My New Philosophy 

A few weeks ago a friend messaged me to tell me about a guy she had met who was Japanese, nice, funny, smart, dressed well and was tall. Most of those things I don’t actually care about and as I had PMS I basically told her I’m not interested in meeting anyone. I also told her I have enough friends. 

I discovered he lives in the shithole place I used to live and ironically enough, the same place as my ex. That should have been warning bells enough. 

Without going into detail I discover he not only smokes pot (something I won’t tolerate) I also discover he fucks around and is yet another guy to assume I am a huge party person and have a list of men on call for every whim and fancy. He then insulted me further by insinuating I could have an STD. 

I’m angry for a few reasons:

Number one: I’m sick and tired of men assuming things about me. I enjoy my life and going out with friends but most of my Friday and Saturday nights consist of staying at home watching dramas or reading a book. Or cycling somewhere to get rid of the frustration I have with arseholes like him. I don’t even have one guy I would ring for a booty call and even if I did, no guy seems to understand that I have never have and don’t ever want a sex friend/fuck buddy/whatever terminology you want to use. I don’t use people and I don’t want to be used either. 

Number two: I’m pissed off that I knew I was right to say I didn’t want to meet him but then felt sorry for him because of where he lives. Not my problem. 

Oh and about the STD, I don’t have one and the only reason he said that is because he assumes I’m like him and fuck everything that breathes. 

Yes I’m pissed off. 

That’s why my new life philosophy and dating love philosophy is all about the following statement:
I have never wanted to and still don’t necessarily want to get married but I do want someone to spend the rest of my life with. I don’t have a list anymore because I will accept whoever I fall in love with no matter what they look like, their nationality, geeky habits, whatever. They will do the same. 
Hence I’m not dating AT ALL anymore unless that person would be willing to marry me. Why waste my time and why waste theirs if they are the type of person who just wants to fuck everything in sight and have what I consider to be shallow relationships because they’re scared, been hurt in the past or just want sex? 

I don’t give a fuck if someone agrees with me on this or not. I don’t need or want your opinion or your approval. I won’t be changing my mind on this unless or until I meet the person who is going to make me believe that not all men are arseholes who constantly disappoint me. 

I’ve had enough of that. 

Pissed off and the rediscovery of self

Okay, so this story begins on Thursday night. I used to say on here that I was having a rant; now I believe that it’s just called being pissed off for legitimate reasons and it is perfectly acceptable to yell and voice your opinion. If you don’t want to hear what I have to say, simple, fuck off and don’t read it.

Actually, let me just back it up a bit and say that this story probably begins years and years ago when I was strong, super stubborn and a force to be reckoned with. I took no shit from anyone. I mellowed in Japan and although sometimes that can be a good thing, last year I reached a low that will not be repeated again. Hence, this story is a rediscovery of my inner strength and my take-no-bullshit approach which is now firmly back in its place where it belongs.

So, to Thursday night…

I was supposed to have a date on Friday with a guy I’ve been friends with, but haven’t been in touch with since last year. We hooked up just before my ex and I officially got together and everyone thought I was crazy when I ditched him and started dating my ex instead. Now I see their point, but I digress.

I messaged him to confirm and he replied that he was sorry, something had come up and could we postpone it. Now I knew this could happen; he did warn me about it. But, and there is a but… I realised a little while ago that I’m done waiting around for people. I’m not going to fit in with them all the time. I have done that far too much in the past three years here in Japan and I’ve had enough.

I read the message, pressed delete and won’t be replying.

Now some of my female friends told me I was overreacting. My mum’s words were, “Jade, he’s not Felix,” meaning don’t treat him like an arsehole because he isn’t.

I know he’s not, but that doesn’t change the fact that yes, I was disappointed he cancelled. Then again, that was only for a second before my newly rediscovered strong, stubborn bitch kicked in and I thought, fuck that shit.

If he wants to date me, he’ll message and ask me out again. I’m not chasing him. I’m not chasing anybody.

The second pissed off story comes from a friend of mine who suddenly messaged out of the blue after not doing so for months and not replying to any of my messages. No apology.

Delete.

The third story is about a very good friend of mine who asked if we could hang out this weekend. I said yes but that I can’t drink as I’m taking medicine for this terrible cough I’ve had for over a month. Her response: oh we can’t hang out then. Um, EXCUSE ME?! Am I right in thinking you don’t want to hang out because I can’t drink? She must have felt bad because she ended up saying oh okay, that’s fine, let’s go downtown. I had already told her weeks ago that I hate this time of year with the major festival in town and that I avoid it the entire weekend. She said oh okay, let’s do something else. I messaged her yesterday and asked what we were doing… her response: oh sorry I made other plans because you said you didn’t want to go downtown.

Delete.

She then messaged again later with a belated invitation asking me to hang out with her friends at the other place they decided to go.

“I’m going away by myself tomorrow,” I told her. Awwwww, she replied.

Delete.

Yes, some people may think I’m being overly harsh and my mum’s response was, “Do you have PMS?” but my reply was, “NO, I’M JUST FUCKING PISSED OFF WITH UNRELIABLE, TIME-WASTING WANKERS WHO EXPECT ME TO BE THE NICE PERSON I’VE ALWAYS BEEN!”

ENOUGH!

I REALLY, REALLY like the person I’ve become. I’m happy with who I am, what I do and what I’ve achieved. Women often put themselves second and tiptoe around everyone else to try and keep the peace. Sometimes it might feel easier, but to be honest, it makes you angry and eventually you will erupt.

I now know that sometimes you do have to be cutthroat. You do have to delete people in your life and you never have to apologise for who you are. Ever.

A few people have said, “Jade, you’ve changed.”

Yes, I have, thank fuck. I’ve become the person I used to be, but better and stronger because I had to deal with shit that was fucking life-changing.

People say that being picky and having expectations is a bad thing. I say fuck them. Being picky means you don’t settle and if you don’t have any standards or expectations, either of others or yourself, you will never know what you can achieve. STEP THE FUCK UP if you want to be my friend or date me.

My focus at the moment is ALL about me. I am number fucking one and unless you treat me and others with a little respect, I have no fucking time for you.

In dumping an arsehole ex I have finally learned exactly what I want and not to let anyone treat me like shit. That includes friends. I can’t say I enjoyed learning all this through my ex, but hey, it’s made me happy again. Best of all, I now believe what I used to try and convince myself about: I don’t need any man. I might want them, but I don’t need them. Yes, there is a difference.

It’s ironic really, but somehow my ex knew this before I did. He knew I didn’t need him last year, even when I said I did. He knew I was stronger than he would ever be and yes, he was scared of me. He told me that.

So there you have it. Why I’m pissed off and yet, after writing this, I suddenly feel as though all that has evaporated. Why bother with people or situations who don’t add positivity to your life?

Amen.

One year anniversary

I have to be honest. I’ve been dreading the lead-up to this week.

Let me explain.

This Friday is the first day of Toukasan, the biggest festival in Hiroshima and one of the oldest yukata, or summer-style kimono festivals, in Japan. It is also recognised as the official start to summer.

And, it is the one year anniversary of when I had my first date with my ex.

For weeks now I’ve been waking up and thinking, today was the day he first sent me a message asking if I was interested in a date. Today is the day I replied. Blah, blah, blah.

I have always hated Toukasan simply because of the crowds of people, but this year is a whole new level. I have also said every year that I would go, wear a yukata and have fun. I know it will never happen. My hatred of the crowds far outweighs my desire to be a girly girl and dress up.

I have been contemplating for weeks to get the fuck out of Hiroshima for the entire weekend so I don’t have to think about it, but to be honest, we all know that problems follow us wherever we go and no matter how much we run. It’s funny because I don’t think I have a problem going there on the Saturday or Sunday to check it out; it’s just the Friday night that bothers me.

Ironically enough, I have another date this Friday afternoon. A first date if you will. And it’s with a guy who I actually met at the same time last year. I was just beginning to get involved with my ex and we weren’t official, so I’d ended up having a lovely night (and overnight stay) with this other guy. No, it doesn’t make me a slut and no we didn’t sleep together, but we both knew we liked each other. He wanted more and at the time, I said no. I’m hoping this is a second chance.

I even remember people warning me at this time last year. I didn’t listen then, but I sure as hell am listening to them now! 🙂

I finally opened up yesterday to my mum and told her how I’ve been feeling and also about my date and her reply was, “So what? Go make new memories!”

She wasn’t being insensitive. She’s right.

And so that’s exactly what I’m going to do. I don’t want to remember last year. It was horrible. Just like cutting my dead hair, I need to forget dead stuff. I don’t want to resurrect that shit.

 

 

Take It Slow and Please Be Gentle With Me/Us 

So how do you begin dating again after something like sexual assault or rape happens to you?

Geez man, I don’t know. I mean I have no fucking idea or advice really because I’m making it up as I go along. 

A few weeks ago I told a female friend I needed to get back out there. The thing is, I know what I want, I know what I don’t want but I’m also dreadfully afraid of even giving someone a chance.

I will admit, although I do have a few Western male friends, until last year I had been exclusively dating Japanese guys. I didn’t plan it that way, it’s just how it happened. I mean I’m living in Japan where they’re the majority so chances are I’d be dating one of them too. Also, harsh but true, it seems a large percentage of single Western guys here are ones I wouldn’t date in my own country let alone in Japan. They are also tend to be the kind who wouldn’t date me because they want to taste Japanese pussy (crude but also true). As one of my very attractive Japanese female friends said, “They are low quality gaijin.”

Anyway my point is after hanging out all day on Sunday with a Western male friend of mine, I mentioned to him that I don’t really trust white guys at the moment. Let me just say he and I got together last year after I broke up with The Rapist (how I will be referring to him from now on) and again the other day and he has always treated me kindly and with the highest respect. His reply to my comment was a look and, “It has nothing to do with race or nationality.” 

Oh

My

God!

Revelation! 

Logically I know this, but as a very sensitive and emotional person who sometimes uses her heart more than her head, I am still struggling with this concept.

He then said, “Your ex is just a cunt” (and not the good type: implied, but not actually said- Aussies and Kiwis will know and understand what I mean). He also knows my ex so I value his opinion. 

Agreed. 

I will confess I did shut down emotionally and physically on this poor guy the other day. I freaked out majorly. Now he knows what happened to me and he completely understands after suffering from a similar experience himself, but again he gave me that look and said, “I am NOT him!” I know he’s not and I would’ve been insulted if I were in his shoes too. This guy has never pressured me and I know he won’t. Afterwards he kept asking me if I was okay. I assured him I was but the next day was a different story. 

I was sick all day and literally felt like I needed either a good spew or perhaps an exorcism.

This was the first time I’ve been with someone after last year and been 100% sober. Being drunk has meant I could forget how I really feel for awhile and just be with people I don’t really care about or have to open up to. That sounds terrible but it’s what I know I’ve been doing. I think maybe I was hoping that I could ‘undo,’ last year’s event by getting with someone else. That’s not what I did with this guy on Sunday but it was in his case last year. Then I realised he was a genuinely good guy. 

I made the decision to stop drinking for my own mental and emotional health the other day but it also means I’m finally having to deal with all the demons I’ve been trying to push down inside me.

I’m doing pretty well I think and haven’t done anything that others wouldn’t do but I also know I’m very harsh on myself. 

I have to give myself credit and just take it slow. I also have to let guys who want to date me know this and say please be gentle with me. 

If they’re the right kind, they’ll understand. If they’re not, I will get rid of them quick smart. 

I’m not the same person I was last year and I’m finally seeing that I need to let go of that idea because it’s keeping me back from enjoying the present and working towards a future. 

So yeah, that’s my jumbled mass of thoughts and advice if you will. 

One last thing: I’m also going to take it slow and be gentle on myself. If I don’t treat myself that way, how will I ever find someone to do the same? 

The Emotional Stages of Being a Single White Female in Japan: An Honest Account

Please note: The majority of these events may or may not have taken place. They may or may not have happened to me or may or may not have happened to friends or friends of friends. All names have been changed to protect the individual’s privacy. Just kidding, are you serious?! There’s NO WAY I was including names! 😛

REALLY IMPORTANT ‘Please note’: If you are easily offended, do NOT read this article. I suspect you will be offended because you know deep down that it’s true, but nevertheless. It probably IS offensive, but I will not apologise. I can’t please everyone.

Being a single white female in Japan (SWFIJ) is both a blessing and a curse.

CONFIDENT STAGE: In the beginning, life is like a Hollywood movie with you, the star of the screen. You are showered with attention (albeit from afar… Japanese boys/men are very shy) in the form of curious sideways and sometimes slightly lustful glances. You are told you are cute, beautiful or cool, depending on what you’re wearing and you start to believe it. It’s a wonderful confidence boost!

Some may tentatively approach you to speak in halting English, learned and mostly forgotten (then suddenly remembered in the presence of an attractive female!) from years of study in junior high school. The occasional bolder man will ask if you have a boyfriend or husband and when you say no, their interest is sparked. But woe, usually it ends there. These kinds of conversations rarely lead to anything and unfortunately are all too common.

You might be very attractive and interesting, but chances are, they just want to practice their English. Granted, the majority of these men you will have no interest in at all, but sometimes you’ll find yourself grinning at someone who you think might have potential.

DOUBT/PARANOIA STAGE: Can you see the rose-coloured glasses have already lost their tint? It’s nice to think that you’re special and that someone might actually like you, but after awhile, a little voice called ‘Doubt,’ or perhaps, ‘Paranoia,’ whispers in your ear and says, “He doesn’t REALLY like you…” You begin to question every guy’s motive but eventually, that fades and is replaced by… something that is difficult to define. Acceptance maybe? This is just how it’s going to be, you say. 仕様が無い(shoganai), say the Japanese. That’s life; it can’t be helped.

At some point you realise you need to stop thinking and questioning so much because otherwise you will lose your sanity (if you haven’t already). When this happens you suddenly think, fuck this. I’m not going to bother anymore. They can all get fucked. This stage lasts all of about 10 minutes until you spot someone unbelievably gorgeous in a suit at the train station and make eye contact with him. Not that I’ve ever had this experience of course! 😉

Oh, let me point something out… the only time a Japanese guy will actually approach you is when he’s socially ‘lubricated.’ In other words, tanked to the eyeballs with alcohol and full of Dutch courage. If you’re equally as drunk this can be fun. Your bad Japanese will be unleashed and you will lose all inhibitions about speaking it. This is where it starts to get dangerous.

‘FUCK IT!’ STAGE (ALSO KNOWN AS THE ‘DRUNK’ STAGE): If the man actually speaks English quite well and he’s confident, chances are he will try to take advantage of you in some way. This might be a simple grope but may include kissing you or suggesting you go to a love hotel. Remember, by this stage you are so jaded by dating/whatever with Japanese men and so frustrated with a lack of ‘wishy-washy’ men that you figure fuck it. I should just take what I’m being offered. And you usually do. And it’s usually fun. It’s your call. HELL! I’m not judging!

Some of these men may or may not be married. Unfortunately, the confident ones are ALWAYS married. You will find yourself struggling with whether this is moral or not and at different times you will swing between ‘yes’ or ‘no’ and you will justify whatever it is you decide. Marriage in Japan has traditionally and historically been more about security (i.e. money, good job etc.) and less about love, so infidelity has often been and is still considered to be more acceptable… or perhaps tolerated, by both men and women than in Western/foreign countries. Whatever the case, it is totally unfamiliar to you and you’re still not sure exactly where you stand. Do you do as the saying says, “When in Rome…?” or do you hold fast to your Western/foreign views and values? The verdict is still out.

DISGUST (at Japanese men for being cheating bastards and yourself for allowing it in the first place) STAGE: This usually goes on for a few months before you think, hang on, I’m just being used (and you’re doing the same of course! It’s much easier than facing a real relationship with real issues. You realise that you’re a piece of white meat being tasted once, maybe twice and then being discarded because fish is what they’re used to. I know this all sounds very depressing but I guarantee you, keep being yourself and don’t change for anybody. You are Western/foreign, you will never be Japanese and besides which, isn’t that why Japanese men are interested in you in the first place? Exactly! You might be just what they’re looking for!

SELF-WORTH STAGE: So where was I? Oh yes… eventually you’ll come to realise your self-worth and decide that if someone genuinely likes you they need to take the time to get to know you and you to know them. You will also decide that you’d rather have a single one than all the drama that goes with a married one. You’ve finally decided you want a REAL relationship. Take a chance, go out with someone who asks you but remember what boundaries you’ve put in place to protect yourself (A) Ask if they’re married. B) Ask if they’re single C) Check again by asking if by single they mean absolutely no girlfriend).

HOPEFUL STAGE: One day something amazing happens. You meet a guy or you realise the guy you didn’t notice at the NYE party (then meet later on but decide is boring and social awkward isn’t quite as boring as you first thought and is actually really funny) is someone you want to date. Now here’s where it gets tricky. What do you do next? Being Western/foreign, chances are, you will ask them out. You know this is not the way to do things, but you have no patience waiting around for them to ask you out. You’re not Japanese, so you figure it’s okay to break with convention.

CONFUSED/UNSURE STAGE: Just as a side-note, in Japan, dating starts in groups at a sort-of ‘introduction’ party known as 合コン (goukon). You meet with other people over the course of a few outings and then if you’re both interested someone will suggest one-on-one dating. Members of the opposite sex in Japan rarely hang out with each other unless it’s a date. And in this situation, they KNOW it’s a date.

Now being a SWFIJ, this isn’t generally the case, so when you both decide on a one-on-one activity, the question looms over you: is it an actual date or is it just two friends hanging out? You might assume it’s a date, but unless you’ve used the word ‘date’ when asking him out, there’s a high chance that it’s not. The more you think about it, the more you realise that dating in Japan may be a lot simpler than in the West. If it’s just you and him after all those parties, then it’s definitely a date. Being a SWFIJ, it’s No Man’s Land. Sigh.

What’s the next stage? Who knows. I haven’t reached that yet. Not that any of this actually happened to me. Remember all of these events may or may not have taken place. They may or may not have happened to me or may or may not have happened to friends or friends of friends. You decide.

Oh and let me know whether you agree or not. SWFIJ, I WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!

The Art of Hugging

I was once accused of being adverse to hugs. That isn’t true. I like hugs… from people I want to receive a hug from. I am, however, adverse to receiving hugs from people I’m not friends with, or people I’m not truly comfortable with. That’s not to say I never WILL be, it’s just that at that moment, I find myself holding back, rather than reciprocating.

Of course, this has often resulted in me looking (and probably feeling), like a stiff board. My arms either hang limply by my side or else they’re clenched against me, trying to resist the person hugging me.

Some people go around giving hugs to everyone they come across, including complete strangers. To me, a hug is something you reserve for someone you truly care about, someone who has earned your trust and you, theirs and someone who respects you enough to wrap their arms around you tightly to envelop you.

Despite the accusation above though, I have had some wonderful hugs in my life, two of which stand out. They were from men who swamped me in size and stature and both guys have been told they are two of the scariest looking people because of this. In reality, they are two of the gentlest and kindest, not to mention, shyest people I’ve ever met.

On the other hand, there have also been the times when I’ve been the ‘hugger,’ rather than the ‘huggee.’

Let me just tell you… I now know there is nothing worse than trying to hug someone who doesn’t want it, someone who isn’t sure if they should accept your hug or whether they should actually hug you back.

You’ve all experienced it. Two people who awkwardly ‘dance around’ each other like two boxers waiting to make their move in the ring. Eventually, either one, or both go for it and end up having a truly good hug or they bump heads (and sometimes, various other body parts) and it ends with both people not being really sure what just happened.

In this situation as the ‘hugger,’ you can really only do one thing: pretend you weren’t really trying to hug them, but rather, extract a piece of fluff from their hair/shoulder etc.

Now no post about hugs would be complete without examining the different types of hugs. These are the types I’ve experienced, but I’m sure there are many more.

– The ‘Bear’ hug: this is the type that crushes you and you end up feeling sore for days like every bone in your body has been shattered. This type is most commonly practiced by physiotherapists or chiropractors who ARE in fact, trying to crack your bones.

– The ‘I Really Like You’ hug: the type that gives you butterflies in your stomach because you realize you like the other person WAY more than a friend.

– The ‘Boa Constrictor’ hug: a very tight hug where you literally can’t breathe because the person is squeezing the life out of you… literally. (I’ve never been sure in this case whether the hug was for my purpose or theirs…).

– The ‘Parent’ hug: the type of hug where you feel like a little kid again and you bury your head into the ‘hugger’s’ chest or under their armpit. This type is often accompanied by tears.

– The ‘Friend’ hug: the type done from the side where someone throws their arm around your neck and pulls you to them. It often results in either putting your neck out or lots of laughter and back-slapping.

– The ‘Casual’ hug: the type that is quick and doesn’t involve much bodily contact. Usually reserved for people who are mere acquaintances rather than real friends.

– The ‘Real’ hug: the type where you both want to hug and be hugged and you wrap your arms around each other and rest your head on each other’s shoulders. This can either be for friends or people who you are dating/are in love with.

I’m not really a touchy-feeling person, but recently I’ve really enjoyed receiving and giving hugs to my friends. Sometimes I think afterwards, should I have hugged that person? Was that okay to do that? Usually, the answer is yes. I would rather go for a hug than have the regret not to have done so.

I think that hugs can convey far more than words sometimes and I’ve learned that it’s important to show others that you care. Don’t be afraid to be the ‘hugger,’ and don’t ever be afraid to ask for a hug either.