A Conflict

“I’m just saying that it’s pointless.” Ariana stood with her hands on her hips, staring at her sweating husband.

“How is it pointless?” He said, a drop of annoyance making its way into his voice.

“Because if you’re going to eventually put that one in the bedroom and the unit from the shed into the living room, why would you put that in the living room now?”

“Because you’re hot now?”

“I’m fine. I can deal with it for now.” It was a stupid argument. It was small and dumb, but they were having it just the same. The placement of an air conditioner shouldn’t cause a debate that lasts longer than debate club meetings, but here they were. Jamar rolled his eyes and this irritated Ariana even more.

“You don’t have to roll your eyes at me. All I’m saying is you don’t have to do it on my account.”

“But you’re hot.” He emphasized the last word, as if saying it again with more gusto would change her mind.

“I am tired. We’ve been doing stuff all day and I just want to go sit down, chill, and eat my sandwich.” It had been sitting on a tray in the living room for over ten minutes now and she just wanted to take at least one bite.

“So go eat your sandwich. No one’s stopping you.” Ariana throw her hands up and turned back toward the living room.

“Fine. Set that one up in the living room. Don’t set it up. I don’t care.”

“I’ll set up the one that’s in the shed.” Ariana turned back around.

“But didn’t we think that one was too loud?”

“No. That was the one we got originally and then sold. I don’t think the one in the shed has ever been in the living room.” Ariana squinted at Jamar.

“Are you sure? I think it was out there and we had to turn movies way up to hear over it.”

“No. I’m telling you. It was the first one.”

“I don’t care.” Ariana finally said. “Do whatever you want. I am just hot and want to go chill for a bit.”

“Yeah, you need to go chill.” Ariana turned at that and walked back out to the living room. Jamar looked at the portable air conditioning unit and decided to install it to make his wife feel better. He’d install the other one later.

“What are you doing?” Ariana asked when he brought the tubing vent for the portable unit into the living room.

“Setting this up for you.” He started to move things out of the way. Boxes were piled next to the couch that sat in front of the only window in the living room. 

“Stop. OK. Just stop.” Ariana said irritated. He turned to look at her.

“Why? You’re hot. I’m trying to fix that.”

“I just told you I’m fine.” Jamar rolled his eyes again. “Look. I know you like to do things for me and fix stuff, but sometimes you’re over-zealous. I said I’m hot, yes, but I didn’t say it so that you would fix it right now. Just wait until later and put the other one in since that’s the one that’ll stay here.”

“But you said it’s too loud.” This time Ariana rolled her eyes.

“I thought you said it wasn’t.” Jamar shrugged.

“But you think it is.” Jamar said. Ariana turned and stared at the TV.

“Do what you want, just don’t do it on my account. I don’t care which one you put in and when you put it in. I just want to be able to chill, eat dinner, and watch my show.”

A few minutes later, Jamar sat down beside Ariana. The hum of the portable air conditioner was steady behind them.

“Doesn’t that feel better.” He said moving his hands around the air as if he could see the cooler air. Ariana looked at him sideways, still not wanting to admit she had been wrong, but also backed into a corner because that air felt oh so good.

“I guess.” She shrugged. Jamar laughed and turned her toward him.

“I love you.”

“I love you too.” He let her turn back around.

“Even if you are stubborn.” Jamar said under his breath. When Ariana turned to look at him, a mischievous grin was spread across his face. She nudged him with her elbow and he laughed out loud before pulling her in for a kiss.
I read an article yesterday, The 5 Sins of Storytelling by Laurie Alberts, and it had a few exercises at the end. This is the first one. “Create a brief scene in which conflict is apparent between two characters. The conflict can be small, say, over a choice of restaurant, or large, such as a divorce.” I could have gone with something huge, but I wanted to go for a realistic, random argument between a long-time husband and wife who fight over dumb stuff, but still love each other no matter what.

What kind of dumb arguments do you and your significant other get into? Do you mostly only argue over small stuff or do things sometimes escalate to major, almost relationship breaking arguments? Do you and your SO never fight? No judgement will be passed which ever way you comment. We’re all here to express ourselves freely.

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