Guilt By Association

There is nothing I wouldn’t do for my wife. In our years together, she has always put me first, and so I hope I have reciprocated in every way possible. Of course, I never said it was easy, as my persona is rooted in trying to be a manly man. So, I don’t wear my emotions on my sleeve, nor do I express myself very well verbally about stuff like “feelings.”

A few years ago, when I was diagnosed with kidney cancer, I never would have made it through that experience if she were not by my side.

Lately, my wife has had to undergo some medical testing and, while so far so good, I want to be there for her like she was for me. Last week she had an appointment for some imaging diagnostics. I met her at the hospital, mostly for moral support.

When she went into the room, I stayed in the waiting area and it was pretty full of people. She asked me to hold on to her purse. Normally, that’s a no-go for me, especially in front of strangers. But this time around she got no argument from me.

I sat there obediently and noticed how quiet the waiting room was. I almost felt like I was in church or a library.

That’s when her cell phone started to ring. At first, I didn’t realize the obnoxious musical ringtone was coming from her purse. But when I started getting glares from the other occupants of the waiting room, as well as the staff, I could no longer pretend it wasn’t coming from “my purse.” I dove into it, trying to locate the phone, but it was like trying to find my golf ball in the rough at Koolau Golf Course. It wouldn’t have been so bad except whoever was calling wouldn’t stop.

It must’ve been our daughter, who also was responsible for selecting and programming the ringtone on her mother’s phone. I finally found the phone and fumbled with it but did not know how to silence or answer it. A young girl sitting next to me reached over and, like magic, shut it off, to the applause of the other people in the room.

I apologized for the obvious, “Sorry but this is not my phone or my purse.” I didn’t realize how stupid that sounded until the words left my mouth.

I guess it could have been worse. It could have been my daughter’s phone with the song Rude by MAGIC! Annoying, but at least appropriate.

rnagasawa@midweek.com

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