This morning a friend inadvertently dredged up a memory of a poem I wrote at university (brace yourselves...).
The key idea in it was that the sound of a distant foghorn echoing through the mist was beautiful, romantic, atmospheric, soft, long and rolling; but if you actually stood beside a foghorn it was loud, short, ugly and rather terrifying (I don't think I used those exact words). And - though I don't remember to what extent I spelled this out - this could be a metaphor for the difference between what you thought having a girlfriend would be like and what actually having a girlfriend might be like. (I was, of course, very familiar with the former, not at all familiar with the latter.) This was not meant to be a humorous poem, by the way.
Oh, teenage self, you could be so miserable, you do make me laugh sometimes.