LIVING IN FEAR OF THINGS THAT GO BUMP, DAY OR NIGHT
“Waiting to Exhale,” a novel by Terry McMillan, is the story of four women who are “holding their breaths” until they find men to whom they can commit their lives (Wikipedia). I’ve never read the book nor have I seen the film which was a box office success, but the title has always captured my imagination. I see it as a perfect description of everyday life. Each morning I awake with the expectation that something is about to happen. It can be a good thing or a bad thing or just an event I’m eager to check off my “to do” list.
Oddly enough, mundane expectations are more tedious to endure than those of a larger magnitude. Waiting for the results of a mammogram is one example. Waiting for the gardener, who sometimes does or does not appear, is another. Other expectations are frustrating because they concern a highly anticipated event. Waiting for a book contract to arrive is nerve wracking. Waiting for the last installment of the “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows” filmis bitter sweet – the culmination of a journey of several years.
Perhaps the most exhausting expectations are those in one’s imagination. For months, I’ve been dreading the moment when someone opens a car door near my new Prius and puts a dent in its side. Well, I need wait no longer. A stranger backed into my left fender the other day. I had it fixed, of course, and I know the driver didn’t mean to do any damage. Maybe I should thank him. Anticipating the day when my car might be hit is an event I need no longer hold my breath about.