Say What?

It seems to me that most of the misunderstandings between HRH and I are not due to neither of us being native speakers of the other’s language, but to the abyss between man and womankind.

Let’s take Sunday for an example, just for the fun of it. The news was calling for rain all day today, but we woke up to sunny skies. HRH suggested we go to the park. Fine. But that means making a bento, and since I was expecting rain, I had planned to make spaghetti for lunch. We can’t take that with us. So HRH says, “Why don’t we get some lunch stuff from the grocery store and take it with us.”

Now Japanese is a notoriously vague language. He didn’t actually use the pronoun “we.” He didn’t use any pronoun at all.

So I went about getting the kids ready and filling up thermoses, loading up backpacks and whatnot while HRH fiddled on the computer.

Finally, I had everything ready. “Let’s go guys!” I called. HRH asked me if I’d managed to make lunch after all, and I was like


Didn’t we just have this conversation? Didn’t I just explain that since he’d bought rye instead of whole wheat at the store yesterday, in spite of insisting he knew which bread to buy (there are only two kinds of non-white bread at the store, so I had reason to trust him,)Me Too wouldn’t eat it. We’d already been through one breakdown at breakfast about bread with bumps in it. I also explained, again, that I hadn’t made rice that morning. And he was like


That’s when it dawned on me that he thought I was gonna go to the supermarket, buy ingredients for lunch, and come home and make something to take with us.

Same planet, different worlds


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Garreth
    Oct 02, 2012 @ 11:06:43

    It must be a Japanese Male thing because I don’t know any men that think/act like that. We are far too direct.


  2. illaheebaby
    Oct 02, 2012 @ 16:23:57

    or maybe just a japanese thing, because i bet a japanese woman would do something similar. call it a, ‘i expect you to read into what i’ve said’ thing because it’s obvious to me and would be obvious to anyone like me. :P i’ve had this conversation many a time with a japanese person (but more often with my husband, because he’s the japanese person i’ve spent the most time with.)


  3. americanlostintokyo
    Oct 03, 2012 @ 22:40:10

    The assumptions made by husbands in this country are so outrageous.
    Yet, for them, it is not outrageous, because all of the women in their life–be it mother, sister, cousin, girlfriend—whatever—would have picked up on who was to go to the grocery store and pick up this stuff. Or would have just expected that it was the “woman” who was expected to complete these duties…
    This is another area of daily life that I “fail” at.
    I love it when my husband asks me questions like…”You want me to do that?!”
    That could be a variety of things.
    Or the “You want me to do that too?!?”
    Then I too don’t bother responding in words… The cold eye…the “evil eye” is much more effective. Why even enter a conversation or debate?


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