About a month and a half ago, I was invited by the lady who runs the place where I rent my car to attend a fancy French dinner at her house, cooked by a chef visiting from Tokyo. She explained that they would have a bunch of friends over, and that a few of the ALTs of Shiso were already planning to come, and that I should also invite Lauren if I liked, but to let them know because they needed to know numbers in advance, for the chef of course.
Of course. And I thought, why the hell not, I like food, and I like when someone else cooks it for me, and I’m always up to get out my normal eating habits which consist mostly of eating at Laputa, eating at Namphu, or making pancakes. I wrote “fancy French feast” in my planner. It was going to be pricey as dinners go (well not really; I live in the countryside, so to me, thirty bucks is pricey), but once I arrived and tasted the (insert fancy French word here) I knew it was well worth it. We chatted with some accountants who do the books for the car people, and I noted that one of them was kind of cute (he was also wearing a jacket of my favorite color), but being moderately attractive in small town Japan pretty much means you have been married for five years. I marveled at Sam’s ability to communicate despite having no Japanese.
Once dinner ended, the chef came out and performed magic tricks for us, then left. It was fun and entertaining and I thought, well this was a nice evening. I thought that was that, and we would just chat a bit more and go home. Oh naivety.
Once the chef was gone, the hostess turned to the tallest Australian present and asked him what kind of woman he’s into. I thought that was kind of a funny question for various reasons, but he gave a ridiculous answer. She passed the question to the next person. And that was when I looked around me and realized there were exactly six girls and six boys at the dinner party, not counting the family of the hostess. I was at a singles party.
I’ve heard about these things in Japan, where people will throw sort of singles mixers with the intent that attendees will pair off in some way. I recalled that in our self-intros we also all included our age and occupation (occupation is kind of a normal self-intro thing I guess). We went on talking about these things for maybe close to an hour before we concluded the evening with assenting to allowing the hostess to give out our phone emails to the other guests.
They had another party several weeks ago, one month after the first one, but I didn’t attend. I also never got a list of phone emails or I might have attempted to type “what up” in Japanese to the accountant in the green jacket.
But then someone emailed me, gave their first name, cited the dinner party, said “I would be happy if you would talk to me more about your country,” and asked to meet me for coffee. I knew some of the last names of the people, but there was no way I had retained anyone’s first name. I could have asked, but instead I just went with it. I considered it for fun, like a blind date, only not. I ended up with lunch plans with one of the people I had met at the party.. but which one? I held out hope for the 37-year-old accountant, but thought it was probably the funny guy with glasses in the sweater (also acceptable).
Well, Saturday came, I went to the restaurant, asked for a table for two, and waited. I was joined at the booth by none other than one of the women from the party. Oh man. I thought “talk to me about your country” was just casual talk for “let’s get together, eh?” But she actually meant it. Disappointingly enough, it wasn’t really even a gay date, as by the end of it we were talking about boys anyway.
I had waited to write this post about it because I wanted to have the secret revealed for the semi-blind date identity!
Luckily, she works with the green-jacket guy. Yoroshiku, ne?