Last night we went to a surprise 50th birthday
party. We brought a small gift along, even though
the invitation specifically requested 'no gifts'.
Buying a gift for a 50 year old friend is not easy;
especially when the people deciding on the gift item
are of opposing genders.
My husband immediately announced his preference.
"We'll bring a big box of Depends
Undergarments," he said. "Unwrapped."
Not to worry. I was in charge of buying the gift.
I picked out something simple, and had it wrapped
with lots of decoration to express happiness. I
didn't imagine the birthday girl was so happy about
We arrived at the restaurant early as instructed
and placed our gift on the gift table set up at the
door. Then we sat down at a table with eight other
strangers to await the big surprise. A waiter
brought drinks with umbrellas sticking out, and we
introduced ourselves around, connecting the dots
between friends. Another round of drinks appeared,
but no food followed. By the time an hour passed, I
was hanging over the back of my chair, lips numb,
I whispered to my husband, "Please interrupt
me if I'm talking like a fool."
His head bumped mine. "Who are you?"
Finally, an announcement was made. The birthday
girl was on the way. Someone told us to hush. We
She came in, looked around, and let out a little
scream. Then she punched her husband on the arm.
She had thought they were dashing out to get a
quick bite in a casual restaurant where you eat
outside with newspapers on the tables. She had been
cleaning out the basement. She was wearing shorts
and a T shirt and rubber gardening clogs. No makeup.
Laundry clips held back her hair. She looked 50!
Never surprise people.
Copyright Lisa K. Friedman