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Anticipation or a surprise - which do you prefer?

(30 Posts)
Imperfect27 Thu 07-Sep-17 08:23:20

I recently arranged, a week in advance, for my step-son to come to stay as a surprise for his dad's birthday. He lives at quite a distance and DH only gets to see him about 3 times a year.

As time has drawn near, I realised how much I am looking forward to the event - likewise DSS and it struck me that it might actually be nice for DH to anticipate the visit too.
I rang DSS and asked him if he felt ok to share the 'surprise' and he agreed to - he then rang DH to tell him the news. I know the absolute pleasure in DH's voice would have been evident to DSS and DH has been noticeably cheerful! I have enjoyed being able to jointly plan how we might spend time at the weekend since the new is 'out'.

So, one very happy DH, check. However he did remark "That would have been an amazing surprise to see him just walking along the path!"

On balance I'm not regretting the decision to tell him as he has been able to look forward to the visit for several days. I think if roles were reversed I would have been pleased to be able to anticipate too.

However, I am interested to know what others would have done. And what would you have preferred for yourself - surprise or anticipation?

Pittcity Thu 07-Sep-17 08:38:07

I much prefer anticipation as I like to be in control. Surprises freak me out a bit.

lemongrove Thu 07-Sep-17 08:44:16

Same as Pittcity for me too😆

lemongrove Thu 07-Sep-17 08:45:03

Hope you will have a happy time together Imperfect27😃

Maggiemaybe Thu 07-Sep-17 08:46:09

Definitely anticipation. I'm too much of a control freak to like surprises.

MissAdventure Thu 07-Sep-17 08:47:19

I'm not a fan of surprises, so anticipation for me.

Imperfect27 Thu 07-Sep-17 08:52:57

Ha ha! I wondered if I was being a control freak! grin

I am a bundle of contradictions though as I do love surprises - especially if, as an alternative, 'knowing' would mean I had added stress re preparation / organisation. The mum in me who has usually had to do all the prep would like some hassle-free experiences! grin

Eglantine19 Thu 07-Sep-17 08:59:13

Reading your last post Imperfect, I'm on the surprise side just because of the worry of getting it right for visitors, even family. My pre-Christmas anxiety starts weeks before and usually leads to a desire to run away!

Imperfect27 Thu 07-Sep-17 09:05:35

Aaaah ... Christian guilt / anxiety ... smile Yes, that could be the reason for my user name ...

Eglantine19 Thu 07-Sep-17 09:08:21

Guess you mean Christmas. I've done the other as well though. Open to all kinds of worry and guiltgrin

Imperfect27 Thu 07-Sep-17 09:09:25

Tee hee - a funny mistaker to maker ... grin

FarNorth Thu 07-Sep-17 09:18:59

I would never want a surprise party, or one I had to organise either.
For a surprise outing/meet-up etc I'd enjoy getting the surprise the day before and then feeling happy, but I'd be delighted with a complete surprise too.

henetha Thu 07-Sep-17 10:04:45

Anticipation every time. Surprises really unsettle me.

cornergran Thu 07-Sep-17 10:06:28

If asked I'd go for the anticipation as it takes me a while to adjust to ideas, having said that on the few occasions someone has been brave enough to spring a surprise I loved it. Oh dear, no hope.

Charleygirl Thu 07-Sep-17 12:30:48

Anticipation for me too as I also like to be in control.

Scribbles Thu 07-Sep-17 12:40:40

I prefer anticipation and really dislike surprise visits. My nearest & dearest received a firm directive, long ago, that they must never, ever prepare a surprise party for me.

paddyann Thu 07-Sep-17 14:36:25

dont like surprise parties but I love surprise visitors ,I dont like planning things ages in advance either ,I like to do things as the mood takes me.happily OH is on the same wavelength

aggie Thu 07-Sep-17 14:51:01

I prefer surprise visitors too , but have warned everyone ..... no surprise parties ever again . For my 65 th DD organised a surprise party , I was nearly sick when they all shrieked and jumped out at me

grannyactivist Thu 07-Sep-17 14:52:50

Surprises and anticipation both appeal in different ways. I am always happy when I receive surprise visits from people and on occasions when family have surprised me with a party or gift I've been thrilled. However; I relish the feeling of anticipation I get when I'm looking forward to an event or a long-awaiting purchase and I do wonder if this is something that younger people miss out on.

I saved for years to buy my first white goods/car/new furniture - and the anticipation as I got closer and closer to my goal was so exciting. Similarly planning and preparing for things is, to me, all part and parcel of the excitement that is to come. I sometimes think that because younger people often have their 'wants' met quite quickly they miss out on a little of the excitement that comes from delayed gratification.

A few years ago my youngest daughter was having her son Christened when, as a surprise, her sister arrived at the church just before the start of the service, having flown in from New Zealand to be there. Their sobbing greeting will ever remain one of my happiest memories. smile

Imperfect27 Thu 07-Sep-17 15:32:38

grannyactivist what a lovely memory to have! smile

MamaCaz Thu 07-Sep-17 16:28:19

I prefer to know. Going back to a big birthday a few years, OH had booked a table at a restaurant for us and our son am but suspecting that my parents might be coming down from Yorkshire to join us, I secretly rang the restaurant to 'check' how many people the booking was for. I was right about their coming, and was much happier knowing in advance. The surprise was on them when some time later I admitted that I had known, and how I had found out!

MamaCaz Thu 07-Sep-17 16:31:01

Us and our son am? Where does predictive texting get these things from? That was meant to say "... us and our sons ..."

nanaK54 Thu 07-Sep-17 16:58:35

Definitely anticipation - I really don't like surprises at all

nanasam Thu 07-Sep-17 17:26:01

I've only ever had one complete surprise, when my DS, who lives in Australia was travelling around South America and was supposed to be spending Christmas in Rio. He just appeared through the front door on Christmas Eve. DD and I wailed when we saw him, there were tears all round.

I must say, I absolutely loved it and would love to experience another surprise. I get a bit fed up with organising things for myself!

Willow500 Thu 07-Sep-17 17:38:52

On reflection I think I prefer anticipation - I like to know and plan ahead. Over the years I sprang surprise parties for my parent's 70th & 80th birthdays and my husbands 40th. They were all thrilled to bits but equally when it was my parents Golden Wedding we all enjoyed planning the event. They didn't really know what was going on for their Diamond anniversary but enjoyed it just the same. On the odd occasion my son has popped in as he's passed (he lives 2 hours away) it's been lovely to see him.