Kevin had to do a double-take – the banners, balloons, and streamers – did he walk into the wrong apartment? Before he could think of an answer the lights flickered back and forth as a crowd of people jumped up and yelled “Surprise!” The guests delight only increased once they figured out that he was actually surprised, not just ‘party-surprised’ but ‘forgot-his-own-birthday’ surprised. The past few months had been a whirlwind, and work just kept on pilling up. Even now it took him a few minutes to not think about the latest meeting!

But the ease of his friends loosened his mood, helping him switch into party mode. They had decked out his apartment while he was away, decorating everything with Dollar Store gag gifts and supplies they got from his mother, who had probably lent them the spare key. The rest of their efforts went towards food and drinks, but mostly drinks. The music was a walk down memory lane with various songs they had liked over the years. Each song was attached to a memory, some going as far back as grade school.

The only thing missing was cake, which they’d replaced with an assortment of Oreos, Kevin’s favorite childhood snack. The cookie mountain also meant no birthday candles to blow out, until someone had the genius idea of holding up lighters as they sang. It was the type of evening you remember feeling good about, with few concrete recollections. Over the next few days the highlights of the party would be put together through photos, videos, and snaps. Some would be too blurry to recall, while others would jolt the group into remembrance. But all of that is far from now, the night is young and just starting out.


  • Do you enjoy surprise parties? Why or why not?