Expectations: The Note on the Car

Written communication between my husband and myself has always been a bit imbalanced with me being the one writing significantly more than he ever has. Back when I finished high school and worked at a camp in Texas all summer, my then husband-to-be received numerous letters from me (this was back in the 1900s). How many letters did I receive from him? One. The precious single piece of paper that arrived towards the very end of summer contained several short entries made over several days. Clearly it had taken a lot of time and effort to accomplish the one and only letter sent to the Lone Star State.

Another way I have communicated with the love of my life over the years is with handwritten notes left on his car. This happens much less now but has always been a way to show a bit of love at various times. Shortly after having left such a note on his car, I too discovered a piece of paper under my windshield as I was driving from a neighbor’s house for an early morning Bible study back to my own house. This never happens! Driving and thinking about the note I would soon be reading once back home, I was so excited that my husband had actually taken the time to write me a love note and surprise me. How out of character and perfectly delightful! I felt so loved!

After pulling into the driveway, I eagerly opened my van door and reached for the nice note that was already melting my heart without having laid eyes on its content. I quickly unfolded it.

“Please don’t block the driveway.”

I forget the exact words but it was something along those lines. I immediately felt a punch to my gut and tears in my eyes. Meaning slowly dawned on me. Back at the neighbor’s house, I must have been blocking a driveway slightly making it hard for my friend’s neighbor to leave. Ouch. This wasn’t a love note. This was correction. It hurt. Not so much because of the actual contents. I don’t want to block a driveway. But, the pain came because I had such high expectations of feeling tremendous love from my husband that to instead receive a rebuke from a stranger out of the blue was very unexpected and consequently overly painful.

As I type this up months after the incident, I feel a bit ridiculous at my reaction. Right now in this calm, rational moment, it seems idiotic to freak out in anyway about a disappointment over a note left on my windshield. However, in the moment, expectations verses reality led to a huge disappointment. Be careful about your expectations.

I can’t find who said the following quote, but it sums up what I’m trying to say:

“Sometimes we create our own heartbreaks through expectation.”

Or as my husband succinctly just said after reading this post, “Expectations meeting reality is a tough situation.”

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