A few days in Charleston: Episode One--Liar, liar.

Tuesday evening Andrew and I set out on a mid-week trip to Charleston, one, to spend time with my lovely sister, Jessica, and two, to pull off an epic surprising of my mother who was completely unawares of Jessica's imminent arrival.

First, we fleeced our own mother. We lied. Oh, man we told big fat falsifications and prevarications--by hook or by crook, we lied the whole two weeks before just to make sure Mama was totally in the dark.

Lie #1. Andrew had a meeting with WaterMissions on Wednesday, so we needed to come on Tuesday.
Lie #2. I had to work on Tuesday evening but they were going to let me off early, oh, around eight o'clock.
Lie #3. Jessica wasn't going to be able to come home this summer for lack of funds.

First, we made sure we had a mole planted on the inside to watch Mama's every move. The mole: my father. An ex-Army Seaman, this guy knows his stuff. The stealth factor is unlimited, not to mention his iron emotions when faced with probing questions.

Then we chatted with her, but no too often so as not to cause alarm or suspicion, and nonchalantly planted the "meeting with WMI" seed, noting a noncommittal day and time of the meeting, and reiterating the "we're not sure, but we'll let you know" right down to the last second.

Once we recovered Jessica's flight information via email reconnaissance, we launched Operation No Jessica Left Behind and planned to use my retail job as a cover--a likely story--so that we were unable to get home until around 12:30.

Mama's clock put us getting home late, when in actuality we would arrive at the Charleston International Airport just in time to meet Jessica at midnight, gather her belongings and arrive when Mama expected us. We hmmed and hawwed via text message about the "traffic" and our "arrival time", but in reality, we had left a little after seven, stopped at Chic-fil-a to pick up rations, and were on our way much earlier than expected.

When we walked in the front door, as expected, Mama was a-snoozin' in the bed, but Daddy was posted on lookout by the computer monitoring system he had rigged up using his MacGyver-Army training picked up back in 'Nam. Jessica military crawled it into the dining room as Mama sleepily came down the stairs. Andrew and I hugged and kissed all around and when we were about to head into the kitchen, BOOM! Jessica pounced on Mama like a cat on a mouse! You shoulda seen my mother's face! PRICELESS. Jaw to the floor, bug-eyed, and totally agog. (AGOG--look that one up and put it in your word bank. Cha-ching!)

Ah, sweet success. And that was only the beginning.


  1. What a fun surprise! I bet she loved it!

  2. And what a fantastic surprise it was..... better 'n Christmas, birthdays, or even winning a million dollars in the lottery (although I'm sure I'll not experience that surprise). I've always loved having my kids around, and even more so now that they're adults. Thank you all for the expert deception techniques - they worked! (Makes me wonder what I missed as they were growing up) The Mama