Secret vs Surprise

My mom and niece came over the other night for dinner. As family conversations go, we wandered around topics. From a conversation about money we migrated to one on secrets. 

My mother and I both have a secret stash of cash. I think the reason my mom has one is 'just because.' She is a post-depression baby but grew up in a home of very modest means. On the other hand, my secret stash I had earmarked for one of two purposes. But as life goes, I didn't end up using it for either of those choices.

I used my secret stash of cash as a deposit on a Jeep Wrangler for my husband. Our 25th wedding anniversary was coming. When we decided to move from NY to SC, one of the first things he talked about doing was getting another Jeep. He had one earlier in our marriage, between baby #1 and #2. When baby #2's arrival was immient we traded it in for a minivan and he took over driving my Neon.  (The sacrifices we make as parents.....neither of us were very thrilled with our vehicles but we do what we have to do.

I spent weeks looking for a used Wrangler that I could purchase outright with my very meager budget. (Shout out and big high-five to my brother here - he was enormously helpful!!) To add a layer of complexity to this endeavor, I was using a portion of our moving money to pay the rest of what my secret stash of cash didn't cover. And of course, I had to somehow hide or have a cover story as to why I withdrew thousands of dollars from this account. 

Since my niece was privy to all this, when we were talking about our secret stash of cash, she questioned me as to whether this wasn't a secret I kept from her uncle/my hubby. I told her no. The Jeep was a surprise not a secret as I hadn't hidden it from him or bought it without his knowledge for some other purpose. So, this was a secret; a good one. 

Later on, as I was thinking about this conversation, I wondered if it was good. In order to get a Jeep that wasn't going to be a money pit, I had to spend more than my original budgeted amount. Plus we have a general rule that any purchases over $200 is to be talked about first.  We hadn't finished taking care of all the expenses that came with moving and re-establishing a home. He could have gotten very angry with me for spending a chunk of the money on this. In fact, when I finally unveiled my anniverary gift to him the first thing he said to me, "Was how much did this cost?" 

On the other hand I saw this as a surprise. We rarely/never before make grandiose gestures to one another. Its not our style. But this was a significant milestone in our relationship. And he has made a huge sacrifice when it comes to our relocation so I also saw this as a way to give back to him; something I knew he truly wanted. Has talked about for years. We already had conversations about buying one, eventually, like a year down the road. I just changed the priorities; sped up the timeframe. I certainly didn't feel any guilt. I was excited for him. 

Secret. Surprise. 

Maybe as Secprise? Or Supcret?

My knight rides a white Jeep!

My knight rides a white Jeep!