I had just offered to cook a holiday breakfast for family visiting from out of town when my wife interjected her own opinions about my idea.At first, I just stared blankly at her — a nonverbal action I’ve perfected after several years of marriage. It usually works well when followed by, “Huh?”However, this time she didn’t wait for me to perpetrate selective hearing loss.Instead, she immediately pointed out how my obsession for making meals always led to a sizeable amount of time for her cleaning up my messes.And this time, she wanted to spend her time with family — not as the designated housekeeper, following me from cabinet to stove and everywhere in between.After a moment putting together what I considered an exceptional defense, I looked straight at her and said, “I’ll take care of any messes.”“Besides, I’ve done this many times and have it down to a science,” I added.She shook her head as if she didn’t believe me, although she didn’t reply — probably because she didn’t want the rest of the family to think I was inept or something.All she said was I needed to handle any disasters.The next morning, I set out to make ham-and-cheese omelets.Since we had baked ham for dinner the night before, I found leftovers I could cube for the main ingredient. Planning to cook for seven people presented a small dilemma, since I had only one skillet small enough to stay in control of omelet making. However, it also provided me a chance to stay on top of each order without fear of catching fire to the eggs on a burner adjacent to the one at which I worked.First, using my wife’s vegetable chopper, I diced several pieces of ham on a cutting board. When the dicer jammed with ham, I disassembled it and cleaned out the extra parts in the sink.Once I added onion powder, salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, cheese and an 18-pack of eggs, I was ready to begin.That was when I noticed a lack of appropriate cabinet space due to snack item containers from my wife’s work preparing for the holidays.Using the end of the chopper because I didn’t want to contaminate my hands, I pushed a couple containers out of the way, which left just a little ham on them. But more importantly, it gave me much-need space to perform my breakfast magic.I broke eggs into a bowl, added seasoning and then, using a spoon, I fished out a couple pieces of shell. Those, I left on the countertop to throw away later.I began cooking.Since my wife had given away a skillet lid to our oldest son, I fumbled around in the oven drawer and found a cookie sheet that worked nicely in expediting the omelet process.Then, as the eggs cooked, I flipped over the cutting board, chopped up a half container of Velveeta cheese, added it with a can of Rotel brand tomatoes and green chiles to a glass bowl and started the microwave.There’s nothing like a little cheese dip over an omelet.I was in a groove.After repeating the process six times, I actually had added new and unusual twists to the original breakfast performance.Effectively, I added extra ingredients on two occasions and, by the compliments from those eating, my meal was a hit.After I had completed my own omelet and returned to the kitchen, I realized a little of what my wife warned me about.There were pieces of ham on a Chex mix sack and counter backsplash. Egg goo somehow got on a cabinet door, and I had burned an image of the skillet on my wife’s ceramic-top stove.I don’t know if it was out of pity or experience, my wife and her mother began working to clear the mess from every conceivable place within five feet of the stove — even the floor.I offered to help and even rinsed the many bowls and spatulas, along with wiping off each ingredients container.While everyone thanked me for the delicious meal, nobody asked what I was making for lunch.Perhaps that was because everyone ate so well during breakfast — or it was a subliminal message sent by my wife.Either way, perhaps I should stick to barbecuing — outdoors where guys practice the fundamental skills of manly cooking — and remain somewhere well away from the house and direct supervision of their wives. Ken Knepper is publisher of The Newton Kansan. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.