Here’s my mom, some years ago:
She was a fox, non?
Here she is, a few years previous to that:
Adorable, am I right?
My mom turned sixty this June, and I decided way back in January that it was high time we threw her a big ass surprise party. So I called some of her closest friends and asked them to help me plan, since I don’t exactly live in my parents’ hometown anymore. My mom’s friends were wonderful. They planned everything, spent countless hours and lots of their own money to throw my mom a fantastic party. And the best part? She had no idea.
She walked into a room full of about 45 friends and family, some of them from far out of town, many whom she would never have expected to see, each of them holding a “Jane” mask, and I honestly thought she might just faint.
She covered well by laughing her ass off.
I think the key to making a party like this successful is twofold: have great help and keep the secret. As I said, I did hardly any work – mom’s friends made the food, decorated the space, sent invitations, and planned just about everything. I brought the booze, which is a valid contribution, I suppose. I also kept my dad in line, reminding him to send photos of mom throughout her life to the party planning crew (they were printed out and placed all over the room) and helping him concoct a decent cover story to get her there.
But the real work was not telling mom. Not letting anything slip. I think that’s how we ended up with the Jane masks; mom’s close friend, Keleigh, was annoyed enough at having such a secret that she made a bunch of Jane masks for us all to hold over our faces as mom walked in the room. That’s some creative retribution.
I can’t believe how well we pulled it off. My mom’s so damned perceptive, it’s really amazing it all worked out so well. And she, of all people in the world, should now have an inkling of how much we all love and appreciate her. I hope she lives to be a hundred.