Secrets Revealed

J. turns 35 in May, and that is a milestone birthday (in my view). So I decided to give him his dream vacation. Unbeknownst to him, in early December I purchased airplane tickets, a hotel room, and center-theatre 8th row seats for Mary Poppins . . . in London.

Since then I’ve been a mistress of mis-direction and outright lies.

Oh, I laid a clever path. In January I “confessed” that I was going to take him on a trip for his birthday — to DC. That covered the need for a week’s worth of packing, taking time from work, and prevented him from making any other plans during that time.  I’ve held simultaneous conversations with his parents, in one email telling them how nice it would be if they joined us in DC; in another, telling them the true plans for the trip. We talked about seeing the symphony and going out of town to visit various Civil War sites.

I was a clever girl.

But I can’t keep a secret. Lying is intrinsically foreign to my nature. Last night over dinner, I broke. I just couldn’t keep it in, and he spotted the glow. He guessed I was keeping a secret, and he even let me off the hook to tell him what it was. But the words just popped out before I could dissemble or prevaricate.

“Would you mind if we didn’t go to DC for your birthday?”

“Of course not. We’d have to tell my parents.”

“They already know. Because you’ll be spending that week in London. I hope that is ok?”

He just looked at me. For a long moment I almost started to worry that I’d done this wrong. That somehow I had really misunderstood. “I’ve gone too far” I thought.

His smile was what I needed to see right then, and I got it. He was, he told me later, really sorry he’d made me worry, but I’d just given him his dream and he couldn’t quite believe it.

It was a good thing we were finished with dinner because he wanted to get right home (our other plans were no longer interesting). He had planning to do!

And I am downright smug. Oh, I wish I could have held to my plan to keep it a secret for another 2 months, until we got to the airport to pick up the rental car and instead went to the international terminal. That would have been a perfect surprise, and a fantastic story.

But this way he gets to plan and dream and revel in the happiness for a few extra months.

I win. 🙂

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