My husband’s son, who lives across the country, asked if he could come for a visit.
“Of course!” Always! No need to even ask! I knew my husband would be thrilled.
Mark not only booked a flight but he ordered tickets for a concert that his dad would love and he booked a hotel room for us a block from the concert venue. Knowing what a great surprise it would make, I opted not to tell John that his son was coming
But how do you get your spouse to 1) get the house ready for a houseguest he doesn’t know is coming? 2) pick up the house guest that he doesn’t know is coming, from the airport? and 3) pack an overnight bag to spend a night in a hotel he doesn’t know he will be staying at, after seeing a concert that he doesn’t know he is going to?
You concoct an elaborate ruse!
On Monday morning, I told John that out of town friends were coming for a visit. Problem #1 solved. The guest bed got made and the room was prepared.
On Monday afternoon, I sent John to the store. When he returned, I hit him with “Oops! Change of plans!” Nervous that he might start asking questions for which I had no good answers, I avoided his gaze by turning my full attention to meticulously scrubbing the already clean kitchen counter. I quickly explained that our friend had had to make an emergency visit to see her mother. She was coming home on Tuesday, and still wanted to get together, but her husband couldn’t fetch her from the airport until after work. Of course, John agreed that we would be happy to pick her up and save her from waiting around the airport for several extra hours. Problem #2 solved. I now had a plan to get John into the airport.
“And, by the way,” I added, “instead of coming to our house for the night, we will take her home and we will stay at their house instead. The entire plan sounded like a sham to me. But John’s only comment was “that will be fun.” Now that the final problem was solved and John knew he needed an overnight bag, I made a fast escape from the kitchen, certain that if he saw my face, the entire fib would unravel.
With all of my bases covered, we drove to the airport the following day. John sat, waiting and watching for our friend who never arrived. Instead, his son got off a plane and stepped around the corner…
You can view a video of the surprise meeting here.