What is more exciting than a surprise party? For some, an emergency trip to the dentist, a meeting with the IRS, or giving a eulogy would be better than a surprise party. Though some people squeal with delight at being startled by fifty of their closest friends and family, others may get angry or emotional. It is important to know your sweetheart well before planning too many surprises.
A few surprise parties come to mind when I reminisce. This first one reminds me that while a person may appreciate such a gathering, timing is important! About ten years ago, several of us got together to throw one of my college friends a surprise party… in her apartment… on a weekday afternoon. Did I mention she worked in a daycare and came home each night feeling all kinds of filthy?
We waited with anticipation as her key turned in the door. She opened the door, heard us yell “SURPRISE!!!” and then turned around and walked out without saying a word. We all sat there thinking, “Oops, we made her mad!” She stayed in the hallway a moment to collect herself, came back in, freshened up, and then came out and enjoyed the party. As she drove home from work that day, she was looking forward to a refreshing shower and some needed downtime. To an introvert, twenty unexpected guests crawling all over your apartment is not downtime. ~smile~
Though I do believe she ended up having a good time, I regret that we did not give more thought to her needs. Some people love nothing more than a good party at the end of a long day, but others prefer a warm bath and Netflix!
Another time, I attended a surprise party for a friend’s girlfriend. We all crept into her townhouse on a Friday night and waited for him to bring her home from their date. They walked up the stairs, saw us all there, and then she turned around and buried her head in his shirt. When she turned around, she faintly smiled and said, “I was going to go to bed.” However, she came around quickly, and we all enjoyed a fun evening with her. At least she was showered and fed before her big surprise!
Happy 30th to Me!
Almost four years ago, Eric gave me something I never thought I wanted – he threw me a surprise party. Earlier in my life, I would have emphatically declared that I did not like those kinds of surprises; but, after he had planned one for me, I found that I did appreciate it. Beforehand, I wondered if something was in the works – there were little clues here and there; but, since I did not know the details, it was still a wonderful surprise. Had it been a complete shock, I am not sure how I would have taken it.
At any rate, I remember being so discombobulated that I could barely eat. There was something about the experience which overwhelmed me – even though I was comfortable with everyone there. In the end, I appreciated the party and am thankful it was on a Saturday night and not on a workday afternoon. ~wink~
After all these years, Eric knows me better than I know myself in some ways. He knew I would appreciate that party. He also knew I would like my guests to share a special memory they had of me. There is no way in the world I would have ever said, “Hey guys, let’s go in a circle and you can each tell me something special about myself.” But, Eric could get by with it! It was a sweet and meaningful evening I will not forget.
Find Out Now!
Would you be hurt if you planned a special surprise for your girlfriend only to have her run from the room in tears? Would you be heartbroken if you threw your boyfriend a surprise party and he gave you the cold shoulder in return? If my mom threw my dad a huge surprise party, it would not be pretty. Dad would handle it and be polite, but he does not like being the center of attention or being unprepared for events.
On the other hand, I took a friend out for her birthday several years ago and, projecting my needs onto her, made sure the waitress did not sing to her or make a public spectacle. Afterward, she expressed sincere disappointment that no one sang to her. Wow, I missed the boat on that one!
Before you give your sweetheart the celebration you think he or she would want, do some studying. Talk to his parents and friends. Notice how she reacts to life’s unexpected moments. Is he private or open to others? Does she enjoy people or tend to be drained by them?
It is also good to decipher which kind of surprises are okay and which ones are off limits. In general, I would say that I am not big on surprises; but, I love a surprise gift like the teddy bear Eric gave me last year on Teddy Bear Day. I also love surprise take out from a favorite restaurant – preferably if I have not already gone to the trouble of cooking. Your honey may love certain surprises and hate others. We are complex creatures!
As you get to know each other better, start noticing how your loved one takes to surprises. Start with small gestures and see how he or she reacts. Then you can make them bigger and bigger until you learn where to draw the line. And, be careful to plan special moments based on his or her preferences and not on yours. It is easy to fall into the trap of giving others what we would want.
It is birthday week here at PreEngaged! Tomorrow, I turn… 30-something. ~smile~ I miss the days when I could burst into a room and emphatically declare my age. ~smile~ I look forward to celebrating with my hubby, family, and then with friends at the beach! (I should let Eric know that if he wants to surprise me, the beach is always a good idea!)
Do you know how your boyfriend or girlfriend feels about surprises?