So for his actual birthday, him and I just took it easy, baked a cake and relaxed enjoying the long weekend. Little did he know that the very next week his best friend Chris and I had been planning a big party. Why the wait, you may ask? Mr. Link’s birthday always falls very close to thanksgiving and as such, most of our friends were away visiting family. Chris and I decided to wait a week for everyone to return to throw him a big birthday bash in Washington D.C.
It started out as an email from Chris: “What do you want to do for ‘Mr. Link’s’ birthday?” And I thought that since Mr. Link loves him some Indian food and had mentioned the White Tiger restaurant in D.C. that it would be the site of our party. Chris then made a brilliant evite and I provided him with the list of people to invite. There were about 45ish people in total. All, rather brilliantly in my opinion, gathered from old emails I received from Mr. Link where I was on a list of people. I was able to search through these names and pick out most of the people I knew he’d want invited. I figured if he cared about these people enough to share the “leave brittney alone” video with, they were important enough to invite.
The plan was to go to dinner earlier and then off to Union Pub for some drinks (specifically Bud Light). As the RSVP’s came rolling in, much to Chris’ and my surprise, most of the people RSVP’d that they would be showing up. Its hard to get any of our friends in one place at one time, but by the time Friday morning rolled around, we had over 20 RSVP for dinner. Luckily, the White Tiger was very accomodating about our reservation.
So about four or five days before the dinner, I casually mention that we haven’t had date night in a while. Date night is one night a week that Mr. Link and I set aside to, wait for it…. go out on a date. It’s important to make time for each other. I also casually mention that I’ve been craving Indian food. He mentions that we haven’t been to DC for a while and that the White Tiger is a good place. Excellent… all is going as planned. I even casually mention something about Chis and Melissa, off topic and “he” comes up with the idea to make it a double date. This is especially nice because now this makes planning it easier since I have to talk to Chris and Melissa anyway now.
For his birthday, I thought it would be a nice present if I could get his close friends to give me a blurb on what their favorite Mr. Link memory was/ what he has meant in their lives. The people were resistent at first, but after 6 emails in four days and a couple of not-very-veiled threats, every one I considered close to him here replied and even a few that haven’t known him very long. He seems to have made quite an impression.
So as we meet up with Chris and Melissa that night, we walk to the White Tiger. We go upstairs where everyone was ontime and waiting for him, and I start to lead them in a chourus of “Happy Birthday”. As Mr. Link climed the stairs, it took him a whole 6-7 seconds of just staring around the room with this blank look on his face, trying to process the information. It wasn’t until the second verse of “Happy Birthday to you” that he ever realized what was happening. He was completely surprised and we had a great evening filled with fun and laughter and friends.
For those who know Mr. Link, surprising him is not an easy feat to accomplish. This is the man who reads the last paragraph of each book first, who is constantly formulating theories on how various mystries can be explained, and looks for meaning in the slightest of contexts. He is a naturally very, very suspicious guy, and can read me like a book. However, despite all of these things working against us, Chris, Melissa, and I were able to pull off the biggest surprise Mr. Link has had in a very long time.