I don’t know when it happened. But the last few years my Clark Griswold Syndrome has really taken off. There is little awareness of this horrible affliction and even less help for it, but chances are you know someone who is affected. In case you are not familiar, the primary symptoms of CGS are setting extraordinary expectations for an event (usually family related) and becoming a bit off kilter when those expectations are not met. I’ve never taken a chainsaw to the newel post, but I have gone into long rants about my inability to form the perfect family moment. Of course since I never tell anyone of my high standards before the performance falls flat, those around me can hardly be blamed. This knowledge does not deter me from doing the same thing repeatedly.
I realized while daydreaming about our summer I am setting myself up for some epic CGS meltdowns. We’ll go swimming, we’ll go to Silver Dollar City, I’ll take Riley on a special shopping trip to St. Louis, and we’ll walk to the corner store for produce every day…it goes on and on. But none of my daydreams include me forgetting the sunscreen, bringing the “wrong” stuffed animal, screaming children, temper tantrums, or all the other mishaps that are bound to come along the way. None of the daydreams fail to meet my vision and expectations. And that is at the heart of CGS. Because what I think is going to happen, what I hope with all my heart will happen, it ain’t gonna happen.
Maybe I’ll tone down and get a handle on it this year. Or maybe this is the year I torch the Christmas tree.