Not long ago, I read a blog post by Caroline Furlong called Why Science Fiction Lacks Mothers and Fathers – and Why This Trend Needs to Change. At the time, I didn’t notice it was first published in July of 2018, but that doesn’t really matter.
Caroline lamented the abysmal lack of supportive parental characters, Moms in particular, in modern works of science fiction. She narrowed down the reason for this from her perspective here:
When you are faced with a challenge, you have many choices of how to view it. Some ways can cause more pain than necessary.
For example, your spouse might push your buttons more than anyone else. But you can look at this challenge as a vote of confidence from your Creator. You can say to yourself, “G-d believes in me. He believes that I can face this challenge and grow from it. If He believes that I can handle it, then I’m confident that He gave me the intelligence and emotional strength to deal with this.”
Be the best person you can be. The more difficult the situation, the better person you become by acting in an elevated way. Our purpose in this world is to keep growing and developing our character. Without challenges… our growth is limited.
-from Rabbi Zelig Pliskin’s book entitled “Marriage” – ArtScroll Publications, 1998, Chapter One, p.55
Rabbi Zelig Pliskin – Found at the website promoting the book “The Light From Zion.”
Everyone wants a happy marriage. The best way to ensure a happy marriage is to master the ability to experience joy in your life with each moment of growth. And each moment is an opportunity to grow. There are many forms of growth in marriage. Growth can mean you are happy with your marriage and constantly grateful to G-d. Growth can mean that you have a partnership that is eternal for both of you. Growth can mean that you are increasing your appreciation for doing acts of kindness. Growth can mean that you are improving in your character traits. Growth can mean that you act in an elevated manner even though things are difficult. Growth can mean that you develop resources to turn around a difficult situation. Growth can mean that you transcend your natural tendencies in order to be compassionate and forgiving.
Growth can mean that you make sacrifices for the benefit of your spouse and children. Growth can mean that you sustain a loving and respecting manner – even though this may not be reciprocated. Growth can even mean that you have the courage to end an abusive situation. Growth always means that you act according to G-d’s will.
Growth always means that the Torah is your guide for which patterns of speech and action to increase… and which to eliminate from your repertoire.
-from Rabbi Zelig Pliskin’s book entitled “Marriage” – ArtScroll Publications, 1998, Chapter One, pp. 61-2
Photo by Surachai Piragsa – Bangkok Post – 2017
Adam had to look up the word Hemmablind to find out what his wife meant. Yeah, it described him pretty well. He just didn’t notice all of the little imperfections in and around the house. The tear in the back screen door, the weeds growing in the flowerbed, they were all the same to him, and her constant pestering about them was a pain in his pinfeathers.
Yet, as oblivious as he was to all the chores she set before him each morning, he was able to carry himself in a decorous fashion, even when she said the leaf-filled rain gutters and the clogged bathroom sink were the final straw.
Oh, he had attempted to summon up a token effort or two, but it wasn’t enough to draw her attention away from his overall pattern of inactivity. He used his bad back as a crutch, but that didn’t hold up as an excuse, and certainly did not hold their marriage together.
Pier 14. (Photo: Curtis Simmons/Flickr)
“You embarrassed me this evening.” Myron was standing with Rachel outside the Hyatt Regency in San Francisco waiting for the valet to bring around the car.
“It was the truth. What are you complaining about?”
“Truth or not, you shouldn’t have said it.”
“It’s over and done with. Here comes the car now.”
He pulled out his wallet and extracted some bills. “Thank you,” he uttered softly as he tipped the young woman and then received the car keys.
“Here.” He tossed them at his wife, her unbidden reflexes deftly causing her to catch them.
© Rochelle Wisoff-Fields
“You’ve got to be kidding.”
He was smart enough not to say that out loud because his wife had just put the planter on their kitchen table.
“So what do you think?”
She’d asked a question almost as bad as “Do these pants make me look fat?”
He decided to take a risk. “I like the crystal, but I’m not sure about using it for a planter.”
“Me either. Karen gave it to me while she’s having her kitchen remodeled. Not really my style.”
He registered an internal sigh of relief. “Yes, we’re older, but we’re not that old yet.”
I wrote this for the Rochelle Wisoff-Fields flash fiction challenge. The idea is to use the photo above as the prompt for crafting a piece of flash fiction no more than 100 words long. My word count is 100.
It looked to “ordinary” for me to think of anything besides a “slice of life” piece. No research involved.
To read other stories based on the prompt, visit InLinkz.com.
Photo credit: Alpha Coders
“It’s got to be around here somewhere, Jamie. Maybe on the other side.”
“No, I’m positive that we put it on this side, Dex.”
“You’d be positive that the sky is green and grass is blue, but that wouldn’t make you right.”
“How would you know, you loser? You haven’t done right by me since the day we got married.”
“A problem I’d be all too happy to fix…oh, here it is.”
“See? I told you it was on this side.”
“Shut up and hand me the bolt cutters.”
From the television series “Moonlighting.”
Laura and Simon were an unusual pair of private detectives. They were divorced last year after ten years of marriage but neither could bear to sell the detective agency they co-owned, nor was one willing to concede sole ownership to the other. So they continued to see each other day after day, night after night at “Marcus and Marcus Detectives.” Laura even used her former last name professionally though in her personal life, she’d reverted back to Rodriguez.
Unlike television or cinematic private detectives, their cases were far less glamorous or dangerous. Mostly one spouse hiring them to see if the other spouse was having an affair.
“Usual drill, Simon. I pose as a hooker to see if ‘Mr. Sleezebag’ will give me a tumble. You stand by with the camera and I’ll record the dialogue.”
They were sitting in their car outside an office building near downtown. She was in the driver’s seat, which she preferred, and he was sitting next to her checking the camera.
“Got it, but for the record, his name is Chester Albright.”
“Or ‘all dumb’ for cheating on his poor wife.”
Found at “Couples on the Brink”
My emotions are shot. It didn’t take long, maybe fifteen minutes after she came home.
You see, she went on a trip for a few days to visit her sister. I always cherish those times because it means I’m alone. Strangely enough, I do actually get lonely, but that feeling vanishes almost the minute she walks back through the door and starts complaining about me.
Really, I kept the place up. It’s clean, but she complained because I went out of my way to bring my son over to do his laundry after his car wouldn’t start. Then she complained that I was talking to her at all after she was in a car for ten hours. Then she complained because I wasn’t talking to her.
Do you see what I mean?
© Claire Sheldon
I never understood her side of the desk we share. My side looks like a cyclone blew through the room. Papers, DVD cases, and coffee cups scattered everywhere. I’m always losing pens.
She’s so precise, so neat, except she’s a little careless with the stuffed animals our grandson gives her so she’ll be safe.
When she’s home, she drives me crazy, but after she’s gone a day or so, I find that I miss her. I like to think solitude doesn’t bother me, but in the end, I get lonely.
Come home soon, dearest. Please drive me crazy again.
Written for Rochelle Wisoff Fields’ Friday Fictioneers writing challenge. The idea is to use the photo above as a prompt to write a piece of flash fiction no more than 100 words long. My word count is exactly 99.
This is an apt description of the desk my wife and I share in our den and how I feel when she goes on a trip.
To read more stories based on the prompt, go to InLinkz.com.