How I Made a 22nd Birthday Even More Special Than a 21st

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While 21st birthdays are something that basically every young adult looks forward to, 22nd birthdays are usually overlooked in comparison. Not this time. As my boyfriend’s 22nd birthday approached, I decided to take on the challenge to make it one he would never forget.

Dating a Severe Chocoholic:

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I will admit, at first I had a hard time thinking of what I could do to make the day even more special than his 21st. But then it hit me. Chocolate. To give you some background, let me just say that calling my boyfriend a chocoholic is a severe understatement. If he could inject 70% cacao into his veins every morning, he would.

Owning up to my promises:

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What really sold me on this whole chocolate idea was something that came from an inside joke we have with each other. Every time we say the same thing at the same time (which happens more often than you’d think after dating for almost 4 years), he always says, “Jinx, you owe me a chocolate bar.”

My Inspiration:

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After saying this to me for what was probably the thousandth time, something registered in my mind: I’ve never actually given him any of these chocolate bars that I supposedly owe. What if I finally decided to pay up? And that’s how my brilliant idea was born.

Getting That Weak Stuff Outta’ Here:

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While buying 1,000 chocolate bars seemed a bit out over the top, I decided that 22 of the best quality bars would suffice. My boyfriend is not only a chocoholic but also somewhat of a chocolate snob. He doesn’t like Hershey’s or any of that cheap stuff; he likes the good quality, expensive brands.

The importance of noticing and remembering the small details:

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Being a good girlfriend, I know his favorite brands in order of preference. First and foremost comes Ghirardelli, the most decadent chocolate of all in his opinion. Godiva comes in at a close second, followed then by Fannie May and Lindt. Given the option, he will always choose dark chocolate over milk...and don’t even dare mention white!

My Deep Creative Thinking:

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So I decided to get him 6 Ghirardelli, 6 Godiva, 5 Fannie May, and 5 Lindt in order to make up the 22 bars. But now I was stuck again. I didn’t want to simply hand them over in a gift bag or anything lame like that. I had to think of something more creative. After some deep thinking I decided on a scavenger hunt.

Making an unforgettable experience:

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I hid each bar throughout various rooms in my house, leaving a clue with each to help him find the next one. Each clue contained information about both where the chocolate was made and where it was hidden. For instance, Ghirardelli is made in California, Godiva in New York, Fannie May in Illinois, and Lindt in New Jersey.  

The Real Challenge:

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Each of my clues then let him know what type of chocolate he was looking for next. For instance I had a clue that said, “They always play the blues in Chicago,” so he knew to look for a Fannie May bar near the picture of a jazz player hanging in my living room. And so each clue went, leading him all over my house until he found all 22.

22 Chocolate Bars = 1 Priceless Experience:

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My heart melted as he wandered around like a kid in a candy shop, excitedly running around my house and dropping each newly discovered bar into the gift bag that I had given him to take on his journey. It was almost as if he was 4 years old again, trick-or-treating for the first time.  

The Last Clue:

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After a solid half hour, he finally reached his last clue, which let him know that he was looking for a Fannie May bar near something signifying Chicago baseball. While we are both from Chicago, we root for opposing teams. My family has always supported the White Sox, while he on the other hand, is a die hard Cubs fan.

Adding in an Extra Element to the Surprise:

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He knew he’d find his last chocolate bar near the little White Sox plush player sitting on the family room windowsill. But what he didn’t realize was that I not only got him a Cubs themed Fannie May bar but also a nice new Cubs shirt! He gasped in surprise as he found both sitting under the plush toy.

Engulfed in Excitement:

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He couldn’t believe that I had put my antagonistic feelings aside and actually bought him not one but TWO Cubs themed gifts! His excitement was greater than ever. As he was putting the last chocolate bar in his bag, I said, “Now I don’t owe you any more chocolate bars.” He burst out laughing and gave me a big bear hug.

Turning Something Bland into Something Memorable:

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“This is the most creative gift anyone has ever given me,” he said as we pulled apart. And that’s when I knew that I had succeeded in making his 22nd birthday one that he would never forget.