I pride myself on getting to any event on time, if not a little early. My husband, on the other hand, prides himself on getting to any event late, or as has happened on many occasions, not at all. So after 20 years of wedded bliss, and countless spats, I have learned to build in “Del Waiting Time,” or DWT as it is affectionately known in our home.
On Sunday we celebrated Aunt Sophie’s birthday party, her 39th in fact, at a surprise celebration given by her son Art and daughter Jean. Also part of the surprise was that Jean was coming all the way from England along with her daughter Alex to celebrate the happy occasion. Keeping that part of the surprise quiet was hard enough, let alone having a surprise party at all. In my husband’s family, surprises are as rare as a visit from Haley’s Comet.
Since we are always on the phone chatting away, it’s quite shocking that we were able to keep this one under wraps for as long as we did.
Anyway, Aunt Sophie has a tendency to be late to many occasions as well. Gee, I wonder where she gets it from. So Sunday comes and I am convinced, after reading the invitation several times, that the party begins at noon.
Being well experienced, I build in DWT and tell my husband that we have to be there at 11 a.m. Knowing that my husband will of course be late, I figure that we will at least get to the restaurant at about 12:15 or so, a little late, but still in time to surprise Aunt Sophie.
At about 11:45 my cell phone rings and it’s Jean, and she tells me that they are running a little late and to let everyone know. I think nothing of it, no surprise there. I figure that we all have to be there at 12, so that everyone arrives in plenty of time to still surprise Aunt Sophie. I tell her not to worry; I will hold down the fort. I hang up the phone. I am now reminding everyone in the house to hurry up as we are really going to be late for this one.
We leave the house at about noon. We arrive at the restaurant at about 12:15 and find a great parking spot. Of course we found a great spot — the lot was empty. Now, this should have been a clue to me, but no, not me. Never one to be sharp on the uptake, I think that everyone has parked in the back. My husband, on the other hand, has now caught on about the DWT and wants to wait in the car for a little while. After all, why would we want to be there before anyone else? I, on the other hand, thinking that everyone is already inside, am itching to get inside so we can tell all the other guests what’s going on.
Just a little spat and a few minutes of “he said, she said,” and we all go inside. We find that the restaurant is completely empty. In fact, it was so early that half the wait staff had not arrived yet.
So we enter, stake out our location and then I look at the card again. I see that the party was really for 1 p.m. I, finding this very funny, show the invitation to my husband, who at this point, does not see any humor in the situation at all. “Look at this — not only did I build DWT for you, but myself as well,” I tell him.
My daughter, who, thankfully, has my sense of humor, is laughing just as hard as I am, which really does nothing to improve my husband’s humor. Jean, Aunt Sophie’s daughter, rushes into the restaurant not ready for the party, but bearing the birthday cake, explaining that they will be there at about 1:15 p.m. since Aunt Sophie was still getting dressed. Nothing new there.
Eventually everyone else showed up, Aunt Sophie, as usual, made a fashionably late entrance, the food was good, the laughs were plentiful, we had really good seats and, not for nuthin’, this was the first party in 20 years where I was not rushed and we actually arrived before the guest of honor. Now, that’s a surprise.
Happy birthday, Aunt Sophie, and many more.
E-mail “Not for Nuthin’” at JoannaD@co