Yesterday was my best friend Tenie's birthday. A surprise party for her has been in the works for the last week and a half and I'm happy to say that we managed to pull it off. All of the important elements for a surprise party were utilized; deceit, lies and secrets.
We planted a fake party idea of going out to eat and dancing, which we eventually did, but we left out one important detail; the fact that the party was a masquerade party. Mr. K and I told Tenie she was to come to our flat around 5:30 and the three of us would take a taxi together to our dinner destination. Glacier and Roscoe would be staying home and we told her we needed a set of working eyeballs to help us get to the restaurant. Sometimes being blind has its perks: you can use it as an excuse to deceive your best friend. She was also told not to peak in the bag she was carrying to our flat because her outfit for the evening was hiding in there. She arrived quite promptly and Mr. K and I gave her gifts in the hopes of keeping her busy for an hour and a half while the other girls decorated her flat.
Around 6:30 I figured we could start getting ready and pulled out Tenie's bag of wonders and presented her with two outfits to pick from. Both were fancy dress, but very different in style and she was very confused. She settled on a knee length black dress and a pair of boots. I pulled on a halter dress and a pair of black wedges and we were off. Mr. K took Roscoe out to "park" and called the cab, telling the company Tenie's address. When the taxi arrived, we made Tenie wait outside with my hands pressed over her ears while Kim told the cab driver to take a long, crazy route to her flat so that she wouldn't be suspicious. Just as she was about to hop in I pulled her sleeping eye mask out of my pocket that I had pilfered from her bed side table the day before and told her she had to be blind folded until we reached our destination. She accused me of being a thief and then was a good sport and put the sleeping mask on.
Upon arriving at her flat, the cab driver parked a ways down to further the confusion. Mr. K had brought his white cane and so guided both Tenie and I. Tenie's not good on heels when she can see, so we took it slow to the flat door. I had to remind her at one point that she was not guiding me for once because she was guiding me out into the road, despite holding on to my elbow. At the door we had another bout of me covering her ears singing "happy birthday" loudly and annoyingly while Mr. K buzzed in. We didn't want her to hear her buzzer because she definitely would have known where we were. We were let in and Tenie knew the instant her booted foot hit the first step that she was at her flat, but the blind fold stayed put.
We reached her living room where I faced her into the room from the doorway and she took her blind fold off. Everyone said "surprise" and the sparklers on her cake were lit. She quickly had to blow them out as her very, over sensitive smoke detector went off. We all laughed as that smoke detector goes off even if you turn the stove top on. It just made the whole thing that much more perfect. For her birthday, one of her flat mates had bought Tenie her own mask and they disappeared to fashion it to her head. My mask had gigantic peacock plumes sticking off of the forehead and Mr. K wore an elephant mask while we were at the flat. He had to take it off once we left because his pupils do not dilate and he needed to put his sunglasses back on to avoid a migraine.
Once masks were secured, we ate very, tasty, rich chocolate fudge cake. I couldn't even finish my piece because it was so rich. We had ordered it from a local bakery-the woman who owns it is a chocolatier-and it was decorated in shimmers, black and whites to match the masquerade theme. We had black and white garland around the flat and other decorations. Phantom of the Opera was also playing on the television. We drank some pink sparkling wine and then it was time for Tenie to decide what she wanted to do for dinner. We gave her the choice of staying in and eating pizza, which she found funny as we were all dressed up, or going to a nearby Indian restaurant. She opted for number two and we were off to stuff our faces.
The food was delicious and surprisingly inexpensive. I ate so much I could barely move and was glad my dress had an empire waist line as I felt like I was going to burst. Once our plates were polished clean, we readied to go dancing, but not before the owners of the restaurant could take pictures with us. The masks were definitely a hit.
We found another taxi that seated six and headed downtown to dance, masks and all. When we first arrived, the club was practically empty and we enjoyed a lot of extra room on the dance floor. I'm not sure if it was because it was Guy Fox Day, also known as Firework Day, but the club stayed quite empty for a while. Towards the end of the night though, it was pretty full and we finally decided to go because people had sore feet and there were just too many extra bodies squishing us. So, it was off to find a taxi again. We waited for a while, despite having phoned for one, and got the thumbs up by the police as they drove by for our dress.
Eventually, we found a six person cab and I was dropped off at home first. I loved wearing the mask, but my nose was so itchy from where the mask had sat all night. It had actually been heavier than I thought as well and so I felt sweet relief once I had untied it from the back of my head.
I think it was a great night. It was so nice to be able to celebrate Tenie's birthday with her again. Ever since she moved here in 2008, we obviously have not celebrated birthdays together and that was a bit odd at first as we've spent every birthday together since the age of seven. To me, the night was perfect: good food, good friends, great cake, fancy dress and masks and fireworks that kept going off randomly. It wasn't my birthday, but I think it was one of the best ones I've been to.
Happy birthday again Tenie. I hope you had a great night. We love you.