Last September, I plotted and played the part of the ultimate sneak by planning a romantic getaway for my husband, Roy, and me, to Estes Park, without getting caught. I got my husband out of the house and packed his stuff, and then I loaded the car after sending him down the street… I did the courtesy of outlining just how to plan such a trip and abduct your spouse in seven easy steps. 😉 Of course this time it was just going to be more complicated because I couldn’t use any of the same excuses I did last year so getting him out of the house was ten times trickier. Not to mention last year he had accepted a job offer, but the trip occurred before his actual start date. So figuring out his work schedule was just one more thing, but I was determined. If there is one thing I love it is masterminding an epic surprise. I had every intention of outdoing myself after last year…
The planning began in May, but I didn’t reach out to Roy’s work until a week before our anniversary (early June), because I was still planning all the things to do, places to see, places to stay, etc. Roy and I respect each other’s privacy and trust one another, so we’re never on each other’s phones. When one of us is, it can be suspect just because we never are… so I had to steal that thing so he wouldn’t know something was up. I sent him outside for something and grabbed his phone, went to his contacts and found the contact info I needed (his coworker who is like the office manager, she is the scheduling goddess). But the punk came back inside so I had to run into another room, close out of the contact info, open the app the phone was already in; I walked into our family room, his phone at my side and threw it where he usually sits when he wasn’t paying attention. So far, so good.
I contacted this person and told her to tell me what week Roy could be taken away. She picked the week right before my birthday. Roy’s aunt and uncle were supposed to be visiting that week, so I double checked their dates and then booked the hotel and gave the scheduling goddess the all clear. But that wasn’t all. Roy has gotten into the good habit of checking his schedule the week before. I knew I was walking the lines of being unprofessional, but I had to ask: “Can you print a dummy schedule for Roy to have?” My idea was that since they know he won’t be there, they could schedule the proper coverage at the branch, but the schedule he saw would not be legit. She agreed! She printed up his dummy schedule and sent me the real one and the fake one. The changes wouldn’t be made online until the week of, and the paper would reflect the fake schedule. Of course, the first four days (Monday-Thursday) had to be identical so he wouldn’t work the wrong times Monday-Wednesday and so he would know he was off Thursday (he is off on Thursdays whenever he works that Saturday).
After that was done I was off the hook until the days leading up to the actual “napping.” I made a list of everything to pack and pre-packed anything I could (you know grouping the shirts hanging in our closet together, stashing away pairs of his socks, boxers and undershirts – that kind of thing). I also enlisted the help of a good friend who could get him gone so I could pack up that morning and a neighbor to distract him as soon as he got home, so I could pack the car. Everything was set… and then Roy tried to ruin it all!
First our friend Ashley texted me because she was my “Get Him Gone” excuse that morning. He hadn’t texted her back, so I had to accidentally see the text while looking up an address from his brother in another text (I always find a way) and told Roy how he couldn’t leave her hanging. Roy was exhausted because even though I begged and pleaded with him to go to bed earlier and sleep in on certain days, etc. he was banking on sleeping most of Thursday away (he had no idea he was going to get up so early at the time). Finally, he got back to Ashley and said he had to work that day. FML.
Ashley texted me, saying she didn’t know how to respond. I told her I would take care of it. I asked Roy if he ever got back to her and when he told me he did, I asked what he told her, and then I “freaked out” that he had not been so honest with her in the name of sleep. (I am great with the subtle guilt, no theatrics, just plant the seed appealing to one’s conscience and let it grow.) I told him if he had just been honest with her about being tired it would have been one thing, but this was another and he had to make it right, meaning he had to go help her with her garden at 7:00am. To be fair, I did not have a plan for if he told her no, because he is Mr. Yes to everyone who asks for help, and just in case I had contingency plans for if he was honest with her so this seriously threw me. But that was done and over with.
And then there was his work. Roy was trying to look at the next few schedules and take some time off for his family’s visit! (Me being me, you know I already made sure he could take a personal day when he wanted for their visit, but I couldn’t tell him that!) So my spies at his work (I love this evil genius feeling) let me know what he was up to and distracted him. Then when he went to the scheduling goddess to ask her to change something on the next week’s schedule (we would still be gone) she told him she was busy but would get to it by Friday (this was Wednesday afternoon, we were leaving the next morning). My God, this man was not making this easy.
That night I couldn’t sleep. I think it was mostly because I was terrified I would not wake up when my husband left and sleep through the precious ninety minutes I had to pack his shit. When Roy left, I jumped into action. I took out my packing list, which I had already printed and packed all of our clothes, then our bathroom stuff and then our electronics including laptops, phones, chargers, and in my case my big-ass bag of books (I take at least twenty with me on any trip, they’re my pacifiers). I texted my neighbor that he was on his way and she sent her daughter to be the lookout. When he exited his vehicle he was immediately asked to help move something across the street. He had his keys, but he did not know I had procured a spare. Yeah, I’m that person. Watch me cackle now.
I loaded up the car, even though the suitcase with all of our clothes posed a challenge because it was huge and I am small, it was heavy, I am not, and Roy parked too close to the closed garage door, so I had to actually angle it and lift if over my flipping head to get it in the trunk without damaging anything. I did it, but I may have thrown up a little after. 😛
Then I went to pick up my husband and asked him not to be mad, but I wanted to go to something and got my dates switched and I would make it up to him. At some point I called it a “writing thing” because at this point if he was still oblivious he was either missing something upstairs or tired to the point of stupid. He knew something was up, he just had no idea what.
After ninety minutes in the car, Roy was getting nervous and asked if I was sure I knew where we were going. An hour later, he was more nervous and asked if we were going to Utah (or really, how we better not be going to Utah when he had to work the next morning). We arrived at our destination: Glenwood Springs. Roy kept talking about what we could possibly be doing to warrant such a faraway day trip (he was so convinced he was working the next day!) and I told him we were getting a couple’s massage and another surprise service at the spa there. It was technically true – we were – just not until Saturday morning.
I told Roy the appointment wasn’t until 4:30 so we grabbed lunch and just wandered the town. In reality, my friend was calling the hotel to see if our room was ready every thirty minutes until it was. At 3:00, we made our way over, I went to the hotel to picked up our key cards (I had already snuck away to register) while Roy wanted to go look at something (thank God!). When I returned I told him I figured out what we could do until our appointment at the spa and he followed my directions and found himself in front of the hotel. He still didn’t figure it out and I popped the trunk and he was in shock! (It took a phone call to the scheduling goddess to verify he had time off and still had a job before he could let anything sink in.)
It was perfect and we were both riding the high of the surprise: him being surprised and me pulling it off because he had no flipping idea, and somehow shocking the shit out of him almost makes me as happy as actually making him happy does. I don’t know, I think it might be a sickness.
It doesn’t matter, it all worked out, and we had a fabulous time! It was just what we needed, but that (our trip and what we did) is another post, for another day.
Thanks to all of my conspirators! And yes, I’m already plotting my next big surprise to totally outdo this one, because that is the way I operate. 😛