Surprise parties, surprise trips, surprise showers, surprise gifts…surprise anything, I LOVE. I simply cannot get enough of them (with the exception of surprise quizzes, of course—my next-level procrastination does not fare well under pop quiz circumstances).
During my junior spring semester of college, I wrote down the wrong day for my physics final and when I went to go ask the professor a question, he told me he couldn’t answer because the final was about to start. THAT was a surprise quiz (and Jesus being way too kind to me).
I get more of an adrenaline rush from successfully planning and executing a well-thought out surprise than I do from skydiving. Hypothetically. I’ve never been skydiving, but I’m sure the feeling is comparable. Not to toot my own horn, but I am also really, really good at surprises. It’s the first thing on my resume under the “Relevant Skills” heading. Doesn’t matter what the resume is for—it’s always relevant.
I’m not about to divulge any of my how-to secrets (you really thought I was going to do that?), but I will show you the results of a series of perfectly-timed and well-thought out surprises I like to call, “Flying Across the Country And Telling Nobody*.”
(*Okay, so I’ll tell you one thing. “Nobody” started out as three people and made its way up to seven. This is the part of any surprise plan where you include strategically chosen essential persons and exclude everyone else. Except when those in the “everyone else” category unknowingly mess with your plans and next thing you know you’re bribing your best friend’s little sister with donuts to NOT hang out with her on Saturday afternoon. In any case, this should really be called “Flying Across the Country and Telling As Few Strategically Chosen Essential Persons As Possible” but that’s too long for the chapter in my book.)
For those of you who are new around here (Say hey here!), I am a Lancaster, Pennsylvania native currently living in the Bay Area. A few weeks ago, I was missing home a little (a lot) extra and had a three day weekend at work for reasons I still don’t quite understand.
I also have a (bad?) habit of impulsively buying plane tickets, so you see where this is going.
I don’t have words for what it felt like to...
- be able to sit in my favorite little corner of the math hall at Eastern University and see how much growth has happened over my years of sitting (…and crying, and thinking, and praying, and occasionally doing actual math) there
- have a sleepover in the house where my best friend from home and my best friend from college now live together in this weird post-grad life
- take my brother out to lunch and see his college dorm room (he’s not old enough to go to college, is he?)
- make my parents think that someone was breaking into their house (it was me)
- go to my favorite little princess’ 5th birthday party and play in a fort built by her and her brother
- eat at ALL my favorite places with ALL my favorite people, and most importantly,
- fool 20+ people (suckers)
…but I DO have pictures. A LOT of pictures.
These nerdy cuties were the best first faces...they even came with Pour Richard's (a cappuccino!).
He's thinking so hard about how I ended up in the corner of his office...again.
Was this photo taken on my visit? During school? You'll never know. The blue backpack is the same size. Except that a LOT of Eastern has changed. Like what's up with the fireplace?
And now I present to you...The Five Phases of A Shocked Megan Badovinac.
1: Exits Honeygrow while saying possible expletives.
2: Kneels behind trashcan outside of Honeygrow.
3: Is confused but hugs Other Megan anyway.
4: Repeats step 2 but at register inside of Honeygrow.
5: Repeats step 5 and is now calling Alex a liar. For lying.
And sometimes...you have those people who fall into the "everyone else" category who make surprising them SO difficult that you just have to find a more "creative" way. Like FaceTime or telling them you need help or selfies with their mom...in their house...where they are not.
(I still love them, though. Except when Erica's painted pottery looks 4,000 times better than everyone else's and she's like "eh I don't like it.")
Not bitter at all that I gave that plant to Megan since I couldn't take it to California with me and it was basically dead and now it's a FREAKING ALOE MONSTER.
This is the rare and elusive Maddy after working 12 hours as a nurse and then coming to hang out with me at 8 in the morning.
Next stop: NOVAAAA!
Let's pretend Photoshop my face from the left and Maclean's face from the right, ok? Ok.
"Hold on a sec, it sounds like someone is coming in the garage door!" --Karen (She cried.)
What it really looks like to take our picture.
EVERYONE LOOK AT CARRIE'S FACE. BEST SURPRISE FACE AND PHOTO EVER.
When your friends are in charge of your camera...
Shoutout to all the food in Lancaster that makes me miss home almost as much as the people do (you know who you are, Commonwealth). Kidding. Sort of.
And now we take a brief pause from your normal programming to interrupt with an important Lancaster update: ESCAPE ON QUEEN IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS, PEOPLE. Go. Seriously. Book a room for a party, a rainy day, a sunny day, a corporate event, your parents, your cats, WHOEVER. Not only will you have a blast with the stories and puzzles in each room but you will LOVE the decor and themes and experience. Queen of All Things Creative and Artsy, Erica Engle, is responsible for it. Plus there's hexagons in the bathroom. What's not to love? In order to convince you to go, here are some more photos of the beautiful space and Erica's hard work.
ALL OF THE HAPPY THINGS.
Special thanks to my top-secret Strategically Chosen Essential Persons for keeping your mouths shut and helping me pull off one of my favorite surprises yet. You rock--and don't worry, Ariel...I promise your donuts are coming soon. And BIG shoutout to Badabada for involuntarily signing up to be my chauffeur and photographer. She's a (super photogenic) gem. Love you, Lanc. See you soon.
P.S. My other favorite thing about surprises is that the only way to keep doing them is for them to keep getting better...[insert semi-evil cackle here].