40 was a bigger surprise than I thought.
Ok, I thought yesterday was going to be a nice, calm day with a couple of my closest friends and my wife. No big deal but awesome. Little did I know that my calibration on “awesome” would need to be reset in a major way…
We got up, cleaned up, and got together with friends for breakfast. Went out for a pretty pleasant day, even though it was raining, it was nice. We hung out, talked, did a lot but nothing “important”. I figured we were just hanging out, not a specific biding time until later type of thing. JR did a wonderful job of keeping me occupied, despite my best efforts to do what ever I wanted.
When I thought we were going to dinner, he fed me a story about needing to meet his girlfriend and my wife somewhere they were shopping. Completely plausible. When we walked past the window to the venue for the party, I saw my neighbors and thought “hmmm, thats odd, but inside the realm of possible”, then I started recognizing other people, when I opened the door, my first thought was “that person has a camera pointed at me, thats unusual.” then “why is EVERYONE that I know here?”, “I don’t normally see my co-workers, family and friends together”, “hey, what are the odds of seeing them, I haven’t seen them in years?”, “wait a minute, everyone is saying ‘surprise’, WTF?”, “hey, there’s my mom, why isn’t she in Las Vegas?”, “ohhhhh….. I get it”
Clearly, the surprise worked. There was a whole lot of context switching, pitching out of assumptions, working to bring in new assumptions, and all around mental re-jiggering to get the picture of the world readjusted to a new reality that had very little to do with the one that I had in my head.
I have a wonderful wife, a fantastic family and more friends than I thought. The surprise party was, well, a surprise. I did not know that everyone in my life could keep something like that from me; I’m going to assume for the future that this is a good thing 🙂 I truly had zero idea that this would happen. I had a passing thought that it might be nice to have a birthday party, but I was really okay that it was low key. This exceeded any (and every) expectation that I had for how my birthday would be.
The friends that we were hanging out with are from out of town, so I thought them being here was the big surprise, but that was apparently a ruse to squash any suspicions I had. For those of you who knew about this (which I think is everyone on the planet except me)… well done folks. No one let slip that they’d see me this weekend. And, you have seen a rare thing, me completely and totally surprised (clueless really) and completely speechless. As was mentioned to me repeatedly, that doesn’t happen often.
I want to thank all of you. It is good to be reminded of how many great people that I know and are in my life. Thank you for sharing my birthday with me.
I would like to thank my wife specifically. I’ve been giving you a lot of crap lately about stuff and clearly you have been working on a very important project. I need to publicly apologize for being a douche; my bad.