So, today’s instructions from SITS was: Re-upload a post you wish more people had read and explain why it was important to you. I chose the following post because it was one I wrote when I first started blogging and I don’t think a lot of my readers now know hubby’s background and the things he went through. Having gone through all he went through as a child and still turning out to be the awesome husband and father that he is astounds me. I take my hat off to him every day. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: He’s my hero. I can’t say enough about what a wonderful person and husband he is. So, for your reading amusement, I give you Touche’.
Hubby is an army brat. He was born in Osaka, Japan to an American (Caucasian) father and a Japanese mother. He lived in Japan until they moved to the US when he was about 5. He had to learn to speak, read and write English all at the same time. They moved to Georgia shortly after coming to the states.
His dad was still being shipped all over the world so his mom tried to settle into living in the south with her two young sons. Apparently being Japanese in the south in the early 60’s was worse than being Black in the south in the early 60’s. My husband remembers many instances of people refusing to serve his mom whether it was the grocery store or restaurant or wherever. He also remembers the phone calls where people would call and harass her and tell her she needed to “take a slow boat back to China”. They’re Japanese dummy… not Chinese… but I digress… He remembers people throwing rocks through their windows. I am sure it HAD to be hard to be her and trying to deal with that not to mention that her husband was out of the country most of the time and she could barely speak English.
Without going in to too much detail she moved back to Japan when Hubby was around 10 or 11. She took her boys and was determined to return with them to her homeland (their dad was in Germany at the time) and when she got as far as Washington, DC and they would not let her board the plane with them. They are HER children, her flesh & blood but they would not let her take them. They told her they were children of an American serviceman so she was not allowed to leave the country with them. WTF?? They are HER kids and someone has the authority to keep her from taking them where they were born?
Don’t get me wrong… I’m glad NOW that they wouldn’t because I would never have met him otherwise, but, I’m just saying… no one should have the authority to keep a woman from taking her kids with them back to where they were born. Ultimately she took them to a Salvation Army, dropped them off and flew back to Japan. I could never understand how she could do that until I finally got to meet and talk to her but I do now. But that’s a whole ‘nother blog.
She still doesn’t have a fluency in English. Before Hubby and I got married I tried to call his mom to invite her to the wedding and surprise him. It was actually quite comical. She was living with her daughter in Tokyo at the time and I finally found the number and got the operator to make the call person to person in case she wasn’t there. The phone rang several times and someone answered (obviously speaking Japanese) and the operator asked for my mother in law (soon to be) by name saying she had a person to person call. The person on the other end again said something in Japanese and then:
Operator: Does anyone in the house speak English?
Japanese person: (imagine in HEAVY Japanese accent) ENGRISH? Yaaaasssss.
Operator: Could we speak to them please? In English?
JP: Yaaaassssss….. Herrow?
Operator: Yes, Hello? I’d like to speak to >>>> I have a person to person call for her.
JP: OK…. Yaaaaaasssssss …… Herrow???
Operator: IS this >>>>> ?
They say something else in Japanese.
Operator: Is there anyone in the house that speaks ENGLISH… PLEASE?
JP: Engrish??? YAAASSSSSS….. Herrow???
The operator by now was very exasperated. She was like…”You wanna keep trying or can we just give up?” So, we gave up. So much for surprising my hubby with a visit from his mommy.
Several years later my hubby’s brother was getting married in Arizona. We decided to surprise BIL by flying their dad out to the wedding. Me, Hubby, Daughters #1 and #2 (#3 wasn’t even thought of yet!) and Father in Law board the plane in Atlanta and head out west. We are coming down the ramp to the baggage claim when we see BIL, his soon to be bride and this little bitty Japanese woman standing beside them. THEY had decided to surprise us by flying Mom in Law in from Japan for the wedding … I don’t know who was MORE surprised.
MIL and FIL had not seen each other since before she had moved back to Japan. I don’t think they had even SPOKEN… so… we walk down the ramp and she goes “Hello Donal” (Calls him by his first name, Donald). I look at FIL and say “Hey, that went really well!” And he goes “She KNOWS I hate to be called by my first name! She did that on purpose!” Ok, maybe not so well.
They actually did very well the entire time (almost). The wedding was done, BIL and SIL left for their honeymoon and Hubby and the rest of us were supposed to stay two more days before we came back to GA. BIL had arranged for MIL to fly back to GA with us and stay for almost a month before she went back to Japan. The day after the wedding Hubby got called back to GA because his restaurant had been robbed. So there I am stuck in AZ with MIL and FIL who hadn’t seen each other in like 25 years and 2 babies under 3. Everything is going pretty good. It’s the night before we fly back to GA and I’m sitting in a restaurant with MIL, FIL and Daughters #1 and #2. They are sitting on opposite sides of the table. FIL looks up and says “You know, Sako? You used to be a beautiful woman but you sure did get old.”
Without skipping a BEAT, MIL innocently looks up and says (In her VERY stilted Japanese accent) “Das ok, Donal….. YOU got old and UGLY!’
Pretty good comeback for someone who barely understands English, wouldn’t you say?
Don’t want to forget to give a shout out to our awesome sponsors this week our friends at Standards of Excellence, Westar Kitchen and Bath, and Florida Builder Appliances, two very special SITStahs are enabling us to make our Back to Blogging event even better. Two lucky bloggers will win a new washer and dryer ***waving hands wildly*** PICK ME, PICK ME, PICK ME!!! My washer was bought when my oldest was a baby and she is 27 now so I think it’s time. And now that I don’t have a job it would really be nice for someone ELSE to fork out the money. And it sure would be nice to have a crack at winning (and actually WINNING Thelma and Louise. After all teal IS my favorite color!