While writing an email to the members of a committee I serve on, I got a little carried away. I needed to move the meeting location from one member’s house to my own, since I needed to be home during those hours. I could have written something like this:
Would it be OK if we met at my house instead of Joel’s? Dave’s not here and Charlie is having some people over and I’d feel better being home. Let me know if that’s a problem.
It would have taken exactly one minute to write and I’m sure it would have been just as successful as the one that I sent out instead. The one that took about 45 minutes to write. The one that had all the important details. This one:
I am so VERY sorry for pulling rank, but there are some extenuating circumstances** that require me to be home tonight. So, instead of Joel’s house for the meeting, I hope it’s okay if we meet at MY house. Of course the road construction will be a challenge, but once you get to watertown it’s (mostly) smooth sailing — the roundabout on mainstreet in watertown is under construction, but it’s a way-easy detour. Just go straight on hwy 25 where it spits you out at the 4-way stop between the primary and high school at Co Rd 10 and Hwy 25. My road is 4 miles from there.
** Extenuating Circumstances:
Scene one: May 31st 9:30pm. Characters are tired and sleepy.
Charlie: Mom, can I have some track people over on Tuesday night?
Jennie: I think so. Did you check the calendar?
Charlie: Why? What do you mean?
Jennie: Don’t you have trapshooting that night?
Charlie: Uh. What? Trapshooting? What are you even talking about?
Jennie: The fun shoot. I signed up to bring food. If you miss that, you’d have to get the food to the party somehow.
Charlie: The fun shoot is Tuesday? Geez. I guess. Yeah, I can probably miss that.
Jennie: I don’t want to have to cook food for your friends. Have them bring some food.
Charlie: Yeah. OK. I’ll ask.
June 1st, 2:30pm. Jennie is busy in the kitchen. Charlie has emerged from bedroom after 3 hours of gaming. His eyes are red. He is sitting on couch and — amazingly — watching videos on laptop. Various chimes and bell sounds are heard as each character checks their phones and computers.
Charlie: You said it was OK if I had a track party tomorrow, right?
3:00 pm Charlie has left the house for a job interview (yay!). Jennie is now working on her laptop at the kitchen island. [Email chime]. Jennie navigates to email and reads the following:
So you see, dear friends, the gathering that I agreed to host is the “end-of-the-season track party” for the entire boys and girls track teams. It’s all in the details.
Here’s one other relevant detail:
June 2, 8pm. Jennie is in raspberry patch weeding. She is stiff and cranky because her iTunes play list is on shuffle and keeps playing Christmas music, somehow downloaded from ‘the cloud’ despite all settings to the contrary. Husband, feared missing at sea during fishing trip to Lake of the Woods, has turned up unexpectedly — since Jennie has not heard from him since 7:30 am on Friday, 4 days earlier.
Jennie: Oh. Hi. I feared you were lost at sea.
Dave. Oh. Yeah. Right. Sorry I didn’t call. Cell coverage was pretty bad
Jennie: That’s OK. I love you unconditionally [sarcastic tone] Dave: Did you miss me?
Jennie: [Stands up and walks over to iPhone sitting on fence post. Skips “Oh Come All Ye Faithful” which has started to play on iPhone]. Ignores question
Dave: You missed some grass over here [pointing to previously weeded raspberry row] Jennie: You will be home tomorrow night, right?
Dave: No. I’ll be in Columbus.
Jennie: Tomorrow? You are in Columbus tomorrow? That’s not on the calendar!
Dave: Really? Yeah. Sorry. It just came together [Jennie furrows brow…. thinking….about that “bad cell coverage”…] Jennie: We are apparently hosting the end of the season track party tomorrow and I have a meeting that I can’t miss.
Dave: That’s a problem.
Jennie: Yeah that’s a problem.
Dave: How did that happen?
Jennie: It’s a long story. I’ll tell you during dinner.
Dave: What’s for dinner?
Jennie: You are taking me out to dinner.