What things about you often surprise others?

Sometimes, there are things about me that even close friends and family end up surprised about, though I don’t take pains to hide it.

For example. in high school, my closest friend was a gay guy who I shared all my deepest secrets, desires, and dreams with, and he with me. We were inseparable. However, one night, he called me up to ask if I wanted to go out, and I told him to give me about an hour and a half, as I was busy trying to finish something up. He could hear noises in the background, and finally he asked, “What are you doing?” I told him I was baking a cake.

“A cake?” he asked.
“Is it someone’s birthday?”
“Nope. Just felt like it.”
“Did… did… did you make it from a box mix?”
“No, from scratch. My mom’s recipe.”
“You… you know how to cook?”

From that day forward, he called me a little domestic diva. I invited him over to make sacher torte with me, so he could see for himself. Since we didn’t know how to pronounce “sacher torte”, we decided to call it “sashay tortay” and sashay we did, around the kitchen, singing it to the tune of RuPaul’s “Supermodel” (which was a popular tune of the time). :stuck_out_tongue:

But it was so odd. We’d been best friends for six years, and not until that day did he realise I not only knew how to cook, but I was a pretty damn good cook. He said I just “didn’t seem like the type”. Hmm.

Not a surprise to Dopers, but many are surprised to find out I like video games, and more specifically, role-playing games, and even more specifically, MMORPGS. Seems to blow people’s minds. I’ve gone into game stores alone, picked up an Everquest expansion, and have the clerk look at me (noticing my wedding ring) and say, “I hope your husband enjoys it, and if there’s any problem, tell him to bring it back, blah blah blah.” Sometimes I correct them, sometimes I don’t. I’ve heard, “Wow, I didn’t know real women played this game. I always thought the female characters were just dudes messing around.” To those ones I say, “Yeah, but I usually play a male character” (I don’t, but I like to mess with their heads a little).

The one artist in my CD collection (full of Blur, Pet Shop Boys, Air, Stereolab, Assemblage 23, KMFDM, etc) that gets the most attention and the most surprised reactions: Chaka Khan. I loooooove Chaka Khan. She’s not a “guilty” pleasure, and it’s not something I hide, but it gets the most “huh?!” reactions. My own mother was surprised just last week! I said, “Mother, seriously, you don’t remember me blasting “Ain’t Nobody” and dancing around the house to it all the time?”

Maybe it’s because I can’t dance, and I can’t really sing, either, so maybe she was just trying to block out the embarrassing memory. :smiley:

Still, Chaka Khan is the one artist who gets me the most :dubious: looks. I often get “you don’t seem like the type who’d like Chaka Khan.” What the hell type is supposed to? I thought everybody loved Chaka Khan! (and if they don’t, they should!) :wink: [sub]My husband was also surprised to learn this, however, it was pleasantly so, and now we happily listen to Chaka together. [/sub]

Okay, now it’s your turn: What things about you that are part of your normal life tend to surprise people, sometimes even those close to you?

That I have pet lizards and rats.

Sometimes when making small talk with someone I’ve just met, the question of “Do you have any pets?” Will come up. When I say what I have, the answer’s always a surprised, “Oh yeah??” Because, you know, girls are supposed to be afraid of those kinds of animals. :rolleyes:

That once you get past my gruff exterior, I can actually be quite affectionate and expressive; and a very loyal friend.

That I’ve been married for over 20 years. We waited a long time before we had kids, so ours are still quite young.

People are usually surprised when I tell them I love Country music PRE-1985. I consider most of what came after that to be shite. (Barring Alt-country of course)

Women are often surprised at what a good kisser I am. I am awesome.

Everybody who meets me always thinks I’m a Republican because I’m kind of a stiff and I like to wear suits.


Back when I was a kid, my fuzzy hair was super long and curly (now it’s short and only rarely grows to Jew-fro-esque lengths, and I was well known to be the class brain, and (to be blunt) my mommy dressed me kind of funny, and it absolutely SHOCKED people that I was good at sports.

Well, we have three paintings on our walls that I did, and my husband always points them out to people, and they always act surprised that I painted that. I don’t know if it’s because I don’t still paint (long story), I rarely talk about it myself, or that I don’t look/dress “like an artist” (bohemian, I’m guessing, although most of the art students in my classes were as indistiguishable from the general public as I).

I have a very innocent face and personality at work, and usually am very quiet. Very occasionally if I’m in the mood, I’ll let my raunchy, happy-go-lucky side show, and people are always shocked.

I have a very innocent face and personality at work, and usually am very quiet. Very occasionally if I’m in the mood, I’ll let my raunchy, happy-go-lucky side show, and people are always shocked

OP by Anaamika
I get this a lot too–I’m kind of introverted and it surprises people to know that I’ve got a strange sense of humor.

It also surprises people to know that it had long been my dream to see the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. (I went in 2004.) I guess I just look really bookish…and I’m a school teacher to top it off.

1.) I’m a Grateful Dead fan.

2.) I like fangirl slash fiction (like where you read/write stories based on same-sex relationships between favorite book/movie/TV characters).

3.) I love camping: tent camping and the occasional weekend backpacking trip.

4.) I love hanging out with old people (although I’ve mentioned that before here).

5.) I enjoy looking at medical photos of really nasty wounds, infections, warts, etc. No idea why. I think I’m a frustrated dermatologist.

6.) I don’t agree with everything the GOP says or does.

7.) I have a crush on Peter Lorre (I think I mentioned that here too).

Damn, I’m silly.

People are surprised that I smoke. Whenever anyone finds out, they act absolutely shocked and tell me I don’t look like a smoker and that they never smell smoke on me.

I think everything about me surprises people, just depending on which side of me they get to know first. The one thing that surprises almost everyone is my age; people usually think I’m about ten years younger than I really am. This has been happening since I was 18 and a cop pulled me over when I drove by because he thought I was 8. (I think when I got out of the car and he saw that I was 5’4" and a C-cup, he realized his mistake.)

People at my last office job, where I had to dress up somewhat, were surprised to find out that I had 12 tattoos and a navel ring, and a punk rock past to go with them. A guy at my part-time job, who mostly got to know me because he was having a fling with my friend who’s sort of a party girl, was surprised that I’m a damn good cook and can drive a car with manual transmission. Not really sure why but another friend was shocked that I used to be a vegetarian.

As for the stuff that’s surprising just 'cause I’m a girl… Guys at hockey games are surprised that I know stats and strategy, not just which team has the cutest players. My definition of cute is somewhat skewed anyway, so… Apparently some of the customers at my current job (auto glass) are surprised that I know more than they do. My co-workers are surprised that I can lift just as much as they can. My boss still won’t let me drive the forklift though, even though I’m one of the few employees we have who’s been certified (I learned at a previous job). He says he needs me in the office to ::mumblemumblemumble::… still not really sure exactly about that.

My mom was surprised that I like Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley. Since her tastes run more to John Mellencamp and AC/DC, she thought she had raised me better. (Though, she’s the one who turned me on to Neil Diamond when I was little, and I still love him!) It doesn’t seem to disturb her nearly as much that I also like Kathleen Edwards and Norah Jones, maybe because I also have cell phone ring tones like the Ramones, Courtney Love and Jet, depending on who’s calling.

I often get “I had no idea you were funny!!”, cuz of my deadpan delivery all day, every day. Most of the time, people who don’t know me well assume I’m really complaining about things, or being meanspirited, but after a certain point, they get my act, and then it’s all fun and games.

Very weird.

That I homeschool…I just don’t fit the stereotype. I get, “Wow, you don’t look like a homeschooler.” I guess it’s because I wear shorts and jeans and color my hair and wear make-up. I listen to rock music and often loudly. I only have one child.

The local stereotype is, bland, no makeup, at least several kids. Conservative dress, conservative Christian. No fun, nothing flashy, etcf.

In real life, people are surprised when I tell them I’m an artist. I’m Asian, so I MUST be a doctor or an engineer >_>

Online, people are surprised when they find out I’m female. I’ve given up on correcting them.

That I am not a lesbian.

I don’t know what it is about me that says it, but something does, because several people have assumed I was a lesbian and commented on it. I can only imagine the number of people who wondered but NEVER said anything.

And what does a lesbian look like, exactly? :rolleyes:

People who knew me as a shy kid are usually pretty surprised to hear I now perform on stage every week.

“Large Marge” is the name of a lesbian character in a John Gregory Dunne novel, I think TRUE CONFESSIONS.

I’m an aerospace engineer. OK, technically my job right now is mechanical engineer, but still, I have an engineering degree from Purdue. That’s not generally expected of a 50+ year old woman. Lots of folks are also taken aback with the Purdue part. Criminy, it’s not like I went to MIT or CalTech.

I think some (including my mom) are also surprised that I actually used the power tools in our basement. I know what a dado cutter is and I’ve run wood through the planer and I’ve set the drill press to countersink screw holes and on and on. All that cherry and walnut we bought at the Amish sawmill is for both of us to use. I don’t just assist my husband. I actually do stuff myself. No, really!