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May 02, 2008

"You told them what?"

Among the most unforgiveable sins I surely face eternal damnation for is the surprise party I surprised my grandmother with when I was 6. I had spent the week before "inviting" all the girls in my 1st grade class to the event but had neglected to ask permisson of, inform, hint or warn my grandmother until about an hour before "the ladies" were due to show up.

I can't imagine having Jack do this to me but despite the sheer terror of the moment my poor grandmother actually tried to pull it off. She made a cake and then explained what happened to each little girl's mom as they pulled up. A few stayed for a while but most left without getting out of the car.

Both sides of the equation, grandson and grandmother, were pretty scarred by this. We didn't have any sort of party for my birthday that I can remember for at least 3 more years.

I got in bucketloads of trouble after the "party" was over. I remember tears and a spanking but mostly it was the heaping amounts of guilt my grandmother smothered me in that left me dreading birthday parties to this day. Even now the thought of them gives me hives.

If there's one thing being older gives you it's perspective. Typing that last paragraph is like opening a window in the spring and letting fresh air into a musty house. It's a bit carthartic.

Posted by Jim at May 2, 2008 08:07 AM


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