If You Care, You Probably Fight

With spring break approaching, deadlines loomed. Junior was working with no apparent speed on a project that was due in two weeks. I was trying to develop his skill in working without my nagging and it really wasn’t successful so far. Daisy’s dance classes had been waltzing along and the teacher decided to pick up the pace and start to rush through the steps they needed to learn for the dance for the recital. Steve was involved in his own project at work that required him to make presentations and I could see the furrows increase on his forehead as he arrived home later each evening. I was doing my best to hold it all together as my own class work increased. Mr. Snow, always ready to find a vulnerable student, had called on me in class and I found myself tongue-tied. I fumbled through my answer but it felt ugly.

To my utter amazement, I burned dinner a little by leaving the cutlets on the gas too long. The crispy edges were not hidden well by my last minute application of gravy and everyone noticed and poked at them. If anything was to blame for what happened next, it was the ice cream. Steve only eats vanilla ice cream topped with chocolate syrup. The children wanted ice cream for dessert because I had not baked that day. After Daisy and Junior filled their bowls and ran off to sit in front of the TV, there was little left in the container and no backup. Steve swore as he looked at the gradually melting dregs and slammed down the ice cream scoop. He got up from the table, pushed back his chair noisily, left to pour a drink and disappeared.

I looked around the kitchen and started to clean up the mess. I rushed the kids off to bed early thinking that might help my mood. By the time Steve joined me, he was ready to put my error into words and asked me why I couldn’t manage to keep enough ice cream in the house. I felt attacked and snapped back, accusing him of actly immaturely when he didn’t get his treat. Ouch. It was a quick venting for each of us and we didn’t pursue it any further. I know all couples have spats and it is seldom fair to one or the other of them. Steve slept with his back turned toward me.

Breakfast was quiet the next morning. Steve managed a quick kiss on my cheek. I was hoping by his return, we could all be grown-ups again. During class, I thought about making my Bubbly Meatball Skillet. Everybody likes it and it requires us all to serve ourselves from the same pan. I care about taking good care of my family and would argue that I do a pretty good job but ice cream wasn’t worth fighting over. After class, I stopped by Martel’s Grocery for vanilla ice cream. No sense in not having something delicious for dessert.

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