Thursday, September 3, 2009

remember the time

so 5 years ago, for my parents 25th anniversary, i had just started working - good paying job, not quite paying back student loans, and living the high life. my oldest younger brother was in college at ASU. the youngest younger brother was in high school - sophomore year, i think. their anniversary fell on a weekend so i planned to have fly myself and my little brother home to fargo on friday. i took the day off from work and caught any early morning flight to fargo. i was flying through minneapolis and since homie was south of fargo, he was flying through denver. we were both supposed to land around 1:00 in fargo and homie's friend, baklava was going to pick us up from the airport. we were going to hang out at his place for a few hours until my parents left. you see, player, the youngest brother, had a football game on friday night in minot, nodak (which is about 5 hours from fargo in the northwest corner of the state). my dad is from minot (i guess us kids are, too, but we moved to fargo when i was 7 so now we're mostly from fargo) and my parents lived there together for many years, so they have a lot of ties in the city, which means that they'll drive the five hours just for a high school football game (i guess they would've gone anyway, but they looked forward to going because they knew so many people there). i had called my parents friends in minot ahead of time to tell them to plan for a surprise anniversary party after the football game. we arranged to have player stay with us after the game (instead of heading back to fargo with the team). my parents were planning to take the suv to minot and they would just leave the car in the garage at home in fargo. so it would be perfect for us to use the car and drive to minot, again, 5 hours away. my parents were leaving around 1:30, after my mom got home from work. homie and i were going to leave at 2, just in time for the football game (which was from 7-9 that night). it was perfectly planned...

i land in minneapolis for my layover and immediately call my brother in denver to see how his flight was.

me: "hey, homie. how was your flight?"
he: "i dont know. i missed it."
me: ..."are you kidding?"
he: "no, i woke up at 6:46 for my 7:02 flight."
me: ..."seriously?"
he: "yes, i'm serious. i'm in phoenix right now waiting at the airport. brett woke me up - i totally didn't hear my alarm."
me: "ok... so what time do you get to fargo now?"
he: "not until 5:30."
me: "ok... so what do you think? should we still go to minot?"
he: "yeah, yeah."

i was incredulous at first. that would mean we wouldn't get there until 10:30 - looong after the game and after everyone was on their way home. luckily, i had an insider.

my cousin, amanda, lived in minot with her husband and was going to be at the football game. i called her and told her we had a set-back. we would be arriving late, so depending upon what time we got there, we'd have to have her get my parents to the party location and she would have to tell all my parents friends.

i got on my flight to fargo and baklava picked me up from the airport. i went to his place (Suite 56) and took a nap on the couch while i waited for homie. after i knew my parents were on the road to minot and safely out of fargo, i went home to my house, just a few blocks away. i hung out until a half hour before homie's flight was to arrive. i drove to mcdonalds and got dinner and was sitting at the airport waiting for homie. he only had a carry-on so we didnt have to wait for luggage. he came outside, got on the road and 35 seconds later we were on the highway to minot.

i drove while he ate and once we got to grand forks (an hour north of fargo) we switched drivers. homie has a heavier foot than i, although my foot has never been light, and we started heading west. we called my cousin and told her where we were - about 200 miles from fargo and it was only a little after 7:00 - and she said, "woa, you're gonna get here in plenty of time at that speed!" and she was right.

we got to the football field at 8:45.

the game was still going.

since it was so late, we didnt have to pay to get in. my cousin told us about where they were sitting and so homie and i went to the top of the bleachers behind my parents. i called my mom, which is normal during a brother's athletic game, and she answered her phone all the while staring at the field.

me: "hey mom! how's the game?"
she: "it's great! we're ahead!"
me: "awesome! wasn't that a great catch by player?"

she stopped.

she: "how did you know he caught the ball?" [then to the crowd] "ok, who's on the phone with my daughter?"
then homie took the phone from me. homie: "hey mom! how's the game?"
she: "good! oh! are you guys on a conference call? that's funny!"
homie: "mom, how come you have sunglasses on your head?"
she: "ok! who is talking to my kids?!"

of course, everyone knew we were there and had turned around to see us, except my parents who were intently watching the game. so homie and i walk up to them while we're still on the phone and my mom's mouth almost fell off her face when she saw us. my dad sat, hunched over from watching the game, and just started laughing. they had no idea that we were going to be there. or WHY we were there. we were like, "happy anniversary!" they were really surprised. it was great.

after the game, we told player what happened and we all went to a bar with my parents friends where we had this little party. it was fun. we stayed at the allex's that night and the next day, the three of us kids headed back to fargo. my parents decided to stay in minot for the night. we planned another surprise party on sunday in fargo to be with fargo family and friends. i decorated the house and 20 people showed up for the party. of course, my parents said they would be home around 3 and at 1 or so, they called and said they were stopping along the way. they didn't end up getting to fargo until 4 or so. i had to entertain a house full of people who were just standing around waiting for my parents. at the same time, i couldnt urge my parents to get home sooner because then they would know something was up. so i said, "well, i want to hang out with you before i go back to boston." it was hard not to crack. they finally got home around 4 and walked in to a house full of people who yelled, "surprise!" apparently, they knew something was up because one of the allex's said to my mom, "make sure you hurry up home to your kids now!" which was an odd thing for her to say.

in any case, it was a great weekend, despite my brother missing his plane and the surprise almost being ruined.

and this year, no surprise party - sorry. maybe for the 35 year...


  1. thanks for re-living that wonderful surprise! And thanks for reminding us how much fun it was.

  2. Yeah, that was awesome! 90- 100 mph baby!

  3. i'm pretty sure we lost by atleast 30 that game so i don't think we were ever winning at that point...