JournalismPakistan.com February 26, 2015
There are folks who give surprise parties for loved ones and the unsuspecting loved ones arrive at the venue and the lights come on suddenly and everyone yells ‘surprise’ and the loved one glows with excitement and spends the next hour telling everyone he never knew, never guessed, like wow, it was truly a well-kept secret, wasn’t that fantastic and everyone oohs and aahs with amazement at how well everyone had it under wraps.
In our home, it would never work. My wife would tell me not to tell the girls that she told me but pretend it is a secret, will you, they are planning this surprise party so play along and I need some money for the décor.
The girls would then tell me, one by one, not to tell mum because she is the chief planner and don’t disappoint her, so be a sport and keep up the charade and is there anyone you specially want to invite and don’t tell my sister, okay.
The caterer would check with me about the cost per head by error and I would have to tell him not to tell any of the family that he told me because if they knew he told me and I told him not to tell them the whole thing would blow up.
Then, days into the big night everyone would become furtive and pretend they had no plans for my birthday and I would play along as if I had forgotten and then my sons in law would say don’t forget to disappear in the afternoon, dad, so we can get the place organized and ignore the army of people, the battery of phone calls and all the other abnormal things happening around you, especially all the people invited not calling to wish you.
At which point my grand-daughter would tell me not to tell anybody, pinky swear, but mum has allowed her to stay up for my surprise birthday but you can’t tell her I told you Nana because it is a surprise and you are not supposed to know.
On the day I would have to act like I had this suddenly important errand or meeting to attend and no one would find it peculiar that having had no semi-important errand or meeting in weeks my calendar was suddenly loaded to the gills.
Then at 9pm or so my wife would call and say don’t notice the 16 cars outside the house and come when I give you a missed call only thing is where are the screwdrivers, the party lights have blown a fuse and we can’t find them, of course they don’t know I am talking to you but just in case what is the electrician’s number?
Finally, I would walk in and the lights would come on and 35 people would yell ‘surppprise’ and I would say, migoodness, I never suspected, I had no idea, wow, how did you all manage this.
And my grand-daughter would say, Nana, I told you three days ago.
(The writer is a Senior Editorial Advisor of Khaleej Times and the paper’s former Editor. He has also been the Editor of Gulf News, Gulf Today, Emirates Today and Bahrain Tribune)
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