A (Wonderful) Christmas Tale
First off, Happy New Year’s everyone! Hope you had a fun and safe holiday season.
Next, I’ll get to the point – I am now currently engaged.
After waking up a bit late, we both went out to Arashiyama and took a walk around the Tenryuji temple. For dinner, I took her to a very high-class teppanyaki restaurant on the 17th floor of a fancy hotel overlooking Kyoto city. By this point, she said it was already the best Christmas she’d ever had. I told her I wasn’t done yet.
The last part of my plan took us to Kyoto Station. The large sprawling station features romantic lights and a huge Christmas tree. You can also go up to the 11th floor of the station where there’s a sky garden overlooking the city. Originally, I’d planned to do it there, but the day was kind of overcast, and then actually looking at it, you kind of come to realize that from an aerial view, Kyoto isn’t that pretty. We both went down to the steps near the base of the tree and exchanged our presents. After receiving her gift, I did my proposal. …Which she actually didn’t answer immediately, as she became a crying mess as she marveled over the ring.
With the cat out of the bag, I began to explain all of my “suspicious” behaviors over the past few months. She was shocked, truthfully so. Regarding the oranges and Mister Donuts, she said “I’d thought that you had the same taste in donuts as my mom…but I figured that was just coincidence! I was going to buy you some donuts too!” She phoned her mom, who revealed that she’d been in on in the plan since November. “Okay, now a lot more things make sense now!” she marveled, referring to a phone call she’d made earlier that weekend.
Y’see, the proposal almost didn’t happen.
Okay, I’m over-dramatizing it a bit, but going into Christmas Eve weekend…well, we started things off with a fight. Chalk it up to bad cosmic timing or whatever, but the girlfriend was PMS’ing HARD going into that weekend. I think I’ve mentioned it before, but her PMS is pretty much the Devil Trigger Bitch From Hell mode. My girlfriend on PMS could never be a Disney villain, because she would frighten children. The next time Jack Bauer needs vital information from a stubborn terrorist, he should just lock the terrorist in a room with my PMS’ing girlfriend for 5 minutes.
So Friday night, I was out late and didn’t properly communicate with her. Yes, that’s my mistake. I came home and apologized for my mistake. And, under normal circumstances, she would accept my apology and all would be well. But while Devil Trigger’d, my apology only served to further piss her off. I told her I was wrong and I didn’t want to fight, and it was like I’d punched her directly in the face. Realizing that I could literally do no right, I decided to spend the night on the couch, playing Devil May Cry 3 until I fell asleep – at least this was one Devil Trigger that worked for me, not against.
The following Saturday I had to go to work. Yes, that wasn’t a typo – I did in fact type “Saturday” and “work” in the same sentence. Ah, the glory days of JET. When work ended at 4:15, and the only weekend work was sports day. When, while even at work, you could slip off to the gym for a nap and nobody would notice. When you got paid too much for working too little. Ah, those were the good ‘ol days.
Anyway, I was at work on Saturday, but I planned on going to dinner with my girlfriend in Kobe afterwards. The plan was that I would wrap up around 3PM, she’d meet me in Osaka, and we’d go from there. That was the plan; however, by 3 I wasn’t finished with work. And it wasn’t something I could have blown off to Monday, no. It was something I honestly should have finished by Friday. I called my girlfriend and tried to explain this, but with her already steaming over Friday’s events, it was only like throwing a nice, greasy meatball sandwich into an open fire. When I finally did meet up with her, around 6PM…let me put it this way – if looks could kill, every negro that ever existed would be dead, right down to Kunta Kinte. Shit you not.
Frederick: You know ‘ol fellow, I just had the strangest thought.
Steven: Whatever could it be?
Frederick: I just dreamed of a race of people with chocolate-mahogany skin, large eyes, thick, curly hair, and are unusually good at athletics.
Steven: My, what a fascinating daydream! However did you come up with that idea?
Frederick: It’s like, they once existed in a universe not uncommon to our own, but in a sudden moment of pure, unrivaled evil they were blinked right out of existence.
Steven: Dearest Frederick, you do have quite the frightful imagination. Perhaps you should lay off the opium for awhile?
Frederick: Heavens to betsy no!
Anyway, I didn’t really feel like going to dinner with her like that…much less proposing to her two days later. In a state of semi-panic, I emailed her Mom for help – the Mom had said that if I ever needed anything, never hesitate to call upon her for advice. And if this wasn’t a time to raise my Sword of Omens in the air and exclaim “HOOOOOOOOOOOO!”, then I simply don’t know what is. Ironically, I had just finished sending my email when my girlfriend picked up her phone to complain to her Mom about what a terrible boyfriend I am.
Now, I’m not sure what exactly the Mom said to my girlfriend…but imagine, you know that your daughter is about to get proposed to in two days, then you get an email from her fiance-to-be begging you for help, and then not even 5 seconds later your daughter calls to complain that her boyfriend is breathing in a manner she doesn’t approve of. Whatever she said, I’m sure it was nothing short of EPIC. The girlfriend calms down considerably, we work things out, and the rest of the night goes smoothly. …Well, there was a rain and wind storm in Kobe, so things went as smoothly as they can go with God trying to blow you right off the face of the planet.
I was worried about the weather for the actual proposal day, but although it stayed overcast, it didn’t rain on my parade. If nothing else, it was a relief to get it off my chest, and explain away all the little behaviors that she could only see as suspicious over the past two months. I have to say, I’ve never seen any human being as happy as my girlfriend was when I dropped to one knee, brought out the ring, and popped the question. That alone lets me know that I’ve made the right decision.
Of course, now, girlfriend has flipped into 100% MARRIAGE MODE. You may remember something I said in the “Show Me The Honey” editorial, which marks my first date with this girl (and ironically enough, my students prediction of our marriage)….
Note to all you potential male Japanophiles out there – marriage is a big deal to a lot of Japanese women, and as such a lot of them tend to move kinda fast. I mean breakneck speed, GO SPEED RACER GO!! fast. Be careful.
She’d been doing fairly well with the whole M-business, up until the proposal. After that point, the shit was on. Like, we’d transcended warp speed and even LUDICROUS SPEED and jumped straight into “Superman Done Broke Physics” speeds. Like, when Superman decided to reverse time just by flying around the Earth in the opposite direction a bajillion times really fast. In my mind, I’d been planning for a moderate engagement – nothing too long of course, perhaps a year or two. In her mind, we were already married. I’m not entirely sure she didn’t warp around the Earth a few times and make sure that we were married not long after birth.
At any rate, on the way home she picked up a marriage magazine, and plans for the wedding are already in progress. She originally wanted to have the wedding in May – but May is just 5 short months away, and I most certainly don’t have the money for a marriage in May. I negotiated her down to September – still not quite sure where I’m going to come up with several thousand dollars for a wedding (even just a simple, inexpensive one), but at least I have time now.
So, yeah, sorry to have kept you all waiting, I’m sure there were quite a few people interested in the result. But I am now currently engaged, with a wedding scheduled for September (tentatively). What joys and horrors of married life await me? She she force me to get rid of all my Transformers toys…er…I mean, collectible figurines? Will my raging hormones go unchecked for prolonged periods of time? Will I again return to ranting about the Japanese school system…but this time from the eyes of a parent! Stay tuned next time, same Gaijin time, same Gaijin channel.