Just Trying To Help

Editor’s note: Ron Nagasawa is on leave. This column was originally published July 20, 2005.

I just came back from two weeks out of the office. I didn’t go anywhere, it was one of those breaks where you catch up with all the stuff you put off doing when you’re working every day.

Actually, some of my wife’s family was coming in from the Mainland, and since our kids were out of school I decided to take time off to enjoy this impromptu family reunion. It was great fun, although the preparation for everyone’s arrival wreaked havoc on my wife’s confidence in me. The reason is that leading up to everyone’s arrival, I decided to step up and do some of the domestic chores around the house. Not that I normally refuse to do them, but with my erratic work schedule, I seldom get to participate in the housekeeping.

OK, I know that sounds like a huge cop-out. But it’s true, just like the story I’m about to tell about what happened when I stepped in to do a little housework. On my very first day off, I pushed my wife away from the kitchen sink and said that I would wash all the dishes.

She looked at me as though aliens just brought me back to Earth. I told her to go relax and watch some TV. She kept insisting that it wasn’t necessary, and I started to feel like she wasn’t sure I could do this simple little task.

Finally she succumbed to my insistence and I started washing the dishes. One of the last items was a crystal coffee cup that still had piping hot coffee in it. I washed it, rinsed it off with cold water and stacked it on the dish rack.

My wife came into the kitchen to inspect my work when suddenly, the coffee cup literally exploded. I guess the rapid switch from hot to cold water caused it to shatter. My wife looked at me and said, “See what happens!”

The whole incident was actually a blessing in disguise for me. Later I offered to do the laundry and my wife refused me, saying that the clothes might burst into flames from spontaneous combustion.

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