The scene: A little house (not more than a cottage, really) on a little pond in the woods of a little town northwest of Boston. It was the fall of 1986, and I was 7 years old and in the 2nd grade. It was a perfect New England fall - the days were sunny, the nights surprisingly brisk. And our beloved Red Sox were in the World Series.

Would this be the year the curse of the bambino was finally broken? I didn't really know what that meant, but I wanted to watch the games all the same. The grown-ups sure were excited. My bedtime was 8:30 though, so I couldn't watch them all. My father tried to be firm about this, but come on.. the RED SOX were in the WORLD SERIES. So on the sly, he lent me his portable radio so I could listen to the rest of the games without my mother knowing. I sat in bed every night for that week in October, listening to the games with my eyes closed, trying to picture every hit, every pitch, every ball, strike, and out.

And then came the 6th game. The Red Sox were ahead, 3 games to 2. It was a Saturday night (Oct. 25, to be exact), and there was a good chance that the Red Sox would win and thus win the World Series for the first time since 1918. So my dad let me stay up with him to watch the game. I don't remember much of the game itself. But I do remember the end.

It was the bottom of the 10th inning. The Red Sox were ahead 5 to 4. The Mets had 2 outs and 2 men on base. Mookie Wilson was up and had 2 strikes against him. The Red Sox were one strike away from WINNING THE SERIES. He hit a slow grounder up the first base line, to Bill Buckner. This was it! The Red Sox had WON!

And then it happened.

The ball went through his legs.

The Red Sox went on to lose the 1986 World Series.

This was how I learned the meaning of "disappointment".



Is it really fair

to reproach me for something that

I reproach myself for

every time I breathe?

Is it my fault

that I was born too soon?

Or is it yours that he was born too late?

I thought you liked me

Approved of me

And perhaps you do

But I thought you were an ally

And not a sapper under the walls of my contentment.

It's not easy

being me.

Feeling perfect happiness

and knowing it ...
must end
will end

Feeling delight

and sadness 

every day.

He'll leave by himself.

I know this.

He'll go.

When he's ready.


It hurts enough.

Don't make it harder

than it already is

for me...

Let me describe disappointment in a more sympathetic way for other noders:

Remember that pretty Goth girl in freshmen English at college that would smile back whenever you smiled at her? Remember when you finally built up the courage to ask her out and she said no? That’s disappointment.

Remember having spent over 90 hours in Final Fantasy III building up your characters’ statistics to enter Kefka’s Tower, then midway through you use a warp item to escape the tower. You decided to build up a bit more because you didn’t think you were quite strong enough yet. Some 10 hours later you reenter the tower only to realize that you can no longer enter his lair because the doors locked behind you on your first entry. Thus, a total of about 100 hours of your life was wasted and you had to restart the game. That’s disappointment.

Remember watching an entire season of a particular sport? Your favorite team had a great year, and finished with the best record and received home field advantage throughout the playoffs? Then immediately exited the playoffs in a first round upset? That’s disappointment.

What about the hilarious movie you saw a week ago. One night you and your friends are sitting around bored, and they decide to watch that movie that you’ve been raving about all week. Then you sat for an hour and a half and no one laughed. You continually shrank in your seat with every joke that came and went without a reaction by others. That’s disappointment.

Graduation is quickly approaching. Four lackluster and sometimes strenuous years of college will soon be behind you and graduation plans begin forming. You read all the pamphlets and notify your family to be at the school May 23rd. You soon find out that only two members of your family can be seated underneath the large tent. Your sister can’t be with your parents and must stand behind the large crowd, that’s disappointing to her. Then you begin conversing with past graduates and you find out what the ceremony entails. Two and a half-hours of speakers, none of which you’ve met. No diplomas are passed out, because there are too many seniors. They’re mailed to you eight weeks later. To your parents, that’s disappointment.

The big statistics test was coming up. The teacher said you could make a cheat sheet. One page double-sided. She was explicit with the directions, any variation would not be allowed. It took you 6 hours to create the perfect sheet. You struggled with Microsoft Word to get all the information squeezed on one page, fighting Word’s attempt to autoformat everything you do. Monday morning comes along and you enter the examination room with a confident stride. You have the most elaborate cheat sheet of all time, and you finally won’t be responsible for setting the curve. The teacher is holding the exams and just before she proceeds to pass them out she utters those infamous words: “I’m not sure why some of you didn’t follow my directions, but all cheat sheets must be handwritten. Typed will not be accepted.” That’s disappointment.

For months you've seen the trailers on television. Everyone is in agreement, this movie looks very good. The original was a classic, you've seen it at least twice in the theater, and you've been anticipating the sequel since you learned about it. Then, the big night came and you were first in line to get tickets. Two hours later you left the theatre with your jacket covering your face, as you were embarrassed to have just paid for such filth. You vow to never mention that movie's title again, and even go so far as to cringe whenever you see the original no matter how much you onced loved it. Examples, in no specific order, and not agreeable by all: Fletch Lives, Godfather: Part III, Caddyshack II, Major League II, Rambo III, Rocky IV, Scream 2, Austin Powers in Goldmember, Hannibal, Another 48 Hours, Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle.

You made it clear you were leaving--
    Yowls in the sandbox
       proclamations from your clubhouse
         declarations of independence posted 'round your home
--and you were taking your toys with you

There had been precedents.

And though I didn't know you,
or particularly care if you stayed,
I dutifully combed through your possessions, surveyed and mapped every artifact
carved out a space in my vault to hold them,
and meticulously re-made your treasures,
  line by line,
    curve by curve,
so that they sat in my hand as perfect copies,
   not so much a remembrance as insurance

And then I waited for you to go.

And you did...
but you left your toys behind.

A week later you came back, silently. Fuming? Humbled? Medicated?
  No one asked, and you didn't tell.

I see you here, on the edges of the playground. Not saying a word, watching us jump rope and throw balls and call out our taunts and rhymes. You've been standing on the sidelines for five years with your silent presence.

So here's my invitation:
  go home already.

You could do with a change of scenery.

And I need the space.

In all your eyes, see I but burning sin, so life's breath cries, to see what's become of my kin, the lord, our god forsaken, the beast Mammon taken, in God's stead, a beastly head! Although professing love do ye but with a glove dare touch the holy cross, as if at any cost, ye would avoid the creator and fill that void with traitors, embodiments of what ye are become, unto this assortment of rabble I'm come, to caricatures of former glory, wherefore my tears so flood as Moses' story. The nature of all things, the wisdom of the ancients, God's kingdom too far for your patience, forgotten lie and sorrows sing: "From the sins on the lazy beset, earthly pleasures and divine torment, to the twins that the faithful beget, holy treasures and worldly lament, hell's descent with heaven's ascent swells, the deadly sins seven meeting their death knell as mortals march to heaven."

Dis`ap*point"ment (?), n. [Cf. F. d'esappointement.]


The act of disappointing, or the state of being disappointed; defeat or failure of expectation or hope; miscarriage of design or plan; frustration.

If we hope for things of which we have not thoroughly considered the value, our disappointment will be greater our pleasure in the fruition of them. Addison.

In disappointment thou canst bless. Keble.


That which disappoints.

Syn. -- Miscarriage; frustration; balk.


© Webster 1913.

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