Birthday Cake From Dinkels :: The Village Tap, Roscoe Village, Chicago
Carolers :: The Village Tap, Roscoe Village, Chicago
Christina & Killian :: The Village Tap, Roscoe Village, Chicago
Lots of Irish Car Bombs :: The Village Tap, Roscoe Village, Chicago
Joey, Dallas, Doug :: The Village Tap, Roscoe Village, Chicago
Trent, Chad, Limey, Brian, Ed :: The Village Tap, Roscoe Village, Chicago
Friday night was Dallas’ surprise 30th birthday party. He was so surprised. He really had no idea. I was so grateful that everyone was able to keep it a secret for so long and not slip up. I don’t think I’ve ever planned a surprise party before and it was hard and stressful, but worth it when I saw the look on Dallas’ face when he walked into a room of people who were all into it.
Operation Surprise Dallas started back in late September when Erin and I were going to a party at the Margaret’s house. Beforehand we had dinner at The Village Tap and sat in the back beer garden. I’d been to the tap a bunch of times and didn’t even realize that room existed. She said “I had my 30th birthday in this room.” That sort of planted the seed. Plus, Village Tap is only a couple blocks from our house so it’d be a perfect location.
I contacted Mike, the owner of The Village Tap and worked out an arrangement where we could have the party in the beer garden and everyone could drink like crazy for 3 hours if they each bought a $25 wristband. At the end of October I sent out an Evite to everyone to invite everyone to the surprise party. I purposefully planned the party for Friday night, even though his birthday is Sunday, because I thought it would be even more of a surprise. Plus, if he tried to plan anything himself he would be more likely to try for Saturday.
For a while Dallas was convinced I planned something.. for Saturday. He found out his office holiday party was on that Saturday and told people more than once that he couldn’t go because I was planning something special. I finally convinced him that I wasn’t planning anything for Saturday (it was for Friday!) and then I felt like a pretty crappy girlfriend. Even though the secret party was all set.
When we were in New Orleans last week, it finally hit him that this was a huge birthday. The big 3-0. And we had nothing planned. He was kinda pissed at me, I think, and sent his own email out inviting people to go out on Saturday to Riverview after his holiday party. And then began Operation Damage Control. I had to follow up with everyone and tell them to say they could go on Saturday but to remember that the party is really on FRIDAY! He was also mad because I’d been putting off calling Riverview to try to get drink specials for his night out. Finally I just made some crap up ($20/2 hours, draft beers and mixed drinks. He asked “does that include the Guinness on tap?” Uh.. sure.) So then he sent out an email update to everyone with the fake drink specials on the fake night. It was getting confusing!
This week Jen told Dallas that she and Chad couldn’t make it on Saturday because they had other plans, but said they still wanted to take him out, maybe he’d be interested in dinner on Friday? He said yes. Since Jen and Chad live right by us we picked a restaurant really close, and therefore close to the The Village Tap. We also planned on having Kristin and Cousin also came along.. so it would seem more believable when we casually suggested getting a beer at Village Tap after dinner. The funny thing is, Dallas contacted Kristin right away and asked if she wanted to come along so he was doing half the work for us. Anyway, he said “yeh, he’d go to the tap, but he couldn’t stay out late because he needed to rest up for the big night on Saturday!” So funny.
There are like 1,000 little things he did or I said or our friends made up that all added into this whole thing. Arrangements for who did what, the cake (from Dinkels, who are the bomb-diggity), people making crap up, people going behind his back reminding others not to blow it. On Saturday we.. ahem.. HE was so hung over. We laid around all day doing nothing. We spent a lot of time talking about how tricked he was and all the things I did and other people did to pull it off. I got out my laptop and showed him the Evite and emails with people. It was awesome.
Regardless of the surprise, I think that everyone had a great time. Dallas was super happy, but maybe that was because he had about 342 Irish Car Bombs. I was really happy to see so many different friends come together. Family from the suburbs who made driving and babysitting arrangements, people we see all the time, people we hadn’t seen forever, friends of Dallas’ that I’d never even met – the guys he plays basketball with every week and poker with on a pretty regular basis. It was a great time, but it went by SO FAST! Thanks to everyone who helped with planning and to everyone who came out to make the night special. Also, who else can say they had Christmas carolers sing them Happy Birthday and their favorite Christmas carol?
And Happy Birthday, baby! You’re almost as old as me now!