POSTED: September 1, 2023

There are few things more delicious than a surprise. Now when I say surprise, I mean a positive one, not the “…well your test results are back and its not looking good…” kind. A positive surprise is something we did not expect or even anticipate. So while coming down the stairs on Christmas morning to a few presents under the tree may have some surprise elements, that’s not really what I am meaning.

The best surprise is one that is truly out of the blue and has a positive element to it. Sometimes they are tangible gifts but as often I get as much satisfaction from the intangible ones. Someone complements you on a new shirt or glasses, or a person you do not know well invites you to a dinner party.

As I age, I also think I get more satisfaction from creating or giving a surprise as from getting one. And that is what is really on my mind today.  I recently created a fun little prank for a friend. This fellow I have immense respect for. He is intelligent, articulate, witty and generally a nice person to be around. While all these are admirable traits, what really strikes me is his ability to put the past tense and the future tense in perspective. It may come with his age as he has several more years on me so I see him somewhat akin to an older brother.  He seems to have mastered the art of understanding and learning from the joys and scars from his past, and keeps a healthy balance of his hopes and fears for the future, all the while really savouring the present. This is no small skill, especially as you get older. Believe me….. I know.

He had helped me with my manuscript and while I was certainly appreciative of his efforts and took him and his partner to dinner, when reviewing the writing project with him at his home I thought it would be fun to plant a little surprise in their house for when they returned from the cottage. They were planning to  head off there for a few weeks the day after I saw them.

Well the weeks passed, and then a few more and it is now over two months later and quite clear that they have made it home and I fear the cleverly placed, and very non-descript looking package may have been too cleverly placed and too boring in packaging and been thrown out. Now just to be clear this was not some expensive gift, but a fun little acknowledgement of my appreciation of his efforts.

I am now faced with the conundrum of deciding to ask if they found it, ruining a potentially wonderful surprise to come and in so doing also embarrassing him, or do I just wait and see what happens in the future?

And it has just occurred to me that dealing with a person of his intelligence he may have found it and is just playing possum so perhaps the surprise is on me!

Damb, I enjoy a good surprise.