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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Great Expectations (not about the book) (08/25/11)

TITLE: Low Maintenance Woman
By Robyn Burke
08/30/11


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My husband says there’s no such thing as a “Low Maintenance Woman.” He argues ALL women are High Maintenance. I knew he was wrong. I’d just not been able to prove it.

Until… The Anniversary.

For several years, I’d arranged our anniversary celebrations. I thought it only fair that hubby plan the next one. After all he’d shown amazing skill putting together our honeymoon. I had high hopes.

On a chilly Saturday morning he informed me he’d pick me up from work (I worked a half day) to begin our weekend celebration. Punctuality has never been his strong suit… I was past edgy and on my way to irritated when he finally showed up.

In. The. Work. Truck. This was NOT a good sign.

Dressed in work clothes, he said he needed to take care of some work details first—hence the construction garb. That was the second sign. I harrumphed a little but rolled with it. After the errands were done and he’d changed into nice clothes, he brushed my cheek with a kiss saying “Happy Anniversary Honey. I DO have something special planned.” I brightened considerably.

The High Class Dining Establishment made my smile bigger. When our best friends joined us, I thought how nice! Fancy Lunch with Dear Friends. But as lunch wound down a little voice grumbled inside me. This was nice but not quite as romantic as I had hoped. Still, there was time.

When he suggested we attend Saturday night worship I was surprised. But I shrugged. Time spent together in the Lord’s Presence? You can’t argue with that.

We arrived home late and that’s when he confessed. Part Two of the weekend was still a little “unsettled.” Seems he’d not had time to make reservations at the B&B but he could call now… if I wanted him to...

I gave him the stink eye. He picked up the phone.

A late night arrival means several things. It’s dark so you can’t appreciate the splendor of the setting. You need to be quiet as others guests have already retired for the evening and, its past Jacuzzi Time. Our room, located in the basement, with cement walls and low ceiling felt cold and damp. I was disappointed, and quite frankly, depressed.

We awoke to a gray drizzle outside with breakfast being served family style upstairs in the country kitchen. I‘m not a morning person. Hubby tried to engage me with the other guests but I wasn’t having it. I wanted Romantic Quality Time With My Man. Alone.

Back in our room he suggested a hike. I looked pointedly at the rain coming down. He coaxed and cajoled me to the car. Up the mountain we went, stopping at the Ranger Station to check trail conditions. I remained in the car. I was really quite disheartened. I wanted to know that he viewed our anniversary as a Priority. So many things had happened to show me how last minute it all was.

He slipped back into the car bringing fresh wetness with him. “So do you want to try a hike?”

A car had parked next to us. I glanced out my window to see a large ferocious dog gnawing at his window. Our eyes met and he began to bark. Vicious barking. And that’s when I lost it.

“You see that dog? I’d rather be in that car with that dog than go anywhere else with you!!”

Silence filled the space. He put the car in gear and began to drive. Up a steep hill, rising higher and higher till we reached the parking lot to the trailhead. And here, it was snowing. Exasperated I crossed my arms and refused to look at him. His response was to put his seat back and close his eyes. I couldn’t believe it. He was going to take a nap? I doodled on the fogged up windows and reflected.

My husband works hard to provide for me. He had intended for this weekend to be special. My expectations were so high it had left little room for flexibility. I was acting like… a High Maintenance Woman.

When he awoke, I apologized. He apologized for not taking more time to plan. We agreed that this anniversary had been a Learning Experience and we promised that someday we’d look back on this and laugh. And we have.

As for the Low Maintenance Woman? She put on her raincoat and took a short hike with her man.


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This article has been read 284 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Anita van der Elst09/01/11
I like the MC’s humorous voice in this personal narrative in which she reveals her flawed expectation. Very thankful that self-exploration leads to realization of truth and a happy anniversary. Well done!
Virgil Youngblood 09/02/11
A great title and story to match. You kept my attention increasing the tension. Well done.
CD Swanson 09/02/11
Great job, you held my interest...Nicely done. God Bless~
Sarah Heywood09/03/11
Oh, I recognized myself in this story! You did a fabulous job recounting this event. Wonderful writing!
Lori Othouse 09/03/11
Love the voice of the MC - very real. And glad that both husband and wife learned something through it all!
Rachel Rudd09/05/11
The title made me want to read this and the ending made me laught out loud....great story!
Linda Goergen09/06/11
Great story with great detail! So good that hubby and wife could salvage some experience and laughable memories from the not quite what was expected anniversary! I have to admit I would have been quite aggravated at my hubby with anniversary plans like that too...and honestly I’d have probably been ready to strangle him when he went to sleep in the car!!! :) I like the MC’s response better! :) Enjoyed this read!
Sydney Avey09/06/11
The growing list of grievances speak for themselves so I don't think you need to use the frequent capitalization. Just let the reader hear the MC's growing frustration. Nice grace note at the end and a good lrsson for how we set ourselves and those we love up for failure.