Sometimes I look at my past and just have to laugh at how much suffering I put myself through.
Laundry was one of them. Please laugh along with me at my decade-long trauma over men and shirts. When I was married in my 30s, the very first time I picked my now-former husband's shirts up from the laundry, they had a plastic covering on them. Since I always left the plastic on my dry cleaning, I put them away in his closet as I found them. Wrong choice! Boy, did I get an earful about how inconsiderate it was of me to not take the plastic off of his shirts before hanging them up. I felt hurt. I stayed sort of hurt.
Scroll forward 10 years, post our separation and divorce, I'm picking up shirts for a new boyfriend. I take them to his apartment, lovingly remove all the plastic from the shirts (I'd learned my lesson before) and put them away in his closet. Wrong choice! Boy, did I get an earful about how stupid it was of me to take the plastic off his shirts so they would have no protection from dust and dirt. I felt hurt. I stayed really hurt.
The worst thing was, I couldn't believe these two men, who supposedly loved me, would say such things and in such harsh tones of voice. After all, all I was trying to do was help. How could you get angry at someone simply trying to help you!!!!
Wow ... where to start with the application of loving humor to the above situation. They both had expectations of what to do with laundry, it is sort of funny that they were exactly the opposite expectations. Each expected me to know what they expected! Yikes!
And, I had expectations of how they should treat me if there was something I was doing that they didn't like. They should know to not be critical, and they should know not to yell, and they should know not to get upset. Double yikes!!
And, here is the final one ... I actually had an expectation of myself that I should know exactly what they expected as it related to that damn laundry. Triple yikes!!!
After looking at this and really reflecting on it, do I think expectations are wrong? I don't know. I think we all have them, lots of them, it's hard not to. What I am totally and absolutely certain of though, is that if we don't examine our expectations and see them as they surface, it leads to hurt and disconnection.
P.S. In case anyone was wondering ... When Richard and I first moved in together, I was taking his shirts to be cleaned and throughly interrogated him about his preferences. I think he thought I was a bit obsessive on the topic.