• Home
  • About
  • Guest Post


    I adore my friends (obviously, or I’d go be friends with different people), but I wish I could get them to stop treating me like a terminally-ill patient. I know that Atsushi’s being transferred out of Tokyo won’t be news for much longer, now that he’s been gone a month today. I’m also genuinely grateful for the support.

    But I swear: I’ve dealt with and oriented myself toward the fact that I’m not going to be seeing Atsushi more than twice a month for a year or two. It abrades me, but it isn’t the end of the world. What will most assuredly make me lose my mind is spending another night out being asked every ten minutes whether I’m okay. My four or five very closest friends know that I like to deal with my hurts in my own way, but “the guys” in the larger sense don’t seem to, and saying so in response to an offer of concern would sound as if I were telling them to buzz off.

    When these things come up, I never know whether the problem is cultural (in that my Japanese is good but not perfect, and understanding people’s expectations is frequently much harder than just learning to speak colloquial Japanese) or individual (in that even people who grew up together can misinterpret each other). Often, that’s kind of freeing. Having grown up in Oprah-era America, I know how crazy people can drive themselves when trying to analyze every batted eye and stray tossed-off remark as the key to one’s soul. Here, I more or less have to assume that a specific perceived slight from someone who overall treats me with kindness and respect isn’t worth fixating on.

    Not that clapping someone on the shoulder and wishing him well is a slight. It’s just that knowing that people are going to spend the evening feeling sorry for me makes me not really want to be around my own friends. And that makes me feel like a kvetchy ingrate who doesn’t deserve them. I don’t seem to have much choice but to smile and say, “Well, he’s coming back for Golden Week; that’s only a week away. I hope we’ll see you around so he can say hi.” I only wish people knew I meant it.

    One Response to “ありがた迷惑”

    1. Auntie Mame says:

      No one likes to be taken on a pity date.