Sunday, August 16, 2009

How to Surprise Your Wife

There are several categories of surprises, and each one has their own rules or procedures.

1. The Extravagant Surprise: a surprise so extravagant and unthinkable that is overwhelms your wife. Examples: You fly her to Europe, the winter Olympics, New York (flying her pretty much anywhere suddenly will just about do it...well...let's give Duluth a miss).

Needs: little or no packaging. Arrange for childcare yourself. Allow at least 2 months planning for 2 nights away, and two more weeks for every night after that. So to go away for 4 nights, you need to make your babysitter calls 3 months in advance (not that I every pull this off, but it would simplify things a lot). You can pack your wife's things for her (subcategory: Gretna Green ) or you can tell the plan a week-night before so she can pack herself (subcategory: Capricious Whim)

2. The Specific Surprise: a surprise based on specifically declared wishes, dreams or needs that your wife has mentioned and have not yet been fulfilled. The benefit of this kind of surprise is that it can cost very little.

Needs: the smaller the item the more important the packaging.

Example: a new bathtub stopper should be wrapped in a jewelry box (as my husband did last Christmas causing me utter confusion for at least 3 seconds until I realized it wasn't a pendant).

3.The Partial Surprise: just as it says - a surprise in which your wife knows part of the plan but not all. This is beneficial when you want to give your wife a surprise but it is not extravagant, and she hasn't ever talked about the activity or object involved. Your wife can look forward to the dinner out, but knows you have something else unexpected up your sleeve. This is almost the best of both worlds. This way, if the surprise bombs (she really had no interest in professional wrestling) at least the dinner was nice.

Needs: a clue to the surprise activity. A good way to do this is to instruct your wife in what to wear or bring. "Be ready to get dirty." "Bring sunblock." "Wear something comfortable but dressy." "Wear shoes you can walk for a while in."

A clue along these lines gets her in the right mood. She has knowledge of some of the basic activities involved in your surprise.

I hope these objective procedures will be helpful to anyone about to celebrate their anniversary or their wife's birthday.

Glen Rose: Dinosaur Valley State Park

The Waxler family had a great time on Saturday at Dinosaur Valley. We got a little sunburnt, a little smoky, pretty dirty, some horsefly stings (OH MY GOODNESS THEY WERE THE BIGGEST FLIES I'D EVER SEEN AND THEY STUNG LIKE A MOSQUITO!), and wet too!

We didn't "camp" we just picnicked, but we did set up a sort of tent-like shelter. I am really jazzed about that because I made it myself. It was a goodwill sheet to which I sewed 8 loops (4 corners, 4 side midpoints)! I used 6 tent pegs and 2 packets of 50 ft. nylong camping cord. AND IT WORKED! HA!

We learned that next time we need to bring a whole extra cooler full of drinks and ice. We ran out of drinks about 6:30 pm and the kids were reduced to dipping their cups in the ice water in the bottom of the cooler. The trick was to not "scoop" and get bits of dirt and grass in your cup, but to let the water barely rush over the lip of the cup...then it was pretty clean.

We saw dinosaur tracks, and life size models, and bought some souvenirs. We roasted hot dogs and marshmallows. We swam in the Paluxy river, and saw minnows. James and I swam in the section called "Blue Hole" and James even jumped off a really high bank - over a rock ledge - into a very deep section (the blue hole, although it was muddy brown-green yesterday). I tried to do this, but I was just too scared.

I had so much fun, it was like when we were kids only it was the lake, and Zilker, and a little of the Davlin's grandparents all rolled into one!

Before we left we drove over to the campsite area's showers and I washed all the boys and myself so we'd be clean when we got home (1 cup, bottle of handsoap, towel). It felt so good to be clean - my hair's a little brittle now, though.

On the way home Mark and I talked about our upcoming anniversary. He said he wants to surprise me with something, so I came up with some guidelines for him. Not all the ones I started with - just the Partial surprise guidelines. But it got me thinking.

I love you all!



  1. heheeh I like your guidelines! I'll have to pass them on to Robert!

  2. What a fun day! And I am TOTALLY impressed by your tent. I think it's somewhat glamorous to have an outdoor room or shelter that you don't technically need, but makes the whole trip that much more comfortable. Well done!

  3. Thanks Rachel! We felt really special - we were the only ones in the picnic area with a "shelter"! We were the cool ones! Also for anyone who's keeping track - Mark gave me a totally awesome anniversary full of perfect surprises! See my "Anniversary" blog!