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My epic birthday present - Suffering From Elation
A Survivor's Tale
My epic birthday present
I drove a lot of people mad with curiosity by Tweeting about this last night without further explanation. So here is the full story:

For the last couple of months, Joe has been tinkering away at a Super Secret Birthday Present for me. Last night, when I got home, it was waiting for me on the table, covered in a cloth.

It was a series of puzzles, little cards that led to other little cards, some of the puzzles mental (like join-the-dots or a word-hunt), some in-jokes, some visual, some physical. For example, one of the puzzles gave me a code to open the briefcase on the table. Inside the briefcase was a bomb with three wires coming out the front. One of the previous clue-cards informed me that I had to cut the RED wire, and given that the three wires were red, green and brown(?) and I am colourblind, I had to get very close indeed to work out which was the correct wire. I cut it, the little light on the bomb died, and a message clicked up in the window on the front of the bomb: "I love your silly disability."

Each of the puzzles, when solved, led to a message like that: something about me that Joe loved. One of the items on the table was a handmade Weighted Companion Cube that opened on both ends, and when all the puzzles were solved I collected all the messages (the physical ones anyway, there were others; I'll explain those too) and put them in there, and the Cube is now sitting on my desk so I can open it and see those notes whenever I want to. Others were "I love that you're sexually adventurous", "I love that you're old school", "I love that you're a grump" (complete with grumpy-face emoticon), "I love that you love games" (tucked into a handmade Meta-Knight mask), "I love that you're a crazy cat lady" (with a little cartoon of Jangles), "I love that you know your beliefs" (the clue that went with this one was a numerical code that solved a join-the-dots puzzle which, when completed, showed a Darwin Fish), "I love that you put up with my teasing", and there were more, so many more... I think there were 27 in all, the number of my age.

One was in French. When I haltingly read it, stumbling over some of the strange words here and there, it told me that it was hard to read now but would soon be second nature; it told me "I love that you learn", and directed me to the fridge, where I found bread baked into the shape of a brain with a message tucked inside - "I love that you're ghoulish".

One clue was a grid of jumbled letters written on a piece of paper in the shape of a hand and forearm, and that was the clue: the key was the tattoo on my wrist. When I drew the tattoo into the grid, the letters spelled out "I love how you express yourself".

Another clue led to a map and "I love that you travel", another clue to the internet and a flash animation that asked me if I wanted to destroy the Earth, Y/N (I picked "Y", the Earth blew up and a message popped up stating "I love that you're a little bit evil"), another clue led to a YouTube account where I found a video of scrolling text and a musical soundtrack, telling the story of a movie Joe made up exclusively to cater to my tastes - Indiana Jones and Batman fighting zombies side by side, joined by Arnie wielding first a cricket bat, then his bare fists (and his one-liners), at which point they all make their getaway in the Batmobile, which has Delorean-esque properties of time-travel, leaving the Doctor behind - and he finds a little note on the roof of the Tardis. That led me to the tin that Joe had painted up like the Tardis, and the message hidden in the roof: "I love how much of a fangirl you are". On the back of that one was a drawing of Sherlock Holmes's deerstalker, which I happen to own, so I went and found it in our bedroom and tucked into the little pocket inside it was another note: "I love your fashion sense."

And then, of course, there was The Internet. Anyone who has seen the IT Crowd can probably figure out what this little item was. :D I had to unscrew it for one of the clues. I bought it into work today but sadly, the blinking light is almost dead. Poor internet!

Afterwards, we sat together and ate ash-rolled brie cheese with crispbread crackers, drank dessert wine and watched Hitchcock's "Rope" for the first time. It was perfect. Let's not mention the moment when Jangles got behind the couch and made a mysterious sound and I glimpsed his reflection and thought he was something horrible and freaked out. *cough* Aside from that, perfect. :D And honestly? I'm not sure I can even express how clever, how romantic, and how just-right it all was. By a mile, it was the best and most epic birthday present ever.
19 have fought ~ fight the power!
almalthia From: almalthia Date: April 9th, 2009 12:56 am (UTC) (Link)
Joe wins the MOST AWESOME BF EVER award!

Seriously, that sounds simply and utterly amazing!
spotweld From: spotweld Date: April 9th, 2009 01:07 am (UTC) (Link)
Epically awesome!!
gab From: gab Date: April 9th, 2009 01:11 am (UTC) (Link)
Awwwwww!!! That is REALLY romantic. :D :D
caax From: caax Date: April 9th, 2009 01:15 am (UTC) (Link)
Lol, he's set a standard now, how can he ever top that? :P
circuscookies From: circuscookies Date: April 9th, 2009 01:19 am (UTC) (Link)
Wow, that's really, really cute.
thppbt From: thppbt Date: April 9th, 2009 01:35 am (UTC) (Link)
Holy crap! I wonder how long he had to work on all of that. That IS an epic birthday present. Sounds like you've found a keeper.
arletta From: arletta Date: April 9th, 2009 01:57 am (UTC) (Link)

Tell Joe he's the frickin' best for doing that.
And that women everywhere are jealous.

...does he have a brother? ;)
tania From: tania Date: April 9th, 2009 02:12 am (UTC) (Link)
Only sisters I'm afraid! But they're both cute, if you swing that way. ;D
From: dawnstar_au Date: April 9th, 2009 02:18 am (UTC) (Link)
Possibly the best and very inventive present of heard of. Congrats to both of you.

I haz the jealous!
stokerbramwell From: stokerbramwell Date: April 9th, 2009 03:43 am (UTC) (Link)
...that's it. We're all done. Nobody can EVER top the awesomeness of this. The threshold has been reached.

I tip my hat to him. That was astonishing.
hammond From: hammond Date: April 9th, 2009 04:43 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm glad it was a success... Also, I may have forgotten to tell you Happy Birthday yesterday...
tania From: tania Date: April 9th, 2009 04:52 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh you bad thing. But that's okay, you also gave me my birthday present like two months early, so I think I can forgive you. ;)
quillblade From: quillblade Date: April 9th, 2009 06:09 am (UTC) (Link)
That was incredibly awesome just to read :D

And many many (slightly belated) birthday wishes!! I'm so sorry I haven't got anything for you this year, we've been pretty busy with the move and in about an hour I'm gonna be Internet-less for the entire Easter weekend o_o I'll make it up to you once we're all settled in ;)
(Deleted comment)
sigmoidal_suseq From: sigmoidal_suseq Date: April 9th, 2009 07:08 am (UTC) (Link)
Awww so romantic!!!!!!!

Also happy birthday and I will defnitely be buying birthday drinks on Sunday!!!
c_eagle From: c_eagle Date: April 9th, 2009 07:40 am (UTC) (Link)
hehehehe! Epic is a great way to describe it! :D
jesskat From: jesskat Date: April 9th, 2009 10:32 am (UTC) (Link)
OMG, truly the most epic birthday present evar.
supinternets From: supinternets Date: April 9th, 2009 01:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
That is so sweet, thoughtful and romantic. What a guy!
firesplace From: firesplace Date: April 9th, 2009 04:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
That's so many kinds of awesome, I can hardly believe it's real! Most of all, it's absolutely wonderful that he'd go to all that effort. Wow! =D
19 have fought ~ fight the power!