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Well, it’s happened.  I’m thirty.  I’m old.  It’s just a downhill slide to senility from here.

On the plus side, my birthday was the first day of my two week Christmas Break.  (Hooray for being a teacher!)  At least I could wallow in my decrepitude knowing that I didn’t have to go to work on Monday.

The morning started out well.  Erin brought Abby into bed to help open birthday presents.  My daughter, seven months old that day, did an excellent job of pulling off pieces of Futureshop flyer wrapping paper (I prefer my presents be wrapped in newsprint), and she only ate a little bit of it.  In addition to a videogame and a camera case, Erin bought me a new lens for my DSLR, so I spent the first few hours of the morning practicing with my baby in the dim light of dawn.

Abby being her adorable self. Canon Rebel XS, f/1.8, 1/80, ISO 800, 50mm prime lens.

My dad and stepmom came by later that morning to take us all out for breakfast.  Besides a dinner out at the pub that night, those were all the plans that we had for the day.

Or so I thought.

When we arrived home from breakfast, the house was done up in banners and balloons, and there was a cake on the table big enough to make me worry about the floor giving way.  My in-laws and my neighbour popped out from the corner armed with cameras and smiles.

It seems that my wife is something of a secret agent in her spare time.  She managed to – without so much as a single leak, whisper, or slip-up – plan an open-house birthday party for me.  That alone would be impressive, but the fact that she has been planning it for the last four months makes it even more amazing.  And the fact that a solid 30% of the attending people are widely known for being unable to keep a secret, unable to keep their feet out of their mouths, or simply lacking filters between brain and tongue (Horhae, all of those are directed at you), it is all the more incredible that no one spilled the beans.

Now, I say this with all of the love and respect in the world, but my wife has never, ever been known as someone that could keep a secret from me.  She’s too open.  She’s too readable.  She’s too honest and true to herself.  We share every event from each day when I get home.  We live intimately.  How then did she manage this?

I spent all day pondering that question.  In fact, I think that every person that came to the party asked me the same thing.  How could Erin keep this from me?  How could this have happened?

Option 1: I am a completely oblivious idiot.  The signs were all there.  Unexplained outings, secret meetings with the neighbours, stockpiles of appetizers in the freezer.  Men don’t operate on the basis of subtlety, but even so I feel like I have let myself down with my sleuthing skills.

Option 2: Erin was trained by the CIA when she was a child.  She is actually a genetically modified super-agent made by combining the DNA of Mata Hari and a sexy werewolf.  Her parents are a part of the cover story created to keep her safe until the government calls her up to infiltrate the Nazi – Green Alien – Hell’s Army Triple Alliance to take it down from the inside.

My ego demands that I believe the second option.

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