Who knew there were skills required to attend a surprise party? I certainly didn't. I've seen them on TV, we all have. They look like fun, something special; but nobody ever shows you how much pressure is involved.
I attended my very first surprise party for my friend Sarah, who was moving back to Australia. It actually counted as one of my new things for 2014 because I had never been to one before.
The biggest pressure I found was not saying anything in advance. I can keep it a secret; but I'm more comfortable with not having to hide things. Lying makes me nauseous, so this was a major challenge. I saw Sarah a couple of times the week before. I kept trying to be evasive and not give the game away. I'm sure I acted a bit odd; but who wants to be the one who ruins the surprise?
The party had an Australian theme, so I made some Lamingtons - I used this recipe... It was really good and really easy, although by the end I was pretty sick of being sticky and covered in coconut. They did taste amazing though.
The next area of stress was making sure I got there before the official surprise. I don't like to be late; but this added a whole new level of pressure - who wants to be the one that walks in and either a) sees Sarah and spoils the surprise b) gets mistaken as the Surprisee or c) misses the whole thing?
There was a definite air of tension in the room as we all waited, checking the door, trying to keep quiet as the text came in that Sarah was on her way.
The actual surprise moment was really funny, the first words out of her mouth were "I almost showed you my bra." Not the response you'd expect; but I think she was pleased with the party.
It was an emotional night, everyone was a little subdued and sad; but it was great to be part of the evening and now I can add Attended a Surprise Party to my list of new things.
Image courtesy of Vlado / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Claire Wade is the winner of the Good Housekeeping Novel Competition and author of The Choice. She was bed bound for six years with severe ME, trapped in a body that wouldn't do what she wanted. She now writes about women who want to break free from the constraints of their lives, a subject she's deeply familiar with.