Knot So Smart

What is it about the Nagasawa women and knots? There is a phenomenon in my house that, for some reason, I haven’t been able to figure out: My wife and 16-year-old daughter get things tangled into knots. The other weekend, my wife and I were getting ready to attend a dressy charitable function. Doing that sounds easier than it is, as this requires great advance planning.

After I confirm the attire for the evening, my wife will coordinate what she plans to wear from head to toe. The end result is she always looks fantastic, but the preparation ritual can practically kill me. As we near the countdown to our departure, she runs down her checklist – hair, makeup, gown and shoes. The final element, jewelry, is like the cherry on top.

That’s when I will hear a shriek of anger. “Ron, my necklace is all in knots, I need you to untangle it for me.” How it gets in that condition in the first place is beyond me, but it’s as though a Boy Scout used it for his knot-tying badge. Eye on the clock, I suggest she simply use a different necklace. That just won’t do, as the one in knots was coordinated with the outfit she has on.

Do the math. Untangling the necklace beats a full outfit change any day of the week. With our daughter, it involves something entirely different. While she’s a good girl and quite responsible, that gets thrown out the window when it comes to those listening ear buds for her iPhone. It’s a small commodity that she seems to lend to friends or easily loses. So much so, that I’ve bought cheap pairs to keep around so she won’t borrow mine.

But it’s inevitable, and the other day she borrowed my pair of iPhone ear buds. After a couple of days I wanted them back, and she said they were in her room next to her bed. When I retrieved them, they were all knotted up, literally with knots on knots. I could not fathom how they got that way.

I would have to be Harry Houdini to untie that mess, but I eventually did. I swore that was the last time I would lend her mine. Just then my wife asked if she could borrow my iPad power cord so she could recharge hers. I handed it over … with knots in my stomach.