I needed a piece of gum. In a bad way.

Reaching toward the purse sitting in the passenger seat, I left the other hand on the steering wheel and both eyes fixed on the road. A nearly full pack of Tutti-Fruity gum sat waiting in the zippered pocket. And, sure enough, my blind hand found the familiar shape of a piece of fruity goodness, slipped it out of its pack and paper, and into my mouth without a hitch.

Chomp, chomp, chomp. Mmmm … Tutti-fruity deliciousness.

Huh???

(A new flavor assaulted my senses)

A dozen chews into the fresh piece of heaven, my tongue noticed something far less fruity and much more minty. And after another dozen chews, it wasn’t the least bit fruity at all.

Either Willy Wonka dropped a piece of magic gum in my purse pocket, or the gum I chewed was, in fact, a piece of Trident Peppermint.

As I chomped, chomped, chomped, I couldn’t stop thinking about the fact that my gum DID taste fruity for the first several bites, which is entirely impossible considering that mint gum doesn’t taste anything like fruity gum. But, in my anticipation, I actually experienced what I wanted. And it wasn’t half-bad.

I wonder how relationship expectations affects the flavor of what we actually experience? If I anticipate the very best in others, does that in effect help our entire relational experience to be more positive? On the other hand, if I expect a person to disappoint, or be insensitive, or annoy me to death, does it alter the way I experience the reality?

Still chewing on this one.

What do you think?

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