Thursday, November 19, 2009

She proposed and I said...

"Let me check with my boyfriend first." Because really, things couldn't get much stranger around here right? Wrong.

I received a personal letter to my office last week, the first ever. It came in a plain white envelope, with the opening on one of the shorter sides, different from Western envelopes. My name was scrawled vertically down the front in Japanese handwriting and I didn't recognize the sender's name either. I actually allowed myself to have a mini-panic before opening the letter, imagining all sorts of demons that could come off the page at me: the beau actually has a secret wife and children living in the countryside and this letter is from the former, I have a stalker who is sending a death threat, or simply a big black spot in the middle of the page like in pirate times. Why? Oh I don't know, because crazy shit like this happens in Japan and I seem to be a magnet for it? Or simply the fact that I was receiving a clearly personal letter from someone I don't know. And we all know I don't know that many people in Japan so my mental Rolodex is fairly easy to flip though.

Imagine my surprise when I read through a full-page typed letter from a 63-year old woman inviting me to have an "omiai" meeting with her son! I'm still not entirely sure how she managed to find me at the office, I think maybe from a review I once wrote for the School, but the details she included about me made it clear there was no mix-up. I showed the beau and he scoffed at it, declaring her a rude old hag for being so presumptuous as to make such a request to someone who could be engaged or married. Doesn't she know this young lady is spoken for?!

I've roughly translated some juicy morsels from the letter for your reading pleasure below:

"Please forgive me for sending this letter to you out of the blue. From what I have heard of you, I am very impressed. [who wouldn't be] My daughter is married to a Canadian who graduated from *ivy league school* and I have come to know his mother very well through her visits to Japan and I now feel an affinity with Canadians. When I heard about you I immediately thought "if only a woman like this would be my son's wife..." [get in line honey] and it was like a god had just come down from heavens [singing in phony opera-angel voice] that these thoughts popped into my head.

My son is single and works in NY as an investment banker [not for Bear Sterns I hope] (he just turned 40) [=47]. Recently he has gradually begun to think seriously about marriage [translation: you have begun to badger him about marriage]. As far as I know, his work keeps him very busy and as a result he doesn't have many opportunities to meet women [he either enjoys manga in his spare time or pays for sex...]. My son is a person of integrity and a modest man. His appearance isn't bad either [we'll let me be the judge of that].

Further, his way of thinking is Western and he is looking for the same in a partner. However, I am worried to the point that I believe if I don't show him there are women all around him, he may never marry [maybe he doesn't swing that way baby]. It may be extremely presumptuous of me to be sending this kind of request to someone who may be returning to her home country and might not even be considering marrying a Japanese person [yes and no], but if it would be alright, would you consider an arranged marriage meeting with my son? I'm sure you know that "omiai" is a meeting between two people with the assumption of eventual marriage, which is a custom that has come from a long time ago...[a long, looong time ago]

I've included my contact information below so if it wouldn't inconvenience you, by all means please contact me."

I couldn't make this shit up if I tried. So...anyone else been propositioned lately?!

16 comments:

niea999 said...

I just wanna say.... omg... !
you are sooooo lucky ! (or not) XD

Tornadoes28 said...

Are you gonna respond to the mother? I think you should consider her request. He might be a great guy. Just kidding.

さらまり said...

Wow, that is so interesting. I could never send a letter like that to someone I didn't know very well.

Will you have to send a formal letter back?

kathrynoh said...

You so should meet him! And I'm saying that out of genuine concern, not just because I want to read about it for my own amusement :)

illahee said...

no! and now i feel extremely jealous!! hilarious!

Jen B said...

Haha! I love the whole "affinity with (insert nationality)" thing. I get that from being a 3rd culture kid; people immediately assume that I'm "international". What the feck does *that* mean anyway? (off topic, as usual) :-)

Lisa said...

Hahha! This is totally awesome.

JPT said...

Request copies of his tax returns for the last five years.

Katrina said...

Ha ha ha! This is hilarious, flattering and scary all at the same time! I kinda feel sorry for the old lady in a way, she must really feel terrible that her son can't (or won't) find a wife. Keep us posted if you reply!!

Anonymous said...

Hummm errrrr awwww, ok

tokyo moe said...

GEG, of course there are no women in NYC. You may be this man's last chance. Hahaha. I am guessing he's gay and mom's in denial.

Cory said...

Now you get to have fun exploring the Japanese culture in ways most people will never need to -- you'll have to learn the correct and proper way of saying no but in a way so as not to leave her with a loss of face.

Can't wait to hear if you do it Japanese-style or Western-style!

Jay said...

That's..... in equal parts sweet, creepy, interesting and infuriating. it would make the start of a fantastic novel!

Gaijin Wife said...

How flattering! (perhaps?). I would presume if he was a complete stud that mummy would have included a photo. You could perhaps ask for his email and contact him - start a family feud.

How to respond though. I am presuming that even a straight out thanks but no thanks will still net you a box of pretty cakes for your troubles.

Julie said...

Hahaha! My roommate used to get these emails from her mother and grandmother all the time. Just awful, awkward photos and profiles of random older men and "彼はど?”or something as the subject line. We'd just sit and laugh at them together.

I've never heard of a foreign girl getting propositioned, though. I hope you go meet him because I want to read about it.

You should do it for your readers. haha. But really, your host club posts were seriously fascinating.

Green-Eyed Geisha said...

Can I just say it warms my heart to know you are all ready to sell me down the river for the sake of a story?! Really though, I am so so so tempted! (especially if I get a box of cakes out of the deal as suggested by GaijinWife!)

If I do respond, I will be sure to ask for tax returns (thanks JPT), picture and sexual orientation (tokyomoe).

Sorry to disappoint but I probably won't respond, this woman sent the letter to my place of work, which is inappropriate, so I don't think I'm breaking too many social rules by not replying. If I was single, dear readers, I'd let the family fly me to NY for a face-to-face meeting, and at least get some shopping done. Maybe even end up with a sugar daddy, at least until my law degree is paid for...

Jen B thanks for pointing out the "3rd culture kid" label, I'd never heard of it before but now I have a label for what ails me! I understand what you mean, people hear about my background and say I am so international but I just think they are strange for growing up in the same place!