Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Greatest Story Ever Told . . . although that might be an exaggeration.

My wife says I have a tendency to exaggerate, my response was, “What?!?! I have never exaggerated in my entire life!” I guess I proved her point. She actually created a word for what I do; to catastrophize – verb – creating a dramatic situation in a story where it did not originally exist. Although, I am not sure I fully agree with her assessment. I believe I simply highlight and emphasize the important issues of any story. I may occasionally play a little loose with my adjectives and adverbs, but that is done in an effort to bring attention to details that might otherwise be ignored. I can see that these subtle differences need an illustration to make clear. For demonstration purposes, I will give you a story and in this story, I will use an asterisk (*) beside any point in the story where I have allegedly exaggerated.

My wife is very involved in local ministry and having two small children requires one of us to be at home as the caretaker. Since during my incredibly long working hours* where I spend every available minute diligently focused on completing my work* and my wife is working at home raising the children, every* opportunity I get, I happily* embrace the role of active father that allows her to get out of the house and serve our community. Recently, in a selfless act* after an extraordinary long day at work*, I told my wife to head out and visit with her friends. This left me the incredible challenge* of preparing our children for bed that evening. As I diligently prepared dinner* my daughter managed to make a mess that put milk and cookies over every square inch of her body*. The house looked similar to a landfill* and after I wrestled the kids into bed*, it took me hours of my valuable time* to clean it up*.

Now we’ll look at the same situation from my wife’s point of view. On an evening where my wife had a regularly scheduled meeting that I knew about months in advance, she asked me to simply put the children to bed (after bathing them, preparing their dinner, and getting them into their pajama and ready for bed before I returned home). Against my wife’s advice, I gave the children a bedtime snack (in an effort to buy their love). My daughter managed to get a little bit of the snack on her face and on the floor which took me a few extra moments to get her cleaned and into bed (and could have been completely avoided had I followed her instructions) and cut into my time watching the opening kick-off of Monday Night Football. When my wife arrived home later that evening and found me comfortably positioned in the recliner and the snack mess still remaining on the floor, she asked what happened. This led me into to the story that begins in this column in paragraph #2.

In the end, I guess it is all a matter of how you look at it. I believe that the allegation that I embellish the facts of any story is completely overstated and possibly one of the greatest statements of misinformation in the history of mankind . . . although this entire column might be an exaggeration, you be the judge.

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