How to NOT throw a surprise party

**In case you don’t want to read the very detailed version of my 21st birthday and surprise party gone wrong, I’m going to lay out a few basic steps for you up front**

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How to NOT throw a surprise party

001 When you throw a surprise party make sure the birthday girl doesn’t see you sneaking around.

002 Don’t ignore her or neglect her birthday fun because you’re too busy planning a party and making shady calls.

003 Don’t make the birthday girl think that you are going out to a fancy dinner and might miss the reservations (that you never actually made)

004 Don’t do everything at a glacier pace so that the birthday girl gets annoyed and thinks her perfect night will be ruined.

005 Don’t laugh when she gets angry that she doesn’t know what’s going on. (Also, try and keep her from getting angry).

Now, if you want to see how ignoring the aforementioned advice will play out, keep reading.

I turned 21 yesterday!!! Woot woot! I seriously love birthdays! My mom trained me that way. Growing up we only had parties every four years (because birthday parties are expensive) but even on the off years my mom made my birthdays spectacular. Like the year she gave me presents to keep in my locker at school and they each had sticky notes on them that said stuff like “Open after 1st period” or “Open before lunch”.

Or like the year she took me to Ihop for breakfast in my pajamas and I threw up…okay not the best example. One year we were snowed in (in Georgia an inch of snow means stock up on food and don’t leave the house or else you’ll probably die) and she lined up all my presents on the fire place and only let me open one every couple of hours.

Then there was the year that she hid all my presents and I had to search for them around the house. That was the year I got my My Size Barbie.

Yeah that’s still up in my attic back home somewhere. Anyway, long story short I’ve always had awesome birthdays and this year I was a little concerned that I was going to have a less than awesome birthday. I mean I’m all old and married now and poor and whatnot. Plus your 21st birthday is always supposed to be so big but considering that us Mormons don’t drink, I wouldn’t be partying in the normal manner. And my husband has never been big into birthday celebrations. In the days leading up to my birthday I was being pretty whiney. Ok…I was being a brat. Fact. I’m not proud.

Since my birthday was on a Monday this year, I decided that we should celebrate it on Saturday. I was very adamant that I wanted doughnuts for breakfast since I’m on a diet so my birthday was my day to splurge. I was also sort of a brat about that too because Chris just got glazed when I wanted some assorted ones. Man I am spoiled. (I blame my mother for this too)

After I apologized and all was good I opened some presents from my family, among them, a gift card to Macaroni Grill. I was so pumped to go for my birthday dinner.

Then I went and got my nails done with my friend Alena. The snow was coming down hard and fast when we left the nail salon and, being from Georgia, I’m not so great at driving in the snow. On my way home I came around a corner and my car decided to ignore my pull on the steering wheel and not turn, sending me straight into the path of an oncoming car. Thankfully my car speaks English (and slang) so when I yelled at it, it finally decided to turn.

A little shaken up, I pulled over to the side of the road and called Chris to tell him what happened and hoped he would offer to come pick me up cause I’m a baby when it comes to driving in the snow.

“Really, it’s snowing that bad?” was his response. He suggested that I turn around and go the other way home where there is probably less snow. That would have taken me another 15 minutes at least so I figured I’d just try and make it the way I was going cause I really didn’t want to waste more time.

“Well make sure you go SUPER slow.”

And I did. Took my sweet time. But apparently I didn’t take it sweet enough because just as I was passing the street that would have been ‘the other way home’ Chris’ car zooms out of the street in front of me and turns down the street where our house is. I was still on the phone with him at this point.

“HEY! I just saw you! I thought you were at home!”

“I..uhh…er..”

Then, since I was still going slow and he was not, I watched him slide the car into his parking spot and race into the house. When I finally pulled into the driveway he waltzed outside.

“Oh good you’re home.”

Yeah right…. But whatevs. He wouldn’t tell me where he was. Reall Sneakyy…

So the plan for the rest of the night went like this:

-5:00p Go Bowling with Clayton and Malae

-7:00p Dinner at Macaroni Grill

On our way to pick up our dear friends we stopped to get a birthday cake for me.

Cause I love cake. It’s probably the  best part of having a birthday. But then Clayton was picking up some groceries and his headlight went out so he had to fix that and lalala we ended up going bowling by ourselves and then they were gonna meet us at dinner…or so I thought.

We went bowling on campus at the Wilkinson Center. We pulled in to the closest parking lot which isn’t very big and there were a lot of people looking for spots. We got lucky enough to find one right on the edge. But where we were stopped to wait for the person leaving to pull out was blocking traffic. So naturally we decided to be considerate and pull forward past the parking spot and then we’d just back in.

Well behind us was a car that thought that they deserved the parking spot more than me…on my birthday. Unacceptable. Chris even leaned out of the car and in large gestures pointed at himself and the spot. Obviously that either means “Dude this is my spot” or “Look! Look at me! I see a car pulling out of a parking spot! Hehe! Yay! I’m a tard.”

We all know what the obvious gesture meant. But the car behind us didn’t. So me, in my bratty ‘It’s my birthday and I get what I want’ mentality, got out of the car and stood in the parking spot as the other car was backing out. HA!

And those friendly gentlemen in the other car were so happy for us getting that spot that they waved at us as they passed. But oddly enough they only waved with one finger. Hmm.

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Bowling was a lot of fun. We played two games and Chris beat me twice. It’s okay though. I had fun. I was determined to have this pretty pink ball even though it was 14lbs. (I’m more of a 10-11lb ball kind of girl). So obviously I couldn’t properly bowl with it. But it was pretty. And that’s all that matters.

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By the time we finished bowling it was like 6:45 and our dinner reservation was at 7. It was really important to me that we made a reservation since it was a Saturday night and I didn’t want to sit around waiting for a table. Before we left Chris decided to take like 30 years in the bathroom. (I found out later that he was just standing in there giggling to himself.) And he seemed to be in no hurry to get out to the car.

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And what do we find when we get out of the car?? Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum in the one finger wave by car decided to put newspaper all over the windows of our car…in the snow. (For those of you that are a little slower…this means that the newspaper was soaking wet and a little difficult to get off). I mean really…how old are we here in college. Geez.

Anyway, Chris took his sweet time getting the newspaper off the car and all the while I am getting more and more frustrated that we are going to miss our dinner reservations.

When he finally gets in the car he took the turn to head back to Clayton and Malae’s to pick them up.

“WHAT are you doing?? We’re going to be late to dinner!!! They can just meet us there! TURN THE CAR AROUND.”

And that’s what I was like the whole way to their house. Chris kept giggling which made me even angrier.

Did I mention that I’m a spoiled brat??

When we got to their house I laid on the horn.

“Jocelyn, stop it, they have neighbors.”

“GAHH  THOIJKASD HTOINAS HASKLDFOI THKASOFIT JAOITWE8RTION!!!!” (This is an exact quote.)

So Chris went inside to get them.

I honked the horn again.

Chris came back outside.

I yelled some more.

Finally he coaxed me to come inside to wait for them to be ready to go. I begrudgingly stomped up to their door. Chris opened it and …

SURPRISE!!!!!

There was Malae holding a Happy Birthday sign and Alena and Olivia and Clayton all throwing confetti in the air.

After I picked my jaw up off the floor and wiped the look of shame and guilt off my face, I sheepishly smiled, thanked everyone and gave them all a hug. And apologized to Chris.

WE had an awesome night playing a story/picture version of the telephone game and eating waay too much sugar and playing Dance Central and watching Crazy, Stupid Love. Oh and trying to convince me to shove my face into my own cake. I briefly considered it.

I don’t think I will ever live that down. I think I’m going to start planning Chris’ birthday now.

Did I mention that I’m a spoiled brat?