It’s disturbing to reflect upon how much a life time of television and Hollywood films shapes our expectations. This sets us up for a constant string of disappointments, some crushing. It’s like Pantene’s tantalizing promise “it won’t happen over night but will happen”. Unfortunately Ms Pantene often it simply doesn’t happen and we have to suck up our bad hair lives and get on with it.
Unrealistic expectations develop at a very early stage. For example recently when I went to collect the girls from daycare I found P1 playing with 2 little girlfriends. “Whatcha girls up to?” I inquired casually. “We’re playing Jedi mind tricks!” announced P1’s super sassy friend Miss A. She gave me a withering look as I fought the urge to collapse with laughter on the rubber ground cover. “Oh honey” I thought to myself “if only we could play Jedi mind tricks but so often in life “the force” is not with us”. Wouldn’t you love to be able hypnotize your partner with your gaze whilst mono-tonally suggesting ” You will venture in to the city. You will enter Tiffanys. You will bring me back a pair of diamond earrings in a little blue box”. If that’s pushing things a little too far something along the lines of “You will put down the remote. You will move towards the sink. You will wash the dishes” would satisfy most of us. Jedi mind tricks? If freakin’ only!
My inability to control Dadabulous’ behaviour via the power of my mind is just one small let down. Here are some of the ways I’ve discovered that reality blows.
I am inevitably disappointed every time I walk past a Fire Station. It is not filled with shirtless hunks gyrating around the pole. Damn. In fact I’m yet to spot a semi-naked spunk rat in a Fire Station. I tell you, reality blows!
Similarly passing by the local Cop Shop is a big let down. I’m yet to encounter a bunch stud muffins wearing aviator sunglasses and shiny peaked hats (but oddly without shirts) gesticulating wildly with their batons. What is up with that?
While we’re on of this theme, remember that Diet Coke advertisement where a group of office dollies salivate over an impossibly buffed window cleaner? That ad set up corporate chicks Australia wide for crushing disappointment. I worked in high rise offices for around 15 years and have never once admired a hunk o’licious window cleaner. On the other hand the “window candy” probably took on the job expecting pleasing vistas of lingerie clad babes. It must be devastatingly disappointing for them to have to peer at sterile banking back offices day after day.
The world of work is another area where reality falls far below our expectations. I can speak with experience about the finance industry. The movie Wall Street has a lot to answer for. So many young bucks and buckettes enter the sector believing it to be a hive of non stop adrenaline pumping action. They anticipate dancing in the milling throng of the trading floor, waving tickets about and screaming “buy, buy, buy, sell, sell, sell”. In reality the last Australian trading floor closed in 1997. Everything is done electronically and the dealing rooms can be discouragingly quiet as young desk jockeys key orders into their PCs. More importantly no one wears suspenders or slicked back hair a la Gordon Gecko unless they are attending an 80s theme party.
The cinematic misrepresentation of the IT industry is even worse. Nerds might huddle in basement flats surrounded by gadgets and gizmos but they can’t hack into just about any institution with a couple of mouse clicks. Unlike Hugh Jackman in the movie Swordfish, most “code monkeys” can’t achieve feats of hard core hack-tivism whilst Halle Berry gives them a seeing to under the desk. I would say that 99.999% of them never receive such an opportunity. The code itself is not at all glamorous. It does not consist of cascading streams of luminous green exotic characters as per the Matrix films. Sadly.
Nowhere in life is the chasm between Hollywood and real life so enormous than in the love and romance department. As a girl did you often imagine your own engagement proposal? Was it an epic production involving sky writing and fireworks? Perhaps you fantasized about being taken out to the fanciest restaurant in town and returning from the ladies powder room to find a hunk of ice of the very expensive kind in your champagne glass? Reality rarely measures up. I was proposed to on a camping trip. I was wearing tracksuit pants and the event was witnessed by a kangaroo. At least there was enough mobile phone coverage for me to immediately ring my parents.
In what ways have you discovered that reality blows?