Tell us about a time when everything actually turned out exactly as you’d hoped. ~ Daily Post
During my late-teen to early-20s years, I had an issue with expectations, especially when it came to other people. In them, I expected a lot. I expected my wonderings and detailed imaginings to be reality. I expected the scenarios I played out in my mind to play out in real life, but better.
I expected perfection.
As you might imagine, this put quite a bit of pressure on those in my life. It came to a head in college, when I was dating a boy we’ll call Carl. (I came up with that name because there is a Carl minion on my desk.)
When Carl would take me on a date, I would have these thoughts about how things would go. He would pick me up from my dorm room, on time. He would be dressed in a way that would not make me feel under- or over-dressed. He would be suave, sophisticated and thoughtful. (And while Carl had heaps of that last trait, the other two were not exactly his strong-suits.) He would have made reservations. He would have planned those reservations around the time the movie started.
What Carl — or, you know, all college boys — did instead was show up a little late, in jeans to make me feel over-dressed, didn’t have a plan for dinner or a movie, needing to run back up to his dorm to get his keys, which he forgot, and then got stuck on the phone with his mom for a half hour, which put our leaving time that much later.
And I. Pitched. A royal. Hissy. Oh, I am ashamed at how I acted in these scenarios: I cried, I shouted, I thought his lateness was proof he didn’t love me. (And, again, those who knew Carl knew he sort of worshiped me, so behaving so cruelly was doubly cruel.)
At the eventual demise of Jac + Carl 4ever&ever, there were lots of reasons. One of them? How much we fought. A completely legit reason to split, but in retrospect, we fought because I was a crazy person.
The first fellow I dated after college graduation — who I consider my first adult boyfriend — actually had the life experience to see my actions for what they were. While Carl would shout back at me and say mean things, Dave (again, see minion) pointed out for me, “You gotta stop having these ridiculous expectations.”
What the what?
Dave spelled out for me what I did: That I had in my mind how a particular event should go, and when it didn’t, I’d lose my shit.
Eyes = open.
Granted, I took that advice to the total extreme and went from expecting All The Things from Dave to expecting None Of The Things from Dave, which led to a relationship that was as one-sided as it was detrimental to my emotional health.
Fast forward to today, when I consider myself relatively adept at managing my expectations but still recognizing that I deserve good things — especially from those who love me. I will rarely work out a future scenario in my head and have become pretty much “live in the moment.” I don’t want to end up disappointed, and in my effort to protect myself, I have legitimately become that person. What happens, happens. When I go on vacation, for example, I may have a rough idea of what I’ll do on that vacation, but I don’t set the alarm.
But of course, there was one thing I still day dreamed about in my head like a crazy person, like a college girl, like a woman in love: My wedding. Oh, I imagined what it’d be like to have my dad give me away. I imagined what would happen if my brother had an autistic tantrum in the middle of the ceremony and how I would calmly and coolly pause the action so he could be taken care of. I imagined a first dance full of dips and twirls and lifts and fancy feet. I imagined the look on my groom’s face — even when he had no face, I still imagined “a look” — when I’d start to walk down the aisle, poised and erect and smiling. And for all of this, I imagined a very small event, 20 people max. I imagined a set-up where we could all sit at a single long table for dinner, and I imagined my toes digging in the sand as I heard my groom say “I do.”
Instead? My wedding had 120 people and something like 10 or 12 tables. Our first dance was a slow dance, nothing more. I did not have a chance to be the graceful bride reacting to her autistic brother pitching a fit during the ceremony, because one of my aunts and uncles gave me the greatest gift they could give: They took him inside and sat with him so my mom and dad could actually see their first-born get married without worrying about their second-born losing his shit.
I was not a woman with the poise of a queen on my walk down the aisle. I was a hot mess, apologizing to folks nearby for walking too slowly, worried I would poop (I’m a nervous poo’er), clutching my dad’s arm to make sure I didn’t fall down because I was trembling so hard, and laughing like an utter lunatic.
And my wedding? That day I’d been mapping out in my head longer than I’d known Jeff?
It was complete and utter perfection.