Tuesday, December 13, 2011

D-Day...oops! I mean B-Day Extravaganza '11

Birthdays are a big deal to me, so for Cute Guitar Guy's 32nd, I had big things planned for him.  I am a planner by nature, so the details were mapped out weeks ago to make sure that every aspect was perfect for him.  What is it they say about the best laid plans again??

Tuesday, November 15th at approxmately 5pm: Knowing what a huge Southern Illinois basketball fan he is, I ordered Ryan 2 Saluki shirts and tickets to a January game against Northern Iowa.  Basking in the glory of such a well thought out gift, I put aside planning the remaining details of his birthday and got ready for our date that night.

Tuesday, November 15th at approximately 8pm: Ryan starts talking about college basketball and how sad he is that Illinois isn't playing Iowa this season in Iowa City where we could see them. Then he started talking about how that was okay, because Southern Illinois is his real favorite. With a sigh, he said, "SIU actually plays at UNI this year, but I'm not getting tickets. Last time I went, 2 friends from home went with me and the SIU coaches spotted us in our Saluki gear and gave us court side seats right behind the bench.  It was AMAZING, and since I know I can't get seats like that again, I would just rather not go."

Awesome.  1/3 of the gift I just bought him THREE hours ago has now been specifically vocalized as something he doesn't want.  Don't panic, Higdon.  You have almost a month left to plan the rest of his special day and can make up for the crappy gift with the celebration.

Wednesday, November 30th: He loves movies, and had been talking about seeing 'Moneyball' since we saw the first preview. We hadn't gotten around to seeing it yet, so I decided that this would be a good activity for us to do on his birthday.  Birthday Extravaganza '11 is back on track! He's been talking a lot lately about how much he'd like to see SIU play, so I'm even feeling pretty good about his presents again.  Yes, this will be a fantastic day for him!

Wednesday, December 7th: Phone conversation while I was on the road for work:
Ryan: "Man, Northern Iowa is on tv. I don't want to watch that crap. They're terrible."
Me: "You don't want to watch Northern Iowa because they're bad? What if they were playing a team you loved?"
Ryan: "No, they're terrible. I wouldn't watch them even if I had free tickets to see them play Southern Illinois. Besides, the only time I ever saw them we had courtside tickets against SIU and you can't really top that."

                       ...and we're back to knowing that he's going to hate his gift...

Friday, December 9th at approximately 6pm: I made a special trip to the store to pick up his favorite ice cream, Ben & Jerry's Strawberry Cheesecake, to hide in my freezer and have for the cake and ice cream portion of his birthday. For the cake portion, I would be picking up a gourmet peanut butter cupcake for him on Monday morning.  So pleased with myself, I hurried home to hide the frozen goodness and get ready for our date.

Friday, December 9th at approximately 8pm:
Ryan: "I HAVE to get serious about my diet again, starting right now.  NO CHEATING!"
Me: "But you can cheat on Monday for your birthday, right?"
Ryan: "Well, a little.  I can have a steak at dinner, but I can't have anything high in carbs.  And absolutely no ice cream."

Saturday, December 10th: While at dinner, he asks me if I want to go see Moneyball tonight instead of just going home.  I answered with a simple "no" because that's already on the secret agenda for Monday!  He said, "Yeah, you know, I've been thinking about it, and I don't really want to see it in the theater that much.  I've had plenty of chances the last month and didn't go.  I'm actually glad you said no, because the more I think about it, the more I would really rather watch it at home once it's out on dvd.  I'd enjoy it a lot more that way." Fan freaking tastic. T minus 48 hours and he has unknowingly told me how he is going to hate EVERY piece of his birthday that I have planned.

Sunday, December 11th: After a 'North Woods' themed Christmas (see matching flannel below) party for church staff and their significant others (where our African pastor's wife mistakenly called me Ryan's wife, and then the African pastor corrected her by calling me Ryan's fiancee...both of which left Ryan literally speechless and stuttering to deny both titles --- looks like Santa will not be bringing me any bling this year!), we came home to watch a movie. He mentioned how excited he was for his birthday the following day, and I mentioned how he was going to hate everything I had planned, as I had been saying all weekend.  On the verge of a meltdown, he hugged me and said, 'Heidi, please stop stressing about my birthday.  The fact that I have you makes it a great birthday already, so take off your event planner cap for just one day and enjoy the moment with me.' Insert collective 'awww' here.

Monday, December 12th:  Here it was. The movie-he-doesn't-want-to-see-before-the-ice-cream-he-can't-have-and-presents-he-will-hate-day.  Can't wait.  My last hope was the gourmet peanut butter cupcake.  After an hour long butter cream shortage fiasco, I made my escape with the SOLE peanut butter cupcake they were able to make.  Perfect and pristine in its travel box, I hurried home to hide it in the fridge before our big outing. 

He came over around 1pm with a Chris Young cd for me that I have been wanting for weeks (doesn't he know how birthdays work? He gets the presents, not me!), and I wisked him away to the theater to see Moneyball (which we both loved) and then came back home to change before dinner.  Having starved him at lunch time so that he would be hungry for dinner, I told him he could have 1 of his 2 surprise treats as a snack.  I took the cupcake out of the fridge and said to him "You can't look yet - your surprise treat needs to thaw for a minute or two before it can be eaten." Having thought that I clearly explained myself, I went to change into my outfit for dinner.  I emerged from my room 5 minutes later to hear him say, "That cupcake was delicious!" Believing that he was just teasing me, I said, "Yeah right", to which he showed me the wrapper and said, "Seriously, it was." He ate the cupcake before I could put candles in it and while I was changing clothes?!
Me: "You ate the cupcake while I was changing?"
Ryan: "Yeah.  It was delicious."
Me: "You ATE it?  Without candles?  While I was changing in the other room?"
Ryan: "I didn't know there were supposed to be candles."
Me: "You're 32, Ryan. How did the last 31 birthday treats look? Did they have candles??"
Ryan: "Well, yeah.  But you said it was thawing and then I could have it."
Me: "Not without candles!  You don't eat birthday treats before you blow out candles!"
Ryan: "Oh."

So, while I would love to show you a picture of his beautiful gourmet cupcake that I had to wait 45 minutes for and narrowly escaped with the last drop of buttercream the store had, I can't.  Because he ate it.  While I was changing clothes and before I could put candles in it.  I left him unattended for FIVE minutes and he ate the cupcake.  Unbelievable.

Changed and one of us held over by a cupcake, we headed off to dinner at his favorite (and my new favorite) restaurant, Granite City:

Luckily, because I am a planner, after a scrumptious dinner, I still had the ice cream before presents.  Lesson learned, I immediately put candles in and made him pose before blowing them out, making his wish (yes, he did it backwards --- SERIOUSLY, he's 32!  He should know how this works by now!!), and opening his gifts.

The final piece to the evening was his presents - the Southern Illinois shirts and tickets.  I was so nervous about his reaction, that I didn't think to snap pictures of him opening his gifts, but I am happy to report that he was totally surprised and genuinely excited.  All is well that ends well.

Thank goodness that I have a whole year before I have to start planning another celebration with presents for that man!  Well, unless you count Christmas.  In less than 2 weeks.  During which we will be at his mom and dad's house in a town of 3,000 people and no Starbucks within a 20 mile radius.  Stay tuned.

And for anyone who isn't totally clear, you DON'T eat your birthday treat while your girlfriend is changing clothes and before there are candles in it!!

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