Dirty Rotten Scoundrel

My husband is the king of surprises. He loves getting surprises and he loves planning surprises. I’ve gotten good at recognizing this look in his eye when he’s “got something up his sleeve” (though he’ll vehemently deny that there’s anything other than his arms up his sleeves). It’s a certain twinkle, a slightly smug look, the way he drops “clues” that are quite obvious to him but quite stumping to me, that tells me he’s planning something.

While we were on spring break last week, he sprung a surprise. I knew it was coming by a few things he said, such as not committing to any plans for Thursday night. All day Thursday, he kept saying things about us being “dirty rotten scoundrels,” such as when we took his dad’s quad out for a ride and got it stuck in two feet of snow, then used the winch for the very first time to pull ourselves out. I knew it was a clue, but I couldn’t figure out what it referred to.

Dinner happened as usual on Thursday night, and I’d almost forgotten to wonder what was coming up, although just before dinner my husband had told me I’d better get out of my muddy quading clothes and into some nicer “play clothes”—like maybe my black skirt and a nice top. Then, just as his mom was about to slice the pumpkin pie for desert, my husband said we had to run. He even cut short his usual fourteen goodbyes, and had our coffee cups ready to go, so that we were out the door in a matter of minutes. I barely had time to tell Mom about Sunshine’s bedtime routine.

My hubby pushed the speed limit all the way into the city, while still giving me “clues” and letting his “surprise expression” dominate his face. I was still clueless. When he asked me, “If you could do anything tonight, what would you like to do?” I thought about it and said I’d like to go to a play—we hadn’t been to one in ages. While we were dating, we’d both had subscriptions to the local theatre, but having a baby and moving to a small town had made plays a rare occasion.

We arrived downtown and my husband pulled into a parkade, then led me through a maze of hallways and pedways at a near run. Only when we dashed into the theatre did I realize we were actually going to see a play. And only when I saw the big poster advertising Dirty Rotten Scoundrels did I get the clues. While I dashed to the washroom, my husband bought us rush tickets to the play and the PA system announced the last call for seats before the play began.

We slipped into our first-row seats in the balcony just in time for the cell phone announcement. Then the curtains dropped and the music began. The play was hilarious, the acting and dancing amazing, the music toe-tapping. And my husband still had that twinkle in his eye when we were driving home, because once again, he’d pulled off a perfect surprise.

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