Tutti-Fruity Expectations

Dec 17, 2009

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?

7 Comments

  1. Diane Shaw

    That one does need some thought. I can understand that it could happen, but does it always happen this way? hummm, don’t know.
    Diane

    Reply
  2. BeeBelle

    When it comes to people, it often requires carefully figuring out the line between forgiving and forgetting. Sometimes I hope and pray for the best but still have to prepare for the usual so I’m not a doormat. It’s tough!

    Reply
  3. Michele

    BeeBelle, me too! It’s important to be wise, yes? To go into relationships with you’re eyes open and ears listening to God’s counsel. But I can’t help but wonder if sometimes we “peg” people, put them in a well-defined box and don’t allow them to grow or be different. Even if they do change, we miss it because we’re still anticipating the old.

    Reply
  4. Ashleigh

    Michele,
    Interesting idea, I might have to chew on that one for a while too. I think it definitely affects a relationship if you think negatively on it, because then you put yourself in a mindset that it’s going to be awful so you look for ways to make it live up to your expectations. Never thought of how it could work in a positive way… Should we try it? 🙂

    Love the creativity of the gum scenario!

    Reply
  5. Warren Baldwin

    Expectation definitely affects outcome and experience. If we know in advance that a new friendship will have to weather some rough water before it can become genuine, we will be less critical and more accpeting when our new friend acts human, that is, shows his/her flaws. We will be human as well!

    Reply
  6. Audra Krell

    Expectations completely shape relationships and interactions. I work hard to expect the best in people, because of the kind of person I want to be. If I wait for them to prove themselves, it will be a repeated cycle of disappointment, and then I put too many conditions on loving them.

    Reply
  7. Michele

    You bring up an interesting point about waiting for people to “prove” themselves, Audra. I’ve done that many times, thinking that respect/trust is earned. Although I still believe that’s true to some extent, I can’t find that concept in the Bible … the whole love-them-when-they-prove-they’re-worthy-of-it idea. It just isn’t a God-kind of love. In fact, if we looked at the way God has loved us, no holding back even though he knew we’d scorn it, we’d tell him that he’s being foolish. And yet God’s foolishness in wiser than man’s wisdom …

    Reply

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