A few weeks ago my husband noted that key aspects of my personality hinge upon the fact that I don’t like surprises. That Mister Soandso, what a smartie. I suppose living with someone for two decades does give a person some insight. Because he is absolutely correct: I don’t like surprises.
I should clarify. I don’t like bad surprises. Good surprises? Love them. Too bad there are so few good surprises and so dang many bad surprises. For example, finding a $20 bill in a jacket pocket? Good surprise. Finding out your freezer is no longer freezing things? Bad surprise. Both those things happened to me today. The money, which was left over from a trip to the grocery store on Friday was surprising, but not excessively so because I knew I had put my money in my pocket when I went to the store. I simply “found” it this morning when reaching for my gloves. Now finding all the items in the freezer to be in a refrigerated state when I opened the freezer door and the melted zip-lock bag of left-over baby shower punch tipped over and sloshed all over myself and the floor, that was a bit excessive.
While cleaning up the grumble-inducing mess, I thought about how much I dislike surprises. On a scale of 1-10, I fall somewhere around a 12. This level of dislike is a direct correlation of my dislike of being unable to control situations, of being unprepared, of feeling inadequate. And, it comes from a dislike of stress and tension. My dislike of surprises makes for challenges. Mister Soandso has a difficult time ever surprising me with birthday presents, I often read the last few pages of a novel before I’ve read more than a few chapters, and I’m rarely spontaneous.
When you grow up in a volatile environment, there are some interesting effects. Namely, hyper vigilance and anxiety. To this day, I am constantly scanning my environment, trying to keep all surprises at a minimum. And while this makes me a pretty decent defensive driver, it lends itself to grey hair and wrinkles.
So Monday, how about some good surprises? How about while I’m wiping up all the pooled berry juice in the bottom of the freezer, how about finding something more awesome than spilled peas? I’m thinking that when I pull the freezer out to mop under it, all those missing socks and other mysterious life surprises could be hiding under there. Come on Monday, you can do it. Surprise me!