Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: SURPRISE (07/25/19)
- TITLE: Guest of Honor
By Donna Powers
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But this assignment.... well... I'll admit I had my doubts.
It began with a call from Carlotta. “Hey, Nina, I've got a new party client for you,” she said.
I was excited to hear details. "Sure,” I told her. “Whatever you need.”
"It will be for a surprise proposal party," she continued.
A proposal? Cool! "Tell me more. Who's the lucky couple?"
Carlotta wouldn't tell me. "No names right now. The client wants to remain anonymous."
"But, Carlotta..." I interjected. "You know I always appreciate the referrals you give me. But I need to know more about the couple."
But Carlotta wouldn't budge. "The client says he attended the engagement party you planned for Meredith Martin. He loved your taste and style, and he wants you to plan this party.”
Well, that gave me something to go on. "How romantic! But, a surprise proposal! Is he sure she'll say 'yes'?"
Carlotta answered, "He's pretty sure."
It sounded really exciting, despite the lack of details. “Oh, wow!” I gushed. “ Of course I'll do it. But how do I know what the couple might like?”
“Look, Nina, have faith in your judgment. Whatever you plan will be perfect; I’m sure.”
Her voice turned irritable on the phone. “Nina, c' mon. The client says he likes your taste. Now, do you want this referral or not?" ”
Of course, I did. So, I thanked her and began planning. For the next two weeks, most of my time was consumed by thoughts of the coming party. I couldn’t imagine anything more romantic than a surprise proposal.
Whenever I plan a party, I always enjoy imagining the clients' reaction. And my favorite type of parties was a surprise parties. As I planned this party, I couldn't help but wonder: how would the guest of honor react?
I tried to imagine that guest; whenever I planned a surprise party. Since I had no idea about the guest - or even the host - of this party, my imagination ran wild with all sorts of scenarios. As I planned, I tried hard to anticipate what sort of person she might be, and it added to my anticipation.
As much as I longed to share my plans with my friends, I hugged my secret plans to myself. It was as if; being the bearer of this precious surprise, I was somehow part of its potential impact. My plans were charged with anticipation. Of course, I was excited about the woman's reaction - not only to my party plans but to the proposal. I couldn't help but wonder how she'd feel when she heard her boyfriend's words.
On the day of the party, I got to the banquet hall early. I supervised the staff as they set up the room. I greeted the musicians; arranged the flowers and candles. I watched waiters arrange trays of hors d'oeuvres and the bartenders set up the bar. I got more excited as the hour of the party approached. Again and I again, I wondered: how would the guest of honor feel?
At 6:45, the guests began to arrive. I couldn't help but notice how most of them were my friends and former classmates, and this heightened my excitement. Maybe the guest of honor was someone I knew! They complimented my arrangements, grabbed some snacks; and picked up a drink. Just before 7 PM. I began to crane my neck and watch for the mysterious host. I couldn’t wait to find out who he would be!
Then, at 7 PM, Carlotta stood up and smiled. “Let’s start the party!” she said.
But... I hadn’t seen any men, so I was puzzled. "But, how can the party begin when the host isn't even here?” I asked Carlotta.
“Don’t be too sure of that!” answered a familiar male voice.
What? Who? Wait!... could that have been..?
All of a sudden, a spotlight shone on a previously-hidden alcove across the room. And, in that alcove was my boyfriend Ben - along with my parents and three other sisters.
Well, at least I had finally discovered - first hand - how "the guest of honor" would feel!
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