I’m a big fan of the Judge John Hodgman podcast. If you haven’t listened yet, it’s like People’s Court or Judge Judy only funnier, more intelligent and less painfully pathetic.
A recent case revolved around a couple, Sean and Aldo, who agreed to plan surprise birthday trips for each other. The trip to Bangkok Aldo arranged for Sean was a great success and a complete surprise. But as the date of the trip Sean planned approached Aldo become anxious and wanted to know where they are going, so he brought the case to Judge Hodgman.
I won’t tell you how the case was resolved (go to the website to listen for yourself), but throughout the hour Aldo was portrayed as an uptight control freak because he didn’t embrace the opportunity to hop on a plane without knowing his destination.
He kept protesting that he simply likes to read about and research the places he’s seeing before the trip occurs, but no one seemed to buy it.
I’m an Aldo.
When I take a trip, I like to plan, prepare and anticipate. I enjoy researching the destination online, checking out the arts venues in the area, planning my route.
That’s not to say that I don’t like surprises. I’m not a big fan, but I don’t mind being pleasantly surprised sometimes.
And while I’m sure I’ve been called a control freak a time or two behind my back, it’s not about controlling the whole situation either.
I just like to plan things. And I believe that the anticipation is usually as much, if not more, fun than the trip itself.
It’s like the holidays. In my book Christmas Eve is better than Christmas day because there’s an elevated level of expectation. Once the day at comes, it’s all downhill.
So I get why Aldo didn’t want to be surprised by a trip to Asia or Europe or Australia. And I don’t think it makes him stodgy or a stick in the mud.
Or if it does, I’m right there in the mud with him.