Party Planning

Cara Hess, Student Writer

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Palms sweaty, mouth dry, I slowly crept behind the couch cushion, blocking my body from the sight of an outsider.  I craned my neck to a ninety-degree angle, perching my ear upon my hand to hear any movement. The lights were off.  The room was dark. The only plausible reaction was to spike the efficiency of my remaining senses to compensate for the two already impaired.  Anxiousness clouded my mind, mentally preparing myself for what was yet to come. Finally, the rusty white door slowly creaked open, the hinges crying as more force was asserted.  A tall figure appeared in the door frame, adorned with a shadow and look of confusion. Now was the correct time. Taking a deep breath, I pushed past my fear and leaped on the back of the statured male.  “SURPRISE!”, we all yelled. Friends and family began to spring from behind bulky furniture and enter the line of vision. Lights and music automatically flooded the atmosphere. The tall male I was talking about?  The facial expression that flashed across his face upon being shocked was the best reaction any birthday boy could ask for.

As his birthday was approaching, I was at a loss of ideas as to what to do for his birthday.  I refused to commit to the stereotypical girlfriend gifts such as boxed chocolates and a new video game-I wanted something that he would remember forever, not a material object!  As I brainstormed, sporting event tickets, vacations and different activities popped in my mind. The only problem? I’ve already given him all those gifts! After dating for so long, where does anyone get more ideas for presents with the objective to always “one-up” the last?  Then the vision came to me: a surprise party! Something that nobody would ever predict coming and create the best environment to enjoy.  Not only would it be an experience that he would never expect, but it would be one that would always be remembered in the presence of friends as well.

The plan was set, a surprise party!  How hard could this be? To my dismay, turns out planning a surprise party requires more time and energy than I thought.  First things first, coming up with an effective plan that everyone would have fun with is very difficult. It requires asking others for opinions, ideas, and trying to appeal to everyone with a common decision.  Next is the guest list.  Oh, the guest list.  This is the true test of trial and error.  The issue with inviting people is knowing exactly who the birthday person would like to be there and how many people can be catered for.  I enlisted the help of his mom and dad for this situation. After proposing the pitch to them, they agreed that it sounded like a great idea and came up with a lie to ask Mike to come up with a list of friends for a “future event”.  He had no idea what it was for and because of that, he was not motivated for completing the task. We waited and waited for about two weeks before he finally met the requirement. Boys am I right? With this information, I immediately started a group text conversation informing everyone on the plan.  I can’t explain how stressful it is awaiting the yes or no responses of his friends, hoping they can make it to the party and give the birthday boy the ultimate surprise.

Finally, the setup, what all the hard work and preparation leads to. Upon the day of the party, decorations are key to creating the best atmosphere imaginable.  Go all out! Balloons, streamers, and confetti are common decorations that pack a punch in a room. Not only are they colorful, but they also are very affordable for party planners on a budget.

Stretching the extra mile, noise makers and sculptures could also liven up a space.  Additional options may be accessible at general party-themed or convenience stores.  Have fun with this part- explore different themes and options depending on the objective.  Any surprise party will have kinks during the planning and preparation process, try not to stress over the little things!  If events don’t go exactly as planned, compromise in an orderly manner. Birthday parties are meant to be happy get-togethers for friends and family, don’t let the “hostess” persona affect your personal experience in the process!