Sunday, 7 March 2010

Failed Oyomesan

Feel pretty tired and emotional. But tomorow is a busy day, and Tuesday - so I feel I should record here...for the posterity of Foreign Oyomesans.

Got wine here. Got kittens bouncing off the furniture.

Weekend a deux started so-so.

I cooked the table-top stew Yujiro had kindly left for us Saturday night. Okaasan still wasn't home by 7.15 pm. So I sat alone in the kitchen and ate it. She came home at 7.50 pm, so I came downstairs again and served her - and after a bit of cursory chat I made my "England phonecall excuse" and left her. I worked all day Saturday and I am not going to give up more of my time waiting around for this lady to come home. Going up and down the stairs between 6.30 pm and 8 pm to see if she is there and preparing dinner in 2 stages is a major hassle.

Sunday morning we chatted in the kitchen about stuff. About 11 am I heated up the pork and veggies stew (Yujiro cooked) and did rice and chopped pickled vegetables for her.
SHE gave me half a papaya (when did she buy this and with what money?) which was nice. We sat for a while at the kitchen table eating together.
I told her I'd be out tonight with a friend and that she should maybe have dinner out OR I'd leave something for her. All seemed ok.
But I finally had to get up and busy myself with fake "the laundry has dried" in the utility room because when Okaasan chats on and on about Kawagoe and wartime - she isn't eating and the food in front of her is going cold. Yujiro usually gently reminds her about the food in front of her - I don't have that I feel if I move away from the table - which of course is pretty rude while she is eating - she will stop chatting and actually eat.
So I scooped up some "laundry" and headed upstairs to hang it.

During the afternoon I prepped classes for the coming week. Ate some soup for lunch. Cleared snow. Hung real dried laundry. Unplugged stuff from the vacumn cleaner pipe. Vacumed. Devised new games for kittens. Did my accounts for February. Gosh - I actually MADE money in 2009-10 despite endless UK trips. Sorted out the futon where the kittens had PEEED on it - oh they smell Bob-cat?

At 3.15 pm the sun was out. I did some washing in the kitchen.
I'd asked Yujiro to write a note for Okaasan before he left to say: "Amanda is out tonight, so you should eat out when you are out shopping". I left that on the kitchen table. In case the weather was bad again and she  didn't go out I left tofu and a packet of chilli tofu sauce on the counter next to the pork/veggies soup.

I escaped. Off to the hair salon. Off to the garage to book a renta-car for tomorrow because I have heavy student diaries to carry and private lessons to get to in the suburbs. Off to meet a dear friend for dinner downtown.

When I was in the garage booking the renta-car it was snowing heavily.
Would Okaasan actually go out tonight?
I didn't think so.
I called Yujiro at the ski school and suggested he call Okaasan around 7 pm and check she was ok for either dinner out - or able to do the chilli tofu pack herself. He sounded uncertain about the chilli/tofu ability. We had a tense phone conversation.

By the time I got to Starbucks in central Sapporo to meet Dear Friend. I was getting lower and lower about all of this shit. I cried on the subway.
At 7 pm Yujiro said he'd called Okaasan and she wasn't happy about being told so late there was no dinner being cooked and that she'd have to go out. Of course. She'd forgotten that I'd told her earlier about me going out. He said maybe she'd forget or maybe I should do some apologies when I next see her etc.
I SHOULD have told her again at 3.30 pm. But I didn't. I just left the note and escaped.

I cried buckets in Starbucks. Dear Friend held my hand and said all the right things. But I came apart big time.
I hate this whole Oyomesan life. I want to give my energy to my man, my job, my friends, my family (what remains of it), my kittens, my garden, my life. I don't care about this woman downstairs. I really don't. It's like another job I have to do.
And this week I had a long week. And Saturday night to tonight just feels like another job.

I am so not good at all of this.
All I had to do was remind her again. And combine the chilli sauce and the tofu. But I didn't. I took the easy way out and hoped that one statement at lunchtime would stay in her brain until evening. It didn't. Bugger.
Now she isn't happy. He feels I didn't do a good job. And I feel resentment to him that he buggered off for the weekend again - leaving me to rent a car for MY work while he did one day of ski race supervising and stayed two nights all happily in the ski school lodge.
I'm not the only one running away from responsibilities here.

I actually look forward to going off to English conversation classes tomorrow - nice safe, happy chats about recent news topics, my students lives...vocabulary.

I hate being Oyomesan.

I so hope I get Sony Music tickets to see Adam Lambert in Tokyo March 15th. I need it.


  1. I hope you get them too. You deserve a break!

  2. Hey,hey, hey. It will all be OK. And she is an old woman and wont remember - just you remind hub about EVERYTHING. You do a LOT more than he does. I will be so writing similar posts in xx amount of years when Granny K starts losing it.

    You deserve a lot of whatevers - good wishes, nice coffees, yummy wines....I would have cried buckets at starbucks too - into a sakura steamer of course.