The day of Megan’s Surprise Dilemma.

Megan claims she doesn’t like surprises. She prefers to be involved. She bought her own engagement ring — I didn’t even get to see it first. (That’s another tale and shall be told another time.) However, when you ask her detailed questions, she vacillates. Some surprises are good. Some are bad. What’s the pattern? Where’s the line?

It’s impossible for a loving husband to guess.

It just so happens there may or may not be a surprise for Megan on our anniversary: June 7th.

Sporadic readers may think bringing up the possibility means there is a surprise. Close friends understand my love for games and riddles. The whole thing could be an elaborate ruse. Why? What’s the point of such tomfoolery?

When your wife doesn’t like surprises, there’s a lot of husbandly things you either won’t do, or second-guess. Second-guessing is hell when you’re trying to be nice. What if I want to throw her a surprise party? Or an expensive gift? How should I interpret her ambivalence when trying to be sweet? Is it better to involve her or surprise her? You can’t ask, “Would you like a surprise X for your Y?” It tips your hand. Worse, you could ask innocently only to have her assume that’s actually the surprise. She could lie. “Oh I would love that!” Because she thinks you already did it.

I’ve created a little gambit that will settle her preference once and for all.

Here are the rules:

  1. There MAY or MAY NOT be a moderate surprise for Megan in my laptop bag. It may be a ruse to discover her preference.
  2. IF there is, I will not move or hide it.
  3. IF there’s something in my bag for her, she is welcome to go fetch it at any time. Or discover there’s nothing.
  4. IF SHE CHECKS, I have promised to reveal everything about our anniversary. That could mean:
    • I will confess that I have nothing planned. But I can ask her what she would like and do/buy it together. That is the value of the exercise if there’s no surprise.
    • I have something planned, and will spoil all the details. Any possible surprise will be ruined.
  5. Neither potential surprise has any effect on the other: There may be nothing in my laptop bag but a huge anniversary gift planned. The reverse may be true. There may be no surprises or two surprises.

Her current wager is that yes, there is a surprise for our anniversary. She has not guessed whether the laptop bag holds anything of value.

Worst of all, I revealed the gambit last night, when I didn’t have my laptop bag. Megan’s had 24 hours to consider without being able to act. I’m a mean, mean man.

Her dilemma creates 8 possible outcomes. Which surprise do you think is real? What do you predict she’ll decide?

What's your prediction?

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