When I was a kid, I wanted – desperately – to be surprised. I craved a surprise party (complete with party horns, streamers and a tiara). A surprise vacation (to France, first class, please). A surprise kitten (blue-eyed with long gray fur). A surprise concert where the leader singer pulled me up on stage to dance. (I love you, Philip Bailey!)
But I’m no kid. I’m 49. The only surprises I expect nowadays are bad ones. So imagine my astonishment when, last week, I celebrated my birthday with a surprise party (on a 90-foot party boat filled my nearest and dearest family and friends) and a surprise marriage proposal (from my nearest and dearest “Cougar Bait,” a.k.a. David R. Bonner.)
Hoo boy. I could go on and on about what a totally unexpected and fun evening it was. In fact, “going on and on” is kind of what I’ve specialized in these past few days. And I could go further on and on about what a darling, conniving, dead-sexy secret-keeper CB is. In fact, anyone who knows CB can tell you that he’s the first to describe himself as “dead sexy.”
But one week after the fact – and the surprise and the engagement (well, of course I said “yes”!) – the “stun” is now a manageable “glow.” Looking back, I can admit that I even learned a few things that evening, including:
- Everything is better on a boat.
- There’s an entire untapped demographic audience for Depends. (Let’s just say that surprises can really, well, take a girl by surprise.)
- Not many 49-year-olds can say they are engaged.
- Not many 49-year-olds have friends who are engaged.
- Whether you have been engaged for two seconds or two years, someone – no, make that everyone – is going to ask, “When are you getting married?”
- I don’t know when we are getting married.
- My friends don’t eat enough.
- 15 pounds of barbecue – plus turkey breast and beef tenderloin and birthday cake and heaven-knows-what-else -- goes a long way. (All the way, in fact, back home to my refrigerator.)
- My kids’ ability to keep secrets is somewhat frightening.
- Everything I know about love, I’ve learned from a man I met in kindergarten.
I am one lucky girl.