Charlie celebrated his 29th birthday back in January while I was visiting my family in the states. I was sad to miss Charlie’s birthday, but promised I’d make it up to him with a cake and belated birthday celebration. What he didn’t know was that he’d have a little birthday surprise.
Let me just say that planning a birthday surprise (even a small one with a handful of friends) for a super-focused, stressed out med school student is no easy task.
I went over to a friend’s house to make fun cupcakes – yellow cake batter topped and filled with homemade chocolate frosting, decorated with chocolate shavings and Rastafarian colored M&M’s. Plus the cupcake wrappers went with Charlie’s island nickname, Jungle Charlie, so perfect! Making the treats was the easy part.
The tricky party was getting Charlie to go to his own surprise party. I kept it small, since I knew a test was coming up and Charlie wouldn’t be able to hang out for too long, so I just invited a handful of close friends. Normally, Charlie will study at school in the afternoons, come home for dinner around seven, and then study at home for the rest of the evening. The plan was to have dinner at home and then go get some ice cream after dinner, where Charlie would discover his friends and cupcakes waiting for him.
Well, the evening of the party, Charlie come home for dinner, but was ready to head back to school immediately after, which left me stalling for forty-five minutes. This meant reading aloud all the recent emails I could find from my mom and sisters; watching Caribbean music videos by Vibz Kartel and Demarco on You Tube; explaining the Sh*t Girls Say video phenomenon; listening to songs on iTunes; showing him things I liked on Pinterest; and honestly, I cannot even remember what else, but there was a lot of stalling.
Finally, Charlie was ready to go, standing outside on the porch with his backpack on, ready to head to the library fifteen minutes before he was supposed to arrive at his party, which meant me pretending to look for shoes I couldn’t find and standing in the bathroom for at least five minutes with the water running, calling friends and asking them to call Charlie and stall him. When his friend’s called to stall him, Charlie’s phone rang and he pressed “ignore” and put his phone back in his pocket… talk about focus!
Finally, when I couldn’t stall him any longer, we walked towards campus together, and at that point I was heading to the ice cream shop to eat ice cream alone since Charlie was adamant on getting back to the library. Luckily, we walked by at the perfect time, just as our friends were walking up the street carrying the cupcakes. Needless to say Charlie was very, very surprised, especially since his birthday was a few weeks past. Everyone yelled surprise, and we had a good laugh about how difficult it was to get Charlie to his own surprise party. We all hung out for thirty minutes or so and enjoyed the cupcakes, and then Charlie headed off to the library.
It was a good birthday, hilarious, and short but sweet! Happy belated birthday Charlie!