Birthday Subterfuge

I preface this blog post by stating that I have never been good at lying.

I can handle occasional white lies to soothe people’s nerves, but I can’t misrepresent thoughts or events. If something didn’t actually happen, I can’t state that it did. This has its upside and its downside.

Porkchop’s birthday was a little over a week ago. Since she was feeling down about turning 31, I wanted to do something really nice to show how happy I am to celebrate another birthday with her.

I don’t have many chances to surprise Porkchop because I don’t drive to work. This means I don’t have a chance to sneak away somewhere and purchase something awesome.

Candy from the university bookstore gets kind of old as a surprise.

Before Porkchop’s birthday, I wasn’t able to make anything secret either because she was at home when I was all the time! She was busy doing class prep and working on a print for the faculty show, and she never left the house!

Therefore, I decided to take the Friday off before her birthday and bake a cake, make a great birthday present display, and clean up the downstairs (which was super messy from working on prints).

I rode to the Central West End as per usual with Porkchop and even bought us bagels from Einstein’s. I stayed at the UPS Store for a bit and then left to catch the train. Only, instead of going to work, I went back home!


Once I was home, I got down to business and started the cake. We once made a chocolate-hazelnut-orange poundcake that Porkchop really liked, and since it takes a lot of prep work, we had only made it once. So, it seemed like a good choice.

It took about an hour just to get the batter ready (toasting hazelnuts, chopping chocolate, zesting oranges, etc.). The batter was super pretty.

Cake batter - delicious and pretty

Once the cake was in the oven, I wrapped Porkchop’s presents, which took me at least 40 minutes because I’m a slow wrapper. Then I found our birthday sign, and arranged presents and photos of Porkchop atop our bookcase. The cake was the centerpiece (it was huge!!).

Birthday Altar

The whole time I was working on the cake and the presents, I was so happy because I finally had a chance to surprise Porkchop with something.

Next, I cleaned up the first floor of the house, which took another couple of hours because it was a total disaster site.

Finally, I had a chance to sit and rest a bit, and that’s when things went wrong. I knew Porkchop was leaving work at 2:00 to drop off her prints at the school gallery, and I thought she would surely come home afterwards since it was so early.

But no! She called to say that she was going to hang out at the zoo for a couple of hours and then pick me up from work. And I couldn’t think of what to say! I hadn’t prepared a story or a lie, and I couldn’t think of anything. So I just kept saying, oh, just go home. Go home.

Of course she figured out that I was at home. And I knew she would be not happy because Porkchop doesn’t like surprises! (I know – weird!) I was correct that she spent the whole ride home wondering what I was doing and stewing about it.

So, when Porkchop came home, I was like, hi!, and then Porkchop was all grumbles and didn’t even SEE the birthday display or all the work I had done.

Then I said, look and pointed at the bookcase and started crying because I had so much emotion building up in me all day and it had to come out somehow.

After a little more crying on my part, we did a do-over and Porkchop acted excited about the birthday display.

And then I cried some more.

The next day was better, and Porkchop opened her presents.

St. Louis represent!

The day after Porkchop’s birthday was even better. Porkchop, Porkchop’s younger brother, Porkchop’s younger brother’s girlfriend, Suzi, Dale, Dale’s father, and I went fishing.

All day!

We cooked out by the lake (which is near Dale’s parents’ place and is on private land) and hung out all day.

Fishing the day away

It was quite relaxing.

Except for the excitement surrounding this spider:

Super spider

When we first arrived, there was a kerfuffle on the dock involving this spider, Porkchop’s younger brother, and his 8.5-month pregnant girlfriend. This spider jumped over their heads at one point. Seriously, it was ridiculous.

Anyway, other things have been afoot, but this post is long enough.

Have a great week!


3 thoughts on “Birthday Subterfuge

  1. I loved the birthday story! Happy belated birthday, Porkchop.

    • carrie says:

      It’s a fun story to tell, but wasn’t so fun in the moment. For the coming year, I am to work on lying and Porkchop is to work on accepting surprises without grumbles.

  2. Ale says:

    Oh my! Porkchop is so silly. How can someone not like a surprise like the birthday altar? And that cake looked delicious.
    I’m glad you girls had fun after all the crying :-(
    Beijos, Ale

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