The following tale is true, but a few of the details have been slightly altered to protect the privacy of those involved……..
When you live life with anxiety, you are constantly learning new things about yourself–mainly what kinds of things can set you off. This can be a frustrating and embarrassing phenomenon. Case in point, when my husband asked me to marry him during a surprise proposal, I panicked. Instead of saying yes right away, I asked him why he was asking. Yep. Although we had talked at length about marriage and both knew that was where we were headed, I still made things awkward when he asked. Thankfully he’s taken my reaction in stride. We actually just celebrated our wedding anniversary a few days ago, so it all worked out. But I still get down over my reaction sometimes. I had always imagined that moment in my life, before it happened, and I imagined I’d react with a combination of jumping up and down and screaming, “YES!” Not meeting my own expectations in the moment is something I’ve had to forgive myself for. I also learned a valuable lesson: I’m not really into surprises.
Mind you, I can take the old, “what am I getting for my birthday or christmas” surprise. For the most part. A new exception has just been made. See, the other day a dear friend of ours decided to surprise us by hiring out some maintenance work we’ve desperately needed done to weather proof our deck. It was supposed to be a surprise and of course my husband and I had no clue they were coming to do it. Now, in defense of our wonderful friend, the person they hired to come do the work didn’t call ahead to them to let them know it would be done that day.
When they came and knocked on our door, I viewed them through the peephole and didn’t recognize them, much less why they were holding a spray can reminiscent of a piece of pest extermination equipment. I watched them, and they seemed to disappear around the side of the house. I opened the door and was hit with a chemical smell. Then I began to panic. See, we’ve had a history of shady people coming up to our door in the last few years, and I’ve become quite nervous when someone knocks on our door without calling first. Of course this information was not known by our dear friend. I was able to calm myself enough to call out to the person to see who they were. In the meantime, I had shut the storm door behind me.
After a brief explanation of why they were there, I felt much better and turned to go back into the house. The door wouldn’t budge. In my panic, I had LOCKED the storm door. And I didn’t have a key or cellphone with me to call my husband. I’m not sure what he would have done anyway as the door locks from the inside. Panic ensued once again as I racked my brain, trying to figure out how to get out of this one. Fortunately, the person that came to weather-proof our deck just happened to have some tools with them, one of which was a screwdriver. Yep, they had to UNSCREW HALF OF THE DOOR in order to create a hole big enough to reach around and unlock the door. At this point I was definitely looking forward to our anniversary dinner that would happen later that evening, and knew sangria would DEFINITELY be making an appearance.
Several days after a surprise that bombed, things are much calmer here. Things have also been smoothed over with our friend and we’ve all learned a bit more about each other. They’ve learned that surprises are not the best idea for me, and I’ve learned to appreciate the thought that was behind the surprise. After all, isn’t that the most important thing?
So, if you also get anxious over surprises, do not fear (sorry, I see what I did there 😛 ), you are not alone!!
*comic explaining that some surprises are not worth it, appears courtesy of: www.cartoonistgroup.com