"Uuuuugggnnnnhhh aaaaahhhhhh arrrrrhhhggu uunnngggh!"
That is the sound of:
- Being slowly gummed by a toothless lion
- Being gently prodded in the legs by a bowling pin
- Being completely taken off guard by a surprise birthday party for the third year in a row
I cannot attest to the first two, so it's the third. You probably figured that out.
Why would I make such uncouth sounds after being showered with love by my friends? Love that still sort of befuddles me a bit because it's, like, a lot? (I still don't think I've done enough to earn it, pretty much. Still workin' on it.) Because...three years in a row! (Recap last year and the year before.) HAVE I LEARNED NOTHING?
After crossing the threshold of Lee Anne's apartment, thinking I was there for a small dinner party that I had planned (ah, that's the trick!—make me think I'm in control), and them seeing a a room stuffed with friends who had come out to surprise me nearly a week after my 26th birthday (ah, the other trick!—throw the party after my birthday), I let out a few too many prolonged grunts of, "UUUGGGNGN HOW COULD THIS HAPPEN AGAIN, UUGHGGGHH AARAHRHA I AM LIKE THE DUMBEST PERSON EVAAAH, UUGUNGGN OMGG UHHGHAA," accompanied by all sorts of rubber-faced expressions of agony-delight-surprise that could be elicited by nothing else. I should've seen it coming. I was walking straight into the lair of the Surprise Party Planner Master herself. (Last year Lee Anne helped organize my surprise party even though she was hundreds of miles away and couldn't come.)
And in her lair lay banh mi (from Co Ba), cakes (a carrot cake from Amy's Bread and a homemade mini chocolate cake from Melissa), chips, cherry brown butter bars (made by Emily—holy craponateapot those were good), bacon macaroni and cheese (made by Noah), streamers, balloons, Adventure Time, gifts, and more. 'Tis the most joyous lair.
- This was the shot where I told everyone to make funny faces. It sort of worked? Top row, left to right: Chris, Lee Anne, Veronica, Tom, Diana; second row: me, Kåre, Jeff, Claire, Emily; third row: Noah, Melissa, Gordon.
Thank you to all the people who came out—Diana, John, Melissa, Noah, Tom, Emily, Claire, Jeff, Gordon, Veronica—and to Lee Anne and Chris for hosting, and to Kåre for being a most excellent boyfriend and visiting during my birthday (he was here for two weeks; alas, he's back in Norway now). Extra points for Gordon for understanding the problem of being a photographer at her own party and helping me document the party with my camera. Also, thanks to Tropical Storm Irene for canceling my previously planned joint birthday party with Melissa (it was supposed to be on the 27th, my birthday, and a day after Melissa's); if not for that, the surprise party wouldn't have happened.
Can I be fooled a fourth year in a row? Probably. I'd say I don't want my friends to see it as some sort of challenge, but as time has shown, it's not much of a challenge when the inside of my head looks like this:
Yup. Yeah. It's not so bad. People sort of treat you like a little lost puppy.
Life is super good. And I have my friends to thank for reminding me of that every time we celebrate my loss of youthfulness. I hope you have awesome friends like that too. :)