Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Joe Turned 30!

uh...4 months ago.  I've been a little busy.  But yay!  Joe's 30!  On September 4, four days before his actual birthday, I threw him a surprise party.  Joe hates surprises.  But throwing a surprise party was on my Life List so, you know, priorities.  I was not insensitive to his aversion, I can even relate since surprises tend to make me more anxious and uncomfortable than excited, but I wanted to do something special (30!) and I wanted him to have something bigger and better than he would plan or expect for himself.

I did try to do it with sensitivity so I told him I was planning something, told him his friends were involved, and told him if at any point he was uncomfortable or getting anxious and he wanted to know what was going on, just to speak up and I would willingly tell him everything.  He luckily trusted me the whole time and let me carry on without interference.  It actually made the whole thing easier to plan that he was kinda in on it, because if he was hanging out with a friend I needed to talk to I could just say to put that guy on the phone for a second instead of trying to sneak around behind his back.  Not that I didn't try to throw him off for weeks leading up to his birthday.  There were a lot of conversations that went like this:

Joe: Hello?

me: Hey, quick question.  You know all the words to Achy Breaky Heart, right?

Joe: Um, no.

me: Aw, crap.  I'll call you back later.


me:  So you're okay with choreographed dancing, right?

Joe:  I am NOT.

me:  Do you mind taking your shirt off in front of a crowd?  And is your passport current?


That was worth it right there.  In reality, I rented out a back room and adjoining patio space at a local pub, arranged for appetizers for everyone, invited as many of his friends as I could manage to reach, ordered a custom cake, and it was as easy as that.  He was thankfully kept occupied all day playing with some of his buddies in a softball tournament so I had the day free to run errands and relax.  I had made reservations to take him out to this gorgeous restaurant on the Hudson River that night for his birthday and the plan was to hit the pub after for drinks.  He just didn't know the bar would be filled with about 35 of his people. 

Dinner was amazing, spent reminiscing about the past and dreaming about the future.  One of the things I love about being with someone so long is we can see how much we've both grown and changed over the years.  I'm just so proud of him and who he's become and I appreciate it all the more because I've been there since the beginning.  I toasted him over champagne and quizzed him about his 20s.  Favorite moment?  Favorite year?  Best thing that happened in your 20s?  Worst thing?  Biggest lesson?  Biggest regret?  Thing you're most looking forward to in your 30s?  Thing you're most nervous about?

We got all the way through dinner and we were ready to pay the check when I got a text from one his best friends.  Not there yet, please stall.  The evening got a little awkward after that.  I went to the bathroom three times.  Kept asking for refills of water.  Made unnecessary conversation.  For a really long, awkward time. 

The only remaining hitch in the plan came when, after dinner, Joe said he was exhausted from softball all day and asked if we could just head home instead of going out for drinks.  Um...it's your birthday!  Just one drink and then we'll go home.  Okay?  Yes?  Please!

The night was amazing.  He was surprised and so happy and grateful.  The weather was gorgeous and we all ended up on the patio until everyone finally left around 2am. 

Plan a surprise party?  Check. 


Making the rounds

Joe and his mama

us before heading out to dinner (we did not intend to match)


d&d said...

awww joey!