Monday, 11 July 2011

There are PEOPLE in my home :-(

FORTY people (more?) came to lunch yesterday in our the grassy space under the subway the street outside the house....
My was a large BBQ. First guest arrived at 11 am and I think everyone left by 8 pm.

Yujiro seemed to have invited anyone he has ever met, while I limited myself to English teacher friends (including Vicky and her family and friends of Hyotenka), and students-I-don't-mind-getting-drunk-in-front-of, Couch Surfing friends and actual...well FRIENDS.

Lots of meat and fish, and great salads brought by guests, and CARROT CAKE, and snacks and cheese and fruit...and..and...

Okaasan - who is after all, supposedly, meant to be half this blog?
She went out about 12.30 - with Yujiro's encouragement. Enough money to lunch and shop...and off she trotted. She made sure several times that nobody was going to use her room or its TV...and then threw a blanket all over her sofa to cover the jumble of underwear all over it - because from the kitchen you can see all of this.
I find this reaction interesting - she KNOWS its messy and shouldn't be seen by guests...but doesn't do anything, ever, to clean it up.

Great BBQ...(thanks to Akira-san for these guest pix cos I guess should preserve people's privacy...)

By 6.30 pm I was so knackered. Felt I'd spent all day going in and out of the house carrying stuff, prepping food, washing dishes, sorting trash....
Yujiro was starting cooking even more food for the 10 or so guests who were still there - I made my excuses and "went home" by coming back up to our second floor apartment. Found one cat bug-eyed and nervous in the closet. The other was nowhere to be seen. Collapsed in front of the TV.

About 7.15 pm I looked out the window for the missing cat...but I suddenly saw Okaasan...way out across the carparking area the other side of the subway line. Standing there, holding her shopping bag. Looking at the house.
Can I come home? There are still people in my house/garden?
She could of course see and hear the BBQ Hold Outs gathered round the grill.
I didn't go downstairs...let Yujiro welcome his own mother back and see to her dinner needs. I'd switched off for the day.

About 7.45 pm I looked out the window again for the still missing cat.
Okaasan was STILL there in the parking lot across the subway line.
Looking at the house.
She hadn't come back. People in the house. So she stood there for half an hour in the dark in a construction company parking lot.

Oyomesan Confession: I did nothing. I went back to watching TV. Yes, I felt bad for her. Yes, an 80 year old lady shouldn't be standing in the dusk waiting to be allowed home. Yes, I am entirely selfish. I was knackered and zoned out of Yujiro and his BBQ and his mother and ...and ...and...
If it had actually been minus 5 and snowing I think I might have gone and fetched her in.
But it was a balmy evening. And I didn't want to have to start thinking about what to cook for her dinner. I wanted her to come back home past Yujiro so that HE would have to put his brain in gear and look after his mother. And hopefully the Hold Out Guests would finally take the hint and go home...
So I went back to watching TV........
I am entirely selfish.

I think Okaasan did come home shortly after - and the Hold Out Guests left by 8 pm, Yujiro attended to Okaasan's needs and cleared the last of the garden stuff. 
The missing cat came home.
We stumbled around in exhaustion for a bit.
Fell into bed by 8.45 pm. 9.15 pm an invited guest called my cell phone..."I'm just outside your house! I just came for the BBQ...but I guess it's finished? ok..bye!"..........................

What are we to do with Okaasan and this Guests in the House situation? Being a bit shy and not wanting to join in parties is understandable. But surely she can come home and just say "hello" to people as she is walking to the front door and heading into her room etc?
WHY this over-reaction of waiting in the street near the house until the coast is clear before coming home? She did this at least twice last year too. Or coming home and then entering the house through the living room door windows? It's so....what?...childish????
Of course we say to Okaasan many times - you don't HAVE to go out, but if you do...just come home any time and you don't have to join the party...just greetings and go inside...of course...


We don't have a lot of people at the house. Well, okay - today was 40 plus, and last weekend was 15. But that is probably it for this month. After that it'll be one or two friends at most. We need our social life. 

I hate to think of the huge negative thoughts building in Okaasan's brain after the stress of I Can't Go Home to My Home Because There Are People There.

I should have gone out and been all welcoming to her and brought her home....

I didn't.

Oyomesan minus points. A whole bunch of them.


  1. I wouldnt feel bad. I dont know why Okaasan was that way, but with dementia, who know what she was thinking... It was probably best that Y went and got his own mom anyways... nothing wrong with having ppl over... No loss of points for oyome-san!

  2. The whole thing was really good fun though! Thank you very much for inviting us. Your house is nice - so close to the city and yet itself is in a very quiet area, and a lot of space for Sapporo, too! And your garden - lovely! Roses - GORGEOUS!

    You are welcome to put our pics up on your blog if you want. I am going to put a blog post up later today and I was going to use your pic and S's too. Now I'm worried and think I should check - so is that OK with you? Of course Yujiro's monkey butt shot is going in!!!!

  3. Thankyou for the does make me wonder about her thoughts living here with us.
    Also I've read of dementia sufferers standing up in the middle of a family party and announcing they are going home...or standing off to one side at a gathering of friends and looking unconnected to the event held for them...I think there is a loss of social skills going on...a loss of confidence...self-image...something strange.
    Okaasan was/is a sociable woman...not a shy thing - so this People Avoiding to such lenghts is strange.