I love surprises. More than that, I love surprising others. It is not easy for me, though. Somehow, the surprise often gets screwed up somehow, or I slip and give it away with my can't keep a secret blabber mouth.
For one of my dearest friend's 25th birthday, her parents were throwing her a surprise party. They were taking care of everything. All I was responsible for was the balloons. What could be simpler than balloons, right? Well, I managed to screw it up.
All of the party goers were to arrive 30 minutes before the birthday girl and her friend who told her she was simply "taking her out to dinner for her birthday". I was to arrive 30 minutes early and set up the balloons. Again, this was a long time ago (groan), so my memory is a bit hazy, but I'm thinking I bought about 10 balloons. No problem. One problem - I somehow ended up being late. How late? Well, as I was driving down the highway, cursing myself for being late, I saw it...A flash of red hair! Oh No! It couldn't be! This person's mouth was moving and her hands were going. Crap! They were about 3 cars in front of me to my right!
What was I gonna do?! Get there AFTER them, and walk in like a big dork, carrying 10 balloons, screaming "Surprise!"? No, I couldn't do that! So, I did what had to be done. I sped up, wrestled the 10 balloons down to the floor, crouched down in my seat so I could just barely see over the dashboard, and whooshed past them like a blast of lightning. I screeched into the parking lot, grabbed those balloons, and ran ninja style through the parked cars, keeping an eye out for their car, which pulled in just as I reached the door. Luckily, my friend is one of those people who have to fix their hair, put on lipstick, and search her purse for who knows what before getting out of a car. Those darn balloons were in place when she walked in, never mind that I was a sweaty mess and the party hadn't even begun!
Another time, I decided to cook Doug lasagna, (his favorite food), and take it to surprise him at work for his birthday. He worked from 2-10pm, so he got a break for dinner around 6:00. After driving 2 hours to get there, and thinking about how happy he would be, I could hardly contain my excitement. I pulled in, and asked a guy in the parking lot how to find him. He noticed what I was carrying, and said, "What's that?" I explained the surprise lasagna and he groaned. Groaned! "Rude Man!", I thought. Then, he said, "Our bosses treated us to dinner at X restaurant today. They only do that about twice a year. He's probably over there now". "WHAT?!?", I screamed in the poor man's face. "Where is the restaurant?" I could at least salvage the surprise part of this.
I followed his directions and pulled into the parking lot, parked, looked up, and gasped. My mouth hit the floor, and I just sat and stared for probably 5 minutes. Suddenly, the shock wore off, and I saw RED! This man, the man that I was in love with, planning to marry - this man, the man that I believed was honest and trustworthy - this man, the man who for the past 8 months had NEVER smoked a cigarette in front of me, or told me that he ever did - was standing there puffing away like a chimney with a big old grin on his face with some guy. SURPRISE! I screamed out my window "DOUG!!!", then watched his face go from complete joy at seeing me, to complete horror at being caught. Not exactly the surprise I had envisioned.
For Father's Day a month ago, I decided on a whim to surprise Jim. I bought a "World's Greatest Dad" balloon, and took Dylan to his office. I called the secretary so she could arrange for us to park in the garage, and when we walked into his room, he was visibly surprised and thrilled...to see Dylan, but I think he eventually noticed I was there too. Then the 3 of us walked around the Arts Festival and had dinner. It was so much fun that I decided to try and surprise him more often. When we were dating, we surprised each other often. What happened? Life happened, but you know what? I've decided I'm going to make more of an effort to surprise my loved ones. It's fun, it lets them know they are appreciated, and it keeps things interesting.
Since then, I surprised him with nuts he likes, that I bought at the Twin Lakes Festival on a day that he was working on the house, a Hershey's chocolate bar, and tonight I made cookies. Cookies! And, they aren't even burnt!
So, here is the point to all this rambling. I am declaring this coming week "Surprise Someone Week". That's right. When I make up holidays they last a whole week. This is your mission if you choose to accept it. I challenge all of you reading this to surprise someone you love in the coming week. It doesn't have to be big. It doesn't have to be expensive. It doesn't even have to cost anything. Be creative, or don't. Use one of mine. Whatever. Just do it, and then leave me a comment about it, or better yet, write a post about it, and let me know. If enough of you write posts, I'll put all the links together in one post so we can all share the love. I'm going to do it, and I'll write a post about it at the end of the week. Good luck. This message will destroy itself in 10 seconds.