The buddhists tell us not to expect anything. Experience tells us to expect the unexpected. I was told by a man named Travis Hickey from Wyoming to expect delivery of my new laptop 'within the week'. That was nine months ago. So what do we do? Do we order another laptop from Wyoming? Of course not. We order one from New Zealand.
Most of us do the same thing over and over again and expect different results, which according to Einstein is the definition of insanity. That means if you go to the cinema to watch three comedies in a row starring Eddie Murphy and expect to laugh, you've gone insane. But then so has he.
Are we to believe that all expectation is fraught with disappointment? Certainly, things are never as we expect, but does that mean we shouldn't anticipate them, dream about them, imagine them? Stephen Segal thinks so. Who can forget that line in 1995's Under Siege 2: Dark Territory postulating that assumption was the mother of all (swearword)ups? I think I can. Easily.
A new year stretches out before us filled with promise. Some expectations are more realistic than others.
I have a friend who has vowed to 'stop doing bad things' this year, which might be expecting a bit much from herself. There are others who set their expectations so low as to guarantee not being let down.I think the technical term for these people is 'scaredy-pantses', but I may be mistaken. Others, often grandparents, just expect the worst.
This month, we look at a year ahead that is full of expectation. Many of us look forward to an historic staging of the world's most watched sporting event; others prepare for what they think will be one giant catastrophe. But whichever way you slice it, 2010 is a big year for South Africa and South Africans, and we can at the very least expect to be intrigued.
New columnist Craig Gill explores our hopes and fears in more depth in the money section while Miranda Sherry returns to the home section with some fresh ideas on redoing a room. Our feature looks at five South Africans for whom 2010 is a bigger year than most, and in film we smack our lips at five of the year's most hotly anticipated blockbusters.
Another quality issue of Extra Virgin, then. But you've come to expect that, haven't you?