Often I get accused of having expectations for other people, when I get disappointed in their actions. This seems to be the trending defense of those who either don’t know how to function in society or refuse to do so. I have apparently arduous expectations that bind them to a life of Hell and horror. I really don’t, but they set out to paint this outrageous picture of me throwing everyone into a prison of virtue and morality. That’s even though they’ve not been prohibited to do whatever they’re carrying on about.

Yes, folks, I’m a horrific jailer. An evil man who sucks the fun out of life by prohibiting people from making a Grade A mess of theirs. It’s true that they did indeed make a Grade A mess of their life by not attending school like they should have, or not seeking professional help when they should have, or having too many kids when they couldn’t afford it, or whatnot. What’s being left out was that I wasn’t stopping them from making their choices.  I simply don’t agree with their actions.

You see, we all have expectations for each other whether we’re willing to admit it or not. Every… last… one… of… us. It’s how societies are created. We can’t all function as independent little pieces, because we’re not all squirreled away in the mountains living off melted snow and woodland creatures. We have to have some modicum of expectation, otherwise I could simply do as I please. Trust me, you do not want me driving around in a dune buggy wearing fur pants scouring the Earth for people to work as servants. There’s an expectation of not being a barbarian. You expect me to be civilized.

What?! You expect me to be civilized?! How dare you! That’s your expectation! You’re not the boss of me! I don’t play by your rule book!

That’s what anyone sounds like when they start saying “your expectations… blah, blah, blah,” as I didn’t stop you from doing anything. I just hoped your mind would have a better sense of discretion beyond the age of 18. Take responsibility for the heaping pile of garbage you made and make a go of it. That’s apparently insensitive, as I obviously never lay in the bed that I make on a daily basis (hint: that’s sarcasm. I actually do).

So, for people who want to wail and moan about “expectations” maybe you need to stop and let others be disappointed. If it really didn’t bother you, you’d not try to brow beat them into anything. If you feel you have a right to unbridled action, it should be a piece of cake, right? Or are you trying to pin your conscience on to a scapegoat?

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11 thoughts on “Expectations

  1. It is hard to reconcile the expectations of my return on various investments in people with what they actually think that return should be.

  2. Laura Lynn says:

    Keep up the good work. There are plenty of people out there who are happy to wallow, enable and commiserate. You needn’t be one.

    • I help others “enough,” in my mind. My friend’s wife is a professional photographer, and I scored them tickets to a local event for photo stock purposes. That subject matter could make quite a bit of money for them both. He then turns around and calls me a “hard ass” when we’re talking about been sensitive to other peoples problems. That’s the usual 180 treatment I get out of a lot of people. If you’re not a complete enabler, then you have unrealistic expectations. A couple of years ago, I said forget that. I do what I can, but there’s no one rushing to pick up my pieces when things break.

      • Laura Lynn says:

        Funny you mentioned no one rushing in to pick up your pieces. I was lucky enough to run into a group of people who are wealthy enough to ignore poverty and sickness and yet they rushed in to picks up my sorry ass pieces when I got sick. Helped, and are still helping, pay rent, ferry passes and bills. They have a tiny charity they use to succor people in our town who get sick and can’t work. They definitely don’t have to do it themselves, they could just donate money and let people like me try and wrangle it out of the big charities if I can, but they don’t. Still amazed that they take the time. On the other hand, I got mad last night about a friend who is being treated unjustly and threw an ugly figurine out the window on her behalf. Now, before I go to work, I have to go hunt it up before someone runs it over with a mower. Dagnabit! No one to pick up those pieces…except me.

      • Yes, you are fortunate to find such people. I’m very concerned about my options if I find myself in a similar situation.

        I’ve had people say to me directly “I can’t help you,” even when I didn’t ask. Funny part was she thought she was “in love” with me at the time. I’m so glad I ended that relationship; it was a joke.

        That was when the economy went south in ’09 and I had to leave a hostile work environment. I ended up moving back to the fields, a 600 mile drive, to live with my parents again. I couldn’t collect unemployment, because I technically left even though they were out of line. There’s no excuse for promoting “men can’t do a fucking thing” (direct quote from immediate supervisor). I don’t care who you are.

        After I brought in more funding for the family business, I finally became gainfully employed. It wasn’t by the benevolent government, nor charitable private industry. It was by my own sweat and tears, and the living arrangement wasn’t a handout either. My parents profited greatly from me being there. I made sure I picked up all of my little pieces, even though it was a very dark period in my life.

      • Laura Lynn says:

        You sound incredibly competent and together right now. You know your strengths and weaknesses. I think we all go through dark periods, god knows I’ve been through them, and am currently navigating one now, but I don’t fear them anymore. They are a cycle and I am permanent.

  3. I expect very little, which means I’m happily surprised…sometimes.

  4. laurasmess says:

    Hm. Not sure if I’ve mentioned this before, but I’m a social worker. It’s funny reading this article from a professional sense, as I’m actually paid to help pull people’s sorry asses out of the mess that they’ve created. And because I have to wade into THEIR pile of shit and push them out bit by bit, I have expectations of them. They need to take responsibility, acknowledge where they went wrong, do some things – however small – for themselves as I don’t want to stand in that seething pile of crap for a second more than I have to. But… in saying that, I still need to acknowledge that people have a right to self-determine. To disregard everything that could possibly help them. To fail, dismally, and fall back into a miserable pattern of dysfunction. I respect that. It just sucks when, six months later, they call back and ask me to start from the beginning all over again, as ‘this time, I really want to change’.

    • No, I didn’t know you were a social worker. You’ve seen a bit more than I have, but I frequently work with people who have case workers. There are many I know who participate in Federal programs for living expenses. Since it’s a small town, many of the locals know the back story on several people. That’s why there is a bit of anger toward people in this position. I can remember thinking of one resident, “[name redacted], you were no good in high school, and you haven’t changed one bit. Now you have a family that you can’t keep together. I’d be horribly embarrassed, if I were in your situation, but you’re too arrogant to think about it.”

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