Sweet 16 Surprise

December 16, 2011 § Leave a comment

When I decided to have a surprise party for Cathy’s birthday, little did I know what lay ahead of me.  There are many decisions that go into the party-planning stage, but in the end, all you can do is take a step back and enjoy the results.  Even if those results are some broken furniture, guests stranded in the cold, and social media almost ruining the surprise.  Well, you only turn 16 once.   

Cathy started bugging me to have a surprise birthday party for her back in October.  Her birthday is December 29th.  Of course I did what any normal big sister would do.  I rolled my eyes and carried on and pretended I was way too overworked and busy and tired to even contemplate the idea of planning a surprise party.  As soon as I thought I had her pretty well fooled, I sent out the invitations via Facebook and text.  It would be a party to remember.  Mom helped by constantly reminding Cathy that we didn’t have a big enough house for a party.  Cathy’s incessant whining about how we didn’t love her and were ruining her life was rather hard to handle, but Mom and I endured.  The days flew by as I made my secretive preparations.  Her friends joined in the subtle teasing, making it known to her that they wouldn’t be around the week of her birthday.  December 9th quickly approached.  I chose an earlier date so that I could surprise her better, and because birthdays right after Christmas are kind of hard to schedule.

Finally, the day arrived.  I came home from work and discovered that Julie, who was supposed to lure Cathy out of the house, was stuck in traffic on her way here from New Jersey!  Horrors!!  Mom invited Cathy to come Christmas shopping with her.  The ignorant child declined.  I texted our friends, begging for help with an excuse.  Patrick came to the rescue (unsurprisingly, because he is just that awesome) and took Cathy out to McDonalds for their final chance to eat a McRib (better them than me, I said).  However, there was a problem: he was also bringing Cathy’s friend Mary to the party.  We devised a plan where Pat would drop Mary off a few houses up and she would wait there until they had left. 

The second Cathy stepped out the door, I flew into action.  We hung up decorations and arranged the food.  I waited a few minutes for Mary to walk in the door but she didn’t appear.  I checked my phone and noticed that I didn’t have service for some completely random reason.  I pulled the battery and rebooted.  While it was rebooting, Cathy’s friend yelled in that Mary had called him.  She was waiting on the corner of College and Church.  “Oh no!!”  I cried in dismay.  She’d been outside in the cold for at least ten minutes.  I threw on my coat and tore up the block to bring her to our house.  Luckily, she’s a sweet girl and understood that my blasted cell phone had been why she couldn’t contact me to see if Cathy and Pat had left yet.  

After that small snafu, things went smoothly for some time.  Guests arrived, Danny and I went for the pizza, cameras were readied for the big moment.    My phone beeped and I read the text from Pat: “We’re coming in”.   It as time!  We turned off the lights in the front room (this turned out to be a bad idea) and waited.  A minute later, the door opened and Cathy walked in. 


It was a complete success.  She almost cried but laughed instead.  After a few minutes to compose herself, she proved herself a true Babetski female by turning to me and saying, “Why didn’t you warn me!?  I’d have worn something better!”  I was so proud.

Over the next few hours, the party carried on.  Dance music blasted as we ate pizza and stromboli, cupcakes and chocolate.  Cathy announced that she was fine with being smashed in the face with a cupcake and less than a minute later, Shannon did it.  That set off a whole wave of cupcake/face smashing, which I avoided like the plague.  Some of the boys attempted to fit themselves all into a chair, at which point said chair retaliated by collapsing and dumping them all on the floor.  So much for that chair.  Danny decided he wanted beer, so he went to the pizza place and came back with a 40 of Miller Lite.  I was NOT amused.  Richard and I drank wine.  Cathy got many gifts, most of them Taylor Swift-themed, some jewelry, and a Wii, which caused much rejoicing in the younger members of our household.  My father hid upstairs the whole time.

The night finally started to wind down.  Before Danny left, he and I took some cupcake bits and fed them to the ratties, who were quite pleased.  As I waved goodbye to guests, I had the pleasant feeling of knowing I had successfully organized a wonderful surprise party.  Cathy hugged me and then I collapsed on my bed and slept in really late the next morning.

Thank goodness Pete won’t turn 16 for another 3 years. 

Here is the video of Cathy being surprised.  It’s dark in the beginning because we turned out the lights so she wouldn’t see us all through the window.  Give it a few seconds and I turn the light on.


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