The Carpenter’s birthday on Sunday was a quiet success, just the way he likes it, but it started off unexpectedly early when he arrived home from work on Friday to find a present in our bedroom that was not from me (insert sound of screeching brakes here).

I found out via a text message from him that read: “There are balloons in our bedroom. Three large balloons.” I inquired about the messaging on the balloons, as if that would help rationalize the logic behind this well intended violation of our private space. The response made me giggle. Two of the balloons were the number five and number one, and the other said “you’re the greatest.” But the next text had me burst out laughing in my office at work.  “Your mother and your aunt have been in our bedroom.” (insert sound of air escaping a balloon here).

I swear to you, the words of that message flashed like a strobe light. Oh, the horror. And, while a text message cannot convey accurate tone, I assure you, I read this with the exact flat tone in which it was intended. I could sense his displeasure, underscored with bewilderment and I knew why. Get your mind out of the gutter, there is nothing naughty lying about our bedroom (do you really think I would leave that out in the open?). But you know, there is just something weird about knowing people have been in your private space when you’re not home. It was a sweet intention but misplaced.

Our bedroom is much like our life together: comfortable chaos with individuality. For instance, I don’t leave clothes on the floor, but I stack up a solid pile at the foot of the bed every morning in the mad rush to coordinate an outfit. I like stacks of books, note pads and papers. I have lotions and potions all over my dresser that I don’t use but like to keep. Maybe I have a stuffed animal or three lying around. The Carpenter has a routine. Every day he empties his pockets onto his dresser, spreading an assortment of receipts, drill bits, nails, screws and coins about. His ball caps are stacked wherever they land. Dirty clothes spill out of the hamper (if they make it there), and he always leaves one dresser drawer open because he knows I dislike that. I always close it. It’s a game we play. Everyone has a different idea of romance, okay?

We’re the couple who high-fives if the pillow cases match. Now, we had balloons for décor and it was bursting any hope of romance later, I assure you of that.

I had no clever response to the Carpenter’s text messages, because I was laughing too hard. I mean, really, what does one say when one realizes her beloved man has gone from the mixed emotions of becoming a newly minted 51-year-old to suddenly being reduced to feeling like a 12-year-old boy who will get no allowance because his room is messy?

I assure you, the Carpenter would never get scolded. He is the favourite child. My adorable mother and aunt had the best intention and insisted, upon later questioning, that they didn’t notice a mess. They just wanted to surprise him. Oh boy, did they. Hey Carpenter, you’re the greatest. Giggle.

(Note: no balloons were injured in this story. Transplanted, but not injured. Best laugh of my week.)