So, yes, I rang in my 40th birthday with a surprise party thrown by a few well-meaning, if seriously deluded, friends of mine.
I didn’t want this party. In no uncertain terms, I had told my friends this months ago. They, however, chose to ignore my pleas for a non-surprising party. Chose to think that once it was all said and done that I’d LOVE it and would be so pleased that they had done it for me.
Now that it’s over… they’re a little right. I’ll give them that.
They assembled quite a guest list; truly, I have no idea where they dug up some of these names from to even get in touch with them to begin with. And it was really touching to see all the people who made it out just to help me celebrate this milestone.
That part? I liked. There’s nothing like hugs and love and getting together with friends to remind me how many people I’ve got out there that truly care about me. Heart-warming, really, and I say that without even a hint of smarmy-ness.
But the being surprised? (luckily, that part turned out to be easy – they were loud enough to be heard OUTSIDE the house… kind of a giveaway, eh?) And being the center of attention? And trying to make sure my drunk friends didn’t say something in front of my family (yes, my parents and siblings were all there)? Stressed me out.
Turns out, there was only one kind of close call: a friend who has a reputation for losing her conversation filter shortly after the first drink, made a comment in front of my parents: as one of my guy friends leaned up against the pool table, stretched out for a shot, his, uh, crotchal area was all propped up on the side of the table, and my friend remarked, “Well, THAT’S not really something you’re interested in, now, is it?” Ambiguous enough that it didn’t cause any permanent damage, thankfully, but my parents both looked at each other, then at her, then at me, then back at each other, not quite knowing how to take it. And then I made a point of saying how late it was and what a shame it was that they had to get going.
Despite more than a few moments where I would have liked the ability to melt through the floor, it was a good time. My friends did a fabulous job putting it together and then cleaning up before they left. With the exception of one slice of birthday cake, and one deliciously decadent chocolate cupcake, almost all the food disappeared (yay!) and my house was left (mostly) the way they found it.
And now I get to move ahead towards the birthday celebrations I enjoy from start to finish: I have at least 3 other planned outings, one with friends that I see all the time (actually, the ones that did the party planning), some others with people I don’t see hardly enough. And I can’t wait – the upside to birthdays, especially these milestone ones, is that it brings my friends close. Which is where I like ’em.