For the last two weeks, I have been liaising with the management at FERN & KIWI for my best friend’s birthday party.
Yes, yes, another best friend. She turned 32 and her husband hates parties. So every year since being married to him, she convinced herself that she doesn't need any parties and that she's happy just not doing anything at all.
Yet, every time I take her out to party with the girls, she went crazy and her usual party self emerges. :)
So, as her birthday surprise this year, I planned a birthday celebration for her. She is Turkish and her husband is American. If you don't already know, Turkish has such an interesting culture. They are all VERY close knitted it’s almost like an ant colony. One Turkish can bump into another on the street and the minute they realised they are both Turkish, you can bet that you will be standing at the side for 45 min at least waiting for them to stop talking.
Yes I had my fair share of annoyance in this beautiful culture. It's amazing how close they all are (I wish I have that embedded in me) and yet if you are not from the culture, you won't quite get it.
Eventually we became close and yet I have hardly met any of her Turkish friends simply because they are doing fine on their own and that me being there makes me feel like I'm disturbing their very deep conversation which seems to be all the time. :) I kid you not.
For her birthday, I asked one of her close Turkish friend, N for some numbers of her close Turkish friends. I have no clue who is who so I just took the number and created a whatsapp group and invited all her "close" Turkish friends for a girls night out.
Most of them are married with children. Most also are quite traditional and rather be a homebody than having a life. Well,a choice to rather be at home doesn't mean they don't have a life. It just means they prefer it that way. So I respect their choices. However, I was asking them out to celebrate their good friend's birthday. Thought that could be an exception.
Most politely declined. The celebration was supposed to be on the 6th. So that we could sing her a birthday song on the 7th. One of the Turkish girl strangely suggested that we should do the celebration on the 5th instead since it happened to be her birthday as well. Huh???
I showed my husband that message and I went "I've never had this situation when I invited someone for their friend's birthday and the friend comes and say "let’s celebrate my birthday instead!"
Strange but I politely decline since I figured I would rather leave that to her own close friend to do that celebration for her. After that party, I found out that she wasn't well liked by many, therefore has no friends and N didn't know how she has been annoying people and didn't know that my best friend is actually not closed to that strange girl... oh well. Lesson learned.
One of her close Turkish friend (who lives overseas) was scheduled to arrive on 8th April to stay with her for 14 days. I contacted that friend and convinced her to come on the 5th so that she would be able to attend her friend's celebration. MM changed her flight and I offered her to stay at my place for the first few days till after the party.
Typically (at least from my experience) the Turkish lot ( from the ones I know) are very dramatic. Everything about them has to be "Ta-daaaaa". Never mind that it was supposed to be the b'day girl’s night. They still want to have a dramatic entrance or "ta-daaa" of any sort at all. That bothers me a lot. I thought as a good friend your main concern would be to make it the b'day girl’s moment.
Never mind. MM arrived to my place and she said she wasn't well. She went to the clinic and found out that she is pregnant!! For someone who has been through 5 IVF treatments and lost every time, she was shocked to be pregnant when they finally gave up on their IVF treatment last year!
I am really happy for her. I am so happy that she finally has what she dreamed of.
"Oh I have to wait before I tell the B'day girl because I want it to be her night" MM said.
"That's a good idea! Tell her when you are alone with her when you are at her place the following day. Let it be her night." I was sighing in relief since I thought "Oh this one actually understood that it doesn’t always be about them.
"Please be punctual" I said, since they are typically very "rubbery" with their timing. "Please be there at 9:30 pm so she will be surprised when she sees you"
"Oh no no no. I shall come at 10pm so when everyone has settled and said hi to her I will turn up and surprise her."
Sigh.... that was short live. Oh well. This one is no different then. Fine. Whatever. "10 pm then for your "ta-daaa" entrance"
So back to the preparation. Seeing how there was no response at all, I decided to invite my own friends. Since b'day girl loves parties, I will create a blast for her! That was a big promise to myself.
I invited my own friends and almost 20 turned up. Can always depend on my friends!! Love them!
The management of FERN & KIWI had worked closely with me, (including the music list) to make sure that it would be one special night for my best friend.
When we arrived, F&K operation manager, David, came with a red furry shawl to differentiate her from the rest of the girls. That was great actually!
We had our own table and we were treated like royalties! When the band started, the first thing they did was sing her a birthday song. I was panicking thinking "no, no,no.... she didn't know we were gonna celebrate her birthday. It was supposed to be a secret till midnight!!"
I went to David and he was like "oh no!" Well, b'day girl sure loved the attention being on stage and singing her birthday song!! :) So it wasn't such a bad mistake after all.
At 10pm, I wrote to MM and told her to come already. She didn't respond.
We all had so much fun. the music were great! We somehow owned the place. People heard the commotion inside and the great music and it wasn't long before the place was filled up! And everyone was joining our celebration.
At 11:58pm, MM still hasn't turned up. But of course, she wanted HER to be the surprise of the birthday. Why would I think that she would be any different?!
Suddenly there was a little commotion at our seats. I went there and found out that N had lost her phone. I looked at the time and I begged her to be quiet for 2 minutes till it strikes 12. She didn't stop. She went on a rampage, checking into everyone's bags and so that got everyone's attention.
11:59pm - B'day girl came looking very concern. She asked what happened. And I stared at N and was begging with my eyes but N blurted out that she lost her phone and b'day girl went on a search, going to the staff to ask for help, etc, etc.
Midnight - The band AND ALL the staff stopped what they were doing (as I've requested) and sang a birthday song for the b'day girl.
"Where is the birthday girl?" The lead singer asked. Everyone looked at me (The organiser & the one who demanded them to sing the birthday song). I shrugged my shoulders and couldn't find the birthday girl. For a while, they were calling for the birthday girl. No answer.
Finally when she came, the manager came with the little birthday cake with one candle, following her to have her blow the candle. She turned to the manager and said "My friend lost her phone!!!!!!"
I touched her shoulders and said "Blow the candle"
Just before she blow, she looked up and saw MM appearing in front of her. But of course!!! The "ta-daaa!" effect! The highlight of the day! I'm sorry...that was so not appropriate I thought!
I had to tell her to blow the cake. She said thank you to the manager, put the cake on the table and was hugging MM. She was so surprised about the fact that her friend there a day earlier. She then excused herself and went on a hunt again. I stood there. Well, thought I was gonna get a hug too but okay, she was busy. I looked at the cake. And I apologised quickly to the manager, who looked just as lost. That wasn't what I imagine this night to be.
It was supposed to be all about her. It was supposed to be her moment. No one else. And two turkish just made it theirs. I looked as b'day girl walked to the back of the bar dealing with the staff. She was lost for a while.
See, this is my best friend. She is too nice. When someone lost something, she feels guilty for someone losing it because the person was there for her birthday. So she thinks it’s her fault. You can say anything you want but she will still feel guilty.She is just super nice that she felt the need to attend to it right then. On one hand, I understood that she was being nice- her usual self. She couldn't help being helpful. It's just her. She's just too nice in general. But sometimes she forgets that there are two sides of the story. While trying to be super nice to one side, the one who put so much effort in it was just left to face the music.
I felt like she wasn't being sensitive to the fact that someone had spent the last 2 weeks to make this moment perfect for her. :( It felt like she didn't care. Although I know that was just me being emotional.
At that moment, MM saw my disappointment. Another friend came with some forks and I said "Yes dig it! She wouldn't even remember about this cake"
MM must have felt it then. She got up. She must have gone to see the b'day girl and said something. The b'day girl came to me briefly to tell me she was taking N to the taxi stand because she wanted to go home. Taxi stand is just outside the bar. Was it fair to take the b'day girl out of her own party? Well, anyway, I would never understand that.
I went to David, the operation manager and said to him "Just as well that you did that mistake because that was the only time she actually was up there on stage while they sing her birthday song!"
I was actually thankful that happened!! I apologised again that it didn't have the effect we were hoping for.
I turned to my batch of friends and was so thankful I have them - the lot who actually understood about timing. My good friends would never let my night be all about them. So I do hope my best friend realised who her real friends are.
I went to the dance floor and continued dancing with my gals. They pulled me in because they knew I was a little down at that time. I took a shot and enjoyed my time there with people who actually gives a damn about me!
Then the b'day girl appeared. FINALLY!! We were dancing, and she pulled me saying thank you and that she never thought that I would pull this out! She said it was a wonderful surprise for her and she loved it. I just smiled and gave her a hug. I know she meant it. And I'm sure she was grateful for it. But my heart was stabbed. So just let me dance & enjoy my time there!!!
Then my best friend wailed “And she’s pregnant!!!!!!! I’m so happy!” I looked at MM. So much for wanting to make this night the birthday girl’s night. That would be too much to ask. Of course it haD to be MM’s night! I just nodded, smiling.
Overall, if it wasn't for the episodes with the Turkish girls, it was a fabulous night. Lesson learned! Maybe I would never be "Turkish" enough for my best friend. Maybe I would never be in her mind. Possibly because I'm too strong and wouldn't need someone to ruin her birthday celebration over my phone.
I would never understand their dependence on each other. It's a beautiful thing but when it steps into the same lime light.... oh well.... enough ranting! I’m just happy they are not the people I thought who cares about me because clearly it’s all about them.
This experience have made me realised how lucky I am because none of my friends are like that. I know I have one hell of a great group of friends who loves me dearly! :) I am a very lucky girl!! We had such a great time!!