Author Topic: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #113  (Read 24847 times)

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Sharnita

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Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #38
« Reply #60 on: October 10, 2012, 02:51:12 PM »
As far as etiquette I think that if you aren't comfortable helping with the surprise you aren't obligated to do so but you do not have the right to share your brother's information without his approval. SO it would be fine to refuse to actively help surprise people but I think it would be rude to leak confidential information.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2012, 03:02:00 PM by Sharnita »

O'Dell

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Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #38
« Reply #61 on: October 10, 2012, 02:51:58 PM »
I think it depends on family. In my family, the planned surprise visit wouldn't go over well. We aren't big on showing emotion and we like to be prepared. But your family sounds like they are okay with it. That he might not make it, tips the scales toward making it a surprise. Save your parents the disappointment if he doesn't get to come home.

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Outdoor Girl

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Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #38
« Reply #62 on: October 10, 2012, 02:52:47 PM »
I don't think the whole cliche argument applies in this case.  The OP and her brother are not co-opting any public event; the reunions will be at home with, presumably, no video uplinked to YouTube.

I can see Toots and WillyNilly's point that when these reunions are done publicly, it is forcing everyone to watch and be happy for them and be all Ra Ra for the military.  Which some people don't agree with.

Personally, I love watching videos of soldiers coming home and seeing them greeted by family/friends/pets/whoever.  Even if/when I don't agree with the action/war they are participating in.
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Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise?
« Reply #63 on: October 10, 2012, 02:55:05 PM »
I confess to a personal bias against these sorts of things.


And I'll also confess--the "soldier surprising his family" is just not new anymore. It's become a cliché. I was watching a video of such a surprise that was done at a football game, and I thought, I'd have been mildly annoyed.

It may be cliché to you, but luckily their families aren't going to think this way. Glad you don't work for USO or anything like that. Maybe you should drop the topic and walk away. FAR away.

Come on, is that really fair?  Toots already said she knew people weren't likely to agree with her (I don't) but she's still allowed to have an opinion.

My own opinion has to be fair to exist? I don't think so. My opinion deserves to exist as well as anyone else's does. You don't have to like it, but there it is.

I'm not entirely sure what you're trying to say here? Of course your opinion deserves to exist. I just thought you were pretty rude to tell her not to post in this thread just because you don't agree with her.  I don't agree with her either but was able to find a less combative way to express my opinion.

Less combative than stating an opinion she was sure people would hate? Have a long tall drink.

I didn't hate Toots' comment and I'm a person.

Adelaide

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Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #38
« Reply #64 on: October 10, 2012, 02:56:02 PM »
Because you or Toots don't get to decide for me or make decisions on behalf of my family. I would think that my family would know whether or not I want a potentially emotional event in a football stadium or on an isolated island.

Regardless, the world is not made up of emotionless automatons nor do we live in an emotionless vacuum. The correct and proper response if confronted with an emotional situation, whether happy or sad, is to do what my mom used to tell me: "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all."

Your first sentence is saying no one gets to make these decisions for you and your family... but don't you see if its done at a football game - unless it s solely a family game - thats your family deciding for others that they should witness the home coming?  If others don't get to decide for you, then you don't get to decide for others. 

But really I think we are all getting off track, as OP was talking about bringing her brother home and to their grandparent's private home; nothing public.

They might also witness a couple having an argument, a kid having a temper tantrum, somebody protesting outside the entrance of the venue. an intoxicated fan, etc.  I think the reality is that you incur at least some risk when you choose to attend.

The difference with an elaborate homecoming is that it can stop the entire event in its tracks, be it a football game that is put on hold, a family reunion that everyone is "required" to wait for/hold off on/pause during, or something else where the homecoming takes priority and people are expected to stand up/clap/cheer/put off the main event. (Of course, some people might reconnect at a football game without prior instruction to the announcers that there needed to be a pause in the actual game, in which case it would be a situation where no one was inconvenienced.)

In my case, we're just talking about a handful of family members...who would be doing what they were planning on doing anyway, so I don't have to worry about that aspect of holding things up.

Wordgeek

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Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #38
« Reply #65 on: October 10, 2012, 03:01:10 PM »
All righty then, Zoltar's taking a little break.  Everyone else, carry on.  Stay on topic.

gorplady

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Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #38
« Reply #66 on: October 10, 2012, 03:28:09 PM »
I think that we used to welcome veterans home with citywide parades and honor the fallen veterans with solemn ceremonies. Now we are mildly annoyed or worry about the disruption.

I think that bringing your brother home alive as a surprise gift (I like Outdoor Girl's suggestion!) would be the best gift you both could give your parents and worth *any* minor inconvenience.

lowspark

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Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise?
« Reply #67 on: October 10, 2012, 03:31:17 PM »
Some things are cliché for good reason! Bending down on one knee for a proposal is a cliché, but it is still very popular with those on the receiving end of it! :P

I can see how someone who hates surprises would be more pleased to know in advance, so it's definitely important to consider whether your family is made up of surprise lovers or haters, OP!

Lowspark, when I said "unpleasant things" I was referring to Adelaide's comment about it being unpleasantly shocking, not saying that wanting advance notice = unpleasant! I'm sorry if it came out that way!

Don't worry, Cat-Fu, I didn't take it that way. I just wanted to avoid anyone thinking that I might somehow have any unpleasant thoughts about my son's homecoming simply because it was done in a way I wasn't happy about. Your comments just made me realize that my post could be misinterpreted to be saying that I'd somehow be mad or unhappy at the moment, when in fact, I'd be thrilled to see him. I just wanted to emphasize that it's the surprise part that I, personally, wouldn't be happy with.

Cat-Fu

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Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #38
« Reply #68 on: October 10, 2012, 03:34:07 PM »
I feel the way I do about this because *I* was once the family that was surprised. My cousin came home for the week around Christmas after being in Iraq for nearly a year, and it was a bit of a surprise for his immediate family, as well. They had a private little homecoming when he showed up at their front door, had a night to themselves, then came to the huge extended family Christmas celebrations. We are a very close huggy-kissy-lovey family (all 44 of us, lol!) so it was an amazing and wonderful surprise with lots of tears and blubbering and all sorts of embarassing touchy-feely feelings. I hate to sound morbid, but a lot of us were afraid that his homecoming was going to be in a coffin. (He's a fireman now, btw! Loads safer... ::))

Anyway, the point of that story is that it can be a wonderful thing with the right people. If someone in the family is likely to be upset due to a dislike for surprises or feeling like WillyNilly does about soldiers, then it may not work out for the best. Only you know how the interpersonal relationships in your family work, Adelaide. I hope everything works out and you get to see your brother either way!!
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audrey1962

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Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #38
« Reply #69 on: October 10, 2012, 03:34:39 PM »
When my sister was in the Marines she was told she would be getting leave and it was cancelled at the last minute. Our mother was extremely upset and disappointed. I think it would have been better if sis had suprised her than for my mother to have gotten all excited and planned all sorts of things only to have it cancelled. Mom had to call all the relatives and give them the disappointing news. Who wants to do that?

I think the surprise idea is fabulous and you should do it.

Sharnita

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Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #38
« Reply #70 on: October 10, 2012, 03:37:17 PM »
I think in this case you it is important to consider the feeling of the person being surprised but also the person doing the surprising.    Somebody coming home from a deployment has emotional needs as well and having everybody know and count on their arrival might feel like too much pressure, counting your chickens, who knows. 

Outdoor Girl

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Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #38
« Reply #71 on: October 10, 2012, 03:38:38 PM »
(He's a fireman now, btw! Loads safer... ::))
Cat-Fu, this made me laugh.  Adrenaline junkies, the lot of them.   :)
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Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #38
« Reply #72 on: October 10, 2012, 03:39:39 PM »
Anyway, the point of that story is that it can be a wonderful thing with the right people. If someone in the family is likely to be upset due to a dislike for surprises or feeling like WillyNilly does about soldiers, then it may not work out for the best. Only you know how the interpersonal relationships in your family work, Adelaide. I hope everything works out and you get to see your brother either way!!

I'm missing where I said how I felt about soldiers?  I just don't like that there seems to be only one socially acceptable way to react to soldiers and specifically their public coming home surprises, in the US.

I do know my family however doesn't do well with last minute major plans changes and that for my family the holidays are a very busy time where people often wont have a free hour let alone the ability to clear time to catch up or visit with an unexpected guest, no matter how happy to see that guest.

Sharnita

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Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #38
« Reply #73 on: October 10, 2012, 03:41:32 PM »
Anyway, the point of that story is that it can be a wonderful thing with the right people. If someone in the family is likely to be upset due to a dislike for surprises or feeling like WillyNilly does about soldiers, then it may not work out for the best. Only you know how the interpersonal relationships in your family work, Adelaide. I hope everything works out and you get to see your brother either way!!

I'm missing where I said how I felt about soldiers?  I just don't like that there seems to be only one socially acceptable way to react to soldiers and specifically their public coming home surprises, in the US.

I do know my family however doesn't do well with last minute major plans changes and that for my family the holidays are a very busy time where people often wont have a free hour let alone the ability to clear time to catch up or visit with an unexpected guest, no matter how happy to see that guest.

It seems unlikely that a member of your family would come up with a plan like the OP describes in that case.

lowspark

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Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #38
« Reply #74 on: October 10, 2012, 03:43:13 PM »
I also wanted to reply to the couple of posters commented on my reflection about making (and potentially having to cancel) plans based on not knowing he was coming home.

I'm not saying that people wouldn't be understanding if I canceled plans because of it. Or that I wouldn't drop everything willingly in order to spend time with him. Again, it's just my own preference. If at all possible, I'd rather not have made the plans in the first place. Sometimes it might just be about inconveniencing people, or it might actually be a matter of money spent.

Again, no matter what it is, of course, I'd do whatever I needed to do to spend the precious time with him. But if that is at all avoidable, well, I'd just rather avoid it.

Based on the OP's update, I really do have to wonder if her mother is going to be ok with this as a surprise. At this point, I would keep mum since as the OP said, it's not a sure thing yet. But really, when it does become a sure thing, it will probably be good to really evaluate how your mother might feel about this.

I do agree that if your brother insists it should be a surprise, you should not go against that. Just that in my opinion and in my experience, this is a surprise that should be engaged in unless you and your brother are pretty confident that everyone will really be ok with it, and maybe most especially your mother.




I was going to be #6 (I think) with 'no'. I would hate it.

I love the anticipation as much as the event itself, and onetime someone wasn't coming home for Christmas, I spent the entire month crying at every mention of Christmas (I'll Be Home for Christmas was the worst song ever.) At that time, I had no one else to think about, like my other children and grandchildren, so that would have made a difference. If I had thought there was over a 50/50 chance he'd be there, I would want to know.

As soon as he gets on the plane, I would want to know especially.

The surprise is a surprise at anytime. We were just as surpised that we were getting twin granddaughters early on as we would have been showing up at the hospital. We were just a surprised that we were getting 25th and 40th anniversary parties in the planning stages as we would have been showing up for dinner somewhere.

Regarding the bolded above, I so agree with this!! Yes, exactly.