"working on my faults and cracks..."

8.03.2007

Prose Before Hos


"How tall are you?"

"Is your hair natural?"

"...American size?"



All questions I'm used to hearing, but the one that really boils my blood happens when some rotted snaggletooth at the bar ashes his fifth cigarette of the hour and leans in close. I'm not sure what's worse; the expectant question burning on his one-track mind, or the greasy fried fish and cheap shochu on his breath, staining the smug grin spread across chapped, smoker lips.
Aww shit. He asks anyway.

"Dsu yuu raiku zha Jyapaneezu gyaru?"

I've come to accept that this creepy old fart, and others like him aren't putting in an inquiry to my personal opinion, as their tone does not belie their intentions; rather, they are making an affirmation-seeking question that Japanese girls are somehow different and therefore better than the women from anywhere else in the world. Sure, I know they're often just curious about what I think, or that they may have a "cute friend" who is "interested in studying English" blah blah blah. But come on Japan, kind of a stupid question isn't it? I mean, what do you think of American girls--with their long legs and pointy noses? Well then, what do you think of Mexican girls or Russian girls? Or what about mermaids or female blood elves? I mean, cripes people, what do you expect me to say? And since when did my opinion on something so trivial ever matter? Would you be so disappointed to hear that I think they're just regular girls? Contrary to the stereotypes you've led yourselves to believe, Japanese girls are not all that different from the girls anywhere else on this planet. Some of them are infinitely sweet, and some of them make Ann Coulter look like Mother Theresa. Some of them are fashion divas, and some of them think that Versace is a hidden character in Kingdom Hearts. Some of them are a bit chubby, and some of them wouldn't know a curry doughnut if it bit them in the ass. Some of them are 40 year-old virgins, and some of them already have a steady boyfriend. And point cards for his dad's friends. Some of them are under 5 feet tall...and uh...some of them are uh...hmm...Well, never mind.
Anyway, you get the idea. Your women are not anomalies of the spectrum, they are just a part of it, like everybody else. Ad nausem.

So, with the exception of the outdated uniform practices (which is more likely than not, directly related to a certain 'societal' epidemic), I shouldn't be expected to have more of an opinion on Japanese girls than I do for canned cafe mocha, bamboo staves, sticky notes, or arroz con pollo for crissakes.

But for every drunken salaryman, every sneering college kid, and every well-meaning buddy back home, rather than give them the satisfaction of the answer they so desire, I have compiled a short list of ambiguous and generic responses based on a small sampling of firsthand cultural experience, which I plan to employ the next time one of you reprobates deem it necessary to hijack my worthless opinions. Interpret at will.


So Japan, you wanna know what I think? Fine.
Well, for starters, I think...

* I think "cute" is great fun to admire from afar. But also, the hollow shell on the seed of vapid attraction, and thus is not an acceptable epicenter of fashion, or beauty.

* I think the best way to meet a girl in Japan is to either teach her English, buy her a drink in some pathetic gaijin bar, or to run her over at a crosswalk with your bicycle. I think these are not acceptable options.

* I think brown hair is a neon billboard for insecurity.

* I think powder blue pumps are a stupid choice for a girl to wear with red overalls. Actually, I think anything is a stupid choice to wear with overalls, unless you're a plumber, or planning to attend a benefit dinner for the blind.

* I think the train is not an appropriate place to put on one's face--regardless of how much makeup is used.

* I think each Cecil McBee mini-skirt purchase should include complimentary designer pepper spray, because if your trendy women aren't going to take responsibility for dressing to a 'role', they need to at least be aware that Japan is not as safe as everybody wants to think it is.

* I think a smile is a terrible thing to waste behind a handkerchief. I know it's a modesty issue, but 1707 was like a million years ago.

* I think oral communication via shrieking, chirping, whimpering, squealing, or any other form of auditory diarrhea not found in a proper dictionary, is for dolphins.

* I think there is more to life than Disneyland.

* I think there is more to life than babies. Especially those from a foreigner.

* I think one should learn how to properly speak one's own native language before setting foot in a foreign language.

* I think I could die a happy man if I never had to hear pigeon-toeing high heels echo down a hollow subway stairwell again.

* And lastly, I think it's sad when a disproportionately large proportion of a certain demographic opt to value superficial status in handbags, kawaii, boyfriends, English, English-speaking boyfriends, kawaii English-speaking boyfriends, kawaii English-speaking boyfriends that buy them handbags, etc., over sexier alternatives like one's own 'personality', 'opinion', and 'creativity'.



Yes Japan, that's right. And no, you can put that away--I don't think "oh snap" is going to be in your electronic dictionary.

But as a whole Japan, while I agree that you and all the residents on your tiny island are very uniquely Japanese, I think all these stereotypes ('moe' and 'OL' expectations, anyone?) you expect me to buy into are very uniquely bullshit representations of a greater global populace; your girls are still just girls, Tokyo is still just a city, and your island is still just an island.
So, as I hop down from my soapbox, how about we get your girls off their ridiculous pedestals and go back to ordering me another gin & tonic eh?
Yes, with lime.

C-c-c-combo breaker!

 
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