All week, Daniel had been planning this "surprise" for me for Friday evening. He said it was an early birthday gift.
October 23, 2007:
8:09 PM ***DSK***: are you free on friday?
8:12 PM me: for what?
8:13 PM ***DSK***: @ 6:30
me: i have that outline and bibliography and test for monday
all due monday
so, it depends
***DSK***: can you take tomorrow and thursday?
and sat and sun
me: but why?
***DSK***: just be out by 6:30
8:14 PM =)
me: straight from work?
are you out by 6:30?
8:36 PM ***DSK***: so good for friday?
8:37 PM me: yeah
put into calendar
8:38 PM ***DSK***: ok will do
8:40 PM me: but what is it?
8:41 PM ?
8:43 PM ***DSK***: why do you need to know everything?
its in the calendar
8:44 PM me: is it a surprise for me?
in which case, i don't need to know.
i don't "need" to know, either way.
***DSK***: might be
8:45 PM so no.
Ok, so we'll see.
8:46 PM**DSK***: yeah
My first thought was that he was going to make me go to dinner with friends of his that I care little for, and hence the secrecy. I figured I could live with that. I wasn't excited, but I could do a stupid dinner for his sake.
...but then he said that it was for my birthday. This was the hint. He said it was "an evening planned for me".
I thought it was Medieval Times. He had brought up going to Medieval Times when we went to the Air Show at the Ex that Fall. I had agreed that it would be fun to go - not for our Anniversary - but for something. He seemed excited by this prospect. Recently, I actually brought up going because Vina mentioned that she was going sometime soon. So, I thought I was going to Medieval Times. It wasn't entirely irrational: I looked at the entry that he put into our shared Calendar. It read "Something or other... stuff", and the time was 6:15-10:45 p.m. That makes sense. (He's too cute.)
A tally of the clues:
(1) it was for my birthday,
(2) it was on Friday evening,
(3) it was in our shared calendar for 6:15 - 10:45 pm,
(4) he told me to dress "the way I normally do for work", and
(5) he was going to pick me up from work.
I started to think it was a fancy dinner. I do regularly dress up quite nicely for work. He said he would be driving, so I could wear heels. Also, saving fancy restaurants for special occasions was what we did.
I started daydreaming about Vineland Estates. This was actually our original pick for our 3rd year Anniversary before we decided to go to Via Allegro Ristorante. (Oh, Allegro was amazing.) I started to envision an evening's treatment to a fancy dinner, champagne, and ... jewelry? maybe a new watch? :) (I was so anxious to discover what he had planned. Daniel's surprises are always so good.)
The week flew by, and when Thursday hit, I began looking through the Raptors' preseason and regular season schedules. I had the foresight to search public Google Calendars, and found a public Google Calendar for every Raptor game. This delighted me because I could overlay mine and Daniel's shared calendar with it. I was so proud of myself. I excitedly told Daniel all about it that night when I saw him that evening.
I had noticed that the Raps had played the Cavs that night (Thursday), and they would face the Wizards the next (that is, on Friday night - the night of my great surprise). I recalled wondering if perhaps I could convince Daniel to catch the Wizards game at a bar with me on Friday, but let the thought slip out of my head. I didn't want to ruin his surprise. I went to sleep.
The nest day, I could barely sit still at the office. I spent much of the day day-dreaming about what my surprise could be. I was all dressed up in a hot little black outfit - knee-high boots, 'n all. I couldn't wait for 6:15 pm. The day felt like it just wouldn't end.
When 6 pm rolled around, I sat at my desk, and stared at my phone, waiting, until finally I saw it ring. (Yes, I "saw" it ring. My ringer was on silent. I saw the flashing.) It was Daniel, and he called to tell me that his plans didn't work out, and that instead of driving in, he took the subway. He was there now, and he needed me to go there so he wouldn't lose his fare. So, I went.
I walked to St. George subway in my knee-high heels to greet him where he waited. He told me that we needed to go to Front Street, and so we had to catch the Southbound train. So, we just hurried to it. He said that he forgot one of my surprises at home. I asked what it was, adding that I didn't want to wait to find out. He was kind enough to spill the beans promptly on it: he had gotten me Christopher Hitchens' God is Not Great. I was ecstatic. It was on my wishlist. (God he's brilliant.) I think he told me to make sure I didn't go buy it.
While we stood on the Southbound platform waiting, I asked him, "Why Front Street?" I started thinking he was taking me to a comedy show and a fancy restaurant... The train came, and we got on. While we sat, I asked him if that's what we were doing. He said that was a good guess. I paused. I asked if we were going to Medieval Times. He said "Yes". I said, "I knew it! but why are we going to Front Street?" He said that it wasn't Front Street, necessarily, that he was taking me to. He said it was Union Station that he was leading us to. That made some sense. There was a streetcar from Union Station that goes by the Exhibition grounds. I started to feel upset and annoyed. If we were going to Medieval Times, I had wished he had told me sooner. I knew a better route. I also wore this awesome outfit only to feed myself with my hands. But it was a dinner. That's not a so bad a deal. I was starving.
On the ride down to Union, Daniel told me that the show didn't actually start until 7:30 p.m., and that he wanted to stop by the ACC Ticketmaster box office to look at Raptors game tickets. I was patient, but at this, began to be short with him. I pointed out how useless that would be. (1) Ticketmaster's the worst place to buy regular season tickets. I had a number of sales reps that I liked to purchase my tickets directly from. (2) Why waste our TTC fares to view over-priced tickets? (3) I didn't say this out loud, but I was starving and wanted to just get to where we were going already. But he was so insistent. So irritating, but so cute. He looked so eager to see the box office. I couldn't say no.
We started walking down from Union Subway Station. I mentioned that there was a pre-season game on, that I had read about it the day before in my Raptor Game Google Calendar, but that I didn't know whether or not it was at the ACC. All that I recalled was seeing the game in the schedule when I was reading about the Cavs game from Thursday night. He mentioned that he'd read about the Cavs game, too. It was an awesome game. Great game for the Raps. I was happy to hear that he'd been reading up on his Raps news.
When we got to the corridor to the ACC, I noticed scalpers. I said to him, "I think the game tonight's at the ACC," while thinking, "I wish I could go to the game instead of Medieval Times. It makes me sad to see all these people go to the game knowing I have to leave to go to something I don't want to see."
When we got to the end of the corridor, Daniel very unexpectedly whipped out a pair of tickets to the Raptors game from his jacket pocket! I screamed hysterically. It took so much restraint to not scream any louder than I had been.
It felt like a wish being granted; a dream come true. I was so happy that I actually started crying. He ushered us to our seats - lower bowl behind the Raps bench. I cried even harder. I looked at him and told him that this was the most amazing birthday surprise that anyone had ever concocted.
When we settled into our seats, he looked at me, and said:
"It was so strange to me that you got this idea of going to Medieval Times into your head, and you wouldn't let go of it. I'm never going to take you to Medieval Times if that is going to be your response." Apparently, I pouted like a baby.
That was the best birthday surprise ever.