First of all, thanks for all the lurker comments, who knew I could have lurkers!? Perhaps I should watch my mouth a bit now I know other people are reading... Nah, never going to happen. And sorry for the delay, this will be disjointed and not a good account of what happened I feel!
OK. Where do I start...
Tuesday night at the school-
Nosey fucker (AKA SIL's boss) had a lesson booked in at 5pm. I knew SIL would probably come with her as she had worked that day and boss tries to work her lessons in the same day so she can give SIL a lift home. So they rocked up at about 5 and boss says, "コリイイイイン！！！ るるとケンカしてるの？？ (Corrrrriiiiiiiinnnnnnneeeeee! Are you fighting with the dog fucker??)" She literally said this when they were still outside the school, she opened the door and went straight into it. My first reaction was shock, then embarrassment. We had to get through a whole lesson and I really did not want to talk about it, especially with SIL's boss of all people! I honestly had no idea what to do so I just laughed and tried to make light of the situation. SIL would later bring this up and grill me as to why I thought the whole situation was funny! Silly bitch.
Anyway, after I laughed and played dumb on the fight interrogation questions, SIL had a stormy look on her face and didn't say much at all. Boss then decided that we definitely needed to talk about it all and asked if we had plans at 6pm when the lesson was done. I said I didn't have plans but actually I had to make dinner, give Ash a bath, and all the other madness that goes on around 6pm, but as I was backed into a corner like a rat I couldn't really get out of it. SIL also agreed and said she would come to the school at 6. Which was just shit because I was dreading the confrontation the whole lesson and not really listening to the boss.
So the lesson finished, nosey fucker boss looked up and down the road as she was leaving to try and see SIL, I think she actually wanted to be there for some of the proceedings, and you know, since she knew anyway, I would have actually liked someone else there!
A few minutes later, SIL rocks up and sits down and I had noooooo fucking clue how it was going to go, I'm really not big on the confrontational fights, especially not with someone as childish as her and definitely not in a language other than my own! But... I decided that I should give it a crack anyway, just to see if I could do it. So she started with the whole "You insulted Kimutaku, you shouldn't say bad things about people that other people like!" thing and I seriously just let fly then, I told her to listen to how stupid she sounded that she was STILL going on bout fucking Kimutaku. She said that she would use a different example and gave insulting family, which was bullshit because that wasn't what the fight was about in the first place! But she said for 2 years she'd always thought I'd always said too much about everything. Well fuck me with a feather, she's been bottling these feelings for 2 years!? This is the girl who will go on racist rants about Chinese and Korean and Indian people with not a care in the world that it offends me. The girl who insults her own father and then says I say too much if i make a joke about him looking like an alien in a photo (he fucking did look like an alien as well!). I was bemused... bewildered... shocked... fucking pissed by this point and knew there was not going to be any easy end to the argument because we were never going to agree.
I didn't get that pissed until she started being condescending though. When I was getting towards the end of my rope with all the arguing and about to leave the school, she got panicky and pissed because she knew if we went home Ryota would totally stand up for me and be able to tell her what an absolute fucking mental case she was. She also got condescending saying things like "例えばわかる？？(Do you know what 'example' means??)" So it was at that point that I literally threw her out of the school, she didn't want to leave but I fucking got pissed that she was arguing while I had the door open to my business so I hissed (literally) in English to "get the fuck out. NOW!" I then slammed the shutter down and got on my bike as she was calling her Mum from outside the school...
Tuesday night at home-
Poor Ryota was totally caught unawares when I got home, I didn't know how far behind me SIL was so I rushed into the house and told him we'd just had a big argument and he would need to translate/mediate for us because it was nowhere near done. He sighed and braced himself as she came into our house clutching the fucking dog. I then told him to tell her to start from the beginning so I totally understood. (but really I wanted Ryota to hear the whole story and give her a piece of his mind) And a piece (a few pieces actually!) he gave her indeed. He stopped translating half way through to say this to her (in Japanese but I think this is a pretty good translation):
"What the fuck are you going on about, seriously?? Are you mentally ill?? Can you hear yourself?? Why are you causing shit about nothing?? You need to get a job, a life, some friends who will call you out for being such a twat. Yo need some life experience. Get out of the house or you'll never know how the real world works. Go to another country. You have the life experience of a 4 year old."
There were other bits and pieces but this was the gist of it. She started crying at this point, probably because she knew it was all true. It was so much better having Ryota there, he could say everything I couldn't in Japanese. He asked her if it wasn't just the Kimutaku thing then what was it? and she answered that she doesn't think I should make jokes/comments about their family. She gave an example of MIL falling over, (she does it quite frequently) that I shouldn't laugh or say she's a dickhead or anything like that. Ryota gave the best response, he asked her if it was strange if he or BIL made comments like that and she said "no, of course not." This is where Ryota got really fucking angry and told her that I was family too, I wasn't to be treated any differently. If she couldn't accept me as part of their family (as everyone else has) then it was her problem, not ours.
I got pretty fired up (and a little bit upset) at that point then, possibly jumping to conclusions but wanted to get my racism protest in anyway so I asked her if it was because I was foreign, she hated other foreigners, maybe she was racist towards me? She denied, but I'm glad I got it in anyway. I have to wonder how different the situation would be if I was Japanese...
It then got down to the nitty gritty, that she didn't see me as an 'onechan' (big sister). I still think this is her problem not mine and sorry but I'll be fucked if I'm going to try and change the way I am for her, she's really just not worth it. I'd rather fucking pay for my nails. She brought the nails up as well, and also that she looks after Ash a lot, and it's true, I told her I really appreciate it but if it's a chore then I'll no longer ask her for favours. Damn I just remembered that we used to pay her to babysit, should have brought that up!! I will DEFINITELY NOT be asking her to do my nails anymore, I'd rather pay than sit with an hour with her. And Ash, well it's inevitable as long as I'm working and we're living so close that she will end up looking after him but I want to limit that to as little as possible too.
This 'translation/ Ryota getting angry/translation response' pattern went on for at least 2 and a half hours with us really not getting anywhere because I could just not see her point or any solution to the whole situation. The best I could do was tell her I will try to hold my tongue from now on, but for me, this means I won't say anything at all, I'd rather keep my fat foreign mouth shut than think about what I'm saying for every word.
I'm still avoiding the in-laws house as much as possible, definitely not keen on going for dinners or whatever anymore. I managed to keep the tears back right until the very end but she started saying that MIL had agreed with her that I always 'say too much' and also slipped a comment in that MIL's sister had also agreed with her. This is when I really felt ganged up on, thank god Ryota was on my side (for the most part). I honestly think she was lying but that little seed of doubt was planted and I won't be able to get it out of my head that the whole family thinks I'm an obnoxious foreigner who doesn't know when to hold her tongue. MIL sent me a mail apologising for SIL and saying that I should feel free to say anything I want but still... Fuck me, imagine if Ryota had married an outspoken American or something!! (hehe sorry my beautiful American friends...) But do you know what I mean?? As far as gaijin go, I'm seriously tame!
Things are supposed to be normal again, but they're not. I just don't want anything to do with her. I feel sorry for Ryota, I know how hard it is to be torn between your own family and your partner, but I feel like he really was fair during the whole thing. He called me out when I got all dramatic and started crying and saying "everyone hates me!!!!" And fair play, no need for girly drama on top of everything else.
I know there is going to be more to this, it was far too big of an episode to be all Mary fucking sunshine from now on. Sorry, reading over this I haven't explained it very well, but it was like this times about 50 with the anger and screaming and shouting.
I'll keep you posted!
I have to admit it's interesting reading about other people's drama at times. I'm just too low key to get worked up, or too old, one or the other, to argue with people like your SIL. Of course this is easy for me to say, because our circumstances are much different. There isn't any cultural/language differences for me to contend with. Hopefully things will work themselves out for you in the near future.ReplyDelete
This is exactly why I don`t want to live anywhere near my ILs.ReplyDelete
I don`t have a problem with my SIL (only met her once as she lives in NY) but can`t stand my MIL who thinks we should all bend to her will.
Keep your chin up, your SIL sounds like a right twat and I bet she only used the MIL and sister of MIL to try to add some weight to her argument. There's always at least one in every family isn't there?ReplyDelete
I have one of my own (SIL) that made my life hell when I was younger. Like you, I hated confrontations too but it's amazing what a few years does to you!!
I feel ya. Your SIL is definitely out of line and I'm glad that Ryota called her on her holding you to different standards than the rest of the family. That is wrong and she knows it.ReplyDelete
At the very least, maybe when all is said and done, all the cards will be on the table. Better than anyone bottling anything up! :)
I think that the Japanese often think we are too outspoken because the Japanese hardly every express their opinion about anything (a huge point of contention between me and DH). I'm an opinionated American and proud of it, but I do my best to not be rude or overbearing.
This comment has been removed by the author.ReplyDelete
I only spoke up and spoke out with my inlaws when I really felt I needed to say it before I imploded. But I don't know about being lumped into the "outspoken American" generalization. I'm sure there are a lot of Americans that can't keep their trap shut over and over again, though. This is what makes me HATE being an American sometimes, the usual stereotypes. What America has become, and how the rest of world views us. Overall I'm not proud at all over how many Americans can act towards other cultures, but I have to believe that we're not all like that! Hopefully. America may be nice in many ways compared to other countries, everywhere has its pros and cons, but I've come to hate being a part of the "obese/materialistic/crumbling educational system/xenophobic" country. Blah.ReplyDelete
But aside from that, I'm really glad you had Ryota there to translate/mediate, and to support you. I know how hard it is to have to bring our hubs in to do that sort of thing . TK came to despise having that "job" with my inlaws. And I hated having to ask him, but there was never a way around it.
Hi there! Long time reader, but this is my first comment.ReplyDelete
I enjoyed the bit about outspoken Americans! haha My bf is Japanese and he was so shocked when we first started dating and his other Japanese friends would always comment how "honest" I was with him. I was like, yeah! How else should I be? =)
Lucky for me, I've only met his sister once and his parents are keen on me, so if we do get married I think I'll dodge the crazy in-laws.
If you ever need a good comeback for your SIL, just call her くそばば！It's my favorite insult. :D
Ho ho that was so worth the wait. I'm glad you got to say your bit and that Ryota was supportive and fair to both of you. I still can't believe that the boss got involved - some people just can't keep their nose out of other people's biz-nass. Still, honesty is the best policy and if you can't voice your opinions in your own house, to your family where else are you gonna say it? I still say you're not in the wrong so stay strong!ReplyDelete
SIL is such a freak. Don't let her make you feel like you can't speak up. I'm sure you would have noticed before if the rest of the family had a problem with you. At least Ryota is trying to be fair. He sounds like a keeper.ReplyDelete
Oooh, juicy details! It is great to hear the Ryota was supportive, it would have been very lonely (and a bad long term sign) if he didn't. Especially since you live over there. Hopefully things will smooth themselves out given a bit of time. Good luck!ReplyDelete
My best friend doesn't get along with his inlaws, and his wife takes their side 99% of the time, which frustrates him no end. He actively tries to avoid family engagements as they are so unpleasant for him... The biggest problem is that she is a really nice girl, and gorgeous to boot, and her relos are the only real problem in their relationship...
You should ditch the SIL, she seems like a total nut. However, for strategic purposes, since it seems like you get along better with BIL and MIL you should make them your allies, that will make the SIL outcast. My 2 cents. :) /SaraReplyDelete
SIL sounds seriously bizarre. Ryouta is right, move out, get a life would be an excellent life choice for her.ReplyDelete
I agree with what Jenn said, that Japanese often find we say too much and the wrong things. I think one of my biggest barriers to conversation here is constantly feeling like I have my foot in my mouth cos I said something, and I don't know if it's just WHAT I said or HOW I said it, but people react all wrong, and get embarrassed when I though they should be laughing and blah blah blah you know the score.ReplyDelete
BUT how RUDE of her to confront you like this over it. Most Japanese people just tolerate it, (some really like it) as your MIL and her friend obviously are, as they have never said anything to you, in fact are reassuring you that you should continue to speak freely.
But how lovely, and lucky, your husband is on your side, that's so important. Mine mostly takes my part, but there have been times when he takes the other side, and it's very frustrating. Imagine how much worse it would be if he was joining her and ganging up on you! Go give him a kiss! At least everyone else thinks SHE is the nutter and YOU the victim!
As for Americans being outspoken, I don't know, but I find Australians more likely to take the piss and tease.
Stating the obvious, your SIL is just a total freak who will never change even if she went to live in another country. She would probably only pack Japanese food, seek out Japanese people, and avoid any kind of new experiences (except having a fling with a foreign dog due to loneliness).ReplyDelete
Glad your husband was a perfect mediator! Keep that chin up.
I'm avoiding commenting on the American jab ;)
I don't know how you do it. Your SIL belongs in the circus. Why doesn't her family kick her out to experience life, seriously? T_T!ReplyDelete
Late in commenting but did read this the other day.ReplyDelete
Glad Ryota stood in as mediator and stood up for you too.
Your SIL sounds like such a twat.
you and ryota seem to balance each other out really well.ReplyDelete
i think the problem is SIL's lack of experience in the world. she needs to go somewhere and live life independently, learn that no one fights like this after 5th grade.