Light Notes

My Jennifer Garner imitation

The U.S. Special Forces can breathe more easily now.

I’m not going to apply.

It’s too difficult for me to keep a secret.

The clandestine operation I’ve been involved in for several months has cured me of any desire or fantasy of this line of work. Still, if I could fit into the slinky clothes that Jennifer Garner wore on Alias, I might reconsider. Some fantasies die hard.

My covert mission began with a whispered phone call. I was in baggy sweats.

“I need your help,” the male voice said in a hushed tone, as he explained the nature of the operation. “You need to gather any pertinent photos of your daughter and send them to this undisclosed address.”

My heart raced. It was Mission Impossible.

If I accepted, I had a feeling it would be me that would self-destruct. Keeping anything a secret from inquisitive Traci — much less a huge 40th birthday party — would be more difficult than hiding the Macy’s bill from a spouse.

I was right. Armed with TMI — that’s the very top secret code for “too much information,” known only to the entire Facebook population — I was a ticking time bomb.

“Hey Traci,” I casually mentioned on the phone during a lengthy conversation. “I got your Evite.”

(This is another extremely classified word for “electronic invitation” that can be emailed to so many people that they end up having to bring their own food and party supplies.)

“I didn’t send an Evite,” she responded with a puzzled tone. “I sent handwritten invitations to the twins’ birthday party.”


My Special Forces son-in-law, Eddie, sneaked over the Cascades to work on the “This is Your Life” party video at our house. Weeks later at Traci and Eddie’s home I commented about the TV show he and I had watched together.


And so it went, month after month. My blunders rattled akin to a skeleton trying to escape the closet.

But somehow the cloak-and-dagger scheme didn’t slip out. When the big birthday arrived the other day, we were all able to yell, “SURPRISE!”

Traci was stunned.

Still, I have a feeling that the next time there’s a secret to keep, it’ll be kept from me.