Don’t call us, we’ll call you

November 16, 2012

Neal’s surprise . . . shhh, don’t tell!

I love surprises! Have I mentioned that before? Although I’ve loved surprises since childhood (my mom could literally leave an unwrapped present in a drawer and tell me not to look and I would wait, and wait, and wait so that I didn’t spoil the surprise!), the older I get the more I realize that one reason I like them so much is because they bring a certain adrenaline rush with them. If I want to do something for someone, but just the thought of it feels exhausting, I start to tell myself (unconsciously) what a fun surprise it will be! They will be so surprised! It will be awesome . . . and surprising! Pretty soon I’m getting a little adrenaline kick and making something (sometimes ill-advised) happen (adrenaline is definitely a double-edged sword).

Neal and surprises? Not so much. It’s not that he hates them; it’s just that he would rather break his own arm than be thrust into a “surprise,” of almost any kind. Still, even before I dropped him at LAX this morning for a six-day trip, I was plotting, What could I do to surprise him upon his return? Because me and surprises, we’re unstoppable. He’s getting used to it, and working on not breaking his own arm.

But then I hit on it! One of the biggest and best surprises I could possibly give him! I resolved right then and there to get rid of these:

If you think I’m being hyperbolic about this being the best surprise ever, then you don’t know how obsessed Neal is with excising all of my sentimental clutter. These have been hanging out on the floor of our bedroom, under my watchful eye and Neal’s annoyed feet, ever since Addison went all shot-glass deathmatch on the rest of my collection. He’s begged and pleaded for me to let them go. He’s threatened to never move into a tiny house with me if these are still around. What can I say? Sometimes you just want to hang on to some of the last remnants of that adventurous twentysomething you used to be. The one that road-tripped all over the continental United States, hitting virtually every major city at least once, sometimes with people she only met online about 12 hours earlier (yeah, my parents weren’t crazy about that one either).

In my head, these glasses would make a perfect little tea party set for Addison. In reality, of course, she would eventually sever an artery (hers or someone else’s) as well as someday ask what green plant was “smokin'” in San Francisco and why everyone was so “cheer”ful in Boston.

So I’m taking a picture, memorializing them on ye olde blog, and cutting them loose.* Thanks for the good (non-alcoholic) times!

* I got this idea from the book Unclutter Your Life in One Week, which despite NOT uncluttering my life in one week (Neal said I needed to be more participatory) is full of good ideas for organizing life.



  1. A couple random thoughts. First one- I can’t believe you were that patient. I mean I love surprises, but my curiosity always out did my patience. And secondly- LOL- you surprising me for my 17th birthday. Remember that one? We were driving home from our awesome job at Alliance and you were making that funny smiley face saying you need to use the restroom, and when I asked what was so funny you said, “I just really need to pee.”

    Last one- GOOD JOB!! Get rid of the clutter. I dream of a house with nothing but the bare minimum. However, Will thinks some things are necessary- for example one that has been bothering me for several years- the coffee table, and the ten billion baby blankets, toys, and kids- just kidding on that one.

    Comment by Ish Clayton — November 16, 2012 @ 3:09 am

    • Keep the kids. Even the disobedient ones are very entertaining! (At least from 4 states away.)

      I need more info about this 17th birthday party — my memory has deteriorated so much! It does sound like something I would say, and I know just what ridiculous grin you’re talking about, but I’m still drawing a blank???

      Comment by llcall — November 16, 2012 @ 3:59 am

      • Dawnielle drove their monster car and had it parked down the street so it wouldn’t tip off anything, and I even commented, “Look there’s Dawnielle’s car. She must be hanging out with the Evan’s (that family who would buy booze for their kids binge parties). I totally was joking, thinking someone else had a car like Dawnielle- i was so clueless to, well, everything. And you gave me the awesome R2-D2 key chain. Oh and I came walking into the house- right past EVERYONE sitting at the dining room table and didn’t see them. My mom had asked you to contact all my friends, and you weren’t sure who to invite. I think we may have gone to a dance afterwards. Is any of this helping?

        Comment by Ish Clayton — November 18, 2012 @ 3:42 pm

      • Okay,yeah. Now it’s coming back to me — especially your cluelessness 😉

        Comment by llcall — November 18, 2012 @ 8:02 pm

  2. Yes, pat on the back for you! I’m thinking of the wonderful surprise(s) I got from you last Christmas. Thanks again!

    Comment by Victoria — November 17, 2012 @ 4:50 am

    • That was so fun! I loved that! But I can’t remember if I ever sent you the 12th day of Christmas or not…

      Comment by llcall — November 17, 2012 @ 5:08 am

  3. Good for you!! But it takes me years to declutter. I am fearful that if I get rid of that clutter then there goes the memories.

    Comment by Rachel Wessel Crabtree — November 19, 2012 @ 9:40 pm

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