Wendy and I took Andrea to Mad Mex for dinner on Friday evening, while Henry embarked on the covert cake-acquisition. (I literally texted Kaitlin last winter when Andrea first started tossing around ideas of coming back for a visit around her birthday and placed a tentative red velvet cake order; Kaitlin’s cakes are in high demand so I wasn’t about to sit on it.) I even made sure Andrea left some of her shopping bags in my car so she’d have to come back to my house afterward to fetch them; I was so afraid she was going to ask to go to back to her hotel right after dinner since we had such a long, napless day.
And then the first restaurant we were going to eat at turned out to be a taco stand, and the smells coming from it were fantastic, but it was 95 degrees out and none of us wanted to sit outside in that, eating tacos like real Mexicans. So we wound up at Mad Mex, which had a 30-45 minute wait until Wendy (who knew I was panicking and stressing behind Andrea’s back about the time) schmoozed us into a booth and we somehow managed to get out of there and back to my house by 8:30.
What’s the fastest way to ruin a surprise party? Invite Chooch.
As soon as we pulled up, Chooch came bursting through the front door and yelled, “SERI’S HERE AND SHE HAS A BIG PRESENT FOR ANDREA BUT YOU GUYS CAN’T COME IN BECAUSE WE’RE NOT READY YET!”
I tried to play dumb, like I didn’t understand what Chooch was mouthing off about, but it was clear that the jig was up. I went inside and sulked about it, while Andrea stayed outside talking with Wendy. Seri and Henry were in the house, being all calm and normal, while I was pacing back and forth, poking my head out the window to see what they were doing. Chooch kept running back outside, probably to tell Andrea what all of her presents were.
Who needs surprises.
I just wanted her to come inside and see the pinata that I zombified for her and almost broke my fingers trying to stuff. I did this on Monday night, before she arrived, and every day after that Chooch kept suspiciously saying to her, “DON’T LOOK INSIDE THE BASEMENT DOOR! THERE’S SOMETHING THERE THAT YOU’RE NOT SUPPOSED TO SEE!” Goddamn kids!!
I even bought a clown ring toss. Who wouldn’t want clown ring toss at their birthday party?
Finally, she and Wendy came in the house and I have the whole “Surprise!” part recorded, but the video is marred by my sad-sounding voice and heavy sighs. THANKS AGAIN, CHOOCH.
I bought a used Lil Wayne because it was intended to go inside the pinata but I couldn’t get it to fit. I’m not actually that cheap that I buy my friends used CDs. However, I’m glad the Exchange had the Lil Wayne album that kicks off with the seminal hit “Gonorrhea.”
With the exception of my used Lil Wayne CD and Lil Wayne embellished champagne chalice (which is how I like to make “wine glass” sound like a gift you might want), Andrea got good gifts from Wendy (a jeweled perfume bottle), Chuck and Amanda who shipped an art print to my house for her, and Seri who went back to Zenith on Friday and snatched up the courtroom sketch after seeing the picture I posted on my blog of Andrea holding it. I was determined to make her birthday a memorable one, and luckily all of these wonderful people were making my job incredibly easy.
Andrea tweeted a few weeks ago about how she hates being called “Amanda,” so of course I ran with that. When I do jerky things, that’s how my friends know I like them!
Printed out a bunch of inside-jokey pictures to accessorize the cake, such as: a music box, a picture of Creepy Dance Recital Man-Girl, Billy Ocean (the last time she was here, he was playing in my car nearly every time she got in because he was on my Roller Rink Birthday Party Mix, Holla!), Lil Wayne wearing a Free Jonny Craig shirt, and a rarely-seen portrait of her wearing her favorite Etsy sweater.
Pinata guts. Henry was positively tickled to discover that I had finger-fucked the piñata full of confetti for him to sweep up later.
Chooch wore the pinata blindfold first, but he was so sweaty that everyone else politely declined their turn.
Later on, Seri’s husband Pete came over with their boys and Henry got to be all Big Tough Fire Starter by setting off fireworks in our front yard, and it was just really nice to hang out in the grass, drinking, and being entertained by the possibility of a Golden Flower fountain exploding in Henry’s face. One of my perpetually drunk neighbors stopped by with his dog Buttkiss (I’m not sure if that’s really his name, but probably) and I was so happy that everyone out there got to eye-feast on a slice of Brookline.
Meanwhile, Maxton was in the house, watching TV while lounging on the wheelchair. Best investment ever. I want to buy at least 3 more to use as dining room chairs.
I think the biggest surprise of the night was the fact that Seri’s hair stays perfectly straight and shiny despite the 95 degree temperatures and swamp-like humidity. So jealous!
Anyway, it was eventually time for Andrea to go back to her hotel and pack for her early-morning flight. Everyone doled out sweaty, drunken hugs and just like that, another visit with Andrea was over. It was a long week and I was pretty jealous that she got to leave the heatwave (and Chooch) behind. Hopefully we didn’t annoy her too much.