Surprise!Posted: March 27, 2012
In a little over a month, my parents will be celebrating their Fortieth Anniversary. They are going on a two-week cruise to Hawaii. (I am jealous, except for the whole boat thing.) They planned their cruise over their actual anniversary so they will be gone.
In the past, at least since we have been adults, my sister and I have always tried to do something for at least these significant anniversaries.
The first one we actually did something was on their 25th. We truly started to have second thoughts about the whole thing while in the middle of planning everything.
Their anniversary is in the middle of May. My sister and I decided to have a surprise party for them. We reserved a park shelter, invited about fifty of their friends, co-workers, and family. We had a cake made to resemble the one they had at their wedding. We really thought that it was going to be really cool, they would be so surprised!
We started planning the party in January or February, in order to make it all work, we got my Aunt Jan in on the action. My Aunt and family, lived in the Chicago-land area, and would come to visit several times a year. When we were in the planning stages of everything, we were trying to figure out a way to make it so that my parents would for sure be home the weekend we were planning the party. We had my Aunt call our Mom, and tell her that they were coming for a visit on this weekend, arriving Friday night, and going back on Sunday.
Our Mom was pissed. We heard about it for months, if not daily. They were ruining her anniversary. Why in the world would they insist on coming then? Why couldn’t she convince her to reschedule this visit? On and on and on. The closer we got to the actual anniversary the worse the bitching got. The thing is, my Mom never complained to my Aunt, only to my sister and I. We really almost cancelled the party. For the longest time we were worried that she was really going to be pissed forever.
The weekend of the party, a couple of days prior to everyone getting there, we suggested that we just make the best of their visit, and have a picnic at the park. She wasn’t having it. She said we could take them to the park, and she and Dad would go do something. We finally convinced her that it was going to be okay, that we would do everything, and she just needed to show up, and we would have a nice picnic.
In the end, she was surprised. She did finally “get it,” apologized for being a pain in the ass, and had lots of fun. She even eventually told us that she was happy that our family came in from out-of-town.
On their 35th, we took them to dinner and surprised them by inviting their friends who had originally set them up on their very first date, and had a really nice dinner. We had to argue with my “uncle” over paying the bill, but never the less we all had a great time. Since we refused his money, our waitress got one hell of a tip that night.
This year with them being gone, we were struggling with what we could do.
My sister and I are having a joint birthday party for my youngest niece, almost 7, and Mea, almost 6. Their birthday’s are exactly a week apart, and we have many cross-over friends that would be attending, and since we are renting a park shelter and fancy wading pool, we can invite all their school friends and family, it should be really fun. (Can you believe that my baby is going to be six years old?)
We had started planning the girl’s party, and then I had a thought. We could really surprise them, by adding a few of their friends, and adding a Fortieth Anniversary Party to the already crazy combo 6 and 7-year-old birthday party. So that’s exactly what we are doing. I have already called several of their friends, and some family and they are all in. My parents will obviously be coming to their granddaughter’s birthday parties, and will be none the wiser that there is a mini-celebration for them as well. We are going to set up a couple of tables that will be just for them, and their friends, decorate them a little differently, and I will be making my Mom’s favorite cake.
Since this party isn’t going to include unexpected house guests, I would expect that we shouldn’t have any whining going on prior to the party.
My sister and I learned our lesson big time with that one.