There are so few moments of genuine surprise.
When someone throws me a surprise party for my birthday, at some level I know there is an opportunity for a surprise party.
Every time I make my car insurance premium payment, I am declaring my acceptance to the universe that an adverse and possibly costly incident involving the car and me are a possibility.
When I stub my toe, there is that one second that I see it coming. That one second that I should have, could have, would have, or didn’t zig or zag.
When I win a raffle, I have indicated my commitment to winning the prize and that winning is a possibility by purchasing the raffle ticket.
Enoughyou get it.
The most genuine surprise in my life was the gender of my kids. The great question of “Should I look?” began the moment the pregnancy test showed positive. I never wavered for one second. I did not want to know
Friends and family – even complete strangers – asked if I knew the gender. People pressed to know why I didn’t want to know. Didn’t I want to paint the room? Didn’t I want to purchase clothing? Pick out a name? Get a tattoo?
The simple answer was that were are so few surprises in life and I wanted to enjoy that one second during the birth to savor that surprise. I chose to live in the uncertainty and enjoy the reveal. I loved every moment of the anticipation and living at least partially in the unknown. I exchanged control for the thrill of that second when the doctor made the announcement.
It such fun ride that I did it twice. Both times I had a huge thrill when I heard “It’s a girl!” A genuine surprise.
I have found a way to recreate that surprise in small way. Sometimes when I go out for a meal, I leave the food choice totally up to the server. I give some hints what choices appeal to me, but in the end I leave the playing field free. Server’s choice. Sometimes for my meal, sometimes for dessert, just wine, or the whole meal.
Usually a server’s first reaction is complete shock. Then the sense of collaboration and planning sets in. I trust them for a great pick, they trust me to like it.
The party begins.
I always ask the same way. “There are very few surprises in life. Can you please order your favorite thing or what you think it best today and don’t tell me what it is? Please don’t give me any hints or even tell me things you might order. Just go for it. Surprise me!”
The server always goes for it with a high degree of enthusiasm and ethics. No one has ever dropped a Surf n’ Turf on me at “market price” or something that I didn’t totally love. Surprising the server is cool, the anticipation is fun and the reveal is sweet. Usually the server has told either the chef or the other servers and they get in on the party too.
Release control, embrace the unknown, trust, then …enjoy the surprise.
Repeat as needed.
What’s your favorite surprise? Surprise me!