I pride myself on my observant qualities and, lacking a firm filter, I have been known to blurt "I knew it!" when faced with a "surprise" situation. (fun, huh?)
The Birthday 2003 Situation was the rare and perfect combo of awesome AND surprise. This makes for a good memory that needs to be shared.
Leading up to that particular Summer, I'd packed on a few pounds. Turns out 20 minutes, per week, of Denise Austin videos isn't a successful weapon against fast food lunches, every day.
disclaimer 1: to avoid "those" types of comments : I'm naturally blessed with a decent metabolism and figure. "Bigger" for me, may be "smaller" for others...and vice versa. It's all relative.
I kept ignoring it until my boyfriend and I returned from a cruise, and I was checking out the pics we'd taken.
jk. this *was* actually one of the cruise photos, tho! Perfect, no?
this was one that gave me pause
I started taking walks, increased Denise and attempted to control my french fry binges. (mmmm Checkers!) I mentioned, more than once, that a treadmill would be real handy. Maybe you haven't heard, but Summertime, in Florida, is hot. It was difficult for me to motivate myself to go for long, lonely, hot walks.
Have you already figured out that this was me in my pre-runner days?
With my birthday on the horizon, I made a spur-of-the-moment decision to plan a weekend getaway. My sister, her boyfriend and a couple other friends were going to join my current boyfriend and I for an overnight stay on the beach. This wasn't a common occurence, so I was a bit surprised when the parties involved were reluctant to participate. In the end, though, everyone agreed to split the cost of the hotel room and food.
The rest of my family joined us for dinner, before the hotel partying. It was at that time, that they revealed my birthday present:
They had all, including my boyfriend gone in, together, and purchased a treadmill for me! My very own exercise machine! It was a really fancy one, too. No expense was spared. As delighted as I was, I felt immediately guilty for having the expense of the weekend tacked onto all the money they'd already spent. :(
Nonetheless, we enjoyed ourselves (maybe a little too much?) but had all day Sunday (my actual birthday) to relax and recover, somewhat.
My sister and boyfriend told me we were all getting together, again, Sunday night, for a poker game at a friend's house. We generally played, once a week or so (low stakes, lots of fun) so this wasn't unusual. We do, however, have a very cool poker table, so it wasn't terribly common for us to go to a different house to play.
That's when the wheels started turning...
"There's going to be a surprise party for me, at Joe's house!" I thought. It just made sense. Everything was fitting together too perfectly for it to be anything else. I excitedly ran my errands, worked on my "GASP! For ME?!" face, and arrived back home to get ready to head to the "poker night".
When I walked through the living room to put down my bags, it occurred to me as
only slightly odd that every candle in my (vast) collection was burning brightly. Even when I glanced over and saw my boyfriend, one on knee, holding a small box, I thought "this is a really elaborate gesture for a pair of earrings".
disclaimer 2: when you've been dating the same person for five years, self-preservation kicks in and tells you that marriage may not actually ever happen, after all.
It should be no suprise to anyone that I said "yes" before he even got all words out.
In the excited aftermath, it was revealed that the Treadmill gift was just a (very expensive) decoy. He was so gung-ho about surprising me, he hadn't even told my parents what he was planning.
Last year, we sold The Infamous Treadmill through Craigslist. I was a little sad to part with it, due to the memories it evoked every time my feet pounded on it. However, I reminded myself that I have a much more amazing souvenir of that night.
that is actually us, in Las Vegas, where we did actually get married. But this isn't from our wedding. Long story, but another photo inclusion that was too perfect to pass up.
I'll take him, over any gift, anytime.