By Emily Chumchal Andrews
John and Mary always fought for reasons that seemed different but were actually the same. He would ask her where she was going and she took it to mean 'where had she been'. She would say his mom had called and he would take it to mean she 'called too much'. They fought about who should drive and who drove right. They fought about who was the most tired after work and why that meant the other should wash the dinner dishes.
John was of average height, brown hair, blue eyes. He worked as an engineer behind a desk all day from eight to five o' clock. He had been born to a mother and father both of average height and blue eyes who loved him like a mother and father should. His family always had enough to do things but never to do spectacular things. He made B's in elementary, middle, and high school. In college, the grades were more varied and then he met Mary.
Mary, too, had brown hair, but it was curly. She was conceived in love and born to parents who vowed to protect their young, delicate daughter. Mary was a sweet girl as a baby and stayed so all through elementary, middle, and high school. She did not go to college, but had friends who did and those friends had friends and one of those friends was John.
John and Mary's family and friends are very encouraging people. They encouraged the couple to have a big wedding even when John and Mary had considered a small, romantic ceremony. Both family and friends were also very practical: "Some people may be offended if they aren't invited, unlike us of course!"
When John found a job as a teacher after college his dad encouraged him to find another job. A man should be ashamed who would provide so little for his family. Mary's dad agreed with John's dad. He expected his daughter to be well provided for-she shouldn't need to work.
John and Mary got married. John found his job and has been there ever since; he talks about starting his own business one day. A coffee shop or music store, some business where he is the boss, but he has only talked about it. Mary got pregnant and has been a homemaker ever since, she talks about going to school one day and getting a degree like John has. A Bachelor's degree or perhaps a Master's. All she has done is talk about it as well.
After a year of marriage the couple had supposed was blissful, they found through well-meaning disclosure that they were, apparently, lonely. The families and friends of John and Mary encouraged them to start thinking about a baby. "Wouldn't that be a nice addition?" they would coo. Their encouragement was always in the form of a question, such as: "So, when are we going to hear the pitter-patter of little feet?" and "When are you going to make me a grandpa?" or the most encouraging: "Are you two not able to have children?"
John and Mary finally had two kids and named them Dick and, the youngest, Jane. They decided that it is about time for them to buy a house. All of their friends say it is about time and all of their family has told them that an apartment is too small for a growing boy and girl. John and Mary hope to save enough for a house within a couple of years so that they can be completely happy. Maybe if they have more space they won't fight about little things that seem like big things.
-Emily Chumchal Andrews