October 8, 2013


This is the first (and, I suspect, the last) time I open a post with a quote from Pretty Woman. After all, I didn't even like that movie (after the, er, fourth time I saw it).

But here it is.

Edward (spunky lawyer): It's just that, uh, very few people surprise me.
Vivian (prostitute with red hair): Yeah, well, you're lucky. Most of 'em shock the hell outta me.

I love that line. I just adore it. And the thing is, I'm with Vivian. Most people shock the hell outta me, too.
Vivian. Being Shocked.

I consider myself to have reasonably good insight, and yet I am constantly surprised by the things people say and do. I'm incredibly trusting and am always taken aback when someone does something to hurt or disappoint me. I never see it coming. EVER. And when they are repeat offenders, I am repeatedly shocked. It takes me a long time to accept that not everyone is kind.

Even having been in social media for four and a half years, where you get to see the worst of human nature (revealed, as it is, under the cloak of anonymity), I am still frequently shocked by how mean people can be. Or how thoughtless. Or how lacking in generosity of spirit.

And yet, on the other hand, I am even more frequently thrilled beyond belief at how awesome people can be. I have been stunned by the kindness and generosity of my friends. I have been amazed at their humour. I have been astounded at their insights. And I am constantly surprised at how many fabulous people are out there.

I am also surprised by the unexpected ways in which people behave. Strangers and new friends fascinate me, because every individual has different hopes and goals and fears, and different people's minds work in very different ways. Everyone reacts differently in a crisis; everyone has different trigger points for anger; everyone has different secrets and different dreams. And the more I get to know someone, the more layers are revealed, and the more I am surprised. They so rarely react the way I expect.

Unlike Vivian, however, I quite like being surprised. I like knowing that people are unpredictable. I like knowing that life still has the potential to shock me. That anything can happen tomorrow - maybe painful, but maybe fantastic.

And to be perfectly honest, I still shock the hell outta myself. After all, I never would have thought I would start a post with a quote from Pretty Woman. I didn't even like that film!

Do people surprise you as much as they do me???


  1. You're so right. Losing the wonder at being surprised by people we meet (and tweet) and ourselves would be a tragedy. You're never too old to be shocked :-)

  2. To be surprised in a good way is such a delight. We are all onions just waiting to be peeled ... xxx

  3. I don't like surprises!! But do you know what thing upsets me the most in people? When I *know* someone is going to do something that will upset and infuriate me ... yet I will still give them the benefit of the doubt that they won't do that thing. And they do it every time. And I am livid every time. Even though I expected them to do it.

    How weird is that?

    I think it is because despite knowing someone is likely to act like a jerk, a large part of me is rooting for them, hoping they won't be a jerk. And they when they act like a jerk as expected, I feel so angry that I rooted for them.

    I've put way too much thought into this haven't I?

  4. To quote another movie: 'Shrek: Onions have layers. Ogres have layers. Onions have layers. You get it? We both have layers.

    Donkey: Oh, you both have LAYERS. Oh. You know, not everybody like onions. What about cake? Everybody loves cake!'

    I guess people tend to fall into one or other of those catagories too ...

  5. I think I'm the opposite - I think I'm almost never surprised by human behaviour...

    We all have the potential inside us for great acts of love and hate, sometimes at the same time, and even sometimes for the same people in our lives...

    But, I do relate to your curiosity and interest in how people behave... I like watching and studying people too, and learning how they tick...

  6. Do you sit and watch people in cafes like I do?

  7. No. You haven't put too much thought into it. I can TOTALLY relate to that. Absolutely 100%. xxxx

  8. But that would make the others cry.....

  9. Cafes, parks, malls... :)

    Do you make up stories about the people you see?

  10. It's not so much that I make up stories.... I don't focus on individuals so much as couples or groups. I become obsessed with trying to work out how people know each other, who is with who, how long they have been coupled up etc. Can drive me MENTAL when I see a table of women with one man (what is he DOING there?) or eight people (who is whose partner???) etc. MENTAL.

  11. I do a bit of that too... who's related to who...? Who's the married couple?

    But then I get bored, and try and work out who the secret agent it... and who's bonking who in secret... ;)

  12. I'm the same as JJ. I'm rarely surprised by human behaviour. Look at what's happening in America. Sometimes I'm ashamed of the idiots who have such control over us....Thank God for people like Annie Pappalardo..... A true angel...... :-)

  13. Constantly surprised .. it keeps life interesting :-) Yolanda

  14. Such a fine line. On my good days I think I'm trusting. On my bad days... gullible x

  15. Agree 100%. Love that woman @Annie Reuss x

  16. Kerri, firstly, how could you not like that movie? and you have seen it 4 times ...?! It is one of my Favourites and I love Julia Roberts in it (the fairy tale stuff is SO obvious as to not surprise!) That bath scene is excellent!
    The people that shock me the most are the ones I least suspect. Like you I am very trusting and am able to cut most people a reasonable amount of slack ... until they reach a point... and then that's that!
    The flip side: I do some times wonder do I shock other people? Not with intention, of course. I tend to think of myself as reasonably consistent and mostly predictable.
    Every now and then I just know that I've done some thing that is a "bit out of character" and might "shock" some one who thinks they know me well ...

  17. Umm, no I don't think so. I pretty much know if someone is going to be a tool bag and then they are a tool bag and BANG, spot on.


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