Author Topic: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #113  (Read 24041 times)

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Cat-Fu

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Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #38
« Reply #75 on: October 10, 2012, 03:56:35 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.


You said you'd have to fake feelings you didn't have or feel like you risk ostracism; those are the feelings I was referring to. I don't think it would be a nice surprise homecoming if some of the people involved had to fake it due to social pressure.
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WillyNilly

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Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #38
« Reply #76 on: October 10, 2012, 04:02:14 PM »
Someone up thread mentioned announcing his home coming once he boards his plane home.  I think if he has any doubts about the surprise going over well, that's a great compromise.  Its still a last minute surprise, but the family has a few hours to anticipate and plan for his arrival.

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.


You said you'd have to fake feelings you didn't have or feel like you risk ostracism; those are the feelings I was referring to. I don't think it would be a nice surprise homecoming if some of the people involved had to fake it due to social pressure.

That was specifically about bearing witness to a public homecoming.  It has more to do with soldier jacking and how people are "supposed to" respond to such displays then about my feelings towards people in the service.  Because I do think if someone at a football game rolled their eyes and "yeah yeah enough we get it he's home, shouldn't they have done this whole huggy bit at home privately? Lets get on with the game already, I really don't are about that dude and his kids" they would be at serious physical risk because that's just.not.done.  One would have to fake being happy for them and clapping and whatnot just to not worry about repercussions.

Sharnita

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Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #38
« Reply #77 on: October 10, 2012, 04:07:56 PM »
I think there is probably a lot of space between clapping and voicing complaints.

NyaChan

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Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #38
« Reply #78 on: October 10, 2012, 04:13:50 PM »
I can see where WillyNilly is coming from - I tend to get irritated when people bring their personal lives into the public sphere regardless of the subject matter.  To me it is like you are using a stadium full of people as your props to make your gesture bigger.  It sometimes feels like people are showing off - I mean why not just do the surprise in a more private place?  If I'm going to a game, I'm going to have a fun or relaxing night out to watch a game - I didn't agree to be a participant in a stranger's life changing event of proposing, announcing their pregnancy, or in this case, a homecoming.  But I think a scenario with strangers is very different than a large group of people who know each other and are affected by the event being together at the big reveal moment as would be the case for Adelaide.  For her situation, I think it would be a sweet moment if she feels her parents would like it.

gorplady

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Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #38
« Reply #79 on: October 10, 2012, 04:20:19 PM »
I seriously doubt, WillyNilly, that if you sat quietly and didn't applaud during the homecoming that you would be at serious risk.

Here's a personal example: I don't say the Pledge of Allegiance. I don't say it for personal reasons. I stand with my hands clasped behind my back and am silent while it's being said. I have never, ever been questioned on why. Ever. In small gatherings or large gatherings. Why? Because I'm respectful.

I think it's clear, WillyNilly (and Toots, who started this) that you don't think you should have to witness a soldier's homecoming because it mildly inconveniences you to have to deal with an emotional scene. I find that lack of respect to someone who put their life on the line for you to be able to even have the opinion on whether or not you have to deal with an emotional scene appalling.

I'm no Marine, in fact, I'm a pacifist, but I understand respect for others and joy in their safe return, regardless of if I know them or the family involved.

Sharnita

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Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #38
« Reply #80 on: October 10, 2012, 04:24:44 PM »
Honestly, I think tv has made people think the big public thing is a lot more common than it is.  Between the football games, baseball games,  basketball games, plays and concerts my family and friends have attended in the past few years nobody has seen one of these events where everybody is expected to watch and cheer.  If it happened on a smaller scale in public it was so small and localized that nobody outside the immediate are noticed.  I think that the rare cases it does happen it gets so much coverage that people are left with the impression that it is the norm for a surprise homecoming.

ETA: I think the same it probably true of proposals.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2012, 04:26:31 PM by Sharnita »

cass2591

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Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #38
« Reply #81 on: October 10, 2012, 04:40:20 PM »
Wordgeek asked that the discussion stay on topic, and I don't think arguing over whether or not a soldier's public homecoming (IE a football game) is appropriate is staying on topic. Especially since the OP specifically said her brother's surprise would be a private affair.

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cass2591

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Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #38
« Reply #82 on: October 10, 2012, 05:02:00 PM »
ETA: Sorry Cass I hadn't seen your post when I clicked


When I hit post and someone has posted in the thread in which I'm trying to add my pearls of wisdom, I get a red notification telling me someone else has posted. I always read it. I suggest you do the same because it might be a worthwhile post.

Meanwhile, I deleted yours as you should have done, since you added an ETA and saw my warning. You obviously knew you were overstepping.
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Cat-Fu

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Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #38
« Reply #83 on: October 10, 2012, 05:04:32 PM »
I'm sorry that my misinterpretation set the thread off-track all over again!
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Jones

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Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #38
« Reply #84 on: October 10, 2012, 05:16:37 PM »
OP, if it helps, I am one of those people who loathes surprises. I like to plan everything. I won't go into detail on past surprises that flopped.

My SIL lives with me right now, as my brother is in Afghanistan. There is no way he will be home for Christmas, but if he were to surprise us with a holiday visit I would be thrilled. Out and out thrilled. We'd have to peel some more potatoes and put out another plate, but I'd adjust, and do so happily. I'd probably put together a gift quickly, even if it was some online music account prepaid, printed off and tucked into an extra Christmas card. I guarantee he'd receive quickly drawn and sealed with a kiss pictures from my daughter. In short, we'd make do and be happy to.

However, if he told us he was coming, then we made plans for him and ended up having to ditch the plans closer to the date, the disappointment would be bitter.

PurpleFrog

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Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #38
« Reply #85 on: October 10, 2012, 05:23:57 PM »
OP, if it helps, I am one of those people who loathes surprises. I like to plan everything. I won't go into detail on past surprises that flopped.

My SIL lives with me right now, as my brother is in Afghanistan. There is no way he will be home for Christmas, but if he were to surprise us with a holiday visit I would be thrilled. Out and out thrilled. We'd have to peel some more potatoes and put out another plate, but I'd adjust, and do so happily. I'd probably put together a gift quickly, even if it was some online music account prepaid, printed off and tucked into an extra Christmas card. I guarantee he'd receive quickly drawn and sealed with a kiss pictures from my daughter. In short, we'd make do and be happy to.

However, if he told us he was coming, then we made plans for him and ended up having to ditch the plans closer to the date, the disappointment would be bitter.


I think you've summed it up perfectly there, plus the pp who pouned out the pressure for the military personnel returning. The surprise element helps avoid pressure, disappointment and AMke the best gift ever.
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pharmagal

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Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #38
« Reply #86 on: October 10, 2012, 06:11:28 PM »
My personal opinion is worth what you're about to pay, however, I think your brother has a wonderful idea.  I'd be thrilled if my family member turned up unexpectedly for a special occasion.  Especially if they had been serving overseas and there was always the worry in the back of my mind that something might happen.  Plus, your brother probably doesn't get many moments where he can be spontaneous (even if this is planned) I can only imagine this means a great deal to him. 

I say aid and abet him as much as you can.

I had to ruin my brothers surprise visit back home a few years ago.  The weekend he was coming in, my parents were moving house and towns.  There were all sorts of logisitical nightmares and since we were at least 2 hours from the airport there was no sneaking away for coffee or anything.

thunderroad

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Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #38
« Reply #87 on: October 10, 2012, 10:52:32 PM »
OP, I think it is a wonderful idea, and I hope we all get the joy of hearing what a wonderful Chrisrmas you all had.

My son is a civilian who works for the military and has been overseas for I think 3  of the last 5 holiday seasons.  He is not serving in harm's way as are many of our active duty military, so I don't worry about his safety the way other families do, but still, he is away from us and is away again this year.

If he arranged a surprise trip home on Christmas I would near faint with shock, I would cry, and I would be so happy to have my son with me that I would be beside myself.  It would be the best Christmas ever.

I can only imagine the relief and gratitude of a mother who worries every day about her child's safety during wartime, only to have him safe and sound in front of her. 

It sounds wonderful. 

TamJamB

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Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #38
« Reply #88 on: October 11, 2012, 07:33:56 AM »
I've been on all sides of this - I've been the kid coming home as a surprise, and I've been the parent whose kid came home as a surprise. My husband has also came home early from a deployment and surprised me.

And, military service being what it is, in all of the above situations I've had planned surprises cancelled at the last minute. 

Cliches become cliches for a reason. The cliche of the service person making a surprise visit home because "last minute" is so often how the military works. When my husband came home early that time he had three days notice it was going to happen. My son has been deployed over three holiday seasons. All three times, he made plans to come home as a surprise; he only actually made it home once. I planned to fly home and surprise a good friend at his wedding - at the last minute, my leave got pulled and I couldn't go...

Having your brother come home and surprise them won't ruin your parents' holiday, even if they don't particularly enjoy surprises. Knowing he is planning to come home, then having those plans cancelled at the last minute just might. I'd stuck to the surprise plan if I were you.



MariaE

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Re: How would you feel about this Christmas surprise? Update #38
« Reply #89 on: October 11, 2012, 08:36:23 AM »
Having your brother come home and surprise them won't ruin your parents' holiday, even if they don't particularly enjoy surprises. Knowing he is planning to come home, then having those plans cancelled at the last minute just might. I'd stuck to the surprise plan if I were you.

This is where I'm at as well. I would much, much, much rather not have the chance to look forward to something and then be surprised by it happening anyway, than look forward to something (for several months even) and then be disappointed by it being cancelled.
 
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