Monday, January 6, 2014

Broken Cookie Phenomenon

I have always thought of myself as a child, but I didn't realize it went past my picky eating habits, need to run to the swings at a playground, and other bouts of childlike behavior.  Earlier today, I learned about the Broken Cookie Phenomenon.

Children have high expectations.  When they want a cookie, they expect their cookie to be perfect.  When given a broken cookie, they see this as a "disaster" and their only way of coping with their world turning upside down is by throwing a tantrum.  Crying.  Screaming.  Their expectations had not been met and this was clearly the end of the world.  They are devastated by something someone might see as insignificant, but to them, that cookie meant a lot.

On Christmas Eve, I wrote a post as a Letter to Santa about all of the expectations I had for Christmas and how none of them had ended up working out.  I was crushed by the realization that nothing would be "perfect" like I had planned this year.  It seemed like road blocks were placed in front of each of my plans and expectations to make it so they wouldn't happen this year. 

Those expectations were my cookies and they were all crumbled.  I didn't know how to deal with being let down over and over in such a short amount of time.  I just wanted to curl up in a ball under some blankets and cry until the world fixed itself.  
The thing is, I have a great boyfriend who loves me immensely.  He took it upon himself to help me see out some of my Christmas expectations. Despite his open wounds, he begged his parents to let him come to my house for Christmas for breakfast and gift unwrapping.  Expectation #1: Check.

I had wanted to drive around and look at Christmas lights.  I ended up getting to do that with my aunt and her family a few days before Christmas.  I also got to look at some with the boyfriend when I took him back home on Christmas night.  Expectation #2: Check

Ever since I heard about Christmas in the Park a few years ago, I have wanted to go.  I wanted to walk around with a cup of hot chocolate and admire whatever it was that was there.  I got to go, a few days after Christmas.  Minus the hot chocolate and awesomeness that I had come up with in my mind, I was still able to experience it. Expectation #3.  Check.
I could go on and on, but the point is, my boyfriend helped make almost all of my expectations come true because he understood how much they meant to me.  In my mind, it reinforced the fact that he truly cares about me.  Despite all of the crap we have had to go through lately, he still wanted to show that how much he loves me.

Oddly, some of my expectations that couldn't be changed purely by the boyfriend managed to find their resolution as well.  That job he wasn't able to take?  He wouldn't have been able to attend his grandfather's funeral if he had been able to work.  Also, nothing is for certain yet, but they want him to call them when he gets better. Then there's the fact that my jacket was sitting on my table, waiting for me to rip opening the packaging on Christmas Eve.

I don't know if I will ever outgrow the Broken Cookie Phenomenon and I'm not going to say that I am not going to expect anything from now on because of the let downs.  I've done that before and not expecting good things to happen is just as bad as being let down.  For now, I will just focus on attempting to make my expectations reasonable and attainable. 

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Lauren said...

Ah, interesting.. I can relate. (And maybe I'm a child, but I have been known to cry over a broken cookie as an adult.. ha)

Glad that you got your expectations met though through his help, that's very sweet. :)

Chelsea said...

I've never heard of this theory, very interesting and very accurate.

I am the same way. Had all these expectations for my birthday in December... part of me knew better and wanted to be realistic, but I still had them. Needless to say, I did have bit of a meltdown one evening because I was so frustrated.

Good luck on making your expectations reasonable and attainable - something I need to work on too!

Elle Sees said...

i love it when things work out. this week that hasn't been the case, but i'm feeling optimistic!

Janna Renee said...

I think I used to have the broken cookie syndrome, but now I have learned to plan less and live more! If I want to do something, I communicate it, but if it doesn't happen, there is no way in hell I'm going to let it ruin my mood these days. If you can get past it, things really do get better!