A Love/Hate Thing
Before actually coming here, anyone I talked to regarding my plans to live in Japan invariably responded with “I bet you’re going to get married over there.” As if this was some immutable rule of the cosmos or something. “Gravity pulls things down; space is really cold; and Az will get married to a Japanese girl in Japan.” Even my own parents got in on it, with my Mom predicting that I would give her cute little half-Japanese grandchildren in the future.
Leave it to me to go and prove them right.
However, thinking back on it, what did that say about me – that I was going to be an irresistible chick magnet to the Japanese, or that the people who knew me had no confidence in me succeeding with an American girl? What’s up with that, anyway?
I will admit though, a certain part of me also hoped this would be the case. Though I have since fully recovered…yes…at the time, I did have Yellow Fever.* It wasn’t a terrible strain as I’ve seen in some of my other fellow men, but it was a fairly strong outbreak. Looking back at my porn collection of that time is downright embarrassing. “Why the hell did I download this? Just because the girl is Asian? She looks like a 13-year old boy and…why is she crying?! This isn’t even remotely sexy!”
*For those not in the know, “Yellow Fever” refers to the phenomenon of non-Asian men only having an interest in Asian women. Yellow Fever is particularly strong among white males, but black, Hispanic, and men of other nationalities have been documented with the affliction.
Why does Yellow Fever happen anyway? See, these are the kinds of questions I want those government-funded studies to answer. I don’t give a shit if rats can count up to four or if a duck can learn his own name – these are the pressing questions our society needs answers to. The interesting thing about Yellow Fever is that not only is it about unnaturally loving Asian women, it also includes a case of actively disregarding non-Asian women. And that’s just bizarre.
I can only assume that it’s something that develops from early childhood. In video games, we got Chun-Li, a strong female fighter who kicked really high and gave us plenty of up-skirt panty shots. On the other hand, we also got Princess Peach, who put Mario through hell – poor guy had to fight evil turtles and mushrooms and shit, jump over blazing lava pits and dodge falling rocks and ghosts and fucking cannonballs, and after all that, he finally gets to the Princess and she rewards all that hard work with a kiss on his cheek. Oh hell no. If I’m gonna be jumping over fire pits and shit to save your ass, some panties better be dropping. It’s called gratitude honey, learn it.
I believe this sort of thing started to condition us at an early age. Asian women like Chun-Li are strong and independent – she doesn’t need your help. Also, she has thick thighs and isn’t afraid of showing you her panties, which is never a bad thing. American women like Princess Peach are difficult and needy, and ultimately ungrateful even if you do jump through all their hoops. …To all the women in the audience ready to lynch me right now, I’m just saying, I think this is the message that we poor men were bombarded with when we were kids.
At any rate, I’m cured of my Yellow Fever. At one point, I actively disliked Japanese women in general (I’m sure this shows in some of my earlier work). I think that’s a common response for those who idealize something, and then come to find that the reality is far from the ideal. Every Japanese woman who walked around with a hairstyle 3x bigger than her head, a face so caked in makeup you could scrape it off and use it to mortar a house, carrying some ridiculously expensive designer bag that you know she had some guy buy for her, and with a screeching laugh complete with hearty gasps of breath between each wail that makes one just want to rip their own ears off and throw them at her – these women only served to fuel my fires of hatred and contempt. And they were always plenty to be found. During this time, I would have loved to have dated any woman who wasn’t Japanese. The only problem was actually finding them, and then finding one who didn’t want to sit back and let the man do all the work in pursuing her.
It was near the end of my Japanese-female-hating ways that I met my wife. I was coming out of the miserable funk anyway, but she just happened to be a girl who didn’t have the big hair and 3-hours worth of makeup, she had no designer bags, and her laugh actually made me smile too, instead of wanting to massacre kittens. During my time dating her, I found her to be a wonderful young woman who I knew I could rely on – she just happened to be Japanese.
After dating for two and a half years, living together for a year and a half, I proposed to her on Christmas. I had been thinking about a two or three year engagement. She, however, had different plans. “How about May?” she asks. …May?! That was only 5 months down the line! I managed to talk her into September, which still wasn’t the two or three years I’d envisioned, but I figured 9 months would be more than enough time to prepare.
Silly me, I didn’t realize just how short 9 months actually are.
As for actually getting married, we actually did that in March. I think I explained this before, but the wife said that we should go ahead and turn in the paperwork. I suggested that we wait until the actual marriage ceremony, but she had her heart set on doing it now. And there was no argument that I could make that she wouldn’t hear as “I’m having second thoughts.” There really was no reason to wait it out, so we turned in the paperwork and were legally married in March.
So, I’d fulfilled my prophecy. I’d gotten married to a Japanese girl. Personally though, I rarely ever think of it as an “international marriage”. When we first started dating, I used to say things like “Well, Americans are like this…” and “Japanese people may do that…”. She would point out however that I usually hated getting stereotyped/generalized in other aspects (such as “all Americans own guns” or “all black people like rap”), and as I would say “everyone is different”, why can’t that apply to relationships as well? So I’m me, she’s her, and whatever strengths or weaknesses we have in this relationship, it’s not as an American and a Japanese, but as Azrael and Mrs. Azrael. I think things work better that way.
…That having been said, there are still some areas where I have to un-Japanese her. For example, she watches Japanese TV and actually enjoys it. I’ll fix her yet.