The Plot To Steal Joy: Day 6

Day 6 Unfolds:

I came home to find the electric space heater in the bathroom running on full blast for the past 19 hours while it should have been set on timer to automatically shut down after 2 hours. Immediately I turned to my husband: “Wasn’t the heater supposed to be set on a 2-hour timer?” (read: You didn’t set the timer, did you?) He interpreted my question as an accusation (understandably so), and got visibly upset. Sensing the brink of yet another explosive argument, I checked my response and simmered down, telling him I wasn’t looking for an argument - I was unhappy with the excessive waste, as I was under the impression that electric space heaters costs exponentially more in electricity bills than central heaters (according to research, 43% more).

I kept telling myself (in my mind) not to wear my emotion on my face which I know would upset him further, and to watch my response so that this small argument would not escalate out of proportion. I was determined not to let this situation steal our joy. We had just had a lovely evening up to this point.

 An hour earlier, we had just been hanging out at our favorite restaurant in Marin County. Sol Food is a Puerto Rican restaurant which ambience and decor resemble that of old time cafes in Malaysia, land of my birth.

An hour earlier, we had just been hanging out at our favorite restaurant in Marin County. Sol Food is a Puerto Rican restaurant which ambience and decor resemble that of old time cafes in Malaysia, land of my birth.

I took a deep breath, turned my scowl into a smile and told him I was ok, and was willing to hear him out. He too took a deep breath and explained that the extra hours of heating cost only a couple of dollars more per day; an amount so negligible compared to the strain in our relationship over an issue as trivial as such. I listened to him explain his frustration over my nit-picking a few wasted dollars and apologized for accusing him the minute I discovered the heater left running for the entire day.

After we talked through the situation calmly, I did a quick research on the cost of running an electric space heater. Here’s what I found: it costs approximately $8.50 to run an electric heater for 19 hours, versus $0.90 for 2 hours. My earlier assumption of “excessive waste” simply costs the difference of $7.60. Is $7.60 worth putting our relationship on strain? I think not. I’m glad we talked things through calmly and resumed the evening in peace.

Our emotions frequently get the better of us especially when we are ill equipped with the true knowledge of a matter. Lesson learned: Get knowledge, get understanding, but more importantly, develop wisdom to manage our often unruly emotion.

The score for today?

Joy: 1. Peace: 1.