“The Long-Delayed But Always Expected”

He is the long-delayed but always expected something that we live for.”

Tennessee Williams “The Glass Menagerie”

The above quote refers to the character “Jim” in The Glass Menagerie.  A man who at one time was the quintessential high school hero, the one “most likely to succeed.” But Jim hasn’t amounted to a whole lot. He hasn’t achieved any fame or fortune.  He is a mere cog in the wheel of everyday, middle class, 9-5 existence.

But Jim is holding out for his time to come.

He is making plans.  He is taking courses.  He is getting married.  He is not just going to sit,


waiting for that “something” to fall out of the sky and land on his lap.  He’s going out to find it.

The character Laura, on the other hand, has had her “something” fall on her lap.  It’s Jim.  Her high school crush taking space in her ethereal, fragile glass world.  Her long-delayed but never expected something has arrived.  But it’s not a perfect arrival.  It’s one filled with heartache and disappointment.

It is broken glass.

What is your “long-delayed but always expected” something?  Is it entrance to the perfect university program? Is it your ideal job?  Is it finding a soul mate?  Winning the medal?

How long have you been waiting?

How long are you willing to wait for it,

whatever “it” may be?

What are willing to do to increase your chances of getting it?


has it already arrived and you’re not all that pleased with how it’s turned out.  Has it been one big disappointing, bubble bursting experience.  Do you find yourself searching and waiting for another “something”?

And what do you do while you wait?  Sit on your bum and twiddle your thumbs?  Stick your head out the window every five minutes to see if you can spy it coming down the street?  Or maybe you go out and about and search

and search

but to no avail.

I guess the thing to do is to, as they say, is to expect it when you least expect it.  Live each day appreciating what DOES exist.

The tangibles and touchables.

Filling each and every moment so there are no gaping crevasses of expectation.

So that when that “long delayed always expected something” is nothing

but a pleasant surprise


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