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My Expectations Went Out to Lunch
I usually spend Tuesday mornings at home writing while Rosemary edits the chapter written the previous week. Tuesdays have become very special days for us as we work together, and we often end up going out to lunch.
Every now and then Tuesday has actually become a very romantic time together, especially since the children are all at school. Last Tuesday looked like it was going to become one of those days. As I was sitting in my study, I couldn't help but notice that Rosemary was not in her usual chair editing. I also noticed a very familiar fragrance. Instead of working after the kids left for school as Rosemary usually did, she was taking a bath.
She wasn't taking just any bath. By the fragrance flowing through the house, I knew she was taking a special bath, a bubble bath. This is often a signal concerning the rest of the morning's activities. The fragrance has become a sensual clue to me that a romantic interlude is on the way.
German that I am, I don't particularly like being taken away from the task that I am working on, but I don't mind this kind of break. After a few moments I got up from the computer and walked down the hall to our bedroom. Laid out on the bed were the clothes she was going to wear after the bath. Not exactly blue jeans. Lying there was a very attractive dress and some of her new lingerie.
I got the message. We weren't going to stay here. We were going to go out to a nice restaurant and then come back to our bedroom. I didn't want to ruin the surprise, so I went back to my computer and kept quiet.
Rosemary seemed to take an incredibly long time in the bath, but finally she got out and dressed. I began to realize that she really ought to be telling me about her plans for us, so I could shave and get dressed to go. I decided I'd just go ahead and get ready anyway. After showering, shaving, and splashing on cologne, I went back to the computer and acted as if I were still able to concentrate.
What seemed like hours later, Rosemary came flowing into the study all dressed up. Noticing that I too was all dressed and smelling good, she asked, "Where are you going?" It seemed rather sly of her to ask me that, but two could play this game.
"Nowhere special, why do you ask?" was my response.
"Well," she played along, "you're all dressed up. I just thought you might have some place you needed to be today."
"No," I said, thinking that this was just about enough. "I'm just waiting for a beautiful woman to ask me out to lunch."
"Oh," Rosemary said looking puzzled. "I wish I could, but I have an appointment with the gynecologist this morning."
We both just kind of looked at each other dumbfounded. Then I realized that she wasn't kidding.
"Gynecologist!" I all but screamed. "I thought you were doing all this stuff for me! I thought you were getting all dressed up for us to go out. That's why I raced in and showered and shaved. So I'd be ready when you asked."
A huge bubble had just burst. All that preparation for a doctor!
We both burst into hysterical laughter, although I must admit, she was laughing much harder than I was. I thought she was dressing to turn me on. In reality, she got all dressed and did everything she could to make her day a pleasure, since she really hates going to the gynecologist. All that was going out to lunch that day was my expectations!
As Rosemary backed out of the driveway and drove to the doctor's office, I spent twenty minutes staring out the window. How could expectations be so powerful? I was amazed at how my expectations could affect not only my thought process but also my biology. Worst of all was that those expectations had misled me.
Expectations Can Be Misleading
We've been married over two decades, and still we can pick up the wrong cues or misread each other. These things happen in every marriage. It's time for bed and a couple climbs under the sheets. Then they kiss good night.
That good-night kiss is a statement. How long you kiss or how passionately you kiss says something. Every couple has their own set of signals, or at least they think they do. These signals are further complicated by the activities that immediately preceded going to bed. There's a lot to try to read, and many times the analysis is controlled by a person's expectations.
Sometimes the kiss is simply saying "good night," and husband and wife roll back over to their accustomed sleeping positions. Nothing more was meant by this kiss.
Then there's another kind of good-night kiss, one that says, "I'm very tired but I would sure like to be in your arms for a moment or two before we roll over and go to sleep."
A third good-night kiss has deeper ramifications. It's the kiss that says, "Do you want to make love tonight? I sure do." But there's even more involved in the translation than that. It might translate, "Don't you want to make love tonight since we haven't made love in a couple of days? I'm trying to find out by the way you kiss me back."
The problem is that these three good-night kisses can almost be interchangeable. Sometimes it's hard to tell them apart, and our expectations play a big part in the way we interpret them. Her good-night kiss may just be "good night." But if he has been thinking about making love, he's hoping the kiss means that tonight is going to be a "GOOD NIGHT!" It's not because she did anything to make him think so. Rather it's because he expected it from things that took place that night.