Much to my expected surprise, my family and friends decided to throw my a surprise 30th birthday party on Saturday!
Vivienne began the effort and the planning by creating an elaborate web of lies a few weeks ago. She orchestrated the massive deceit as well as the epic cookery.
It started with Mom and Dad D. I was originally intending to go home this weekend, and they convinced me that it would be better for them to come visit me… and then, Saturday morning, they canceled. I was sad, so I tried to arrange for other plans. Vivienne wanted me out of the house at 1:30, and then back at the house at 3:30. I ended up helping a bit on my own by recommending a walk for Jen and I.
I left the house around 1:50pm
Vivienne, upon receiving the “Elvis has left the building” code from Shaun, promptly jumped in her car and booked it to Meriden. Meanwhile, my parents actually did come down from Boston, as did Nick and Erin, and my sister Theresa. The cooking and decorating began in a massive fury of excitement.
Before long, it was 3:30. But Jen and I were still walking around the West Hartford Reservoir.
Cue a phone call from Kevin:
Mike D: Hey Kevin.
Kevin: Mike D. … it’s the house
Mike D: Did it burn down?
Kevin: No… a pipe burst in the basement.
Mike D: eh, don’t worry about it. Just turn off the water main. I’ll have a look when I get home in a couple hours.
This was not desirable for Team Surprise Party.
Cue a second phone call from Kevin about 10 minutes later.
Mike D: Hey Kevin
Kevin: Hey… the main valve, I turned it off. but now it’s leaking. (sound of water rushing in the background)
Mike D: That’s weird, that valve is really new.
Kevin: well, it’s gushing out.
Mike D: Does the water stop gushing when you open the valve?
Kevin: …uh… yes.
Mike D: Okay, no worries. Just use your best judgement as to which leaks LESS between those two leaks and go that way. Is the sump pump on?
Kevin: …uh… no.
Mike D: Can you turn it on?
Kevin: I… don’t know how.
Mike D: Just reach around the left side and underneath. There’s a float switch.
(sound of sump pump on)
Kevin: Okay. it’s on now.
Mike D: Cool. no worries then. I’ll be home sometime soon to take a look.
Finally, Jen and I finish our walk and we return to her condo. Jen, in on the plans, was trying to get me to rush home… but I didn’t see the need. I insisted on a glass of water at her place and then eventually left. Upon my driving away Jen booked it upstairs, got changed, grabbed a wealth of preprepared foods from the fridge and started speeding to the house to try and beat me.
Beating me to the house was no challenge. I decided to stop at a Kate’s place to drop off a pan. So there I was, chatting on a deck with Kate while a huge group of family and friends eagerly awaited my arrival back at the House.
When I finally made it back to the House of Rock, I was two hours late. Still, it was amazing. Everyone jumped out and yelled surprise! The house was decorated with streamers, balloons, and everyone was wearing party hats. Party Hats! And the food! There was so much of it! Fried pickles! Deviled Eggs! Chili! Salads! Fruits! THE CAKE. It was stunning!
So many people came to wish me birthday wishes and it was so wonderful for everyone to come. Perhaps the biggest surprise was my Kung Fu family who zipped through despite the massive Black Belt tests that were going down in Middletown. It was such a joy to have everyone come together and be part of the celebrations. A mighty thanks to Kevin for his Oscar winning performance, Shaun and Jen for their planning and strategizing, and to my family and Nick+Erin who came so far to see me. And of course, special thanks to Vivienne who really went above and beyond the call of friendship in planning the event.
Pictures to be posted soon!