We had a fucking blast last night. Over the last few years we’ve become friends with several neighborhood families. When we are planning a get together it doesn’t feel like a big deal because it is just the usual suspects. Z and I invited the gang over for dinner before trick or treating last night. I was making beans and rice anyway. We had a ton of vegetarian leftovers for the non-meat eaters. Wednesday night Z and I realized that the not-big-deal included six kids and ultimately nine adults. The cool part is it still didn’t feel like a big deal. We were relaxed and actually excited about having everyone over. There always seems to be plenty of food. The chaos is actually a hell of a lot of fun. We’ve gotten used to having a large crew over and we wouldn’t want it any other way. Which is good because by this time next year two more babies will have joined the group.

Bonus: it was warm last night. So warm that the steady rain didn’t seem to matter. There has been snow on several of the Halloweens since we moved here. Warm and wet is infinitely better.

After we settled the exhausted boys into bed Z and I loaded the dishwasher and chatted about the evening. He told me that he and our friend had a disagreement about what was better-anticipation or the event itself. Our friend thought experiencing the moment was better and Z insisted the anticipation was best.

I think both Z and I were a bit shocked by the vehemence of my reaction. I couldn’t believe he would think anticipation was better. I was actually furious. And sad that he didn’t enjoy actually living as much as he enjoyed thinking about future events.

“The week before Christmas is way better than the day after Christmas.” he said. “Duh.” I replied. “But it isn’t better than Christmas morning!” “Well, what is sexier? Lingerie or nakedness?” “Um….nakedness?” I answered. It was his turn to get frustrated, “NO! Lingerie! The unknown is always sexier!” “I’m sorry, dude. Are you actually saying you’d rather think about sex than have sex? Because that’s just sad.” “Oh….well, ok.”

Ah. I was starting to get somewhere.

A moment later I had it. “Are you telling me that anticipating holding your son for the first time was better than actually holding him?” I looked at his face and knew I had him. “No,” he admitted. The vindication I felt was completely juvenile and stupid. I was relieved enough to tease him. “And what about marrying me? How could the anticipation of marrying a crazy person hold a candle to actually dealing with being married to someone this crazy?” He shook his head at me, “Oh Karen. When we got married I had no idea how crazy you actually were.” Valid point.


What was the deal? Why should I give a fuck if he likes anticipation better than the actual event? Why did I care about convincing him otherwise? It isn’t like the dude is living in his head. He embraces life. He’s fully engaged. I wish I was more like him.

This morning it came to me.



I have an anticipatory anxiety disorder. Anticipation isn’t excitement to me. It is fear. And migraines. And panic attacks. And diarrhea. Anticipation is the very worst part of life. The kicker is that often what I’ve been anticipating turns out to be not only bearable, but wonderful.

If anticipation makes Z happy so be it. I shouldn’t berate him until he comes around to seeing it my way. My bizarre reaction last night was basically because anticipation scares the living shit out of me. Literally. No, no. Not how the kids these days misuse literally. I really mean literally.

So what say you, friends? Anticipation? Or the event itself? Which one is better? I promise not to fight with you, I’ll respect your opinion.


I just wanted a decent picture. T started off by tormenting C.

back off

C has started to fight back. Boys! Pull it together!

best of the bunch

Ok, this is as good as it gets these days.


8 thoughts on “Anticipation

  1. I really like the anticipation when it’s far out, but then as the event gets closer (like within 3 days) I start to have anxiety. And then…to be honest…sometimes I actually enjoy the event AFTERWARD more than I did either before or during.

  2. I’m a big fan of anticipation. Before it happens, it feels like it will be great, like I will be great. Then the day comes, and my gram is critical, my mom gets cranky, and I nip out and sneak a cigarette. The day of the event, it’s all on the line, and everything happens without much control. But in the lead up, it’s perfect. Every year D and I decide to go see family for holidays. Then when they’re over, we vow to never do that again.

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