Before taking some much needed time off for the Labor Day holiday, we submitted our last blog post (Would You Rather Be Right Or Happy?) and, as usual, we were almost immediately provided with an opportunity to practice what we preach. The other day, while running an errand, we decided to stop into our favorite drug store for a cone of our favorite ice cream. (If you live in Los Angeles, you’ll know the one we’re talking about. Is there anywhere else on the planet where you can still get a decent ice cream cone for a dollar?) Sounds like a simple, pleasant activity, right? Well, we’d better give you a little background here.

We were just running out for a quick errand. It was the middle of the afternoon on a Friday, and we still had a lot more work left to do before beginning our weekend down time. What we neglected to realize was that this was the first week that school was now in session, so as we turned out of our driveway and started down the street, the last things we expected to see were swarms of children and teens – and hordes of SUV’s – coming at us from every direction, like ants at a picnic.

Needless to say, our normally short, pleasant drive to the drug store turned into an unwelcome obstacle course of oblivious pedestrians and distracted drivers, and where do you think ninety percent of them were headed? Where else, on this beautiful, sunny, warm, September day? To the ice cream counter!

Okay, so you’re probably getting a pretty clear picture of the state of our minds by the time we navigated through the fog of cheap cologne and bubble gum flavored lip gloss, neared the front of the line, and got a good look at the available flavors our charming local youths had left for us inside the freezer case. Since another family member had come along with us, and since all three of us were going to get Chocolate Brownie, Keith suggested we just order a hand-packed pint and enjoy it at home. That’s what Keith said.

Unfortunately, it’s not what Maura heard. She heard something about getting a container of ice cream and bringing it home, and her mind instantly pictured a half gallon of the delicious creamy treat, and heard it calling to her every time she went near the kitchen, and imagined it probably getting eaten within a couple of days, thereby setting her up for an endless series of sugar binges and completely ruining all the healthy eating and exercising she had done over the summer, not to mention killing off any hope she still clung to of fitting into her “skinny jeans” ever again. So Maura told Keith that she didn’t want to have ice cream in the house. That’s what Maura said.

Unfortunately, it’s not what Keith heard. Keith saw “that look” on Maura’s face. The one that means complete disapproval. The one that says, “Boy, are you an idiot!” The one that reminds him of his ex-wife, his sister, his mother and his grandmother, all wrapped into one big, raging, hormonal package. He saw that look, and he heard Maura say something about not wanting to do it his way. Neither one of us remembers exactly what Keith said next, but we’re sure it wasn’t pretty.

We all got our ice cream cones and left the store, each heading off in a different direction across the parking lot (can you see the smoke billowing out of the tops of our heads?) and eventually meeting up back at the car. We then drove across the street to the bank, where Maura went in to make a deposit. That’s when Maura’s need to be right let down its guard for just a split second – which was long enough for Keith’s actual words to finally find their way into her conscious mind.

A hand-packed pint. A hand-packed pint. A hand-packed PINT!

Suddenly, the whole thing became clear. Maura knew instantly what she had to do, and she was actually looking forward to it. But she would have to wait a few minutes to make her apology, because as she came out of the bank, she noticed Keith was outside of the car, offering to be contacted as a witness for an accident that had just happened in the parking lot. One of those distracted SUV drivers had just backed up into an incoming smaller car, not even noticing as the other driver beeped her horn repeatedly when she saw his car coming toward hers. “What if I’d been a pedestrian?” she said to the SUV driver, “You need to look behind you before you back up.”

Seeing that accident took us outside of our current misunderstanding, and got us in touch with how grateful we are for the coping skills we have developed that help keep us focused and safe. As soon as we got back in the car, Maura made her apology to Keith, explaining to him that her reaction was due to the fact that she had not really listened to his words, and telling him that his idea was actually a really good one. Because we have made it a habit to always handle small miscommunications like this right away, there was no residual anger built up from previous arguments, so Keith easily forgave Maura and we both felt better right away.

We hope this made you laugh – and think – and, as usual, we look forward to your comments.

Many Blessings,

Keith and Maura

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Author's Bio: 

Keith Leon and Maura Leon are co-owners of Successful Communications consulting and training, and co-authors of The Seven Steps to Successful Relationships. In less than two years, Keith and Maura went from relationship failures to the relationship of their dreams, and now they share their secrets with others through their website, newsletters, seminars, and coaching. They have appeared on popular radio and television broadcasts, including The Rolonda Watts show and the Shelley Martin show, and their work has been covered by newspapers such as the Minneapolis–St. Paul Star Tribune and the Maryland Herald-Mail.

Keith and Maura have more than twenty-five years of combined training and experience in the field of personal and professional development. They’ve worked with leading experts of transformation, including Jack Canfield, Byron Katie, Michael Beckwith, Terry Cole-Whittaker, John Gray, Barbara DeAngelis and T. Harv Eker. As professional speakers, life coaches and authors, they support both men and women in the areas of career, family, community and love relationships. Their passion is building personal and professional relationships that work.

On Keith and Maura’s website at you’ll find an abundance of information and resources, including interactive quizzes, informational downloads, audio and video recordings, and much, much more!