As I discovered today much to my surprise, my Amigo Secreto is none other than Dr. Olga Bezhanova, a Professor of Spanish at my department. She it is who has been stalking me, leaving me nice poems on my office door, putting gifts in my mailbox which I didn’t know existed previously, and finally today presenting me with the gift of a fine Cougar branded shirt.

It was at a final departmental lunch on Friday afternoon at a place called Bella Milano where we dined to an Italian menu where our secret santas were revealed. My head of department Belinda Carstens (who teaches German) was equally surprised to find out that I was the one who has been leaving cards and other gift items on her office table when she’s not there, with help of course from my co-conspirators Catherine and Sherry who work at her office.

Perhaps the most uncanny of coincidences, and the punchline of this post, is that Dr. Olga Bezhanova is also none other than Clarissa, my favourite blog commenter. And this is the point where I explain that I couldn’t believe it either, because, for sure, the matchings were so totally random. And of all people in my department, she was the first person I had eliminated from my mind as a possible suspect in this game for a reason I can’t explain. But as it turns out, I was wrong. Her continued presence on my blog had added to the riddle, and the eventual surprise, when the secret was finally unveiled. “Everyone (reading your blog) is going to think that you have only one colleague at the department now,” she says, and I laugh because she was right, even though we were sitting at that lunch table of foreign language colleagues numbering over twenty.

Thank you ClarissOlga! That was fun.

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