Communication Mis-match

My friend's expectations almost ruined their anniversary

A few weeks ago my friends and I had a chick-chat lunch (you know the kind—salads and iced tea all around, plus a healthy helping of husband tattling). Five of us were pouring on our dressings (served on the side, of course) when Cindy, a petite blond seated across from me, said, "Scott had me all excited about our anniversary last week. He kept telling me about these 'secret plans' for the evening. He even booked the sitter! So I was thinking this was going to be something really grand.

"Then the morning of our anniversary, I asked him what I should wear for this big night out. He said, 'Anything you want.' I knew right then I was in trouble."

Cindy stopped to take a bite while the "I can just imagine what's next" buzz rumbled from the rest of us at the table.

"When we pulled up at Jonathan's"—a casual restaurant Cindy and Scott frequent, mostly so Scott can network for business—"I wanted to explode. Of all places! And then Scott proceeded to work the room all evening. It was a disaster, and he didn't even see it!

"I didn't say a word all the way home. When we got there, I let him pay the babysitter, and I went to bed."

We all sat in stunned empathy. What an anniversary! "Have you told him how disappointed you were?" I asked finally.

"Naw," Cindy shook her head. "He should know that Jonathan's is not a place to take me on our anniversary, especially not when he built me up to expect something spectacular."

A few days later, I phoned Cindy. Once we'd decided on our next lunch spot, I asked if she'd worked out the anniversary mix-up with Scott.

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May 25

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