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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Communication Breakdown (12/16/10)

TITLE: I Admit, My Bad
By Lollie Hofer


Here I am sitting in my car on the side of the road, out of gas and far from where it is I'm supposed to be for the holidays. At this very moment, my family is sitting around a beautifully decorated table, eating a scrumptious Christmas ham with all the trimmings. The sad part of this story is I have no idea where they're at, I don't know whose ham they are eating or to whom they owe their deepest gratitude for being such wonderful hosts.

What frustrates me the most is that it's my own fault.

"Honey, did you hear what I said?" Greg asked two weeks ago Tuesday. He had been on the phone making Christmas plans with his family.

"Yeah, yeah," I said, waving him away with my hand. I didn't want to be disturbed since I was interacting with my new two hundred and forty-three Facebook friends. After all, what was there to know? Every year, year in and year out, consistently, without fail, same ol' same ol'…well, you get the point…we have Christmas at his parents' house.

Engrossed in communicating with all my friends, I didn't want to be bogged down with the details. The whole event was fairly cut and dry. His mom would bake ham, his father would carve it. I would make a green bean casserole, dinner rolls and deep dish apple pie. His sister would wow everyone with her mashed potatoes and gravy (yeah right, boxed instant potatoes and gravy-in-a-jar. Who was she kidding?) His younger brother would provide a fresh veggie tray and Christmas cookies. Yep, same ol' same ol'.

"Are you sure you heard me when I told you what was happening on Christmas day?" my husband again asked a week ago Tuesday. "I called the kids and they'll meet us there with their families."

"I told you I heard you the first time," I snapped, giving him THE wifely glare communicating volumes. "Give me a break, I'm not an ignoramus, you know."

What is he trying to say? I asked myself. Is he saying I'm too stupid to get it right?

"Let's go over the plans one more time," Greg said last Tuesday. "I want be sure you understand where we're going and what we're doing."

Who does he think he is? I thought while stomping out of the room. Does he think I'm a dufus who can't figure out what it is we've been doing for the past twenty-eight years??

On Christmas day, my husband woke early to make his annual journey across town to his parents' house. He always left before me to spend time with his entire family. His brother and sister both lived out of town and it was the only opportunity they had all year long to visit face-to-face. They always ate breakfast together, getting caught up on the events of the past year.

I awoke shortly after my husband left. Since we had our immediate family Christmas celebration the night before, I had the whole morning to myself. I took a leisurely bath, baked my goodies and by 1:30 p.m. was ready to head out. We always met at 2:00 p.m.

Once I was in the car, I realized I left my cell phone on the kitchen counter. No big deal, I was only going about 20 miles from home. Once in the car, I remembered my gas gauge had been on since yesterday. No big deal, I was only going a few miles from home.

Can you imagine my surprise when I reached my in-laws' home, only to find no one there? "No problem," I said to their front door. "I'll call and find out where they've gone."

Of course, I couldn't do that since my cell phone was at home. "No problem," I said to myself in the rearview mirror. "I'll go back home, get my cell phone and call my husband."

"No problem?" I moaned as I my car chugged to a stop ten miles from home. "Where will I find a gas station open on Christmas day? I'm not anywhere near the interstate."

So here I am sitting in my car on the side of the road, completely alone, all because I chose to be a know-it-all and refused to discuss Christmas plans with my husband. I should have listened better or been more interested or asked more questions…there was most certainly a communication breakdown…I admit, my bad.

Obviously, this year it wasn't the same ol' same ol.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Joanne Sher 12/28/10
That first paragraph definitely got me curious, and you didn't disappoint. Fun piece!
Cheryl Harrison12/29/10
Very good! Enjoyable read. You had me all the way through.