Self-involved, but with a great taste in music

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


I finally had the opportunity to see (500) Days of Summer and it was better than advertised. (don't continue if you haven't seen it yet!) The setting, the acting, the lighting, the dialog, the method of storytelling... Loved it.

Isn't there something becoming of a guy pining in misery over a girl? The tormented thoughts, the drunken stupor, the melodramatic conversations... it's amusing to me in the same way that biffing on ice skates horribly makes me smile... wasn't fun or funny at the time - not even a little while after it - but time passed, as it always does, and perspective sets in.

My first job out of college was notable in two ways:
a. I met some utterly amazing friends
b. I learned a very valuable concept

Managing expectations

Here's an example:

Say you get this really great job offer in another state and you're wondering what to do. You obsess over the decision and wear yourself out. You decide to pick up dinner at the local Chinese restaurant and in a brash moment you decide to let fate set your course. You open the fortune cookie and you see this:

A little disheartening. Managing expectations could have been implemented like the Chinese restaurant being called, "Literally Devoid of All Spiritually Chinese Food".

Giving someone additional information to adjust what they might anticipate to occur is a powerful notion. Incidentally, my boss, whom bestowed this upon me, was terrible at using this skill himself. More credence to the saying those that can't do, teach.

To manage expectations you have to have an idea of how a person is thinking and, more importantly, care about how they are feeling. That was a fascinating disconnect in (500) Days of Summer. The girl (who should be slugged in the face) stood on the ground rules that she established when they first started talking. He instead evaluated their relationship based on their dynamic. A spin of a popular theory we hear about... the girl in this story was clear with her wants and intentions and the guy felt that he could be enough to change her.

The girl didn't care enough about the guy to manage his expectations and felt fine leading him on. He felt that she cared for him enough that she clearly wouldn't be so careless with his emotions. Again, she's a twat.

But, ultimately, it's up to ourselves to manage our own expectations. To temper our fantasies. To be pragmatic. And in the face of what he has been through, in the wake of having his heart obliterated, he finally does manage his own expectations... by not adjusting them at all and carries on with the same recklessness as before.


Cole said...

That video is hilarious! Not every girl is that way though. If you remember when Stephen and I first started dating he was driving a minivan with a broken sliding door. ha! I knew you would like the movie. :)

Bu said...

That video is one of my favorites! A creation that only a bitter, wounded man would make.

I loved the movie! I was real glad to have seen it with you guys. Your place is very inviting and it's always great to see you both.

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