June 19, 2005

We Pulled it Off!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 1:09 pm

About six months ago, daughter TJ and I hatched a plan for a surprise birthday party for Mrs. Parkway. It required the logistics of the Normandy Invasion and was shrouded in as much secrecy. The ruse was that TJ was to be receiving an award from her alma mater, and we were invited to attend the presentation.

In the ensuing months, a restaurant and a menu were chosen, invitations were printed and sent out, favors were purchased, flowers were selected and ordered, music was arranged, and a host of other details were attended to. Fortunately, TJ, who is skilled at such things, did all the heavy lifting.

What also ensured that the event would be a surprise is that it was scheduled a bit more than a week before her actual birthday (which we will also celebrate, only on a much smaller scale).

The most amazing thing is that no one, not even the Usual Suspects with whom we spend so much time (often over cocktails when people tend to blab), spilled the beans. It was comical when a few times in the past weeks, because I am not very good at writing down dates, I was rather sternly reminded by Mrs. Parkway, “Don’t for get that we have TJ’s thing on the 18th.” I would feign minor indignation by saying, “Sheesh! All right already. I haven’t forgotten.” (ha!)

The timing was flawless. I had said that we would pull out of the driveway between 6:45 and 6:50. I checked my watch (as I had done a hundred times yesterday) and confirmed that the wheels were rolling at 6:47. I called TJ from the car, explaining to Mrs. Parkway, “I want to make sure that she is already there so we don’t walk into the room without knowing a soul.” Of course, that was the signal to get everyone in position and “shooshed.”

TJ met us outside the place so she “could escort us in and introduce us.” When we walked into the room, having positioned Mrs. Parkway in the front, instead of seeing a room full of people she didn’t know, she saw approximately 50 people, family and friends, who yelled “Surprise!” in perfect unison. I caught her when I felt her knees momentarily buckle. It was a classic moment.

TJ has written a recap of the event itself better than anything I could write today, what with the post-event exhaustion and the vodka-spawned bass drum that is beating inside my head at the moment.

Yep. Just like the Invasion of Normandy. It was a great success.

Oh, and Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there. I know that I caught the brass ring in the Fatherhood Department. I had a wonderful father, and I have a wonderful daughter.


  1. Ooo. Did she say *coconut* cake?! — pinwheel eyes — Happy b’day to Mrs. Parkway! And Happy Father’s Day to you! And congratulations to TJ for the Very Prestigious ‘Award’ anyway. What the heck!

    You gonna finish that cake? Heh.

    Comment by dogette — June 19, 2005 @ 3:52 pm

  2. How wonderful!

    Well done to both you and Twisty!

    Happy Birthday to Mrs. Parkway!

    Comment by Chrissy — June 19, 2005 @ 3:56 pm

  3. Thanks, Pop. Although, methinks you are being a bit modest. You = wonderful.

    And…we owe you a Father’s Day celebration. You name the date. I’ll make another pie. Mom can crank out *another* 5 lbs. of potato salad. Or, the Gargoyles (aka Mr. Surly and me) can always take you out to dinner. 😉

    As a side note — the pictures are AWESOME! Sending them your way tomorrow.

    Comment by TJ — June 19, 2005 @ 8:14 pm

  4. Happy birthday to my favorite cousin-in-law, and congratulations to the party planners on a most excellent function.

    Comment by Jack Bog — June 20, 2005 @ 2:45 am

  5. Glad the party worked out so well! Surprise parties are always a bit tricky. Hope you had a great Father’s Day weekend.

    Comment by zonker — June 20, 2005 @ 9:42 am

  6. That was a wonderful thing you two did! You both rock. I’m so glad it turned out to be excellent.

    Comment by Teresa — June 22, 2005 @ 4:11 pm

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