Not So Surprising Comments From Surprise Party Guests

by admin on April 3, 2012

This past weekend my wonderful husband threw me a surprise birthday party for my 50th birthday. Not to be bragging but this is no easy feat. I’m either very astute or very nosey depending on who you talk to. I’ve always been able to take the smallest bit of information and figure things out.

DH went to the extremes! As he knew we would be together the entire day of the party, he enlisted the help of his sisters, (he has three) my younger brother and two of my best friends. They did a wonderful job setting things up and decorating.  He even went so far as to talk my sister into coming all the way from her home state which is a plane ride, not a long drive, away.  He pulled it off! I had no idea until we almost got to the house!

It was great and wonderful to see all my friends and family there and I was so excited to see my sister as she and I are very close!

I barely got settled in and the comments started.

His brother’s comment, “She’s lying, she knew all along.”   #1) He was wrong #2) Why would he want to take this joy away from my DH? (He was not kidding either and even if he was, the joke wasn’t funny.)

One of my SIL’s (my brother’s wife) comments, ”You wouldn’t believe what I had to give up to make it here I have so much work waiting for me at home!” (Sorry you were inconvenienced?) And, “Where is the food, what’s to eat and what time can we begin?” (To ME! The one who had nothing to do with it!)

One of DH’s friends…(yet again to ME..see above)…”I can’t believe it’s BYOB, you should have had more choices to drink”. This guy knows we gave up trying to provide drinks for everyone years before because by the time you try to get everyone’s favorite you’re broke….but still…he knew I wasn’t in charge of anything. He was also insulted about the last minute invitation.

And the kicker…the youngest of the SIL’s….I made a point of talking to everyone, thanking them for coming and truly meaning it. I got to her, I said, thanks so much for coming.  Her response was,”Like I had a choice.”

I didn’t let these downers ruin my fun as I had so many others there to enjoy my party with and the extra days with my sister was a bonus.

If there is any point to this story it’s to please watch what you say to the guest of honor at a party, whether it be a surprise party of not. You might THINK its being said in a light- hearted manner but the guest of honor should never feel like they are a bother or a bad host to anyone.    0328-12

Some of what was said was stupid blather from people not thinking how their words will be received.   What the youngest SIL said was just plain unkind but also attributable to being young and therefore often stupid.   Focus on the happy, gracious people, be gracious and kind to the blathery ones and relish the fact that your husband expended so much effort to make you happy.

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Shalamar April 3, 2012 at 8:50 am

I’m so sorry, OP, and I hope you had a great time despite those boors.

I can relate (most of us can, I imagine). When I had my first daughter, my sister-in-law threw me a surprise baby shower. The baby was literally just days old, and ordinarily I think my SIL would’ve waited until the baby was a little older (and my husband and I were a little more sane), but my parents were in town to see their new grandchild, and SIL wanted them to be able to attend. That was very kind and considerate of her, and I appreciated it very much. The part I didn’t appreciate was after my husband and I had arrived at SIL’s house with the baby. After the “SURPRISE!” (which was a genuine surprise – I had no idea), my mother-in-law proceeded to scold us for being “late” and keeping all the shower guests waiting. My husband explained patiently that (a) I didn’t know it was a shower – I just thought we were going to SIL’s house for a visit; and (b) the baby got hungry just as we were about to leave, so I had to feed her.

Oh, and I, too, was accused of knowing all along about the surprise. I gestured to my outfit, which was an extremely casual sweatsuit, and said “Do you really think I would’ve worn THIS if I’d known?”


MsDani April 3, 2012 at 9:30 am

I have to disagree with the assertion of ” also attributable to being young and therefore often stupid.” Being young does not mean you are stupid or devoid of manners. As a young woman I am often told that my age clouds my judgement with a condescending “You only think like that because you are young.” Yes my age has something to do with my thought processes but that doesn’t mean that my suggestions should not be ignored because I’ve had less birthdays. This young woman may be “stupid” because of her upbringing and may remain that way even as she gets older. So before attributing someone’s manner level to their age please remember that rudeness is available at every age.


Rubies April 3, 2012 at 10:23 am

Could it be that your husband’s sister felt forced into setting up and decorating? (“Like I had a choice.”) I think it’s great for family to help out, but I personally would not put all of the responsibility on other people like your husband did.


Lisa April 3, 2012 at 10:55 am

My hubs threw me a surprise 50th, and did a spectacular job. My brother and his girlfriend flew in the night before and he arranged for them to meet us at a local restaurant, surprise #1, and then the next day we went sightseeing, and upon returning, as the garage door opened it was full of people, surprise #2. I do have to mention that I did have an inkling about this party, but in all honesty, was so overwhelmed with seeing everyone there to celebrate my birthday, that after thanking each person individually, it took me about 30 minutes to regain compusure. The outpouring of love, kindness and generosity was amazing. I’m so very blessed to have the friends and family that I do.


Shelly April 3, 2012 at 11:14 am

I’m not sure I agree with the excuse admin made for the youngest SIL because she is “young”. We have no idea how old she is – just because she’s the youngest SIL doesn’t mean she’s not old enough to have manners (the only way I’d give her a pass is if she’s under 7). I thought saying “Like I had a choice” was incredibly obnoxious and hurtful and OP is a better person than I am, because there is no way I would let that comment slide. I’m just trying to picture my mom’s reaction if I said something like that when I was younger – it would not have been pretty. DH’s family sounds like a bunch of ill-mannered boors.


Calli Arcale April 3, 2012 at 11:44 am

Kudos to you, OP, for not letting them ruin your fun! I have a five-year-old who blathers constantly (a normal trait of the age) and it’s made me realize that one begins to think in words before one develops a brain-mouth filter. Thoughts that go through the head (which, as we all know if we’re being honest with ourselves, are often poorly formed) come tumbling right out the mouth. That observation has also led to the realization that this filter isn’t always functioning later in life, for a variety of reasons, and so sometimes stupid comments come out of our mouths. It’s best just to not let it bother you.

I’ve had one surprise birthday party, and it was a complete success. I was a teenager, and amazingly, it was my dad who came up with it! He’s not usually sneaky, so he had me completely surprised. He said he was taking me out to my favorite restaurant for lunch on my birthday. To my great surprise, three of my best friends were already there, waiting for me! It was a surprise birthday party with friends. That was awesome. Small, quiet, and absolutely awesome. I managed to pull off something similar for hubby. We pretended we were showing a new restaurant to his parents, who were in town, but when we got inside, that’s when he saw all the other friends and family already there, ready to celebrate. 😀 It was awesome.


Angel April 3, 2012 at 11:53 am

I agree with the admin, most of the comments were just blather. But to me, anything other than, we’re so glad to be here celebrating with you or thank you for inviting us, may be construed as rude no matter what the spirit it was intended. And your SIL’s comment was just plain rude no matter how she intended it–what a nasty remark. I might have been tempted to respond, well, I’m sorry for the inconvenience then. Jerk.


June April 3, 2012 at 12:14 pm

OP- you seem like a fun person. Sounds like you had a marvelous time despite the boorons.
Maybe the next time it should be, “SURPRISE! You’re not invited!” Obviously, you wouldn’t say that to anyone, but it might be worth considering your (husband’s) guest list. 😉

Shalamar, I’m glad your husband took his mom to task for that. Too often you read stories about husbands not wanting to get involved.


Sarah Jane April 3, 2012 at 2:00 pm

This reminds me of my first wedding many years ago. I was young and naive and had my head in the clouds. I thought it was everyone’s lifelong dream to be involved in the grand event that was my wedding. I had asked my younger cousins, who lived a few hours away, to be in the wedding party. It was all okayed with their mom, my aunt months in advance.

Fast-forward to my wedding day and all we hear from said aunt is how much trouble this all was and how far they’d had to travel. I felt just awful and went overboard thanking them every chance I got,

Looking back now, Auntie could have just declined on the beginning or kept her mouth shut in the end.

Regardless of your feelings, unless the guest of honor is treating you like crap, please be polite and save your complaints for some other person and some other time.


Snowy April 3, 2012 at 2:04 pm

If the OP was turning 50, chances are her youngest sister in law is still at least 30–far past the age that you can overlook that kind of behavior due to age. It sounds like Husband’s side of the family tends to keep company with those who have no manners.


Stacey Frith-Smith April 3, 2012 at 2:47 pm

OP’s story is a great lesson on the importance of being mindful- we should be kind to one another and intentionally present and courteous rather than absently rude and brusque or harsh. How many remarks have been passed off as “I was only joking!” or “I wasn’t in my right mind- I didn’t MEAN it!”. This works both ways, though. OP could have chosen to “forget” the less than perfect ruminations of her relatives, merely remarking, if it helped, “DH did a WONDERFUL job, and I’m so glad you’re here!”. That moves the exchange past the remark and let’s the point be made in the moment that the day is one for celebration. After that, such remarks are best forgotten.


wowwow April 3, 2012 at 3:00 pm

There are just some folks like that, and I’ve learned a long time ago (because I’m not young and therefore often stupid) that you have got to separate yourself from the weird, immature, negative, and often ignorant comments other people make, roll your eyes if you have to, and walk away from them. It has NOTHING to do with you–this problem of being a blathering idiot is their problem, and not yours, so don’t be offended, but feel sorry for them.


Harley Granny April 4, 2012 at 10:39 am

OP sounds like she’s got my in-laws. They associate with no one outside the family unit so really have no idea how to act around others.
I can tell by the tone that you aren’t really dwelling on negative and while I agree that some of it was just blather, it’s also nice to be reminded sometimes that comments like these are just not funny. They serve no purpose and are akin to passive aggressive guilt trips.
It sounds like you have a great husband and it was great that he had people he could rely on to help him pull it off.


Enna April 4, 2012 at 3:17 pm

Great you had a wonderful time OP regardless of some of the comments that were made. They were clueless, but I don’t think they meant it in a nasty way.


Rap April 4, 2012 at 4:46 pm

With some qualification, I would probably give the youngest SIL a pass as well. She was rude, no denying that, but if she was under 18, then she may have been forced to be there. I don’t give a complete free pass in that unless she was under ten, she should know just to keep her mouth shut, but having been hauled to any number of family events between the ages of 10 and 18, its not really always that much fun to be dragged to a required event. Being told you have to attend and you have to smile and lie about how you wanted to be there… I don’t support the rudeness but I understand it. I’ve had to attend too many parties, showers, etc with “They’re *family* and even though Aunt Helen tells people she doesn’t like you, you *will* attend because you live in our house” so I get the “like I had a choice” comment all too well.


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