Don’t Peek

I have always been big on wanting to be surprised. I didn’t want to know what was in the gifts under the tree until it was the official opening time. I was never one to peek.

In high school, Ma and I started a tradition: We would both do our Christmas shopping at the mall at the same time. We split the mall in half – she had one side, I had the other. We had a set meeting time and place when we would then switch sides.

Ma knew that I would go to extreme measures to keep myself in the dark as to what my presents are. During my junior year of high school, Ma used that knowledge against me. When we met up at the halfway mark, she handed me an unbelievably heavy bag. She said my gift was too heavy for her to carry around, so it was up to me. I was not pleased at the weight, but she was serious, so arguing would have been fruitless. I lugged that heavy bag around with me throughout the other half of the mall.

When Christmas day came, I had no idea what shape the heavy gift would be. Yes, I was that diligent about not peeking. It turned out to be a huge 4+ inch book that outlined all the colleges in the US.

College Guide

(Although it wasn’t this brand, this is the same type of book I got. Different year, obviously!)

I was over the moon. I did a major happy dance. I spent so much time pouring over that book. Not only did I look at all the schools I’d already heard of, I explored the rest of the possibilities. University of Nebraska at Lincoln had some interesting programs. I also was completely enamored with the University of Dallas. Although I didn’t apply to any of these off the beaten path schools, much like with me and the lottery, just daydreaming about going was so much fun.

Ma loved being able to tell the people at work the story of my carrying that book around. I’m sure most people didn’t believe that I didn’t look. Ma knew.

With gifts, are you a peeker or a surprise keeper? or How did you conduct your college search?

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