Sunday, February 6, 2022

Rules for domestic disputes (salvaged)

These were gleefully lifted from a couple whom I love and respect, and who survived The PCS From Hell (Not only was it in 2021, but along the way, their personal vehicle broke down. Twice. Was broken into, and everything inside stolen, including the kid's clothes and the servicemember's uniforms. Snowstorms. Landslides. Fires. Illness. The housing reserved for them unavailable when they arrived, so no place to stay, but a quarantine order for staying where they couldn't. You name it.)  They arrived on my doorstep with an intent to RON, and it turned into a bit longer than that as they took a breather.

Despite everything, they were still bearing up well under the challenges, loving each other, and working together to parent their very bright and energetic littles. As I was working on I Didn't Sign Up For This at the time, we got to talking about rules for relationships. Theirs aren't much different from ours, but they'd actually taken the time and trouble to formalize, codify, and write them down. So I gleefully had 'em write theirs down. 

Unfortunately, despite writing them down, it appears that this was one of the pieces of paper the cat was enthusiastically chewing when he got into my filing cabinet. So, here's what I can salvage of the rules:

1. Speak only for yourself. (Say what you have observed, and how those actions make you feel, but no putting words in other parties' mouths or affixing motives.)

2. Relationship is more important than "winning", and being right isn't worth damaging the relationship.

3. No fair being mad about something that isn't their fault.

4. Silent mode is stupid and not an option. If something is bothering you, you have to deal with it and fix it.

5. You pick your words on purpose, assume they do too. (Take what they say at face value without "interpreting.")

6. Each party gets a turn to speak / lay out their case. No interruptions during this! At the end you give a readback of what you understand them to mean, and allow corrections if there is a mistake.

7. No name-calling or insults. No pet names, either; those are for in bed during the make up process.

8. No superlatives or absolutes; they are nearly never correct. 

Will there be future stories of the hijinks and hilarities of  Lee, Bet, and their kits? (Or from his point of view, the trials and tribulations of Chief Smith?) ...possibly. I don't have anything planned right now, but I hadn't planned on this story, either! (There's more than one reason I shot it off to Jim Curtis with the title I Didn't Sign Up For This.) 

Right now, I'm working on more AJ & Jenna, and then there's a sorta sequel to Shattered Under Midnight that's 14K in, and waiting in the shadows. And then there's this story about a vineyard, that I want to get back to... but other things keep creeping in.


  1. You didn't, but your muse did! :-)

  2. I don’t know how long you lived up here, but how about some stories set in Alaska? I don’t think I’ve ever read an Alaska story set in the future. Thanks

    1. I'm not sure I can come up with anything set on earth, but it's in the queue to try.