An old friend of mine celebrated a landmark birthday last week. (You know, one of those birthdays with a zero in it.) In honor of the occasion, her family planned perhaps the biggest surprise party I've ever been to. It was such fun!
She was picked up at 4 p.m. and taken to a salon, where she had her hair and nails done and was presented with a few different formal dresses from which to choose. Then, she was whisked off to a downtown hotel, where 100 people or so (yours truly included) were waiting in their cocktail attire to wish her well. Her son played live music, there was a photographer, and everything was beautifully catered. It was really a lovely evening.
I've always thought having a surprise party thrown in one's honor would be immensely satisfying. But when she walked in, and we were all there waiting for her, I thought that maybe it was too much pressure! If it had been me, I think I would have started bawling! She was so gracious and pulled together, though, much more ladylike than I would have been.
After we greeted her, we all had dinner, and then her family members told some really funny stories about their memories of her. They are clearly all very close, and she is lucky to have such a supportive, loving network of people around her.
It was just a beautiful, sweet occasion. I'm the better for having gone.