Springtime in the City: Expectation vs. Reality
Expectation: I will take a leisurely stroll around the farmers market, examining and sniffing fresh produce, as if I am Julia Child shopping at an open-air marché in Paris or the type of person who knows when fruit is ripe or not.
Reality: I take a deep whiff of berries and instantly get stung by a bee.
Expectation: I will go out, wearing my brand-new floral dress and open-toed shoes, because it’s a 70-degree day and my weather app is showing a smiling-sun emoji.
Reality: It starts hailing within five minutes of leaving my apartment, and I’m forced to create a makeshift umbrella out of my sandals. The smiling-sun emoji on my weather app has turned into a devil-face emoji with lightning bolts for eyebrows.
Expectation: Springtime means romance is in the air! At the park, I will lock eyes with a comely stranger who will engage me in a friendly and stimulating conversation on current events, movies, our favorite bruschetta toppings, and the book Lincoln in the Bardo, because even though I’ve owned this book for two years, I will have definitely read it by spring.
Reality: The only thing that’s in the air is pollen. Seasonal allergies keep me in bed. I never find out what a bardo is.
Expectation: I will go jogging.
Reality: Whoa, whoa, whoa, let’s not get too ambitious here!
Expectation: I will become a plant owner. I’ll have orchids, ferns, and whatever plants I see on Reese Witherspoon’s Instagram. My apartment’s balcony will be a veritable Garden of Eden. I will relax languorously in a stylish hammock.
Reality: I forget to water my plants. The dry, brittle leaves turn my balcony into a fire hazard. My hammock becomes a resting place for the local squirrel population.
Expectation: I will eat an ice-cream cone and it will melt all over me.
Reality: I eat an ice-cream cone and it melts all over me.
Expectation: After deconstructing my makeshift umbrella and reassembling the parts into open-toed shoes, I will finally have the opportunity to show off my freshly painted pedicure.
Reality: After neglecting my feet all winter, my toenails look like oyster shells. Passersby gawk at my hardened heels. Children run away in horror. A bird pecks at my toes, mistaking them for seafood. And after all that, my feet don’t even produce a pearl.
Expectation: I will finally work on my novel, because the birds are chirping, the sun is shining, and my creativity is blossoming like a yellow daffodil.
Reality: I do not write my novel because it’s actually sunny and warm out and I have to enjoy spring while it lasts — which, as always, is a long and indulgent five to 10 minutes.