AMY KIRK: Husband, son audible lacked follow-through communicationI’ve heard a lot of excuses, and rarely have any of them not pertained to cows, so recently hearing an excuse referencing football plays was a real curveball to my argument when my husband and son didn’t get home at our agreed-upon time.
By: Amy Kirk, The Daily Republic
I’ve heard a lot of excuses, and rarely have any of them not pertained to cows, so recently hearing an excuse referencing football plays was a real curveball to my argument when my husband and son didn’t get home at our agreed-upon time.
Last Sunday morning, a rancher called to see if our son was available to wrestle calves for his branding around 10:30. I explained we had plans in the afternoon but that my husband and I would discuss it.
We decided that he and my son would both go but leave by noon so they had time to clean up for our son’s wrestling banquet at 1 p.m. followed by a family get-together at my mom’s. My daughter and I would stay home to cook something for the banquet’s potluck and be ready when the guys got home.
With each passing minute after the guys were due to show up, all I could think about was that they were in some sort of trouble.
The severity of it depended on how long it took them to show up. They didn’t make the banquet but that turned out to be a good thing because it gave me time to think more clearly as to what would be my most effective, hard-to-argue-with comebacks.
Around 3:30 p.m. they finally showed up at my mom’s and I vocalized my dissatisfaction about straying from “the plan.” I expected the typical preface to his excuses: “We (or I) had to make a command decision,” but instead, he quickly laid out the predicament with extreme brevity that only men know how to do and explained that he and my son had to have an “audible.”
What I heard was a new preamble to excuses. Audible, in my world, would be an adjective describing my voice being heard loudly and clearly.
What wasn’t mentioned about the branding was that the rancher was also vaccinating his cows.
This kind of information changes the dynamics of a situation dramatically. Perceived time and actual time for such a job is never the same.
Branding didn’t get started until noon — the agreed take-off-for-home time, so they had to have an “audible” to decide whether to leave or stay and do the job they were most-needed for. Learning this just made me jealous that I didn’t go too.
The “audible” story left me too dumbfounded to rebuke my husband because he knows using terminology that renders me speechless is to his advantage; it cripples me in arguing effectively. I stood there mute, trying to decide if I was being duped.
His audible tactic was clever in that he had just enough seconds to explain their predicament and why they had to have an “audible” but once I got home, I looked up the definition to make sure such a term existed: “a substitute offensive or defensive play called at the line of scrimmage in football; a call for a new tactic.”
The problem with his “audible” was that it fell short of formulating a plan to get a message home, which would have been a simpler, smarter use of his strategizing, better received, and more energy efficient (for me).
This “audible” thing has taught me something new about my husband: he knows more about football than he leads on.
Amy Kirk and her husband raise their two kids on a fourth-generation cow/calf operation near Pringle. She blogs at ranchwifeslant.areavoices.com