Every since the moment I turned 20 I asked for a surprise party for my 30th birthday. Every chance I got I would say something about my surprise party, and for years I knew my mom was planning to have a fabulous party for me. Just over a year ago, I told my mom I didn’t want a party anymore. We were officially in a recession, and thought spending money on a surprise was not the best idea. I remember the moment I told my mom, it was as though the air was deflated from her. I instantly felt bad. I told Whitney what I did, and said well maybe she really wanted to plan a party. Knowing my mom, she really did want to plan a party for me. It had been years since she had thrown me a party. It was due time, in her mind I am sure.

Even though I asked for my mom not to throw me a party, I knew I would have one. I really wanted to be surprised but being surprised was going to be hard for me since I am very observant. I pay attention to everything. I know all, even when I am not trying to. I am a very good listener. I just pay attention.

About a month ago, Lynne emailed me. She asked me to come to a charity dinner Jason’s (her boyfriend) company was having on June 6th. Jason lives in LA so I would be able to meet people before my move. Right away, my senses were up. I knew it was for my party, and this was there ploy to get me to get me there. I agreed to come to the dinner. Right away I saw holes in there story. Jason was not coming in for this event, but all his family was going to be there from Long Island. They were having a dinner in LA for the same thing so he didn’t need to come, but his roommate from LA was coming. I just went along with the story. Lynne tried her very best to throw me off. We went to lunch on birthday, and she told me that I should not be risqué since Rabbi’s would be there.  I thought, um good try my friend. For a split second I believed her, but only for a second.

I had a birthday happy hour on May 29th.  I was so relaxed about it. It didn’t bother me at all if people didn’t come. I knew they would be at my party the following week. I decided last year I would not stress about my birthday this year. It’s just not worth it. I am so over stressing out over things that are not that important. My friends asked me what I was doing the following weekend, and I told them I was going to a dinner with Lynne. She wanted me to meet LA people. I can not lie easily to my friends and family. I used to but as I got older I have lost all ability to lie. When I talk to people I am always looking into your eyes. I love eye contact. It makes some people uncomfortable but I love it. When I was telling the details of the dinner, I was looking down. Right there should have been a hint I knew about the party. I didn’t want to look into my friend's eyes and start laughing. Knowing me it was a real possibility. I needed to continue to allow people to think I didn’t know what was going on.

About a week before the party, I got this email from Lynne:

Hi! How was your party??? Amy said she had a lot of fun, so sorry I missed it.

See below: looks like you will be meeting my future in-laws! Jason's mom emailed me today...

>>> XXXX@aol.com> 6/1/2009 1:51 PM>>


Jason told me you will be there on Saturday! We got a table, but there are only 6 of us going and it is a table for 10 (Me, Bob, my Mom and Dad, Susie and Roy). I know Jason said you would be at Jordan's table (which will probably be more fun) but feel free to table hop!

How are you getting there? We are driving but Jason said you are taking the Water Taxi? If you like, we can drop you back in the city on our way back.

Looking forward to seeing you!

xoxo di

I started laughing as soon as I got the email. For a split second again I thought maybe the party is not for me. Once I got over that, I knew it was a shame. It was sweet to see how hard she was trying to help me believe the dinner was really happening and not my party. I told her how excited I was, and could not wait to meet new LA people.

Around the same time, it seemed as though all my friends fell off the planet. I heard from no one. I am in constant contact with my friends, and mom but this week I heard from no one expect Annebelle who was visiting, Whitney (who I talk to everyday on im, if I didn’t hear from her it would have been so obvious) and Christine (who was coming to spend the weekend when Annebelle arrived). It was as though people didn’t want to slip.

Some people think I knew about the party because Annebelle was visiting. That is not the case. We planned her visit about 6 months ago. It has become a tradition for her to come up when Shakespeare in the Park in playing. The play happens to over lap with the party so she was thankfully able to come to both.

I am very observant, and knew half the things people said they were doing June 6th was not true at all. A very good friend of mine has twins. Whenever they have something to do she tells me who is watching the girls, and how hard it is to find someone to watch them if her mother-in-law is not available. She mentioned having something to so June 6th, but didn’t say anything about what she is doing with the girls. I knew then the something was for me!

My party was everything I could have asked for and more. I loved the restaurant my mom chose. It was outside of Manhattan with the most amazing view of the city including the Statue of Liberty. I was so happy to see all my close friends where there, and my mom. The family I have created for myself over the years was all present and accountant for. My cousins were a no show, but I would not expect anything more from them. We are not really family, only through blood, not by anything else. If I need anything I know I could never count on them. My family is my friends and my mom. I have the best family anyone could ever ask for.  

The party was filled with love, laugher, and memories both new and old. It was a time for new friends to meet old ones, and for friends to get reconnected. I felt lucky so many people cared about me to celebrate my 30th year. They all tried so hard to keep this a surprise from me. Despite figuring it out, I still know how hard they all worked to make my birthday the most amazing ever!

My mom really did an amazing job, from the invitations, to the cake, to the food and her speech. It really made me realize how loved I am. I know how proud she is of me, and I am so thankful I have her. I used to wish I had siblings but the older I get the more I realize life is how it is meant to be for a reason. My life would be entirely different. I would not be as close to my mom as I am. I am very thankful for all I have, and for all I have yet to accomplish.

Here is to the next 30 years, I hope they are as eventful and happy as the first. Thank you to all my friends who helped my mom put my amazing party together.  I am so thankful for all of you.