Sunday, April 13, 2014

Surprise Party Part 3

And I have one more surprise party story...

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles /

Around about my 24th birthday I informed the Professor that I wanted him to throw me a surprise party for my 25th birthday.  I figured giving him a year's lead time gave me time to "forget" and him plenty of time to prepare.  As my 25th birthday drew closer, I of course remembered but assumed that he forgot.  Birthdays and other such events are not usually the Professor's strong suit.

I figured that on the extremely small chance he had remembered what I'd said a year ago, I'd know because he would have to clean the house if we were having a party.  I purposely left the house messy that week so I'd be sure to notice.

It never occurred to me that you could throw a surprise party in another location.

About a week before my birthday, he asked me what I wanted to do to celebrate my birthday.  That settled it as far as I was concerned.  No surprise party for me.  In retrospect that should have been a tip off.  The fact that the Professor was aware of and talking about my birthday a full week in advance was a dead give away that something was up.

He suggested that he take me out to dinner that night.  I agreed, a little disappointed but not surprised. After all we were both poor grad students in those days and a dinner out was a big treat.

Then a couple days before my birthday a couple of friends stopped me in the hall at school.  "We want to have you and the Professor over to play cards sometime.  Does Monday work for you?"

Monday was my birthday but I figured the Professor and I could do dinner another night and I knew he was free that night so I said sure.

He was a bit peeved when I told him we were going to play cards with friends on my birthday.  "I wanted to take you out to dinner for your birthday.  Did you even tell them that that was your birthday? Why didn't you suggest a different day to them?"  After a bit more complaining and discussion he reluctantly agreed that it was my birthday and if I wanted to go play cards with friends without even telling them that it was my birthday and go do birthday dinner another day then that was O.K.

This should have been another huge red flag for me.  I am the one who gets bent out of shape about celebrating big days on the actual day and the Professor has never ever understood or appreciated this.

We got to our friends house and as we started to walk up to the door the Professor said, "Wait, I forgot something," and rushed back to the car and grabbed a camera.

"You are bringing a camera to play cards?" I asked incredulously.*

"I don't think we have any pictures of them so I thought it would be nice to get one."

"That is so weird.  They will think we are strange.  Please put the camera back in the car."

He wouldn't listen.

To recap:  I told my husband that I wanted a surprise party.  It was the actual day of my birthday.  He was insisting on bringing a camera to a totally camera inappropriate situation.  And no,  I still had no suspicion whatsoever.

We rang the doorbell, they opened the door and all my friends yelled surprise while the Professor took a picture.  I was totally surprised.

Successful Surprise Party Tip #3:  Cultivate low expectations vis a vis birthdays for many years and/or marry a clueless spouse.

*Remember people, dark days before smart phones when taking pictures of anything and everything just wasn't normal.


  1. Laughing out loud. I love the little glimpses back into the dark days too....and BTW (grin) my parents still have land lines because they keep losing the cell phones. LOL

  2. We, on the other hand, have a land line but keep misplacing the cordless phones so we tend to use the cell phones instead.