Adjusting to Expectations

This Washington Post article about having a snowblower during a snowy winter has a particularly interesting passage:

When Marcia Nilson and her husband, Pete, bought the first snowblower on their block 20 years ago, they were the toast of their Silver Spring neighborhood. But the expectations ended up being too much.

“We’d do our driveway and the elderly couple across the street, then the lady with the bad back next door,” recalled Marcia, 63, a retiree. “But it got to the point where we’d do the people across the street while their 190-pound star football player for Georgetown Prep was in bed resting for the big game. Long story short, we get a call from a neighbor we didn’t even know angry we hadn’t done her driveway yet. So Pete said, ‘This is ridiculous. No more driveways!’ “

That’s human nature, I think. Most people normally don’t know what they are entitled to as a matter of first principles, so they make that judgment based on what their peers appear to receive.