The unexpected hits you between the eyes

Variety may be the spice of life, but a sprinkle of spontaneity is even better.

I adore surprises, love them in fact. And unexpected pleasures can give your day an instantaneous glow.

Few things beat being handed a beautifully wrapped present and having no idea what’s inside.

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Even if it doesn’t live up to expectations, that temporary thrill is exhilarating enough.

On special occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries and Mother’s Day, I love being taken out for a mystery meal with no idea where I’m going. It adds to the excitement of the occasion.

So imagine my surprise (hah!) on discovering there are some people who don’t like surprises at all, in fact, go as far as to say they hate them.

I’m married to one as Hubby admits he likes to know what he’s doing, where he’s going and what to expect.

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He’s a planner while I like to fly by the seat of my pants, but surprisingly, this makes a great combination as I inject the fun ideas into our lives while he works out the nitty gritty.

The thing that surprised me was learning the majority of women detest surprises.

A recent survey has revealed 60 per cent of women have confessed they hate surprises, with a third admitting they would be annoyed if their partner sprang a holiday on them or whisked them for a weekend away.

Are these women for real? Are they deranged?

What is there not to like about a surprise mini break or romantic gesture? How miserable are the women they questioned?

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Apparently, the biggest reason these women hate surprise holidays is the fact they wouldn’t have time to get themselves plucked, waxed, preened and generally de-fuzzed.

How hairy are these women? And what do they do – go around looking like a woolly mammoth the rest of the year?

It only takes minutes with a razor in the shower to de-hair yourself and it’s a small price to pay when the trade off is a relaxing break.

The research also showed the average woman wants at least seven days’ notice before a trip away so she can plan her outfits.

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The one aspect about surprise trips I do agree with these women is having your partner pack your case for you is a definite no-no. It would definitely take the fun out of things.

I certainly wouldn’t trust Keith to pack for me. Not only would he be ruthless and pack a fraction of the things I would, he’d pack practical items, not stylish ones.

I’m pretty sure I’d end up with hiking boots for footwear rather than heels, and I shudder to think of the colour clashing combinations.

A much better idea is to give your partner the heads-up that you’ll be taking them “somewhere”, but not tell them where and give them vague guidance on the type of things they need to pack.

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Or if a fella really wants to surprise his other half, get one of her friends to pack her stuff. At least she’ll have better fashion sense.

My love for surprises extends to all areas of life … including life.

When I was pregnant with our twins, countless people asked us if we would be finding out what we were having, but I was adamant from the start that I wanted a double surprise on the day.

It’s one of nature’s few surprises, and can people really not wait nine months to find out the sex of their child?

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Personally, I think it makes the day of birth far more momentous and exciting when you don’t know the sex of the little person (or in our case little people) that you’re going to meet for the first time.

Funnily enough, given he doesn’t actually like surprises, I organised a surprise party for Hubby’s 30th and he was definitely surprised.

He actually really enjoyed it, as I tracked down friends he hadn’t seen for years. However, he did eye me suspiciously for a few months afterwards.

For those who criticise surprises by saying they take the consent out of things and remove the option of saying “No”, I say: “Let your hair down and stop being such a control freak.”

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Unless it’s a surprise of the “I’ve been cheating on you with a topless weathergirl” variety, how can you hate surprises?

However, I do agree the person throwing the surprise has to know you well enough for it to work.

Surprises, however, shouldn’t be confused with shocks. They are nasty and I definitely don’t like being startled by them.

Experts say the human brain is wired to enjoy new experiences and that surprises intensify our emotions.

Life would be boring if we all knew exactly what was around the corner. Where’s the fun in that?