Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Helping Make 50 FANTASTIC!

Yesterday was my friend Lorie's 50th Birthday (I know, I hang out with old people, what can I say?) Now, when my husband turned 50, Lorie was all like, "What's the big deal? So what, you're 50!" and my husband was all like, "OH my god, it's horrible, I'm old, it's so depressing!" I was all like, "My god, you people are old and you're dragging me down."*

*Actually, no I didn't, or else I might not be here today to tell you this story.

So ANYWAY, let's just say that in the days leading up to Lorie's birthday there was a great deal of angst taking place. In an effort to ease Lorie into this whole 'Old Age' thing we new a party was in order. However, my friend Lorie can be kind of a surprise killer. By that I mean, She has to know EVERYTHING! So, I devised a BRILLIANT plan! We knew she'd like to go out to dinner and we decided to take her to the same place we went last year on her birthday (that would be the night we (Our family & hers) blindfolded her and drove all over god's green earth, so she'd have NO idea where we were going... much hilarity ensued.)

So the task became, how to surprise her THIS year? Well it just so happens that my son had a late afternoon dentist appointment, a fair distance from where we live. So I called Lorie yesterday morning, wished her a happy birthday and told her how glad I was she was born. I also told her to be ready for me to pick her up at 3:00 and to dress nice. She of course asked "Why?" "Where are we going?" Even though she KNEW there was no way I was going to give her an answer... She's hopeful like that.

I picked Lorie up a little later than I had planned, which I knew would drive her even more crazy and then we traveled to the school to pick up my son. Which confused the hell out of her. "Why were we picking up Zak and not [her kids]?" "How were [her kids] going to get home?" Did they have a ride?" I assured her everything was all part of 'THE PLAN' and then my cell phone rang. For the next 20 min. covert phone calls went back and forth with messages like, "The Eagle has landed."... "The Fox is IN the hen house, repeat, the Fox is IN the hen house." To which I would reply, "50 is the new 30, repeat, 50 IS the new 30!" Lorie just sat there frustrated and laughing, while carefully noting every direction I turned and each town I entered.

As I neared the dentist office she shouted, "Oh we're going to Greenville" It should be noted that my kids dentist is located in one of the swankiest towns in Delaware, which might lead Lorie to believe we were headed to some REALLY special restaurant. Imagine her surprise when I pulled up to an office building emblazoned with 'Delaware Dental Associates' on the side. That's when she said, "We're going to the DENTIST?"

I should take a moment here and share with you, the reader, there aren't many people who would be so incredibly.... (not only), gracious but incredibly clever, as to take their friend to the dentist as part of their 50th birthday surprise. But I folks, am just... that... devious!

My son had just as much fun playing the game by throwing out comments like, "Where are the balloons & streamers and where IS everybody?" as we walked into the dentist office. I explained to Lorie that I brought her there expressly for the purpose to try out the fancy gourmet coffee machine they have available in the waiting room. She was a great sport about the whole thing, laughing and shaking her head and was terribly embarrassed when I introduced her to my sons
hygienist, telling her the whole story as to why Lorie had joined us.

Eventually we finished up at the dentist. All three of us were hungry so Lorie accurately concluded we were next heading to a restaurant. More goofy phone calls were sent back and forth and ultimately we all (both families) had a lovely dinner all together to celebrate, each of us taking turns wearing the extremely large party hat, I offered to Lorie but she initially refused to wear... But the fun didn't stop there!

After dinner we came back to our house for cake & presents... And when I say presents, I mean PRESENTS! When we were trying to decide what to get Lorie for her birthday, my husband said, "What does Lorie like more than presents?" That's when he came up with this idea. "I know, why don't we give her 49 individually wrapped presents, 49, because 50 would just be too depressing!" We decided together that 49 was the perfect number because, WE, US, Our friendship, could be considered the 50th gift (yeah, we're pretty arrogant.)

So when we got back to the house we had gift #1 sitting out on the table (I had each gift numbered from 1 to 49 with sticker numbers, thanks to the scrapbooking supply hoarder I am.) Lorie seemed pleased after she opened the lame 1,000 piece puzzle, which was her first gift. Then I went to the closet and pulled out the gift marked #2. She laughed, puzzled why each gift was numbered and opened a Post-it Note set. Then my husband went to the closet and pulled out #3 present. A desk-set pen holder. Lorie wasn't really catching on so my husband and I gave eachother the nod and together went to the closet and pulled out the entire bin of presents. You should have seen Lorie's face! For the next hour she sat there and unwrapped gift after gift after gift.

The card, which was the final item she opened looked like this:
Inside I wrote something to this effect:"Every year is a Gift. Enjoy every one of them, from your #50"

I later told her that the thought occurred to me as I spent long hours wrapping all those gifts that yes, 'Life is a gift, even though sometimes it can seem a lot like a bunch of shit from the dollar store.'

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Anonymous Christy said...

This story is absolutely AWESOME! You are a terrific and thoughtful friend! And the 49 gifts? Brilliant! Lorie is very lucky to have people that love her so much and go to such lengths to make her birthday special!

10:36 AM, January 14, 2009  
Blogger EmBee said...

So Christy, should I be scheduling a dentist appointment on YOUR birthday?

12:00 PM, January 14, 2009  
Anonymous Christy said...

I don't like to talk about birthdays (when they're mine) but any time you want to surprise me with cake and 49 presents, let me know!

10:00 AM, January 15, 2009  

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