Monday, January 28, 2013

Happy birthday, Daddy!

I am notoriously bad at keeping secrets and being discreet. So, when my Dad came in this weekend to celebrate his 60th birthday- I let everyone know--- even the band we went to see during their break. They then wished him a happy birthday during their last set. It was awesome.

Supposedly maturity comes with age, but I've yet to see my ability to not spill the beans improve. This year when I got my parents a bad ass Christmas gift, I only kept the secret until I actually picked it up. And then I had to call my Dad and tell him how awesome it was. One year, when my Mom got my Dad a sweet bike, I indirectly directly told him to go look in the shed for something (I didn't say what, though- so does that count?). I can't help it. Secrets (especially surprises) sit in the pit of my stomach until I'm talking to the person that they are about, and then they bounce around inside of me like flubber- until they finally tumble out of my mouth, immediately relieving me of the extra weight while also strapping me with the guilt of having just blabbed.

One year, when I was very young (5 or 6), my Mom decided to throw my Dad a surprise birthday party. A week or so before, we were out to dinner, and she coyly asked my Dad what he wanted to do for his birthday. My Dad, always the joker, said "I don't know, why don't you throw me a surprise party or something?" Momma, upset that all of her plans had been foiled by her kid that couldn't keep secrets, reacted swiftly.

"OK- no. That's it. I'm cancelling the party. You are not having the surprise party, Steven. AND YOU (turning to me)- you are not getting a birthday party this year either."

My jaw dropped and my eyes got wide. I immediately broke down-- Ben Stiller style in Something About Mary--- as my dad explained that he was just joking and had no idea about a party. (I really didn't ruin the surprise that time but my mom already knew me well enough to know I had a lot of trouble with secrets). I don't remember what happened, but I am pretty sure my Dad still got his party. I definitely still got mine.

And today, we celebrate my Dad's 60th. Twenty something years later, he's still a joker and my mom is still doing nice things for him on his b-day. But, if it includes a major surprise, she tries not to err on the side of telling me.

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