How to really surprise someone with a surprise birthday party:
- Throw the surprise birthday party 2 weeks before the actual birthday
- Send out decoy emails so the person thinks she is showing up for an actual potluck, and brings an actual bag of pasta to the FAKE POTLUCK
- Invite out of town friends who have been, for a while, lamenting to the person about not being able to make it down for a visit
- Assign a designated buddy to take the person to the party. Which seems normal and par for the course when the person does not have a car and does in fact need a ride to the “potluck”
- When the person decides to show up early at the location where party is going down, have the buddy stall for innocuous reasons, among which include: “I’m really thirsty, can we get a drink somewhere first”, “Do you want to stop by that thrift store we’ve been talking about visiting for so long”, “Since we have an hour and a half, let’s watch an hour and a half of Sherlock!”, and best of all: “Let’s play Clue on the iPhone!”
- Time the surprise so it’s unified
In retrospect, there were a lot of signs (full disclosure: some were obvious/ACCIDENTALLY PUT IN FRONT OF MY FACE) that should have clued me in. Sadly, I didn’t put them together at all. In fact, if I had the inkling of a suspicion, I actually thought of excuses to justify the weirdness. K surprised the hell out of me! And Claire and Ross and Jen showing up from New York! I had the most wonderful afternoon and night—being in a room full of friends, eating wonderful food and AMAZING homemade birthday cake, and playing Mafia (townspeople sucked). I am going to miss everyone something awful for this next year, but I’m eternally grateful for yesterday’s host of awesome memories.