I gambled big, and I won. There were so many things that could have gone wrong in planning Alex's surprise 40th birthday party--starting with the guest of honor not being there himself--but everything went off without a hitch! Alex was genuinely surprised and never stumbled upon the liquor I had hidden in my closet or the tortilla chips in the back of our kitchen cabinet. Whenever the old guy ends up wearing gold Mardi Gras beads and a pink hat at the end of the night, you know you did a decent job. My only regret is not getting more photos of the action, but that just means I was too busy enjoying myself. Sometimes you need to put the camera down and have fun.
This is a list to remind my future self (in case she ever thinks of throwing a surprise party again) of the potentially disastrous hiccups that could have happened along the way:
1. Alex would not be here for his own party. Three weeks before the big event, I made the executive decision to move ahead with his party and have it the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend. This was a weekend he was scheduled to work, and I had to gamble that he would be home by Saturday night. He did not get confirmation of his travel schedule until the Monday before the party. That's five days before the party. And if that wasn't stressful enough, I found out on Friday night at 11:00pm that if Oklahoma had lost its softball game, which it won by one run, there would have been a third game on Saturday at 5:00pm (in Oklahoma) that Alex would have had to work. If that's too confusing, the point is that he/we got lucky.
2. Alex would not have friends at his party. His birthday always falls on Memorial Day weekend. People travel that weekend, so the odds that our friends would be out of town were stacked against us. It turns out, however, that our friends must be just as boring as we are because most of them were here and made it to the party.
3. Alex would not have any food to eat at his party. Last minute RSVP's jacked up my numbers after I had ordered all the tacos. My mother-in-law came to the rescue, however, with a tamale run that saved the day. There was plenty to eat...and drink!
4. Alex would not have a decent margarita at his party. The bartender that I hired for the event told me she had never made a margarita before "except the frozen kind." Girl. This is Texas. If you're a bartender who doesn't know how to make a margarita, you're in the wrong business. I had it under control though. Because even though I don't make the margaritas in my house, I know how to make the margaritas in my house.
5. Alex would have to stay huddled in our tiny house with 35 of his closest friends at his party. It rained the day before the party. And the day before that. And the day before that. There were flash floods and tornado watches. But Saturday was hot and sunny--a little humid for my taste, but I couldn't complain because we were able to spread ourselves out in the back yard and order drinks from the bartender who didn't know balnco from reposado.