Anyway, a few weeks ago, pyr8queen announced that we were hosting a scheme that she and Mary had ginned up - a surprise wedding reception for geekstress and banrionaniamh who had managed to make a civil union on the sly. We hope, of course, that someday soon they'll be permitted to have an actual public marriage, and that a public wedding reception will follow. But in the mean time, friends step in where the government fails. Someday they'll do it proper with family and friends and coworkers and distant uncles and embarrassing grandparents and all the trappings of a full, all-singing-all-dancing wedding.
But we did succeed in taking them quite by surprise. Almost everyone was able to show up early, and keeping the loudest amongst us quiet so as not to spoil the surprise was a challenge. But when they arrived, we had the lights down, and I was just carving a smoked brisket on the kitchen counter as pyr8queen escorted them in after a joyous greeting from the dog, who gave nothing away. She said, "Would you like some WINE?" which was the cue - and the lights came up and lo and behold, there were a couple of dozen nerds in weird hats shouting "SURPRISE!"
geekstress had sort of detected something was different, and was entirely stoic. banrionaniamh on the other hand, was sort of horrified, and cringed into the refrigerator like a wilting salad. But in no time flat, we'd whisked them in, pressed drinks into their hands, and the food that everyone brought was tucked into. There were SO MANY CAKES. I felt obliged to try them all.
I guess I was a little worried that this wouldn't be a welcome surprise, given the sort of sensitive issues of same-sex marriage and civil unions, and family and so forth. My fears were completely unfounded, and by the end of the night it was clear that they were both really delighted and surprised and flattered. But really, these two have done a tremendous amount of work for their friends in every possible arena, and if a tiny surprise party is only a drop in the ocean towards paying that back, it was a drop well-dropped, I think.
I say without reservation that putting together this party and making a friend truly happy is probably far more rewarding than having a party thrown in one's honor. So it was a win all around, with two guests of honor beaming by the end of the night, and everyone just as happy to have helped. That is time well spent, indeed.