It’s probably safe to go ahead and post this since my parents’ computer is down for the count right now, but I’ll wait a few hours. My sisters and I have pulled together and planned out a surprise 30th Anniversary party for my mom and dad, and tonight’s the night. Due to reasons completely related to being huge with child, I’m obviously not going to be there. Even if we could’ve scraped together the money for a plane ticket, Toni’s not allowed to travel 14 hours away for the next 3 months…realistically speaking, we probably won’t be headed down to Florida for another year, but that’s another subject for another day.
I’m so homesick right now I could cry. Wait, I did cry. I waited til Caleb left, and then I bawled. I know he would say something like, "What’s the matter with you? You knew this was coming and you knew from the beginning you couldn’t go!" but I don’t want to hear it. Maybe tomorrow. I miss my family and my friends and Pensacola and the beach and sun and downtown (and did I mention my friends and my family?) more than anything right now. In the whole 3 and a half years we’ve lived in Oklahoma, I’ve never felt so far away.
I’m so excited, though, about the whole thing, that you’d think I was going to be right down there in the thick of it. My sister Jenny called me last month and we started scheming–keeping it a secret and trying to make the whole evening special has been a lot of fun. I got the perfect job of picking out the invitation stationary and addressing the envelopes in my kick-ass calligraphic style. We decided on a modest dinner party at a night club back home–the same night club my mom frequented back in the day, the same night club she and most of her friends partied at the entire week of her wedding, the same night club me and my sisters regularly shook our asses at whenever we felt the need to shake them, the same night club I met and wooed my husband, the same night club my littlest sister just so happens to work at now. It’s just about the most sentimental place in Pensacola we could come up with, other than my dad’s most favorite seedy Chinese buffet. But that wasn’t going to work out.
Once the location was settled on, Jenny went to work on the food and alcohol situation, I got cracking on making sure my mom plus all her friends were off of work for the evening, and Katie was given the task of breaking into our parents’ house to steal their wedding album and initialed champagne glasses. She did pretty good, other than breaking one of the glasses immediately upon lifting it out of the cupboard. But she made up for it by putting together a little DVD of old-school photographs set to music: none other than Debbie Boone’s "You Light Up My Life".
I don’t expect my dad to get emotional, really–he rarely does. I just hope he’s not onto us. To lure my parents to "dinner" tonight at Seville, a place they would normally never go, Katie had to lie and say she was being honored at an Employee-of-the-Month bash. Apparently the very thought sent my dad into gales of laughter, and, well, like I said, I hope the idea of our little Katie finally bartending and boobing her way to the top doesn’t trigger any suspicion. My mom didn’t seem to think anything was up, but my dad’s giggling left us all uneasy.
My mom is soooo gonna cry. At least, she better, because that woman went and threw a kink in our plans by jacking up her knee yesterday at work–she can barely walk without the use of a cane. We had about 10 freaked-out people on Operation Tina-Watch, everyone subtly making sure she took it easy during the day so as not to feel like skipping out on "dinner plans" with Katie. And Dad–you didn’t make it any easier. Of all the spots on 9-Mile Road to eat, and of all the afternoon hours to have lunch…Who does that? Who actually eats there? Why not Applebee’s like normal people? Then you might not have run into mom’s best friend, whose sole purpose of coming into town all the way from Virginia today was so that she could be there to help you guys celebrate your special occasion. Way to almost ruin everything, guys.
Oh, the suspense.
I’ve already made my demand for pictures perfectly clear to my sisters and all the party guests. I’m giddy just thinking about the shock on my parents’ faces when they walk into a room full of friends and family. I wonder if they’ll be disappointed that Katie was not, in fact, being honored in any way. I wonder if my dad will be truly surprised. I wonder if he’ll like the cakes we picked out (he’s a cake man). I wonder if my mom will get sloppy drunk and try to booty-dance after dinner, because I know she loves it just as much as her 3 daughters do.
Thanks to all of you involved in this conspiracy, for helping us covertly gather information on my parents’ wedding day, and for keeping the secret secretive.
Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad. Stick around and we’ll do this again in 20 more years–and I promise I’ll bring the whole family down there then. We love you.