A Surprise Party

by swellsbennett

Does anyone else ever wonder if the blogger died when a blog goes unattended unexpectedly for a long time?

Here I am. Not dead. Just adjusting to my new schedule. As I mentioned before, my husband, brother-in-law, sister-in-law and I have taken on a new business. We are now the proud owners of KEPCO Engraving, which actually ties in with the memory I’m going to share today. I received my first KEPCO-engraved badge about thirty years ago, when Mom and I learned to square dance.

Yes, you read that right: I was a square dancer. Petticoats, ruffled underwear, and really cool T-strap dancing shoes. Yep. I was that kid. However, before you get too judge-y, you should see a real square dance in action — it’s actually a lot more fun than that P.E. block we were all forced to take. And those years of square dancing also produced some of my most faithful friends. But I digress.

Mom met several of her best friends through square dancing, including a wonderful woman named Yvonne. Yvonne served as a role model for me: she was proof that you could be an amazing person without being a great housekeeper. I have a housecleaning motto that came directly from Yvonne’s house: it’s time to mop the floor when the cat sticks to it. I don’t actually own a cat, which probably explains why Dan mops the floor around here. Anyway, back in the early 1980s when we had only known Yvonne and her husband for a short time, Mom agreed to host a surprise party for Yvonne’s fortieth birthday party. We had a huge backyard that was enclosed by an eight-foot fence at the time. We also had a couple of acres on which we could hide the guests’ cars so that Yvonne would have no idea about the crowd of people waiting for her inside the yard. KEPCO’s original owners made little badges for everyone that read: “Lordy, lordy, Yvonne is 40.” I think I still have mine somewhere. Anyway, when Yvonne came through the gate, fifty or sixty people all shouted, “Surprise!” I think that was the first and only surprise party I’ve ever been to where the guest of honor really had no idea she was going to a party.

I was about twelve back then. I remember thinking how far in the future my fortieth birthday was. I imagined I would be president by now. That’s right: President Wells. Because I certainly wasn’t going to take some guy’s name. Now, here I am with my forty-second birthday quickly approaching and no political office in sight — thank God I let go of that dream! Who wants job that turns your hair white? I’d much rather write novels as Susan Wells Bennett and engrave badges and nameplates under the KEPCO banner.

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