The Devil IS Prada
I love my wife. I just…hate her fashion.
I have been told that Japan is a leading country when it comes to fashion. And I suppose that it is fairly easy to spot a lot of cute and trendy girls walking around. At the same time a lot of the fashion here…just sucks.
I’m not even going to get into the extreme fashions. Y’know – gothic lolitas, visual kei, that kind of stuff. It would be easy to write pages and pages on this stuff and file it in the “Japan’s Weird, Didya Know That” file, but honestly, I’m not going to hold this against Japan. I’m sure every country has its own fucked up fashions, and America is no exception, not by a long shot. (*Ahem*emo*ahem*)
When I speak of sucky fashion, I mean the type of fashion that looks a lot like the girl got into a fight with a Salvation Army…and lost. Like she’s suddenly been thrown out of her house and had to resort to wearing everything she has in her closet. Or when she woke up this morning, she found that her entire fashion collection had been replaced by a crate of burlap sacks. Big, loose, baggy, layered, balloony, clothes. I believe Maddox called them “Tit Curtains”.*
*Which apparently means that this horrendous fashion has made its way to America as well. …Do I even have a reason to go back now?
My wife actually has a great figure…you just wouldn’t know it under the potato sacks and layers of clothing she hides it under. I’m not talking about wearing anything flashy or slutty, but when I look at this fashion, really the only thing I know about the person is that they’re human. Probably. The female figure is a thing of beauty, and covering it up like that is a cardinal sin I say! Imagine Da Vinci taking the last brush stroke of the Mona Lisa and then throwing a dirty old curtain over it and calling it a day. That’s how I feel about this terrible fashion.
Sometimes we have discussions/arguments over it, and she’s always quick to point out the fashion magazines that tell women that this look is “hip” “trendy” and “in the now.” …As if I needed more proof that fashion magazines are written and compiled by Lucifer himself. And besides ladies, why are you listening to other women for fashion advice? Granted, I may be male and have all the fashion savvy of a slightly-aged turnip…but I know what I like. And I don’t like seeing women in tents and draperies and what not. And ultimately ladies, who do you want to impress? Other women, whose cattiness and jealousy levels are profound, and if they so much as perceive you to be better in any way shape of form than you they will proceed to systematically tear you down until there’s nothing left but an empty shell of what you used to be?* (I know the truth, I’ve seen a few episodes of Melrose Place). Or do you want to impress men, the gender that you will (probably) date/marry, perhaps depend on to some extent for financial support, and the gender that will let our second heads cloud our judgment as we do you favors, buy you drinks, and only give you warnings for traffic offenses? Seriously ladies, think about it for a minute here.
*Y’know, come to think of it, its entirely possible that women realize that these fashions are ugly, and recommend them to make other women ugly. And women willingly accept these fashions and know that it makes them not as attractive in order to not incur the wrath of the Female Collective. Perhaps the layered style and potato sacks are women’s form of camouflage. …Goddamn I’m glad I was born male.
So my wife and I have these discussions/fights, and her ultimate conclusion is “If you’re going to be so noisy about what I wear, then the least you can do is help me to go shopping!” …Shopping. *cold chills run up my spine*. Even if I were to sit here and try to compile a list, I can’t think of many things I hate more than shopping. If I were to try and personify my hatred of shopping, it would probably take the form of Hitler dropkicking puppies while holding a stereo that blasted out “Kidz Bop” CD’s on infinite repeat. Holy crap on a crap cracker, I really hate shopping. Shopping IS hell. Pure hell. When I die and go to hell*, I’m fairly certain hell’s just going to be a Macy’s department store.
*For those of you wondering why I’m convinced I’m going to hell…read through the archives for a little bit.
I feel like shopping is made worse in Japan. Considering how much I hate shopping, saying that is almost skin to someone saying “Hey doctor – we’ve somehow found a way to make root canals even MORE painful!” But Japan, God bless her, has yet again found a way to achieve the impossible. The women’s floor of a department store (at least, the ones I get dragged to) are all divided up into several smaller, individual shops. Each shop plays its own canned “trendy” music, often including some repetitive recycled beat played at volumes louder than appropriate.
Given that Japan is an over-populated country to begin with, within these cramped little stores there’s literally nowhere where I can stand where I’m not in someones way. And that’s just during regular times – if there’s a sale on? Forget about it. The floor is packed with Japanese girls – from high school level to old women, but no matter how old they are or how much education they’ve had in their lives, their entire language set is reduced to “kore ga kawaii!” – “this is cute!”. There’s nothing for me to do, there’s no place to sit*, I can’t even stand somewhere without being in the way, the annoying wanna-be techno-pop beats are giving me a headache, at some point I’m going to be relegated to the role of a human clothes hangar, and every five minutes my wife turns to me, holding a brand new potato sack, saying “Isn’t this cute?”
…I wish for the sweet release of death.
*Why in the hell are there no chairs?! A place to sit, that’s all I ask. Isn’t it common fucking sense to drop a chair down in places where people will be made to stand and wait for extended periods of time? I mean, doctors offices, bus stops, government offices – these places all have chairs. Do the owners of these stores somehow magically NOT see the poor sap guy just standing around and wishing a stray arrow from the Middle Ages would suddenly pierce him in the skull? I mean – even the electric chair – it’s not an electric plank or an electric footstool – it’s an electric chair! We’re putting a man to death, so the least we can do is give him a chair to sit in, right? Shopping may not physically kill me…but a precious part of my soul dies every time I’m dragged to a department store. Every fucking time.
I try to humor her by lying and saying it’s cute when really, I’m thinking about how this $400 dress would be great for keeping my gym shoes inside. But she can tell that I don’t really like it and then she gets mad at me for some unexplained reason. This happens at home too, when she puts on the dirty Mexican pancho and ties her hair in that top knot – that completely irrational top knot that seems to say “Hey, look at my forehead here! And check out this awesome lump of hair I have atop my head now!” And then she asks me “How do I look” and when my face looks a lot like I’ve just eaten a lemon that made its way down my digestive tract and just kicked me in the balls from the inside, she gets angry. If you know I don’t like it…then why are you doing it and asking me about it?! I know she doesn’t share my love of fighting games, so I don’t drag her to the video arcade and get all pissed off when I do something cool, such as activating Guile’s Ultra through Zangief’s Banishing Fist*, and she doesn’t look like she honestly genuinely cares. Why can’t I get the same courtesy in return?!
*Yes, that is me playing Street Fighter IV. …Yes, I am playing Street Fighter IV. Yes, it is unfair for you who don’t live in Japan and can’t play it…but it is totally awesome for me.
You know what the best part is though? When we spend HOURS in a store, and she leaves eventually having bought…nothing. Nothing! “I couldn’t find anything I liked.” And it took you HOURS to figure that out? How in the name of sweet Betty Rubble does that happen? This shit doesn’t fly for anything else, does it?
Jack: Hey Bob, how’s that steak I cooked for you? Delicious?
Bob: I’m not sure yet. Let me eat all of it and let it digest for awhile, and then I’ll be able to tell you if I liked it or not.
Women will call this “fun”. I call it a “complete waste of time.” How do you enter a place where things are sold, look at items that are for sale…and then NOT buy anything?! I can already hear some women complaining at me now – “You say that, but then how can guys go to strip clubs and look at naked women performing sexual acts and then NOT have sex with them?” My answer to this is simple – put out more. We go to strip clubs because we are hungry, and while we may not be able to eat the steak the least we can do is look at it and imagine how delicious it is. Are you women hungry for clothes? No, you have clothes, and if you really wanted more you could always just buy them instead of spending hours looking at them. You buying that cashmere sweater isn’t going to end up in you losing half of everything you own in a divorce settlement. …Probably.
The funny thing about shopping though, is that sometimes you see another guy, another poor cursed soul in the same unfortunate position. Some girl is happily darting between racks with the guy at least 5 paces behind her, weighed down by her purse and at least an armful of clothes she’s eventually going to put back. In America, if I ever made eye contact with one of these guys, we totally had a Guy Moment™. It’s like, we know nothing about each other, have never seen each other before in our lives, and probably will never cross paths again, but in this one moment, this one singular and unique moment in the universe, we are suffering, we are suffering the exact same pain – and we understand. No words are exchanged, none have to be. It is an incredible moment of male bonding, one I fear only other guys will truly understand.
I’ve had this Guy Moment™ here in Japan with other Japanese guys, and that to me is something really incredible. In addition to being perfect strangers, we also come from different backgrounds and cultures, but none of that matters. Our eyes meet, and then…we just understand.
…But not always. As my wife loves to point out, quite a few guys are right there with their girlfriends, helping her pick out outfits and browsing outfits of her own. I always have to point out that these are pretty boy Japanese guys, and therefore don’t count as real men.
Her: See! Look! That guy is shopping with his girl!
Me: Okay, see, I’m not like that.
Her: Why can’t you be?
Me: Sure, you could have a guy that enjoys going shopping with you…but then he’d take longer than you to get ready to go out, he’d probably come home late everyday, expect you to have dinner ready right when he expects it, and then every now and then you could have brief and unfulfilling sex, that is if he isn’t too busy paying schoolgirls to let him get his rocks off.
Me: You can’t have your cake and eat it too, sweetheart.
You know what the even funnier thing is? These guys are picking out clothes that are not only form-fitting, but fairly revealing as well.
…JAPAN, WHY THE FUCK DO YOU ALWAYS HAVE TO BE SO BACKWARDS?!?! *huff*huff*pant*
…Okay, I’m better now.
So, we’re supposed to be going shopping this weekend. Sigh. Maybe if she would actually take my advice on clothes, and then let me take them off happily later, I wouldn’t mind so much. Now, it simply looms ominously in the distance, like a shark fin on the ocean horizon, and I just happen to be wearing chum cologne. I’d ask you to pray for me, but I fear its already too late.