Well, on 9/9 I turned 3/0. I really didn’t think much about it, other than my prediction not coming to pass. Prediction? Well, I told Jaime soon after we were married that I had this feeling that I wouldn’t make it to 30. I didn’t know why, but I think it had something to do with me not being able to see myself as an old man. Regardless, I did make it to 30 and that was that.
Speaking of making it to 30 though, I got some nice gifts, and got a big surprise. Now, as a general rule, I’m pretty tough to surprise. I tend to pay attention to little details and become suspicious of strange behavior immediately. Combining that fact with Jaime’s *usual* inability to keep secrets for too long means that that cat is normally out of the bag before the bag is closed. Being relatively new out here, I thought there may be something that she was cooking up with some friends of ours in Valencia, but I hadn’t gotten any of the normal “We really should go visit so-and-so!” or “I have a craving for a specific place to eat. Let’s go there tonight around 6:30!” Those are dead giveaways and that would be that. This year, in spite of it being a big milestone, I had heard nothing of the sort and figured we would just low-key it and spend time together, which honetly, is what I want to do every weekend regardless of the “event”.
I need to preface this little story with a couple things. First, I keep my work life and my personal life very, very separate. It’s a choice I made a long time ago so that I don’t punish my family for bad days at work, and my work doesn’t suffer because of personal issues. Second, I tend not to socialize with my workmates to much because I want to spend my free time with Jaime and Emma. This keeps me in the right frame of mind and I rarely think of bumping into work people outside of work, and personal people inside of work.
That being said, on Friday the 7th, I had a meeting with a co-worker of mine. Her name in Monique and she’s really great. She’s been a solid friend at my job, and gave me good advice on where to live before we moved out here. She’s also a grown-up about work-related stuff, and I enjoy working with her because of her stra0ght forward and practical nature. I am taking on some new responsibilities these days, and she is a key asset to help me ramp up and take on the new stuff rapdily and effectively. Because of this new interaction, we had been meeting off and on the last couple of weeks whenever we got the chance.
On this day, she had scheduled a quick 30-minute meeting to discuss some technology choices. She scheduled it at noon, and apologized that noon was here only free time for the day. I eat lunch a bit later these days, so I thought nothing of it. I arrive at noon, we chat a bit about work stuff and vent a bit about work stuff (as commonly happens). I thought I had a 12:30 call (which I was mistaken about) and told her that I would have a hard-stop at 12:30. She asked who it was with and what I was talking about. “Why would she care?” I thought, but whatever. Around 12:25, she pick up the phone and dials a number. “I need to make a call.” she says. I sat there waiting for her to finish her call, thinking nothing of it. “Yup … mhmm … okay … okay”. click. That was the phone call. No introductions, no “Hi! It’s Monique.” nothing.
That was fishy, but remember, I *do not* combine my personal and work lives so I thought nothing about it being almost my birthday. A few minutes later, she makes another call with the same jittery dialog along with no intro. At this point she stands up and says, “You need to come with me for a second. You’ll want to see this.” or something to that effect. I, just like an unsuspecting steer led to the slaughter, just stand right up and follow her out of her office and down the hall. She walks into the conference room and I followed her. As I’m walking in I notice that the room is filled with my team members, a bunch of food, balloons, and most importantly, Jaime and Emma!
Indeed it was.
Turns out, Jaime has played the connect-the-dots game to get a hold of Monique by contacting Don Wood (who is a great friend of mine from Indy) to get information about Monique (who I had talked to Jaime about in the past). Once Monique was mobilized, she and Jennifer (another co-worker) worked the whole plan out and made sure that Jaime/Emma were able to get here and get situated. I understand that Monique and/or Jennifer even payed for some of the party favors.
I was shocked like I’ve never been shocked. It was so nice to see everyone in one place and was great for them to meet Jaime and Emmabug. Very very cool and mega props to Jaime for getting me so good. It’s not easy to do. 🙂