The Charlie Brown-iest 40th Birthday

This is my life……..

Yet another episode of what it’s like to have absolutely NO GOOD LUCK what so ever.  I had such great plans to surprise Dave for his 40th birthday.  What I truly wanted was for him to find 40 pink lawn flamingos placed in our landscaping with birthday party hats when he came home early from the fire station on January 30th.  I have discovered however that pink flamingo’s are a bit more expensive than I thought.  They cost about $8.95 a pair. (Note that pink flamingos must be purchased in pairs) And they offer price breaks but to by 40 they would still be $7.00 a pair.  Now there are smaller ones (only 1 ft tall) that are $4.95 a pair but again, no price breaks until you buy 50.  So I had a hard time justifying to myself spending $100-$140 on pink flamingos and also trying to figure out afterwards them what i’m going to do with 40 pink lawn flamingos.  Something tells me the neighbors would be less than appreciative of us decorating our entire fenceline with pink flamingos.  Maybe I should have considered setting up a pink lawn flamingo rescue program over the internet and people could have adopted them.  (Note to self: research pink flamingo rescue program as a way to make money)

So with the pink flamingo idea a bust, I went to the party store in search of something that would draw attention to Dave turning 40.  So I found a large mylar banner that said “Happy 40th Birthday!!”, two lawn signs that were personalized to say “LOOK Dave is 40!” and some faux yellow crime scene tape that said “CAUTION 40 year old.”  So using the children as a distraction I took the crime scene tape to the fire station and gave it to the firefighters to decorate the “Fire SUV” (aka “Ha-hoe”).  Dave was suspicious, but the kids were good and didn’t spill the beans.  So I thought I was doing good – I had part one of the plan complete.

Now as weather in Indiana goes, it’s fairly unpredictable.  And I had heard that there were to be some thunderstorms and maybe some snow, but I was undaunted in my attempt to decorate the landscaping.  I decided I should do it while the weather was still good, do that I wasn’t attempting to tack signs to frozen landscape timbers at 6 am.  After all, how bad could thunderstorms in January be?  I had just finished tacking up the large mylar banner and pounding the steaks into the ground for the signs and was in the process of hanging from the front door a sparkly “40” chain when it happened.  It was the tornado siren.  “Odd,” I thought, “it’s not 11am on Friday, and it’s January there can’t be severe weather.”  So then I did something that I always tell people not to do, I called someone in public safety and asked what was going on.  All I had to do was switch the TV off of Nick and every news station was doing their typical you-need-to-get-to-safety-now broadcast with three different weathermen analyzing the radar.  Yes there was indeed a thunderstrom, capable of producing a tornado bearing down on Plainfield.  So I shuffled the kids and 2 reluctant dogs down to the basement (one kid in complete freak out mode) where we waited out the storm.

After the storm I found that the signs had survived!  At least partially.  The banner was hanging on by a thread.  But I couldn’t get to the banner because our front yard is basically mud since the lanscaping isn’t quite finished yet.  So I waited patiently for the snow/freezing rain combo and dropping temperature that the weathermen had promised us so that I wouldn’t sink and be stuck knee deep in our front yard.  And surprisingly, the snow and freezing rain came.  So while in my polka dot pink pajamas I put on my clunky brown snow boots, Dave’s “Brokeback Mountain” sherpa-fleece lined denim coat and a bright blue Colts stocking cap and headed outside.  I was quite a site.  By the time the mud had frozen enough for me not to sink, the mylar banner had blown away.  But I was happy because the signs were still standing tall.  Just as I had that thought, a huge gust of wind blew and one of the signs snapped.  So I braved the wind, made it to the landscaping without sinking and plucked out the broken sign.  It could be fixed.  Just needed a little duct tape.  So I trudged back to the garage and in the process of fixing the sign I noticed it had a pre cut hole and on the back there was a sticker pointing to the hole with a “tip.”  “Attach mylar balloons here for a more festive look.”  I laughed out loud, had I attached mylar balloons to the sign they and the sign would be Boston by now.  Well after repairing my sign, I trudged back out into the 12 degree weather to attempt to pitch my sign in the frozen landscape and as I made it out there I realized that the remaining sign had blown away.

I gave up.  I took the remaining sign in.  The sparkly “40” on the door had survived.  Poor Dave…….. he returned home to one measly sparkly “40” on the door.  And he was suprised but not good suprised, bad suprised. He expected something equivilant to the pink flamingo display after finding his “Fire SUV” covered in crime scene tape.  It was like the Charlie Brown Christmas tree of 40th Birthday displays.  He forgave me after he found out that the banners and signs were now somewhere in Speedway. 

This is one of those things that could only happen to me.


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