Blown expectations, and making memories
Two blogs in one day? I appear to be a font of wisdom today, so I’m going to go with it . . .because it doesn’t happen frequently. I should also mention that, although we’re in 2021, this blog is in the 2020 category because in some ways it feels like December 77th, 2020.
Yesterday, my social media timelines were filled with an explosion of hearts and sentiments of love, and on the other end of the spectrum, I received a handful of phone calls and texts from disappointed people whose expectations weren’t met. I’m really tired of my friends being unhappy. I guess they could lower their expectations, but why should they have to?
Over the past year, we’ve had a lot of time on our hands, and we should have had moments of introspection. I was having a conversation with my BFF Lorrie yesterday, and we agreed that there are so many things that we miss about our youth, times passed, and moments that we carelessly lived through, without realizing that one day, we would want them back.
My point is that, if you have someone in your life that you care about, you should always make an effort. And not just a ‘meh’ effort, where you only stretch as far as is convenient, but one that takes you off your path a bit, and forces you to think and really consider what would make them happy . . . and then act on it. Never mind that we’re in the middle of a pandemic, and that we’re unable to do what we might if the world was wide open for all possibilities. (Truth be told, some of you are blaming your lack of action on COVID, when, in reality, you’re rather thoughtless when all options are available. I’m just sayin’.)
Keep in mind that you’re always creating a memory, which can last forever. I’ve been “blessed” (cursed) with an eidetic memory, so I have the pleasure of being able to recall traumatic birthday experiences of several years ago that can anger me just as much to this very day. To the point where, whenever my birthday month rolls around, I feel an immediate sense of dread. The good news is that the flip side is also true. Whenever something has made me happy, the memory can be uplifting and gratifying.
I promise you that, at some point, your relationship will be at a crossroad, and these memories can either be the points that save it, or the straws that break it. If your significant other is making a decision about whether or not to stay, you want him/her to look back, and make an unquestionable decision in your favor.
So, the real question is, what type of memory would like to be attached to? Do you want your significant other to look back on their birthday/Valentine’s Day/etc., and feel hurt and disappointed? Do you really want to take that chance? Or would you prefer for him/her to feel as though you went above and beyond, and look back on the day in question with a smile?
And I realize that many of the offenders will have excuses, so let me help you out:
- We’re in the middle of COVID. This is all the MORE reason that you should make an effort. This isn’t a normal year, and we need things to celebrate and uplift us during a time where people are sick, losing loved ones, jobs, etc. Crime is at an all-time high, and the world is crazy. We have to find happiness and a sense of normalcy wherever we can, so if there’s a time to celebrate, it’s now.
- I didn’t have any money. You don’t always need money. Cook a meal with whatever you find in the kitchen — you have to eat anyway, right? Or perhaps a card made on your computer? You can play a game found online, or give coupons good for things that you normally don’t like to do, like cleaning. Time spent together is sometimes the best gift. And it’s free.
- I don’t “believe in” birthdays or Valentine’s Day or Christmas or . . . whatever. Well, guess what? It’s not about you. Does your significant other “believe in” them? Aren’t you happy that he/she was born? If so, suck it up, buttercup, and do something that makes THEM happy. #selfishbastard
- I didn’t have time. You have nothing but time, and I’ll bet you find the time for something that you really want to do. What you’re really saying is that you didn’t care to allocate the time.
- I had to work. I especially hate this one because I’ve heard it far too much. (It’s even worse when the person delivers it with a matter-of-fact “work takes precedence over everything” attitude) Guess what? Work is always going to be there. And chances are, your work is not a life or death situation, and you need to learn to balance your time and life. What you’re communicating is that work is more important and that you will ALWAYS put work first. Which doesn’t bode well . . .
- I was going to [fill in the overblown grand gesture of choice], but. Okay, it’s not about the grand gesture. It truly is about being thoughtful. There are a lot of great possibilities on the spectrum between “I was going to take on you a trip to Paris, but . . .” and doing absolutely nothing. Challenge yourself to find them.
- I never know what to do. That’s where the combination of creativity and paying attention to your partner comes in. You have the gift of another person in your life that you can get to know, and you choose not to? Off the top of your head, you should know sizes, favorite colors, what he/she wishes for, what he/she loves to eat. You should also have things that you would LOVE to do for him/her. You’re making it all too hard. And sad.
- I asked you what you wanted to do, but you didn’t have suggestions. If you’re anything like me, you don’t want to write the blueprint for what your significant other is going to do for you. It takes all of the fun out of it. Most people don’t want to (and shouldn’t have to) browbeat their significant others to be thoughtful. That’s not quite how it works, and it kind of defeats the purpose.
- I really don’t care. Well, do that person a favor, and keep it moving.
If you’re a member of the selfish faction that’s reading this blog, keep in mind that efforts have to be reciprocated to strengthen the foundation of a relationship. So, what’s in it for you is the reaction, the happiness, and the goodness that will be returned tenfold.
Mind you, repeated instances of thoughtlessness and a continued extreme lack of effort are indications that you’re with a person who can’t be bothered to make you happy, and can also be the Universe’s way of showing you that you’re in the wrong relationship.
I hope this helps someone! <3
This was both thoughtfully written and thought-provoking . My ex used to buy me flowers for Valentine’s Day the morning of (or evening of, if it’s a work day) Valentine’s. Day at the grocery store.. I learned not to make a big deal out of it. But Michael on the other hand is a world-champion gift giver who is prone to celebrate even the lesser known holidays like Flag Day or Arbor Day.. I love the article, but I’m betting the people who really need to read this, won’t.
Thanks, Mary Pat. You’re right . . . the people who need this won’t read it, or they won’t recognize themselves in it. Sadly,