I love surprises. Okay, I love surprises that I have an inkling about. Hmmm, maybe that doesn't count as a surprise. I mean, if you have an inkling your boyfriend is going to propose or know the gender of your child in advance, it really isn't a surprise, is it? Still...
Anyway, this topic made me think about some of the surprises I've encountered in my life, some good and some not so good, as well as the surprises I've thought up for my characters. I've enjoyed a number of pleasant run-ins with the Sudden Unknown and would prefer to dwell on those, and so I will, unless--surprise!--my computer goes bink and I lose this entire post. THAT would be a very unpleasant surprise.
The first gift of jewelry Hubby bought me when we were courting was a necklace, and he hid it in some chocolates. It was supposed to be a big surprise when I ate the truffle and found it lying there, but his excited puppy dog expression sort of gave it away. I knew something was up, but it didn't matter. What I didn't know until then was what good taste he had in jewelry. Amazing! And that first piece of jewelry has been followed by several others, all pleasant surprises in their own way (What? You can buy THAT at a department story? Cool!), if not for their beauty, for the fact that somehow after all this time Hubby has never picked a bad piece of bling.
I remember that my mother used to try and surprise me on my birthday and holidays where gifts were exchanged, but she failed miserably. She would go to great lengths to hide the gift, taunting me mercilessly, but then she'd either forget where she'd hid it, or she'd send me to that exact location to get something for her and I'd find it. I think she suffered from some sort of genetic malfunction that wouldn't let her hide anything from anyone. We got many good laughs at the expense of a spoiled surprise, but I wouldn't trade any of that laughter for the thrill of not knowing what a gift was until I opened it. A gift is just a gift; laughter with a parent is a priceless treasure.
On the literary front, I am surprised at how long I've been writing and under how many pseudonyms. Some days it hits me--you've been an author for YEARS!--and I can't believe it. A lot has happened over the decades, but one incident sticks out in my mind that was a wonderful surprise. A few years ago, I'd been informed I'd won a contest for an online website but didn't hear anymore about it for a long time. I was supposed to get some money for winning, but as the days passed with no communication, I figured I'd never see a dime. Then one day I got an e-mail saying they'd paid me $100 more than the prize money promised because they felt so badly about making all the winners wait. The money came through, and I was thrilled. Of course, I bought books with it, which is no shock to anyone. lol
On the domestic front, I've been surprised this year at the number of butterflies I've seen. For a long time, I didn't see any around these parts, and this year they're everywhere, fluttering and sharing their simple beauty. A very, very uplifting surprise. For those of you wondering about Plato and Socrates, the tiny spiders living in our soon-to-be remodeled bathroom, you will be shocked to note, as I was, that they have been joined by two other spiders, one of which is VERY big, although not as huge as the wolf spider that nearly frightened me to death the other day. He was hastily relocated, to HIS surprise, I'm sure, outside. The other spiders I left be, although I had to name them. Therefore, Socrates and Plato have now been joined by Medea and Skittles. What can I say? It just didn't look like an Aphrodite to me. :)
What about you? What surprises have you enjoyed that have to do with jewelry, parents (no walking in on them making love!), or bugs? Please do share!