I’m on tenterhooks. Pleasure lies only days ahead yet in these uncertain times (Heat. Covid. Politics. Warfare.) I can’t be sure it will be achieved. Such worries spoil my anticipation of pleasure which – when you think about it – is the best part. Few delights live up to their expectation if we are honest.
A rare exception for me – recently mentioned – was San Francisco. I paid a visit - half business, half holiday – in 1970 and it really did live up to its pre-publicity. Manoeuvring a Dodge Charger among the redwoods, free tastings at the wineries, abalone at Fisherman’s Wharf, the exhilaration of crossing the Golden Gate bridge. VR’s flight ticket paid for by my employer. A hotel on El Camino Real. Yeah.
But pause for a moment. Can thinking about the future actually outweigh the nature of the event itself? Can thought be more fun than reality? One thing’s for sure; anticipation often differs widely from what actually ensues. Especially if large sums of money are spent. Our potential for being disappointed is just as great as that for being enchanted. Sometimes we expect or, at least, hope for something that doesn’t exist. A meal that’s true magic. Music that reaches into our soul. A view out of this world - literally.
The first kiss I’d yearned for since short pants communicated only inertia. A best-seller read by millions was badly written. An admired politician bollixed his ultimate promotion.
But suppose joy was unexpected, arriving in a flash. Might there be the faintest tint of regret we were unable to enjoy it in advance? Stretching out the experience, in effect?
What we do know is we often have a talent for perversity. Ingratitude without justification. Selfishness. Greed.
Not you? How about being a poor hand at introspection?