My Weekend Surprise

On Saturday morning Kevin came into our room and told me that I needed to get up because he had a surprise for me.

I may have mentioned this before, but I am NOT a morning person. I need to be awake and doing nothing for a solid 30 minutes before I can make a coherent sentence, let alone have a functioning conversation with someone. I am not a friendly person in the morning. Mornings and me just do not click.

Kevin, on the other hand, loves the mornings. He gets up early with an energy unlike anything I have ever seen before. I used to find this highly obnoxious, as the last thing a non-morning person wants is a happy morning person shoving their ohyayitsmorning enthusiasm down your throat, but after years of being together we have worked out a nice routine. I sleep, and Kevin makes breakfast and coffee and catches up on his man TV. I do not bug him by whining about how much I don’t want to watch whatever it is he is watching, and he doesn’t bug me by trying to wake me up. Win win all around!

Back to Saturday. I love surprises (well, good surprises), but Kevin, well, he’s not very good at them.

He gets so excited about the surprise that he just can’t keep it to himself. He tries to hold it in, but eventually his excitement is too much for him to handle and he tells me. In our five plus years of being together, he has never successfully surprised me, so when Kevin said he had a surprise, I was instantly suspicious. I imagined he was just making up some lame impromptu surprise as a rouse to get me out of bed quicker.

I stumbled into the living room and looked around for my surprise. Seeing nothing, I thought my suspicions had been confirmed.

Me:  [looking around room and not seeing anything] I thought you said you had a surprise for me?
Kevin:  I do.
Me:  Is my surprise that there is no surprise?! That is a really mean way to make me get out of bed.
Kevin:  No. I need you to pack an overnight bag. I’ve made plans for us. Be ready by 11.

… Cue to me being insanely ridiculously excited.

Kevin had booked us a room in Sonoma wine country. We ate. We drank. We lounged by the pool. It was exactly what I needed, and I was thrilled.

But, get this, there was even more!

At dinner Kevin told me not to drink too much because he didn’t want me to get sleepy. We had plans.

Another surprise? I almost peed my pants with excitement.

However, I began to get suspicious yet again because I couldn’t really think of any sort of exciting scenario in which alcohol would make me sleepy, unless we were going to something like the opera or ballet. And then I got worried. Because as much as I like to pretend to be a sophisticated urbanite who frequents the opera and symphonies and reads Proust on the muni and has journals full of poetry, the reality is that I would probably rather go to a Taylor Swift concert and read US Weekly and then work on my blog.

I never claimed to be cool.

I mentally prepared myself to stay awake and act excited, because god knows Kevin was doing this for me, not him, and the least I could do was pretend.

Fortunately, no acting was necessary, as my surprise consisted of….


This bears some explaining as well.

A few weeks ago our friend Jesse forwarded Kevin and me an email about Gotye playing at the Greek in Berkeley. In this same email, there was a small mention that Idina Menzel was performing in Northern California. I, only half jokingly, replied, “Screw Gotye!  What about Idina Menzel?!?!?!!!!!!”

No one replied, nor did I expect them to.

Unless you speak Broadway lingo there is a good chance you’ve never heard of Idina Menzel.

If, like me, you are a musical nerd, you are freaking out reading this because you know what a Broadway icon she is.

My love of musicals started when I was 15 and saw the musical RENT. My connection was instant and deep. I became obsessed. OBSESSED. From 16 to 19 there was nothing I loved more than RENT. My friend Laura and I would drive hours to wherever the touring cast was playing, and then stand outside the stage door waiting to get autographs and pictures with the cast. I knew every word to every song and would listen to the soundtrack constantly. I ordered crappy VHS bootlegged copies of performances of the original cast. People like me called themselves RENTHEADS (there was actually a whole bunch of us). You know those creepy Bieber fans that camp out for days to go to one of his concerts?  I was like that, except for RENT.

Idina Menzel was in the original cast of RENT. She was also the original Elphaba in Wicked. Idina Menzel was my Broadway icon. If this had been 10 years ago, I probably would have crapped my pants with excitement. Seriously.

Needless to say, I was thrilled.

The show was incredible. We had third row seats (third row!!!) and she was every bit as amazing in person as I expected her to be. She sang Joni Mitchell’s “Clouds of Illusions” and it gave me goosebumps. Her rendition of “No Day But Today” was the most beautiful cover I have ever heard. It was spectacular.

Even Kevin enjoyed himself. One of the things I love most about him is that he has such a deep appreciation for music of all kinds. Even if the type of music is not really his style (i.e. show tunes and musicals), Kevin will appreciate it as long as the musicians are talented. He views music as a gift, and even if it’s not his style, he’s happy to be in the presence of it.

This is not one of my skills. When Kevin plays his jam band music, I cover my ears, yet here he is buying me tickets to see Idina Menzel! He is the only straight  man I know that would willingly buy tickets for an Idina Menzel concert (and from the looks of audience, he may have been the only straight man in attendance). I really couldn’t love him any more.

Kevin’s been holding out on me. He is clearly a master of surprises.

And I’m a lucky girl.

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