About 2 months before my birthday I realized I was having a hard time dealing with the fact that I was about to turn 33. As I've said before, 30 came and went and I was not phased. But random 33 had me freaking out. So many things I've yet to do! So much procrastination! Life was happening and I was not at the helm, I was a passive-aggressive passenger watching it fly by and the list of things I must accomplish had very few items checked off. I'm starting to loathe my self-appointed rule of Procrastination Island. I have begun to seriously contemplate abdicating the throne.
My husband told me about 6 weeks before D-Day that I should take the day after my birthday, a Friday, off. He was planning a surprise. Add the surprise to my early mid-life crisis and I start losing my shit (a drama queen too!). "A surprise!" You say. "Oh, Joy! Everyone loves surprises!" Not this girl. I'm a wee bit of a control freak so surprises aren't really my bag (I hate rainbows and unicorns too ( < --a lie)). And my imagination is on steroids. Tell me there is a surprise and I will work up to an unattainable crescendo and be disappointed with the actuality. I know, no one's fault but my own.
I spent the week of the surprise in a frenzy. I asked a bazillion questions. Is someone coming? Should I clean the clean you do when company's coming? Should I buy a new outfit? New shoes? Will there be a party? Do I need to pack? Will we need extra groceries? How much time do I have? WHAT IS GOING ON? My barrage of inquiries was such that I expected my husband's next response to be his rank and service number. But he did not break, the man is a vault. I intend to inform his boss that his talents are wasted as an airplane mechanic; our country's secrets should be entrusted to this man. And it's genetic! My daughter was in on the fun and equally elusive.
I vented to my cousin. I balked at the unfairness. My husband is well aware of my disdain for surprises and delights in my discomfort. My cousin sympathized, she too hates surprises. We listed all the things it could be. Was my sister coming? My Dad? I didn't even entertain the idea that it could be my cousin because her job security was in question at that particular moment and imagining her visiting cast a shadow over any other possibility. We began to concoct methods to discover the truth. Alas, my cousin is far sneakier than I and was willing to commit acts I was not (let's add wuss to the growing list of attributes). Do not underestimate the sneakiness, Sir! And so, I was still in the dark and worked up even more than before. The morning of my birthday arrived.
In anticipation of the impending event (which may or may not happen today. Grrr!) I wore real clothes to work instead of my usual uniform of scrubs (I'm allowed to wear either business casual or scrubs; usually a no brainer but there was the surprise to consider!). I spent the entire day with one half of my brain doing my job and the other alternating between allowing my imagination free reign and trying to suppress it. The effort was exhausting. During the drive home the division of my brain space changed in favour of the imagination game I had been playing all day and bare minimum attention was paid to the vehicle I was operating. I drove home, I know I did because I arrived. I just don't recall doing so. Now ask me what I imagined the surprise to be. And how hard I was squashing all the anticipation.
The walk from the garage to the back door is about 30 feet. To me, it felt like an eternity through the bowels of hell. I was so worried I was going to look into a window and see the object of the surprise and ruin the whole thing or I would be disappointed and do a horrific job of hiding my disappointment and crush my husband's heart. So I walked from the garage with my head down, eyes on my feet. I entered the house and announced my arrival, trying not to look around lest I spy some clue before the big reveal. I walked up the stairs, eyes on the stair in front me. Three steps from the top, I look up at my husband standing in the kitchen. He smiled the most infuriatingly smug smile and asked me how my day was. Fine, I said. Clipped and monotone. Because even still, knowing the surprise is about to come to pass, his smile says it all, I'm afraid to let annoyance or excitement have even a little ground or I may have lost my careful grip on the little control I did have at that point. He told me to follow him into the bedroom. I asked him why and he said to see the surprise. So, I followed him and half way down the hall he stopped and looked into our son's bedroom and made some nonsensical remark. I was about to ask him what the fuck and tell him to just get on with it already when I heard a voice behind me speak. I have no clue what the voice said because the words weren't important, it was the voice that was. My cousin! I screamed (literally) and did a little dance (one I do when I've been scared witless or when I've been incredibly surprised, apparently. Imagine Fred Flintstone's set up before he rolls the bowling ball, mix in a little spaz, some T-Rex and a hop and yeah). Then I ran over and we hugged and said something about how amazing this was and how surprised I was and then we hugged some more and maybe we even cried a little.
My 33rd birthday was perfect. A visit from my cousin, who will be known as Agent Blonde from here on out, was the best gift I could have gotten (even better than Jensen Ackles calling and leaving me a message, which he didn't do, by the way. Who was on that? You failed). And the quickest way to bring me out of my funk. We didn't do anything too crazy. We did a lot of talking, we ate, we drank, we listened to music. Oh and we got tattoos! Her fourth, my first. They're matching, cause we're nerds. But they sure are purdy!
Mr. Sprite and Agent Blonde are my favourite people. I'd like to give you both a heartfelt thanks for the best birthday ever. And a big sloppy smooch too!