Surprise!

“I promise I’ll get you something on your day!” the receptionist called out after me as I left work for the day. It was her way of thanking me for the candy I’d given her for Administrative Professionals Day. I laughed. “There’s no such thing!” Nurses, Aides, Social Workers… they all have special appreciation days and weeks. I wished I could have a day to be treated special.

I drove to the YMCA where I’d agree to meet my friend and workout partner who I’ll call Michele. We did the treadmill for awhile and then headed to the weight room. I was just finishing up on my tenth machine when she asked me, “How much more do you want to do?”

That was strange. Michele wasn’t the type of person to be in a hurry. In fact, she tends to be over-accommodating “About 15 minutes,” I guessed.

After we finished working our hip abductors and adductors, we headed to the locker room. I had come straight from work, so I had to pick up my bag. “You’ll want to change your clothes, trust me.” She said. I frowned. Was there a rip in my shorts? Sweat stains on my shirt? Or did I just smell bad?

After we changed clothes, Michele said, “Let’s just leave your car here. I’ll drive. Or you can drive. I better drive. We can get your car later.” Our children attend the same child care, so that wasn’t too unusual. Maybe she just wanted to talk.

We drove, right past the usual route home. I wondered if she thought my car was at work. That didn’t make sense. After another couple miles, I asked, “Where are you going?”

Michele’s answer was noncommittal. She was laughing now. “I wondered how long it would take you,” she said. “Well, I’ve never been kidnapped before,” I responded.

We were heading east, out of town. I wondered who else was behind this scheme, and if it had anything to do with my upcoming birthday. I also wondered where on earth I was going and if I was going to back in time for my 7:00 meeting.

Michele finally turned into a shopping center, and pulled in to Cold Stone Creamery beside a familiar van. My husband was there, with my kids and Michele’s daughter. He had picked them all up from child care.

My children had made birthday cards for me and brought out a few gifts. It was my own little surprise birthday party! My husband had printed out a birthday coupon for a free treat. They gave me a Hoops and Yoyo card. “Don’t look! You’re not ready for this yet! Happy way-far-from-over-the-hill Birthday!” it read.

I ordered a “Like It” version of “Mud Pie Mojo” a fantastic creation of coffee ice cream, peanut butter, oreos, and other goodies. It was worth every calorie I had previously burned on the treadmill.

I never would have guessed my husband and friend would gang up on me to plan this little get-together for my birthday, two days before the actual event. I guess I got my special day after all.

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