Despite the efforts of half the planet - Rae's baby shower happened today. And it remained a surprise. Actually it turned out a little better than we planned - all because of a phone message.
Racheal called me Friday on my way home from work to ask about a message on our machine. It was from one of her friends and said something to the affect of "Sorry I can't be in Arizona for your shower this weekend. Hope you have fun."
"When you get home you have some explaining to do," she said.
I played dumb, or tried to, and hung up on her. I then called Mel - on the left and the organizer of this shindig - to work out the details on how we were going to convince Rae there is no shower. (And have a little bit of fun with the whole thing.) We decide that Mel is going to call us Saturday to invite us up for an impromptu lunch "promptly at 1:30."
Then I hang up and call Maggie, who is flying in from Chicago and in the air as I speak, to tell her to play dumb when we pick her up from the airport. The contents of said message are too vulgar and laden with profanity to repeat in this public forum.
As soon as I get home I get grilled. And of course, when Rae really wants to get something out of me she gives me "that look." And it always cracks me up - no matter if I'm lying or not. (Which of course I am this time.) So for ten minutes I do my best to convince her that I know nothing about a baby shower this weekend - or at least that I'm not planning one.
Fast forward to the airport. Maggie isn't in the car for five minutes before Rae asks "So what can you tell me about the shower this weekend?"
"What? You mean Mike's sister's shower that's on Sunday?" Maggie does a good job of putting up a wall and holding the line - but Rae's still not buying it. "Why would people leave a message about a baby shower if there is no baby shower?"
Because they didn't know it was a surprise? Maybe? But I don't say that - I know better.
So, Saturday afternoon Rae gets a phone call from Mel. "Hey, I'm taking a break from all my stuff and we're having cold cuts for lunch. Do you want to come up? Be here at 1:30 if you do."
Now, we never turn down a free lunch. And we like cold cuts. (Nothing beats a variety of meats and cheeses.) But Rae is SURE that we're headed into a shower. She's all smiles. She's giving Maggie and I knowing looks as we drive up to the house.
But when we get there? No cars. No people. No presents. No shower.
Only cold cuts.
Rae eats her lunch and doesn't mention anything about the shower for the rest of the day.
We've broken her. Crushed. You do not mess with the master.
When we get home I realize I've lost my work phone. (In reality I have given it to Johnny, but we'll get to that.) I spend the rest of the day mentioning to Rae that I can't find it and I need it just in case the Pope hijacks an airplane to invade Iran and I have to go to work.
Fast forward to Sunday. We're waking up and talking when Rae says, "You know, I didn't realize how much I wanted a shower until we showed up at the house and there wasn't one. Only cold cuts." It takes all of my power not to laugh. In fact, the inside of my cheek still hurts from biting it.
We go about our day and we're getting ready to head out for lunch and grab a bite to eat. Rae is planning on meeting Mel to go dress shopping (Rae is in Mel's wedding about a week before she's due) in a few hours. Johnny calls Rae on her cell - from my cell phone. We decide that since I need my phone, we'll swing up that way and go to lunch with them.
Rae suspects nothing. When she sees multiple cars lined up outside the house it doesn't register. When she sees the balloons at the end of the drive she's still not sure. When we pull in and she sees multiple people it sinks in.
"You guys suck," and a smile are all she can get out.