Date: Tue, 11 Dec 2001

Subject: Gossip!


News of Mike's convoluted and strange little world:


Okay, so my housemate Mr. Brown tried to set me up the other night. He asked me to meet a friend of his girlfriend’s at some party. I'd apparently met her at the Halloween party where Mr. Brown had met his girlfriend, but I honestly couldn't remember - I'd met a lot of people that night. But I'm stupidly polite, so I wasn't about to say no. I figured I'd just go and give her the impression I wasn't interested.


I've developed such an inescapable arrogance as a gaijin in Japan: when Mr. Brown told me that she said she thought I was cute, I honestly had to suppress the automatic response, "Well, duh." Remember humble and modest Mike? Yeah he's still here somewhere, but his perspective has been really warped. I'll get rudely kicked back into shape when I come back home.


So I went to this party, which was in a totally packed bar, where I met a whole bunch of interesting people – including some of my best buddies who happened to show up - and Mr. Brown eventually sidled up and asked me to come talk to the girl. She doesn't speak much English, and I don't speak much Japanese, so things weren't destined to be great to begin with. Furthermore, I'm already rather interested in this nice girl who lived in Toronto for a year, so I was just comparing the two the whole time, and it wasn't going well for Mr. Brown’s candidate. She kept telling me her heart was beating fast, and I think I would have found it sweet if I didn't already feel irked at having been obliged to come talk to someone for whom I probably wouldn't otherwise have spared many words. She was nice, but nothing special and, although it might have been the language barrier, she seemed rather bland. Then again, my buddy Grimm has a girlfriend who speaks almost exclusively Japanese and she's really cool, so personality can go a long way.


Anyway, after that awkward little episode, which was interrupted occasionally by Mr. Brown and his girlfriend coming up to provide The Candidate with moral support, I ended up talking to this girl who spent a year in New Zealand and has a peculiar quasi-New Zealand accent. However, as the party petered out she came under fire from two English-speakers as they expounded on their frustrations with the typical Japanese reaction to foreigners.


After the place closed I walked with Grimm as he went to find a cab. He even invited me to crash at his place, even though I'd just done so the week before on my birthday and, in my rather drunken state, I'd made and neglected to clean an unfortunate mess in his washroom.


There's a definition of a good friend: someone who will buy you drinks at your insistence and let you stay at his place and make a horrible mess and still invite you to crash at his place again a week later.


Good guy, Grimm.


Anyway, two days later one of my students, apparently a friend of the New Zealand-accented girl, told me she said she'd like to marry someone like me some day. I laughed because I had the impression I'd heard that before, but I don't exactly recall where. I think I've heard it from several sources, actually... nice marriageable Mike, that's right.


Yay, me and gossip. That's it for now. I'm off to meet Toronto Girl.


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