Surprise! Surprise!

I have predicted a blizzard on my birthday for months.

Since I’m basically a fatalist, I just figured it would be payback for having such an easy winter.

However, the day is now here, and the forecast calls for temperatures reaching the low 80s. So no snow.

That’s a win.

Sometimes, there’s a moment between when you see or hear something and it registers in your brain what’s actually going on. That’s what happened when I walked through that door.

I had the afternoon shift on Saturdays at the diner where I worked weekends in high school, but my parents asked if I could switch shifts one Saturday the May of my senior year because friends of ours were throwing a surprise birthday party.

My boss and the woman I would be trading with had no problem with the switch, so I worked that morning and then went home to clean up.

The party was going to be at a former firehouse in town had long since converted to a venue for parties and the town’s annual pancake supper election night. It was around the corner from our friends’ house, and it had fields where we played softball, Wiffle ball and football.

So I knew where it was, but when I yelled to my father while he was cleaning up that I was going to go, he said that not only was I to wait for him, but I had to follow him and park behind him.

At this point, if not before, you probably know how this story ends and wonder how I could be so dense. Both are fair, but please, keep reading.

So my father and I arrive at the firehouse, and when I walked in … .

Sometimes, there’s a moment between when you see or hear something and it registers in your brain what’s actually going on. That’s what happened when I walked through that door.

Sure, I saw all the people I knew and heard them yell “Surprise!” but it felt like I was watching myself watching everyone else until my friend Chuck came flying out from behind a corner of the wall and grabbed me around the shoulders.

Funny thing is, that’s about the last thing I remember from my surprise 18th birthday party — which was about a week-and-a-half before the actual day.

And in case you’re wondering, my boss and coworkers were in on it, and I believe the friend whose birthday lured me to the party was born in … I want to say February?

“When all of this started back in March, I thought maybe we’d be in the clear by Memorial Day, but I was wrong. So I became a quarantine birthday statistic. I mean, if we weren’t in this situation, I’d be no means having a big birthday party, but I’d at least like to be able to go to a brewery. That’s all I’d want.”

“Turning 26,” Strikeouts + Sprinkles

I haven’t had an actual birthday party since then, which is fine.

My parents usually come from New York on Memorial Day weekend, and then sometimes Suzi and I find something to do on my birthday itself.

But since I’m also a quarantine birthday statistic, I’m chatting with my parents on Facebook after dinner. And when Suzi asked me the other day what I wanted to do, and I couldn’t think of anything, because I’m not sure there’s anything special to do.

So unless Suzi has something up her sleeve and I’m still dense 30 years later, it’ll probably be a pretty chill day.

Let’s have some stories!

That’s a favorite birthday memory of mine (here’s another one), and now I’m challenging the following people to share favorite birthday memories of their own and challenge other people they know to do the same.


Becky (Not only is she a birthday quarantine statistic, she lost a chance to go to a baseball game, so she had a tough week.)

Rosie (Her birthday is tomorrow, and she believes quarantine birthdays shouldn’t count, so we all get to stay a year younger and celebrate twice next year.)





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