Friday, June 02, 2006


I just got back from a surprise birthday party for my sister. She just turned 40, and 50+ of her closest friends showed up and celebrated with her. I wonder about why surprise parties are so popular. Is it that they take extra work, so the birthday person feels more special, due to all the secret collaborations and machinations? Do the party-givers like them more than the receivers, because it is fun to fool somebody, and even more fun when it is dozens or scores of people in on the joke? Or do we just appreciate the sheer delight of being surprised? Is it fun to be taken out of the usual rhythm of our lives?

I would probably be kicked out of the ministers' group, if I didn't point out how surprise parties are like our interdependent web of existence: a huge net of people around us, supporting us and appreciating us, even when we do not know they are out there. Surprise!

It was good to see the delight on her face.


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