Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Men and Women

Men and women are different. We experience the same events but see them through our own lenses. 

Nowhere is this more apparent than husbands and wives. You would think people going through life together might see those experiences the same, but when couples retell the same story, a listener might think it's two totally different incidents.

Such is the story of how my wife and I got together. When we talk about our dating life, particularly our engagement, we tell it differently. 

Hope you enjoy the story.

In January 1994, I faced a huge problem. At the time, I was living in Tokyo. Due to problems with my visa, I needed to leave Japan within two weeks. During those two weeks, Motoyo (Mo) visited me. While we were discussing my options, she asked if I wanted to get married. Unbeknownst to her, I had my mother’s engagement ring. I pulled it out and said, “Yes!”

The paragraph above is accurate, though, in Mo’s opinion, I leave out numerous details. However, this is not unusual. She claims my memory is faulty concerning our entire dating life.

I met Mo in Japan in March 1993. At the time, I worked in Osaka. She coordinated PR for a hotel on Awaji Island, a tourist spot only a short boat ride from Kobe. My friends and I went to Awaji during the off-season, hoping to get away from busy jobs and crowded cities. We succeeded beyond measure; the place seemed deserted. More people visited Gilligan’s Island than were on Awaji Island while we were there.

The hotel where my wife worked offered monthly classical concerts as part of a weekend package to increase off-season business. With nothing else to do, my friends and I went into the hotel to ask about the concert.

The front desk clerk saw us enter and, concerned we might not speak Japanese, got Mo to handle the situation as Mo speaks English. We ended up at the concert, even attending a party afterwards for the violinist that had performed. At the party, I got Mo’s phone number and called her a week later. The stories since then from each of us:

Me: I was immediately attracted to Mo from the minute I saw her and decided I would do whatever I could to get to know her better.
Mo: You hit on the violinist, an attractive Japanese woman in a low-cut blue dress. After striking out, you introduced yourself to me.

Me: Our first date was at a nice Italian restaurant in Osaka.
Mo: The food wasn’t great, but Walt was paying.

Me: I was devoted to Mo from the beginning.
Mo: You were dating other girls besides me. They just lived farther away.

Me: I knew Mo was the only girl for me.
Mo: You knew you would never find anyone else to put up with you.

So, when I tell people that Mo proposed, she lets them know her side, stating I’d already mentioned prior to that evening that I wanted to get married. She’d turned me down, saying I should ask again after we’d dated for a year. That January night, her question of us getting married was a discussion item ; she was caught off guard by the ring (as well as my “crying” about possibly being deported and not knowing when I would see her again).

We’ve been married nearly seventeen years now.

This could change, if she sees this in print.


Donna Volkenannt said...

Great post. Gave me my first smile of the day.

Walt Mussell said...

I'm glad you enjoyed. My wife has seen it and has decided to put up with it.