivities, but in my shock and elation, I forgot to eat, which I do NOT recommend. Your body can only handle so much fun without sustenance, and there isn’t enough ibuprofen in the world to stop what will happen to you the morning after.
3. Expect to behave in a manner reserved only for frat boys and caged monkeys.
Day two of surprise birthdaypalooza involved dinner at my favorite joint followed by girls’ night out at the bar. Being that I don’t get out to any bars often, I was more than enthusiastic about the opportunity, consuming what I can only imagine was a few bottles of wine followed by some pints of beer and a couple mystery drinks.
Things got out of hand.
About half way through the evening it became apparent that we had unfairly commandeered the dance floor to the point that other patrons would thank us for allowing them get in a step or two before we elbowed them out of our way, and that was before any of us started petting the bouncers and snatching customers’ state-issued identification in order to confirm they were, indeed, old enough to drink.
And, of course, before we devoured a bag of McDonald’s cheeseburgers like a pack of hyena might dismember a helpless baby gazelle.
4. Expect to be consumed by an overwhelming sense of love and appreciation.
All awkward appearance and ill-advised behavior aside, the most memorable thing about being the surprisee at a surprise party is the feeling of joy and gratitude that comes with seeing your favorite people putting aside their busy lives and responsibilities to spend time with you on your special day.
And that is by far the best thing you future surprisees have to look forward to.