Life is full of disappointments. They might be big or they might be very small, but everyone has been disappointed by some thing at some time in their life.
It feels like the worst thing in the world when it happens- whether you’re disappointed by something or disappointed my someone. And nothing is worse than hearing the phrase- “I’m not mad, I’m just disappointed” from someone you love. Ouch.
And I hate to say it, but Christmas is prime season for disappointment. It’s a holiday filled with expectation, anticipation, hope and joy- until the pony/new bike/talking hamster/kitten/diamond necklace/brand new car/baby doll/bottle of grange (insert what you asked Santa for this year) doesn’t materialize under the tree and then it’s a holiday of disappointment. Not sadness, not anger just disappointment.
Please note I was never disappointed on Christmas Morning because I was always a very good girl.
However I am no stranger to disappointment as an adult. I mean, who isn’t after all. And it’s awful and hard and feels just like a kick in the guts. A great example was last week.
After years and years, I finally made one of The Runner’s favorite desserts for the first time. A trifle.
I was extremely proud of it. I looked at lots of recipes that sounded good, I researched, I mentally prepared to swallow my fear of failure and then I did it. I made a trifle. I found a recipe that I thought sounded nice (it had rhubarb- another favorite of The Runner’s) so I thought I was going to be a trifle hero. I thought it was going to be the best trifle ever and that I would shortly be basking in the glow of trifle related praise. I made my own custard, I had sponge fingers. I whipped cream. There was no chance this was not going to be great.
I was wrong.
It was a very tasty dish but The Runner looked at me in his brutally honest, take no prisoners way and said plainly. “This is not a trifle. It tastes nice. But it’s not a trifle.”
I’ll spare you the description of my stunned, sad silence but the disappointment on both sides was palpable. Seriously! I was a bit defensive, I was a bit indignant and yes, I went to go get the recipe…”It’s called a trifle here!” I complained. But at the end, the runner held firm. “There’s no jelly, it’s not a trifle” was his reply.
Now Readers, first of all, in my defensive, I come from a non-trifle country and can count how many trifles I’ve ever eaten on one hand. In other words, I have very little trifle experience. Past the research I had done for this little project, I had never really even thought about trifles. I had no idea that jelly (or jello as we Americans call it) was a prerequisite.
Secondly, it tasted quite yummy- so it wasn’t a total fail. It also was all consumed so trifle or not, it was good.
Thirdly, I made my own custard, actually I made everything except for the sponge fingers so it was made with love. I thought it was great and I was proud of it. And then I wasn’t.
It was like the love that had gone into making it was really just disappointment wearing makeup and a dress.
I felt terrible and was very sorry because I could see how disappointed The Runner was (as he lapped up the homemade whipped cream).
The only good news is that I do have a chance of redemption. I’m going to make another trifle- a traditional trifle with jelly, sherry, custard, whipped cream, fruit etc. Hopefully I get it right this time… Stay tuned!