My friend Olivia is expecting a baby girl Jujube in December. She looks beautiful, a calm and graceful mother-to-be. Inspired by Jennifer Loomis, a Seattle local photographer who takes beautiful pictures of pregnant women, I shot this one of Olivia with my lensbaby.
Her latest baby shower was by far one of the most traumatic social events I’ve been to this year. It was a great friendly party so I haven’t really been traumatized that much. It wasn’t just the fact that almost everyone at the party was married with a toddler, whether in the belly or in the world. It wasn’t the baby games that I couldn’t relate to. It wasn’t because I was the only non-Christian person in the room. As I looked at the babies crawling on the living room floor, the parents chasing after them before they break some glass vase, the game master calling out the correct price for a pack of 60 baby diapers, I felt this intense need to run out of the house of providence. Is this it?! That’s life?! Late 20’s, early 30’s, people are locked down on making babies and building families?! Not that I don’t want to build a family and have my own children, there are so many things I still want to do and see before I devote my whole attention to babies. I’m not done growing up yet! :)
Onto a different topic of expectations more relevant to me. Women with high expectations is the hot topic of debate amongst my friends lately. This year, I’ve heard many men ranting that women’s expectations are too high. I cringe at the general accusation. First of all, why do men feel so free to complain about women in front of me? Should that generalization include me? The complaint is just another negative image that men cast of women without empowering women to be better. The complaints make the guys so unattractive and unappreciative of the women in their lives.
However, I do sympathize with the guys: there are many women with unreasonable high expectations. I was like that about three months ago as a very naive single girl that just started dating. Clarie used to tell me about no expectations, but I think the keyword should be reasonable. High expectations are good, men have those for women as well. They make each of us strive for the better if they are good expectations. Whether it’s the women being pleased by chivalrous gestures from men, or men feeling successful from being able to please women, creating positive experiences and making true connections are the purpose behind the dance of dating. For me, I decided to treat guys like my friends, with utmost respect and appreciation. Basic requirements for any relationship hold true: honesty, integrity, kindness, and compatibility. I contend with my expectations of myself and people in my life. I try to question whether those expectations and assumptions are reasonable. It’s a beautiful thing when you find people that understand each other and meet each other’s expectations with little or no effort. Compatibility goes for friendships and romantic relationships.