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He Said: “At the 11th Hour” | Today's Cliche - Marriage, Family, & Working Mommy... from BOTH Women's and Men's Perspectives

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

He Said: “At the 11th Hour”

April 1, 2010 by  

I’m a big fan of most surprises.  I enjoy being surprised when I open a gift, and I NEVER snoop to see what’s in store for me.  (OK Mom, one caveat…I don’t dig through presents ANYMORE!)  I especially enjoy the about-once-a-year surprise when Kat takes initiative with “all things romance.”  I’m probably being generous in claiming this happens on an annual basis, but whatever.  Before I continue and get into more trouble with with my wife and “both Moms,” what I’m trying to say is that, for the most part, suprises are good.

What I DON’T like are those last-minute surprises.  You know what I’m talking about – those times when your better-half has something in mind, but neglects to tell you until it’s nearly (or, already) too late.  And of course, these surprises ALWAYS deal with making her (or his, but I doubt it) day or life much easier.  But who’s the bad guy?  No need to answer, but please read some examples of how – and how NOT – to communicate in our household.

Example 1 – POOR COMMUNICATION: It’s Monday afternoon, and I’m thoroughly enjoying myself at work.  Note my sarcasm in the last statement.  At 2:00, I get a call from Kat, asking if I can pick up the kids from school today.  Yeah, sure, no problem – I can DEFINITELY leave work at 2:50, with little or no notice to my teams, without looking like a total idiot.  Could she have mentioned in the morning – before I left – that her day would be tight, so I could plan accordingly?  Could she have called around lunchtime and said “hey, I’m in a bind and it would be AWESOME if you could help out.”?  No, she calls when it’s nearly too late for her to pick up the kids, leaving me no choice but to hastily wrap up what I was doing and run out the door.  (I have to admit – leaving the office before 3 was SWEET, but that’s not the point!!!)

Example 2 – EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION: I came home from work yesterday and immediately jumped into some yardwork.  There was no sighing or “wows” coming from the audience – I gave my wife 2 days’ notice that this was my plan.  I gave a “heads up” and it worked out well for everyone – well enough that Kat planned accordingly, and took the kids out for margaritas and Icees until 10 p.m. last night.

Example 3 – EXTREMELY POOR COMMUNICATION AND EVEN WORSE MESSAGING: I’m finishing up breakfast this morning and heading out the door for work.  It’s 7:20, and Kat is still lying in bed (see #2 above for reasons why).  Kat, in her mind, is thinking “wouldn’t it be great if Dave can take the kids to school this morning?”  I, of course, am clueless because THIS WAS NEVER MENTIONED TO ME.  I guess I’m at fault for not brushing up on my mind-reading skills.  I suck.  But even better, Kat doesn’t ask me – she has our daughter come into the kitchen to ask me.  It’s almost as if she KNEW what she was doing was wrong, and didn’t want to have to ask me herself!  Call me crazy, but I think by default that proves admission of guilt.

I’m sorry to say that I couldn’t help out with “our daughter’s” request this morning, and, as a result of MY unwillingness to change my plans, Kat was late a) dropping the kids off at school, b) for doctor appointment #1 and c) for doctor appointment #2.  How will I able to sleep tonight!?!?!

I’m fairly certain that if this was discussed the night before I could – and would – have DEFINITELY helped out.  It’s all about setting expectations, and not just thinking of them.

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2 Responses to “He Said: “At the 11th Hour””
  1. Aaron Wright says:

    Great article! Too funny!! My new role model for managing these types of issues is Phil from Modern Family! Not sure if you watch that show but it’s hilarious!!


  2. Dave says:

    “We’re….going….to…Italy!!” He’s my favorite new character on TV.


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