Do you know what the four most infuriating words in the entire English lexicon are? Prepare yourself, because here they are: I have a secret.
To me, these words are the cue to flip the heck out and start nagging the secret-keeper until he or she quite literally cannot stand it anymore. I kid you not, if you tell me that you have a secret I lose all compunction about treating you like a human being and will hound you relentlessly until you either check yourself into the safety of a mental health hospital or divulge your secret.
It’s not that I hate secrets entirely. I am fond of keeping secrets, especially in regards to gifts, and am probably the safest person in the world to tell a secret to because I take that responsibility seriously. The secrets themselves do not bother me.
The witholding of information, or keeping of secrets that I am excluded from, does. It seriously grinds my gears, because it’s like a tiny little box that I can’t open. I know it’s there, I can guess what it is until I’m blue in the face, and yet nothing will change the fact that I am barred entrance, shut out, excluded, out of luck, wearing galoshes to a summer picnic, and in posession of a million forks when all I need is a knife, all at once.
Wes once tried to plan a surprise birthday party for me and I can say with certainty that he will likely never make that mistake again. About a month before my birthday, he told me he was planning something but would say nothing more. He actually did a good job of withstanding my secret-extracting attempts until two weeks of relentless pestering and sly (read: so ham-handed and obvious that even a toddler would know what I was up to) trickery wore him into submission. He hasn’t tried to plan a surprise for me since.
I think it takes a certain kind of person to appreciate a surprise or secret. A person gifted with patience, faith in the innate goodness of humanity, and perhaps a deeply-rooted sanguine streak. I, however, frequently feel that stop lights reqire me to stop for far too long, have little faith in the competence of most people, and am better known for having a deeply-rooted opinionated streak. That being said, it’s no surprise that secrets delight me none too well (the notable exception being when Wes proposed to me. It was a secret but I was still delighted.)
I really do wonder whether anyone truly enjoys secrets. It’s like dangling meat in front of a dog’s face: mean, pointless, and messy. Why do it? I say, if you have a secret, either share it or don’t tell me that you have a secret. Easy peasy.