There are certain things in life that simply do not meet our expectations.
Whether it's something that has been recommended to you, or which has had rave reviews in the press, or simply something that has a long established reputation for being a thing of luxury and desire.
On Saturday morning we popped into Ely for a few things, and walking through the market I spotted a sign at the fishmongers advertising lobsters. Granted they turned out to be cooked and frozen American lobsters rather than fresh, but a lobster for a fiver sounded like a pretty good deal, especially as I'd seen a fresh one in Waitrose a couple of weeks earlier for fifteen quid.
Lobster is one of those foods that so many aspire to and is held in high regard, but having now had it two or three times I think I can safely say that I won't bother again.
For the size of the creature there's very little meat, and to me it tastes no different to prawns. This is not a bad thing in a way as I like prawns a lot, but with the usual cost of lobster and the job of preparing the ugly armour-plated bugger, I'd rather just have prawns instead - to hell with the snob value.
The same fishmonger had a huge fresh squid for sale, and I wish I'd had that instead. You can't beat a nice bit of calamari.
As if one disappointment wasn't enough, later that day the lobster was joined by a bottle of Fino sherry procured on a whim from Tesco. Described as "A delicate, dry sherry to be enjoyed young and fresh", I thought I'd try something a little different from the full cream sherry I normally enjoy.
Big mistake. I don't know if sherry is something that can be 'off' like wine can be, or if it's supposed to be like that, but I suspect that if you poured this stuff on a car it would take the paint off.
I don't know whether to take it back and demand a refund or simply pour it down the sink. It will undoubtedly make a better drain cleaner than it does a drink.
This happens time and time again. Movies are a good example of the gulf that often reveals itself between the promise and the reality.
It often seems to be that the more rave reviews and awards a movie gets, the more of a disappointment it turns out to be. 'Mad Max - Fury Road' had the critics getting all uncomfortable in the trouser department, going on about how fantastic it was. I watched it and was bored shitless by the relentless barrage of car-crash-explosion-repeat, lacklustre acting and a plot so thin you could see through it.
'The Wolf of Wall Street' was full of promise, had high ratings, and things with Leonardo DiCaprio are usually pretty good - but this was utter bollocks. So bad in fact that it completely failed the 'half-hour rule' - if the first half hour of a film doesn't grab us, we turn it off rather than waste another hour or two on drivel. If this had been a cinema showing I would have walked out.
Gradually I'm learning to ignore the hype attached to such things and therefore the disappointments are becoming less frequent, but despite my growing world-weary cynicism I still get caught out.
Eventually I'll get it all sussed, by which point I'll be able to successfully ignore all attempts to persuade me to buy what I don't need, eat nothing but homemade soup and bread, and the only entertainment needed will be a perpetual loop of every episode of 'House MD'.