So much for a quiet birthday.
Diane "Dee Dee" Ferguson of Lisle went from planning a low-key 50th birthday to plotting good-natured revenge against her sisters Monday morning when she woke to a surprise spectacle in her front yard on Yackley Avenue.
"I tend to be a little shy about these things and then I woke up to 50 bras in my front yard," Ferguson said. "I live next-door to my mom. I live across the street from my sisters and they thought they were being pretty funny."
Ferguson's initial reaction was not laughter, but embarrassment about the clothesline dripping with bras in a rainbow of colors.
Her sisters, Sue Buchelt and Julie McCormick, made her pose for a photo with the display and signs reading "Dee Dee is 50!" and "We support you!" Ferguson wanted them to swear the images wouldn't end up on Facebook.
"Cars were beeping their horns," she said. "I just left as quickly as possible."
By the time she made it to work at Opportunity International in Oak Brook, an organization that provides small loans to help women in developing countries start businesses, Ferguson said the photos were all over social media.
So much for promises.
"Messages were coming in from all over the place, which is what I was trying to avoid," Ferguson said.
Monday's birthday display actually represented another broken pledge of the most solemn kind -- a pinkie promise among sisters, the birthday gal said.
"All the sisters are pretty close to the same age and we had made a pinkie promise that we wouldn't do this to each other," Ferguson said about a pact she remembers making with McCormick, 52, and Buchelt, 45. "All bets are off now. I'll be getting some revenge on this."
So much for sisterly love.
Buchelt says she doesn't remember any such agreement -- although a promise not to blow out milestone birthdays could have been made between her two older siblings.
"I guess I'll have to watch out in five years," Buchelt said.
So much for spontaneity.
The bras Ferguson's sisters strung on a clothesline overnight Sunday weren't purchased for the occasion. They were, uh, recycled, so to speak.
"I had been saving bras for this occasion for about 10 years," Buchelt said. "All the bras belong to my sister and I. None were purchased. Some will be removed and washed and continue to be used."
The undergarments had been journeying from closet to closet in Buchelt's Lisle home, waiting for the perfect moment to shine. She said she long had been planning to surprise one of her sisters on a birthday, and she had the "we support you" pun at the ready. But the specifics of Monday's bra-line surprise didn't come together until the weekend, when the two sisters realized it wasn't just Ferguson's birthday, but her 50th birthday.
"I thought, 'Hey, this is the perfect occasion to go ahead and use them,'" Ferguson said. "It's been exactly what I wanted. I wanted just a very humorous way to kind of embarrass my sister."
So much for perfection.
The morning certainly wasn't Ferguson's version of the ideal birthday, but eventually she was "LOL-ing" about the occasion with her Facebook friends and soaking it all in.
"I usually try to avoid birthdays," she said. "But I admit, I have gotten a good laugh today."