A Drinking Thing

18 Apr

In Japan ‘drinking things’ are widely considered an extension of work and quite possibly some of the country’s most important decisions have been made by some sake squilling red faced fifty year old Japanese man with a  necktie tied around his forehead.

I doubt I am the first gaijinwife to find the whole ‘obligation’ paired with these ‘drinking things’ to be a  complete fuckin pain in the ass and actually a bit of a bloody joke. In fact I doubt I am the first wife full stop, although I am sure Japanese wives have a bit more tolerance at some level, what with growing up seeing their mother’s take it all on board – As an extension of work, they trump every family obligation. As an extension of work, they are highly important and one must not just assume that having a nice meal and getting pissed is at any level to be put in a category other than ‘hard work’.  As an extension of work, the fact that the wife is at home with a baby on her tit, one crapping his pants and one vomiting from some mystery bug, means nothing. Work is work. One must work or the entire nation will come to a stand still.

And if possible if the wife can some how walk on water and part the red seas by piling aforementioned children into car to go and pick pissed husband up from his very hard and tiring ‘drinking thing’, that would be great. Actually no. It’s not great. It’s expected.

My kids are a bit bigger now of course and none of them are currently sucking at my tits, crapping their pants or vomiting but at one stage they were, and its not like men get a ‘get of ‘drinking thing’ free’ card when small children are at home and wife is ragged from sleep deprivation and having aforementioned tits drained 24 seven.

Hub had a ‘drinking thing’ on Wednesday – my busiest day of the week. I will admit that, compared to the old days,  hub asks me less to pick him up. This could quite possibly be because its a fuckin pain in the ass with kids and driving an hour round trip to pick up the pissed husband and quite possibly a pissed co-worker who needs me to stop the car while they vomit into a rice paddy, loses its appeal very very quickly. Hub has had to get his ear chewed off about it a lot.

He was supposedly getting a ride back on Wednesday. I had English until 5 and Marina’s dance starting in the next town over at 5:45. The way the stars align is very important for the 15 minutes between 5pm and 5:15pm. I need to have finished English, gotten in the car, driven to pick the kids up from after school care, piled them in the car, gotten home, got Marina into her ballet gear and out the door with a rice ball on a plate for her to eat on route.

M-chan’s mum asked if I could take M-chan too. Really feeling the pressure of not being late for dance I decided just to take Shou and Ryu with me (what with hub not being home and Granny K not being a fan of looking after two kids over the dinner and bath time) and drive straight from school to dance. Marina got changed in the toilets and we arrived at 5:43.

After dropping the girls off I notice a missed call/s and message/s from hub. I had been driving four children all squealing and laughing about poo at obscene decibels after all.

I ring him back – his ride has fallen through and could I hang around until 8 and pick him up. Dance finishes at 7:20 so its 40 minutes pissing round with nothing to do.  But, I agree as really any other option would involve 100 dollars and a taxi.

Shou and Ryu and I go and have dinner (during which Shou fills up his glass with every possible drink in the kids drink filler thing – which I had given him permission to as long as he drank the what would inevitably be a brown concoction that might well taste bloody foul), drop some DVDs off, do a spot of shopping and then head back to pick Marina up from dance.

At 8pm (because I like punctuality) we arrive at the conference facility where hub is working (read as nice Japanese restaurant with lovely food and free beer), and I message him. He messages back saying wait ten minutes please.

The kids are tired. It’s Ryu and Marina’s bedtime, Shou hasn’t done his homework and I’m knackered after a busy day and just want to get home.

So I send ALL THREE kids in to get him.

They kept getting sent out with messages for me and finally, at 8:20 a gaggle of red face men exit the facility. I know half of them from yester year working at the town office. One guy (very high up now), comes over and says that hub is just finishing up his ‘work’ – he actually has the cheek to use the word (work). I very nearly tell him I have wine chilling so I can go home and ‘work’ too.

I am aware that the dinner may have been preceded by a short ‘meeting’ of sorts, and that following that, work talk may have happened whilst eating crisp tempura, delicate sashimi, wagyu, and ‘kampai’-ing copious small cup fulls of sake.

Hub gets in the car and says ‘don’t say anything, just drive away, I am so embarrassed’.

All this work he’s done has quite obviously left him pissed and not wanting to start a fight with the kids in the car I say

“I will apologize for sending the kids in to get you. I didn’t know what kind of ‘drinking thing’ it was and didn’t realize you would be in such distinguished company. However (said in that tone that is supposed to be an automatic signal to husbands that the wife is about to impart words of wisdom that should never be ignored), don’t get fucky at me when you ‘asked me’ to pick you up at 8, I said yes but that I had all the kids so no later, and you said OK. A thank you would suffice”

His response was something slurred along the lines of ‘I know its because you’re a gaijin and all, but why can’t you be a little more sympathetic when all these things are work things’.

I refrained from opening his door and doing a u-turn specifically so I could push him out into oncoming traffic.

I fuckin hate people that don’t do things when they say. I would never be able to live on island time, it would drive me insane.  What I hate even more is being told that I don’t understand something because I’m foreign. I do understand it. Quite well in fact.

But understanding and tolerating are two different things. Now the kids are older I don’t go spastic every time, but I still don’t think the kids routines on a school night should get shafted because hub can’t excuse himself from the fucking ‘meeting’ before his superiors.

Bloody sort it out Japan.

End rant.





9 Responses to “A Drinking Thing”

  1. Oyomesan April 18, 2014 at 4:28 am #

    Oh wonderful post. Had me cackling into my lunch 🙂 You sent the kids in to get him out??? Oh joy!!!! Joy.

    • gaijinwife April 18, 2014 at 11:46 am #

      Have never done that before. Apparently Shou went straight in and started eating daddy’s sashimi off his plate.

      with his hands.

      AWESOME. I raised half man wolves with no manners. That will learn hub for keeping me waiting :p

      • Elly April 18, 2014 at 12:18 pm #

        Attaboy Shou. I love the image of small wolf-boy strolling into a pissed red-face ojisan nomikai and tucking into the sashimi. 😀

      • hamakkomommy April 19, 2014 at 1:53 pm #

        That’s th best thing I’ve heard all week.

  2. Mr sekimachihato April 18, 2014 at 11:11 am #

    I hope my wife doesn’t stumble across this post otherwise she’ll team up with you.
    Unfortunately I’ve turned into a Japanese salaryman and unfortunately our “work” drinks don’t finish until much much later.

    And guess what?
    I have “work” drinks on Monday and Tuesday next week…

    • gaijinwife April 18, 2014 at 11:42 am #

      8 o’clock is definitely an early finish. With no trains here though, if he hasn’t got someone to bring him home I really have no choice! and because I don’t want to leave the kids asleep with Granny K asleep too he has no choice but for a 10pm pick up. Once he gets moved back to Kunimi I’ll make him walk the 3km home 🙂

      And its all about attitude. Don’t get home and say ‘man I’ve had a hard day, that yummy meal I didn’t have to cook and all that beer I had to drink’ was such hard hacker. Thank her for looking after the fort and buy the woman some flowers 🙂

      • Debra April 18, 2014 at 11:56 pm #

        Ha, next time send Granny K in to get him. This is hilarious. Or maybe you need to go out and “work” with some girls. Is girls night out big in Japan ?

  3. chrysanthemummum April 19, 2014 at 6:35 am #

    Grown men being “forced” to drink! It’s laughable really – more so by your hilarious commentary. I do feel your pain, however.

    • gaijinwife April 19, 2014 at 7:39 am #

      so ridiculous! I love that you are now feeling my pain safely in a country where running into pissed Japanese salarymen will never happen! After the initial ‘I want a lilac randoseru like M-chan’ with embossed heart stitching, Marina loves her red randoseru with pink accessories 🙂

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