Hi guys! It’s that time of the year again (can you believe it?), it’s only six months until my birthday. As we all know, last year’s “surprise” party for me went off with more than a few glitches. They were no one’s fault, so I don’t want anyone blaming themselves but I know you are probably looking for an opportunity to redeem yourselves this year. I felt that what was really wrong about last year is the lack of planning (and not remembering I HATE clowns). I know you had good intentions but let’s face it, without solid planning no surprise party is going to be error free. Again not blaming anyone, but that was an oversight, one that I completely understand comes from inexperience, that we should commit ourselves to not doing.
One of the first things we need to hammer out is what foods will and won’t be available. Last year, Chris and Tom both brought pretzels and no one brought chips. I’m not AGAINST pretzels, but having two bags is UNNECESSARY. That’s obvious when you remember that by party’s end we had eaten less than half of one bag, the other one remained unopened for weeks. Pretzels are not like chips, people don’t eat large handfuls of them in one sitting. The pretzel problem was amplified by the fact that no one brought any soda (sprite doesn’t count, Greg).
Greg, I’m not trying to “call you out” here or “come down on you” but bringing only Sprite to my party was foolish. I think we are far enough away from the party now that we can both stand back and objectively agree about that right? Personally, I think someone else should be in charge of drinks for my next birthday party but that isn’t up to me, that’s up to you guys. Also, rereading that last paragraph makes it seems like I am “calling Greg out” but that is NOT the case. If I was responsible for a party faux pas I would want to be told. I think Greg deserves that.
Everyone (but Michelle) is encouraged but not obligated to B.Y.O.B. (which stands for “bring your own beer”). Michelle, I know admitting you had an alcohol problem was really hard and trust me, we are all so proud of you and I personally have stated several times that you seem to have really turned your life around, but I just want to give you a heads up that I plan on drinking at my party. It’s my birthday, it’s only one time per year, and I plan on enjoying myself. I’m allowed to do that. I shouldn’t have to feel bad about drinking at my own party and neither should the other guests. If you feel like this is going to be a problem for you, you don’t have to come. I totally want you there, you are one of my best friends, but you know how you get and I don’t want you throwing all your progress away because of this. If you feel bad about missing out, you are invited to morning after party breakfast.
A lot of the problems we encountered last year (again going back to lack of planning) were due to people not really knowing what to do when I first walked into the room. I heard one person (Greg?) start a hard count, whereas a few people (Chris and Amy?) scream out “surprise!” and start laughing. This threw off the whole thing. I’m willing to bet several people never even got a chance to say “surprise” because of the botched countdown.
To be clear, the protocol for these things are a hard count of “3…2…1…” and then “Surprise”. The countdown serves two functions, it allows me time to WALK into the room and therefore get oriented before being inundated with screams. It also has the effect of ALERTING ME to something out of the ordinary about to occur. As many of you know, I hate spontaneity and have reacted violently to unknown threats in the past, which put a strain on the relationship of any person I lashed out at last year.
Yes, I will know about the “Surprise” party happening (of course) but I won’t know exactly when and where it will happen so that way I can experience the sensation of being surprised in a safe, controlled setting that everyone (including me) has agreed on. It’s better this way.
If I don’t know ’em, they are NOT invited. This is a celebration of me, as such I don’t want your new girlfriends, roommates or extended family attending. This saves me a lot of stress and I know you understand. I am bad with names, faces and social interaction. It’s not fair to me or your guest when I make them uncomfortable by yelling at them, crying, or (again) lashing out physically. They don’t deserve that and I certainly don’t. There is a time and a place for introducing me to new people, its called “over lunch” and notice that’s a well lit, neutral environment not a darkened, unfamiliar room with people screaming “surprise” at me. If you think I might know them, don’t hesitate to email but I’ll be honest, if they aren’t on the “Jameson Birthday Party” mailing list already, they probably won’t be approved.
A few people have asked if Jenny will be attending. The answer she gave me was a “soft maybe”. Now, I know many of you have been pulling for us to get back together after the events of last year but I’m realistic about it and will only say that I think that possibility is still a few months off. Right now, Jenny is insistent that we take it one day at a time and that means not calling her, texting her, IMing her, emailing her, drunk dialing her, or “accidentally” running into her on the street. It’s no secret that I hate the way things are between us now, but I’m beyond the point of presenting a clear danger to myself and others around me and I have the official police letters attesting to as much. I’ll be the first to admit that I handled the break up badly but I’ll ask that you refrain from judging me until you’ve walked a mile in my shoes. How would you feel if your soulmate left you? None of you know what that’s like (and that includes you Greg, since we all know you were a terrible fit with Tonya and honestly you should be happy it lasted as long as it did, that’s all of our opinions).
Things to look out for
1. Is Michelle here? Is she drinking? Do we know her Probation Officer’s name and number? These are things we need to be aware of heading into the night.
2. Are we good on snacks and beverages at all times? If we are running low should we consider sending someone to get more? Who has drank the least?
3. Does EVERYBODY know the protocol for the “surprise”? How can we ANTICIPATE problems BEFORE they occur instead of simply REACTING to problems?
4. Is that Jenny’s car? Well is she driving or is it my neighbor Anthony who drives a similar make and model? If it’s Jenny, how do we PUMP UP the party to make it seem less pathetic for Jameson’s sake?
5. Have I done EVERYTHING I CAN to show Jameson in a positive light in front of Jenny? Did Jenny seem interested in knowing how Jameson was doing? Did I remember every detail of my conversation with Jenny so I can accurately relay it to Jameson later so he can mull it over?
6. Did Greg bring only Sprite again?
I think if we all work together on this we can really ensure that this surprise party goes off without a hitch. I am 100% confident that I have left this party in the competent hands of people who care enough about me and my party to really raise the bar on last year’s, admittedly, less than stellar operation. I would like to end this with just a statement that I am completely ready to just experience this party as a passive honoree and don’t view my role of planner as one that needs to micromanage or oversee every last detail. I also have been working on having a more Zen-like view of life and therefore have tried hard to clear my mind of any expectations for what will go down at my party. If Jenny doesn’t come that’s fine. If Jenny comes and sees how well I’m doing and how awesome my party is and due to that realizes what a horrible mistake she made in leaving me and decides to mid-party invite me upstairs then I’m also fine with that.