So after the earthquake, there was the tsunami. Neither got to my uncle's family or house. But both got to the Fukushima Daiitchi nuclear power plant.
And now, there's the threat of a nuclear meltdown. I've watched it for the past few days, through explosions, failed attempts at cooling, apparent turning of the tides and cooling, and more explosions.... Sometimes I worry. Other times, I read things that ease my mind.
Tonight, I am worried, after reports that the workers have been told to evacuate the area of the plant. If the workers aren't even staying, what is to prevent a total meltdown? Will the containment structure hold? For how long?
They live about 100 miles from the troubled nuclear plant. Depending on wind conditions and topography, that may or may not be far enough away to escape the worst of the radioactive fallout if there is a meltdown and a failure of the containment structure at the plant.
My mom (his sister) emailed my uncle to invite him and his family to come to the U.S. for a vacation, sort of let this thing blow over, as it were, and if nuclear disaster is averted and his hometown is spared, he could always return home later.
He emailed back, stating his youngest son does not have a passport because his wife "neglected to mail in the paperwork." Not "because I failed to mail in the paperwork." No, it's the wife's fault.
And then, despite my worry, I find myself annoyed with my uncle, even somewhat angry at him on behalf of my aunt. Why is he incapable of admitting that BOTH he and his wife neglected to mail in the paperwork? Why is it solely "her fault"?
If he asked her to do it and she didn't, then he has two choices -- do it himself, or accept at least part of the blame that it isn't done.
Even if he asked her to mail it and didn't know she didn't mail it (absent an outright lie, of course), it's still at least partly his responsibility. He didn't find it important enough to follow up, to make sure it happened. He can't blame her for not making it a top priority if he didn't do so either, right?
If it's important, and you want it done, you make sure it happens.
If you weren't worried about it, then you don't get to blame the other person for "neglecting" it. You simply admit that neither of you got around to it, and you set about solving the problem.
And then I am annoyed with myself for being angry on her behalf. It's her marriage; her choice to be annoyed with him or not. It's not my place, not my business.
Probably says more about my own issues than about theirs....
And then I'm back to my worrying. As annoying as it is that he's placing blame instead of problem-solving, he's still my uncle, and I still want him and my aunt and cousins to be safe.
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Anger (annoyance) is an easier emotion to handle than fear. That's probably why I ran there so quickly.