28 April, 2010

Him's getting old.

So, it's been rather a long wait for the tale of Himself's surprise birthday party... almost too long, if I'm honest, but the espionage and secretage alone warrants the recount, and thus I shall provide it. Plus, there was cake. Penguin cake. But we'll get to that when the time comes.

As Himself was hitting the big 3-0, I took it upon myself to completely disregard his refusal to ever be the centre of attention. Thirty is a big one, not even taking into account the fact that he's lived through the last four and a half years with yours truly, and this feat required celebration. Or so Gabs decided, anyway. Now, I don't work in Soho. I don't know the difference between where the cool kids hang out and where is sooooo last week, so a little over a month before the big day I began to pick brains. I called his three (three!!!) offices and put a general "save the date" on the wire, while at the same time asking where would be a decent venue to celebrate the wonder that is Himself. Several names were thrown into the mix, snazzy clubs and pubs, places with dancing and pretty people. Where did we end up? The Slug and Lettuce. For those of you who haven't slept in my living room floor, this is the pub where we always end up when Himself has anything to do with where we're headed. *sigh* Did I feel a little silly booking out their basement? Yes, I did. Did I worry that nobody would show up? But of course. Was my worrying in vain? Read on, good people, read on.

I had no clue how many people to book for. His three offices contain upwards of sixty people, but could I expect them all to turn up? I mean, I know we all worship at the feet of Himself, but media people are flaky by nature. I guessed at thirty and hoped for the best. I ordered a cake, and this is roughly the conversation I had with the people at Konditor and Cook...

"Hi, I need to order a birthday cake for my husband's 30th birthday. Blue icing. Blue. Yes, blue. Maybe some penguins around the outside? Penguins. Penguins. You know, little guys in tuxedoes with orange feet? Yeah, penguins. Yes, his thirtieth..." And so on and so forth. We got there in the end.

I then had to find a place to get some helium balloons, because yes, I am that twee. I started online, which was a mistake as the prices listed gave me a mild coronary infarction that took a few days of incessant smoking and hard drinking to get over. This is about the point at which Himself's assistant (who for the purposes of this blog we'll call the Jameson's Fairy, or JF for short) stepped in and suggested that the card shops should do them. Mind you, she suggested this amidst a storm of text messages all in the manner of big rig drivers on their CB radios... she's a special one, that girl. *grin* However special she may be, she hit the jackpot idea with the balloons, Clinton's had them and at a reasonable rate. Bingo.

I had arranged to get the afternoon off work to come into town and collect the cake, which on the day I did immediately after spending a truly interesting half hour on the tube with a huge bag full of helium balloons. I decorated the basement area, as I am my grandmother's granddaughter, and settled in for a fairly nail-biting wait... would anyone even turn up? How sad would that look if JF duly brought Himself to the venue and it was just me sitting in the roped off area with a cake and some balloons? Luckily, my fears were all for naught, as in traipsed the Lumberjack Guild. You'll have to refer to the picture below to see exactly what I mean, all I'll say is that apparently the latest Soho trend is "mad-for-plaid".

These boys were all too proud of themselves for having kept my arrangements a secret. They had, in fact, taken it upon themselves to spice it up a little and let Himself think they'd forgotten his birthday altogether. One of them in particular giggled like a schoolgirl with rampant glee as he retold his particularly insulting postscript to a business email, something along the lines of "oh yeah, happy birthday for yesterday mate". *sigh* Happily, they were just the start of the influx of partygoers, and soon we were absolutely heaving with people waiting to raise a glass to the glory of Himself.

We'll gloss over the difficulty of managing to get him to his own party, suffice it to say that rather a lot of confusing texts/phone calls were required, and many flimsy excuses were offered as to why he had to leave the pub where he was to find me at another pub just up the street. His face when he came down the stairs to find forty or fifty people shouting "surprise" and bursting into the birthday song made it all worth it. *grin* His cake? Delicious. His presents? Well received indeed. Hilarity ensued, and a good time was had by all.

So, we'll say thank you yet again for JF's involvement in the subversive activities. We'll also promise not to surprise him again. Well, at least for ten years. I mean, forty is a pretty big birthday, right?

08 April, 2010

Attack of the killer baseballs.

I've always waxed lyrical about how ridiculous I thought it was that people would spend inordinate amounts of time digging up their elementary/junior high/high school classmates in the murky depths of social networking sites. My position was that if you aren't still in touch there's a reason for it, and why would you try to force a reconnection? I've fended off several requests of that nature in the last few years (and none too politely, I can tell you).

That is, until a few months ago. A friend from junior high and I have reconnected on facebook. I know, I know, shock horror, I'm a hypocrite, etc. However, this was a funny one. I don't remember much about that time in my life. Most of my memories are patchy at best, remembering a certain event or a general feeling about how things were at the age of fourteen. Nothing too fascinating on the whole.

My recollection of how things went with us back then is a smidge different than his. I remember that in fourth grade, my then-best-friend spat in my face one recess and I never spoke to her again. In ninth grade, she had a boyfriend (the friend in question), whom I promptly stole from her as a very effective form of revenge. Does that make me sad that I was still angry and disgusted over being spat upon (in the face, mind you) five years earlier? Probably. Did it make it any less satisfying? Not in the slightest. I'm a bitch, so sue me. *lol*

I confessed all of this to the guy in question a few days ago. He looked bemused and told me that all he remembers is that it took him a few days to, and I quote, "talk me into going out with him", and when I broke it off I spouted all the queasy-making cliches about how I had too much going on with my family to have a boyfriend, etc. Embarrassing? A little. I'd also forgotten that we were in choir together, which I find a little worrying given that I was extremely involved in that particular area of my life back then. I must be getting old.

The point of all this waffle was that even after fifteen years of having no communication whatsoever, we still have things in common. There's a connection there that I never would have imagined. We drove aimlessly around my home town in his new truck (which he only stalled three times...) and ended up at the batting cages (where he was repeatedly struck by fifty mile an hour pitches from the wonky machine) and talked absolute nonsense for hours. It was unhurried, indulgent laziness, and a good time was had by all. Well, by me at least. Nothing better than watching an old classmate get battered by flying baseballs.

So, perhaps I should give the whole old classmates malarkey another go, if only to add to my mental pictures of batting cage violence. Now if only I knew who was organising the next reunion...