I am the one in the picture with the sloppy bun in my hair and the bright red cheeks. The one who can’t stop smiling. With all my friends surrounding me, it was one of the best days of my life. All fifteen of us look happy; it was a night for many smiles. Everyone is crowded around the table. There are a lot of red cheeks in the picture; the room was as hot as a sauna. There was a strong smell of barbeque sauce in the air as well. The picture was taken right after dinner. The table we are crowded around is messy. There are a lot of cups on the table and bottles of ketchup and barbeque sauce, with dirty, green napkins piled up. The restaurant was as noisy as the circus when the clowns perform.
There were a lot of pictures taken that night, but out of all the pictures, this is the best one taken of everyone. Crouched down in front is Brent Dana. He has a grin on his face more than a smile. Brent hates pictures, and he doesn’t smile in any of them; he is wearing his red “Rag Tails” shirt that he always wears. Next to Brent is Jade Walker. She has her hair back and is wearing her red “North Face” jacket. Jade has an adorable smile on her face. Next to Jade is Mary Attaway leaning over the table wearing a flowered backless shirt with a black sweater. To the right of Mary is Laura Jones. Laura is slightly leaning her head toward her right shoulder and is wearing a blue shirt with a drawstring tie in front. Laura has her arm around Erica Farnsworth, who has a yellow shirt and white jacket on. She looks especially happy; she is smiling from ear to ear.
Starting in the left hand comer (in row two) are Chad Phillips and Caitlin Pollock standing together. Chad has his arms around Caitlin’s waist. He has this cute little grin, and Caitlin has a huge smile and rosy red cheeks. Brittany Wilkins is next to Caitlin with a puzzled look on her face, the face you would see in a hard Algebra II exam when you don’t think you even learned what the question is asking. To the top right of Brittany is Katie Van Cleave. She looks as if she is stretching on her tiptoes as high as she can to get her little head in the picture. The person right in front of Katie is Katie Fogo. Katie looks goofy; she is hunched over and has the look of a kindergartener going off to the first day of school with a big smile. Next to Katie am I, and my cheeks are red because I have been running around. I have my arms around Katie Fogo and Christopher Wright. Chris’s cheeks are equally red. Chris is bending over to be down at my height since he is so much taller than me. Above Christopher and me is Bailey Pratt. He’s standing on a chair, and it took about five tries of this same picture to get one picture that he didn’t do something silly to mess up. Below Christopher off to the right are Ricky Johnson and Phillip Cole. Ricky and Philip are like Brent and don’t like to smile in pictures. They have tough looks on their faces as if they were posing for football pictures. Behind us you can see white window trim and reflections of lights in the windows. There is also a waitress over in the left hand corner working. We were all pretty crammed in the corner.
You might be wondering what had happened when this picture was taken and why it was so important to me. It all started on the afternoon of March 31, 2000. It was cool outside, but you could feel the warmth of the sun on your skin as my friends and I sat in the grass. A lot of the girls and I had gone down to the baseball fields to watch the freshman baseball game. We were sitting in the grass watching the boys win another game, but what I couldn’t figure out was why everyone kept talking off to the side. I felt as if everyone was leaving me out, just me for some reason.
I was already pretty disappointed that day because it was Friday and I wasn’t really doing much that night. It seemed as if all my friends had their own plans going. I finally decided to go out to eat with my sister, her boyfriend, Parker, and my friend, Laura Jones.
When the game ended, everyone went his or her separate directions. I had to wait with Laura Jones at the Fieldhouse for a while till Lauren could pick us up. We had gone and gotten ready, but I hadn’t worried too much about how I looked because I didn’t think I would see many people I knew. As we sat outside waiting for Lauren and Parker, the weirdest thing happened. Laura, who was sitting about ten feet from me, sprang up and ran over to grab my face to tell me, “I want… to rent scary movies tonight!”
All I could answer was, “…Okay.” Lauren and Parker then picked us up, and we decided to go to eat at Sticky Fingers.
The four of us walked in, and it was very crowded, yet we got seated immediately. When I turned the corner all these people suddenly jumped out and yelled “SURPRISE!” I was like a shocked deer in headlights. All I could do was cover my mouth.
Everything made sense from that point on. March 31 is the day after my birthday, and my sister had decided to throw a surprise party for me. At the game the girls had been talking on the side without me because they were discussing the party plans. Laura had jumped up to ask me to rent movies because Lauren was driving by and she didn’t want me to see the car drive by. Lauren was making her final round to pick up all my friends to shuttle them downtown. It’s amazing how many times the secret of the party was almost blown.
All the confusion of the day finally made sense, and this picture is very important to me because it captures the excitement of my first surprise party. It was a perfect night, and I am so glad that I have this wonderful picture to reflect on the fun my friends and I had.