I was grumpy – after I had dealt with some very rude people at work.
I was hungry – because I didn’t have breakfast and lacked time to take a lunch break.
I was tired – because I had went in early and was leaving late.
But now I was frustrated – because traffic has made my 20 minute commute almost an hour long. It’s also 90 degrees outside, and I don’t even have an air conditioner in my car. So I’m sweating, grumpy, tired, frustrated, and very hungry as I sit in this traffic trying to get home.
While I am sitting there in this stagnant flock of bumpers– I begin to wonder what I will make for dinner. Every day I often beat Amanda home from work, and I would come up with some creative dish. I wouldn’t be able to do that today though – given these annoying circumstances.
Then I realize that Amanda has probably been home for over an hour.
I think to myself. “Why am I sitting here worrying about what I will cook for dinner – as if Amanda would not do for me what I have been faithful to do for her – almost every single day? I’m sure she took care of it.”
The thought of walking into our home with the smell of supper heavy in the air, as well as being greeted by my lovely wife after the hard day I had, made the annoying trip home bearable.
By the time I arrive home – I can’t wait to see Amanda and what she has made me for dinner.
I put the key in the lock. I turn the door handle.
As the door swings into the foyer– I am in anticipation of smelling the aromas of an evening meal.
But – as I step inside and see an empty kitchen, the frustrations of my day build to a climax.
I begin to worry that she might not have made it home or something.
But then – I hear her laughing in the living room. When I walk over to see what she is doing, I see her comfortably perched on the couch with her phone up to her ear. She is laughing, and she is enjoying herself.
“Well – at least SHE can sit around happy, right now.” I begrudgingly think to myself. I can already feel my resentment building. “I always have dinner made for her when she gets home, and the one time she gets home early enough to do it for me – she chooses not to.”
But I realize my attitude is wrong and aim to correct my thinking. “Amanda does NOT have to fix my dinner – just like I do NOT have to fix hers. If I didn’t do it – she would have no right to get mad at me, and simply because she didn’t do it – I have no right to get mad at her.” Besides – getting mad about it wasn’t going to curb my hunger.
But then – Amanda lets out a cackle of a laugh, and it just goes right up and down my spine. In my mind – I knew it was not directed at me, but in my flesh – it was the ultimate mockery of my full day of aggravation.
Before I could let the Holy Spirit stop me, I just blurted out, “ALMOST EVERY DAY WHEN YOU GET HOME I HAVE DINNER WAITING FOR YOU, AND THE ONE DAY YOU COULD DO THAT FOR ME – YOU DON’T!”
That would have been enough – but I don’t stop there. “I WOULD HAVE BEEN HAPPY WITH A SANDWICH! ANYTHING TO KNOW YOU AT LEAST THOUGHT ABOUT ME!”
Amanda looks at me in a fit of shock. Her eyes are wide, and she is covering up the phone.
“Shh!” She tells me. Then she makes a motion with her hands, as if to say “How was I supposed to know?”
She walks passed me into the kitchen – with the phone attached firmly to her ear. I expect her to say hang up so we can work together to quickly get dinner on the table, but as she stumbles around the kitchen trying to do everything with one hand, it starts to become painfully obvious that she does not have that intention at all.
I pull out the pan and set it on the stove, but before I can turn around, Amanda has filled the pan up with marinade – without buttering it to keep it from burning or sticking. To make matters worse, she just threw two completely frozen chicken breasts into the marinade without thawing them out.
“Amanda! What are you doing?” I try to fix it. I grab the chicken, pour out the marinade and then butter the pan, myself. I try to explain to her what she is doing wrong. “If they’re frozen, it’s going to take twice as long, and you have to oil the pan before you marinade or else it will stick and burn.”
And just when I thought I couldn’t feel any more frustration with the situation – she looks at me again, covers up the phone, and tells me to “Shhh!”
The moment she did that to me, every bad feeling I experienced in that day seethed up within me. In utter disbelief, I look at her – then I look at the chicken on the stove and realize that I have – once again – prepared the dinner, and she could have done it had she just got off the phone and paid attention to what she was doing.
I storm out of the kitchen. I throw my hands into the air. “You just don’t care, do you? You’re going to let me starve – if I don’t make my own dinner, huh?”
She covers up the phone again – while I am talking. She only offers a wide eyed response – coupled with the shaking of her head and the shrugging of her shoulders.
“Well – I’LL GO FIND MY OWN DINNER!” I storm out of the house, down the stairs, and up the sidewalk. When I reach the corner of the street, I realize that I have no clue where I’m going to go. It’s late – and most everything is closed, except for a 24 hour Harris-Teeter a half-mile up the street. So I start walking.