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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: See (07/22/10)

TITLE: O Carl!
By Laury Hubrich


The candles softly glowed in the dark house, reflecting off the china set for two. Katie admired the ambiance she created, dressed in her best dress and high heels.

She looked at the clock on the mantle. “Food will be done soon,” she muttered. “Carl’s supposed to be here.” The young bride tripped into the kitchen, unaccustomed to the heels, and checked the roast.

“It’s not the way it’s supposed to be, Carl Rogers,” she whispered. She spread homemade icing over the newly cooled triple-chocolate-delight cake. “This is when you’re supposed to come in and steal a lick from the bowl and give me a kiss on the cheek.”

Kate emptied the oven and filled the table with her culinary delights, a week’s worth of planning and practicing. As the minutes ticked by, her sweet disposition quickly faded.

She kicked off her shoes and lost the dress, replacing it with old sweat pants and a ratty t-shirt. Katie lay on the floor, her bare feet stuck up in the air, the small television in front of her. She put in the next episode of The Donna Blade Show and lost herself in the perfection of the housewife. “No wonder Carl is late. I’m not good enough for him,” she thought.

Raised in a group home, she had no clue what a wife’s household life was truly like. She ‘schooled’ herself the only way she knew how, with videos, videos she found at her out-dated public library in her small town.

“My hair’s always a mess. I can’t seem to walk in those dang heels, and panty hose give me a rash. I don’t know why Carl ever married me. What was he thinking?” Tears fell as she watched the Dear Doctor gather up his wife into an embrace and kiss her on the lips.

She laid her head down and soon drifted off to sleep. Her dreams were filled with dainty aprons and perfectly coiffed hair.

Carl traipsed into the house, none too quiet. He threw his jacket over a dining room chair and left his shoes in the middle of the floor. “Kate? You here?”

She lifted up onto one elbow and called to her Prince, “In here.”

He lay down beside her, “What’cha watching?”

“Old shows. Why do you love me, Carl? I don’t understand it.”

He moved a wisp of hair out of her eyes. “What? I love you because you’re the most fantastic woman I’ve ever met. Why are you asking?”

“Just look at Donna. She’s perfect. She never sweats when she cleans. She has supper ready every night and it never burns. Have you ever seen what she looks like in the mornings?” Kate sat up and crossed her legs Indian style. “Perfect, that’s how. She’s fully dressed and wide awake. She has breakfast ready for her husband as he walks into the room. How come nothing I do turns out right?”

“It’s not your fault I’m late. I see I ruined your romantic dinner. I’m sorry, Honey, but I’m getting tired of them. I’d be happier eating a sandwich in front of the television with you beside me, sweats and all. Honestly.” He smiled at her.

“Your mom didn’t cook like this all the time? The way she talks, she was the perfect housewife and said she expected the same from me.”

Carl laughed. “No, Mom wasn’t like that. She stuck a frozen pizza in the oven and called it good. We were happy. You know what? It’s time we got cable. We can afford it now. You need to lose the old shows and watch the new ones. They’ll teach you how to be a bit sassy instead of all this sweetness you’ve been laying on me.” He grinned at her.

“You want sassy, Carl Rogers, I’ll give you sassy. You need to go pick up that coat and put your shoes away. I’ve been working all day cleaning this house and look what you do. Just look!”

Carl grinned mischievously. He grabbed hold of her shoulders and brought her down to his level. “You think Donna-What’s-Her-Name ever experienced this from her doctor husband?”

“Oh, Carl!” She grabbed the remote to turn off the television.

“Leave it be, Honey. It’s just the perfect amount of light.”

Katie giggled, “I’ve never seen an episode like this.”

“Honey, we don’t watch those kind of shows. You’re no Donna, that’s for sure. I love you Katie Rogers, just the way you are.”

“Oh Carl!”

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This article has been read 671 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Beth LaBuff 07/29/10
LOL! Love your ending AND the title! :) I had to smile at "She never sweats when she cleans" and the talk about the perfect mother-in-law. :) Great story!
Mona Purvis07/30/10
I liked the story and get the situation where young wives are confused and struggle to please.
I thought it a bit weak on topic. Or maybe I just didn't 'see' it.

Yvonne Blake 07/30/10
Oh, I'm glad my hubby loves me just the way I am!
Great story!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 08/01/10
It was a great story and no one can live up to those old TV shows, even back when they were new shows, they created an impossible level to achieve. I love how Carl brought out her spunkiness.
Sarah Elisabeth 08/02/10
You mean you aren't supposed to vaccum in high heels???

Glad it was her putting the pressure on herself and not him. Great writing!
Colin Swann08/02/10
A pleasant and amusing love story. He must be mad putting her off making choc puds - and doubly daft for not trying to be on time for Mrs. Sassy's lovely welcome home.
Verna Cole Mitchell 08/02/10
Delightful story. I enjoyed it all the way through.
Kellie Henningsen08/02/10
The idea of plopping on the couch in sweats and eating in front of the TV seems so much more real and natural and bonding than the fancy dinner. So glad my husband is like Carl in that respect. Fun story!
Mariane Holbrook 08/02/10
I read once that President and Mrs. Eisenhower were happiest when they had dinner on TV trays in casual, even sloppy clothes, watching the news or their favorite programs. So Carl is right--that too much of a good thing is.....too much of a good thing. A delightful story,no kidding!
AnneRene' Capp08/02/10
Ummm...ugh, you did such a great job writing this, I saw myself! :)

This is such a great reminder not to compare ourselves to those "fictional wives" and reiterated how most men, want down to earth.
Rachel Phelps08/02/10
Cute story!
Joan Campbell08/02/10
I could really relate to this since I spent years waiting for my husband to come home for dinners (although, admittedly not in high heels!) It was interesting how your character turned her frustration inwards - blaming herself, due to her low self-esteem, whereas most wives would have turned it on their husbands.

I also loved your fun, cheeky ending. Great writing!
susan woolen08/03/10
I love your sweet sense of humor - always have.
Patricia Turner08/03/10
A great message to all us wives and husbands. Carl's terrific.
Shirley McClay 08/03/10
Excellent story! I love the humor.The MC's were awesome!! What a great guy that Carl is!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 08/05/10
Congratulations for placing in the top 15 of your level and in the top 40 overall!