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    Ooh, who’s been teachin’ you?

    Weird week. Atsushi was here for a belated anniversary celebration, which was the highlight; of course, it meant I was keyed up before that. Friend’s birthday last Sunday…Monday? Anyway, uncharacteristic work-night carousing. Made for some odd communing between self and current project. Probably odd posts, too.

    Somewhere in there, a friend–not a birthday boy–asked me what he was doing wrong. You know, to find a boyfriend worth making a life with. It’s not the sort of question you can respond to with, “Just about everything,” even if that’s pretty much the answer. This is one of those guys who…his way of showing a man he’s interested is to be all effusive and touchy. Not touchy in a caddish way, where you have to glare at him and be like, “Sorry, bro, that’s my knee”–just with the flirtatious-hand-on-shoulder thing. And he giggles and blushes. A lot.

    Now, there’s nothing wrong with being jolly and boyish, but if you’re too jolly and boyish…and you go for big Australian guys…and you have a tendency to act shocked and affronted when they get the idea they’re going to score with you, you are asking for trouble. Talking to my friend about this stuff reminds me of those dead-end discussions we had in college about whether a woman is being “provocative” if she goes around in an eyelet camisole and micromini and can’t talk to a man without flipping her hair.

    [CNN-related aside: Speaking of clothing choices, who the hell told Dianne Feinstein that the pale-green jade beads were a good idea with the black jacket? She looks as if she were about to show Princess Aurora something in the way of a nice, new spinning wheel.]

    My friend fails, in the by-the-book way, to see where the problem might lie. I mean that he hasn’t made the basic connection between, on the one hand, behavior that attracts men and gives you the thrill of being admired and, on the other, behavior that signals you’re eager to provide a different kind of thrill in return later. You don’t have to subscribe to the revolting belief that you owe a guy sex if you let him buy you a drink in order to believe that it’s dishonest and manipulative to push his buttons to shore up your ego. My friend is well-intentioned and really doesn’t seem to see it that way, and (at least where I usually run into him) the guys behind the bar as well as his buddies know how to keep an eye on him. It’s just frustrating when someone asks you something important and doesn’t want to hear the answer.

    [Is Jane Harman the most annoying person in the world, or what? Sweetie, it’s okay to choke out a single sentence without taking a dig at the President, sometimes. No, really–we’ll be able to remember you hate him even if we go 30 seconds without hearing about it.]

    In better news, since Atsushi was home for the weekend, I was able to pass along my parents’ Christmas present to him, which arrived in the mail after he’d gone home from the New Year. He’d given them a figurine for the Year of the Rooster, so they gave him one back: a cat, probably because he played so easily with my parents’ two (real ones, not figurines) when I brought him home two years ago. They’re Siamese, so suffering themselves to be played with is not a habit.

    The weather is supposed to turn cold today in his part of Japan–actually, along the Sea of Japan coast overall, I think. It’s windier and colder than last week here in Tokyo, too, but it’s still clear. I probably ought to air the rugs while I can. Now that Aaron Brown is on television, I probably ought to change the channel, too. Criminy.

    5 Responses to “Ooh, who’s been teachin’ you?”

    1. John says:

      Oh, to have the “cold” of Tokyo right now. Rub it in, why don’t you? Of course, my buddies in Lithuiania are looking at me right now and saying “12 F, that’s springtime”.

    2. Sean Kinsell says:

      Well, it may not be as cold here, but you aren’t having mucous-membrane contact with half the city on your way to work. I was especially comforted that the sniffly guy next to me managed to stick his finger in my eye.

    3. John says:

      Ah, the joys of commuting in Tokyo. What line do you take? Worst I ever saw was going to Haneda during the morning rush.
      I always went to work early for just that reason, but the company that owned the building was Japanese, and saw no reason to unlock the doors before 7:00. That left me a narrow window of trains that got me to work after the doors opened, but before the onset of the nose-into-armpit hour(s). Most Asians are late night people, but not morning people, that’s for sure.

    4. Sean Kinsell says:

      I’m on the Toyoko, and thankfully, my office is in Shibuya, so I take a straight shot to the end of the line and then leave the station. Before Atsushi was transferred, he and I frequently played the game you’re talking about. If we got to the station by 7:10, the train was fine. If we got there after 7:15, it was sushi-dzume.

    5. John says:

      Yeah, don’t you love it when the train is so full people’s faces are squashed against the windows as if in a bad horror movie, and then there’s this audible group exhale as the doors open, making a sound like a soda bottle hiss?