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May 21, 2012 - Jennifer Brookens
I've never had a surprise party, but this past weekend came close.

I had a birthday yesterday (never mind which one. I've trained my husband to say '29 plus tax.' Of course, I need to start adding shipping and handling as well). As we got toward the big day, we were trying to decide what to do. My husband was not committing to anything, but kept saying how we should clean up the house. REALLY?! I don't know too many women who would take very kindly to, "It's your birthday, so get the house clean." Needless to say, the dark cloud with the lightning bolts was starting to settle over my birthday weekend.

My mom, sensing this mood, took me out to lunch instead.

When I got back, my husband got a phone call from his best buddy from South Dakota. And it was weird because he was talking normal, as in not doing stupid voices or throwing one-liners at each other like they usually do. He was almost guarded. That was my first clue.

So I started making a little more effort to pick up a little. But I didn't want to get my hopes up, just in case it was just a weird coincidence... or worse.

Finally at 6 p.m. my phone rang. I recognized the number. It was our friend. Somehow, I just knew.

And I was right. He and his girlfriend "just happened to be headed east of Sioux Falls, maybe about 100 miles or so..." I asked if they happened to pack overnight bags. Yep. And what did I want for my birthday tomorrow. I said a visit from them would be perfect.

When I hung up, I did the two-hour cleaning buzz (despite being told by our guests not to). I later learned they wanted to surprise me right at the door, but decided to call first just in case. Either way, it worked out well. Not exactly a surprise party, but close enough for me. And it did make for a Happy Birthday.


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