Thursday, June 12, 2014

Surprise!

I hate surprises.

There are several reasons why, but the main one is that I hate to be surprised.

You thought it would be more complicated than that, didn’t you?

The shock and disbelief and surreal realization that there has been this whole other series of events going on behind your back that you were completely oblivious to, ohmygoodness isn’t it wonderful to know that you are so stupid and all these other people are here to witness the look on your face when you understand just how thoroughly you’ve been duped.

I’ve always felt sorry for the unaware, the poor soul who is about to be slapped in the face with overly eager smiles and laughter, awakening to their own ignorance under the pretense of celebration.

Surprises are supposed to be all about the person being surprised, as in ho ho ho, this huge party/extravagant gift/humungous gesture is all for YOU, but the secret is that surprises are all about the surpriser and not the surprisee, which is openly self-centered.  People who love surprises usually love being the center of attention, and though there isn’t anything wrong with that, there is something wrong with calling out a person who would rather stand around the outside of the circle because the opportunities for escape are more abundant.  It’s harder to hide in your room when everyone at the party is there for you.



The few times I have been surprised, it has not gone well.  There were ugly tears.  There were ugly tantrums.  There were frantic calls to friends and acquaintances who had to finish a job I started OMG can you take over for me my husband planned a trip for us but I have a thousand things to do before we leave in two hours and I have to pack and shower and get it together and I can’t believe this is happening he must be crazy or stupid or both.

Happy anniversary, honey.

Surprises are insensitive.  How do you know that someone wants their family and friends to witness their reaction to everybody knowing they are 40, or 50, or 60?  And after a certain age, having a surprise party for someone just isn’t a good idea.  Good luck surprising the 80-year-old with a weak heart.  Hope the surprise at her birthday party isn’t an ambulance ride.

When you plan to surprise a person, you must be prepared for any type of reaction.  You aren’t guaranteed it will be positive.  And when it isn’t, pouting and bewilderment on your end are not allowed.  After all, the surprise is supposed to be about the person you are celebrating, not you, Barbra.  If you did not adequately research your victim’s stance on surprises, then you can deal with the aftermath yourself.  And all these people standing in your living room get to see how clumsily you’ve dropped the ball.

In addition, there is a real chance that your surprise balloon will be popped, and a very prominent and very mean part of me hopes that your plans are foiled before they get rolling.  I won’t spoil a surprise for you intentionally, but please don’t involve me in your ambush, either.

I want to love my loved ones, not stand by and watch a full range of emotions pass over their faces as they piece together hurriedly and confusedly just what is happening to them.

Surprises.  I’ll pass.

They’re not nice, people.  Up with awareness.  Down with surprises.

*******

This post inspired by:

Mama’s Losin’ It

Prompt #1: A blog post inspired by the word: surprise

20 comments:

  1. I've always hated surprises. What I hate is when someone tells you they have a secret or a present for you but you have to wait. WTH. What if you get hit by a bus first? I can't stand that!
    However, if someone truly surprises me and I have NO idea first? I enjoy that. Cassidy surprised me with a trip once. And a puppy!

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    1. I also hate that vague "I have something for youuuuuuu" that people do. I honestly do not like surprises. I was given major surprises exactly twice, and one time I cried and the other time I had a tantrum.

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  2. I absolutely love this post. Nothing good comes from surprise - I totally agree. Besides, my husband or kids ruin it, I find out, and I still have to feign surprise. No thank you!

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    1. Thank you! Feigning surprise is no fun, either. Just tell me what's going on already and everybody's happy. But mainly - I'm happy.

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  3. I only like surprises when it involves gifts. :)

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    1. Well, of course. Gifts are always welcome, surprise or not.

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  4. Hi, Andrea! You are very socially engaging, so I am surprised to learn that you feel this way about surprises. Even so, your point is well-stated and quite understandable.

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    1. Thanks Leigh! Excuse me, I'm off to add "socially engaging" to my resume. :)

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  5. I love surprises. You mean you thought that much about little ole ME to plan something like this? But I get your point. And I promise not to surprise you. Except that little thing I got you that you'll just have to wait for.

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    1. Vague surprises are awful, but I'll give you a pass because I like you so darn much. xo

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  6. the older I get the more I really abhor surprises. Good or bad, I need a little time to react and I don't want to be doing that in front of a handful or a room full of people. Gifts that arrive in the mail are good surprises, a check in the the middle of it (addressed to ME!!!) even better but keep your middle of the week "Guess what's???" for someone other than me. ;)

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    1. Checks in the mail are my favorite kind of mail ever.

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  7. You know who else hates surprises? Oprah. I knew you two reminded me of each other! This explains everything.

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    1. No way! I would think Oprah loves surprises, considering her "YOU GET A CAR! AND YOU, AND YOU, AND YOU!!!!" shenanigans. Me and O are practically sisters now.

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  8. My brother's GFs threw him a surprise party every year. He had very animated GFs. Every single time he either a.) punched the wall and ran away b) turned around and ran away or c) screamed something unintelligible, punched a wall and ran away. Yet, the GFs continued to throw the surprise parties. I would stay and ask them to do it for ME the next year. Nope, never happened. This year the surprise was that there was no cake. Um. No.

    :)

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    1. That just stinks. Those girlfriends needed to do their homework. :)

      Come to think of it, I didn't get a cake for my birthday this year, either. But I did get donuts.

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