Sunday, December 03, 2006

How to host a surprise party

Lessons from our good friend Andy, who successfully surprised his wife with a 40th birthday party to remember.
1. Throw the party three weeks before the actual birthday to throw off the scent.
2. If she's not a bowler, throwing it at bowling alley shouldn't raise any red flags.
2. Come up with a reasonable alibi for the evening--one good enough to warrant hiring a sitter for your new baby. In this case Andy told Deb it was a birthday party for a one of his friends' wives. Deb wasn't totally convinced it was a sitter-worthy event, but she needed a break and hired one without too much proding. She even brought a gift for the supposed birthday girl.
3. Get help. Andy co-hosted the party with his in-laws, and between the two of them they were able to track down and invite a wide variety of friends. I ended up bowling with a former co-worker of Deb's who has known her for 15 years!

Watching Deb's face as she realized what was going on -- and who was there -- was wonderful. She was obviously floored by her husband's efforts. Even her in-laws flew in!

And the party was a lot of fun even for those of us who weren't "bowled over" by the surprise...or our bowling scores. Well worth the cost of a sitter (hi Julia).