Thursday, December 11, 2014

Sometimes I Can Keep a Secret

I am not good with surprises.  Because I tend to speak without thinking, I often give away the answer even before most people have even formulated the question. There was the Christmas when I told my father to hurry up and open his wallet, as I handed him his present.  Or the time that I blurted out "I got you a necklace" when one of my friends said hello to me.   It's rather embarrassing. Except for this one time, when I rocked the secret keeping so hard, it was a thing of beauty.

Many years ago, my boss was turning 40. Because she'd gamely tried to keep up with me for my thirtieth birthday, right down to that last tequila shot, I wanted to surprise her. I wanted to do something magnificent that she would never, ever forget. 

I felt that a night with The Rolling Stones would qualify.  

I have a special affection for those guys, since they first hit it big in America right around the time I was born.  Most of the original members were still in the band, and The Stones were always entertaining in concert. I know this because I'd seen them several times.  My boss loved them as well.  So I made sure to talk constantly about The Rolling Stones concert nonstop whenever Martie was around.  And my boss specifically said, every time I brought the concert up, that she wanted to go.  

Then I gathered up the entire office on the sly, and asked them all to chip in whatever they could, and everyone contributed what they could.  Then I headed over to the local Ticketmaster to stand in line on the day the tickets went on sale.  Because back then, there was none of this lazy "wait next to the computer" thing to get tickets.  If you were hardcore and really, really wanted to see a particular band, you got your butt up at whatever gawdawful time necessary to go stand in line outside, no matter the weather, and wait until those Ticketmaster employees managed to show up.  I waited in a line for HOURS for those darn tickets.  Well, two hours, anyway.  But I was able to buy four tickets to see The Rolling Stones, because tickets didn't cost 300$ in those days.

I went to work that Monday and bragged loudly about how I had tickets to the concert. I laid it on thick, how great a time I was going to have.  And when Martie asked if I'd had a ticket for her, I played dumb.  

"I didn't know that you wanted to go," I said, wide-eyed.  "If only you had said something, I would have bought you a ticket too."

Martie was upset.  She was downright ticked off at me.  I was going to see one of the greatest bands on the planet, and I had completely forgotten about her.  I apologized and acted like I felt terrible about the whole thing.  

And then the day of her birthday, we all gathered in her office, sang "Happy Birthday", and handed her an envelope.  The look on her face was priceless.

"I'm so sorry about all the bad things I said about you when I was mad," she said as she hugged me.  

"I know," I replied. 

Go check out other writers over at Mamakat' s fabulous site. You won't be disappointed!


  1. Awesome gift! I couldn't have held out that long.

  2. That was an awesome gift. Keeping it secret would have been darn near impossible for me.

  3. Awesome. :)

    I got Tony Garth Brooks tickets for Christmas. Best part... everyone I knew was waiting by the computer for their next available to come up... I went old school and ordered them over the phone... $66 each for 19th row.

    There's something to be said about doing it old school... even today.

  4. That's a FANTASTIC present - and the way you tricked her into thinking she wasn't going was SOOOOO evil it's right up my alley!!

  5. Oh that is fabulous! You really are quite awesome, you know??

  6. I definitely remember going TO the different stores for Ticketmaster and choosing my seat from their little maps they had there. What a lovely gift, I don't think I could have kept it to myself after seeing her disappointed face. I'm so weak!


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