A Birthday Tribute

Since I started this blog, I’ve been thinking about what stories from the past (more than 10 years ago) should I write about.  Could I remember the details, could I really get across how funny and fun each particular event really was and would I offend anyone?  Well, this will be the first test.

There’s two reasons I finally decided to take the plunge, 1. a conversation with a longtime friend over the holidays and 2. the 13th anniversary of this 30th birthday party will be in two days.

The year was 1999 and 30 was a big deal, one of those milestones you never thought you’d reach and if you did reach it life had to be about over.  I was divorced and living with a single mom and her daughter.  It was a time in our lives where we were figuring out what we wanted to do and where we wanted to be.  Both of us adventurous enough to make us dangerous.  Oh, those were the days.

This is about her surprise 30th birthday party.  I even dug the album out that has photos of the party tonight, laughing hysterically because I had forgotten some things and also because there are pictures of people who I can’t remember!!!  This particular party took planning and teamwork by many.  One I remember fondly.

The highlights:

  • Happy hour after work in downtown Minneapolis – nothing special, normal place, normal time with hot bartenders.
  • A white limousine waiting for us outside.  This was especially good.  Our joke when we saw a limo was to say “oh, our limo is here”.  Which is exactly what we said when we walked out of happy hour.   She was pleasantly surprised it really was ours this time.  Eats, soda, beer and champagne waited for us.
  • A trip to ‘our bar’ to be sure everyone knew she was over the hill.
  • A stop on the way back to Minneapolis to pick up her daughter who was thrilled with the limo ride as well.
  • Gifts such as: a mini Etch-A-Sketch, a bra for saggy breasts, name tags for all of us with names like Harry Krack and Buster Hyman, a blow up doll and other unmentionables.
  • A reserved room at a downtown bar where one of our favorite bands was playing so they could celebrate the milestone with us and get rowdy.
  • Her family from out of town came to see how crazy we were.
  • Excessive laughter and drinks with good friends.

The funniest part of the night was the ride home.  We had a sober driver (the longtime friend I chatted with over the holidays, poor girl).  The birthday girl and I were sitting in the back seat, probably not being the quiet, cooperative passengers we should have been.

We claimed we needed Burger King at 2:00 AM so she pulled into the drive-thru.  I’m not sure about anyone else but at that time of the night after a long day everything on the menu looks good.  I think the conversation in the back seat went something like this:
Me: “Doesn’t a Whopper Jr. sound great?”
Her:  “Oh, yeah, yeah, we’ll have two of those.”
Me:  “What about those Rodeo Burgers, the ones with the onion ring on it?”
Her: “Ohhhh, we better have those too, and some onion rings, order onion rings.”
Me:  “Fries! We have to have fries, don’t forget the fries!”
Me:  “And a shake, oh my gawd!  Doesn’t a shake sound amazing?”
And on it went for several minutes.  I’m not really sure who said or suggested what but we ordered enough for a small village.  The whole time we’re emptying our pockets and throwing money in the front seat.  I believe she tried to tell us several times that she had more than enough money but we weren’t listening.  To this day she tells us it was a nice tip for having to put up with us.  I imagine the bill was well over twenty bucks and we probably gave her fifty or more.

It was a night to remember with a few photographs lingering.  No YouTube videos, no cell phone pictures or videos (thank goodness), only memories to share when we see each other or in emails and texts.  I wish I was as good back then about writing down details as I am now.

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Surprise Party

Yesterday we had a surprise party for one of our friends.  Her husband planned it but a bunch of us girls were responsible for keeping her away from home for most of the day.  There were some key elements to pulling this off:

  1. Get together the night before so she thinks nothing will go on two nights in a row.  Stay out until 2:00 AM.
  2. Make the party beans when you get home at 2:15 AM.
  3. Laugh uncontrollably while doing this with your partner in crime (one of the other girls) because  you measure by the handful and make too many beans for the crock pot but ‘make them fit’.
  4. Go to bed at 3:00 AM.
  5. Get up at 6:00 AM to accompany one of the girls because she has to do 5 hair-dos for a wedding.
  6. Fall asleep at her client’s house in the chair….twice….one time jerking awake as you had a dream you were falling.
  7. Get to pedicure appointment around 9:30 to meet up with the other 7 girls.
  8. Allow a very tiny woman to do your toenails and give you a leg ‘massage’.  I use the term massage loosely as I think she’s a dominatrix at her second job.
  9. Laugh the entire time at the salon because we’re a bunch that thinks most everything is funny.
  10. Go to the grocery store and buy $130 worth of food for lunch at my house.  Tip:  Don’t go to the grocery store hungry and thirsty with someone else who is hungry and thirsty.
  11. Spend an hour or so having lunch and drinks.  Tip:  Always have a house that’s presentable in case you decide to invite people over at the last minute.
  12. Move the party out to the country to someone else’s house for drinks and haircuts.
  13. Start panicking at 3:00 as a group as we’re supposed to have the birthday girl to her house in 30 minutes and we don’t have a story yet.
  14. Almost get caught by the birthday girl several times trying to make plans.
  15. Husband calls birthday girl saying he’s going to bbq for everyone at their house.  Bring a can of beans. Well, one can of beans, the leftover lunch food and a cooler are packed to make it look legitimate.  Us laughing at one can of beans almost spilled the beans about the party.  We deserve Emmys.
  16. Arrive at party an hour and a half late.  But the birthday girl is completely surprised.
  17. Eat too much.
  18. Look at hilarious pictures of birthday girl and her family, missing the 80s.
  19. Drink too much.
  20. Talk smart with friends and family.
  21. Sit by the ‘fire’.  It was more of an inferno as we had to sit 25 feet away because it was so huge.
  22. Watch birthday husband fall head first for no reason into a pile of wood in the dark.
  23. Watch husband’s friend ‘check for injuries’ with the light from his cell phone while laughing hysterically.
  24. Go inside to use the bathroom and see birthday relative with no pants on.  Seriously, she was undressing with the door of the bedroom open right inside the door from outside!
  25. Round up 5 people for the trek home at 11:30 because of the trama of the no pants incident.
  26. Laugh all the way home at the stories from the day.
  27. Sleep like a baby.

The key to success was a relaxed day, good friends, a little luck and lots of laughs.