For Better, For Worse – Friday Fictioneers, June 2016

Copyright John Nixon

“He’s excruciatingly funny, isn’t he?” says my sister, her tone clearly indicating that my husband is anything but.

“He has his moments,” I say defensively.

John emerges from the piano.

“I take a close interest in my work,” he says, before launching into a crippling rendition of ‘chopsticks’.

At the buffet-table, my brother-in-law slides his hand up the skirt of another guest.

“Bill’s having a good time,” I observe.

“He’s always known how to enjoy himself.”

Our eyes meet.

“Marriage is a compromise,” I say.

She nods and, eyeing each other’s jewellery, we share the last of the Chateau Lafite.

Not a very strong one from me this week, but if I’d re-run my last offering for this photo, The Joker in Our Pack, you’d think I’d gone soft in the head (after my schmaltzy post last week).  Thanks to Rochelle for giving we older members of Friday Fictioneers the opportunity of a break, even if I opted not to take it.  And apologies to Neil McDon  for a blatantly literal take on the prompt.  🙂  Needs must when the devil drives, Neil …

About Sandra

I used to cruise the French waterways with my husband four or five months a year, and wrote fiction and poetry. Now I live on the beautiful Dorset coast, enjoying the luxury of being able to have a cat, cultivating an extensive garden and getting involved in the community. I still write fiction, but only when the spirit moves me - which isn't as often as before. I love animals, F1 motor racing, French bread and my husband, though not necessarily in that order.
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61 Responses to For Better, For Worse – Friday Fictioneers, June 2016

  1. Dear Sandra,

    Perish the thought that this is a literal take on the prompt. Sometimes you and I come closer to the prompt that usual, but you veered far enough afield as far as I’m concerned. And oh those ‘fun loving’ husbands. Well done.




  2. Ha.. yes indeed… a compromise (and I guess it’s not his first marriage either, so they should really know). The dialogue is acidly perfect.


  3. I have a sneaking suspicion that this conversation often took place after I left the room. Nice tone here.


  4. ceayr says:

    Not very strong?
    Then feebleness is my ambition, Sandra.
    I am enthralled – again – by a master craftswoman at work.
    (craftsperson? craftsman? Sorry, I don’t speak PC too well!)


  5. wmqcolby says:

    Whoa! Nice one, Sandra!
    The stuff said at a cocktail party — wow! You packed a lot in there. I was wondering when all this was going to hit the fan.
    Five out of five olives — with cocktail swords big and strong enough to pierce through that stone Bill calls his heart!


  6. Sounds like the guys are kind of over-celebrating. The ladies seem used to it though and are taking the good with the bad. Well written with vivid description that brings it to life. You’re right. This is nothing like your first story for the prompt. I liked the first one also, heartrending as it was. Well written as always, Sandra. —- Suzanne


  7. this is certainly not a weak offering. So much said. So much backstory to imagine.


  8. Caerlynn Nash says:

    Oh, the things one can say in so few words. I think you did a find job here! Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. gahlearner says:

    Looks like they aren’t too unhappy with their arrangements. I laughed about the last sentence. I just hope these couples don’t have kids. Great story, not weak.


  10. Sisters, sisters….sharp and full of venom, but still best friends…I’ve seen that before. Nicely done.


  11. Graham Lawrence says:

    I was loving the story and then I hit on the last few lines. Strongly put and powerfully written. It just sums up the rest nicely. Well done.


  12. Brilliantly told. I often marvel at the extent some women are prepared to compromise!


  13. liz young says:

    Marriage is indeed a compromise – until one has had enough and gets out.


  14. ansumani says:

    I’m a fan! The way you weave the depth of the sister’s relationship and the state of marriages in 100 words- Perfect!


  15. rgayer55 says:

    Makes me wonder what Connie and her friends say about me and their husbands.
    Nah, I don’t really want to know.


  16. Marriage is a compromise, sure; but not on core issues. Fidelity is core, funny is fringe. I rather have funny than infidelity.
    Guess the sister didn’t understand that!


  17. IB Arora says:

    when you are too scared to face the reality, compromise is the only alternative


  18. draliman says:

    Sounds like quite dinner party. Nice one, great dialogue!


  19. I love this, especially as my husband is a professional keyboard player — not that he buys me jewellery!


  20. Jan Brown says:

    Very sad, but I know there are many marriages like the ones depicted in your story. The dialogue is spot on.


  21. plaridel says:

    absolutely great dialogue. very nice,


  22. mickwynn2013 says:

    Great acid cynicism, Sandra. Perfect dialogue and well captured little vignette of married life


  23. Awesome! I love the relationship between sisters & each couple that you manage in such a short piece.


  24. I hope it was a $1700 bottle. You’d put up with most things for that.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. So often we do judge each other’s spouses as if they were a reflection on us instead of the individual people that they are. I foud this to be quote thought provoking and could go on but won’t. you’ve made me thirsty 😉


  26. Margaret says:

    The two sisters have rehearsed their roles thoroughly, I’d say. But by the sound of the jewellery etc they’re not losing out on what they really want. A grimly amusing story. Lots of layers.


  27. Sandra says:

    Some relationships can be grimly amusing too. Not mine, I hasten to add. 🙂


  28. Some real winners! Sounds like these sisters have a pretty competitive relationship. I think I prefer John to Bill!


  29. Love the wedding parties. An interesting history between brother in law (the goat) and narrator.


  30. Sandra, your mastery of the understatement and the ironic is undisputed. And that acerbic humor had me chuckling.
    So much packed into such a small space – I bow at the feet of the Maestra.


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