The problem with having scarily brilliant friends was that it made surprises….complicated. Any good idea that Jeannie had, she was absolutely certain that Mary and Leslie had thought of it first. Even if they didn’t think about actually surprising her with it, Jeannie knew that when she started to move things into position—they would notice the signs. Of course, they wouldn’t say anything, and Jeannie would feel like maybe she was going to get away with it. But then the surprise would follow through, and they would both pretend like they didn’t know what was going on, but then Jeannie would see them share that little smile, and she would be left wondering how early in the planning process they figured the whole thing out.
So, Jeannie decided that she was going to just take the direct approach from here on out.
She came down to the kitchen and dropped a binder heavily between the two bowls of cereal that Mary and Leslie were making their way through. “I want to through your guys a party for your birthday. These are the ideas I’ve come up with so far. Pick your favorites and then get back to me.” And then she wandered to the other side of the kitchen to make her own bowl of cereal.
“We’re impressed, you know,” Mary grinned, flipping through the binder.
“Yeah. You tried for a good seven years to surprise us with something good. Mom and Dad gave up on—what? Our fifth birthday?” Leslie chuckled, stirring her cereal gently.
“Yeah. Just about. And we were only five there. You’ve tried against snarky and slightly paranoid Twenty something us. You’ve got bonus points for life, Miss Jeannie.” Mary pointed at something in the binder and Leslie nodded before turning the page.
Jeannie couldn’t help but feel a little proud at their compliment, but she just wasn’t ready to show them that yet. “Yeah, yeah, yeah. Just pick something. With enough time for me to throw it all together.”
“Yes, Ma’am. Thank you, Ma’am.” They answered in unison, teasingly. Jeannie rolled her eyes and shoved a spoonful of Frosted Flakes in her mouth.