“Everyone yelled “Surprise!””

It was my mom's birthday. She was turning 60 and I wanted to do something for her. I knew she'd like a party. So I looked around, it was set to be in [name of city] and I was looking for a place that could cater because I figured it'd be a pretty big group, but I hadn't been working for long so it had to be also cost effective. And I found a place, and it's really cool because their catering compared to other places was very affordable, and then they actually allow you to bring in your own alcohol or other food. So like we brought in dessert from a place my mom really liked, and I think there was probably about 60 people or so, 50 people. But it was a total surprise party. So I think - I'm trying to remember, it's been a little bit. I told her that a friend of mine who owns a Coney shop and has previously worked in a lot of really upscale kind of farm to table restaurants. I said something about how he's hosting an event with like signature cocktails, so we're gonna go. I think I told her the place. I said we're going to [name of restaurant] which was one of her favorite places for breakfast. He's renting it out for the night or there's some event, basically. So on the day of her birthday, we go. I'd invited, obviously, my family, a lot of her friends. And we're - I think we were getting ready to leave the house and my middle brother called or texted me and was like "Hey, like, we're driving up from Cincinnati. We're gonna be 20 minutes late. Can you stall?" and I was like, "No, you're an idiot. Like, I can't. This is already complicated enough. I'm just like waiting for her to figure it out. So no, I can't come up with a different elaborate lie," so I just told him he'd have to deal with not being there for the actual surprise. So everyone - I was worried like when we pulled up that we'd be seeing people that my mom knows walking around. So it was just really great. It worked out well, we didn't run into anyone. We parked maybe a block or two away and then walked over. And everyone yelled, "Surprise!" And my…

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“… The little get together that was supposed to be me and my seven or so friends turned into a mega event.”

Around the fire, we were like "Man, you know, we should like have like an actual thing after the end of the football game next week. We should all come back over here and just have a fire, like we don't even have to do paintball before it, we can just have a fire, it'd be great." So yeah, it did sound great, just getting that little crew together for a little end of season, you know, fireside hang. You fast forward to the football game. This was our big rivalry game against our crosstown rivals and one of my friends from that small paintball group brought a sign cheering on our football team. So when he held it up, you know, it was like your classic "Go team, go," but personalized, I'm sure, for like our running back or whoever that he knew. But on the back the sign that was facing the rest of the crowd was an invitation to my house for a blowout party extravaganza. And I don't know, that wasn't - that wasn't ideal. That wasn't planned. It was something he did off the cuff. So the little get together that was supposed to be me and my seven or so friends turned into a mega event where like 100 people showed up in my backyard, and they were probably very disappointed, many of them, expecting to find - like this is in the early 2000s, so like you picture like American Pie or Can't Hardly Wait, any of those movies where there's kegs on tap and people jumping in the swimming pools and, you know, Blink-182 on the stereo, I guess. That's not what we planned, and that's not what I would throw because that wasn't me. So there's a lot of people who were probably very confused as to why our party was just literally a giant bonfire in the backyard with no alcohol and a portable basketball hoop off to the side so we can just take turns dunking on it. It was very, yeah, I don't know. I do remember dozens of cars, we had a long dirt driveway probably like a hundred yards, hm, maybe 75 yards. And it was just lined on each side with cars to the point that the police showed up. They probably assumed they were busting a rager. And my mom met them at the…

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“I actually tried to use Guitar Hero 3 to learn how to play…”

In middle school, that was - in my school, that was when you could either start doing band, and then you could do band in high school or you could just do other electives. So you either had to do band for all three years or you could do electives. Like you couldn't have band and gym, or band and art, or band and tech. And I was super into art. Like when I was younger, I was like, "Oh I wanna grow up to be an artist. I'm gonna be a painter." Whatever like that. So I was like, "I'm not gonna do band. I wanna do art." And then of course I was screwed over, and they only put me in one art class, so that sucked, but I wish I would've done band. I definitely would have done like either like the percussion or the trumpet. Or maybe the flute. I don't know, probably not. My sister did the saxophone, I probably wouldn't do that and I probably wouldn't do clarinet either. But yeah, I wish I would've done band. I thought that would've been really fun. I did choir in high school and that was fun. I enjoyed that. I have like tried to learn so many instruments though, and I'm just so bad at it, and I'm so bad at like keeping myself like being persistent at like hobbies. Like I remember when Guitar Hero 3 came out for the Nintendo Wii and I was like, "Oh, like, I can learn how to play guitar from this." I don't know how that made sense in my mind. So like for Christmas that year, my parents got me an electric guitar and I tried to - I actually tried to use Guitar Hero 3 to learn how to play it like I thought like the little different colored dots were actually like different chords. Which I mean technically they were, but like I didn't like compute correctly over into my mind, you know, so that like did not work out. So I immediately gave up. And then like a couple years later, I was like, "Mom, I wanna know how to play the banjo, it's completely different from guitar. I'll do it this time." No! I feel so bad too, my parents spent so much money on that stupid stuff.

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