A busted surprise: points to remember when planning a surprise

I haven’t met a soul in my life who doesn’t love surprises. But it takes a lot of effort to keep a surprise, a “SURPRISE”.

Just today, a surprise I had arranged for my husband got busted. My husband doesn’t like to go out for shopping, even for his own stuff. He would stall it until the time there is absolutely no other way left. Since he doesn’t shop for himself, I end up buying random stuff for him. Some he likes, some he doesn’t but being the nice and courteous guy he is, he never says it out loud.

So I had ordered few polo shirts for him a couple of days back from a renowned online store that deals in export leftovers, as a surprise for him, and today was the delivery date. However, there was one tiny little problem… I had, very casually, forgotten about it.

So, still very much living in my oblivion, I woke up in the morning, underwent the usual rituals and left for work. While my day is underway, I see his number buzzing on my phone. He usually calls me when he wakes up; it is either about the baby, any errand or plan that we had for the day, or sometimes just to see how my day is going. So, I pick it up (thinking it was the same routine call) and hear him say, “Hey, I just received a parcel you had ordered online and have paid for it as well”.

And I just went “Oops! You were not supposed to be at home or receive the parcel or even know about it! Damn the delivery boy!”

Anyway, I rushed back home, controlled the damage, showed him the stuff and, since he was in his chivalrous mood, he accepted it graciously.

Now, while I am usually a discreet person and he doesn’t get to know the surprises until they are executed, there are times that one’s plans get backfired. But there are few things you can considered when planning a surprise:

  1. Involve the wives of your husband’s friends and not the friends, if you are planning to throw a surprise party. Why? Because friends can’t keep a secret from each other, especially guys. I have seen many surprises ruined just because the friends blabbed them out since they are too excited. Reach out to the wives, they are more secretive and can tone down or completely kill the excitement of their husbands.
  2. Write down everything. If you want to be really organized, make a list of things you want to do and get done. Make clusters based on the nature of things; for example, if you want to buy stuff for wrapping the gifts and you plan to buy some party poppers and other grocery, list them down together because you will most probably go to one super market to buy all of these. This way you will not forget anything – I need to do this even for small gatherings since I am hypothyroid and I tend to forget things a lot, very easily. #Evernote on Android is the best tool for keeping your to-do list with you all the time and you can set reminders for the tasks too.
  3. Make a priority list. The tasks should be prioritized depending upon the time a task will require and its usage during the surprise.
  4. Don’t leave things to the last minute. There will be some problem or the other at the last moment which will require your full attention so do not leave things for the eleventh hour. This will happen no matter how organized you are. I remember once I ordered a birthday cake for my husband and it was supposed to arrive in his absence but the bakery shop – The Riding Hood Bakery, Karachi – forgot to deliver it and the delivery guy and my husband came home at the same time, which kind of bombed the surprise.
  5. Ask a friend to help you in planning. He or she can help you run errands and can give ideas as well. If nothing else, they will appreciate your efforts for going through all the hassle to plan the surprise. And believe me, that makes a hell of a difference!
  6. Another important thing to remember is the timing of the surprise. Like mine got ruined because my husband was at home when the surprise arrived. So plan it according to the availability of the person you plan to surprise. If it is a delivery you want to make, do it when the person is not at home. This way you will be able to hide, pack, organize other things around your surprise. If it is a party, find out what is a more convenient time for the person and his or her friends.

For additional tips, you can check the below mentioned links:

http://www.wikihow.com/Plan-a-Surprise-Birthday-Party

http://www.sheknows.com/holidays-and-seasons/articles/811473/surprise-party-tips

But, please remember, do not forget to give the surprise gift or party your personal touch because no one else knows the person you are planning the surprise for more than you do. So, keep it original and you will rock.

3 Comments
  • Jahan Ara
    July 15, 2016

    Thanks for the tips. It will make a check list of How not to ruin my surprises in future.
    😀

  • Farah Hashmani
    August 11, 2016

    Enjoyed reading it 🙂 very useful tips

  • Najia
    August 31, 2016

    Dear Shafaq
    I think it’s important for you to assess your situation. Your personal sitaution finances and your availability to search for a job given your baby’s age and needs. Your professional status; what kind of jobs are available in the market and what kind of commitment can you put in. To be honest many companies are like this and push their employees to shove aside their lives and just go crazy making them profits. You have to draw the line. Lastly I would suggest that you asses your current and past work and maybe sit down with this mean boss to see where he thinks you aren’t doing so well, you might learn something new! All the best love!

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