This week I’m choosing Prompt 5: Who blind-sided you? Write about a time someone caught you totally off guard. (writingfix.com).
First of all, you should know that I am extremely easy to fool. Gullible is my middle name. (And if you believe that, you’re even worse than me.) I’m trusting and guileless and sometimes just plain dumb. To illustrate these points, allow me to tell you how my mother-in-law and Mr. Jenners managed to blindside me not once but two times!
The first time was when Mr. Jenners and I were engaged, and my mother-in-law took it upon herself to plan a bridal shower for me. (My own family lived far away and weren’t in a position to do it. It just never occurred to me that my sweet mother-in-law-to-be would consider throwing me a bridal shower. After all, I was “damaged goods,” having been married previously). I was told that we were going to a surprise anniversary party for Mr. Jenners’s aunt and uncle, which was to be held at his parent’s house. When we walked in the door, everyone yelled “Surprise!” Not even considering it was a surprise for me, I said “Oh … that’s good. They’re going to be really surprised when they arrive. Good job, guys!”
I was confused when everyone started laughing. My mother-in-law pointed out the decorations, the pile of gifts, the living room filled with the female relatives of the family, including some of my own friends. Finally, I understood that I had been fooled and that this was a bridal shower for me. Everyone got such a kick out of my reaction that they talked about it (seemingly) non-stop for the entire shower.
Flash forward a few years later…
I’m pregnant with the Little One, and I’m just waiting for some cockamamie story about a “party” we have to attend. I’m on the lookout this time. No way I’m going to be fooled twice. I’m fully prepared for and expecting a baby shower. I’m so obnoxious about it that finally everyone just says “Enough already. You got us. It is on this date.”
I’m a bit smug on the way up to my in-law’s house. I’ve been living with the jokes about the bridal shower for three years now. I’m ready to show how smart I am. We arrive at the house. They aren’t even hiding it this time; there are balloons with storks attached to the mailbox.
I make my grand entrance and say to the whole room (which is filled with the same people who attended the bridal shower): “Well, you didn’t get me this time!!!!! I figured it out, and you couldn’t surprise me!”
I grin at everyone sitting in the living room. They all start laughing and laughing.
I’m confused. “Why are they laughing like they pulled another one over on me?” I wonder. “Is this NOT actually my baby shower?”
It is then that I hear a distinctive laugh that is unlike anyone else’s laugh in the world. It is my mother’s laugh. But how could that be possible? My mother is out in Montana … or is she?
In fact, she is in the living room, along with my grandmother. I’ve been looking at her but without seeing her for a good minute or so. She has flown in to surprise me for the baby shower (and just two months before her “official” scheduled visit for when the baby arrives). I’m in shock … I had NO IDEA she was coming. (This is how I justify the fact that I didn’t notice my own mother or grandmother in the room. I would make a terrible witness for a crime. Please don’t get murdered with me around!! I’d never be able to help out the police.)
I gape at Mr. Jenners. “Did you know about this?” I say. “Of course,” he gloats. “We’ve all been planning it for weeks. Why do you think I worked so hard to get the guest room done this past week? And you were so proud of yourself that you’d figured out the shower date, but we GOT YOU AGAIN!”
Needless to say, everyone had a great time at my expense. And I’ve given up trying to figure things out. I figure that ignorance is bliss. Why not just go with the flow?
Ready to buy some swamp land in Jersey,