Did you know it’s impossible to be an optimist without getting disappointed? Sad but true. The sacrifice I make by choosing to believe that there can be good and happiness in this life is that it has a tendency to backfire and make me feel let down, all the time. Where do you find the realistic middle ground of anticipation to avoid the fallout of what would happen if things didn’t work out? Most things are no big deal. I can shrug it off with a “womp womp” and go about my business. Sometimes the disappointment hurts, though.
My worst case of disappointment? My father and little brother’s funeral. I vaguely remember the service. I was kind of floating on disbelief the whole time but from what I can remember there were a lot of people there, even my brother’s French teacher attended. We got through the service and traveled to the grave site. I can remember standing outside watching everyone. My eyes were sore and dry and I hugged myself tightly for comfort as I looked around at all of the people. My sister had her head in her hands. Her friends circled her, patting her back, speaking comforting words. My mother was always the expressive one, loudly crying as her family and friends surrounded her in comforting words and touches. I looked around for my friends – for my comfort committee. I couldn’t see them anywhere. I checked my phone and discovered a message that they’d all left to get Taco Bell. This was a case where disappointment became rage, exhaustion, depression and apathy all at once. At that exact moment I decided that obviously nobody gave a fuck about me so I should just suck it up and get over it. I’m still bitter about it to this day, but do I say anything about it? Of course not. Just get over it and move on.
There are certain things that make you feel like the disappointment as well, and sometimes that can be even worse. I can remember when I was in my early twenties. My boyfriend and I had moved into a new apartment and my mother was coming to visit for a couple of days. This was when our relationship was strained so there wasn’t much communication between us but I was still eager to see my mother all the same. When I heard her knock on the door, I raced to open it up and greet her. Her first words were, “Oh, you don’t wear make-up anymore?” I love my mom but she’s good at saying things that she doesn’t realize are hurtful. Another time when I was a teenager I can recall putting on makeup in the bathroom. She came looming in through the doorway and watched me through the mirror with a sighful smile. When I looked up at her she remarked that I would be so beautiful if I were skinny. This is how you instill disappointment in people’s selves. There was no looking great the way I was. It made me feel embarrassed to go out in public actually looking like my natural self. I felt that I had disappointed her by not being the thin beautiful girl that she used to be when she was younger. To this day, I still don’t think she really understands that just because I’m her daughter, doesn’t mean that I have the same genetic makeup as far as my body type. So that’s where I’m the disappointment, but at least I know in my head that it’s not true. I’ve done nothing wrong and have no reason to let it affect me.
When others disappoint me, however, it’s harder to move forward without putting a callous over the scar it leaves. I want so badly to just believe that people are honest and genuine and that others feel the way I do. That’s me getting my own hopes up. What’s funny is that I always know when I’m going to be disappointed. I get this feeling under my skin that it’s just not going to happen. I ignore it the best I can but it always proves to be true. Just like that day laying there looking into Micky’s eyes. I felt that it meant the end but didn’t want to accept it, even though I was proved right.
I was disappointed this weekend. Micky was actually supposed to come visit, to see how I’m doing since I left. I was elated for it. I could show off my place, actually be the host for once, hell I even finished a new painting over the last couple of days that I was excited to share. I cleaned my place top to bottom. Laundry was all done and put away, nary a dish in the sink, two new bottles of wine in the rack, I even had a scrumptious dinner cooking in the slow cooker all day as an extra treat. Well I waited… and waited… and waited… Apparently he had agreed to help a friend move that morning before he came over. There was an accident on the last load and they had to take someone to the ER and spend the day there. I can understand things happening, but I rarely got any updates… and at one point just kind of gave up on even checking in since I got no response. I spent an entire day in anticipation only for it to go nowhere. There was a festival going on that I was looking forward to as well as an art walk that night (complete with a telescope aimed at the moon – how cool!) but I didn’t do any of these things. I was home waiting.. for nothing.
He apologized, mentioned the possibility of visiting sometime this week. It would be nice but I’m certainly not putting all of my eggs in that basket again. I understand that things happen, but not giving any updates and just leaving me to wait all day for nothing really bothered me, and my body is none too happy about supplementing my unhappiness with cinnamon rolls at midnight, either. Maybe it’s a sign to let it go and just move forward. Maybe he actually will visit this week sometime and it will go great. I don’t know. All I know is that I’m sick of waking up with an aching heart.
After a while it gets really hard to put on a smile and say “It’s alright.” when really it isn’t, and never has been, but I’d rather feel the pain of disappointment and pretend that it doesn’t bother me than to inconvenience someone into knowing that I’m not content. How screwed up is that? Somehow that’s how I’ve been conditioned to deal with disappointment. Mouth shut, head down, take it and move on.
Even I get sick of hearing myself bitch sometimes. Maybe I really should just be a hermit.