I Don’t Like Surprises

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!

5 thoughts on “I Don’t Like Surprises

  1. I’m with you on those surprises. In fact, even good surprises make me a little bit nervous. And I totally do that with books, too–not always, but sometimes knowing how a book is going to end allows me to relax and enjoy the journey more. (And, boy, some people get downright mad when you tell them that! it’s amazing how personally some people take other people’s reading habits. *grin*)

  2. Oh no – I like them.
    But I guess you have your reasons for felling differently.
    There is great pleasure to be had in delivering good surprises – so it’s a shame to completely deny your nearest and dearest the opportunity. Maybe the occasional wrapped gift?

  3. We all like good surprises. None of us like bad surprises. But if all surprises were good, we would be bored. So we all want a good mixture of good surprises and bad surprises, and the bad surprises should be pleasingly infrequent and of not excessive magnitude. However, we all have one final surprise awaiting us someday. I would prefer it to be nothing at all, and I would prefer that it come in my sleep. Though that would be an unpleasant surprise for my wife. Oh, well. It probably won’t come today for me or for you, so live in the present and take it one step at a time.

    • Sound advice, all around. And I agree — hard to pick an end that will upset our life-loves. I am living as best as I can in this moment. Just keep swimming and all that. (hugs)

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