Monday, November 23, 2009

Weekend in Review

I survived the weekend. So normally I'd probably be saying I survived the week but not this time it was the weekend that was a challenge.

My husband's 50th birthday was Sunday. No that's not a typo, he's 50. And with the economy being stuck in the dump and our bank account resembling the black hole I had to figure out how we'd celebrate his milestone.

My birthday was back in June. And we'd already decided that we would do something simple and affordable without any gifts. No problem. So as his birthday approached I had a similar discussion and we agreed no gift would be expected or even accepted as it would mean leaving a bill or several unpaid.

But you only turn 50 once. Three years ago when we were still dating and I moved in with him I had grand plans for this occasion. One afternoon over lunch with his best friend I told him how I was going to book a long weekend in Las Vegas for my husband and present the tickets and trip as a surprise. I love surprises. I love giving them as much as I love receiving them. My mom was always giving us "no reason" gifts, usually something small like a book she knew we wanted or a CD by a favorite artist. And those little surprises of unexpected gifts always made me feel so special.

My husband loves to play poker. He's not a big gambler and that's not why we're in debt. But when on vacation if there's a casino where he can enjoy a game or two then you can bet he'll be there, drinking coffee and hoping he'll win a big hand. And I know deep down he dreams of playing on the World Poker Tour as a professional. So how cool would it be to give him a trip to Vegas? And even cooler if I came along to shop and chill by the pool while he made money. Plus, I was going to invite a few of his friends along so he'd have buddies to help him celebrate. Wow how things change so quickly, just imagine three years later.

Now we're married and have a 1 year old little Vegas even if we had the money is probably off the table for the near future. Of course I could have done other fun things for him, there are so many possibilities when there's money to pay for them. But since that wasn't the case I decided I'd have to give him a surprise party.

If you know me you know I'm not Martha Stewart, not even a distant cousin and the only reason someone would even say my name and Martha's would be to give an example of how opposite we are on every level. You can't even say I can keep up with Rachel Ray. So, most of you may be laughing at the idea of me throwing a surprise party and I understand. But, I wasn't. No, I was stressing out about it. With more resources I could have made it a party to talk about, i.e. money to hire an event planner and have it catered.

But it was just me and a few friends that offered to provide a location and assistance with food. I had to decide if it would be somber, or fun, or full of all the over the hill gags. It was my job to create a menu, choose the right decorations, invite people without leaving anyone out and if that weren't enough to make my head spin, it also had to be kept quiet so it would be a surprise.

I have no idea how many lies I told last week. And when I lie I become anxious, and when I'm anxious I get stressed out and when that happens my body decides to go on strike. My stomach gets tied in knots, my head begins to pound violently and my mind won't shut down so I can rest. Doesn't that sound like fun?

First, I was sneaking over to a friend's house so I could get on the Internet to choose and order decorations. Then, I was stealing his phone to "backup his numbers", but I was really getting numbers of friends so I could invite them to the event. And on Friday night, the evening before his family reunion, I had to tell him I wouldn't be going because I was exhausted and too anxious to attend. Of course this was not what he wanted to hear and led to conflict which left me more stressed out. At one point I even considered just telling him about the party but instead just listened to him complain about my lack of support.

I spent all day Saturday running around town, buying food, last minute decorations, preparing food, etc. And while I'd planned on being home when he returned I was still busy making dip and reminding everyone about the time and location. It was exhausting. But I felt guilty about the lying, missing the reunion and not getting home to spend time with him, so I stayed up watching movies until 3AM.

Sunday morning I had to sneak out again to deliver the cake, check on the decorations and drop a few more items. Then I had to create a fictional story about having lobster with our friends at their house after we watched football with them. And of course any other time he would have just said sure, whatever, but this time it had to be difficult. Why do we have to go in the middle of the game? Can't they come over to our house?

But after it was all said and done the party was a success and a surprise. The food was awesome, not because I made it (LOL), turnout was good and JB had fun. So I guess the stress this week, and fatigue I'm feeling today was worth all of the trouble. And maybe, just maybe I'm one step closer to becoming a better cook, hostess and wife.


  1. Hi! Saw you on MBC and following now :)

    My hubby celebrated his 40th on Friday...threw him a surprise party Saturday. That was a chore to do while dealing with this awful cold!

  2. Glad it ended up to be a success! BTW, thank you so much for the follow and responding to my MBC thread. Google Friend Connect is not letting me sign in right now. :( As soon as I can, I'll be following!

    Nice to "meet" you! Have a wonderful holiday. ;)

  3. Thank you Theta and Penny Pinching. I enjoy both of your blogs and hope you follow me because I'm amusing and not because you feel obligated.