Gaijin Smash

A (Miserable) Christmas Tale

Posted in Blog by gaijinsmashnet on December 20, 2007

As Christmas approaches, I’m on the verge of proposing to my girlfriend. It stands to be one of the most happiest and memorable nights of my life.
Of course, not every Christmas has the happy, It’s a Wonderful Life ending.
To my fellow Gaijin who find themselves in Japan during December, or may one day be in a position to be in Japan come December, I really only have one piece of advice for you: GET THE HELL OUT. GO NOW, GO GO GO. As an American, Christmas was always my favorite time of the year. Presents aside, it was just a nice time to come together with family, and the ones that matter most.
Needless to say, Japan’s a bit different. Christmas isn’t even a real holiday, and is more or less a day for couples. However, the Japanese population that isn’t working their butts off probably goes back to their family and loved ones anwyay, and as most other Gaijin use this time as a perfect travel opportunity, Japan can be a very lonely place come Christmas time. Which is part of why I recommend not staying. The other part is that Japan has the annoying habit of repeating George Michael’s “Last Christmas”/Mariah Carey’s “All I Really Want For Christmas” approximately 15 billion times. Seriously, if you even liked these songs before (do such people actually exist?), you won’t after a winter in Japan.
So really, don’t stay in Japan during Christmas unless you have a really, really good reason to be here. This year, I can safely say I do. As I said before, it stands to be one of the best moments of my life. But once…well…it was the worst.
I’ve never really talked about my ex in detail…and I don’t know why I’m about to now. For the curious, read on.

I met my first girlfriend not long after I arrived in Japan. We dated for a year, and then she went to America for study abroad while I remained on JET. The plan was that we’d do long distance for a year, then I would go back to America and we’d re-unite. Long-distance turned out to be a lot harder than I’d thought. At first I appreciated the new-found freedom, but it wasn’t long before I just missed her more than anything else.
I ended up taking two trips back to America, one in October and one in November. In October, I returned to San Francisco for various reasons, and she came out to see me for a weekend. Our weekend turned out to be less than stellar. Because of this, and how she’d constantly been saying she didn’t know what she was going to do for Thanksgiving, I decided to go out to see her specifically in November. Unfortunately, this trip proved to be a disaster. The times we weren’t fighting, she remained distant and aloof.
As a result, I ended up stuck in Japan for Christmas. My original plan was to be in Japan during December anyway – she’d be back for winter vacation for a whole three weeks, and we could spend Christmas together. But now, I really didn’t have a choice. Traveling internationally is expensive, but doing so twice in two months? I had no money left. Not like “Oh, I want to see a movie but I can’t really afford to…” broke, like “I have no idea how I’m going to find enough money to buy rice” broke. Money problems aside, I knew our relationship was hurting, and I thought that her three weeks in Japan would be a good time to start the healing process.
The week before she was due back, I was platooned at the Ghetto School. With most of the major term exams over, classes had for the most part winded down. I had little to no classes, and nothing better to do than to sit at my desk. I planned to meet her at the airport when she arrived, so inspiration struck me and I decided to make her a “Welcome Home” sign. I got supplies from the storage room and working on my project on my desk in the teacher’s room.* I wrote “Okaeri” in Japanese, and drew various pictures representing things she likes and things we’d done together. I’m no artist at all, but if I really concentrate and dedicate myself to the task, I can create something passable at least. The teachers would come by and see my project, and I would explain what I was making, and they’d all call me a sweet and wonderful boyfriend.
One teacher, I believe I christened her Ultimate Nag in an editorial past, took a look at my work and found a problem. “Your ‘e’ is a little flat”, she says. “The end curves up a little bit.” Now, that’s all well and good, but I’d already colored and outlined the letters by this point. Trying to fix this minor problem would have just made things messy. I smiled and said I’d get right on it, with no intention of actually doing so. However, she comes back a few hours later, and again points out my sub-standard “e”. “You should really fix that, it’s not technically correct” she says. And you wonder why I call her “Ultimate Nag”.
*During my early years on JET, I was inexperienced and didn’t realize that you shouldn’t really do things at your desk that betray the fact that you’re not working.
Anyway, I finished my “Okaeri” sign, and on the Saturday she was due to arrive in Japan, I headed for the airport. She’d bought her tickets a few months ago, and then a schedule change allowed her to come back 3 days earlier than the original ticketing. At first, we planned to keep the schedule change a secret – she’d come and spend the time with me, and then go back to her family. However, her parents ended up finding out about the schedule change and, none too happy, demanded she come straight home after her flight arrived. She told me that, in light of this, I didn’t have to meet her at the airport.
And perhaps it would have been wise to stay at home. From where I lived, a round-trip to Kansai International Airport costs 4000 yen. I had about 4500 yen to my name. I could stretch 4500 yen into basic meals for 2, maybe 3 weeks. But, I wanted to meet her at the airport. I knew all too well the sadness of arriving at an airport and having no one be there to greet you. I wanted to at least ride the train back with her to Kyoto. I’d worry about eating some other time.
I arrived at the airport a few hours early. She probably didn’t think I was coming, I didn’t want to take the chance of missing her flight. I sat down with my sign in front of the gates and patiently waited. It gave me a chance to observe a lot of things. For example, cultural differences. Watching flight attendants for Asian airlines come through the gates, I noticed that they were all young, attractive women. Thin, shapely, in their neat uniforms with scarves and high-heels and pressed skirts. American airline flight attendants were much older, not quite as thin, and quite a few were male.
Airports are both the happiest and saddest place on Earth. Sitting at the gate, I watched a lot of tearful reunions. The weary traveler would come through the gate, and upon seeing their loved ones, dash straight to them and embrace. Fathers scooped up their children and twirled them around. Lovers embraced and shared a kiss, oblivious to their surroundings (this was mostly foreign couples though). I couldn’t help but to think of my own wounded relationship – what kind of reunion would we have?
A few hours later, I got my answer. As passengers from her flight began to filter through the gates, I stood up with my sign. I was the only one with a brightly-colored welcome home sign. It was a little embarrassing, but it was okay. From her stories, she’d had a rough time in America, and I figured this was the least I could do for her. She came through the gates, looked up, and recognized me – she smiled, waved…and then proceeded to head straight for the currency conversion booth.
Needless to say, it wasn’t the reunion I was expecting.
I waited while she passed through the line, getting her US dollars turned into Japanese yen. When she finished, she came over to me and said something to the effect of “Oh, so you came after all? Thanks! Well, shall we get going?” “What, no hug?” I ask. “Oh yeah” she says, and gives me a cursory hug.
Perhaps it was a result of the break-down our relationship had been going through for the past few months, or perhaps it was because I’d spent the past few hours watching tearful, loving reunions at the very same gate…but this was so far detached from what I’d been expecting, that I began to cry. This was the first of only two times that I would actually cry about the whole miserable situation. She asked me what was wrong – I just couldn’t find the words to say anything. “Don’t worry about it, I’m fine.” I said.
As she always does, she began to get angry at the thought of me being upset or otherwise not happy. On the platform to catch the train back to Kyoto, she verbalizes her discontent – “That’s not fair to me you know, obviously there’s something bothering you and you won’t tell me what it is.” I told her that that was my line to her. Over the past few months our relationship had been peppered with lies, with inconsistencies, detachment, and secrets. She’d done a good job of pushing me away, and now that I was troubled she was upset that I wasn’t sharing? Seriously?
She said “We need to have a serious talk. But not here. Not now. Later.” I don’t know how or why, but suddenly I gained an almost Jedi-like sense of clarity here. Literally, it was like someone turned on a switch in my head, and suddenly I knew. I really should have known before, but now everything was crystal clear.
“There’s someone else, isn’t there?” I ask her.
Her head drops. “Yes.” She says softly.
“And, you like him more than me?” Though I phrase this as a question, really, I know its not.
Her head drops a little more. “Yes.” she says.
The train back to Kyoto is substantially less than pleasant. I have her tell me about this new guy – she lies to make herself look not as deceitful as she’s been. Either way, its a guy she’s only known for a month, two at best. “Are you really ready to throw away our relationship for a guy you’ve only known for a couple of months?” I ask. “It’s not like that!” she says. In other words, “yes”.
One excruciating hour later, as the train arrives at Kyoto Station, I stand up and walk off, never looking back. If things had truly ended here, I don’t think I would have had the contempt for her (and subsequently for Japanese girls for awhile) that I did. Of course, this sadly was not the end of the story, and things got so much more unbelievably fucked up and incomprehensible. Faithful readers may remember that the final nail in this coffin happened on my birthday in mid-January. I received Moeko’s Owl a few days later.
Of course, this year is different, markedly so. As I gear myself up for my plans this year, I couldn’t help but to think of my Christmas in Japan just a couple of years back. Sometimes, it helps to see where you’ve been, to help you get to where you want to go.
I think a lot of guys come to Japan with inflated notions of Japanese girls and dating and romance here. Sure, you might find someone special, but then there are also plenty of opportunities for gut-wrenching heartache as well. This makes Japan no different from any other country. If I could impart no other message to the young men coming to Japan for the first time, it would be this.
I hope you all have a warm and happy holiday with those who hold dear close to you in your hearts. As I’ve brought you all this far, I will be sure to include a proposal update/outcome after I’ve done it. Also, once I’m on vacation time, I’ll have time to write about things that are far, far more interesting.
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76 Responses

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  1. mike said, on December 19, 2007 at 10:26 pm

    We finally hear about the ex!
    And I’m 1st so don’t start arguing.
    If I’m not first it’s because I don’t have a typekey account/

  2. FamFams said, on December 19, 2007 at 10:36 pm


  3. Anonymous said, on December 19, 2007 at 10:57 pm


  4. Anonymous said, on December 19, 2007 at 10:57 pm


  5. Jen said, on December 19, 2007 at 11:02 pm

    That rather sucks, but there are always ways for it to still be worse. For example, you could have found out about the cheating when he got her pregnant. My ex did that. Only told me because he needed advice.
    And I know how difficult long distance can be, too. I did it for a year and a half (not the ex), although, it was only a thousand miles, rather than half a world.
    Still, you can cover up those depressing memories by creating new better ones. Your current girlfriend has no reason to say no, especially because Japanese women seem to make it their life goal. XD But, if she does, for any reason, there’ll be a horde of angry GS fans pounding at her apartment. >.<

  6. Mel said, on December 19, 2007 at 11:20 pm

    Happy Holidays to you as well Az. Best of luck in the coming week πŸ™‚

  7. Lauren said, on December 19, 2007 at 11:43 pm

    That’s really quite horrible, your ex is more than a bit of an ass. I hope she gets herpes.
    But moving on, have a Happy Christmas. You may not be getting the traditonal eggnog, yule log, turkey, and tortiere (well, maybe that’s just us in Canada), but if all things go well, you’ll be spending it with the person you love most.

  8. Dave D. said, on December 19, 2007 at 11:55 pm

    Man, I can’t believe how horrible the ex is. I mean I know we’ve all heard the stories, but she even ruined Christmas for you dude. 😦 But thankfully that’s all in the past. Your new girlfriend is going to make you forget about ol’ whatshername-chan. All the best to you and yours. Have a wonderful Christmas and Newyear! Gaijinbots…Roll out!!

  9. ItAintEazy said, on December 20, 2007 at 12:07 am

    I kinda knew one of these days a post like this will come up, it takes a lot to reveal a painful moment of your life like this.

  10. volomavi said, on December 20, 2007 at 12:25 am

    You have my best wishes in your proposal, but if something goes wrong, and I really do not mean that it will, just try to remember how you feel about tomorrows moment, today.

  11. Rob said, on December 20, 2007 at 12:28 am

    Finally hearing about the ex…
    Good luck with the proposal!
    “During my early years on JET, I was inexperienced and didn’t realize that you shouldn’t really do things at your desk that betray the fact that you’re not working.”
    Shoot, I’m on year 3, and all I’ve ever gotten when I’m reading or on the internet is “it must be hard for you with so little to do and you must be so bored.” My schools rock, clearly.
    (Az’s Note: Um…dude…that’s Indirect Japanese for “do more work you lazy Gaijin”.
    They’re not going to come right out and *say* that because that’s not how the Japanese roll. It’s like how they say to a girl whom they think is dressed inappropriately “wow, you must be cold”. Run it through the filter and you get: “Put on more clothes you tramp!”
    It’s like that.)

  12. Albert said, on December 20, 2007 at 12:44 am

    It’s pretty sad story you have there. I hope this year will be different. I wish you and your girlfriend have a wonderful Christmas

  13. ruisu said, on December 20, 2007 at 1:25 am

    That was really touching…btw that reminds me, on the JET Wikipedia you’re listed as a notable JET. Did you know this?

  14. Eki said, on December 20, 2007 at 2:19 am

    :…< Yours is one of the bluest christmas memories I’ve come across in a while. I admire your courage to write about even the more painful experiences you’ve had.
    Mine have luckily always been quite jolly and warm being with the family and feasting on goods of the christmas table; this year’s going to be a bit different though as I’m stuck here in Japan which has just all the worst parts of christmas: endless consuming, shallow decorations and such without any deeper meaning.
    If I could afford I’d fly back home for the school holidays but with the ridiculous prices of tickets that just ain’t going to happen. Luckily there’s atleast some snow here in Sapporo which makes it feel a bit homelike and christmacy in a way especially now that it seems likely that there’s gonna be a black christmas back home πŸ˜›
    For some reasons I haven’t yet been overexposed to those mind destroying songs you mentioned, either I haven’t been to places where they’re played or then learned to block ’em out of consciousness to protect my sanity…
    Anyway, Merry Christmas and Good New Year to everyone out there! Good luck with the proposal Az and thanks for the brilliant blog that’s always a pleasure to read!

  15. Cait said, on December 20, 2007 at 4:08 am

    My boyfriend just broke up with me, six days ago… I’m really done for… And I do know that there are some miserable and lonely days for me to come. I never celebrate Christmas, since I do not have much of a family to spend it with, so I hoped so much for my boyfriend to spend these days and the beginning of the New Year with me… But I was just dumped… I really can’t say how much I am wrecked…
    It is good to see that now you are fine and have someone at your side who loves you. But right now I don’t really think I will ever let anyone get the chance to play me for a sucker again. And all this “You’ll get over it, you’ll see!” stuff really p…es me off… How can you ever express that you are truly hurt, if everyone (including yourself) does now that this won’t be lasting for long anyway??
    πŸ˜₯ かγͺγ—γ„γ‚ˆγ€‚

  16. Wayland said, on December 20, 2007 at 4:21 am

    Merry Christmas bro. Best of luck to you and the little lady. Much love.

  17. Michelle said, on December 20, 2007 at 6:34 am

    I hope this Christmas will be a much happier one for you. πŸ™‚ I am really looking forward to hearing about how the proposal goes, and I’m hoping for the best for you!

  18. Jose said, on December 20, 2007 at 7:15 am

    when she said not to be at the airport, i thought the other guy was picking her up.

  19. Mayhem said, on December 20, 2007 at 7:17 am

    Wow… that sucks completely. Worse than a couple of bizarre experiences at the airport myself. Still, things are looking good FAB. Have a Merry Xmas and I’m sure you’ll keep us posted Az when you finally get to the momentous event πŸ™‚

  20. Ebonyknight said, on December 20, 2007 at 8:08 am

    Can you link us to the story of the Owl in mid January? I took a look, but didn’t find it.
    I mean when you said you didn’t hear the last of her, you didn’t really link or explain why.
    (Az’s Note: Search the archive for an entry called “Moeko’s Owl”. It should be around Feb 2005.)

  21. Belthasar2 said, on December 20, 2007 at 9:02 am

    I’m sorry for you, but luckely that’s behind you.
    I know a little bit about how you may have felt, my first girlfriend broke up with me the day before Christmas, thankfully it wasn’t because of another guy (she was a nice person, not like the ex from hell). Well was nine years ago.
    Anyway, I wish you and your girlfriend a Merry Christmas (Frohe Weihnachten) and may she say “yes”.

  22. Gunzo said, on December 20, 2007 at 7:07 pm

    There is an upside to crap memories.
    You’ll appreciate the time you spend with your wife to be (hopefully, pretty sure it’s just a matter of time though buddy) all the more.
    And Cait, you *will* get over it and before you know it some other guy will have stolen your heart and hopefully he won’t be a total wanker. After having looked at your photo on your site I get the feeling that won’t take too long πŸ˜‰

  23. D-san said, on December 20, 2007 at 11:57 pm

    Wow, I feel you on this one brother. I had so many failed relationships with Japanese women before i found the right one. i remember wandering around Tokyo clubs and bars around the Holidays and never getting much more than a one night stand. Thank God i finally found my soul mate after all those mistakes. Gambatte!

  24. Patrick said, on December 21, 2007 at 12:26 am

    It’s good to finally know a good amount of the details about the ex. I’m sorry she was such a whore, but at least you got the rhythm of the situation before she got too far in.
    Cait, I’m sure you will find someone new. You’re too hot not to. And (If I read your site right, I never really learned any of the Germanic languages.) you’ve got a lot of nerd guys to choose from.

  25. Anonymous said, on December 21, 2007 at 1:27 am

    You still haven’t told us about the octopus.

  26. Anonymous said, on December 21, 2007 at 1:27 am

    You still haven’t told us about the octopus.

  27. david said, on December 21, 2007 at 9:46 am

    I know you haven’t proposed yet, but when you’ll have a wedding day fixed, do you think you’ll invite Moeko to the party ?

  28. Chris Hensleigh said, on December 21, 2007 at 10:11 am

    I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog and I know that you are, like most people, insanely busy and have no time. However, I am going to be in Osaka January 18th-20th…and I know that you are in the area, well…I’d love to have a drink/chat (my treat on my JET salary…which..won’t be coming through till after…BUT..whatever) well…look me up on facebook (Chris Hensleigh) or MySpace….I love reading your posts…they’ve made me laugh and kept me going more than you know. Take care, and good luck with everything..

  29. froggex said, on December 21, 2007 at 12:29 pm

    Seriously mate, you come off as quite a sissy here.
    Being treated badly happens when you let it and no doubt you did. Considering how you’re depicting her as Beelzebub’s second couisin, might as well share why exactly you let her whip your ass so much. Having seen her picture, she lacks the sexy tail so i’ll rule that out.
    Well, best of luck this time.

  30. autumnfire said, on December 21, 2007 at 4:23 pm

    While suffering sucks (being Japanese notwithstanding), if you hadn’t been so unhappy then, it would be hard to recognize true joy now.
    I wish you much joy this Holiday season!

  31. Gomez said, on December 21, 2007 at 9:14 pm

    Well first of all I’d like to thank you for sharing something like that, I know it couldn’t have been easy to deal with even after a few years have passed and it sucks that it happened at a time of year that is so, for lack of a better term, “Memorable”. Having your heart broken is not something to be taken lightly no matter what anyone says.
    But its good to see that you are not letting something like this rule your life. I’ve been reading your story since about 2005, forgive me but I have a tendancy not to want to say anything unless I feel it’s important, and you’ve had adventures that have put anything I’ve read on the internet to shame and have been a great source of joy and humor to a good number of people around the world. I can safely say that you are seriously my Hero, if only because you helped me to throw off my Japanese Girl fetish and help me to realize how wonderful the girl in my life at the time was(we’ve been married for a year now) and how I didn’t want to let her go.
    Okay I’m getting off topic and sappy now, but my point is that you’ve brought a lot of joy to people and that has to count for something in karmatic debt doesn’t it?
    Good luck with everything man and, oh yea, Feliz Navidad.

  32. allisonwonderland said, on December 21, 2007 at 9:36 pm

    That *is* a miserable Christmas Tale. I’m so sorry that your ex was such a bitch. Like so many others I have my own Ex From Hell. I’ll spare the details and just say that I never knew anyone could be so very terrible and I didn’t know it was possible for me to hate someone so much, or to hurt so much. The disintegration of that relationship (which was also LDR/international) gave me a new appreciation of the term “hate”… It brought me back to 2nd grade religious ed., when the teacher told us that we shouldn’t use the term “hate” so lightly, that to hate meant that you *literally* wished death on someone. I didn’t understand it then – I do now. I’ve been with someone else for the past 15 months now, and I do love him, but I don’t love as intensely for him as I did the one before… It’s like I can’t. It scares me a little, and I can’t shake the worry whether or not I’ll be able to feel that deeply, that passioantely, again.
    Thanks for sharing this story. I’m sure it can’t have been easy, but it is (not to sound like a total jerk) always comforting to hear other people share experiences with heartbreak, lets you know you’re not alone. It provides such a nice counterpoint, too, to where you are now. Shows that things can get better, that you can love again… I’m sure this Christmas will be so much happier for you.
    Merry Christmas, Az, and Good Luck! You really deserve it.

  33. JeniOctavia said, on December 22, 2007 at 3:15 am

    Admittedly, I had to stop when I read how she treated you at the airport and try not to yell out something horribly nasty at my screen, even more so later when she finally confessed what she’d been doing.
    I give you serious kudos to stand up and leave as soon as the train stopped. It seems like there’s a double standard in dating that women can be seriously pissed and even do terrible things in return to men when they cheat, but if a woman does it they seem to have this expectation that you need to forgive them, either right then and there or at some point down the line. And a lot of guys do! Which I think just encourages them to do it even MORE. The fact that you just said ‘I’m done’ and wouldn’t allow yourself to be walked on anymore. Its one of the things I admire about you. You’re a nice guy but you do your damndest not to be taken advantage of.
    I hope you have a great holiday, and as I’ve said before, good luck!

  34. rubbav1 said, on December 22, 2007 at 5:06 pm

    I feel like this is another japanese/american things
    him: Uh darling are you cheating on me
    Her:(head down) yes, I’m sleeping with my boss on the weekend
    him: So we’re breaking up goodbye
    Him: Uh are you cheating on me
    Her: No
    Him: but I found this number in your purse
    Her: Yea, that’s my new friend’s #
    Him: but it has xxx on it
    Her: Yeah…
    Him: I found condoms that were too big for me, used condoms
    Her: Yea I have a good explanation for that
    Him: Hey, wait a minute is he,… is he still in our bed
    Her: (thinking quickly) well maybe if you paid me more attention I wouldn’t have to go to other people.
    Him: do you love him more than me
    Her: Whoa, who said anything about love
    (me in the corner sobbing) must repress bad memories,…BAD MEMORIES

  35. Corey said, on December 22, 2007 at 11:06 pm

    Wow, you clearly have a lot of courage posting a heat-wrenching, personal memory like that. Kudos for that. More kudos for actually breaking up with her instead of forgiving her like many guys probably would, just for it to happen again.
    You really should stop saying your posts like this aren’t interesting. There’s already 30 comments and I’m positive there will be plenty more to come. So evidently, people are interested. Just because it’s not ridiculously hilarious, doesn’t make it uninteresting or boring.
    Anyways, I’ll be praying that you have a kickass, best-of-your-life Christmas come Christmas day.

  36. Anonymous said, on December 23, 2007 at 10:09 am

    soo we finally hear about the ex! but at least u’ve learnt from ur mistakes! and if your current girlfriend doesn’t say yes shes gonna be surrounded by a bunch of angry gaijinsmash fans! lol! i’ll be in the crowd! but i doubt that’ll happen \{=^^=}/

  37. Anonymous said, on December 23, 2007 at 10:09 am

    soo we finally hear about the ex! but at least u’ve learnt from ur mistakes! and if your current girlfriend doesn’t say yes shes gonna be surrounded by a bunch of angry gaijinsmash fans! lol! i’ll be in the crowd! but i doubt that’ll happen \{=^^=}/

  38. The hyena said, on December 23, 2007 at 12:18 pm

    An above poster said he saw the ex’s photo.
    Where can *I* see it?
    I don’t see any link to any photos and nor do I
    see any photos in this article.

  39. Zero said, on December 23, 2007 at 5:02 pm

    Hey, there didn’t happen to be a certain eight-legged cephalopod on that poster you drew, did there?
    Nonetheless, I wish you the best of luck with your proposal as well as a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

  40. Lasse said, on December 23, 2007 at 8:22 pm

    Such a sad story, but I wish you luck with the proposal.
    γ‚ˆγ„γŠεΉ΄γ‚’γŠθΏŽγˆγγ γ•γ„γ€‚

  41. Keyne said, on December 23, 2007 at 11:01 pm

    Your ex sounds like a dumb bitch; I’m glad you’re not with her any longer.
    Anyway, I hope you have a wonderful Christmas, and I can’t wait to hear how it goes with your girlfriend!

  42. ruisu said, on December 24, 2007 at 12:01 am

    Good luck bro!

  43. rei_ichigo said, on December 24, 2007 at 2:17 am

    Wow, what a horrible woman your ex was, but it’s great you have such a wonderful girlfriend now. Your relationships are a good example that although there are some complete bitches out there, not all women are are like that- in fact most aren’t (I wish my brother would understand that so he’d stop saying all women become bitches when you date them).
    Anyway, I hope your proposal goes incredibly well (of course it will).
    Merry Christmas/Happy holidays to everyone and I hope everyone qets to spend it with loved ones; even if they’re still lonely like me and are secretly jealous of Az’s girlfriend for getting proposed to (*la sigh*)

  44. Gloria said, on December 24, 2007 at 4:32 am

    GOOD LUCK!!!!!
    And thanks for sharing your experience with us. I’m glad that you’ve moved on, and your now about to propose to a girl that you love.

  45. Cait said, on December 24, 2007 at 1:11 pm

    Hey, that’s kind of surprising. There are people from around the world, answering me within the comments on your posting and even write comments on my (sorry for this!) German language site..
    Thank you Gunzo, Patrick and Ted; I’m feeling better already, even if I will still be alone for the next few days.. o_O
    But now the most important thing of all:
    While whining over my own unbearable fate (-_-‘) I forgot to wish Az the Merriest of Christmases he’s ever had and even more luck and happiness while proposing!!! I hope this will be the fondest memories in your life and that you will always hold them dear to your heart! We trust that we won’t be waiting for this fine post too long! πŸ™‚
    (And don’t eat too much!) πŸ˜€
    Warmest regards and a hug,
    Cait :3

  46. ted said, on December 24, 2007 at 1:24 pm

    I am sorry that you had to go through that with your ex. But good for you for just walking off the train.
    Hopefully this will give you a bit of a laugh (I do about it now) and help ease things a bit by letting you know there is someone with even less self esteem and brains than you.
    Picture if you will getting a late night phone call asking you to come down and pick up your girlfriend of 3 years from a party she was at. Mind you I was in Los Angeles and she was in San Diego. She then asks me to put on a cap and pretend to be her father’s employee because she doesn’t want the guy she just “laid on his bed with” to know that we were together. Pretty bloody low eh?
    Now for the really great part! I did it! And tried to stay with her after that for a good couple of months! She was my first girl friend. We had also planned on getting married after University. Foolish me.
    She was Taiwanese. So it isn’t just Japanese girls who pull this crap. Koreans do it as well btw. But wait! There’s more!
    Next was the Korean girl who was sleeping with her ex-boyfriend while being with me and telling me she couldn’t stop because she was with him for so long and couldn’t deny him! But she really wanted to work it out between us and could I just let her see him occasionally? Right. Sure.
    And the grand finale! I caught my Japanese ex-wife (yonsei) in our apartment in bed with another man after returning home early from a business trip unannounced. The first thought through my head was how do I get rid of the bodies. The second was Nah. She isn’t worth it. So I took a walk for about 2 hours to calm down then came back and told her to pack a suitcase and get out. When asked why? I said you know why. Now get out.
    The best part of the whole shebang is that girl #1 got beat up by the guy she was “on the bed with” and wanted to be with more than anything in the world, got pregnant out of wedlock (not the same guy and which is grounds for disownment in her conservative family) and now she and her kid are living in the States illegally in a converted garage and desperately wants to get married but can’t seem to find anyone of my ‘caliber’ who wants to marry her. I know this because I ran into her about 2 years ago and she was crying to me about how all the good guys were taken, how she should have stayed with me, and was interested in getting back together. Let me think about that for a second… NO! Fool me once shame on you. Fool me twice shame on me.
    Girl #2, who really wanted to be married, is still single and is way past her self life at 36 and pretty much has no hope of finding a good asian husband. Phone calls and emails are ignored. Same deal as girl #1.
    And Girl #3 put on 60 lbs, has been in a string of progressively worse relationships where she was used mainly as a warm moist hole to park one’s penis, and is living at home with her parents. Again I know this because I ran into her recently. We didn’t talk long. I had other things to do that were more important.
    My point being that there is someone quite a bit more stupid than you and that revenge is sometimes long in coming but can be quite satisfying.
    Those of us in the “Bitter Men’s Club” welcome you with open arms by the way. And also we are sending out the membership card for the “Married Guy’s Club” as well.
    IF you change your mind and don’t want to get married we can have a team of our people out there within 24 hours and have you put into the Almost Married Protection Program where your death will be faked and you will be relocated under a new name to an undisclosed location within 48 to 72. We will make it look like a freak boating accident where no body was recovered due to the currents.
    On that note Happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year!
    (Az’s Note: Dude…wow. Dating is frightening. Thanks for sharing.
    And thank goodness you dodged not just one, but three very dangerous bullets.)

  47. Cloudy said, on December 24, 2007 at 1:42 pm

    I don’t think you come off as a sissy at all. It must have taken a lot for you to post this as she obviously really hurt you.
    That said, good luck with the proposal!

  48. Kat said, on December 24, 2007 at 3:11 pm

    I can kinda-sorta relate. My current boyfriend got dumped four days after Christmas last year by his ex. Needless to say, it wasn’t a happy time for him, and my Christmas last year was extremely lonely as well. But things are different now. πŸ™‚ Az, this year, you and I both at least have something great to look forward to: being able to spend Christmas with somebody we love.

  49. JosefStalinator said, on December 26, 2007 at 1:37 am

    Az! We need an update! All of us want more than anything to know how your Christmas went!

  50. Asmodean said, on December 26, 2007 at 2:24 am

    Bah, I feel…your…pain.. Not about girlfriend or proposing issues. Its a far deeper pain. If I hear Mariah Carey sing “All I want for Christmas” one more time something is going to break. Ended up staying in a nice hotel thingy for Christmas and they had about 5 songs on permanent repeat (even at 3am in the morning). Of course 2 of those songs were all I want for christmas, just different versions.
    Must be nice to walk around not understanding a word of english. Lucky Japanese people.

  51. ted said, on December 26, 2007 at 11:24 am

    In reply to your note regarding dating:
    You have no idea mate. That wasn’t the frightening stuff. That was just the wow this really sucks and I am a dumb@ss stuff.
    The frightening stuff involves being right in the middle of doing [redacted] and being asked “would it be ok if I carved [redacted] into your arm with my razor blade?”, “would you hit me so hard I see stars?”* or statements like “It’s ok. I just cut myself then I feel better”. Nothing brings on a raging soft on like questions like that.
    The topper of ’em all, and this beats out the girl from Osaka wanting to keep me under her bed so she could take me out when it was cold and use me to “warm herself up”, was being on the phone to the police at 12 am on a Thursday while locked in my home office with the girl I had dated a total of 3 times and had gotten only a hummer from at that point screaming how much she loved me after breaking into my house. This being after I had told her that night that I didn’t want to see her anymore. Please understand the sense of “Oh Crap!” was heightened by the fact that she came from a country were people still ate people.
    Ah yes. Thats me… psycho magnet. I came to realize that if I was attracted to you and you to me odds were better than even that you were a complete and utter nutter. Damn good in the sack though.
    Offer stands mate. If you haven’t pulled the trigger we can air lift you out of there ASAP. We are standing by.
    * Now please understand I am an open minded sort who is ok with a bit of spank and tickle and all but seriously! WTF,O?!?

  52. rei_ichigo said, on December 27, 2007 at 2:02 am

    Ted, if you’ve got that kind of success rate with women you’re attracted to, maybe next you want to date (if that’s ever) you should go out with a girl completely opposite of your normal pick- maybe not someone who looks like something shat out of a bulldog with intestinal problems, but someone you wouldn’t normally be attracted to. Again though, that is if you want to risk it. For all we know, maybe you release pheromones that alters women’s chemical balance in their brains. Like being in the danger level zone of PMS all the time. I’m a women myself and I even know that’s terrifying. Well….good luck. To all you men (maybe all of you should join Ted’s club).

  53. KBchan said, on December 27, 2007 at 3:17 am

    Hey, put us out of our misery and tell us what happened when you proposed.

  54. Andres0082 said, on December 27, 2007 at 9:40 am

    Hey Az-sensei, sorry fr the delay, just got back frm work and that’s the only place i get internet :S
    first of all i wish u a merry christmas and may all your proyects, hopes and wishes come to reality in 2008; and also in dire suspense of ur christmas proposal, here’s to a happy ending and a wonderful new beginning πŸ™‚
    feliz navidad az, to you and your wonderful family

  55. Rocio said, on December 27, 2007 at 1:48 pm

    Az your making me tear up here T_T But I’m relieved I was worried the miserable Christmas tale was going to be about the proposal. Very happy that its not, but I feel you, its always sucks when things don’t work out the way you wish it could’ve with a person you cared about.
    But forget her lying cheatin ass. Go get your woman. Gambatte
    P.S AZ we want pictures proposal, wedding the whole nine yards.

  56. Dory said, on December 27, 2007 at 2:00 pm

    Please update soon!
    We’re dying to know how everything went!!
    Merry belated Christmas too!

  57. Ben said, on December 28, 2007 at 2:34 am

    He probably hasn’t updated because the proposal went so well, he’s been having non-stop sex since then. Lucky Az!

  58. Ivan the Terrible said, on December 28, 2007 at 11:05 am

    On the one hand, I can understand how rushing off to the blog to let all the readers know how your proposal went might not be on the top of your ‘to-do’ list when you’ve just gone through such a life-altering moment. If the proposal was, god forbid, turned down, then you’re likely in no mood to post. If the proposal was accepted, then you’re likely…ummm…doing other things.
    On the other hand, TELL US TELL US TELL US.
    Thank you.

  59. Kyle E said, on December 29, 2007 at 3:15 am

    so yea seriously update please πŸ˜€

  60. alex said, on December 29, 2007 at 11:34 am

    best of luck!! Plz update soon

  61. Anonymous said, on December 29, 2007 at 2:50 pm

    WTF Az, you lured us in with all the details of your plans and now you’re torturing us by withholding a simple “yes” or “no” answer that would take all of fifteen seconds to post! I’ve been away from the internet for the past week, giddy about this new juicy piece of gossip and you’re teasing us with it. You owe us all an answer!

  62. Anonymous said, on December 29, 2007 at 2:50 pm

    WTF Az, you lured us in with all the details of your plans and now you’re torturing us by withholding a simple “yes” or “no” answer that would take all of fifteen seconds to post! I’ve been away from the internet for the past week, giddy about this new juicy piece of gossip and you’re teasing us with it. You owe us all an answer!

  63. Colin said, on December 29, 2007 at 5:05 pm

    <—Seconded to the above comment. I swear, Az, if you’re trying to give me an aneurism with the suspense here on how the marriage proposal went, you’re doing a DAMN good job.

  64. Colin said, on December 30, 2007 at 2:11 am

    <—Seconded to the above comment. I swear, Az, if you’re trying to give me an aneurism with the suspense here on how the marriage proposal went, you’re doing a DAMN good job.

  65. A said, on December 31, 2007 at 1:46 am

    Given that AZ has not updated yet, I’m assuming the worst :*(

  66. Anonymous said, on December 31, 2007 at 12:55 pm

    Well, if Japanese women move as fast as you say they do, you’re probably already married, have been on your honeymoon, and have three children. πŸ™‚ Seriously though, I just want to know how it went!

  67. Anonymous said, on December 31, 2007 at 12:55 pm

    Well, if Japanese women move as fast as you say they do, you’re probably already married, have been on your honeymoon, and have three children. πŸ™‚ Seriously though, I just want to know how it went!

  68. Yma said, on January 2, 2008 at 9:09 am

    Jesus Christ, Az! I’m dying to know how things went!! I literally check this page twice a day! You’ve got me freaking out that things went badly and you’ve jumped from a building, or something equally dramatic. Well, hopefully you’re just tied up with the after proposal sex, and will show up when we least expect it, showering us with wit and hilarity as you always do.

  69. Erin said, on January 2, 2008 at 5:29 pm

    I’m sure I’m not the only one who was SCARED SILLY when she read the title to this article. I hope your Christmas was just as awesome as you expected to be!
    And we all have painful memories, but what’s important is how much you’re loved now, by your soon-to-be-fiance, by your family, by your readership.

  70. Willow said, on January 3, 2008 at 9:01 am

    Your last post has left me quite upset.
    I’m glad you got rid of the horrible ex.
    I’m even more glad that you finally took the decision of proposing.
    I dated my girlfriend for 5 years before proposing, we got married a year later. Almost 2 years after the wedding, I am more convinced than ever that it is the happiest day of my life.
    I hope the proposal went well. Keep us all updated, you know we are dying to find out.

  71. rrtideman said, on January 3, 2008 at 1:49 pm

    Be grateful that you found out about her at an early stage in your relationship.
    Also you should not take this kind of thing as a personal affront. They usually exhibit the same type of behavior no matter who they are with.
    In most cases (I have seen this happen repeatedly and I am probably older than anyone here) they tend to lead very miserable lives.
    So usually there is justice in the long run.

  72. Crystal said, on January 4, 2008 at 1:23 am

    Saw your change in facebook profile. Congrats on the engagement!

  73. Some other guy in Japan said, on January 8, 2008 at 12:52 am

    A bit over a month ago my JTE came up to me and said he wanted me to teach the lyrics for ‘Last Christmas’ to his classes. This being my first Christmas in Japan, I was mightily confused when he asked me this. He returned my mightily confused look when I told him that I didn’t know the song. At all. Heck, the title only rang a very, very distant bell in my mind.
    He took it upon himself to get the lyrics and the CD and such, and throughout the many classes we taught it in together I learned the lyrics and song quite well.
    The next week he came to me and asked me to teach the lyrics to ‘All I Want for Christmas’. I once again had no recollection whatsoever how that song goes, but he once again got all the materials, and by the end of the week I knew the song quite well.
    About a week later I started to realize why he chose those two songs and was so surprised when I stared at him blankly when he first introduced them to me. They started playing them. Everywhere. They have even, for better or for worse, ousted Britney Spears’s ‘Gimme More’ from my conbini’s musical rotation.
    I always thought that the US’s constant bombardment of Christmas songs during December was bad, but I never had had to experience Japan’s obsession with those two songs.

  74. Will J said, on January 13, 2008 at 7:26 pm

    Az is totally right about misconceptions of gaijins dating Japanese girls. I am currently dating a Japanese girl, she very recently confessed to cheating on me. It sucked, and still sucks. Guys, don’t forget, dating is complex in Japan just like in the U.S. It’s easy to get hurt. And it’ll hurt just as bad as you imagine.

  75. Jonadab the Unsightly One said, on February 19, 2008 at 9:36 am

    Wow, “I have no idea how I’m going to find enough money to buy rice” broke. I realize the relative cost of different types of goods isn’t necessarily the same from one part of the world to another, but isn’t rice fairly cheap pretty much everywhere, and isn’t it a major food staple in Asia? That’s pretty broke, then.
    I think the worst financial condition I’ve ever been in was the time in college that I finished buying textbooks (used where possible) for the spring semester and had ten dollars left to my name, and I knew I had to make that last through the whole semester. However, my cafeteria meal plan was paid for already, so I didn’t have to worry about food, and my tuition and dorm board were also already paid, so I really didn’t have any bills to worry about. So basically the ten dollars was my *discretionary* budget for the semester. (This was in the mid nineties, so in today’s money that’s maybe eight or nine bucks.) So I’m pretty sure not knowing how you’re going to cough up money for rice is worse.
    I don’t really have a very good idea how much 4500 yen is, though. I mean, I can run it through a currency converter, but exchange rates don’t tell the whole story. When you say “basic meals” for 2-3 weeks, are we talking half a cup of rice twice a day and a crust of stale bread for breakfast, or what?

  76. Wrath said, on March 4, 2008 at 4:08 pm

    i’d laugh at your misfortune if she wasnt such a bitch. Names. Now. I’m sure we can organize an OP9/Gaijinsmash strike team and make her dissappear.
    i think the part that got me was “She’d done a good job of pushing me away”. probably because i’ve got faggot emo tendancies no matter how much i try destroy myself. you’re better off now, though, i think.

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