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Ron Nagasawa

Excess Baggage

I may have mentioned in previous weeks that my wife and daughter were going to take a trip to the West Coast, as our daughter’s hula halau and Tahitian troupe were going to perform at Disneyland. It was to be a quick trip, and I would have gone, except I felt compelled to stay back and look after my mom and our dog Buddy.

My daughter completely understands, and I think both she and my wife felt better knowing that I was around for my mom. While she is totally capable of caring for herself, she no longer drives or cooks, so even though my sister and brother volunteered to look after her, it’s much more convenient all the way around for me to do it.

The real stress, at least for my wife, was in the week leading up to the day they left on their trip. My wife works at a private school and the school year wasn’t over until the very same day of their trip. That means my wife was so busy with the school, what with graduations and such, that she wasn’t able to do any packing. Our daughter, though, was out of school a week earlier and so was packed and ready to go five days before their departure. My wife was kind of bugged because she didn’t have a large enough suitcase to pack our daughter’s costumes and dance implements, let alone a suitcase for her own clothes and travel things.

The night before they were to leave, I secured a couple of suitcases for her and suggested she start packing immediately. She still had to go into her office the next day, and so needless to say, the stress level was a billion on a scale of one to 10. As she packed, she started to find that some of the things wouldn’t fit and that she was nearing full capacity.

Translation: The volcano was going to blow at any minute. I decided that I would try to reduce the level of stress by making a joke or saying something funny. Here’s what I said: “If you can’t fit stuff in your suitcase, why don’t you just put it in your purse? Everything else seems to fit in there!”

If only I could harness the power of the glare I got back from her, the entire world would no longer have a need for fossil fuels. My lesson for the day? Never make jokes about your wife’s purse or she’ll send you packing.

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