When you’re a kid, you tend to accept everyone else’s notions of what is fun, what tastes good, when you should be enjoying yourself etc. Then you grow up and realise it doesn’t have to be that way. Thus, I have realised:

1. I don’t like surprises. Or rather they are overrated. The element of enjoyment that a surprise adds is minimal. Mostly surprising someone is a selfish enterprise because the surpriser gets a kick out of seeing the expression of the surprisee. The surprisee, once she gets over the shock, may be happy but I’ve seen at least two occasions when the surprisee burst into tears and couldn’t stop. And countless more – of the birthday party variety – where the reaction was somewhat mixed. Wouldn’t the surprisee be equally happy had the cherished family member turned up after telling them they were coming or at a planned party? Mostly, I think surprises are inconvenient. You end up having to juggle your life around . This is not to say that I can’t be spontaneous or that I don’t like to be pleasantly surprised. Just that the way life is, chances of a pleasant surprise are unsurprisngly low. 
2. I don’t like roller coasters and giant wheels. When I was a kid, I felt obliged to like them because I had this thing about being brave. Then I discovered it didn’t really matter whether other people thought I was brave or not. Why waste my nerves being turned upside down at high speed? Life’s too short to waste time on doing things you already know you don’t enjoy. I do credit my mom with getting me on giant wheels when we were kids though. She later told us she was terrified but didn’t want to spoil it for us so pretended to enjoy it. Guess I’ll be doing the same. 
3. I don’t like icecream cones. I’ve always thought that icecream cones were the better choice because there was one more element. Even though it’s a bitch to push the icecream down into the cone with your tongue, especially if you’re a klutz like me who ends up getting most of it on her face/clothes. Discovering that eating icecream out of a cup is a perfectly respectable choice was one of those liberating moments. No longer do I have to dither over cup or cone, no longer do I have to ungracefully push the cream down and strategise my bites so that I don’t end up with only cone (yuck!) at the end. 
4. I don’t laugh out loud. Most of the time I giggle or smirk. This is when I find stuff really funny. Sometimes I force myself to laugh so people don’t think I’m a stick in the mud. When I laugh out loud it’s usually for something really stupid… like a person falling down the stairs. Ok for other stupid stuff too, but I’m always appalled at myself for finding people falling down funny. 
5. It’s not normal to remember the names of everyone you meet  (and their boyfriend and ex-boyfriend) briefly. In fact, it’s better to pretend you don’t remember because otherwise people give you a creeped out look. Also, people rarely remember your name and this makes of unnecessary embarrassment on both sides. 
I also realise that most of this makes me seem like a grouch. I don’t care.

I thought of another one:





6) I don’t like birthday parties: In retrospect, I realised that I didn’t even like them as a child despite the trouble my mum put into them. I think it was the pressure of being the centre of attention, something I dislike even to this day. Fortunately, my sister and I shared the same party so the limelight got split between us. As a child I felt obliged to like birthday parties, and it wasn’t until I was 21 that I properly realised I really didn’t want one. But at the time I had a boyfriend whose birthday was two days away from mine and he always cajoled me into having a combined party (ahhh combined parties… the bane of my life!). In fact, I didn’t want to have a 21st birthday party at all but gave in only because my mum looked so upset (also because I’d nearly died of malaria and had refused a transfusion in the hospital because I wasn’t sure I wanted to live, but gave in when I saw my mum’s face). My best birthday was when I just told people to meet me at my favourite pub and bought everyone a round of drinks. I got a wee bit of attention but it was crowded enough for me not to be the centre of it all, and also, I didn’t have to stress about making the party a success. That year, because I had said something about how I generally disliked birthdays, my office colleagues very sweetly did a surprise for me with cake and balloons in the office… one of the few surprises I have liked. Since then, I pretty much do a dinner with a couple of people on my birthday and that’s all I need.

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