I am a notoriously poor secret keeper. I know that makes me sound like a crappy friend so let me clarify. I am a notoriously poor surprise keeper. I get sooooo excited that it feels like I could explode and before my brain has even registered what is happening, the surprise has literally exploded out of my mouth and is no longer a secret or surprise.
This has been me. My whole entire life. I was the friend who would tell you what I’d bought you before you’d even pulled off the first layer of gift wrap. I am the person who has a proverbial foot permanently rammed in her mouth.
Except for this one time…..
This time last week, while my husband was on leave and my kids were on school holidays, it was time to put to action the surprise I’d been working on for the past few months, the one and only surprise I’ve ever managed to keep to myself. And I kept it for more than 3 months, often with my own hand firmly clamped over my mouth.
I got up at my usual time last Thursday morning, I went through my usual morning rituals, the ones I do everyday before work. I ate breakfast, showered, got dressed for work, kissed my husband and children goodbye, all the while lamenting how unfair it was that they were all on holiday and I wasn’t.
Only I was, my husband just didn’t know that.
So I left for work at my usual time, only, I wasn’t going to work.
It had been Walter’s 40th birthday the day before and because he hates parties and he hates surprises, I decided to throw him a surprise party!
So while he thought I was at work, I was actually doing this:
Collecting balloons and his cake and setting up and waiting for the jukebox and caterers to arrive!
I won’t lie. I was SO nervous. Walter and I are like yin and yang. He is all party pooper, while I am all party animal. He is all anti social while I am a social butterfly. So I was really worried about how he was going to receive his surprise party.
Our friends had suggested throwing the party at their house, so after Heather and I had spent the day lining our stomachs in preparation for the evening, while driving around doing the last minute collections and the set up, I had to go home at my regular work day time and sit there nipping bricks while waiting to go back to their house for a dinner that evening. At least that’s what Walter thoughts.
We Uber’d to our friends house, after my suggestion that neither Walter or I go out often as childcare is a problem for us and tonight we had childcare covered and so we should go to the dinner and have a good time with no one being the designated driver and worrying about how many beers would be over the limit.
I’d arranged for everyone to hide in their outside bar area and turn the jukebox off before we arrived. Walter got a little suspicious when we arrived and he saw all the cars outside but I reminded him that it could also be the neighbors entertaining as it was, after all, a long weekend.
With shaking hands, knocking knees and my heart in my throat, I led Walter around the house to the outdoor entertainment area….
And then……. I needn’t have worried. Mr Party Pooper was not at all cross over the surprise and actually he landed up surprising the hell out of all of us. I haven’t seen my husband let his hair down and let loose since before he became a father and boy did he let his hair down on Thursday night.
I organized a spitbraai company to cater the food and they were amazing, we had the most delicious lamb with ALL the trimmings and the food was so divine. After their staff had cleared up and packed up, the party really got started, with trays of tequila being past around and of course the jukebox started playing at full volume and let’s just say….. the wheels came off from there and the party went from adult and civilized to debauched!
People got thrown in the pool, cell phones got destroyed, the floors got so sticky your feet stuck to them, water got thrown in the house, chairs got thrown over, there was much loud, off key singing… and every other scenario imaginable at a wild house party.
We had a great time! I kept a secret surprise. What a great great night. What a fabulous memory. What a way to celebrate an amazing man’s 40th birthday!