I suppose since I’ve sort of involved you all in the process, I might as well keep you updated on the situation. That, and with this pretty much taking control of 95% of my active thought process, I can’t really think about much else, let alone write an entry that would be worth reading.
So, as you all may know, I’m planning on proposing to my current girlfriend this Christmas. We’ve had some ups and downs, but she’s a really good girl who truly loves me. That, and she has yet to innovate any oral sex maneuvers based on sea creatures, so I figure I’m safe. Everyone who meets her says they really like her as well, so I’m trying to use that as a gauge. Everyone who met the infamous ex, absolutely hated her. Even people who only talked to her for like 30 seconds. Which makes me think that she has a nasty pair of devil horns or an aura of Pure Evil or something that only I was oblivious to. How’d that happen, anyway?
Az’s Heart: Hmm, something’s wrong.
Az’s Anxiety: Hmm, something’s wrong.
Az’s Brain: Hmm, something’s wrong.
Az’s Penis: Mmm, sweet Japanese tail.
Az’s Brain: Hey, are you paying attention down there?
Az’s Penis: Nope, and now, neither are you. ULTIMATE VETO POWER, ACTIVATE!
Az’s Brain: …Mmm, sweet Japanese tail.
Anyway, current girlfriend. Proposal. First step was the ring. And before anything else, a GIANT thank you to all donators who pitched in anything at all, to help me buy a ring. Your contributions are very greatly appreciated. Ideally, I’d like to send a thank you email or something to all who donated – realistically, I don’t have that kind of time. I’ll try, but I can’t make any promises. Just know that it’s very, very, very much appreciated.
So, back to the ring. We headed out to downtown Kyoto one day to do some shopping. I managed to negotiate some time away from her – one hour. One hour to decide on an engagement ring isn’t a whole lot of time, so I had to act quickly. I headed to one of the high-class department stores right off the bat. I found one corner with some really nice, expensive rings. My girlfriend likes simple, and I felt that these rings were simple, yet elegant.
Now, usually when you’re casually looking at rings, the sales ladies will be falling over themselves to rush over to you and try to convince you to buy one before the price tag scares you off. I of course, am still big Gaijin in Japan, so the ladies just kind of sideways-eyeballed me wondering what I could possibly want with their jewelry. I finally asked one lady (who looked like a living, breathing, Japanese barbie doll caked in makeup) about the diamond content of one of the rings.
Me: So are these pure-cut diamonds?
Her: Yes, they are. …Japanese OK?
Me: Yes, Japanese OK.
Her: Oh! Ah, I see. What kind of ring are you interested in?
Me: Well, I’m looking for an engagement ring.
Her: Oh! An engagement ring! …For your girlfriend?
Me: Yes, that’s usually who would receive an engagement ring…
Her: …Is she Japanese?
Me: …No, she’s a gorilla.* Yes, she’s Japanese.
*The truth is out – I’m going to propose to Misty. I must make that hot monkey lovin mine for the rest of my life.
The lady does show me some nice rings, albeit expensive. There was one I really liked, and I wanted to buy it on the spot. However, I wasn’t sure of my girlfriend’s ring size, and according to Barbie Doll-san, a mistake in the size can be catastrophic. We both decided it would be best for me to confirm the size before buying. Barbie-san suggested I sneak away my girlfriend’s current ring and bring it in for an actual sizing. She might as well have asked me to steal the nuclear football out of the White House. I think that would be easier actually.
So I went to a different store called The Loft. I’ve bought some jewelry from them before, and they’re usually pretty good about helping me determine the size. I was looking at rings when a young girl came over my way and asked if I needed any help – in English! I’m long past the point of feeling like I have something to prove in Japanese, so I explained my situation to her in English. She speculated that my girlfriend’s size would be a 9, and even showed me a popular line of rings that she thought my girlfriend might like. The rings were nice, but not nearly as expensive. While that makes my pocketbook very happy, I sort of figured that for something as large as a proposal, I needed to not be stingy. My hour was beginning to run out, so I told the girl I’d have to go, but I would give the matter more consideration. As I was about to leave, she said “Wow, your girlfriend is really lucky. If things don’t work out with her, come find me, okay?” …Wow.
And what is up with that, anyway? When I’m dating, women are literally throwing themselves at me, but when I’m single my dating life as about as active and exciting as a senior citizen’s game of shuffleboard. Delayed by rain. Ladies, do you have any sort of explanation for why this is?
I meet up with my girl, and ideally, we’d go home and I would play video games or we could have sex for hours on end or someone would just deliver a well-done steak with all the trimmings right to my doorstep. But as you all know by now…my life just doesn’t roll like that.
Girl: Do you mind if we do a little more shopping.
Me: *heavy sigh* I suppose not. Where do you want to go?
Girl: I really want to go to The Loft.
Me: (internally) ….FUCK!
Me: (spoken) ….Okay…let’s go…to…The Loft.
Girl: …You okay there?
Me: Yeah. Just thinking about coincidence and cursing God – you know how I do.
So naturally, I’m a little worried. She wants to go to the place where I was just sizing up engagement rings. We entered, and the friendly store clerk from before spots me. She begins to wave and come over, but then she sees girl attached to my arm, and stops. Thank you, store clerk! Girlfriend is looking at various things in the store, naturally eventually landing on the rings. “You really like rings, huh?” I say casually. “Of course I do, I’m a girl! I always want a ring.” She says. I think this is an *excellent* opportunity to figure out her size, and as I’m trying to discreetly hand her random rings to try on, the English-speaking store clerk comes over…with a finger sizing guide! I LOVE this woman! We confirm that her size is indeed a 9, and then the clerk as a part of her usual sales routine, shows my girlfriend the same line she’d showed me earlier. The girlfriend loved them (I’d thought they were a bit too cheap…). So not only did I get a size confirmation, I also got a style and price range as well. This store clerk is awesome. When the girlfriend wasn’t looking, I gave her a smile and a wink, and mouthed the words “if things don’t work out, you are next on the list sweetie.” Okay, I didn’t actually do that, but I was thinking it, and hopefully she was tuned in to my brain wave patterns or something and got the message.
With girlfriend now on a substantial ring kick, its easy enough to go back to the first department store to look at rings there. I show her the very expensive rings I was looking at earlier – girlfriend isn’t interested. Well, I just dodged a very expensive bullet there, didn’t I? Barbie-san is still there, and she recognizes me of course, but also recognizes girlfriend, and smartly doesn’t do anything to give away my plans. Girlfriend ends up finding her ideal ring in a different part of the store – the one ring to rule them all. The size was even a perfect fit! She put the ring back, chalking it up to “maybe one day”, but unknown to her I doubled back later and bought it. And made sure to throw it into hot flames before hiding it, and make sure that no Elvish writing appeared on the band. …You never can be too sure.
The next step was parental consent. Various people had told me that I did or did not need to clear my intentions with the parents beforehand, but I had decided that it was something I wanted to do. The timing actually worked out kind of well. As I was thinking of contacting the mother, my girlfriend picked a fight with me because I was breathing in a manner she didn’t approve of (this was while she was PMS’ing, or as I like to call it, “Devil Trigger Bitch From Hell Week”). She called her Mom to complain about my offensive breathing habits, and the Mom told her to shove it and apologize to me. The Mom then sends me an email apologizing for her daughter and asking me to please hang in there. I mailed back and mentioned that there was something I wanted to talk about, would it be okay to meet up with her privately. We set a time to meet one Saturday evening.
The Mom gave me some useful advice for dealing with the difficult part of her daughter’s personality, especially the Devil Trigger Bitch From Hell Week (“…Run. Run fast, run far, don’t look back…”). After some build-up and properly psyching myself up, I told her my intention to propose on Christmas and asked if that would be okay. The Mom cried and said of course it was okay, that I was already more or less a part of the family. She also said she was insanely jealous of her own daughter for having found a guy like me.
Though perhaps dying remnants of a fading generation, there are still parents who are hesitant, or flat-out opposed, to letting their daughters marry foreigners. I’m sure prejudice and xenophobia play some part in that. But another somewhat valid concern is that we foreigners don’t tend to stay in Japan indefinitely, we do go back to our home countries at some point, and usually take our girlfriends/wives with us. The family is perhaps concerned about their daughter going overseas to a country she may not be familiar with to stake a new life with some guy who may or may not even speak her language. Things will be difficult for her regardless of how well the relationship works, and if it doesn’t work out (which does happen) then she can be stuck in a foreign land very far away from home.
Now, I’ve never ever felt that the Mom didn’t approve of our relationship in any way (she told my girlfriend when we first started dating “as long as he makes you happy, I don’t care where he’s from”) but it was good to officially make my intentions known and be sure that it was okay with her. So, parental consent: check.
The only thing left now is convincing myself.
Practically, I know there’s no reason not to. I believe we can spend the rest of our lives together, create a happy family together, and all that mushy gooey nonsense. It’s just a matter of fighting off those doubts and hesitations in the back of one’s mind. The “M” word is a very, very big one. I don’t particularly want to get divorced, so this is something I only want to do once in my life. I have to decide very, very carefully. Of course, the usual guy insecurities factor in as well…
Az’s Heart: She’s a wonderful girl, and we love her very much.
Az’s Brain: She does offer a lot, and I don’t think that we could find better even if we tried.
Az’s Anxiety: I dunno…marriage is a big thing…but she is a nice girl…
Az’s Penis: Wait a minute, hold the phone here. Stop the presses.
Az’s Heart: What’s wrong?
Az’s Penis: Okay, so if we do this marriage thing right…you all do realize that we can never have sex with another woman ever again, right?
Az’s Brain: Hmm. Hadn’t thought of that.
Az’s Penis: So, what am I supposed to do? Be content with the same meal over and over for the rest of my life? What happened to going out and trying new things?
Az’s Heart: New is fun, but it has no depth. New girls don’t bother to remember who our favorite Decepticon is or spend months tending to us while we had a broken collarbone without ever complaining even once.
Az’s Penis: C’mon guys! Remember that dream we had of experiencing a girl from every country? A threesome? A girl with huge tittays?
Az’s Brain: That’s not really realistic…
Az’s Penis: Sure it is! All we have to do is go out there and get it!
Az’s Heart: And lose something wonderful in the process, yeah.
Az’s Penis: Not to mention the statistic of sex frequency plummeting after marriage…especially in Japan.
Az’s Brain: Well, we are getting older…we can’t act like a vigorous 17-year old anymore.
Az’s Heart: Who needs to have all that sex anyway?
Az’s Anxiety: I’m tired from work and just want to drink a beer and watch some TV.
Az’s Penis: Oh my God…you guys are turning Japanese!
Az’s Anxiety: Are not!
Az’s Penis: Are too! Fine, you wanna play that game, I can be Japanese too…
Az’s Heart: C’mon, it’s not that bad.
Az’s Brain: Yeah. At least we still have pr0n.
So, the countdown is on. Christmas is a little over two weeks away. I’ve made up my mind….more or less. I don’t know if the anxiety or nagging little doubts will ever go away, but I do know what I want to do. It’s just a matter of doing it, is all.
I look back on my time in Japan, and it kind of amazes me. I’ve gone from dancing around 12-year old boys, trying not to get grabbed or poked in the ass, to psyching myself up for a marriage proposal. And all in within a 5 year timespan. Does life move this quickly/extremely for anyone else, or is it just me?
Okay, that’s enough of the introspective LiveJournal nonsense for one day. Next time I’ll have something more interesting to write about. Like, the Yakuza. Or, porn vending machines. Or, rabid child molesters with knives riding lions. Whatever should happen to come my way.