Apparently surprising the clueless is relatively easy. My birthday is tomorrow, but we decided to celebrate last Saturday rather than next. My original plan was to try to quietly and discreetly avoid the whole thing.
At most I planned to use my birthday to score a new toy and have lunch with both my boys. What I didn’t know was that my birthday plans really began back in March and were completely without my knowledge.
On Saturday we planned on going out to dinner at my favorite restaurant, Bend Fork the grill. The idea was to meet my Son and his girlfriend and have a nice birthday lunch, no singing, and no cake. I don’t like cake and the birthday song sets my teeth on edge. As I entered the restaurant I noticed my son and girlfriend sitting in a booth along with two elderly people sitting with their backs to me. As I came around to the table I found that it was my Mom and Dad sitting in the booth! I just couldn’t believe that they flew out from California just to surprise me on my Birthday. At first my brain couldn’t wrap itself around the concept, I just talked to them over the phone last night, Mom just retired and Dad was still instructed to keep off his feet by his doctor. How? What? Why? It took me about twenty minutes to finally realize a few things…
1. This was planned for several months.
2. Everyone knew but me.
3. Clues were everywhere and I was, well clueless.
For instance, my lovely wife seemed to be unusually intent on lots of spring cleaning on Friday, in fact she took Friday off from work (under the guise of working too many hours) just to clean the house. Also she was really pushing me to complete the final touches of the painting project we were working on. Even my youngest son was unusually helpful. I was so wrapped up in my little world that I didn’t notice. I even made plans on Saturday and Sunday to help out with some fireworks projects and was so skillfully thwarted that it seemed like it was my idea to just relax and do nothing during the weekend.
I really didn’t have any desire to have my 50th birthday. I made it known that I was hoping that my birthday would just get ignored and I could blissfully pretend that I was still in my 40s. In reality I secretly hoped for some attention, but not a surprise party. What I got was exactly right. I was surprised, but without the party. This made me feel so loved and grateful for such a wonderful family.
After lunch, we just hung around and chatted until later that evening then went Contra Dancing. It was so great to see my wife and sons have a good time that I didn’t realize that I really enjoyed the dancing as well. The next day we went to see Star Trek. I really can’t think of a better weekend.
Sometimes it feels really good to be clueless. It only bothers me a little that they made it look so easy.