Last week, I was in Phoenix, Arizona, visiting my husband during Spring Training. I love this time of the year. Ahhh...the expectations surrounding a new baseball season...the players working hard for those few, precious positions....
This is about managing expectations. Mine, mostly. And not about baseball. Here's what happened last week.
I was sitting in the family section of the stadium. Like my husband this year, most of the coaching staff is new, and so this was cause for lots of introductions among the wives of the coaching staff. Discussions soon turned from what our husbands do to what we do. Over the course of a few days, the news I have a book being released weaved its way into conversation.
It happened nonchalantly. It fact, it happened because the attorney/manager of several coaches was sitting among us, and he mentioned he has six children, four of them, Marines. I couldn't resist. Of course, I had to tell him I'd been a Marine for 10 years. Turns out, he has a daughter in the Marines, and she's a captain, if I remember correctly.
He was excited to hear about my memoir. "You're covering sexual harassment, right?" His face twisted with fatherly concern.
(The answer is yes. Somewhat. But I'm still so torn about this subject. Despite how horrid I consider sexual harassment, I don't believe sexual harassment is at all limited to the Marines. It's a societal problem, in general, at least to my way of thinking.)
"Because," he said, "sexual harassment is just as bad in the Marines today as ever, according to my daughter."
There among the beauty of a new baseball field with all its promise of esprit de corps, with a view of a craggy mountain range under a cloudless, painfully blue Arizona sky, I felt my spirits sink. Really? Sexual harassment is as bad today in the Marines as it was twenty-plus years ago?
"I'm looking so forward to reading your book," he said, as if convinced I'm about to blow the lid off the whole problem, and my mind raced ahead with concerns for managing his expectations, and mine.