Sunday, October 08, 2006

No puppy at Christmas!

Do you remember the first time that you were disappointed? I cannot. I do remember one year being incredibly disappointed that there was no puppy under the tree for me at Christmas. I had begged and pleaded. I must have been six or seven at the time. That moment, of searching all over under the tree, no puppy in sight, is still strong in my mind. Pure, utter, disappointment.

The last few days have brought new disappointments to heart. It was the phone call that never came. It has been the realization that people aren't always where they say they'll be. It has been the realization that people aren't always who they say they are. Disappointment is usually accompanied by familiar words 'never' 'did not' 'were not' 'not quite'- all words that confirm the lack of something, or at least the subpar.

As I sit here tonight, I can tell that the last few days have weighed more heavily on me than I realized before. Thus the cathartic writing.

Something struck me though as I was in my mental temper tantrum of disappointments- is disappointment really fair? I know, who cares a damn about fair when you're out in the rain? Yet part of my ever present (read, ever annoying!) quest is to make life as fair as possible for myself and those around.

I should be specific but given the open nature of blogging I am hesitant. Let me leave it at the fact that something of significance happened in my life, and the others who are connected with the situation are reacting in a disappointing (you can't be surprised by that word!) manner. I've spent many moments tonight in tears, and many other moments stewing in anger. While it is quite true that I am an emotional person, prone to tears, I am not usually angry...especially not like I have been tonight.

Just as I was formulating my plan for destruction of disappointment bearers I started thinking through what a conversation might sound like. As I started role playing what the other might say in my mind it dawned on me that what might be in response to my accusations, might actually make sense. That while it might not be my mode of operation, or what seems like normal behavior, or even what might be considered courteous in the given situation - it was not me. All I can do is make sure that when I have the control I do my best not to disappoint and hope that if I do, someone will understand, or at least ask me what happened but not launch into a tirade. It wouldn't be fair.

Honestly I am sure that I do not quite believe that. I am sure that being fair would mean everyone was somehow happy and had their expectations met. I am sure that I am not over the disappointment. I am also sure this needs more thought, and especially more time.

Several years after my puppy was not under the tree I started a campaign. I got it in my head that I wanted a dog. My parents, referring back to their original reason for not getting me one, did not feel like I was ready. I also stopped to ask them why they wouldn't let me have one. That information told me that they were, in a way, disappointment with me. I got more information about my weaknesses than I really wanted at that time - but it motivated me. I wrote my parents letters about how responsible I could be. I picked up whatever extra chores I could do prove that my responsibility level was much higher than they gave me credit for. I started walking the neighbors dog. I got books at the library about different types of dogs. I was determined not to be disappointed.

When I woke up I tore through the stacks of presents, along with my equally excited siblings. No puppy. Nothing even resembling a dog. No stuffed animals. No leash with an invisible dog at the end of it. Nothing except more disappointment. Sure I had loads of other presents under the tree - those wouldn't matter. My parents did not seem to notice my tears. Finally my mom, surely sick of my mix of tears and anger, directed me to open my stocking. It was full of dog food and other doggie items, along with a note to look in the box outside.

And there it was, my own wonderful beautiful puppy.

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