Have you ever had one of those dreams…? You know, the ones where you’re at a familiar location; somewhere that you might typically be, but you keep running into random people. First you see your boyfriend’s step sister, then you run into your mom, then one of your best friends, then your aunt…
That’s exactly what it feels like when your family and friends are able to plot and scheme their way into throwing you a successful surprise party (or in this case, bridal shower).
I should probably back up a little bit. I was entirely opposed to having any sort of shower. I hate the attention. I don’t like opening gifts in front of people. I’m an anti-bride. And I don’t think it’s fair that the groom gets out of all of this when we’re a couple getting married. I think I gave everyone involved a very clear “hell no” to the idea of a bridal shower.
I thought I was safe. It seemed like everyone had dropped it.
This weekend, one of my best friends, Jackie, came into town. We decided to have one of our hotel sleepovers on Friday night. I was preoccupied with our plans: cruising along the beach in her rental VW Bug convertible, having wine and cheese at the hotel, and having her help fix my brain. Jackie is a mental health counselor. She’s smart and exceptionally good at helping people deal with trauma. After feeling so messed up over the Nalie relapse, I was very much looking forward to having some time to sort it all out.
Jackie helped me to reframe my thinking. She helped me to let go of my doubts. She helped me to refocus and trust in my beliefs again. Together, we examined everything and figured out the purpose of the cancer. How lucky am I to have a friend like that?
…but I digress.
I should have noticed when Jackie tried to get me to bring a dress or something cute to wear for our Saturday activities. We were just going to meet up with my mom, like we usually do, for which yoga pants are entirely acceptable. I should have noticed that my mom was being rigid about what time we would meet up. I should’ve picked up on the fact that my mom had “car trouble” and didn’t want to go far from Boca Raton, even though she doesn‘t live in Boca Raton.
That morning when we got dressed, Jackie tried to get me to wear something cuter than yoga pants. It was chilly out so I wanted to wear my warmer comfy clothes. I wasn’t in the mood to get dressed up. I was tired. My eyelashes were falling out. My eyebrows were completely drawn in. I wasn’t feeling much like dressing cute. My wonderful friend dressed down to match me, despite knowing that we would be considerably underdressed.
We drove around, went to a coffee shop, killed some time, and then headed over to the restaurant that my mom picked. As we walked up, I noticed a sign on the side door that said “Reserved for private party”. I commented on how big of a birthday party it seemed from the outside. When we walked in I first noticed the face of Brian’s step sister, Jen. Oh, how weird that she’s here for a birthday party right now.
I looked around at the other people, my mom… Brian’s mom… my sister… My aunt… HOLY SHIT THIS IS MY PARTY!… Brian’s grandma… my friend Marisa OMG, hi!…
all these people are here for me!!!…
OMG I am basically wearing my pajamas to my bridal shower.
I was passed around the room from one person’s hug to the next, reeling from the shock of it all.
“Are you mad?” Judy asked.
I wasn’t mad. How can you be mad when people love you enough to throw you a surprise party!?
As was expected, I didn’t enjoy the attention or opening presents in front of so many pairs of eyes. What I didn’t expect was just how special it was to have so many people come together to celebrate with me and to shower me with love. I can only imagine how beautiful it will be to have EVERYONE together in April for the wedding.
Thank you to my loved ones who plotted and schemed and lied through their teeth to make sure I was surprised. My mind was blown!