One of the positive aspects of having low expectations about something is that the thing you have them about will generally either meet those low expectations or be better than them. If it meets them, then you are at least prepared and hopefully able to deal with the thing. However, if it is better than what you expected, then you are pleasantly surprised.
One of my friends was in town this week. I always like to see him when I get a chance; given the news I received earlier in the week, I especially hoped to get some time with my friend. He called me and asked if I was going to this dance for the 18-30 year old people at one of the churches. I didn't want to remind him that I am 31, but I did tell him that I hadn't been planning on attending. "Jamie, you gotta go with me!"
"But I already have plans to go to another party that evening that will be with people who are closer to my age, and I think I will be much more comfortable there," I could have said. But this is my friend, one of the bookend boys I wrote about a couple of years ago, and I didn't want to pass up the chance to see him before he left for school again. So I said okay, and I was excited to have at least a friend date because I don't think I have had even one of those for a very long time.
Then I proceeded to NOT look forward to the dance more and more, as well as be kind of bummed that I wasn't going to go hang out with "my people" (even though I don't really know them and was just making an assumption that they were my people - however, whether or not that assumption was true, it seems much more certain than a dance full of 18-30 year old people who would probably be on the younger side).
Friday was the day of the dance. I spent most of the day alone, which isn't good for me in my current mood, but I finally began to clean the laundry room with a vengeance, and that helped. I texted Bookend Boy for a time, so I would know when I needed to be ready for my friend date. He replied and in addition to answering my question, informed me that some other people needed a ride, so we would just have a little party.
The news made me only that much more excited - or not. After offering to drive myself, he called and told me who he was bringing, and I was happy to realize I would feel comfortable with the other kids. He came and picked me up and the four of us went to the dance and - I had a good time. It's been so long since I've danced, and though I think I have been somewhat ruined by realizing how stupid the way we dance looks, and I feel like ballroom or salsa, etc., are really the way to dance, I have to admit that I kind of like bopping around a little. And it was great to see my friend, of course. He's a really good example of kindness to me; I love being around people like him because they remind me to try to be better.