In A Word, Miscommunication
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The old woman shuffled slowly into the small kitchen. Today was a special day. It was her wedding anniversary. While bending over to pull out a frying pan and wincing in pain from her arthritis, she wondered if her husband would remember what day it was. He had completely forgotten their anniversary a few times in the past, and he did seem to be getting more forgetful lately. It didn’t really matter to her. She didn’t have the money to buy him anything special. On their limited fixed income, there wasn’t very much room for extras, but she wasn’t complaining. They were comfortable enough in their 2 bedroom flat in the senior’s apartment building. Even if she did have the money, she wouldn’t have been able to get out to purchase anything. Her arthritis had been so bad lately that she hadn’t gone out in a week. Today she was still in a lot of pain, but she had purposed in her heart that she was going to do something special for her husband. She would make him a nice, hearty breakfast, which was something she hadn’t done in a long time.
The smell of sautéed green peppers and onions began to float through their living quarters. It wasn’t long before she heard the footsteps of her husband approaching the kitchen. He still looked half asleep as he ambled towards her in his long flannel robe. He stopped in front of the stove, sniffed for a moment, and in his rough, gravely morning voice, muttered one word. “Brittle!” Then he walked over to the dining room table, plopped down in a chair and picked up the newspaper.
“Brittle?, she thought, “How could he call me brittle? Doesn’t he realize the pain that I’m in and that I’m sacrificing to make him a five star breakfast?” She thought about what he had said and felt hot anger flush her cheeks. She turned towards him with one hand on her hip and with an edge in her voice blurted, “Well old man, I’m not quite ready for the nursing home yet!” He looked up at her for a moment with a look of astonishment, and then a big smile broke upon his face. She stared in disbelief as she heard a soft chuckle escape from his throat, and then another, and then another. Finally, he almost doubled over in laughter, uproarious laughter. “I hope he has a Depends on,” she thought to herself, “for he might have an accident.” Seeing him laugh so only served to intensify her rage. She turned her attention back to the frying pans on the stove, and her husband while still laughing, got up and walked towards the spare bedroom. She wasn’t one to scream and yell when she got angry, so she decided she would just give him the silent treatment for a while.
With the fan now going above the old stove, she did not even hear him when he entered back into the kitchen a few minutes later, but she did smell a faint smell of Old Spice aftershave. She felt a hand rest gently on her shoulder, and he spoke. “I was referring to how I wanted my bacon cooked when I said brittle. I’m sorry that I couldn’t explain. I just got so tickled to see that you thought I was insulting you.” While turning around to face him, she still felt angry, but the dark cloud vanished completely when she saw the big bouquet of yellow roses and heard his words.
“I love you, honey. Happy Anniversary! You’re still the greatest!
Copyright © Carol Connell | Year Posted 2018