Mostly, as my mom always said when I was growing up, “It’s a small town, I WILL FIND OUT.” (Which is a very creepy and effective—not to mention true—line. Use it in good health, you’re welcome.)
The other reason? I will get called out even when I’m when I’m completely in line. Do I have a “please yell at me” face? Because I will change it if I need to. I stuck my bus pass out this morning because I recognized the approaching bus driver lady as one who’d passed me by for no reason in the past, sailing by as if I didn’t exist toodling on in her empty bus. So I stood at my stop, bus pass extended, visible, in my special FBI badge holder: “Pass. Fast Pass.”
She opens the door, I get on and say “thank you,” and then she starts hollering at me for closing my pass holder too soon? And then after I say “I’m sorry, it was an accident” she starts talking crap about me to the next guy getting on? That’s not running a tight ship, ma’am, that’s bullying.
Ohhhh because you’re right, people don’t get on the buses in this town without paying all the time. Maybe I’ll just start doing that and save the $55 a month, because as long as you’re gonna treat customers like criminals anyway, I can be a crook for cheaper.
Mean lady. Just mean. (And now I’ll have to ask you to apologize to all these (2) nice people for making me make boring internet—because that’s the real unforgivable offense here.)
…There is some corner of another world that is forever mankind.
And among heroes are those who marshal our language to comfort, inspire, inform, and unite.
Only if you do it right. You can experience that same relief-based curiosity at the tension of others sitting quietly, holding a book and secretly watching the segment unfold. And it’s surprising what you can glean about a story from ten minutes, no editor or hair-pulling needed.
He: Maybe you can ask your mom if she can draw one of her pictures big enough to frame while she’s here?
She: (asks in Japanese.)
The scene begins with Western man, an older Asian woman and a small mute creature, sitting at a table consumed by silence. Given the presence of said tiny baby in a little shrouded pod of Moses basketry, and the uncomfortable way the adults both desperately looked at the kid, he was clearly the only reason they were together.
When the young Asian woman finally arrived at the table, the script was written: Grandma comes to America to see her grandson for the first time, she doesn’t speak English, the husband doesn’t speak Japanese, the wife is put in the middle and wild, can’t-tear-your-eyes away tension, cultural and otherwise, ensues.
Husband did make a valiant attempt at the Japanese word for water.
It must be the reason we watch reality TV, right? The “OMG I am so glad that’s not me but I’ve gotta see what happens next.” I think in the olden days it was called “People Watching.” Now it may just be hardcore eavesdropping with the spectre of Richard Hatch hovering above us all, but dang. People are interesting.
Somebody should make a show about us.
(I added Japanofiles to my Podcast diet today, inspired by the above Cataclysmic Culture Clash of Oh Niner. Also reading, “Do Travel Writers Go to Hell? It’s like I’m traveling without having put on shoes, which I think they don’t wear inside in Japan—I will let you know when I find out for sure.)
This evolution of gender roles is tricky. In a world (okay, country) where women are blithely allowed anywhere, (even Navy subs?) when a woman becomes hitched to a high-level official—the gender roles become an ugly half-fish lizard with three stumpy legs and gills that don’t work.
I’m looking at you G-20 “Spouses” Program.
There are men spouses in the G-20, and somehow they didn’t have to attend the Super Pretty Tea Party Tour with ART, or pose for any of the “our men are so powerful look at my pretty and TASTEFUL suit!” photo ops. Now, the meat of what the “spouses” were doing during the G-20 wasn’t completely frivolous: art and sustainable healthy foods are important. But when that’s combined with the coverage of it: Mrs. Obama was wearing, they all enjoyed their tea and cookies, and lovely chamber music performances, no wonder the men spouses bailed. It’s embarrassing.
And why are these “spouses,” and let’s be real women, just free to gallivant off on all of their husband’s business trips? They don’t have lives/jobs of their own? The argument of course being, representing a country takes both halves of a couple, the women-folk support and diplomacy blah, blah. Even constructing the opposite hypothetical argument is too boring.
If FLOTUS is a job, let’s make it so. Formally elect both halves of a couple, give the First Lady objectives to accomplish, and stop making her serve as chief entertainment committee, being viewed solely as a lovely accessory through the lens of what pink high heels she’s wearing. Either that, or let her go back to being a lawyer.
The expectations are 2009 but the social constructions are solidly 1959. Undermining through Feminization: Would you like a nice Jell-O mold with that?
- Me: Does the Swine start in your armpits? It feels like someone punched my left pit. Also like someone is pulling me to the earth using my ponytail. Am I dying?
- Colleen: Maybe you pulled a muscle. But it sounds more like a demon actually.
- Me: Is there a panel for that?