Conversation on the train from Tokyo to Narita
- Me: Chase, I think you should learn Chinese
- Chase: No way! It’s way too hard!
- Me: You know it’s an important language right now
- Chase: If I take Chinese, you have to feed me dried squid and cheese everyday.
I think it’s time to visit America.
Back to the land where men actually hit on women, people are unafraid to have personal conversations on their cell phones anywhere, and where the air smells like hash browns and french fries. I know my last blog about Cliff and I was personal and awkward, but sometimes that’s what relationships can be. I’m not proud of the way I acted, but sometimes, even a Hermes scarf will unravel at the ends a little. Landing in America this time was so different from being here just a few weeks ago for mom’s funeral. I was so oblivious to everything, I missed out on my own reverse culture-shock.
After we landed, I looked at Chase and said, “Do you smell that?” and he said,”Yeah, the air smells like hash browns!” We both laughed a little. Welcome to Atlanta (our lay over). While we were in Atlanta, waiting to collect our bags just so we could re-check them for Dulles (eyes rolling) I saw something no mother should ever witness. As I’m standing by baggage claim, I turn around just in time to see Chase with his entire arm up to his armpit in a trashcan. Despite my fatigue, I had an exorcist moment. The voice of Satan came from my body:
- Satan Mom: What the HELL do you think you are doing?!?!? THAT is a TRASHCAN!!!!!
- Chase: I’m just throwing away this paper.
- Satan Mom: Most people just drop trash from the top of the can opening.
- Chase: I didn’t want to make any noise.
- Satan Mom: IT’S PAPER!!!! (in loud hissing whisper)
I can only guess who Chase’s favorite Sesame Street character was:
After getting a glimpse of my son being a hobo, I was unnerved and feeling sensitive. Suddenly, all the people around me having their personal conversations on their phones was terribly offensive. I have been spoiled by the quiet consideration of the Japanese culture. It’s all so unnecessary.
The last couple of days have been dedicated to further preparations for Camp Kieve and working through my jet lag. Everyday I am at stores like Bed Bath & Beyond or Dick’s Sporting Goods and it is the kind of shopping that I hate. Nothing I’m buying is pretty or designer. It’s all functional. I used to hate pushing those kid shopping carts built like cars when Chase was a toddler because it felt a lot like working inventory at a warehouse. Compared to the shopping carts in Japan, all the “normal” size carts here feel unwieldy and excessive like that.
The other night, Mary and I attended a work happy hour. Mary is in the Information Technology industry (specifically Information Security). I never realized how male-dominated that field is. Unfortunately, 98% of the men look like Dilbert and the other 1% look like Doogie Houser. At least they’re American and unafraid to try to hit on a woman. At the bar, whenever someone would express interest in me, I would respond, “You know, I’m old enough to be your older sister.” We had a great time. It was so nice to just hang with adults and be around men that noticed you. I know it probably all sounds so juvenile, but the ladies know what I’m talking about. It’s good to know you still have “game”. Of course, if someone really ugly hits on you, it’s completely invalidating and makes you want to go home and burn your clothes.
Yesterday we attended Mary’s neighborhood Ice Cream party. It doesn’t get much more Americana than that. The kids had a great time. My jet lag is as expected. Terrible. I am taking naps in the afternoon and then waking up between midnight and 3:00am. The good thing is, I am getting a lot of time to work on my savasana pose. Like 5-6 hours every morning.
Until next time…