Let's Live Together





I took a Ziploc bag of frozen pork chops out of the freezer and set them in the refrigerator to thaw.  I decided to make one of my favorite crock pot recipes with them.  I threatened the husband with a black eye if he ate the last of the sour cream because I needed it for that simple recipe.

The next day, I carried my crock pot to my island in the kitchen and mixed the sour cream with an envelope of onion soup mix and decided to rinse the defrosted meat at the sink before adding to my recipe.  Then I noticed something.

They weren’t pork chops.  To my surprise, I witnessed defrosted chicken thighs.  Very big chicken thighs; it must have been a hippy chicken.  The freezer bag’s label read Dec. ’15 in the husband’s writing.  I assumed it contained pork chops.  I was wrong.

Write it like a man.
Thinking like a man would think, he probably guessed that any fool could see these are chicken thighs when he placed them in a clear gallon freezer bag and put them in the freezer for later use.  No need to spell it out on a label.

What’s funny to me, he even asked me the day before:  “What are you going to do with the chicken in the refrigerator?”

I corrected him and told him “It’s for my slow cooker and its pork chops, not chicken.”


I felt sorry for him because, typical man, he loves pork chops.  And he wasn’t getting any.

Similarly, miscommunication results when we assume things about others.  I have a friend whom I’ve known for a few years.  When we first met she asked me if I had an open door policy in my home and could she drop in anytime for chats and doing life together.  I discouraged that immediately because I’m quietly productive and respectful of my husband’s space too since we are retired and live in the same house. 

However, the boundary I set in place was ignored.  The woman dropped in often.  So then, I asked her to give me a call first before showing up.  She ignored that boundary, too.

In discussing my irritation recently, it amazed me when she responded that she didn’t know I am a private person.  She then instructed me as a private person to set boundaries.


I conclude that there is a hefty surprise in store for us when we refuse to hear what the other person is saying whether its pork chops, chicken or friendship.  

Comments

  1. I had to smile about the pork chops and chicken. I hope you both enjoyed whatever you had. I love using my crockpot, the meals are so tender, moist and delicious! :)

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    1. I don't know what your summers are like in Canada, but we swelter in the hot, humid months here in AZ and I will only use my crock pot for warm meals!

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  2. Think she will now respect the boundaries? Communication is so key, why do we struggle with it so much? I think we need to listen intently and not with the thought of what we next are going to say. Very timely words you shared here. If you wouldn't mind saying a prayer for a young couple that needs help with listening, I would sure appreciate it.

    Betty

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    1. Could it be we're fearful of what they're really saying? Certainly we are not respecting the other one. I pray for every person who comments as well as myself to learn what the Lord is saying to our hearts each day and I will add the mystery couple to my list. I'm happy to do it.

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  3. I've no doubt your 'friend' is a lovely person ... but her failure to LISTEN (I think) is, in a word, insulting.

    The pork-chops-turned-chicken-thighs episode made me smile out-loud! (Sounds like something Tom and I would do!)

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    1. Social skills are not everyone's forte'. Or maybe some are just desperate. I'm glad I made you smile with our miscommunication.

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  4. Chicken crockpot for the soul. Thank you for your light-hearted lesson.

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  5. Oh, my, that is SO frustrating when people do not have the respect they should for your own, personal space. We have had people just like that in our lives through the years, and it seems that they never do catch on to the fact that it is just plain rude to drop in unannounced. Bless your heart! I do hope this situation improves, and oh, my, your pork chop recipe sounds amazing! So, do you just put a carton of sour cream, mixed with one packet of onion soup mix? Is that it? It sounds wonderful! Sending you much love, sweet friend. :)

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    1. A small carton (one cup) sour cream, one envelope of onion soup mix and one can of cream of mushroom soup. You southern cooks are the best and you can tweak it to your liking but we just lightly salt & pepper at the dinner table. If I have fresh mushrooms, I add them at the end. I bet your guys will love it.

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  6. Yum! That looks good though it ended up to be chicken not pork chops ;)

    I love using the crockpot too especially on hot days like now. A big help when you're trying to do 10 things at the same time since we only have 2 hands.
    It's easy to say "never assume" but a lot harder not to do so. And it's not fun when we give wrong meanings to those things or situations when perceived the wrong way. I am a private person myself (or my family) so I could feel for you when anyone drops in without any warning. But funny how your friend thought the opposite despite the warning. I believe people tend to assume, too "Youre like this" or "You're like that" when in reality you're not and what they're saying are actually a reflection of who they are. I label food in the fridge too (Is that a type A in me?) but next time, I think I'd be careful not to get milk but rather the half and half for my coffee. Yes! I did that! :)

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    1. Your perspective enlightened me. The milk container and half and half bears resemblance. I grabbed the wrong one too at times. Love ya.

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  7. You had my mouth watering for pork chops Mary! LOL As for your friend, there are some people who just don't understand boundaries. I had a neighbor like that once. She never did get it and finally we moved. Thank goodness!I just couldn't explain it one more time.

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    1. Hence, my title! Let's all live together and do life together side by side. I'm just not productive that way although it's fun once in a while to share a project or help each other. Glad I motivated you with the pork chops; I bet you're an awesome cook.

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    2. I know....let's cook it together. Hahaha.

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  8. That last paragraph nailed it. True!

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    1. I'm sharpening my listening skills, too, Lux.

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  9. As usual, you got a lot of people to read your piece and to nod their head and writing comments to you. That's a special opportunity for you. Bless you and thank you!

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    1. Bless you, Joanne, thanks for dropping by.

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  10. Dear Mary,
    I am sure that the slow cooked chicken turned out yummy in the end. The good thing is that you were able to still make things work out at the last minutes. We all need to be ready for the unexpected. And your "friend"... every once in a while we encounter people who just do not seem to get it, because they are not used to paying attention. Or maybe, being so wrapped up in what they are going through, they have selective hearing. And you have had to put up with that, bless your heart, without being too direct. And when she finally gets it, you end up holding the bag, so to speak. I can relate, and I am praying that all is well with your heart, no matter what. Much love, Lidia

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    1. Thank you for your understanding heart, Lidia. I do try the diplomatic approach first; most people receive kindness as a whole. I take note of your precise wisdom and do realize the hurting select what they want to hear. A good word, Lidia.

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  11. Well Mary...I have got to admit that I literately laughed out loud about the woman basically ignoring your discouragement of her just dropping in! And I can laugh because I've been there. Not so much with ladies just "dropping in" but thinking they can call me anytime of the day or NIGHT in some cases! Oh have I stories to tell! LOL! I bet your chicken was yummy. You just can't beat a good old chicken thigh...especially FAT ONES! Hugs and blessings, Cindy

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    1. The chicken in a pinch was yummy but you get the surprise of your life when your taste buds are craving pork chops. Mind games I guess. Your understanding heart helps me not to feel so alone right now.

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  12. Your stories always make me chuckle, Mary. I had to laugh at the chicken/pork chop miscommunication. What I want to know is if you admitted your mistake to your hubby? 'Cause it seems to me that the whole meal was about eating a little crow?! :-)

    Drawing boundaries is hard, especially when they aren't respected. Good luck with the *trespasser*!

    GOD BLESS!

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    1. Ya mean…pull the wool over the old guy’s eyes and call it pork when it’s chicken? Wow, that would take some schmoozing sales job but I think I could manage it especially if it would land me a great reward like a trip to some tropical island somewhere. Naw, I just shouted “I’ll be darned!” or something like that.

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  13. Nice, Mary! You really hit on something here that seems to be getting worse in our society. There was a time when folks talked that it was like a warm up for tennis; volley back and forth, one then the other.

    Now it seems that a lot of people, self centered people, don't care much what you have to say, they want you to sit and listen to them. When you do get a chance to talk, they aren't listening! They're waiting for you to stop so they can start again!

    The common denominator and the subject matter of these type of folks is usually the same; them.

    And of course we know that selfish people are the most miserable people in the world… a concept spelled out in the Good Book.

    Thanks for the reminder to be diligent about working on my listening skills.

    See you and your husband around seven… Kidding!

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    1. Ha! And I would welcome you with open arms. As I would my friend if I thought it would help her. I don't want to contribute to more victim behavior. I do not have that gift where people can talk and talk until they're ready to face reality. Some have the gift to listen and it all dissipates afterwards. Not me, I stay burdened. I so long for victory for others and myself as well.

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  14. I have done that, put something in the freezer thinking I know what this is so I don't need to write on the bag. Hope your chicken turned out good anyway. My daughter lives 4 miles from us, and she always calls before she drops by. I liked Floyd's comment about people really only want to talk about themselves and not listen to you. Oh for hearing ears in this world. Thank you for sharing your delightful story with us here at Tell me a True Story.

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    1. Yep, at the time we are hurried and think we'll remember! I, too, think selfishness is surfacing in the reader comments and I'm learning so much about listening.

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