Short Story: A Monday Night At Home

A Monday Night At Home By: Ida R. Jardines

All Rodger could think about on the longest Monday in recorded history was going home, sitting on the couch, popping open an ice cold ginger beer to accompany the most epic snack spread known to man, and binge watching Game of Thrones. However, his wife had different plans.

They had been married nearly ten years and in all that time, their dynamic had never changed. Marcia was active; she ate right and jogged every day after work. Rodger, on the other hand, was an active television watcher who ate what was right to him and only jogged in the supermarket to get his hand on the last box of Twinkies. Despite their differences, they really did love each other…or at least that’s what they had to remind themselves after every failed couples jogging session or pie eating contest.

Marcia’s Monday night plans included lycra (not the good kind), a heart monitor, and the outdoors. She wouldn’t let Rodger get out of working out tonight. Not a chance. She was competitive by nature and saw her husband’s exercise habits (or lack thereof) as a challenge. A challenge that she’d gladly emerge victorious over.

It was this attitude that resulted in Marcia and Rodger standing in the middle of their perfectly manicured street. As expected, she was decked out in full workout gear. She methodically stretched all the muscles she planned on using while Rodger stared at her in disgust wearing his signature jogging outfit: basketball shorts and a worn t-shirt. His jogging attire was also his TV watching wardrobe of choice.

“Come on,” Marcia teased, bending over to touch her toes. “Don’t look so bothered. This is going to be fun.”

“Yeah,” Rodger offered, making no attempt to meet her excitement level. “Fun.”

“Let’s race!” she suggested as she bounced from foot to foot. “We can put some money on it. That’s always fun.”

Rodger made it a point to roll his eyes so that his wife could see how miserable she was making him. “How long do we have to do this?”

“Either five miles or until I get tired,” she said as she took her inhaler out of the pouch she ran with. “But I think we both know how that will end.”

The smug look on her face was enough to make Rodger feel a little vindictive. His wife’s exercise induced asthma didn’t stand a chance. As Marcia was about to put the inhaler to her mouth, her loving husband yelled: “READYSETGO!!” He took off down the street like there was only one box of Twinkies left at the end of the block.

Ever the competitor, Marcia ran after him with wide eyes, forgetting about her inhaler. She had to win.

Fifteen minutes later, they were both sitting on their overstuffed couch. Rodger wore a look of victory with his feet propped up on the coffee table, a ginger beer in one hand, and a jalapeño popper in the other. Marcia’s face reflected defeat and annoyance as she took yet another puff of her inhaler in an attempt to return to normal breathing after her asthma attack.

Marcia thought, “On the bright side, I got him jogging with me.”

Rodger thought, “On the bright side, I got her on the couch next to me.”

And he didn’t even have to change into his TV clothes.