Thursday, September 10, 2009

Birthday Surprises

When I was in high school any afternoon, you could find my friends and me after school at the Country Club playing tennis and generally "hanging out". Not that we were lati-da, but in our small town there was not much else to do. Besides, my dad would pay my bar tab. His attitude was "at least I know who you are drinking with." Seemed reasonable to me.

My dad was a great party planner. He had that reputation with my friends from an early age. When I was 8 years old, he threw a Halloween party for me that included a cauldron complete with dry ice and scary games in a darkened basement with ghoulish voices howling in the background. Not only was his imagination limitless, he would go to extremes to make it happen. My 15th birthday comes to mind. Dad planned this great surprise dinner party at the Country Club. He managed to invite 12 or so of my best friends and pull the entire deal off without me having a clue. It was a great event. A large time was had by all.

He was so proud of himself. And he got a lot of credit for this accomplishment. One of his friends remarked to him that he went to lot of effort to plan the event. His reply was that he had always wanted to do something for his daughter's "Sweet 15" birthday. His friend asked quizzically, "Don't you mean 'Sweet 16' like the song?"

He was not phased. The following year, he did the exact same thing for my 16th birthday - same guest list, same place, same time. Now that was truly a surprise.

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