Photo by mozzercork via flickr

Photo by mozzercork via flickr

A brief word before we begin: as you may have heard, I have recently become interested (read: obsessed) with Entourage, all the more so since someone told me that Adrian Grenier owns an eco-friendly house…in Brooklyn…with his mother. Swoon. Therefore, our heartwarming, vaguely current, only marginally related lead-in today comes from the mouth of none-other-than everyone’s favorite potty-mouthed philosopher king, Ari Gold. In the second episode of season 3, as the viewers watch eagerly to see if HBO can actually get Toby Maguire on the show so that the guys can tell him to suck it, Ari tells E to “manage your client’s expectations”. Granted, I don’t particularly want to take Ari’s advice, because I don’t particularly want to find myself shotgunning beers at a high school party in the valley – but this week, they may be words to live by.


For reasons that I can’t explain (lest a certain crazy Editor discover that I’m talking about his Journal and link his blog to mine), several of my coworkers are periodically responsible for sorting through a considerable number of photos of social scientists from around the world. It sounds like fun already, no? But it gets better! Because they’ve taken to playing a little game that I’m going to call The Managed Expectations Dating Game. The essential narrative of the game is as follows: there comes a day in your life when you have to lower your expectations, we think that day is today, we have identified a potential match for you accordingly. Nothing brightens up a Thursday afternoon like suggesting that someone date Dr. So-and-so with the coke bottle classes and offensive nose hair or Dr. Whats-it with more than twenty years experience studying the hallucinogenic effects of certain species of mushroom on Holstein cows in Bolivia. Want to find true happiness? It’s time to Manage Those Expectations!


February is a prime month for managed expectations, like New Year’s Eve or your high school prom (if you are a character in a movie marketed primarily to ‘tweens), February 14th is a High Holy Day on the Should’ve-Managed-My-Expectations Calendar. It’s exactly the kind of holiday where you get your hopes up only to have them dashed when  a) it turns out your next door neighbor hasn’t been carefully monitoring your work schedule so that he can surprise you with flowers and declarations of his undying love (after he introduces himself) as you climb the stairs after a long day, or b) your boyfriend wasn’t asking if you thought his sister would like that necklace for her birthday (back in October) because he was secretly running it by you as a potential VDay gift, or c) despite advice to the contrary, your fiancée decided that a second wii would be the most romantic gift this year.   


 For the sake of honesty I have to admit, I’m not a VDay Hater. New Year’s Eve I could live without, and Christmas and I have some major beef with, but Valentine’s Day and I are pretty much cool. I’ve had some really romantic ones and plenty of perfectly lovely single ones with the girls – I highly recommend chocolate covered strawberries and The Cutting Edge…in either case. But, nevertheless, over the next couple days I am going to try to post some tools for managing your expectations this Valentine’s Day even though, for once, I don’t think the reality of my expectations need too much management…although it is a strange coincidence that Adrian Grenier and I are both living in Brooklyn this Valentine’s Day…right?