That time I kept a secret…

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This post is my response to this week’s Remembe(red) prompt at The Red Dress Club. We were asked to write about a time when we were proud of ourselves…

I’m not very good at keeping secrets. I am actually HORRIBLE at it…

So, as you can imagine, it was pretty foolish of me to try to throw my husband a surprise birthday party for his 30th birthday a few years ago.

I began planning three months in advance. I made arrangements with his little brother to fly into town, opening a new credit card and putting the airfare on it so that my husband wouldn’t see the charge and figure it out.

Two months before the party, I sent out a Save The Date email to about 60 people – all of his coworkers, our friends and family. I requested the day off of work. I began working on a party plan – where everyone was going to park, what kind of food I’d serve, the music playlist…

One month prior to the party, I sent out the official invitation. I called my husband’s boss and requested the day off of work for him. I began shopping for my party spread. I took a trip to the local Costco and bought $300 worth of booze and mixers. I secured the DJ for the party – a local police officer who moonlighted as a DJ and entertainer.


Two weeks prior to the party, I asked our neighbors for permission to park in their lawns. I cleaned out and repainted our family room so that we would have a dance space. We were using it as storage and when my husband asked why I was painting it, I told him I had an extra bucket of paint that I wanted to get rid of!

A week before the party, I sent a million emails outlining the details of the surprise. I placed the orders for the hot food platters I was serving. I began taking out various items I had stashed all around the house.

Two days before the party – one day before my brother in law was scheduled to arrive, I got paranoid. My daughter made a comment about her “uncle Frank” to my husband in front of my mother and we thought that the secret was blown. I broke down and told him that his brother was coming into town for his birthday, that it was my birthday gift to him. He was beyond excited! It gave me an excuse to go on a cleaning frenzy and start preparing some of the food I was going to serve at the party – you know, we were having a guest and all!

The morning of the party, I had him show his brother around South Beach. They spent all day out of the house while I prepped and made last minute arrangements. They came home for a while in the afternoon and then left to catch a movie and have drinks at a local bar. They were supposed to come home after the party was about to start…but my dear, sweet husband felt guilty for leaving me at home while he was out having fun and came back EARLY to ask me to come out for drinks with them.

He came home early. No one was even there yet. I had $300 worth of booze on the kitchen counter. The DJ had already set up his equipment. There were gigantic speakers all over the house. There were tables and chairs stacked on the back porch. There were banners hanging from the ceiling…

He looked at me with this startled, uncomprehending look on his face and all I could think to say was, ‘Surprise!”

So, he ruined the surprise. NOT ME.

I held it in for THREE MONTHS.

I have never been so proud of myself!

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  1. says

    Great job! I am terrible at keeping secrets! I don’t know how you managed to keep it a secret that long but congrats to you! And too funny your husband ruined, but hey at least it wasn’t you :)

  2. says

    This is so romantic. And you got to see the “startled, uncomprehending look on his face” which must have been priceless, I’m sure. :)

  3. says

    What a great story!!! I’m impressed that you were able to keep things under wraps for so long and even had the presence of mind to come with with a good cover to explain your BIL’s arrival.

    And the ending is just priceless.

  4. says

    even though the “surprise” aspect was ruined the thought was still there and I’m sure he was beyond excited and appreciative :)

  5. Sky says

    I’m horrible at keeping secrets too! I bet it was a relief when he found out though…right? Sounds like you planned a great party!

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