Realism: A pleasant surprise for an eternal optimist

I’m naturally an excitable person. I love birthdays. All birthdays. Every single one. I don’t care how others feel about them; I’m buying you a present whether you like it or not (because I LOVE PRSENTS!) and there will ice cream or cake in one form or another. I just get too excited by birthdays not to foist a celebration on others.

I’m like this with a lot of things. Weddings (eeeeeeee!), puppies (double eeeeee!), life in general, the usual, which is why what I’m about to blog about runs rather counter to my general personality. Sometimes, you have to manage your expectations and be a realist. Sometimes you have to expect things to totally suck so that you’re pleasantly surprised.

Teenagers: This is the ideal way to get through prom. If you go into it with realistic expectations and knowledge that the dinner is going to be dry (no banquet hall honestly cares at all about feeding a couple hundred 17-year-olds), the DJ isn’t going to be that good, and please, your after party is likely in some field somewhere in the hopes of avoiding cops. It’s going to be muddy and the cops are indeed going to show up. There will be mosquitos. People are going to have vomited. If you go into the evening with all of this in mind, you will likely not only not be horribly disappointed, but perhaps even pleasantly surprised. Maybe the mashed potatoes will make up for the sorry excuse that is your chicken. Maybe the DJ will play some Spice Girls and you’ll dance like a fool. Maybe it’ll be a nice starry night out when you go to your party in a bog.

This also works with movies, I’ve found. The other day Hilary and I sat down to watch Beautiful Creatures, which despite having Viola Davis, Emma Thompson and Jeremy Irons as cast members, received rotten reviews and wasn’t in theatres long. It’s billed as a sort of Twilight-esque film, featuring forbidden teen-aged love. No love triangle though – perhaps that’s why it didn’t do as well? Hilary’s manager Megan wanted her to watch it, test it out, so Megan would know whether she should devote an evening to it. Well Megan, if you go into it thinking it’ll be crap, then yeah, devote an evening to it.

I thought that it would be simply horrible. I don’t like Twilight, mostly because it’s crap. But you see the key difference between this movie and Twilight is that the female lead isn’t Kristen Steward. Automatically so much more palatable! I was pleasantly surprised by how adorable and enjoyable this film was. Oh don’t get me wrong, I don’t think you should all watch it. But if you’re having a lazy day, wearing your favourite pajamas and have gotten yourself settled on the couch with a bag of Doritos, this film is the perfect fix.

The key is to be realistic, while simultaneously allowing yourself to be surprised and delighted. You can put things down as crap, but you also have to be open to realizing their worth at the same time. If you can do that, may I suggest you check out When in Rome? I might try this on organized activities…

~ Julia Maurice Sabre-Ocean

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