It seems that in our current world, with its constant barrage of information and real-time update on all that’s important (or not), I’ve noticed there are fewer and fewer surprises in life. Now maybe that cuts both ways. If, for instance, you’re snowboarding in Megeve – never been, never snowboarded – and your pipes burst at your home back in Minneapolis, you might get a text from the alarm company alerting you to the situation. Maybe that’s a good surprise insofar as at least you have a couple days to prepare for a house with burst pipes and at least you’re in Megeve. Alternatively, maybe you (or me) keep getting peppered with texts, emails and phone calls, saying school is cancelled tomorrow due to the chilly weather. That one is a less good surprise insofar as you can see the movie “Frozen” only so many times.
So it was last Sunday night while watching the Grammys that I learned school was cancelled the next day. It was also cancelled Tuesday but by then the surprise factor had diminished. The no-school surprised was temporarily gazumped by Pink, the female pop star performing at the Grammys, descending gyroscope-like from the heavens, severely underdressed, all while clutching a long, gauzy piece of pastel fabric. If the Olympics added the Rhythmic Gymnastics/Moguls/Synchronized Swimming event she’s a sure thing.
But the biggest surprise of that night was my decision (not Wendy’s), against writing a card to Emmett for his birthday, which was the next day, the one with no school. I figured the card would be overlooked in all the messiness of unwrapping all things Messi and so why bother? It was a decision seemingly anathema to everything Brown Ink stands for but it also seemed like the right decision at the time.
Thankfully, the Minnesota Orchestra – in a surprise – won a Grammy and thankfully we decided to write Em a birthday card even if it did get tossed in the bin after a perfunctory reading. But Lorde, Lorde, if he didn’t read the whole birthday card and it appeared, at least to Wendy and me, to register in his newly eight year-old brain that this was special and that this was a note with purpose. Well, shiiiii-take mushrooms, that was a – really, really nice – surprise.
The learning from this? Metallica and Lang Lang should tour together, Osmo Vanska should return to the Minnesota Orchestra, and perhaps you should make an effort to write a little more to others, regardless of what you expect the receiver’s reaction to be. You may be surprised.
By the way, Brown Ink Paper Goods will be one of the participants at next weekends unique market in South Minneapolis…
Hope to see you all there at Mille! Perfect time to find something for your sweetheart.