One of my most favorite movies is “500 Days of Summer.” In one scene, the narrator says, “intoxicated with the promise of the evening, he believed that this time his expectations would align with reality.” Next, the screen splits in two. On one side the viewers can see Tom’s expectations while on the other side they can see the reality that isn’t matching up with his expectations.
If my life were a movie, this sort of Expectations vs. Reality thing would perfectly fit my spring break.
Last week, my friends and I were making all sorts of plans to go to the zoo and the new City Creek mall and other fun places. We had a whole week of no school and we were going to make the most of it.
So far, we haven’t done anything we planned.
Expectations for Friday: We’d go to Hogle Zoo and see all the cute animals.
My friend Kelsey said that if I took her to the zoo she would “help” me with my math homework. So, right after school, we were going to go to the zoo. It was a warm day outside and I was fairly sure I could use my mom’s car to drive there.
Reality on Friday: I had a nap.
Right after school, I was talking to my mom about our trip to the zoo and she needed the car and said I couldn’t go. So, I went upstairs and texted some friends to make other plans, but I never actually made any plans because I fell asleep.
Expectations for Saturday: After watching LDS General Conference, we were to have a picnic by the Great Salt Lake.
Last week, my family and I had driven by the lake on our way home. It was so pretty that, despite the awful smell, I wanted to take my friends on a picnic there. We could have taken cute pictures and eaten yummy food — it would have been golden, if it had happened.
Reality of Saturday: We held bunnies.
After the first session of conference, we went grocery shopping for Kelsey’s mom and we were a little late for the second session. And after the second session of conference, we were so close to having a picnic by the lake but we got distracted. For whatever reason, we ended up at the pet store instead of the lake. We got to hold cute bunnies, so it’s almost OK that we didn’t make it to the zoo the day before.
Expectations for Monday: I would go to work and then color with sidewalk chalk.
Last summer, my friends and I colored with sidewalk chalk so often we had calluses on the tips of our fingers. And finally, we would be able to color with chalk again. It’s spring break, that means it’s warm outside, right?
Reality of Monday: I went to work, but there wasn’t any sidewalk chalk.
I went to work. That’s good. But, we didn’t color with sidewalk chalk. It was much too cold outside. The melting snow made the sidewalk wet and you can’t color chalk on wet sidewalks. Instead, I stayed home and reread “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.” I love that book, so it’s almost okay the weather sucks.
I still have six days left of spring break to have my expectations align with reality.
At the end of “500 Days of Summer,” Tom realizes that reality is better than his expectations.
Maybe I don’t need to go to the zoo, or to City Creek to have a fun spring break. Maybe catching up on sleep, and rereading Harry Potter and holding bunnies can be fun too.
Kristine Johnson is a junior at Tooele High School.