21 May 2007

Good to Be Surprised Sometimes

I'm a planner. I've mentioned that before, and it's as true today as it was when I was a child. As Mom and I were relating to Scott during lunch yesterday, when I was a kid I wanted to know the timetable for everything: when I could get my ears pierced, wear makeup, go on a date, stop taking piano lessons, etc. What I never figured out was that my Mom hadn't mapped out my life like I seemed to insist upon, and was instead making spur-of-the-moment decisions when I posed these questions. Decisions she then felt like she had to abide by in order that I knew she didn't go back on her word. The other thing I was really slow in figuring out was that I should carefully pick and choose when I asked Mom about this weighty issues. Laying one on her when she was on a step ladder, searching for something in the back of the hall closet, was probably not the prime time. Oh well, I still asked, and I still planned.

Even today, I try to map out my life in big and small ways. Thank goodness I also try to stay somewhat flexible. If not, I would have despaired long ago, because I certainly haven't lived up to all of my personal timelines. Scott may say I'm not quite as flexible as I think I am, but I think that's a matter of perception. Whenever he suggests that we do something other than what I had planned, I'm usually receptive, but I pause before answering and he generally takes that to mean I'm not pleased with the change of plans. Typically that's not the case. It's just that I'm such a planner that I have to take a moment to reorder my brain, then I'm ready to say "Sure, let's go!"

But as I have also said, I'm a fan of whimsy. Whimsy often takes the form of surprises, at least the good variety of surprises. Thankfully, I count myself blessed that most of the big surprises in my life have been good ones. Scott certainly falls into that category. I wasn't necessarily looking for what I found, but I am ever thankful for the surprises our two-year relationship has offered to me so far.

In fact, Scott's been surprising me quite a lot recently, and it's been interesting. Some of the things I learn fall under stories he thought I already knew, some stories he specifically hasn't told me until now, and some are just creative thoughts rattling around in his head. I'm glad to have learned everything, even the more interesting of the tidbits.

"Interesting" is one of those words Southerners have appropriated to mean more than simply "of interest." "Interesting," in the Southern connotation, is a way of politely delivering a negative judgment or impression instead of bluntly pointing out your disapproval. Examples: "That's an interesting color combination you've chosen for your living room" or "My cousin's had some interesting experiences in his lifetime."

I'm glad Scott's surprised me with all of these tales and thoughts, even if all of the stories haven't been pleasant ones. I know everyone has secrets and thoughts that they keep hidden. But the fewer the secret stories and thoughts, the more two people who care about each other can continue to care about one another, and grow into more than they were.

So even when life springs interesting events upon us, it can be good to be surprised sometimes.

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