When you look at your life, what do you see? Is it the life you had planned for yourself? Is it more? It is less?
How do you evaluate something so multifaceted? Is there a checklist to determine if you’ve done a good job or if you’re still a work in progress? I know that in a way, we are all a “work in progress”; a never-ending project with tweaks to make here and there. There are potential improvements, of course. A friendship that needs a little mending, a job that could be better. There are always things we could “fix”. We are a nation of fixers. We want to take everything, every little thing, and morph into what it “should be”.
Expectations versus reality: how do your plans match up with your actuality? Do you recognize the person you see in the mirror? Are you happy with your list of accomplishments? What would you do different if given the chance?
We all want to believe that this life, the one we have created for ourselves, this is it. This is what we wanted. We took so much time to construct it, after all. We took pieces and placed them side by side, one at a time, until we completed a puzzle that is supposed to be our masterpiece. The time, the doubt, the sacrifices; they were all worth it. Now we have it. We have succeeded.
But what if we haven’t?
Tonight, I want to tell you a little story about love. Ah, love. Growing up, I thought (and I mean, I REALLY thought) that I was going to fall in love just like in the movies. I italicized that sentence in pure mockery, because I have seriously said that hundreds of times. I was going to meet a guy, we were going to realize that we both liked to eat our Oreos the same way and boom- a fairytale would be born. We would date for awhile until he proposed in an outrageously romantic way, then we would have a couple of kids and we would still, of course, be madly in love. We would definitely be that couple that has a date night and misses each other when we’re at work. Definitely.
Except, as far as I can tell, that is complete bullshit. I mean, love doesn’t really happen that way does it? If it does and I’m missing out, consider this your invitation to inform me otherwise. Seriously, is fairytale love happening in real life or do couples define love as “hey honey, I put the toilet seat down”. While I appreciate not falling into the abyss of the toilet in the middle of the night, it’s not exactly the kind of chivalry I’m looking for.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve been in a committed relationship for many years and we are happy together (I’d throw in a very if I had an engagement ring but that is another post altogether) BUT there’s no courting. There’s no “if you’re a bird, I’m a bird”. There’s lots of “what’s for dinner” and “it’s your turn to shut the lights off!” but no passionate make outs in the rain. You were waiting for The Notebook references right? The Notebook is my favorite movie in all of time, yes I am aware I am a stereotypical girl and no I do not care. Anyways. The Notebook ruined my expectations for love and relationships forever. For this reason I have developed a list of reasons why my life is so not like The Notebook.
- No romantic first encounter. While my guy and I did meet at the county fair… he completely ignored my attempts to flirt. Me: “Hey, want to ride this Ferris wheel with me?” Him: “No.” Well, that settles that then. Sure you don’t wanna climb the whole thing to persuade me to date you? No? That’s weird?
- A whirlwind romance. My current boyfriend told me that he would go to homecoming with me “if his other date fell through.” Ohh, okay. Cool. I’ll just be waiting over here by the phone then. Waiting for it to ring. [Spoiler alert: It did not ring.]
- No adorable summer of bike rides and ice cream cones. I would just like to point out that I would not find it funny to have ice cream smashed in my face ever. Not even by Ryan Gosling.
- Okay, number three is a lie. Do whatever you want, Ryan. Whatever. You. Want.
- “If you’re a bird, I’m a bird.” Just no. Never gonna happen.
- Hot make out sessions in the rain. If it’s raining, we’re running. Sorry, I’m not stopping to kiss you. I’ll kiss you inside… if I’m not busy with laundry, dinner or binge-watching Orange is The New Black.
- No poetry readings over late night pancakes. Do I need to explain this one?
“So it’s not gonna be easy. It’s going to be really hard; we’re gonna have to work at this everyday, but I want to do that because I want you. I want all of you, forever, everyday. You and me… everyday.” Yeah? It’s usually just a simple “love you” in my house.
- Even their fights are cute. My fights aren’t cute. Are your fights cute? NO.
- Noah wrote Allie a freaking book about their love story. The last note I left my boyfriend read “GARBAGE DAYYYY” (read to the tune of HUMP DAYYY).
So, that’s that. I am not dating Ryan Gosling nor is my life at all like The Notebook. Maybe that’s for the best though; I mean who wants an adorable guy, who wears suspenders, reads poetry, cooks, builds you a house and writes a book of your love story to read you every day while your memory fades away from Alzheimer’s anyways?
Oh yeah, ALL GIRLS EVERYWHERE.
Sigh. Thanks for the unrealistic expectations, Ryan.