Thursday, December 4, 2008


OK OK, enough of the laziness. We both truly apologize. How long does tryptophan stay in your system? Can we blame it on that?

Anyway, last Friday night I finally pulled off the surprise party for Crissy’s 30th birthday that’s been making my hair fall out since September.

Man. Planning a surprise party is for the birds.

Let’s just start with the fact that Crissy began asking me if I was planning a surprise party around July, with daily interrogations intensifying straight through October. And let’s not forget the fact that she pretty much guessed everything I’d planned for her.

“Are you throwing me a party at Alex and Christine’s house?” (not anymore)
“Are you throwing me a party at your sister’s apartment?” (I guess not)
“Are you throwing me a party at Portillo’s?” (I tried…goddamn it’s expensive)
“Are you arranging for me to pet a monkey?” (now wait just one damn minute)

Fact is, I WAS trying to arrange for her to pet a monkey. Crissy’s told me on several occasions that it’s one of her biggest goals in life to pet a monkey.

And I TRIED. I’m telling you I tried. Most of the people reading this post know this story by now, but let me just repeat this general rule of phoning strangers: if you ever want to get someone to hang up on you as fast as possible, start the conversation with the phrase, “Hi, it’s my wife’s dream to pet a monkey.”

So, short of taking a weekend trip to Bali (next time hon) monkey-petting was out. Instead, I threw the old lady a monkey-themed surprise party. And boy did we get her good.

We started the night with a fakey, extra half-assed “surprise” party at my sister heather’s apartment. It was sloppy. It was unorganized. It was pathetic. When we opened Heather’s door, 5 guests were waiting inside to surprise her. One of them was the Ramona the dog.

But I gotta give the missus credit. She did her god DAMNdest to hide her disappointment. Which made it so much sweeter when we got to the real surprise, which was in the party room at our friends Matt and John’s condominium complex down the street.

We told Crissy we were going over there to watch the Michigan avenue lighting ceremony from their rooftop deck, and the lameness of the fake plan was made even sweeter by John’s two genius improv lines when he met us in the lobby:

1. “I hope you brought warm coats…it’s really really cold on the rooftop.”
2. “There are a ton of little kids out there already, I hope you don’t mind.”

When we got up to the room, she said she suspected something was up thanks to the smell of the Portillo’s catering wafting out of the party room, but still…she had a satisfactory freak out moment when everyone screamed “surprise,” running back down the hallway to compose herself before returning to the festivities.

After plenty of booze, hotdogs, beef sandwiches, cheese fries, monkey balloons, kid n’ play choreography, and one decapitated monkey piñata, we headed back to Alex and Christine’s, where we were spending the night. Though we did wake up scratching our heads as to how we got there.

Which, when it comes to 30th birthday surprise parties, is a good thing.

P.S. Check out the monkey piñata. It’s so scared it’s shitting streamers.

No comments: