27 January 2010

Überraschung (Surprise)!

Sunday night when I returned home from my knitting group, Paul was on the computer while talking to his brother. When I walked into the living room, this look of surprise went across his face. "I didn't expect you home so early," then he looked at the clock, "errr I didn't expect it to take me so long."

I looked at the computer and saw a blank Microsoft Word document. Huh? A big grin crossed his face, "Well, let me put it this way, you are not getting a laptop for your birthday."

Paul has never been good at keeping secrets from me, and every year he tries to surprise me for my birthday. It has become a fun game between the two of us. How long will Paul be abel to keep a secret?

I love surprises, but I also like to play detective to guess what my surprise is going to be, so Paul teased me with a couple hints.

The first hint: He has to let me in on the surprise before I actually get my birthday present because everything here is in German.

The second hint: I'm not actually getting my surprise until March.

The first two hints made me guess that the gift was an experience, which is Paul's favorite kind of gift.

The third hint: It is something I can wear, but I will need accessories, and I already have them.

The third hint really threw me, because something I could wear, doesn't fit in at all with an experience. He quickly revised his hint, and said it is one of the other meanings of the German verb "to wear," or "tragen." Well, after I went to see the verb tragen in LEO I skimmed the various meanings, and I wasn't any closer to guessing my surprise.

I decided to play fair, and I wasn't going to ask too many questions, and I wasn't going to sneak around our bank account or his email to figure out the gift. I was excited about the possibility of a real surprise that I wouldn't find out until my birthday, and three weeks isn't very long to wait.

Unfortunately, yesterday when I picked up the mail, I saw an envelope for Paul from the Bavarian State Opera House. At this point, it all clicked, "tragen" to carry, I can carry tickets. I left the mail on the desk for Paul, and did not say anything to him. I still didn't know what he was taking me to see at the Opera, and I didn't want to spoil the fun we were having in our little cat and mouse game.

When he saw the mail, he asked me if any of it meant anything to me. For a split second I considered playing dumb. I wanted to keep the game going longer. However, I told him the truth, that I had figured out what we were doing, but I still didn't know what he was taking me to see. About one minute later he told me. We're going to see the Barber of Seville. It's in Italian, but the subtitles are in German, so we have to read the story ahead of time, and maybe find a DVD of it with English subtitles.

While I think both of us were a little disappointed that the game was over, it doesn't take away from the excitement about going to the Opera. Not just any Opera, but the opera buffa of all opere buffe. It's supposedly one of the greatest comedic Operas of all time. And, we are going to the Opera in a real European Opera House. Now, I just have to figure out what to wear.

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