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…

Fashion, for the Creatives

Creative Fashion on an Artist’s Budget

Maybe you’re a writer. Or painter. Or dancer. Or card maker, flower arranger, or really any type of creative soul. Now it’s time to look the part.

One thing about artists, they know how to pick their wardrobe. It’s not boring. It’s rambunctious. Daring. Eclectic. Bold patterns, bright colors, varying styles.

(Side note: Maybe you’re one of the creatives that wear the same clothes every day. This blogpost, not about you. Sorry. Try here instead.)

You know why I am against wearing the same clothes every day, despite the claim that it increases decisive behavior the rest of the day? Because creativity needs an outlet, every day. Starting the day with creativity of a fun outfit, it’s life-giving. Being that spark of creativity in the world, it’s life-giving. The world needs creativity, and you need creativity, and this is just one way to have fun with your inner artist.

Here’s some ways I make my own eclectic wardrobe – maybe it will spark some ideas for your own closet 🙂

  1. The Secret Behind My Wardrobe

    Noo, it’s not Narnia (unfortunately.)

    A friend once asked me what stores I shop at, and my secret almost popped out: “I don’t buy clothes.” What?! I hadn’t realized until that moment, but it’s true.

    You see, I couldn’t have my fairytale wardrobe without my fairygodmother friends who pass clothes my way anytime they’re done with them. Dear Kim, of the “Geeks Rule Others Drool” blogsite, keeps my closet fresh (along with sporadic donations from other friends.)

    The truth is, many of my favorite pieces were a blessing I wasn’t expecting. I do shop for clothes (more on that later), but so much of it is actually the generosity of others. My modern patronage system – they give me clothes so I am inspired to write 😉

    Often even when I do shop, my mom has given me a pile of coupons to make everything free or near-free.

    What About You? 
    Maybe you buy clothes. Maybe you don’t have a friend or family member dumping fun clothes in your lap.

    Do you have a friend getting rid of stuff? It doesn’t hurt to ask if you can snag some before the trash or Goodwill or whatever. (Okay, some friends it would hurt. Sometimes it’s just weird to ask a friend if you can have their clothes. I get it.)

    But who are your secret patrons? Who supports your work in tangible or intangible ways? Maybe you get food from a friend’s garden or your couch came from a family member who was pitching it. You may find you have a supporter in an unlikely place, even if it’s not in regards to fashion – sighhhh 🙂

  2. Where to Shop

Besides raiding friends’ and family wardrobes, the answer to most all your problems is at rummage sales and clearance racks of cheaper stores. Trust me on this.

Disagree? “But name-brand quality pricey items last longer. I’m saving money by going to pricier stores.”

Do you hear your hypothetical self? You want to spend a buttload of money on a top so you can wear it for the rest of your life? No. The way to go, buy a cheap top that will wear out in a couple years – then you still have plenty of money to buy a new fun top, because you know what? By a couple of years, you’re ready for something new. Save yourself the problem of “having nothing to wear” with no money because it was spent on a closet full of name-brand items that just won’t wear out already!

There’s my two top tips for watching your budget with an eclectic wardrobe. Friends’ clothes and clearance racks. The leftover scraps and rejects of clothes, those are the funky pieces you need to liven your fashion! There’s just something poetic about it, don’t ya think? 🙂

My next fashion post will be on how to stretch your fashion sense to include more funky pieces – Lord knows I didn’t start with my wacky style! But it’s fun, I promise, and I’ll give you more secrets to get there yourself 🙂 Until then, start looking at reject clothes for your style.

Psst! I go through clothes so fast I don’t know what to do with it. No wait, I do! I pass it on to you – you can shop my closet on PoshMark. Use my friend registration code – AmyLSauder – for $5 off your 1st purchase from any closet. 

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