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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