On our first date, I ate dinner alone. He watched. And kept up his end of the conversation, of course, but we aren’t giving him credit for this because I ATE ALONE ON OUR FIST DATE.
a – he forgot we planned to go out to eat for our most important first date.
b – I offered him the opportunity to call the date off before it even began, assuming he was having second thoughts, but his answer was, “I’m picking you up in an hour.”
c – I, for one, had not forgotten and was hungry.
d – at eighteen, I was pretty sure of who I was, so I ate alone and made the best of it.
I’m sure glad we muddled through that first bungle because that first date led to a middle-aged couple happily (for the most part) married for twenty-two years with three teenagers to show for it.
It may not have been an ideal start. But the funny thing about real life is that it often turns out to be less than ideal. Fairy tales and Disney princesses set us up for this misconception, but so do our own misconceptions when we look at so-and-so and so-and-so. They look perfectly happy, so what’s wrong with us?
Another way we afflict ourselves is by dreaming of prince charming and the wedding day from the age of four when we learn that wedding dresses are white and made of silk by bluebirds and squirrels. Our eyes glass over and we begin to hum. By the time we’re twenty-two, we have created marital utopia in our imaginations where flawed human beings have been extinct for at least ten years.
Meanwhile, Mr. Right grew up pretending to be a marine perfecting his grenade launch with sound affects of his own. By the time boy meets girl, he has no idea how impossibly high her expectations are. She probably doesn’t either, for that matter.
So I’ll be devoting the month of October to Happier Ever After, and joining some others for this year’s 31 Days series. Want to come along? We’ll be riding into the sunset, but let’s not leave reality behind this time. You might want to bring your sunglasses, the glare can be brutal facing the setting sun on the way to happier ever after.
Take Home: Have your expectations ever needed a reality check?
How do you handle it when you realize something or someone is less than perfect?
Do you have a tendency to compare yourself and your marriage to others? If so, why?