There’s the big, global stuff that I’m sure drives you crazy, too: What’s happening in Syria and other countries where people are trying to be free. Abuse of women and children. Environmental disasters. Hypocrisy.
Then there’s the more local stuff: Schools that have pre-K through 2nd graders selling boxes of king-size candy bars. (Really?! $60 worth of candy? When childhood obesity is a major problem?) How the cost of gas can be 20 cents a gallon more at one station than it is 5 miles down the road but not in the direction you’re driving. Corruption.
And then there’s the more personal stuff, which I can sum up in one word – Assumptions.
I hate when people make assumptions. It is something that has driven me crazy since I was a kid. I think I built my high school and college life out of proving assumptions wrong.
As I got older (you know, I have been out of college 6 years…give or take a few…), I have become more centered and self-assured. Other people making assumptions about me or what I will do doesn’t bother me as much. I let it slide, albeit awkwardly at times, off my back and move on.
Unless you happen to be a Country Boy.
And it’s 4 am. On a Saturday.
And you’re asking me to feed the mules so you can go with the Amish buds to an all-day auction.
I don’t know about you, but my brain functioning isn’t much beyond 60% when awakened at 4 am. And those much-needed kind words and thought filters, they don’t really kick in until about 5 am.
So, when he said, “Jannie [he calls me that sometimes, especially when he’s going to ask me to do something], will you feed the mules for me?” my brain heard, “I knew I was going to this auction two weeks ago, but I figured I’d wait until 4 am to tell you that you’d need to take care of the mules today. It’s not like you had any plans or illusions of sleeping in on a Saturday. Heck, you’ve got the dog to take care of, so one more chore is minor. I put it in the form of a question, but considering it’s 4 am, you don’t really have a choice. Love you, babe. See ya later.”
Right now, you may be thinking two things: 1) poor guy and 2) that’s your brain on 60% power? Sheesh. Poor guy.
Thankfully, the only thing I said in response was, “You’re lucky I love you.”
For the record, it wasn’t the actual chore that turned me into a porcupine. It really isn’t that big of a deal to feed and water them. (It is rather smelly, but not a big deal. Unless Goldie the chicken tries to escape and comes after you when you try to stop her, but that’s a whole different story.) It is the fact that he waited until 4 am to ask/tell me. He assumed I would say yes.
Grumble grumble grumble. Mumble mumble mumble. All day it was in the back of my brain. He assumed. I hate it when people assume. Just ask a day or two before hand. You knew you’d need my help. Grumble grumble grumble.
He got home around 10 that night. I had tried to let it slide (honestly) and looked forward to at least having an hour or so to reconnect with by honey after a long week.
That “reconnection” was cut short by the fact that he got up at 3:45, was outside all day in the cold, and got home at 10. He was reconnecting all right – with Mr. Sandman.
Grumble grumble grumble.
By Sunday morning, there was no “letting it slide” happening. When we both woke up, I was fired up on all cylinders. I was tactful, articulate (maybe too much so in Country Boy’s opinion), and firm. I told him that he can’t just assume that I will do things – it just isn’t considerate.
His response? Fairly measured and equally firm. He didn’t assume I’d do it. He realized he was running late and thought he’d see if I could help him out. If I had said no, he would’ve done it himself.
It was like the needle scratching across the record in my brain. As they say in the movie Cool Hand Luke, “What we’ve got here is a failure to communicate.”
So, basically, I got all fired up for 24+ hours because I assumed that he assumed.
And so I did the only thing I could think to do – I got out of bed and fed the mules again. I figured that since I made a (…ahem…) “mule” of myself, I needed to put myself out in the barn with the other ones.