Expectation Versus Reality

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We had a veterinarian neighbor many years ago who together with his girlfriend, loved to do holiday things for our kids — like decorating a tree in the front yard with hanging plastic candy-filled eggs at Easter or baking heart shaped cookies on Valentine’s Day.  Walter especially liked Halloween and looked forward to the neighborhood kids trick or treating up and down the street.  One year he bought an impressive, full over-the-head werewolf mask — perfect for greeting Halloween visitors.  This was around the time that masks like that were new on the market and we hadn’t seen anything like it. A few days before Halloween he put on the mask, came to our house, adopted a fierce stance and rang the front doorbell. Our four year old answered the door and turned aside with a nonchalant, “Oh hi, Walter”.  Walter’s shoulders slumped and I could see the disappointment right through that expensive mask.  Actual reactions sure do often fall short of expectations.

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