Ché's Guide

Ché’s Guide To: Surprise Birthdays

My S.O, as weirdo women on dating forums would have me refer to him, turned 30 last week. As a longer-term girlfriend and a decent human being, it was my job to make sure he had a great birthday. After the 30th, for most people, the colossal aging parties are over until 50 (40 if you’re high maintenance or dying). Unfortunately for me and other non-rich people, the 30th birthday is a bit of a deciding factor on whether or not you’ll even be there for the 50th, so you need to pay attention and do a good job. To do a good job, you need to get your act together. I learned this lesson after trying to “whip up a quick cake” for his 29th:

Pictured: Me not having my act together.


The mainest, most stressful part of throwing a surprise party is not being able to afford to throw a surprise party. That’s why it’s very important early on in your life to learn how to coexist with other people. What’s expensive for one may be very reasonable when split between two. So I latched on to one of his friends and nonchalantly asked if he wanted to help me plan the party. Pro Tip: Lure possible party-funders with booze and the promise of bringing your really easy, drunk friends.

After you have a party-funder on your side, immediately discuss what you are willing to spend. If they can match that, you now have what is called a budget. An agreed upon budget is really important, because otherwise you will get screwed out of money, or they’ll spend more than you can, and you subsequently will become the screwer. Both scenarios suck. Once the funder and I decided what we were willing to spend, we used our words to entice other people to party too.


We invited everyone way before we paid for anything. Maybe you’re supposed to invest in your own ideas before spreading them, but maybe it’s dumb to plan a party no one can come to. I created, shamefully, a private Facebook group to spread the word. I know, Facebook groups are lame as hell, but a 30th birthday without any guests is lamer. It wasn’t until I secured yeses from a good group of people that I got out of bed and actually planned the party. Note: Securing a good group of people means actually speaking to those who are “attending”. Don’t go off of the group alone, or you’ll be alone, forever.

With a few friends helping me with the party, a bunch more wanting to come, and the resolve to get my boyfriend really drunk, we successfully threw the kind of surprise party you would want someone to throw you . Dancing, drinking, gambling, more drinking, too much drinking, a diner, and one quick dance in a cage was all it took to usher in 30 painlessly. Most importantly though, and if there’s a moral to a story about getting people recklessly intoxicated it’s this; he was able to spend the night toasting with a group of really good friends he hadn’t seen in a long time, and that was the best part. As it turns out, it doesn’t take a lot of money to be good at life.

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