“Expect the unexpected.”
Can someone please explain to me how this phrase makes any sense? By definition, the unexpected cannot be expected. Or it wouldn’t be unexpected, would it?
The Urban Dictionary is even more virulent with its definition of the nonsensical phrase. Click through if you care to read their opinion.
This unexpected/expected concept has been on my mind because the past week has been filled with unexpected developments.
My darling cat, Rosa, started doing this weird winking thing with one eye, which meant an unexpected visit to the vet. A half hour later and $118 poorer, I learned she had Pink Eye. (She’s fine now as you can see — doesn’t even fret when I put the eye drops in.)
The next morning, my tooth implant popped out when I was flossing, providing the unexpected opportunity to visit my dentist. I won’t share a picture of that since I look like a crone without the implant.
Darling Daughter was to sign her first lease on Saturday and unexpectedly felt the need of motherly support. This meant an unexpected (but welcome) trip to Delaware (OH), which proved fortuitous because my brother unexpectedly ended up in a Columbus hospital with an infection in his knee.
Since I was already in the area, it was easy to run in and see him. Several days and a surgery later, he’s home with a PIC line and more than a month of antibiotics and rehab ahead of him.
Then, last night — shortly after I’d seen a neighbor’s cat stalking around our property — a nuthatch crashed into the glass door in our dining room. We live in the woods, so this occasionally happens. Birds generally give a shake of the head and fly off.
But Nuthatch just lay there, looking stunned.
Fearful of the feline predator, I grabbed a towel and picked up the bird, setting him on the railing for a running (flying?) start back into the air. But when Nuthatch tried to fly, he kind of flopped over sideways, landing first on the deck and then on the grass below.
In another case of fortunate timing, earlier that day, my friend Carole had told me about her grandchildren taking an injured bird to the Kevin P. Clinton Wildlife Center at Penintentiary Glen.
So I knew just who to call. Following Carole’s directions on handling the injured creature, I put Nuthatch in a box with air holes and left him in a quiet place. (Instructions are also on the website above.)
When the poor bird’s flying skills had not improved by this morning, I took an unexpected journey to Kirtland to take him to the Wildlife Center.
It was a beautiful drive, the people were kind, and the visitor and wildlife centers lovely. With luck, Nuthatch will recover from his concussion, or at very least, he won’t be a cat’s dinner.
Rosa’s eye is no longer pink.
My tooth is back in my head.
Darling Daughter’s lease is signed, and we had a pleasant afternoon together, ending with a visit with my brother.
I am a planner and a to-do lister by nature. If I had been able to expect these unexpected events, I would have scheduled them in my life as I do most things, and been lulled into a greater and even more false sense of control. But the simple truth is we cannot plan for every eventuality. It’s foolish to try.
I know this, yet the unexpected sometimes makes me cranky. <Insert Darling Daughter’s sarcastic comment here. “Ya’ think?” or something similar will cover it.>
A week filled with the unexpected reminded me to quit being so rigid.
“Expect the unexpected.”