This past Friday was such a celebration—it was Marie’s birthday!
Now, for all of our parties here at the store, we always have to have some preparation before the actual surprise. For Marie’s birthday, Amy and Rusty stayed a whole hour extra after Marie left at closing just so they could set up the banners and put little birthday hats on all of our holiday scarecrows. They made sure there were streamers decorating her desk, and that everything was in place for the events to come the following day.
Of course, Marie is always the first to arrive in the morning, and when she came on the 26th, she walked into the back and got to see all the decorations set in place just for her. Meanwhile, Amy and I were planning our own little scheme on the side: I was scrambling to get her present into a nice gift bag with tissue paper, and Amy was making sure everything was set in place so that I could sign the card when I got there, without Marie ever suspecting a thing. I spoke to Amy before she got to work, and she promised that she’d set out a black plastic trash bag for me, so that when I arrived it would not have to be blatantly obvious that I had a present for Marie.
Well… I arrived there, and sure enough, Amy had set out the plastic bag that I needed to disguise my gift. However, something unexpected happened: Right as I was entering the door, a florist van pulled up with a delivery. Luckily Amy intercepted the florist guy in time enough for me to go and stash Marie’s present in Rusty’s office. Now, feeling all collected, I walked back out to the showroom, and found out that not only did Marie get a bouquet of gorgeous flowers, but Amy and I each got a rose as well! Of course, this totally surprised Amy and I, and even more so when we found out that all the flowers were courtesy of one of our dearest customers and friends. Shortly after the flowers arrived, Rusty walked in, and I let him know about the present I stashed in his office. He made sure that everything was going to go as planned.
So, to all of our surprise, Marie picked a totally new restaurant to go to: Los Tres Hombres Cantina. It turns out that some time ago Marie actually worked at the Tahoe branch of the restaurant! Well, we called them up and ordered, and shortly afterward Amy was off to pick up our birthday feast. Boy what a feast it was! Among the things we ate were wonderful enchiladas, beef crunchy tacos, and delicious chips and salsa. (Of course, there were mighty helpings of fried rice and refried beans with cheese to make sure everyone was full to the gills!) It was definitely an unexpected treat— kudos for Marie for picking it out! I can understand why it’s her favorite…
As the day progressed, Rusty briefed Amy and me on how the cake was going to presented. Amy was to get Marie distracted, and when she was, Rusty would yell “hit it!” at which time I got to hit the play button on my computer to start good old Sheriff John singing to Marie, "Put another candle on your birthday cake." To say the least, everything went off without a hitch, and Marie (along with everyone else) was astounded to see her wonderful, lit-up birthday cake!!
Now, this wasn’t any normal, cut-and-dry birthday cake, this was a Rusty-Special-Creation birthday cake! It was three layers of moist, chocolate cake, with Bordeaux filling in between, and rich, chocolate frosting on the outside. Of course, the cake wouldn’t be complete without the toasted almonds on the side, as well as “Birthday Blessing to Marie” written in pink frosting, lined with pink and yellow rose buds. Yes, it was definitely a sight to see.
We did the traditional pictures of the cake, of Marie, of Marie with the cake, all of us with the cake, as well as Marie blowing out the candles. Before we sat down and stuffed ourselves, Rusty brought out the present that I had stashed previously, and Amy brought the card we had signed. Now, it’s hard to shop for your boss, but when I heard that she liked a singer I knew of, I just had to go and get her the CD. I also threw in a similar-sounding artist of whom I am a big fan, because I knew she would love it. The artists were Corinne Bailey Rae and Colbie Caillat.
Seeing as music was the present, Rusty played them over the store’s speakers, and we all sat down to eat. Man, after we all had what seemed like a giant slice and a scoop of ice cream, we looked back at the cake and realized that the four of us together hadn’t even eaten a quarter of the cake! I was astonished, and not to mention filled to the gills for the second time that day.
I have to say… with all the things we do here at the store, there is nothing more fun than putting smiles on peoples faces, especially when it’s the people we work with who we have come to know and love. Having said that, I hope that you had a very joyful birthday experience, Marie.
From all of us here at the store, we hope that you find time in your daily routine to not only make someone smile, but maybe even to throw in a little excuse to celebrate. We sure do.