These two words should never be confused with one another. And if you do confuse them, you’re going to find yourself in a whole lot of trouble!
When you anticipate something, it refers to that delicious waiting period before the moment that whatever it is that you are anticipating (expecting), has arrived, and there is going to be deep satisfaction in that moment of the arrival of your anticipation (expectation). It is the fact that you are going to get that something that you anticipated, so you are ultimately satisfied.
When you expect something, you have a belief that no matter what, you are going to get satisfaction with whatever it is you are expecting (anticipating), even though it rarely turns out to be what you expected, or that you’re even going to get it in the first place, even though your mind is telling you that you are going to get it, and it is going to come as you expected (anticipated). And then it doesn’t, so you are ultimately disappointed.
So when I heard about this special spinach that Paul Martin’s American Grill in Westlake Village offers, I was expecting it to be special and I anticipated it’s arrival after I ordered it! But that’s stupid because how special can you actually make spinach?
I love spinach! When it’s raw, it has sweet, grassy, crunchy leaves that release this wonderful juiciness in your mouth as you munch on it! When it’s cooked, it’s sweetness deepens, the grassiness rounds out and the former crunchiness of the raw leaves has turned into a full mouthfeel of green, munchy splendor! I love dishes with spinach in it; omelettes, fritattas, sautes, pies, pastas, gnocchi, soups, stews, salads, smoothies… okay, maybe not smoothies. But spinach is spinach. It’s never going to be anything but spinach, and it’s never going to get better than it already is, which is yummy, delicious spinach!
So at Paul Martin’s, they really talk up this special Bloomsdale spinach that they have on their menu. They claim that they get their special spinach, with its special name, from some special farmer, who supposedly only supplies them with this special spinach that they themselves only grow. Sounds fantastic, right?! Well, here is where the disappointment of the expectation that I referred to comes in:
It isn’t that special.
There I was, sitting out on their beautiful patio on a lovely afternoon enjoying a nice glass of Pinot Gris and I was anticipating it’s arrival, because after all, I expected it to be special because of how special they say it is, but once I got it, it didn’t meet my expectations! I mean, don’t get me wrong, it was good and everything! They saute it with just the right amount of fresh garlic, and cook it just until it wilts, so it retains a nice texture, and they season it with the right amount of salt, and then serve it with this pretty, grilled lemon half, and the colors of the bright green spinach and the bright yellow lemon play off of each other, and it comes in a fancy dish with a big, silver spoon…
…and I ate all of it.
But I was disappointed.
Because it wasn’t what I expected.
And it cost me six bucks.
Not including tax.
is it their fault that they talk up their spinach so much, that it makes the customer anticipate something special that they ultimately aren’t going to get?
is it my fault because I had an expectation that I was going to get something so special?
Paul Martin’s American Grill
The Promenade at Westlake
100 South Westlake Blvd.
Westlake Village, CA