I’m a massive fan of surprises, both surprising other people and being surprised. I don’t know what it is, but there’s just something about the look of joy and elation on someone’s face when they didn’t see the surprise coming. Over the past few years, I’ve arranged more surprises than ever. It’s like I caught a bug for it: I did one, it went well, so I did another.
My friends and I have arranged surprise baby showers, surprise appearances at engagement parties, and I’ve even surprised my friends at the airport. But some of my favourite surprises were for my Mum and Dad’s 60th birthdays. For my Dad’s 60th, my Mum and Dad were coming out to Madrid for the week, so my Mum and I surprised him with tickets to the Madrid Tennis Open and tickets for a Real Madrid game and he was over the moon. But I has ALSO co-conspired with my mum and dad’s close friends who also flew out to Madrid that very weekend to surprise them both. The reaction was priceless (partly because of the surprise in general, partly because they dressed up in the world’s craziest wigs and false teeth haha best surprise ever). A year later, for my Mum’s 60th, my Mum and Dad were again coming out to spend the week in Madrid. This time we surprised my Mum sitting in a bar one afternoon with someone tapping her on the shoulder and it being my Aunt and Uncle and cousins. Again, another priceless reaction (less fancy dress involved this time though)!
Then there’s surprises people have planned for me. A few years ago, I invited some of the girls to my flat for a girls night in, with the idea of having a takeaway and a few glasses of wine. Not long after they arrived, I headed out to pick up the food from the takeaway place 5 minutes down the road. But when I got back to my flat, food in hand, my key wouldn’t go in the door. I thought to myself, “that’s strange”, as I knocked for one of them to open from the inside. All I could hear was giggling and footsteps running about all over the place on the wooden floors. After what felt like the longest 2 minutes, they finally opened the door and shouted surprise: they were all in matching pyjamas and had set up a pamper night of face masks, foot spas and manicures.
But surprises don’t always work out as planned. Thankfully, sometimes a failed surprise can provide just as much as entertainment as the surprise itself would have done. Last year, I flew home to surprise my mum and take her to a Westlife concert (yes 30 years and 60 years old and we still turn into the biggest fan girls when we hear “Flying Without Wings”). The only issue was, I actually arrived in Scotland before my mum did, as she was abroad on a trip with friends. So without even thinking about it twice, I let myself in to my Mum and Dad’s house with my key, grabbed the car and went to visit my aunt and uncle and cousin for the night before surprising my mum the next day. Little did I know that the neighbours – who are always great at looking after the house and keeping an eye on things for my Mum and Dad if they are away – had spotted the car going missing from the driveway….cue panic stations! Here was me obliviously causing havoc!
What made me write about surprises this week? Well because I was going to surprise my family by flying home this Friday for a family get together, but (no) thanks to Coronavirus and the Government rules in place about quarantining, I had to break the bad news early that I WAS planning on surprising them, but couldn’t anymore. I’m gutted, both about the surprise falling through and the prospect of having to spend 2 weeks in self-isolation during my hard-earned summer holidays. I guess the plus side is that I’ll have plenty of thinking time to plan my next surprise…!