Birthday Surprises

My friends know I don’t cel­e­brate my birth­day, because I don’t believe in rit­u­als1. I went through most of Thursday with­out any­one men­tion­ing any­thing, aside from Louise call­ing me from the road, remind­ing me that we were going out for lunch the next day — which the three of us do on our birth­days at work.

So when I got home around 9:30 that night — tired and hun­gry after Tai Chi — I was sur­prised to find a let­ter taped to my front door. This let­ter lead to my birth­day game:

Then, before I went to bed, I real­ized I had two phone mes­sages:

Hearing Dan and his fam­i­ly singing was awe­some, but hear­ing my dad’s voice was some­thing else. He had nev­er called to wish me hap­py birth­day him­self; it was a day only my mom would remem­ber, and she would always pass the phone to him.

It seems like every year I expect noth­ing to hap­pen, but I end up being sur­prised in one way or anoth­er.

  1. And this was before I dis­cov­ered Taoism []


  1. Awwwwwwww!!!

    I’m so glad you record­ed that :’ )

  2. It was def­i­nite­ly some­thing I want­ed to remem­ber, and I thought video would be a much bet­ter way to con­vey every­thing. That way, you can see the thought process and reac­tions.

    I have to admit that it took me much longer to fig­ure out the clues though. There was a lot of edit­ing involved…I’m not that smart!

  3. This is phe­nom­e­nal. This is the most cre­ative birth­day present I’ve ever seen. The video is an amaz­ing record of it too. It’s fun­ny because I got the Science Diet one right away and you need­ed the hint ;) You’re a lucky guy.

  4. Certainly a case where the lim­its of the pho­to­graph­ic medi­um become sig­nif­i­cant. Apparently I’m the only one who did­n’t get the Science Diet ref­er­ence, because peo­ple are guess­ing cor­rect­ly right from the clue. I was real­ly tired after Tai Chi. That’s my sto­ry, and I’m stick­ing to it. :)

  5. jeff first off hap­py birth­day broth­er !!!!!

    sec­ond man that was absolute­ly amaz­ing i was smil­ing laugh­ing scream­ing at the the mon­i­tor the house coul­da burned to the fround while i watched this.
    im hap­py 4 u man i feel like it hap­pend to me .…i wish it did lol i have nev­er been so exit­ed over a can­dle in my life
    best birth­day ever !(com­ic book guy voice)
    i think ima watch it again lol
    good luck and il see ya soon
    peace and love man

  6. What an awe­some video

    Best bday present ever

    Now youre gonna have to bust out a super move on her bday

    But I don’t think you’ll have any prob­lem with that

    Happy Birthday man!

    see you soon

  7. Awesome. So thought­ful of her. Enjoy !

  8. @rob — Thanks man. I know I get excit­ed over can­dles and tea…the sim­ple things, right? I think I’ve already watched it a dozen times already.

    And con­grat­u­la­tions on the house, by the way. If you have a house­warm­ing par­ty, I’m there!

    @Darren — Yeah, and her birth­day is so close to Christmas that peo­ple usu­al­ly com­bine them into one. That means it’ll have to be some­thing super spe­cial. I don’t think I’ll be able to top what I got her last year, and she raised the bar above that.

    @Uncle Joe — Thank you. We already lit the can­dle and sam­pled the tea over the week­end. :)

  9. Wow, this is your funnest video since the roman­tic bed one.…. this makes me remem­ber spe­cial birth­day hunts in my past.… but I must say yours was much more styl­ish­ly pre­sent­ed than some of mine –what a lot of work!! Really fun to hunt along with you.…

    I love elab­o­rate birth­day sur­pris­es. My favorite present was the year I want­ed snow and we had none in California, so my beau rigged up a box with pop­corn stuff­ing over­head which he wrote notes to coax me under and got me to pull a string which jos­tled the box and they fell like snow. It was the messi­est, fun­ni­est gift ever. I love it when peo­ple real­ly do the extra bit. It total­ly mat­ters.

  10. I real­ly enjoyed watch­ing the video and see­ing a bit of your home. What a won­der­ful sur­prise to come home to!

  11. That was great :)

  12. @Xibee — Popcorn snow is a great idea, and quite elab­o­rate itself. Wish I had thought of some­thing like that myself.

    @Jason — I find it’s always the things that are least expect­ed that are the most fun.

    @sikander — That’s why I want­ed to record it…I can relive the moment over and over again!

  13. We tried so hard to get you out of the house so that Julie can sneak in and get it ready for your sur­prise . You were sup­posed to go to your Tai-chi but since the weath­er was bad you decid­ed to stay at home. Hmmm.….….….Julie was des­per­ate . I am glad that you did go out at the end .

  14. I’m very glad it all worked out.

  15. Aw. He loves you.

    You’re so loved.

    Happy belat­ed.

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