Politics is a powerful force that always exists in many ways throughout our lives. There are governmental politics, office politics, sports politics and best of all family politics.
In my home there are three distinct and different political factions each having their own unique and specific agendas. I’m the conservative with my platform consisting of freedom for all people to watch sports, pro fixing things with duct tape and equal access to deep dish pizza for all. My wife is more of a liberal with a platform that is strongly pro shopping, defending the rights of people to eat out and feels that talking for long amounts of time on the telephone is something protected by the Federal Communications Commission. My daughter is a strong independent. She believes watching videos is an inalienable right of all kids, she is pro playing computer games and supports the taking of stuffed animals everywhere she goes even if it’s to school or church. With those well-defined political beliefs our family government can get more than a little interesting.
Recently an issue came before the floor of our house, which was our dinner that had fallen there. Since we were all tired and hungry I suggested that we go out to eat after we clean up the mess. A spirited debate to rival any in Washington D.C. occurred as we attempted to solve our dinner crisis.
“I want to go to Burger Playground!” my daughter yelled.
That earned a groan from my wife who offered her own solution to our dilemma.
“I’m not in the mood for burgers. I’d like to go to Le Expensive Restaurant to eat.”
Neither of these ideas suited me and I felt I had in mind the perfect dining experience for us all.
“How about we got to the Greasy Cheapo Restaurant for one of their specials?”
For some reason this suggestion earned a groan in unison from both my wife and daughter. With our positions clearly stated we all began to debate on our house floor as we cleaned up our dirty kitchen. My daughter went first.
“Burger Playground is the best place to go because they give away toys, have a playground and paper place mats with games and puzzles on them.”
My wife didn’t buy this argument and shot down my daughter’s idea.
“Oh, I couldn’t handle that right now. Little kids running all over the place and parents yelling at children who are throwing food at each other. I’m tired and I want to go to Le Expensive Restaurant.”
Now it was my daughter’s turn to attack her mother’s idea.
“Mom, that’s a boring place to go eat. I can’t see my food because they don’t turn on the lights and only let you see with candles.”
I decided to join ranks with my daughter and then see if I could win sympathy for my cause.
“We can’t go eat at Le Expensive Restaurant because it’ll cost more than our total food bill for three weeks.”
My wife shrugged her shoulders.
“You’re exaggerating. It’d be the total of two weeks food bill at the most. Why do you want to go to the Greasy Cheapo Restaurant?”
Now was the time to play my hand. I opened a drawer and pulled out a piece of paper and began waving it as if I were at a sporting event.
“Very simple. I’ve got a coupon.”
I know my wife and daughter are close but even I was amazed at how those two simultaneously sighed, rolled their eyes and looked away. It was almost as if they were a part of some synchronized whining team. Now it was their turn to attack my idea as I valiantly attempted to get them to see things my way.
“Dad, the Greasy Cheapo Restaurant smells.”
“That’s not a smell. That’s the aroma of wholesome American cuisine being prepared for its dedicated patrons.”
“Mike, I’m not going there. A person’s cholesterol level increases quite a bit if they just look at the menu. After you eat in that place you can almost feel your arteries clogging.”
“Does the fact that I have a two for one, kids eat free coupon make a difference?”
Again in unison I heard “No.”
They did this so well I wondered if they actually practiced this when I was at work.
The situation quickly went from bad to worse as tempers flared and emotions ran high. My wife threatened a strike, my daughter threatened to boycott taking baths and I was ready to fine them all for being in contempt of Dad.
In the end we did what any group of people who were hungry and tired of arguing would do, we reached a compromise. We picked a restaurant that had a little of something we all requested, but not everything we all wanted.
Compromise is a wonderful thing that’s an important part of being in a family. When you’re in a family it’s not always important to have your own way. But it is important to always have lots of respect for each other’s opinions.
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