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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Memories of a Haunting Celebration

Several years ago I worked in banking. I was a customer service representative, and later a financial services representative. The bank branch I worked at employed about 15 people including tellers, customer service reps and managers. We were a pretty close knit group, so when one of our tellers was turning 50, we couldn't let her birthday go by unnoticed. We plotted and planned a major surprise party for her.

On the big day, we had the branch all decorated with black crepe paper and black balloons. We made a poster for her teller station with her picture and the words, "Welcome to AARP" on it. There was a basket of "gifts" for her, all wrapped in black paper: Denture cream, Preparation H, Geritol, Depends, and a gift certificate for one free night at a local nursing home. (Our branch manager at the time owned a small assisted living facility and his wife had printed up on their computer a very fancy certificate that promised a comfortable bed, a rousing game of checkers, "one free enema--only one!" , 3 easy to swallow meals, and an afternoon nap.

We had a tombstone birthday cake, memorializing the passage of her youth. We served cake and coffee to all the customers that day, and they all extended their "sympathy" and birthday wishes.

We also had made the above sign with a picture of the Grim Reaper saying,"I'm not here for the cake!" Needless to say, Anne, the birthday girl was floored. As it turned out, when she was growing up, her family had never celebrated birthdays, so it was her first birthday party, ever! She laughed and cried in appreciation, and it was one of the best birthday celebrations I've ever had the privilege to attend.

Anne later moved to Seattle, and I had met her for lunch while I was on the west coast recently. Of course, as part of our reminiscing, the party came up, and I warned her that I would blog about it when I got back. Still love ya', Anne!

18 comments:

One Cluttered Brain said...

Cute cake! RIP with her youth...Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment on my blog! I LOVE the title of your blog, "wrestling with retirement!" So funny. I hope retirement really is NOT a wrestle for you.

I'm off to find some ingredients for Halloween oreo cookies...homemade. YUM-O!!!

Jen said...

Cute idea! Sounds like a fun time....ah...those were the days!!

Ekanthapadhikan said...

Wow! I loved that poster. Great idea. But I feel so sad that she had her first b'day party when she just crossed her youth.

Debbie said...

Oh my God Eva....I laughed out loud at this post!! What great evil ideas you all came up with!! We did the same thing for my brother on his sixieth b-day...with many over the hill gag gifts. The highlight (for him) were 3 younger women (30's) who wrote Happy Birthday Denny on their prospective asses and dropped drawers for him simultaneously...he loved it....the wife wasn't quite as impressed though.:)

lakeviewer said...

Oh my! I'm glad she enjoyed your party and didn't get offended. Now that I'm older, 50 is awfully young.

Meeko Fabulous said...

I am SO taking notes for when I throw a birthday party next! :)

Alicia said...

awww thats awesome!! seriously so cute!! i love parties like that!

Cathy said...

That's so fantastic! What great co-workers and friends you were!

The Redhead Riter said...

I'm skipping my 50th. LOL ♥

As a matter of fact, I'm never aging another day, starting...20 years ago!!!

Laura said...

Halloween has always been my favorite holiday. I love to decorate & have a party for my girls & their friends.

I have given you an award. You can find it on my blog.

Ms Bibi said...

I love the cake.
What an awesome idea. I bet you had fun working there.
My hubby just turned 50...I wish I thought of something like that. He would love it...

The Top Secret Dieter said...

i love stories like that!

as for the craving chocolate...oh, honey, I feel ya. Someone suggested eating something healthy every time i wanted chocolate. I tried. I ate something healthy and then i wanted chocolate all the more...

carma said...

Fun stuff!! My husband and is co-workers are fond of this type of celebration :D

I want to thank you for visiting my little blog and hope that you will stop by again!

Cairo Typ0 said...

What a wonderful thing to do for your co-worker! You guys went all out with the details. No wonder she still remembers such a great show of friendship. :)

Char said...

That looks like a very good party. Turning 50 used to sound so scarey to me...but now that I'm older than dirt...not so much. Great that you got to meet in Seattle.

Cinnamon-Girl Reeni♥ said...

That's so sweet! And funny - love those gifts!

ethelmaepotter! said...

Very creative!

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