Despite some of the postcards I send to you all, I am really becoming quite the Kaisha-in and Just! Love! My! Job!
There is a professional that I rarely see but when I do just makes me want to laugh. I've never even been properly introduced to the man but whenever I see him he has this "man about town" smarmy-yet-charming smile that he shoots my way (our way when I used to huddle in the corner with Other Whitie and trade gossip at a mile a minute) as he says hello. In fact, in my head I always imagine he is winking and simultaneously doing the gun shoot-em thing with his hand at me. So I play along and give him the best blond whitie smile that I can muster along with a perfectly-timed eye twinkling that of course is extra special when done with my gaijin green eyes. And that is basically the kind of thing that can make my day at work. I am so attention starved (ANY kind of attention) that I find smarmy-yet-charming smiles amusing. A few weeks back he came swooping by my desk and in passing asked if I had changed my hair. Be still my beating heart!!! Seriously, secretary, Professional, cleaner, if you make a point of saying hello to me I get heart palpitations from the sheer excitement of it. I even begin to think that the conspiracy is all in my head. What, me simply neurotic? No-ooo...
In fact, I am so starved for contact at the Kaisha that at a recent Kaisha nomikai I thought that an older Professional calling me "princess" was super charming and cute instead of, well, wrong and unacceptable, feminism 101, rah rah rah. In his defense though, he is a sweet older man who likes to act big-pimping so who am I to deny him that? It was truly more of a funny surprise then anything creepy or threatening. I did get a whiff of a term that was being thrown around in jest however that piqued my interest: walking hara, as in, walking harassment. I couldn't tell though, whether it referred to someone who could be considered a "walking harassment case" or the "act of harassing someone while on the move". Can anyone clear up this fascinating linguistic nugget?
At the same nomikai, said big-pimper started a lively but short-lived discussion about who I (and my male gaijin colleague) would play in a movie. They decided on some kind of scientist or crazy mathematician for him and for me, Cleopatra. Flattered to be sure, despite my blondness among many other things making that choice more than a little off the mark. But I played along and offered up that I happen to have an Uma Thurman circa Pulp Fiction wig gathering dust at home. At the end of the party I was called up for an impromptu speech, did an utterly horrendous job and received showers of attention and clapping for it. It was truly my six minutes of fame and left me craving more, or at least hoping that this year would have in store a lot more nomikai. It's not just the alcohol (although it does have a starring role) but in the environment of Kaisha nomikai, I am actually, dare I say it, a little popular. Now if only I could figure how to bring the nomikai atmosphere to the Kaisha on a regular basis...or at least a congo line.