This weekend, I threw my first surprise party. Turns out, throwing a surprise party is pretty much like throwing a regular party, with the main difference being that you feel like a real asshole for a few weeks beforehand when you're talking to the person you're throwing it for. What am I doing on Friday? Uh....nothing! But yeah, I'm afraid I can't hang out. Why? Um, no reason. I'm definitely not cutting out eleven templates of your head and gluing them onto popsicle sticks or anything!
That was an idea I got right here, and it was awesome. It was also really, really, really creepy:
But wait, let me back up a little. When I found out that my lovely, wonderful, hilarious friend Amber was leaving San Francisco—at least for a little while; we'll see if I haven't convinced her to come back in, like, three weeks—I immediately knew that I wanted to throw her a party to say goodbye. I find it a lot easier to say goodbye to people if I can pad the whole thing with frozen margaritas and lots of cheese, so yes, I basically did it for my own self-preservation.
But how do you pull off a surprise party? Well, it's pretty much just like it is on TV. A few weeks ago, I asked Amber if she wanted to come over on Saturday night to hang out, drink wine, and watch TV. Then I invited a small group of our mutual friends over—for a half hour earlier—and swore them to secrecy. The week leading up to the party, I had a small flashback to my wedding and went a little crazy with the crafting. Luckily, my dad was in town for a few days and staying with us, so I put him to work as the vice president of party planning:
He did an excellent job. I shall be writing him a recommendation on Linked In.
When Amber arrived at my house that night to "watch TV," she had absolutely no idea what was going on—at least, I hope she didn't. We climbed the stairs, chatting about this and that, and then she turned the corner into my living room, and saw this:
There was no fainting, thank goodness, but I think she was pretty shocked. I admit, I didn't quite bank on it being so disturbing to see seven Amber Adrian replicas in front of me, several of them male, but—trouper that she is—our guest of honor took it all in stride.
On the right: fake Amber. On the left, actual Amber holding a popsicle stick under her chin. I want this photograph blown up to twelve times this size and hung in every room in my house.
After Amber's heart rate had slowed to normal, we shoved some food down her throat. Despite my usual Type-A guilt that a potluck is "cheating"—if I invited you to my house, I feel sort of bad making you bring your own food—I cut the miniature Martha Stewart who lives in my head a little slack this time and asked everyone to bring a dish that reminded them, in some way, of Amber.
We had a lot of bacon and a lot of cheese.
The poor bakery people called me three times that week. "We recieved your order," the concerned cake-decorator said each time, "and we're just, uh, double checking that this is definitely the picture you want to use."
(EDITED TO ADD: I just realized that they spelled "irreplaceable" wrong! I know this because I had to look it up when I was placing the cake order and waffling on whether it had that extra "e" in the middle. So I know I spelled it right on the order form. Turns out you were double-checking the wrong thing, cake people!)
After we had eaten, and eaten some more, and consumed margaritas and wine and champagne, and played a rather rousing game of Celebrity—have you ever played this game? I want it played at my funeral, because it makes me so competitive I'm pretty sure I'd come back from the dead to join in—the guitars came out, as they tend to do when my dad and my brother are around, and the evening progressed into one long jam session that went on until 1am.
What, you don't have your dad at your parties? Huh
Finally, before everyone left and I collapsed, exhausted, into bed, I handed out the party favors I'd baked earlier that morning, and which, I shudder to report, required me to use the dreaded wooden spoon. (Amber, if you are ever in doubt as to how much I value your friendship, please note that I conquered my fear of the wooden spoon to make your party favors.)
Yes, those are brown butter bacon chocolate chip cookies. They were.....interesting. Unusual. Pretty much exactly as you would expect a cookie containing meat to be, I guess: not unpleasant at all—I rather enjoyed them—but maybe just a little bit disconcerting. I was slightly worried that they might be so life-altering that I'd have to revise the opinion I'd so confidently stated on the label Sean made, but the jury has made a decision and we can all rest easy: Amber Adrian is still better than brown butter bacon chocolate chip cookies. Thank goodness for that.
There are a ton more pictures of Amber's surprise party right here, if you're interested, but for now I will leave you with a quick video I made of the whole shebang. I think we can all agree that it would be a crime not to leave those balloons up on my ceiling for the rest of the week.