Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Expectation of the Sunday Paper

There is a legend that developed in Cleveland, OH in the 1960s. A group of twenty-some men are hanging out early Friday evening on W. 25th Street. Overwhelmed with excitement over the impending night, one male says to the others, "I am going to get laid today." This comment prompts the quick response from another male, who proclaims, "You're going to be reading The Plain Dealer". This is a popular phrase used among young Clevelanders that signifies a man reading the newspaper Sunday morning by himself without female companionship. To modernize the phrase, one might say, "You're going to be reading".

Remember Pee Wee from Porky's? He was always overanxious about the potential of popping his cherry. Pee Wee's sexual conquest always ended in an inevitable failure. This note is not meant in literal sense of having sex or getting "laid," but for exceptional and often unattainable expectation I have for dates, nights or other persons. Hollywood has diluted our minds with romantic comedies, corky endings and porno sex. It's all ignorant bliss. I often visualize what I want someone to represent and I become disappointed when they're completely different. I have always conceptualized my idea of the perfect night. It is usually ends up being wishful thinking because of the unpredictable nature of people. People's reaction and opinion to my persona is likely completely different from their expectations. I have no control over their perception and this lack of uncertainty prays on my insecurity. No matter how I try to rationalize their bahavior, its hard not to take it personally.

When a night is planned with the expectation of perfection, disappointment is inevitable, just like with Pee Wee's fate. As I have ascended through my twenties, I've slowly began to learn to lighten my expectations. If I had my way, every hour of everyday would be planned. It's a chore as a type A personality to accept and cherish each day and to not be overly disappointed by adverse outcomes. I was extremely disappointed that I didn't have plans for Halloween Eve. The night ended with great uplifting conversations with friends and relatives. This ended up being just as fulfilling as any other plans I might have had. In hindsight, I should never had been disappointed from the beginning.

New years Eve is the ultimate day of high expectations and inevitable disappointment. A night filled with Champagne, ecstasy and new beginnings. I remember being young and having the best nights on New Year's Eve. It was one of my first experiences with the freedom to let go. Every subsequent year I began chasing that same experience. It is like a heroin addict chasing their first high. The only way to overcome disappointment is to become free of wild expectation. This turns a random Wednesday in September into the most memorable night of the year and a casual date into romance.

Written November 1, 2009
Music: The Cranberries, No Need to Argue
Johnny Cash, American IV: The Man Comes Around

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