Friday, September 7, 2007

The Road to Abilene

“ On a hot afternoon visiting in Coleman, Texas, the family is comfortably
playing dominoes on a porch, until the father-in-law suggests that they take a trip to Abilene [53 miles north] for dinner. The wife says, "Sounds like a great idea." The husband, despite having reservations because the drive is long and hot, thinks that his preferences must be out-of-step with the group and says, "Sounds good to me. I just hope your mother wants to go." The mother-in-law then says, "Of course I want to go. I haven't been to Abilene in a long time." The drive is hot, dusty, and long. When they arrive at the cafeteria, the food is as bad. They arrive back home four hours later, exhausted. One of them dishonestly says, "It was a great trip, wasn't it." The mother-in-law says that, actually, she would rather have stayed home, but went along since the other three were so enthusiastic. The husband says, "I wasn't delighted to be doing what we were doing. I only went to satisfy the rest of you." The wife says, "I just went along to keep you happy. I would have had to be crazy to want to go out in the heat like that." The father-in-law then says that he only suggested it because he thought the others might be bored. The group sits back, perplexed that they together decided to take a trip which none of them wanted. They each would have preferred to sit comfortably, but did not admit to it when they still had time to enjoy the afternoon."

I'm sure many of you have studied the "road to Abilene" paradox at some point in your studies.

Have you ever had your own "Road to Abilene" experience? I know that we have. The State Fair is actually a success story for us this year. We were on the verge of making a trip to Abilene by way of the State Fair then as we were discussing when we'd go to the fair one of us said, "I don't really want to go to the fair." This response was quickly agreed with and now neither of us is dreading a trip to the State Fair. Yeah. Let's here it for communication in marriage.


KY Transplants said...

I know I have done that, and really regretted my decision. It's one of those judgement calls you have to make real time.


Jennifer@DoingTheNextThing said...

I have never studied that before, but I will now! And yes, that has happened to us SO many times - usually with extended family. No one wants to be the one to speak up and ruin everyone else's fun. We should all just learn to speak the truth in love, huh? And thanks, Charlotte, for stopping by again. Always love your comments!