Great-ish Expectations

Wallace & Gromit 001

If I had to pick a line from a movie or show to use as a catch-phrase for my life, I would choose the brilliant line uttered by Wallace to Gromit, in “The Wrong Trousers”

“Well, that went as well as could be expected, didn’t it?”

At the end of each day I sit in my comfy chair and think that to myself.

It is a retroactively optimistic phrase.

It is an acknowledgement that things, given the circumstances, went as well as could be expected.

It is also confirmation that one’s expectations were pretty much in line with whatever happened.

And best of all, it lets me off the hook for things that were beyond my control.

For the past 25 years or so, I have found myself saying that sentence at various times.  In particular, I would say it when something was an unmitigated disaster or even when things just did not go as planned.

Just burned a frozen pizza to a charred and smoking crisp in the company microwave?  “Well, that went as well as could be expected, didn’t it?

Just had a disastrous presentation in front of the vice president of engineering?    “Well, that went as well as could be expected, didn’t it?

Just had a less-than-successful docking of your lighter-than-air ship at the mooring mast?  “Well, that went as well as could be expected, didn’t it?

Just plotted a sub-optimal path around an iceberg in your unsinkable luxury liner?  “Well, that went as well as could be expected, didn’t it?

Just posted an article on your blog?  “Well, that went as well as could be expected, didn’t it?

9 comments

    • I call it “having realistic expectations”. I may never be thrilled, but neither am I disappointed much.

      I love Thomas Hardy! He is definitely in my top 5 all-time favorite authors. His writing is so beautiful. Even his novels read like poems.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. How important it is to keep one’s expectations low, where would the human race be if we all had high expectations. As Cyberspouse said when I first started self publishing and selling one novel a year ‘That’s good, I wasn’t expecting you to sell any.’

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha ha! So right! And see? With very low expectations, the sale of a single novel was quite a thrill! Must better than being disappointed.

      As for where we’d be if we all had high expectations, I have often said that the human species would have gone extinct long ago if we were all uniformly full of high expectations, optimism, and type-A foolhardiness.

      Like

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