Musings, Relationships

The case of the sneaky birthday surprise

Top secret intel! Confidential

Report 10232017

  • Agent on duty: Aimster Birthday-Diva
  • Suspects: Traitorous Double-Agent Boyfriend and Messenger Unknown
  • Victim: Aimster Birthday-Diva herself
  • Kill date: October 23, 2017

 

On Saturday throughout 0900 and 1200 hours, I witnessed Boyfriend receiving a number of messages via the Top Secret Facebook Messenger app. This was the elusive Messenger who had yet to be identified. I tried offering to check his device for messages, but I was denied. He’s onto me. But I’m onto him.

Message decoded: My boyfriend was getting an unusual number of notifications from Facebook Messenger this morning. He’s up to something. My birthday is Monday. What’s he planning? He won’t let me check his phone… Darn… I’m right…

Perhaps at the orchard an ambush will be waiting. I’ll remain on alert.

Message decoded: We’re going to Tanner’s orchard for cider donuts. Who would he invite to surprise me? My family, maybe. Friends Yasmeen or Courtney? That could be the only plausible people. Right? 

At approximately 1300 hours, I thought I saw the culprit, the Arch-nemesis doppelganger-Aimster at the orchard, but no – her sidekick wasn’t there. It was a misnomer.

Message decoded: I thought I saw my sister at the orchard, but her boyfriend wasn’t next to her so it can’t be her. Confirmed: she turned around and, sure enough, it wasn’t her. 

At approximately 1400 hours, we left the orchard. No ambush there. I ventured to ask about the Top Secret app. It was no spy mission, he said. I must have been over-vigilant in my suspicions.

Message decoded: No one was at Tanner’s to surprise me. My curiosity got the best of me and I asked him, “Soooo what were all those Facebook messages?” He said it was his friends talking about a game night. Seriously? That’s what I was freaking out about. Sigh. Curiosity always gets the better of me. 

At 1630 hours we had a rendezvous with the Benefactors. We had to relocate our meeting by helicopter, so close to doppelganger-Aimster. The helicopter was shot down oh so close to her lair. I was wounded and separated from the Boyfriend, but we were reunited to make it to the final checkpoint.

Message decoded: We met my grandparents for dinner at Olive Garden, next to my sister’s workplace. When driving to my grandparents house for a game, Josh asked if we’d stop to see Anna right next door. “We have to meet the grandparents,” I said. “Any other time I would.” But we had to stop at Dollar Tree right next to Anna’s work for a birthday candle at least, Josh insisted. I ran to the bathroom and we met at the car. 

At the final checkpoint, it was a battle of the minds. I was separated from my cohorts once again.

Message decoded: We played Upwards (like Scrabble, but different.) I went to the bathroom again. (There really is no privacy in the digital age is there? I promise this has a point…)

Target locked.

Sunday at 1230 hours, doppelganger-Aimster intercepted my transmissions. “I have captured Boyfriend and demand a ransom. You have 30 minutes.” I agreed to the terms – my spidey senses were right about those messages yesterday! He is in cahoots! At 1300 hours, she arrived and released Boyfriend in no time at all. She had all she needed for her master plan.

Message decoded: Sunday afternoon, Anna called and said, “Okay, I don’t know how to say this, but I’ve been talking to Josh, and it’s about your birthday so I can’t tell you more, but I need to come by and talk to him.” I knew it! He was messaging her! I confronted him, he blushed and said, “I was caught in a lie!!!!!” I told him it’s okay as long as they’re conspiring for me and not against 😉 She stopped by and only spoke with him for 30 seconds tops. That was quick. Now what…

Target engaged.

Monday at 0800 hours, the Boyfriend was called on a mission far far away. I had my own mission, so we packed our stock of weaponry. “You have the code?” he said. “Yes,” I said and punched in the code. Since our mission was complete, we removed all evidence of the lair.

Message decoded: Monday morning, I had to get to work. He had to return to the land of Wisconsin, his home goshdarnit. When we were going back to the apartment for a second load of stuff, he asked if I had my key, I said “Yes,” and opened the door, no prob. Nothing special there, just your run-of-the-mill, me opening the door thing. Our pumpkins we’d carved were rotting, so we threw them in the dumpster.

1200 hours: I tell the other secret agents of Traitorous Boyfriend and doppelganger-Aimster, the Secret Messenger. What could the ambush be? Why the ransom demands?When will the attack occur? Today is the kill date, but with after-effects for a week. No telling when the ambush will happen.

Message decoded: I tell my coworkers of Josh’s secrecy, conspiring with my sister about my birthday. What will the surprise be? And why did they need to meet for 30 seconds when they could have just talked over the phone? Today’s my birthday, but we’ll have a dinner together next Sunday, so maybe whatever it is won’t happen til then. Who knows…

1300 hours: An epiphany! He had asked if I had the code, when he always punches in the code. Perhaps he transferred his code to doppelganger-Aimster yesterday. The lair has been compromised! Alert alert! I prepared to be ransacked, and then reminded myself not to get too worked up. My code was safe and secure. My lair was safe and secure.

Message decoded: I had wondered why they needed to meet, and I suddenly realized… He always has the key to the apartment in his pocket, so most the time I don’t worry about having the key. But he asked me if I had the key. Which meant maybe he didn’t have it. Maybe he gave it to Anna so she could sneak in with balloons or something. He couldn’t give her the key through the phone, of course they’d have to meet. She’s going to be in my apartment! Why would he do that? But ooh, what would I find? Wait now, let’s not get ahead of ourselves, I’ll probably get home and open the door and be disappointed because I psyched myself up for nothing… It’s probably my overactive imagination… He probably had his key buried in the luggage… Silly me…

I return to the lair at 1700 hours and find it ransacked with a secret message. Doppelganger-Aimster has struck! Nowhere is safe! We’re all DOOOOOOOOMED!

Message decoded: I returned home that night and found a secret message (she actually did use our sisterly secret code to write it, that’s not my spy imagination story thing), dinner, dessert, and breakfast. I’m starting the holidays early and pigging out! 

I went undercover and questioned the culprits. I found every step of their plan and all it’s foibles and triumphs. Mission accomplished.

Message decoded: I asked Josh “How were you going to get the key to her?” He was thinking after Olive Garden we could stop at her work, but I didn’t go for it. However, I did not suspect when he asked, it sounded totally legitimate. Then when we were at Dollar Tree, he thought of running it over to her while I was in the bathroom, but he was worried I’d catch him in the act. Then when we were at my grandparents, and I was in the bathroom (again), he thought of giving it to my grandparents but thought (again) I might catch him in the act. He thought of hiding it in the pumpkins, which luckily he didn’t, because I insisted they were rotting and to throw them out. That would’ve been a flop! I asked if he thought I really did see Anna at the orchard, and he said no. Anna asked if they should have talked longer so I’d be less suspicious, but I don’t think that affected my suspicions. Anna talked about being stuck at work when he was so close and yet so far. How all these attempts to meet up were failing, so she decided to move things along and try for a hostage negotiation – err, I mean, a meet-up that I’m aware of – figuring it wouldn’t ruin the end surprise. She was right. I loved it. It was quite delightful! And I had to share the story with all of you blog readers 🙂 

Mission accomplished. 

This message will self-destruct in 5… 4… 3… 2…

My Creative Projects, Relationships, Stories

Poem: Happy UnBirthday

With recent birthday celebrations, I thought I’d share a little poem I wrote awhile back for some friends’ birthdays I missed. I make belated birthday greetings all the rage 🙂 Let me add that this is even more brilliant when spoken aloud in a ridiculous voice!

Happy Unbirthday

Happy Unbirthday to You.
I speak to all of us here of course,
But specifically Amber & Kim who
I really wish a happy unbirthday as a matter of course.

You see, while all of us have an unbirthday today,
Amber & Kim celebrated their un-unbirthday not long ago.
So while we all can celebrate our unbirthday in some way,
Only Amber & Kim can celebrate it today so close –
To their un-unbirthday.

Here all us unbirthday fellows sit around,
In joyous occasion of our recent un-unbirthday comrades.
And really us unbirthday folk celebrate year-round,
Except for one un-unbirthday a year we celebrate scads.

And now, to the recent un-unbirthday two
Present and accounted for.
We almost got to enjoy the occasion with you,
But now we’ll just have to wait 364 – or 348 – unbirthdays more.

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Mental Health

Playing Tag with Change

I used to chase change.
Did we all?
But life teaches us. Life teaches us wrong. To run from change.

I’m trying to chase change again. Like a great game of tag, this back and forth. “Tag, you’re it.” I catch change and then I run, til it catches me and I decide to chase it again.

I want to grab change and hold tight and shake it and tell it what’s what, mainly that we’re meant to be together and it’s supposed to be beautiful and, like any lover, we may hurt each other, but it’d be okay because we’re destined for each other like any love story.

“I’m still figuring this out.”

“What, playing the field?”

“No.” What love is. Throwing out the rules. Clinging to the values.

I’m figuring it out. Leaving a pile of mistakes in my wake. Isn’t life about figuring it out, not just brainwashing yourself? Transforming instead of conforming.

It’s around this time of year that one line from The Great Gatsby rings in my head over and over.

“I almost forgot. Today’s my birthday.”

Only I haven’t forgotten, but I wonder if everyone else has.

That inner child wants to run around and tell everyone and be celebrated on this particular day. But then you grow up. And it doesn’t work that way. You celebrate, but it’s a ritual and it’s rarely as special as your inner child hoped.

“I haven’t had a happy birthday for years.” That’s what a friend said. And I thought it was tragic. But with each passing year, the celebration rests more on my own shoulders and less on others’.

This year, I tell myself again and again, “You can’t give in. You are special every day of every year. You are loved every day of every year.” That inner child is screaming to be noticed on my birthday, and not just by 600 facebook notifications.

This isn’t about the celebration or the adoration though….it’s about the inner child screaming. It’s about not letting it shut up.

It’s about hope, that thing that the inner child clings to and adults try to deny.

We’re so scared of being hurt. I’m so scared of being hurt. We’re born addicted to hope and change until life lies to us. And that’s why I’m trying to chase change again.

“Tag, you’re it.”

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