Monday, August 6, 2012

A Surprise Story

THE Person A turned a year older over the weekend and for 8 straight years I've been preparing something special for his day. 

The first one, we were just friends and we both had no idea that we will get into a relationship. There was even a very funny story that day, ask me when we see each other, it's not fit for public consumption. Here's the shirt my friends and I gave him on his 21st birthday.

Fast forward today, I own this shirt and use it as a boyfriend shirt. We recycle like that.

This year, I thought of something that I haven't done yet. I've done and given him the "usuals and standards" the past 8 birthdays save for a surprise party so for 3 months I worked on that idea: i'll organize a surprise dinner with his friends. Then 2 weeks before d-day, he thought of treating his friends to dinner! 


So I requested 25 of his friends to decline the invitation. What I did not take into account was the drama involved with his plans not pushing through. It takes a lot of pacifying, cheering up and assurance that everything will be fine. It actually worked to my advantage because he was too caught up sulking over his friends ditching his dinner invitation. He did not mention that it's for his birthday, he packaged it as a thanksgiving dinner.

So let me share with you the lessons I learned in my attempt to become the next Martha Stewart.

1. Work with a theme. I started with Person A's favorite color and toned down the femininity with grey and mustache. Surprise! Surprise! Person A's favorite color is pink! It has been that way since time immemorial. In the end I came up with Incognito Pink Dinner. It's a surprise dinner after all. I also thought it would be a blast to see everyone showing up in his favorite color. 

Since it's all about my customer, I also reserved seats in his favorite restaurant - as he originally planned.

2. Take the game a notch higher. At this point, Etsy and other creative websites became my best friend. For 3 straight nights and two lunches at work, I drew, cut and glued to make his day special. 

I made chocolate name cards for the guests. 

They were initially designed as goblet tags but the restaurant had none so I changed to plan B and tied the name cards to whatever grey-wrapped chocolate I can find in the grocery.

The birthday sign.

This is what I came up with as a salute to the Olympics. This is just an excuse since this is easier to make than the hanged birthday sign that I wanted.

The mustache.

I find this a must to while the time away and use as props in photos. This is the most difficult to cut and I prepared enough for all guests.

The balloons.

I am fascinated with balloons and what's birthday party without balloons, right? 

3. Have a point person. Since all of the guests are Person A's officemates, I needed help in coordinating the attendees and making sure that everyone gets to the place at the agreed time. 

I can't thank Ina enough for helping me pull off the surprise. She also took time to buy the cake, arrange the decors and make sure that we arrive just in time.

4. Have fun. Don't sweat the small stuff. At the onset, I decided that I will enjoy the night and enjoy I did. Once we arrived and Person A realized that his called off dinner is in fact happening, 

I stopped being a hostess and just enjoyed the food and the rest of the night.

Below are some photos friends took

Person A's cutest guest, Chloe!

The mandatory class picture after dinner.

All in all, it was one of the best birthday dinners I have organized. Person A is happy, hopefully the guests had a great time too. Yes, it's fun, enjoyable and fulfilling to make the birthday of someone you deeply care about extra special. 

If only I can do this over and over again, I would but I don't usually repeat tricks and Person A is too smart to figure it out the next time around.

I still have 364 days to figure out my next trick.

Photos courtesy of Jose Graciano Bartolome, Ronald Montales and Meliza Atienza. Thanks for sharing them with me.

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...