It was just planned for a week after my birthday.
Let’s call this post a retraction of sorts.
Remember how, a month prior to my birthday, I said that I wasn’t having a party? I was certain that nothing would be happening on my behalf because none of my closest friends live nearby and my family, especially my mother, were busy with all the things that we’ve all had to stress over in recent months.
As it turns out, Mom and my sister, April, were hard at work planning this thing for months. Which means they were working on this shindig long before I had the unmitigated gall to complain on my blog that no one cared about my birthday.
Allow me to take this moment to formally apologize, in writing, to my mother and my sister, and to thank them for all the effort they put into pulling this thing off.
See, I thought my birthday had come and gone. It was over. Sure, I got to celebrate a bit. I was able to take a day off work. I went to dinner and a movie with my mom (before the inevitable shut down of movie theaters). I had cake and ice cream with my extended family at my grandmother’s house.
By the way, I benefited quite well from Mom, my aunt, and uncle and their competitive nature. Let’s just say that, at 40, I never expect more than a handwritten “happy birthday” inside a birthday card. But these three decided they needed to continually one up each other with the giving of money. If that had been my only surprise of the year, I’d have been okay with that.
It was Saturday. Just over a week past my 40th birthday. I spent the day doing next to nothing and had plans to have dinner with my friend, Jessica, whose birthday is only three days after mine. Oh, and I do feel a little bad about rubbing my mom’s nose in this last week, but Jessica’s mom threw her a surprise birthday party… Yeah, sorry about that, Mom.
Anyway, she had gotten in touch with me and made a plan for us to go out and celebrate our collective birthdays a week late, since no one cared enough to plan anything for either of us. Ha!
As Saturday approached, she she suggested going back to the restaurant where her surprise party had been, since she had apparently been given a substantial gift card. So she was offering to buy dinner. Who can argue with that.
Well, as it turns out, that’s where my surprise party was as well. I was led to the back room and was met with a lot of folks that I haven’t seen in years. Most of the folks I recognized right away as friends from the church where I grew up. Mark, Brandon, and Andy, my three best friends from my Bluefield days, all made the drive into town for the party, including Brandon’s wife, Kara.
My sister further surprised me with a video montage she managed to put together with video messages from a bunch of folks who were unable to make it. She said it would make me cry. It didn’t. But I don’t like it when someone tells me how I’m going to feel.
I think Mom and April were shocked that I was genuinely surprised. But it’s hard not to be surprised when your birthday is officially over and you’ve accepted that. And I was genuinely surprised.
So thank you to Mom and April. Thank you to Jessica for the part she played. Thank you to all those who came out to celebrate in person. Thank you to everyone who recorded birthday greetings in advance. It was a great night.