I like steak. A lot.

I also like my younger brother.

So when Mom asked me what I’d like to have for our “last meal” before Matt and I headed to college for the semester, I thought I’d do the kind thing and defer the choice to Matt–since the freshman hadn’t yet enjoyed this delicious privilege.

He picked sloppy joes.

I couldn’t believe it. Don’t get me wrong–I got nothing against sloppy joes!

“But Matt, we could’ve had T-bones! It’s the last supper–Mom will buy steak! Why did you ask for sloppy joes?”

I can appreciate his modesty. No need to take advantage. No one likes a grasper (though, there was no risk of this here). And no fault to my brother–it was what he wanted.

The fault was mine. My expectations were salivating for one thing, and we got another. And it was my own hidden and unfair expectations that were in danger of compromising two gifts: My mom’s gift to cook ‘whatever we wanted,’ and my gift to Matt to be able to choose whatever he wanted.

Whenever we are disappointed–we have an opportunity to take a closer look at our expectations. Were they stated clearly upfront? Were they reasonable? Was there indeed any foul play? Was it circumstantial?

By the way, Matt and I laugh about this. The whole family laughs about this. And Matt’s a serious grill master now. I’m not saying it’s his penance–because he didn’t do anything wrong.

But I’m definitely appreciating the irony.