I have never been one for surprises.  For those that know me, this comes as no … surprise.  (pun intended). BUT that does not stop me from surprising those that I thought like to be surprised.

Until now.

Let’s just say, I AM done with surprises. Oh, I may bestow a donut or bakery treat on those that I know appreciate the gesture, but as far as out-right, planned surprises – NEVER AGAIN.

My first unfortunate surprise surprise was fifteen years ago – almost to the day. Ugh! My wife was turning forty. Over the years as a couple, an understanding about gift giving was established. Nothing elaborate was ever purchased – she is way too cheap for that. Normally, we purchase our own gifts and call it good. Furthermore, these really weren’t ‘gifts’. A gift is a splurge = something that is neither a necessity nor needed. Cheap people don’t really do gifts. Instead, you receive a step-up from something needed and consider yourself fortunate.

Since a lot of her friends were turning forty and in the throws of parenthood, she casually mentioned husbands that whisked their ‘birthday girl’ off to a fabulous destination. I wondered whether this was a statement or subtle hint. Knowing my wife, I questioned my indecision. So, I asked numerous friends for input – her friends. They all agreed favorably. What girl wouldn’t want to be jetted off to a warm destination in the middle of a Northern Michigan winter?

two words – my wife.

Since we had three kids, a lot of planning had to be done. I am a planner – so had that covered. And, just to be safe, I didn’t even surprise my wife with bags packed hours before leaving. In fact, I think I told her two weeks before take-off. Wow! I was very wrong. It was crazy stressful. I had contemplated cancelling numerous times. When the damn trip was actually over, I said those fatal words – I will never surprise you again.

Fast forward to current day.

My son was going through a rough patch. A comic he followed was coming to Michigan. I thought it would be fun to surprise him with tickets. Since we lived a few hours apart, we would meet there, see the show, and depart the next morning. Unfortunately, my reality inhibited my attendance. However, I told my son he could have the tickets to bring a comic friend. I WOULD EVEN PAY FOR A HOTEL ROOM if needed. It was only two hours away. But if there was drinking involved, a room is warranted. Whenever I brought up the show, the subject was always changed. Kids do this often – so I didn’t  question that fact. Then, a few days before the show, he admitted he had no desire to go. Thankfully, a hotel room wasn’t booked. But my tickets, much to my dismay, were non-refundable AND non-transferable.



Of course, he’s my boy. I forgave him immediately. Kinda’. Though, I am still holding onto some hostile angst from that first incident. So, the same can’t be said for my wife.

Donut anyone?!