posted at 9/9/2011 5:52 PM EDT
I have often wondered what makes surprises pleasurable to people?
2 examples I can think of are wedding proposals (instead of a frank discussion e.g. "honey, you think its worthwhile if we got married?", there has to be mystery and perceived romance), and surprise parties [birthday/anniversary etc] (as opposed to neatly arranged ones). Both of which I find pretty ridiculous. Why can't people just be logical?
Now, I will freely admit that unexpected pleasures are fantastic (and you can let your own imagination run free there), but large surprises? Count me out.
Maybe its because of my shy nature that I detest being center of attention, but equally I detest being part of a surprise party even when I am not the recipient (indeed I spend most of the preparations feeling sorry for them).
That said, from a psychological point of view, people also love horror movies and the surprises they throw at you.
Is humanities' love of surprises to do with forcing people out of the drudgery of everyday life, reminding them that they are not in control?
posted at 9/10/2011 2:11 PM EDT
I can't answer your question - I hate surprises. Big, small, whatever. My DH slipped last Summer and let me in on my Christmas present, and I enjoyed opening it much more actually knowing what it was ahead of time. I also found the empty ring box that obviously had contained my engagement ring. DH knew I had, but I didn't know he knew. I think he purposefully "accidently" left it somewhere I'd find it so his proposal wouldn't be a total
surprise. It wouldn't have been, anyway, though. Not only was our relationship obviously going that way, he asked my ring size "out of the blue" and what my favorite jewelry metal is. It wasn't hard to surmise what was going on, and I had 3 months before he proposed after I found the box to say, "Um, what are you doing?" if I weren't on board. Passive? Yes. But, a romantic way to avoid a total surpise, I think.
ETA: By the way, I actually WAS surprised he picked Christmas morning to do it so even with all I knew...