"Nothing is more disappointing than a message misread or an unfulfilled moment of great expectation. Too many disappointments in one's life are usually a sign of too many unrealistic hopes. I really do miss what I almost had in a few encounters with the fairer sex as a young man. I often wonder how my life would have turned out had she said 'yes' instead of 'no' or 'no' instead of 'yes', or even 'maybe' instead of 'never'?
We all have high expectations some time in our lives; some more than others. When we get married, many might say that the mere fact we entertain an expectation to be blissfully happy and remain so forever, when almost half the wedded population get divorced at least once today, could be our most unrealistic expectation of all! How wonderful it is to thoroughly enjoy our first sexual experience, to have a happy and lifelong marriage, to live in that idyllic country cottage with roses framing its front porch and a garden full of home grown vegetables just waiting to be picked, to see our children grow up in the spirit of love, compassion, and generosity, to love doing our daily job instead of merely enduring it, to retire comfortably on a gold plated pension, to enjoy good health until the day we die, to die in the very same moment as our lifelong partner and soul mate from natural causes; to wake up on the other side of this life in heaven and to be re-united with all your loved ones who died before you! How lovely it would be!
I have always walked into every situation in my life expecting the best, and in the main, despite having had the highest of expectations, I have rarely been disappointed. As Martin King Jr. was reported to have once said, 'Faith is taking the first step, even when you don't see the whole staircase.' There have been many a fair maiden's house I've been invited into after a date, without quite knowing what will follow before one leaves. Sometimes my expectations have been quenched by a cup of coffee in the kitchen area and a quick goodnight kiss before being shown the front door, and on other occasions, I have walked up that staircase and not come down it until the next morning.
As most of you can guess, for many years of my young manhood I was a bad boy, who in the main, tried to be good, but often failed. After many years of gallivanting in my early twenties, I eventually concluded, as many sailors do, there are only so many seas one can cross and so many ports one can stop over at before one starts to yearn for the stability of dry land. I began to settle down (for the most part), after I married at the age of twenty six, and though my expectations of that union proved wholly unrealistic, I retained my marital vows and kept my wandering spirit to the occasional glance at an attractive woman.
Since I became an author in 1989, the many characters I've created in my adult stories have enacted some of my inner desires and most hidden thoughts. In some ways, I'd have to admit always having been as dangerous to be around as a keg of dynamite, trying not to spark into action again whenever some fair maiden lit my fuse of masculine interest. Such suppression probably leads me to flirt unknowingly in the safest of ways. Although most of the women I regularly come into contact with now, believe that I would never stray again in either thought or deed, especially since I fell in love with and married Sheila, they all know deep down in their boots that it wasn't always so in my wicked past.
Thanks, largely to my writing occupation, I have absolutely no intention of behaving myself in old age as long as I can get away with it. And what's more, I'm not even going to pretend to, as life's too short. I will conclude this post with one of my favourite quotations by a children's author called Karen Ravn: 'Only as high can I reach can I grow, only as far as I seek can I go, only as deep as I look can I see, only as much as I dream can I be.'
So keep your expectations no higher than the level of disappointment you can withstand and you will survive all experiences. Have a safe and lovely Bonfire Night." William Forde: November 5th, 2016.