I know…you saw this title and got super pumped that this was going to be a story similar to a skit from Mad TV – Lowered Expectations.
That’s not the case.
If you’ve ever been around people, you’ve probably noticed that everyone has expectations for the right way and the wrong way to behave. Lately, I’ve been getting really irritated with some societal expectations that one is just ‘supposed’ to do.
Below is a list of a few things that have been driving me bonkers when I hear people bitch about them:
- Expectations that guests to bring wine/gifts to a dinner party. Unless you asked them in advance you should not be assuming this will happen. Anyway if you expect it then you are only inviting people to your house for gifts. NOT cool. Yes it is really nice to do and one should practice this behaviour but it should not be expected. Maybe they were running late, or maybe they don’t have much cash right now and genuinely appreciated the invite. Or maybe, just maybe they’ll invite you to their house one time and won’t want you to bring anything. Regardless…getting pissed about this is stupid.
- Expectations that people to give back all the money in a 50/50 draw. What’s that all about? If that’s what you want, then call it a donation draw. By having your name pulled you’re the lucky winner of giving the couple money they already expected. If I ever have a buck and doe (I won’t though) please note: if you come and you win the 50/50 money and you give it back to me – I will slap you. Consistently you hear people bitching about the 50/50 winners keeping the money. Who are they to judge? Just because some people can afford to give the money back, doesn’t mean that everyone else should. It’s to the point that I don’t participate in 50/50 draws, because if I won the money damn straight I’d keep it and you can go ahead and judge me as much as you want. Don’t worry though, I’d probably buy the couple some serious drinks with the winnings though.
- Expectations that cash is to be given from your wedding guests. Since when did a wedding become about getting a paycheque. Should you not be inviting your guests to your wedding because you want them to be at the happiest day of your life? Gifts are meant to be a gesture, not a mandatory. Really though, I do give gifts at weddings. I give cash sometimes, I give presents at others. But common, after an expected shower gift, money at the bachelorette and then a wedding gift, half of my salary goes into other peoples weddings.
- Expectations of a minimum amount of money people should give at weddings/showers. My thoughts – give what you can afford. If all you can afford is to give homemade crafts, then give homemade crafts. There shouldn’t be a dollar amount associated with the present you are giving. The present should come from the heart…not the bank.
- Expectations that men are to pay on the first date. It’s a first date…should you really expect a stranger to pay for you? Yeah it’s nice but should it be expected? No way sister friend.
- Expectations that people are to playing it cool when it comes to feelings. What’s the point of having feelings if you aren’t allowed to express them? People consistently play these horrible games when dating. Why not just be honest? ‘I like you’, ‘I don’t like you’. Was that so hard?
- Expectations of over the top ‘thank yous’ for a favour. If you’re doing someone a favour consider it a ‘pay-it-forward’ moment. If the person is able to thank you with a gift or dinner or something nice that’s wonderful. If all they are able to do is thank you with a note/call or giant hug…that should be good enough as well!
I’m worried I’m coming off as cheap. This is not the case. I give gifts whenever I can – sometimes for no reason. On the occasions I can’t give a gift because of money, I make up for it in other ways [if you know what I mean ;)] – I like to paint.
Here’s the thing. Gifts are thoughtful gestures and they should not be expected. They aren’t a payment for attending. So my friends, lower your expectations, and just be satisfied that people like you enough to come to your party. Everything else is just icing!