Day 158: What To Expect When You’re Expecting

No, I’m not pregnant. But, I am expecting.

Expectation is a killer. It can ruin the moment while you’re in it. You expect one thing, you get another sometimes. That’s just how things work. How life works.

In AA and treatment I’ve learned that it’s important to eliminate expectation, or at the very least to be flexible with it. But, that can be a tall order. We all have expectations. Sometimes we line things up in our lives, specifically, to meet those expectations. I know that in the past, and sometimes in the present, I’ve put myself in positions for no other reason than I had great expectations.

Not to be a downer, but, don’t forget Pip from Charles Dickens classic novel, Great Expectations. Just because you’ve got great expectations doesn’t guarantee that your actual experience is going to look so great. In fact, you may find that you’re stuck in the middle of something that turns out to be quite the opposite of what you were expecting. Something that, well, sucks.

Take today. The day before Valentine’s Day. Most people are expecting that tomorrow their loved one, if they are lucky enough to have one, or several, will throw kisses, cards, and chocolate their way. It’s the social norm. But, not me.

Lars is anti-Valentine’s. And, who can blame him really. American culture has bought into the Hallmark hype, big time. Me, well, I’m kinda straddling the fence on the subject. I love the doting attention, I mean, who doesn’t? But, on the other hand, I don’t want my boyfriend just to say a bunch of nice things and throw a much of meaningless shit into my hands because the calendar says so. So, we agreed that we’d do something nice tonight as opposed to tomorrow. He has long standing plans with his friends tomorrow and I told him it wasn’t necessary to reschedule. So, the expectation, fell on this evening instead of tomorrow night.

When I hadn’t head from Lars at 6PM, my heart sank a little. I mean, tonight was our Valentine’s Day. Or at least that was the expectation. I wasn’t sure how an evening of romance was going to be worth much if we hadn’t even touched base by the dinner hour. I finally heard from him around 7PM. He had had a rough day at work and was exhausted. He was sitting in the bath tub as we spoke on the phone. I was immediately pissed, though I didn’t let on. He said that I should come over in an hour or so and we could have a nice, relaxing evening watching TV at his apartment.

Perhaps snuggling up with your sweetie and watching movies is a perfectly acceptable way to spend “Valentine’s Day.” But, since my expectation was a romantic dinner, cigarette break, and then dessert, that plan did not whet my appetite in the way I was hoping. So, I went over to Lars’, and let him know I was kinda pissed, by sulking of course. He didn’t really seem to notice my discontent. And, I realized, his expectations of our evening were not even remotely related to mine.

So, instead of stewing and struggling, I let it go. Tomorrow is a Hallmark holiday. Sure, it’s nice to feel important to the one you love, but, the time to get pissed, really, is when your loved one isn’t showing you that admiration on a regular basis, not just on some stupid, meaningless calendar date.

Lars is good to me. And, when it comes down to the bare bones of it all, that’s what I really expect from a boyfriend. So, I put the expectation that the card companies throw down aside tonight. I wallow, just for a moment in my rose-less, chocolate-less, Wednesday night. And then, I return to the present. Where my boyfriend, who loves me, is sleeping by my side.

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