Hey everyone! How are you doing? Well I hope. Me, I’m still kicking along in my own happy go lucky way. And this got me to thinking about “Expectations”. I am willing to bet that everyone reading this understands on a visceral level, that our expectations do not necessarily reflect reality. In fact, it RARELY works out that way. To illustrate that point, let me tell you a little story.

Way back in the day when I was a lot younger, I actually had friends! Yeah, I know. Hard to believe, but true. One of my very best friends was a married guy named Dave that I hung with because we had a lot of the same interests. How-ever, he was a long haul driver and so, on occasion he would be away from home for a week at a time. During these times, I would look in on his pregnant wife and make sure everything was all right in her world.

As her pregnancy advanced, she took on a rotundity that was biblical in proportion. I mean, if she were to be a biblical Sarah, this child was going to be Goliath! Anyway, as is usually the case when Murphy is running things, Dave had a load to deliver to a warehouse in Los Angeles and I was tasked with keeping an eye on his bulging bride!

I swear that Dave was barely out of the driveway, when I was informed that it was time to go to the hospital. Just as a side note, isn’t it amazing that no matter how prepared you are for an anticipated emergency, when said emergency happens EVERYTHING falls apart!

Anyway, we make it to the hospital emergency room with no major complications. A nurse plops Dave’s wife into a wheelchair and whisks her off down a hallway. Another nurse asks if I want to watch the delivery. I don’t care how good a friend someone is, there are some things that just ain’t none of your business. I told her real quick that I would just stay in the waiting room, thank you very much!

I get handed about a thousand pages of papers to fill out and get signed and stuff like that. Somehow, during the getting her down that hallway and me having to fill out all those papers, the impression was made that I was Dave! I tried a couple of times to correct the record, but some people just know what they know and there is no changing their minds. This is their “EXPECTATIONS” part.

After a couple of hours, I get informed that I am the father of a beautiful baby girl! I swear to God that Dave’s wife could have birthed a Buick! That ‘lil baby was a heifer! And even though Webster’s has clearly defined the word “beautiful” it still seems that no one really knows what it means! But THAT’S another story.

I will admit that Dave’s wife did have a look about her that would melt your heart and holding that baby was pretty cool. I told her that I would be back in the morning to look after her and would be at their house waiting on Dave’s call. He called along about eight pm and was pretty happy with the news. In all the excitement, I missed letting him know that everyone thought I was him. I didn’t think there was any problem. That part was MY “EXPECTATIONS”.

You have to remember that these are the times BEFORE e-mail or cell phones. In fact, most of us didn’t even have computers! But the medical care was as predictable as all get out. After the birth of the baby, if you didn’t have much trouble, you could go home after women stuff was done to you. I am not going into detail because this is a family magazine. If you DO know what I’m talking about, then I don’t need to tell you. If you DON’T know, then you don’t need ME to be the one to inform you.

So I get back to the hospital, check in on my “missus” and get told to report to the administrator’s office. Since I am not one that likes to be TOLD what to do, this put me in a less than wonderful mood right off. But I go in and this guy tells me to have a seat.

Pinstripe three piece suit, not a wrinkle anywhere. This guy is a doctor that apparently wasn’t very good at it, otherwise he be doctoring instead of talking to me. You know the kind. All attitude and knowing he’s just so much better than you!  He starts off with a lecture about me being responsible for my wife and child. He then bends this into a lecture about how it was not the hospital’s responsibility to pay my medical bills.

By now, I am getting very insulted and I’m not hiding it well. I am just about ready to give him a piece of my mind when he spread the icing on the cake. Unless I pay the bill in full, he cannot release my wife to go home.

I sat there about ten seconds, then got up and walked to the door. I looked at him and said,

“Fine. Keep her.” Then I walked out the door.

I’m halfway down the hall before I hear him calling out what he thought was my name.

“Where are you going?” he demanded.

I stopped, looked back at him and said,

“I’m going home. You already told me your terms. I don’t have the money to pay that bill in full, so you get to keep her. When you get tired of feeding her and the young’un, give me a call. We’ll see what we can work out.”

I went back on my way down the hall.

I do wish that I had a picture of the look on his face. It was halfway between amazement and horror. All of a sudden, his “attitude” disappeared. He was no longer so high and mighty. It seemed that his expectations met reality and they were not in the least alike.

We worked out a deal where Dave would pay the bill in small monthly installments. I took her and the young’un home later that same day and Dave got back from Los Angeles that weekend, so everything worked out for the best.

The moral to this story is…

Whenever things just don’t seem to be going your way, re-examine your expectations and see how well they match up to reality. I’m willing to bet that if you lower the expectations down to reality’s level, you’ll be a lot happier.

 

Y’all have a good day.

 

Pete