Monday 21 March 2011


Where was I up to??

Oh yeah, the fried rice and stuff.

So, got home, cleaned up the kitchen, cleaned up the house which was also a wreck, washed all the unnecessary dishes and got dinner on the table. Wasn't really that hard!

After we'd finished dinner, I said I was going across the dirt path to talk to Ryota's mother about the Easter party at the school, I needed her to translate my crappy bar Japanese into something that would look nice on a poster, and also to explain the whole 'no entry fee but fucking dig deep into those Gucci pockets bitches and give some money to the earthquake appeal.' I didn't ask Ryota to help me, because I pretty much knew he'd respond with some deep sigh and a grumble of "mendokuseeee" (Can't be arsed) OR he'd go on another rant about not wanting to do anything for charity. So I pretty much was just going to ask his mum to help me as it would be far quicker and less painful. Well, usually anyway.

This is a totally different rant, but sometimes the whole cross-cultural marriage thing can get really trying, especially when it comes to holidays. Christmas can often be a very stressful time for me, as I've written before, as it's such a different tradition here and it makes me sad and homesick. Now I'm not particularly religious or even that much in to Easter, but I still eat fish on Easter Friday, and a shitload of chocolate on Easter Sunday. I don't know the ins and outs of the whole chocolate concept, it's just... the way Easter is! Trying to explain Easter to Japanese people is much like them trying to explain setsubun to us, they don't really know all the details but they do the main things and eat sushi and blah blah blah. For me, Easter is exactly the same. So explaining this to my MIL was painfully difficult. First she just didn't get it, so I said she didn't need to get it, just go with it... But then she said she couldn't just go with it unless she understood it, so I asked Ryota to explain it to her. He didn't really give an answer, he was fucking around with his iphone on the computer and not really listening. So I got wikipedia up on my phone in Japanese and gave it to her to read but it was too small for her to read. Of course, cock smoker next to me wouldn't think to give us the computer, that would have been tooooo much. Finally, I was getting so frustrated: with her not understanding the concept or realising that she didn't really need to understand it.... With Ryota not helping me.... With Ryota NEVER helping me with the school.... It was all getting too much so I decided pictures would be better than words and tried to get Easter bunny pictures to show MIL, again the computer would have been much easier to see so when I asked Ryota (probably not very nicely by this time) he said "I'M BUSY!" in a tone that just fucked me right off.

I then got pretty angry (no violence yet!) and told him that he could fuck around with his iphone any time, he needed to help me now. He then did one of his big famous sighs and actually turned towards us. I asked him to explain the Easter bunny to MIL and I swear to God he gave an explanation that was taking the piss. He denies he was taking the piss and we'll never know but thinking he was being a smart arse, I gave him a slap on the back of the head. Now, I know, violence is not the answer, but in my defence it was a Japanese comedian-type slap on the top of the head, no face action. And in his defence, it was a little harder than I'd planned due to obvious pent-up rage I had going...

And so the violence began!

After a little bit of yelling at each other and all the in-laws looking nervously at each other because they could feel the tension rising, Ryota got up and said "MOVE!" to me, before swiftly lifting up my chair and dropping me on the table, not that the table was far to go, but still. I then got up and must have looked like a macho man in a bar fight, chest out, game-face on. Ryota actually did an imitation that was quite hilarious after it had all simmered down. We were right up in each other's faces, which can never end well, so as he tried to push past me I got all hysterical because I thought he was actually going to hit me, then he started yelling obscenities (I'm glad Grandma can't speak English) and actually slammed me in to the door behind me. Now, you have to remember that this was in an old, tiny Japanese house, so it's not like I had far to be smashed in to, and the fact that the door is made of that thin wood made the big noise all the more scary. Still, it hurt quite a bit. AND I WENT MENTAL! I shoved him back but he is actually much stronger than me so I did the only thing I could, let him get past, turn around to go out the door, and punch him with all I had from behind. But you know, I'm a girl, I girly punch, I'm sure he barely felt it.

Once he was outside I followed him, leaving the house of gobsmacked in-laws behind and glad that Ash had been in the other room at the time. I then did something more than violence.
I hissed.
Like that voice you get when you're SO fucking angry that some Voldemort type demon takes over your voice and the other person knows you mean business. That voice. I told him he was never to touch me again and if he did I would be on the first plane back to Australia and he would never see Ash or me again. He defended himself by saying I started it, and fair play, I apologised for slapping him first, but I also added, where I'm from- Hurting a girl is unacceptable, whether she started it or not. Equal? No. Sexist? Fuck Yes. But fuck it, it's just the way I was brought up.
If I wanted equality, I wouldn't ask him to open jars for me or cut trees and shit while I make the fucking lunch. I never have and never will be a feminist, because it's just not realistic. Men were built a different way to women for a reason. We just do some things better and some things worse. Prime example- Women can cook dinner without having a panic attack. Men have the strength to beat their wives after eating the dinner.

I was kind of in shock for the rest of the night and to the commenters who said I should get a divorce, I totally get where you're coming from. Valid point, if we hate each other as we appear to do in these posts then we really should. And we probably will for all I know, but that's the thing about blogs, the bad things are the only bits that are interesting to read. I could write about all the good days in between the domestic violence and what not, but it's just boring so I don't. We all love a good train wreck! I did however, have a huge talk with him about my feelings on domestic violence and how much I didn't want Ash to grow up thinking it was OK, and he has accepted this and apologised many times.

I could play victim but if I'm really honest I'm just as bad as him. We're both young, we're both human, with many faults and things to learn. If I ever really hate him I will get a divorce, but for the moment, marriage is intact. Onward and upward! Well, probably onward and a bit sideways and few steps back, but that's the way it goes!


  1. I can't help but feel a bit sorry for Grandma, I hope someone gave her a translation afterwards. I still maintain a little holiday without Hubby would remind him how good he's got it, even if it's only to MIL's house. Glad you sorted everything out.

  2. They must have been floored by it all. Glad you found your hissy voice and pulled out the threat. I've done that. Apologies for using your comment section to rant on your last post :( Fired me up.

  3. "I'm a girl, I girly punch, I'm sure he barely felt it."

    Sometimes girls whip their arms back like a slingshot and then just throw bombs. Like a windmill outta control. I'm glad you didn't knock him off his feet cuz you both woulda gone into "I'ma fuckin' KILL YOU" mode.

    Fighting is communicating. Show me a couple that never fights and I'll show you a couple that hardly communicates. Violence from girl to man is O.K. but not Man 2 woman...ever. He knows that cultural difference now and if not the threat of taking the kid musta got through.

    You guys keep on makin it work by any means necessary. :)

  4. Reading the part about you throwing a girly punch and him barely feeling it made me laugh. XD Even though my own J-boy is much bigger physically than most other Japanese men (built like an American football player--imagine 6 ft tall, 200 lbs), apparently my half German-ness (read: literally and figuratively hard headed) totally overpowers him! haha Like, we'll be messing around and I'll think I've playfully hit him and he'll yell out "itai yo!"

    Sorry for the random comment. I read yours and Gaijinwife's blogs regularly but rarely make my presence known. アメリカからマーガレットです。よろしく!

  5. Oh my god, what did your in-laws think?? Did they say anything to your husband afterward? I wonder what my in-laws would do... but I have no idea!

    I hope things keep going well between you, and really glad you stood up for yourself and Ash!

  6. haha, it wouldn't hurt to have somebody like you in charge up north now, wouldn't it?

  7. Hey Corrine,

    Been reading your blog for a while now, and wish you nothing but the best. Our first son is a month old now, so a lot of the stuff you write about is hitting home. I've got to admire how brutally honest you are.

    Some points to consider -

    I really, really get how cultural traditions you couldn't care less about back home gain more meaning when you're abroad, and how this incident is clearly about bigger things, but look at this more immediately. You got pissed off at your husband because he didn't clearly explain the Easter bunny right then and there!? I obviously don't know what he was doing on the computer, but speaking personally it could have been pretty bloody trivial and still been more important than providing a commentary on an imaginary bunny rabbit. Again, obviously there's a bigger picture, but in the instant I can get where he's coming from.

    Secondly, there's a fine line between strategic incompetence and learned helplessness. It's not just chonan who act like children. There are tons of cultures where it's still normal for a man to go straight from the family home into the marital one, from being looked after by their mum to being looked after by their wife. These men have never had to actually look after themselves, so is it any wonder they make a mess of the kitchen?

    He's crap because he's never had to be any good. Let him get on with it and don't worry about the mess until he's finished. You're a teacher, so you know all about positive and negative reinforcement. If you slag him off on the rare occasions he tries then of course he's not going to like it. And remember that you get NO points for being a martyr and doing it all yourself.

    Sorry, this is getting quite lengthy. Consider it a compliment that you've touched so many nerves :)

    So to finish...

    I'm sorry, but pretty much everything from here - "where I'm from- Hurting a girl is unacceptable" to - "Men have the strength to beat their wives after eating the dinner," is horseshit.

    On a general note, I used to work in nightclub security, and was always depressed by the number of women who were surprised to be physically restrained and evicted, even after committing the most appalling violence. If you make another punter bleed you leave. Having tits doesn't give you an exemption. Hardly unfair, no?

    I'm obviously not condoning violence, and hitting your wife is totally unacceptable. But do you really not see the contradiction between your (justified) complaints about 'chonanitis' and the attitude you express here? I'm not condoning or condemning you're views, but you're giving off some pretty mixed signals here. Is it any wonder that your husband doesn't act how you want him to, when you don't seem to know what that is either?

    "It's just they way I was brought up." Is also a bullshit excuse. It's just the was he was brought up too, and you clearly (rightly, imho) have issues with that.

    He's clearly no angel, but you're not really helping him change either (if that's what you want).

    I know what you write here is heavily skewed towards the negative and dramatic incidents in your life, and I really do hope you have heaps of great times you don't write about. And I'm just some anonymous commenter with nothing better to do, so take it all with a pinch of salt. But really, what do you want?

    That was longer and preachier than I meant it to be. Chin up Lass.

  8. You apparently have a limited understanding of what feminism actually is, so, I'll just leave these here: