Copyright reference for above image – http://levechad.blogspot.com/2010
“You have no appreciation of what I’m trying to do for this family!”
Joe was working his way to the top of his stress threshold as he paced the room waving his arms in frustration. Kate almost decided to retreat before things got out of hand, but her tendency toward brinksmanship prevented her.
“Joe, this family needs a father! I understood when your employers asked you to manage City Motors out of bankruptcy, but you’ve done that now. After that you had to become the best sportsman in town. I understood that too, you needed something to counterbalance the long office hours you work. Now you’re away from the family most of the time with your competitions, precious committees, and …”
“Kate, you’re the unhappiest person I’ve ever met. We discussed this before I got involved in community work. Everyone tells me how glad they are I represent them at city meetings. The city would be worse off if I were not there to set their committees straight. You’re the only one who seems to be unhappy with my involvement.”
“Good old Joe, the saviour of the community! What about your children? It would be a good thing if you used some of your energy on them before they grow up and leave home. How do you expect them to relate to you when they grow up if you’ve no time for them now?”
“Excuse me, did you say no time? What about the fishing trip last weekend? I schedule the Easter trip to the coast every year, and the Christmas trip to camp out. You really like to exaggerate don’t you?”
“Come on Joe, be honest! OK, the fishing trip was great, but you’re out playing sports while the kids romp around the beach with me Easter, and your mind is not with us at Christmas.”
“That’s not fair Kate! I need to have some personal space once in a while.”
“Yes you do Joe, and so do I! What I’m trying to tell you is you’ve a tendency to go overboard in whatever you do. Now you’re a candidate for election to the State Legislature. You come home at midnight from your meetings now. How on earth are you going to handle that job, if you get elected? We hardly get to see you now!”
“What rubbish! Why do you think I am doing all this? So my family can hold their heads up in this community and have recognition, that’s why.”
“Face the facts Joe. You’re proving a point because your father abandoned his family when you were twelve years old and …”
“That’s my typical Kate! And I married you because I thought you had a heart and would give me lifelong support. It was humiliating to have to almost beg your family for your hand in marriage. They were prejudiced against me …
“That’s not true!”
“Yes, they were prejudiced before and after our marriage because my father abandoned us, and my mother had to work as an usher in a theatre to support the four of us. I’ll prove to your family that a boy from a broken home has ambition, and can provide well for his family. Now you …”
“Not the point! I’m saying you don’t spend enough time with your family now. That’s a fact! Because you work hard, and take on all kind of other activities you’re prevented from being a father to our children. Kate paused wringing her hands, the anguish evident on her face. Have you grown tired of me, of us?”
“Not tired of you, but I’m tired of you constantly harping on this subject. Do I beat you or the children? No! You have a beautiful home full of the latest gadgets, you’re fed, clothed, and have community respect.”
“Joe, we’d give that up in exchange for your time. I’m harping, because I love you and want to spend more time with you. The children need you, and miss you when you’re away.
Joe was shaking with frustration and anger, and Kate’s heart melted as she watched the distress on his face. She gently reached out and took his hand, squeezing it in reassurance.
“I love you,” she whispered. “I only want more of you.”
Joe’s face contorted with emotion, eyes filled with tears.
He ruefully wrapped his arms around Kate, squeezing her passionately. “I do have hang ups that have driven me into this corner. I need space to find a way out of the mess I’ve created. Love me Kate, I need you!”
“I do”, she whispered. “I’ll always be here for you no matter what eventuates.”
“© Copyright Ian Grice 2011, all rights reserved”