Wednesday May 9th, 2012 Category: Expert tips
Does she like a surprise?
Something wonderful happened to me recently that I just had to share with you because I think it sums up exactly what AskHerFriends is about. Now, the fact that you’re here in the first place suggests to me that you care enough about the person you’re planning on giving a gift to that you want to put some thought into it, make it something that will mean something, make it something perfect, but if you’ve any doubts about whether all this extra effort will really be appreciated then let me assure you that it will, and here’s why…
I think it’s fair to say that my Other Half is the king of gift giving and surprises; far better than me in all honesty. Ever since we’ve been together he’s had a knack for choosing or organising just the right thing: the Co-driver rally experience (because I can’t drive), the binoculars (so that I could see the action at the football better), the laptop (when all I’d asked for was a flat panel monitor to replace the antique attached to my PC), the attempt to secretly arrange our wedding IN FRANCE (you can’t do it, French law says you have to be resident for six months), the Kindle (when I’d told him not to go daft because we’re saving for a big trip). The list is endless, but it was on my recent birthday that he really outdid himself.
Expectations management is key
I really wasn’t expecting much, I would have been quite happy with dinner for two at our favourite restaurant, but it all started a couple of days earlier when I casually mentioned I had a hair appointment booked on the morning of my birthday; normally this provokes a barrage of questions but this time he was strangely reticent…
“What’s up?” I asked, “You usually have so much to say on the subject of my hair.”
“Nothing.” he muttered.
“Don’t give me that, you always ask if I’m going to have something different.”
“I can’t tell you.” he whined, looking decidedly sheepish.
“Oh! Do I need to cancel my appointment?” I asked.
“Yeah.” he replied even more sheepishly.
At this point I had a fair idea what of he was planning but not wanting to spoil the surprise I didn’t voice my suspicions, even though they were further piqued when he told me he wouldn’t be working his usual mornings overtime on my birthday.
The full works, all day
The day itself dawned bright and sunny, we were up with the larks, and I was treated to: a cup of tea in bed, a new cover for my Kindle, pancakes with blueberries and maple syrup for breakfast and… (as I suspected) a hair appointment! Not at my usual salon though, he’d booked me in at a designer salon in town later that same morning. While some might find this a little presumptuous, especially those who have a regular hairdresser*, for me this was brilliant. I find the whole hairdresser thing so terminally boring that I go scarcely three times a year and come away with the same haircut even when I go with the intention of having something different. It was just ironic that for once I actually did what proper grown-ups do and booked my next hair appointment whilst at my last one two months earlier.
So, anyway, I had such a lovely morning really I didn’t think that my day could get any better. I felt great with my new ‘do’ and was just looking forward to whiling away a few hours eating some good grub and drinking a couple of cheeky cocktails at our favourite restaurant. I certainly didn’t read anything into the suggestion that I wore a dress to go out that afternoon as I agreed it would be a good way to show off my new hair (though in the end didn’t happen because the weather took a turn for the worse and I chose something warmer), nor did I think anything of the fact my OH wore a smart jacket with his jeans, as he’d made noises previously about wanting to change his look a little.
We walked into town and stopped off for a drink on route, and as we left the pub to go on to the restaurant I asked my OH if he’d mentioned to the staff that it was my birthday. The funny thing is that I can’t even remember if I got a response to my question, but I didn’t have to wait long to find out that not only had he let the restaurant staff know that it was my birthday, he had also invited along a whole bunch of my family and friends to celebrate it with me!
I was completely overwhelmed, to the point where I was almost in tears. I just couldn’t take everything in and I’m told my face was a picture. It was genuinely the biggest surprise to see everyone there and having them there turned a great day into a perfect day. It was without doubt the nicest, sweetest thing that anyone has ever done for me, and it’s certainly something I know I will remember and cherish for the rest of my life.
During the afternoon a number of people asked me if I’d suspected anything. Well, hand-on-heart I can honestly say I didn’t suspect a thing which made it even more special. (Though it does make me wonder if I should be concerned about how well my OH managed to keep his plans from me, the devious bugger!)
Everybody likes a bit of a surprise, every now and then
So the next time someone tells you they don’t like surprises, don’t listen to them! Give or arrange them something thoughtful, generous and unexpected, no matter how big or small, and I assure you it will go down well. I just have no idea how I’m possibly going to top that for him though!
*There’s no reason why you can’t make her an appointment with her regular hairdresser, even if it’s just for a wash and blowdry.