So when I'm in a bind, I like to pop over there and brainstorm ideas for how to spoil Stephen. This time, I found an idea called "Night of Surprises." Basically, you plan different activities to do at specific times of the day, label a balloon with each time, and then put the activity on a piece of paper in that balloon. When your husband pops the balloon, they'll know what you have planned for right then.
I started with that idea, but when I was almost done blowing up the balloons, I had a little spark of creativity: why not put something in this balloon?
It was the 8:45 balloon. The balloon that was supposed to come after rock-climbing, and after dinner, and after dessert. Mhmm. That balloon.
Luckily, if your fancypants underwear is really more skimpy than fancy, you can easily roll it up and stick it in the balloon. And actually you can easily roll up and stick in three, if you want to give your husband options and you don't mind the balloon being a little heavier.
I was feeling very smug about my creativity at this point as I secured the 8:45 sign on the balloon.
And then I realized, I could make this surprise even awesomer! I could take the balloon with us to the restaurant. Give it to a waiter. And tell them to bring it out to our table at 8:45. Stephen would be all, Oh another balloon! I've popped 4 of these already. Just a little piece of paper is going to fly out and that's it.
He would never even suspect! The waiter would never even suspect! And then, amidst a flurry of stretchy balloon plastic and lace, I would capture everyone's hilarious reactions on my little crappy phone camera, and I would have a delightful memory to entertain me for birthdays to come.
I left Stephen a note on the morning on August 3rd. "Don't pop all the balloons while I'm gone!" I said.
I'm doing such a great job building the suspense, I thought.
"They're all for tonight," I added, out loud. "So just wait until I get home, okay?"
"Okay!" said the Birthday Boy.
Then I got home from school. After thinking about my surprise all day, I was so excited to just put my plan into action. The time had come! I went to gather up all the balloons....and there, on the table, sat a poked balloon with an 8:45 time card. It's contents were littered around it.
"Yeahhh sorry," Stephen said, looking at me nervously. "I thought it was AM. I was just really excited....so I popped it, and then I saw what was in it and I realized I wasn't supposed to do that!"
I picked up a piece of the balloon and looked at it in dismay.
"But you can fix it, right?" Stephen asked. "Can you just put it in a different balloon?"
"Babe," I said very calmly. "You just ruined your birthday."
He laughed and gave me a hug and said he was sorry and promised to forget all about it, and asked if I could just put it in a new balloon.
So I thought, Okay, the surprise isn't toooootally ruined. Maybe he'll forget which balloon it was, and when we're at the restaurant, he'll still be surprised. The waiter will still be funny to watch. This could still work....
I put together a new balloon, again stuffing it with the paper and all my pretty unmentionables. But somehow this balloon had three tiny holes in the top, so air was slowly eeping out. I had already put everything in it, so I just taped it together, ugly, and hoped that the waiter wouldn't be a total dunce and drop the balloon in the deep fryer or anything.
It would be funny if Stephen popped it and everything flew out onto the table. But how freaking embarrassing would it be if someone popped my balloon on accident in the kitchen, before they were supposed to bring it out at 8:45, and then a group of 8 waiters stood there saying stupid stuff like "Ohhhh, shooooot, duuuuude, we need to get another balloon! What did you do??" I could totally picture this happening, actually.
But I comforted myself with the thought that if that happened, they would definitely need to give us a free meal, and it would still make for a funny story.
THEN. (Oh no! It's not over yet!)
We went over to Stephanie and Craig's house to help them out in their basement. "This will mayyyybe take an hour," Stephen said. "And then we can go hike Stewart Falls! And then go to Applebee's."
*Stewart Falls was not in the plan, but since it was Stephen's birthday, we obviously were going to do whatever he wanted - planned or not.
Anyway, we ended up staying there until 9pm (after 4 hours had gone by), and not going to Stewart Falls, and not going to Applebee's. Stephen, as it turns out, loves doing handyman stuff when it's not his house and he doesn't need to pay for it or meet any deadlines. He has actually really been enjoying his time in S&C's kitchen. Obviously. Since that's where he chose to spend his birthday.
We got in the car at about 9 and went to In'N'Out.
"Can we do the balloons tomorrow?" Stephen asked. "I really am excited about them, is that okay?"
Um, of course it was. Birthday Boys get to make all the rules.
We invited the fam over for some birthday dessert. And while we sat around saying what we loved about Stephen, his brothers Michael and Logan found the balloons.
And started batting them around.
And beating each other with them.
"Hey," Logan observed. "This one's heavier. See look, it falls so much faster." *Drops it* "What's wrong with this balloon?"
And so it went, for 45 minutes.
"Please don't pop," I thought over and over. "They probably won't," I convinced myself. "It'll be fine."
"Hey!" Stephen yelled all of a sudden, when he realized what was happening. "There's sex stuff in those balloons!"
And that's how everyone started laughing and passing the balloon around, and how I died.
Don't ever try to do anything for your husband's birthday.