Carlos had forgotten his glasses, so I am the first to notice her, an extremely attractive girl smiling at us from across the glitter of the dance floor. As I am not in the market, I describe her to Carlos who smooths his hair back and inflates his chest. She begins to stride across the floor towards us, and he straightens himself into top form. She is 10 feet away when he suddenly slaps a hand to his forehead and slumps sheepishly. Then he introduces me to his sister.
A true story from Kansas circa 1991.
The club is throbbing with excitement, and the two giggling girls sitting across the table from us look absolutely delicious this Tokyo summer evening. Regrettably, I have not the Japanese skills nor the competitiveness that Tom has. As he expertly begins to dismantle the defenses of the girl across from him, I awkwardly test the English of the pretty mouth opposite me. No luck. She then tests my Japanese. I hesitate, lean forward, then to the shock and dismay of Tom, begin to kiss her moist and willing lips.
True story circa 2000.
They glared and snarled that first encounter. He sat his Japanese ex on his left and the new Korean girl on his right as he played jester to defuse the feline tension. Five minutes later they were giggling, comparing notes on his various competencies. Five weeks later they e-mailed him from Seoul.
This was an actual autobiographical occurrence circa 2003.
He thought the next morning over breakfast would be perfect as he contently looked at her lying beside him. The ring had cost him four months’ wages, but they had been together every wonderful weekend for year now. The phone rang. She picked up. Her eyes widened. “I have to go. My husband’s been in a car accident.”
This was a true tragedy in Tokyo circa 2003.
He had been told that Japanese girls tend to drag their feet a bit on relationships, but this one…three months and she had moved in with him! He had introduced her to nearly all of his friends without hearing a single word of disapproval. Only her husband really seemed to mind.
This was a real situation in Tokyo circa 2004.
By the time he had stumbled around to her side of the table and wrapped a tattooed arm around her, the whole second floor of post-midnight Starbucks patrons were bent inward with all ears tuned to their thin romantic whispers. She patted his military haircut as he slurred perfunctory questions and tried to keep his impatient, inebriated focus from drifting downward to a well-constructed chest. It all ended at 2:54 with the crowd in hysterics during her indignant stomping out following his brief bewilderment, then horrified but sober epiphany. “What? You’re a man?”
This is a true occurrence observed in Tokyo circa 2000.