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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: In The Kitchen - deadline 7-19-12 @ 9:59 AM NY Time (07/12/12)

TITLE: The Cowboy and the Bride
By Laury Hubrich
07/18/12


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Home after a week’s perfect honeymoon, Jordan swept his bride up and over the threshold. They giggled like teenagers at the thought of being alone in their own house for the very first time. No one to burst in on them to make sure they were properly chaperoned, as was the case when they were setting up housekeeping in the weeks before the wedding.

The first night went by like a dream. Grace woke up to breakfast in bed. Lunch went unnoticed. By dinnertime, stomachs growled, and the newlywed tendency to stay in the bedroom all day had lost its glow.

“Gracie, are you getting hungry?” The young man traced a heart on her stomach that growled an answer.

“Mom’s making her killer pizza tonight.”

“Oh. But I thought we’d stay home. Alone. We’ll be back in the real world soon enough.”

They vied for the shower and the sink, still getting to know the other’s routines. Jordan did a quick shave while Grace brushed her teeth, then they switched and Jordan brushed while Grace put on her makeup.

Jordan wiggled around her to spit. “You about finished? What do want to fix for dinner?”

Grace looked at him, her face half painted. “Couldn’t we order in? Maybe Chinese?”

He pulled her away from her the mirror and led her into the kitchen. “Gracie, just look.” He proudly spread his arms out. “Well?”

She looked around and shrugged. “Well what?”

“We have brand new appliances – never been used, well, except for this morning when I made breakfast, of course.”

“I guess they lost their brand new status then, huh?” Grace started to walk out of Jordan’s beloved kitchen.

“Wait. Where are you going?”

“I’m calling that Chinese place we like. That’s okay, right?” She batted her eyelashes.

“I guess but, you know, the kitchen’s made for cooking, as in, that’s your job.” Jordan flopped on the couch and gripped the remote, ready for a long night of television viewing.

“Whoa there, Cowboy.” She yanked the remote out of his hand. “What do you mean, ‘my job’? I work too. Who’s to say that cooking’s ‘my job’?”

Grace ran to the kitchen, Jordan right behind her.

“What are you doing with my remote?”

“Your remote, huh? Maybe I should see how well this garbage disposal works.”

“You’re right. It’s our remote.”

“Whatever. Jordan, I don’t care about the stupid remote and honestly, I could care less about the kitchen or its precious appliances.” She smacked the stainless steel sink with her hand.

Jordan used his sleeve to wipe away the smudge she made, then looked at her.

“Pllleease, don’t look so wounded. Did I ever once cook for you when we dated?”

“I saw you in the kitchen lots.”

She sighed. “You know…when I was fifteen, my parents, along with the fire and police department, made me promise to never, ever cook again. Didn’t my parents warn you?”

Jordan’s jaw dropped.

Grace took her finger and closed it up for him. “Jordan, you’re so gullible. I don’t like to cook. That’s all. End of story. We can take turns. You make great breakfast food. When it’s your turn to cook, you do breakfast. When it’s my turn, we’ll order out. Okay? And we have two sets of parents and four sets of grandparents. I’d say that should do us for a while.”

Jordan stood up to his full five-foot-seven inches. “No.”

“What?”

“I said no. We aren’t going to depend on family like that. We separated from them when we got married, remember? There are some things we have to learn to do. Like, I don’t know how to change oil or keep up on the maintenance on a house. I’m going to have to learn how to do those things.”

“That’s where you’re wrong. I do know how to do those things. I was Daddy’s little girl, remember? So here’s the deal. You cook. I’ll take care of everything else. Got it?”

Jordan hopped up on the counter.

“That make you feel taller?”

“That was mean and yes, it does.” Jordan nuzzled Grace’s neck and pulled her up onto his lap. “Hey, we just had our very first fight… in the kitchen.”

“And now we know what it’s good for.” Grace absentmindedly rubbed the smooth granite countertop while she made the Chinese call for takeout. “Jordan, it will be a little bit before dinner comes. There is one thing I want to try out in this kitchen. Come here, Cowboy.”


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This article has been read 236 times
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Jennifer Dawn Suchey 07/21/12
How quickly wedded bliss can become wedded confusion, right? What is normal and expected for one is not so normal for the other.

Twice in your story you narrated an action for Jordan, and then Grace spoke. When I started to read her dialogue, I assumed it was Jordan speaking, but then quickly figured out it wasn't. For instance: Jordan hopped up on the counter. "That make you feel taller?"

You did have a line spaced between the two, so maybe that should have been my clue, but something to think about.

Your dialogue was believable and playful (including the line I just mentioned). Cute story!
CD Swanson 07/21/12
Oh I loved this. It was quick moving and such an easy and delightful read. It had so many cute issues throughout. Adorable.

Thank you. God bless~
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 07/22/12
I enjoyed this story and was pleased they worked it out. Though it probably would have been a good thing to discuss before the wedding. I think the thing that struck me the most is how they hadn't been taught to be independent. More and more parents are doing everything for their kids leaving them helpless in a grown up world. I'll never forget my son thanking me for making him do chores. He had learned in one of his classes that one of things new couples fight over the most is not knowing how to function in the real world. Your story really brought that message home and while your couple resolved many don't and the marriage can end in a disaster. I think your story should be required reading for parents and as a pre-marital counseling session.
lynn gipson 07/24/12
Reminds me of me when I married at nineteen, didnt know how to cook, clean or iron. Oh, well, it lasted ten years! lol

This is a wonderful, great story and it had me all the way. I love your writing.

God Bless
Loren T. Lowery07/24/12
Definitely a prerequisite reading for premarital counseling. You did a great job presenting things that are actually trivial in the overall scheme of things, but can become major issues once the glow of the honeymoon is gone and real life kicks in. Nicely done, indeed.
Beth LaBuff 07/24/12
You've given me so many smiles. I think my favorites are, "You make great breakfast food. When it’s your turn to cook, you do breakfast. When it’s my turn, we’ll order out. " and "we have two sets of parents and four sets of grandparents. I'd say that should do us for a while." :) She's smart! :) I love your title and your story thoroughly entertains! :)
Laura Manley07/24/12
What an adoreable story and a different take on the topic. At first, I thought perhaps this was one of those stories about control. I was glad to see that it wasn't. I thought your ending was quite cute. I loved it! Excellent job!
Betty Castleberry07/24/12
Very cute and good characterization. Your last line is great!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 07/26/12
Congratulations for ranking 18th overall!