Surprise Party


If anyone has ever worried about arriving too late for a surprise party and potentially ruining said surprise, let me tell you that I did exactly that on Saturday night…and lived to tell the disastrous tale.

The surprise party was scheduled for 8pm at a hotel in Boston. My cousin and her husband would be eating dinner at the hotel and we were to all wait in the bar area on the second floor. I arrived at exactly 8pm…on the dot…because I am nothing if not prompt. As I spun my way through the revolving door, I saw my cousin heading out of the restaurant and into the bathroom. (Problem with surprise parties in hotels…typically the bathroom is in the lobby…a lobby that needs to be crossed at all bathroom intervals…a lobby that could be entered at any point by a surprise party-goer.) So she saw me. We locked eyes but she looked down and continued on her way. My first optimistic thought was, “She didn’t see me! I made it under the radar!” Then common sense kicked in and I began to realize that she MUST have seen me. There was no way she couldn’t have seen me. There was no one else in the lobby but me and my cousin. She definitely saw me. So then I thought, “Well, she must know about the surprise party and will therefore continue with the facade. She’ll act surprised when she arrives at the party and our momentary eye-lock will be our own dirty family secret. (Everyone has those, right?) So I proceeded to the party. Told my other cousin that I had almost been spotted but we were in the clear!

Then my cousin arrived at her party.

We yelled surprise.

She looked into the gathered group of friends and family, smiled weakly and said, “I saw Jocelyn. I figured out what was up.”

At this point everyone turned to stare at me, the ruiner of the party. (Not a real word, but it fits the description of my role at the party.) Why my cousin couldn’t have just pretended to be surprised, I may never know. But that’s what family is for, right, to confuse and baffle us all.

I sucked up all the moxie I could and continued to smile and socialize, knowing full well that everyone viewed me as enemy #1. I ate, drank and was as merry as possible. And that was how I spent my Saturday night…how was yours?

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