30/30: Kathy and I. Conflict. Arby’s.

9 11 2009

conflict final 3Kathy and I have had some major conflicts in our 18 years of marriage. One of the best was a few years ago on vacation at Hocking Hills in SE Ohio. The kids in the backseat witnessed an epic event that is often recalled and revisited today when we go out to dinner.

We were driving to dinner and an Outdoor Theater Production in a city about 45 minutes away from our campground. On the way we drove through a quaint small town which just so happened to be celebrating their Summer Fair. You know the kind where the downtown is closed and it’s transformed with rides, BBQs, elephant ears and whole lot of small town charm. “This is cool! Let’s stop here for dinner. The kids will have fun!.” We’ve got a few hours before the play, so I pull in to enjoy a little unexpected fun on our journey.

As I get out of the car, Kathy speaks up, “I was REALLY looking forward to having dinner at the drama.” (There was a special dinner before the performance with the actors in the production. Did I forget to mention we had planned on going there for dinner?).“Yeah, THAT was a good idea, but this is SO much better,” I chime back.

Better to me, not better to her. You can see where this is going.

The argument ensues which is followed with a huff from me, “Alright, let’s go. Mom wants to eat at the theater.” Three miles down the road the argument escalates to the point where we pull over to the side of road. A lot of sarcastic “I dont’ freakn care. I’ll do what YOU freakn want!” comments ensue and in huff Kathy gets out of the car and starts walking back to town. I turn the car around and drive along yelling from the window, “Get back in the car!”

After about a 100 yards, a whole lot of screaming from me and crying from the kids, Kathy gets back in the car. The conflict continues, but this time we yell at each other with the loudest form of anger…SILENCE. After 30 minutes of tension you could cut with a knife, we get to our destination. Kathy has now lost her appetite for dinner at the theater, but with three hungry kids in the car I pull into Arby’s. The family piles out of the car, but not me. I’m still stewing. While they enjoyed a thinly sliced roast beef, I sat in the car sulking in thinly sliced anger and resentment.

The story is funny now and we all laugh about that infamous day. At times now when we are going out to eat, the kids will say “Hey dad! Want to go to Arby’s for dinner? You can sit in the car.”

“Do you know where your fights and arguments come from? They come from the selfish desires that war within you.” James 4:1

CONFLICT Series begins @ Epic November 15




2 responses

10 11 2009

What’s funny about the fight is a lot of the times Wes and I get into fights we can’t remember the reason it was in the first place. It just brings a lot of other stuff out and into the fight. Great bible verse at the end of your blog. I need to remember that:)

10 11 2009
Tim Kade

Jen, so true. So many arguments are about trivial stuff where we want our own way.

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