So yesterday I ran around doing various pre-party prep things, and then I made Otto come home early so he could be here when Monkey got off the bus, because I had a therapy appointment go talk about MAH FEEEEEEEELINGS.

“We really need dog food,” I told him, before I left. “Do you think I could just run over to the pet store after, and get that? I mean, assuming I don’t spend the entire hour weeping?”

Otto looked a little bit alarmed at this. I assured him that I don’t ALWAYS spend the hour weeping. He relaxed a little and told me to take my time, but I reminded him that I am Bad At Directions (yes, even with my GPS) and that I wasn’t sure how to get to the pet store from my doctor’s office. He explained it to me and I sort of understand and said fine, I will go to my appointment and then go grab some kibble and be home.

I kissed him goodbye and I left.

I went to my appointment and didn’t weep at all (YAY ME!) and then went to “go get dog food.”

Here we understand “go get dog food” = “not getting dog food at all.”

Here you further have to understand that I have NEVER successfully pulled of a surprise for anyone. There was some brief musing about trying to make Otto’s party a surprise party, and when I told him a few months ago, “Sorry, it’s just going to be a party you know about because I suck at surprises” he immediately agreed with me. I wanted to be offended, but… it’s true. It’s true under NORMAL circumstances, and life around here lately has been anything but normal. The idea of pulling off any kind of surprise in my current frazzled state is completely laughable, really.


Upon my arrival at home, I found Monkey playing games on the computer and the other two members of my immediate family upstairs doing something.

“Hey, Otto?” I called up the stairs. “Can you come help me?”

“We’re busy!” called Chickadee.

“It’ll just take a second, I just need your arms.” I called.

Otto came down the stairs, eyebrow cocked.

“The dog food slid back in the trunk and I can’t reach it,” I told him. “I need your long arms, please.”

Otto chuckled and came outside and walked around to the back of my car to get the dog food.

Whereupon he discovered one of his brothers lounging in my trunk. It’s possible the only other time I’ve seen him grin that big was on our wedding day, and as he laughed and helped Nearly Nickless out amidst a few hearty “HAPPY BIRTHDAY!”s, Wild Thing (his other brother) jumped out from around the corner of the house, too.

Happy birthday, baby. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy the solid month of dark grumbling about how your family was too selfish to bother coming down for your birthday—because I kind of did, because you completely fell for it—but the look on your face was actually more of a present for us than for you.

NOW it’s gonna be a party. Woo!

52 Responses to “Surprise!”

  1. 1
    Neil December 4, 2010 at 7:58 am #

    Congrats. I think to successfully create a surprise works better than any therapy session!

  2. 2
    Kerry December 4, 2010 at 8:20 am #


  3. 3
    Rebecca December 4, 2010 at 8:20 am #

    That’s so great! Good job, Mir and brothers, and Happy Birthday to Otto.

  4. 4
    Jen December 4, 2010 at 8:30 am #

    Well, dangit, Mir, you had to go and make me tear up on a Saturday morning. What a great surprise! I suck at surprises too, so you give me hope that maybe someday I can pull one off. :-)

  5. 5
    Brigid December 4, 2010 at 8:33 am #

    Yay for surprises! Have a great time.

  6. 6
    Em December 4, 2010 at 8:45 am #

    I love that surprise!

  7. 7
    Karen December 4, 2010 at 8:58 am #

    Oh, not that’s just awesome. You rock at the party thing, Mir, who knew?

  8. 8
    Karen December 4, 2010 at 8:59 am #

    What’s with my speedy typos?… sigh.

  9. 9
    ttulizzy December 4, 2010 at 9:23 am #

    Awesome! Happy Birthday Otto! I hope you all have a fantastic day!

  10. 10
    ccr in MA December 4, 2010 at 9:35 am #

    Good job, Mir! (I thought for sure this was going to be a Lost story; you surprised me, too.)

    Happy birthday, Otto!

  11. 11
    elz December 4, 2010 at 9:35 am #

    Yea! You totally rock at surprises. Congrats & Happy Birthday, Otto.

  12. 12
    Karate Mom December 4, 2010 at 9:49 am #

    What a sweet and wonderful surprise!!
    I got to do something like that for my mom for her 60th birthday. I arranged for my aunt to come from Ohio and visit. I had my mom over for coffee after she got off work and then my aunt popped out of the kitchen. It was awesome!
    I wish I’d thought to have her in the trunk, though. That would have made it extra awesome!

  13. 13
    divrchk December 4, 2010 at 10:01 am #

    Happy Birthday, Otto! Have a wonderful weekend of celebrations!

  14. 14
    addy December 4, 2010 at 10:02 am #

    Congrats Mir – you did it!! Have a great party with the bros guys. YOu all deserve the fun…..

  15. 15
    jessica December 4, 2010 at 10:36 am #

    Whoo-hoo for pulling off a surprise. I suck at them, too (mainly because I want my husband to know and be excited along with me when I’m planning a surprise — which, I know, defeats the whole “surprise” part of it. *sighs*), but I’ve managed to pull of tiny ones — nothing of this caliber, though. Brilliant to think of using family as the surprise. :)

  16. 16
    Kim December 4, 2010 at 10:47 am #


  17. 17
    Kim December 4, 2010 at 10:48 am #

    Plus, I totally wish I could be at this party. Just sayin’.

  18. 18
    Brandi December 4, 2010 at 11:12 am #

    Man, my husband surprised me with my best friend for our anniversary. “Hey, love, I have a surprise! It’s your present! Come outside.”


    And there she was. Standing. Just grinning.

    Best present ever, I do say :)

  19. 19
    Katie December 4, 2010 at 11:20 am #

    That is pretty awesome. Happy Birthday Otto!

  20. 20
    Midj December 4, 2010 at 11:29 am #

    You are the best! Congrats on the surprise, Congrats your birthday, Otto, and Congrats on making it through the unweepy therapy hour! Have a fanastic weekend!

  21. 21
    J from Ireland December 4, 2010 at 11:30 am #

    Aw jaysus now am crying….so lovely.

  22. 22
    Dsilkotch December 4, 2010 at 11:43 am #

    Happy Birthday Otto!

  23. 23
    dad December 4, 2010 at 12:13 pm #

    Hold it. He opened the trunk of your car and his brother was inside!

    Baby, don’t try anything like that on anyone over 40 unless you brush up on your CPR.
    Nice going to both of you. Enjoy!

    The best is yet to come.

  24. 24
    Anna December 4, 2010 at 12:24 pm #

    Fabulous! I am impressed. :)

  25. 25
    Carolyn December 4, 2010 at 12:37 pm #


  26. 26
    MomCat December 4, 2010 at 1:00 pm #

    So…I don’t get it…was his brother at the pet store? ; )

  27. 27
    Randi December 4, 2010 at 1:01 pm #

    Awww, that was awesome! Such a sweet and thoughtful gift! Happy Birthday to Otto!

  28. 28
    Lucinda December 4, 2010 at 2:06 pm #

    Love it!

  29. 29
    Cele December 4, 2010 at 2:18 pm #

    That is incredibly awesome, and dudette you kept a kewl secret.

  30. 30
    Karishma December 4, 2010 at 2:43 pm #

    Stories about your families make me so happy :) You all are just too sweet for words.

  31. 31
    Beth R December 4, 2010 at 3:07 pm #

    Whoo hooo! Way to go, Mir! How fun is that – especially with how close his family seems to be :)

    Happy birthday, Otto! We’re all thrilled that you’re part of the WCS family :)

  32. 32
    pam December 4, 2010 at 3:46 pm #

    Oh Mir you made me cry!

  33. 33
    Heather December 4, 2010 at 3:57 pm #

    That would be truly a wonderful, wonderful birthday present. Yay! :D Aw I wish now that my sisters or best friend had magically appeared on my birthday :P Oh well, there’s always next year!

  34. 34
    Debbi December 4, 2010 at 5:28 pm #

    lmao@ your dad!! I so agree with him, my husband (who just turned 46) would have had a heart attack and died right there if someone was in the trunk. He is sooooo jumpy! haaa

    glad your surprise worked. Super Happy Birthday to Otto!

  35. 35
    Arlene December 4, 2010 at 5:48 pm #

    LOL! That was great…too fun!

  36. 36
    Lady M December 4, 2010 at 6:57 pm #

    So awesome. Congrats, Mir, and Happy Birthday to Otto!

  37. 37
    chris December 4, 2010 at 7:48 pm #

    Love it! Happy Birthday to Otto.

  38. 38
    Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah December 4, 2010 at 8:02 pm #

    Well done!

  39. 39
    Wendy December 4, 2010 at 9:06 pm #

    AWESOME!!! That is a GREAT idea.

  40. 40
    Julie from The Party Blog December 4, 2010 at 10:55 pm #

    Yay YOU! I know how difficult pulling off a surprise is ~ especially when it’s your husband! Hope the party was fun!

  41. 41
    TC December 4, 2010 at 11:00 pm #

    Even I was surprised! You rock!

  42. 42
    alicia December 4, 2010 at 11:26 pm #

    Happy Birthday Otto!

  43. 43
    Ingrid December 5, 2010 at 10:47 am #

    Nice! Happy birthday to Otto! :)

  44. 44
    Headless Mom December 5, 2010 at 9:35 pm #

    Rocks. Totally.

  45. 45
    Bibi December 5, 2010 at 11:38 pm #

    So cool. We did something similar for my mom’s birthday. It was really fun!!

  46. 46
    HogsAteMySister December 6, 2010 at 5:56 am #

    Well played deceit and b-day planning. But maybe don’t try this one again when you get a bit older. Because then? In a week or two, after you remembered that you forgot about the dog food and the, what was that, oh yeah, the birthday party and the… what’s that smell in the trunk.

  47. 47
    Brigitte December 6, 2010 at 5:58 am #

    Proud of you for keeping something so big SECRET for so long! Awesome one.

    BTW, you’re not alone in never having had a birthday party. I like to blame my socially clueless mom, but the fact that she was starting with 4 kids already in a teeny house, and it’s New Year’s Day, may have been factors. ;-)

  48. 48
    Mary December 6, 2010 at 8:57 am #

    Great job! Good for you!

  49. 49
    bonuela December 6, 2010 at 10:28 am #

    you all are missing the point of the story. mir found the airport without getting lost!! go mir!!

  50. 50
    Katie in MA December 6, 2010 at 1:03 pm #

    Awwww! Happy Birthday all over again, Otto! My sibs flew cross-country to surprise me for my 30th and I have to say – nothing feels as awesome as knowing you mean that much to someone. :)

  51. 51
    Aimee December 7, 2010 at 10:41 am #

    That’s AWESOME! I think I’m enjoying it double because Friday morning I flew up to Seattle and had the pleasure of knocking on my sister’s door without her having ANY idea that I was coming, and listening to her scream like a siren (seriously, sister has LUNGS) in surprise. And THEN the additional fun of seeing her get surprised again the next morning when we went out for brunch and three of her best friends from Massachusetts were there waiting for us. It was FANTASTIC and it’s so cool that you surprised Otto in a similary way.


  1. Domo arigato, Mom-jerk Roboto | Woulda Coulda Shoulda - December 6, 2010

    […] Before you ask, yes, the party was a success, I think. Otto had a grand time, his brothers enjoyed meeting all of the folks Otto is always talking about, the crock of spinach artichoke dip […]

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