Bowl of Cheese – Fourteen

December 28, 2006

Barking up the wrong tree…

With Fletcher at my feet I spent Wednesday night thinking about expectations. The thing that spurred me to this abstract topic was the completely black and white manner in which a four-year-old Labrador puppy lives its life.

Fletcher, from what I can gather because he has yet to talk, is fairly simple. I don’t mean short-bus simple (although he is a bit lacking in the noggin power), but simple in his wants and needs.

He’s pretty much a three-trick pony. Eating, sleeping, evacuating—then doing it all over again. There is certainly a little bit of snuffling about thrown in for good measure as well as a healthy amount of dashing this way and that and attacking sticks.

But for the most part Fletcher is simple. We’re not like that.

Take the holidays for instance. During which we pretty much let our expectations rule our perceptions of people, their actions and our lot in life.

If we get a gift we don’t like, we seldom look inward for the reason. Nope. We suddenly and critically look at the person who let us down by giving us a gift. We project upon them a sense of evil motivation. One that has caused them to maniacally wrest control from our superior life and dash our hopes and dreams.

That might seem a bit severe, but try and follow this twisted scenario. I’ll give you the end first and then build in the backstory.

I got too many teapots for Christmas and therefore thought that nobody cared about me.

“Well, that’s logical” you’re probably thinking. Teapots are a thoughtless and shoddy gift. In fact, you’re probably saying aloud right now, “I wonder how you wronged these people to such a degree that they foisted teapot after teapot on you!”

Now here’s the filler. A quality tea kettle was on my list – remember the site?

And instead of being proactive and taking the kettle off the list the moment I found out that Mrs. Claus had gotten me a kettle, I let the list languish and trusted the others to read my mind.

I’m the same way about other occasions too. My birthday, Valentine’s Day, Talk Like A Pirate Day, and even the first day of sweeps week.

While things would be so much better if people could read minds, I don’t think it would help me too much in the way of gifts and special treatment.

People might see that I sometimes project my feelings onto situations and that I can be prone to self focus on various occasions.

Maybe I better keep my hopes for a clairvoyant society a secret before this whole situation turns ugly.

For if word got out that I really like presents, but I don’t always appreciate them as much as I should…I’d definitely be in the dog house.