Okay, I can talk now. The big surprise (if you haven’t figured it out by now) was a 60th birthday party for my little sisters – aka – the twins. Oh I feel so much lighter now!

One of the reasons for my stress was the surprise factor. I knew one of them could be easily fooled – innocent soul that she is — but the other one, well I’m just glad it wasn’t my job to get her there and I held my breath right up to the very minute they came in the door. 

Twin number one, the one who almost signed up for working the church dinner was quickly waylaid by her daughter who offered to take her to a nice restaurant in Syracuse for a late birthday gift. To get her to the party, her daughter was ‘picking up chicken barbecue dinners for the rest of her family to eat while the two of them were gone.’

Twin number two’s daughter was making the ruse a bit more relaxed in keeping with their spur of the moment way of life. This is what was making me sweat. Why? Because I take on the emotions of people and I didn’t want disappointment. It’s how I’m wired.

So a few days before the party, that niece invited her mother to the same “chicken barbecue” that her cousin was stopping at. It worried me because this twin is in charge of the datebook listings in the newspaper and surely she would notice that no barbecue existed at that establishment — which she did. So she checked the place’s web site because she wanted to know what cause she would be supporting. Finding nothing she assumed the web site wasn’t being kept up to date. (Whew!)

When the two of them met out in front of the building it seemed like a mere, happy coincidence and still nothing was suspected. Even when the doors were opened, and they spotted me in the center of a room full of people, twin number two said “Hey, Debbie’s here, too!” 

Now mind you – I was in the center but I was halfway back and how I was spotted so quickly still baffles me. Maybe my sister was searching for a familiar face. Then everyone started yelling “surprise” and the joy on my sisters’ faces reduced me to a quivering, teary-eyed, emotional mess. 

It was truly fun to have so many friends and neighbors that we grew up with all in the same room together. I didn’t know who to talk to first so I kept circling the room, trying to chat up everybody. I was having a blast and it wasn’t even my party. 

And speaking of whose party it wasn’t, the twins hauled in some fine gifts and I am now regretting not letting my children call attention to any of my birthdays ever since I turned 50. My ego is definitely bigger than my brain. 

My brother even got a gift at this party. Our oldest sister downloaded a picture off of FB of us four younger siblings at the hall of fame dinner last month and had it framed for the man of the hour. She also made one for herself. I take umbrage with this picture though. The photographer did a great job of getting us all to smile at the same time but he failed to suggest that I suck in my prime rib dinner. I’ve told both holders of this picture that when they display it, they must set a small decoration in front of my lower half. 

So yeah, they all left the party with gifts and I left with just my purse but the joke is on them. I totally enjoyed watching them enjoy the moment – I adored seeing them catching up with old friends — and getting introduced to their new friends. I got such a kick out of being reminded of our sillier days when we didn’t know any better. Mostly I loved being with people who love my little sisters.    

Who needs presents when gifts such as these were there for my taking. 

debbiehough@hotmail.com

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