My Story: 40th Birthday Surprise

contributed by Jen

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My husband was never great at birthday gifts. He usually resorted to food of some sort, usually chocolate, for me. We are frugal by nature, and at times, I have even resented the idea that he would refuse to spend money on me on special occasions. But my 40th birthday was something special. He really outdid himself, and totally on a budget!

He told me to dress up, so both of us donned our finest. First, he blindfolded me and drove me somewhere. I had no idea where we were going. We lived in Indianapolis at the time. It turned out to be the country home of a friend. There, I was treated to a gourmet dinner cooked by, of all people, my sister, who was both our waitress and our chef! We had beautiful candlelight, quiet, and romance.

After dinner, the blindfold went on once again. My husband led me outside to the patio, where several friends and family had come to surprise me. As he removed the blindfold, they all shouted, "Surprise!" I was astounded! They all brought various desserts. We thoroughly enjoyed the food, and they all brought me presents! It turns out that the new "Star Wars" movie had just been released, and my husband had instructed everyone to just get the toy that was included in the kid's meals from KFC, Burger King, and Taco Bell. I collect various Star Wars trinkets. Imagine my delight at opening box after box of Star Wars toys!

The entire evening cost only the ingredients for dinner. If you were attending the party, it cost only the price of a fast-food meal for your child. I didn't for a second miss an expensive dinner at a five-star restaurant. And it was such a treat to share the night with my husband, friends, and family that I dearly love.

It was a great evening that I'll never forget. Now I'm wondering what he'll do for my 50th in a few years!

"My Story" is a regular feature of The Dollar Stretcher. If you have a story that could help save time or money please send it by

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