I’m a little nervous about how expectant I am that something good is about to happen. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in life (and I’ll be lucky if I’ve learned that much), it’s that nothing ever happens when you’re expecting it. For real: Whatever you’re expecting, right now, is not going to happen. Something else is. Could be better, could be worse. Won’t be what you’re thinking.
Every really good thing that’s ever happened to me has been a total mistake. I met one of my best friends at the worst company I ever worked for. I found my beautiful apartment by allowing a realtor to take me to a different part of Boston than I initially wanted. Every time I’ve met a future boyfriend, I was caught completely unawares. (And I was usually wearing paint-stained sweatpants or something similarly unappealing.)
I think of it as the Science Class Theory of Life. Science was my least favorite class in school. I sucked at it, I didn’t care, and you had to have a lab partner, which was only slightly less humilating than being picked for teams in gym class. I wasn’t totally friendless, or anything — but I think I was the only one of my friends who ever went to class on a regular basis.
Anyhoodle, some days I’d be shuffling morosely down the hallowed halls of NHS, feeling like death in band t-shirt, and science class would seem like the last goddamn straw. I just couldn’t take it. Probably I would spontaneously combust with annoyance and hormones and shame as soon as I crossed the threshhold of my classroom.
Sometimes, though, I’d feel like that, and when I’d get there, the teacher would have decided to show a film strip instead of having class. And it was THE GREATEST THING IN THE WORLD. I couldn’t have been happier if there’d been a bomb threat.
Now that I’ll all grown up and whatnot, I find that the Science Class Theory still holds. I’ll be feeling like crap, and someone will e-mail me and suggest going for a beer, or I’ll find five bucks in my coat pocket when I thought I was broke, and I feel all better. Maybe I’m not as excited by these small reprieves as I was when I was 16, but they still mean a lot. I like to think it’s a sign of my positive attitude, but I fear it may just be low expectations.