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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Noboko And Andrew: Inside Daddy's Mind

When we examine the goings on of myself in Japan between 1990-1993, I give you my perspective on things... but I do try to be fair, and present multiple sides to a conundrum—mine and any and all else involved.

Obviously I can't be expected to mind read - not my forte - but I do read people fairly well with my powers of observation...

But at the same time, ego and naivety play a huge role in my thought processes in those days, and the 2015 me makes no current claims on how right or incorrect I was - unless I can now see how bloody obvious it is.

Everything was obvious (as far as what I knew everything was) when it came to myself and Noboko.

I love Noboko.

Noboko loves me.

That's pretty much as absolute as it can effing get, isn't it?

These are known facts... known by both myself and Noboko.

If we were living in Europe in Medieval Times, all I would have to do is declare my love for her, kiss once and we'd be married by the morn.

But despite being anachronistic, this isn't Europe, nor is it the Middle Ages.

It's Japan... and it's 1993 (September, even) - the Dark Ages... or at least it seems to me.

I don't know if it's funny or not, but for me in 2015, writing about the trials and tribulations of myself and Noboko has been difficult.

And yet, I can honestly state that the me of 1993 that was going through all of this first-time was not nervous in the least.

I knew that common-sense and love would win out over this crazy thought process many Japanese people are forced to go through.

The thing is… that letter I re-typed a couple of days ago (HERE)… I hadn't looked at it since October of 1993… 21 and 1/2 years ago.

I have no idea if I am glad or not that I didn't see it before embarking back to Japan to win the hand of Noboko, rescuing her from that evil ogre known as Fa-ther, who wants her to get married - just not to a gaijin (outsider/foreigner) that would bring down his stock at work.

I've explained ad nauseum what the issues are (just read any blog here that starts with the title 'Noboko and Andrew')… but let's look at a couple of other things that might be playing into the natto confusion that is Noboko's mind.

Noboko is NOT the only child. She has an older brother.

In Japanese tradition, the oldest son is supposed to look after the parents when they get old and feeble, allowing them safe refuge within their own home…

Noboko's brother is apparently an idiot. No, not in the IQ-sense. Although married, he has no plans or desires to look after the parental units.

His complete disregard for Japanese traditions—while admirable in itself—is causing me a headache.

Noboko has taken it upon herself to do what her brother was supposed to do—namely look after the parents when the time comes.

As well... Noboko IS Daddy's little girl.

I hate to say it, but even Noboko told me that.

Like her father, she's even involved in the education system as a JTE (Japanese teacher of English).

She's already disappointed him once, however... twice, I suppose... breaking off a previous engagement and not being married prior to age 25.

Dating a gaijin? Marrying a gaijin? Hafu (mixed race) grandkids? Forced to live with the gaijin and call him 'son'? Having to eat Noboko's cooking?

The latter is a cause for concern for myself and her father, but truthfully, if her mom and father ever moved in, her mother would take over the cooking duties... and she's a great cook. I think about stuff like this... really.

Noboko, despite all of her physical and intellectual charms and wonderful sense of humor... her cooking isn't that good. But... being a sex-starved man who loves her, I can easily enough put up with her cooking, if she can put up with the fallen hairs on the back of the toilet seat. And my snoring... which she seems to be able to do without a single complaint. Strange... but, good girl!      

I'm very good when it comes to guessing ages of people - or at least I used to be… but there's something in the Japanese DNA that makes it difficult for me to get an accurate tally.

In my mind, Noboko's father is erect and greying… dapper… respected and higher up than most junior high school principals in the education hierarchy in the province of Tochigi-ken.

He is the boss of all such principals in the northern sector. His eye is on becoming the boss of such principals for the entire principal… a worthy accomplishment, to be sure.

Now, take in to consideration that even if he was more or less okay with Noboko marrying me… that such an action could or might not ruin his chances to move up the business-world ladder… when it comes time to retire… he would have to move in with Noboko… and me.

I would guess he's about 55-years-old.

He, to his credit, has no idea if in 10 or 15 years time, if Noboko and I would even still be living in Japan.

And then what would he and the missus do?

Regardless of monies earned or respect gained… who would look after Father and Mother?

Not his useless son… he knows that. Why isn't that happening?

No idea… but the son (Noboko's brother) while rejecting Japanese eldest son traditions, apparently also sought out a career choice for himself regardless of the wishes of his parental units (IE, father).

I like Noboko's brother. I like him for having the guts to stand up for himself and to do what he needed to do.

What I hate about him, is that he has placed Noboko in an unenviable position.

Children, regardless of society or age, dislike disappointing their parents.

Why Noboko's brother was able to do that, I have no idea… but if I know Noboko's mom, she was all for this progressive behavior. She even has it for Noboko, and has helped the two of us be a couple.

But now… Noboko.

Koi and Ai

Koi - the love for me… Ai - the love of family.

Look… even if Noboko's father doesn't actually wonder about future life with gaijin and daughter, Noboko does.

When it comes to family, the women carry that burden. The man looks after the finances - difficult, but often never life-threatening.

While Noboko's father has to concern himself with himself in order to 'better provide' for his family (bullcrap… they are already provided for)… no… he's really concerned with himself.

Noboko has to decide what is more important: the love of her family (which I think has, in this case, more to do with respect), and the love of her life.

Will she sacrifice her own happiness to keep the Japanese family unit 'happy'? It sounds so Japanese… so female Japanese…

If I had a better concept of this stuff back in 1993, I would have been extremely worried.

As it stands, 1993-Andrew is so full of confidence that love is all that matters, he didn't understand that the Japanese have two types of love.

Hell… in Canada we have those two types of love, but the majority of people in love understand that family should get out of the damn way when love comes to town.

Confident in Kai,
Andrew Joseph

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