Low Expectations

Too few years ago, I learned about laws of attraction, high expectations, and daily affirmations for positive outcomes. My chemical makeup seems to reject these things, so it’s an almost daily internal struggle to remember.

Yesterday morning, I had to pick up a new remote at the cable company office. I arrived early in an attempt to be first in line, because I had a class in thirty minutes. The doors didn’t open until 9am and it was cold, so I waited in the car. One by one, cars began filling the parking lot. Like vultures, all of us sitting in our cars eyeing each other and our prey, planning our attacks on the Comcast door.

Knowing that being the first car there didn’t necessarily mean I’d be first in line – especially with these people, I had surmised - I got my coat and headed toward the door at 8:57. Typical. The man in the car next to me immediately copied me and got to the door first. I’m sure my expression (evil eye) was transparent.

I have tried to make sure I don’t scowl in public ever since my first ex-husband told me I looked angry and ugly all the time. Allen - or Alan, I can’t remember which and to find out, I’d have to dig up old papers and really shouldn’t have even spent this typing time on him - told me many hateful things, all of which I have no problem remembering. He voiced this revelation after watching me walk from the store to the car, where he had waited in the passenger seat. I thought he was in love and was happy to see me return.

Anyway, I’ve been fairly successful in my attempt not to look visibly ticked-off for no reason until the hormonal years of late.

“You were here first,” he said with a smile as he motioned for me to get in front of him at the door.

“Oh, no, that’s okay,” being the passive-aggressive that I am.

“No, seriously, please.”

“Alright, then. Thank you.” I physically felt the dam of low expectations break and the heat of guilt and embarrassment course through me.

And we made nice little small talk for the next two minutes.

(I wish I had told him about the previous five minutes I had with myself in the car. It might have been the right thing to do in return. But it felt a little too personal.)