Once Upon a Tanbo

Connection Inspection

Posted on: October 22, 2008

Relationships interest me. I think that I am insatiably curious about people and how they work – it would explain the degree in psychology which currently has no other use except to buffer my resume.

Anyways, I’m veering off… usually when I feel comfortable enough with a friend to ask a semi-personal question I will ask how they met their partner. I think I’ve written in this blog about how I met Ryohei, but I’m not sure if I talked about the connection that we had right off the bat, if that makes any sense. I’m glad that we did though, because maybe the day after I met him, I recognized he was going to be an important person in my life (although just HOW important I may not have realized at the time) and I replayed that meeting him with him over enough times that despite the passing time I have some pretty clear memories of it.

I met him at a time in a life when I was quite… free… I suppose you could say. Before coming to Japan I had just gotten out of a long and complicated on and off relationship, and let me say that releasing me in that state on the unsuspecting young men of Japan may have not been such a great idea. (lol) I think at one point before I met Ryohei I had lined up dates with 5 or 6 guys in as many days. Not that they were “dates” just going out with various guys I had met at clubs or sitting next to my table at a café, or on the street… (ahem) Anyways, all of these guys were disappointing in one way or another. Although most were cute and some were fun to talk to, none of them really left me with much of an impression and I don’t think I saw most of them more than once. But to be honest, I don’t think I was particularly looking for a serious relationship (and none of them got past 1st base btw) so when I met Ryohei (friend of a friend) I wasn’t really expecting anything to be different.

But of course, it was. It wasn’t that it was instant fireworks the moment that we saw each other. I was in my suit since it had been culture festival day at my school (I was working as a teacher then) and not presentable and he was hung over from a night out of drinking before. We had emailed before we met, but there was no flirting or anything, pretty much just I’m meeting up with some friends want to come?

So we ended up going to the little okonomiyaki restaurant near my house. (I had been the one who invited him when a guy I seriously had been lusting after cancelled on me last minute) It was four of us, my other American friend and a mutual Japanese friend of ours. He vaguely knew OF me from our mutual friend, but we hadn’t met before and he hadn’t met the two other girls. BUT in true Ryohei form he was friendly, polite (he offered my friend his jacket when she was cold) and he made me laugh. He lived over an hour from me and I remember trying to think of ways to make him miss the last try home so that he wouldn’t have to leave so soon. And we ended up going to karaoke with… this random (loud) guy.. and then somewhere it came down to the three of us (me, random man, and Ryohei) all spending the night at my friends house – she lived about 2 mins from me but my place was an absolute mess and there was no way I would have boys come over. (one of the reasons some of the previous guys were stalled at first – lol)

But I was still in my damned suit, so I ran home for a quick shower first and when I had changed into my pajamas and brought a blanket with me to her house she was siddled up next to Ryohei on the couch and I felt jealousy twinges. I was absolutely not interested in the other guy, and neither was she so he ended up realizing there wasn’t any play going for him and fell asleep on the floor while Ryohei sat sandwiched between my friend and I on the couch while we put on some movie… I think he was totally freaked out because he had his hands in lap and was barely moving lol. I guess I can’t blame him – we were speaking all English and she obviously was slightly interested in him and… I, well I just fought the urge to put my head on the shoulder of a guy I just barely met (I’m not very touchy with people I don’t know (when sober) so this should have been my first sign, d’oh!).

Finally – the movie ended and she went to bed in her room, leaving Ryohei and I alone in the living room (with sleeping random guy). Obviously, nothing happened. We went to the separate couches and said good night. Poor Ryohei had some commitment the next morning so he had to leave super early and I of course would sleep through everything. He also tells me now that when he said good night to me he really wanted to give me a kiss on the forehead. (aww) I had wanted to kiss him too… but it just seemed too sudden and too soon.

The next day, I went back to my usual business… I had a “double date” that night with the friend from the night before and we ended up in a private karaoke box liquored up and playing the “Ousama (King) Game” – where you pretty much can make anyone do anything with the other players, with two very tall, attractive men. So there was a lot of… “action” going on, but the whole time I was thinking that I had been happier last night with average looking, average sized nice guy Ryohei. So after taking the last train home, I drunk mailed him with “I’m drunk” (sigh- not one of my prouder moments) Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve drunk mailed guys before, but usually it just ended with a mail back usually with the kind of context that I would not write on here and that usually got a big ignore from me. I am/was not an (ahem) seeking physical gratification girl as much as a seeking emotional gratification one.

Anyways I figured that Ryohei would send the same type of mail and I’d see him for his “true colors” and wash my hands of it. I was incredibly surprised to hear my phone ring instead. He actually called me because he was so concerned. And we talked for at least 2 hours that night… and the next and the next and so on. We had agreed to meet up the next Saturday in Osaka to eat dinner but then slowly with each phone call it grew into an all day date at the Osaka Aquarium which then led to an all night of dancing/ him worrying about me and renting an all night karaoke booth just so that I could sleep off my alcoholic haze to a morning of him taking me (very hungover) the 2 hours back from Southern Osaka to my apartment on the first train of the day.

Through the hazy memories of that morning, I realized how happy and lucky I was to have him there with me. From that day forward, I don’t think there has been a day that has passed when we haven’t had some sort communication with each other. Even when we found out less than 6 weeks after we started dating that he would go to Tokyo, we still kept up our relationship. After me swearing up and down before I would never ever do LD again. And then when his job in Tokyo was hell on earth, he listened to me and bit down the last fragments of his Japanese man pride and quit his company to come and live with me and study for the komuin exams…

And now he’s landed his dream job despite the doubts of his parents, friends, and ex-coworkers, and he’s landed me – the demanding but hopefully amusing American girl that gives him crap about stupid things but is excited as a puppy whenever he comes home from work at night.

So many of my friends tell me that I’ve got a great catch and I believe them. Yah, there are days when I would like to have him sleeping on the couch… or maybe even the street… but the days where he makes me smile and laugh outnumber them so much more. I try not to think too hard of the future, I know that our relationship is still young and despite some trials we’ve passed already there will probably be even more to navigate in the future. But, I think we bring out the best in each other and he is my family. The best one I’ve got.

(I want this feeling to be written down and out there for the days when I wonder why the heck I got myself into this kokusai kekkon business in the first place.)

Happy Anniversary to us.

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18 Responses to "Connection Inspection"

What a wonderful post. I got all gooey just reading it. And congratulations on your anniversary- are you doing anything special?

Was the Osaka date the one that changed it from what if?? to this is it! ? (I love hearing people’s stories, too!)

Not sure whether you want to hear all our stories here or not so I’ll leave it but I will say there are some very scary parallels between my story and yours!

Beautiful Sarah! Happy anniversary to you and Ryohei both.

You know the story of how Shun & I met- but there are definitely parallels in our stories also except it was my gay friend Douglas who also took a shine to Shun! Was it Ana that you were with that night??

It is a lovely story- I think the last paragraph starting With "So many of my friends…"is so true, for all of us. And you and Ryohei, while I did not know you before you met, definitely bring out the best in each other I am sure.

Lovely lovely post Sara- A great tribute to the relationship you and Ryohei share!

Beautiful Sarah! Happy anniversary to you and Ryohei both.

You know the story of how Shun & I met- but there are definitely parallels in our stories also except it was my gay friend Douglas who also took a shine to Shun! Was it Ana that you were with that night??

It is a lovely story- I think the last paragraph starting With "So many of my friends…"is so true, for all of us. And you and Ryohei, while I did not know you before you met, definitely bring out the best in each other I am sure.

Lovely lovely post Sara- A great tribute to the relationship you and Ryohei share!

I loved hearing this story again, it made me feel all lovey dovey for Naoki, rofl!!! Happy anniversary to you both! I’m sure what ever mountains you guys face in the future, you will be able to overcome them together!

I loved hearing this story again, it made me feel all lovey dovey for Naoki, rofl!!! Happy anniversary to you both! I’m sure what ever mountains you guys face in the future, you will be able to overcome them together!

What a great anniversary post. Have a great anniversary and many, many more!

What a great anniversary post. Have a great anniversary and many, many more!

happy anniversary!

happy anniversary!

FukaFuka – Ohhh… now you've peaked my curiousity!! I'd love to hear the tale of your deai but perhaps I'll wait until we can talk face to face for it!! I love it when my life parallels others – so cool! The Osaka date was where he asked me to be his girlfriend (on the top of a ferris wheel!) and we haven't looked back since!

Lulu – Nope it wasn't Ana. I didn't even know here then. It was a different friend who has also left Japan by now. I'm sad that you didn't get to spend much time with the "two" of us during your visit, although I had forgotten all about going to okonomiyaki near my house together! We went again the other night, and Ryohei was like, last time we were here was with Lulu. (lol where is my mind going?) I can't wait to see you & Shumpei!! I still haven't talked to him enough to satisfy my curiousity. And I love that your gay friend took a shine to him before you 😉

Nay – go be mushy and gooey with your husband now Nay!! Seeing how happy in love the two of you were made me miss Ryo so bad while I was visiting ;P

Trisha – thank you!! I hope to have many more, but i may need advice from sempais like you to get there lol

illahee – oh noooo…. comment overlap! thank you!! you have two very important anniversaries coming up soon as well right 😀

Happy Anniversary! Do you have any plans to celebrate? Dinner, dancing, karaoke?

It`s obvious you have found yourself, as my grandmother would say, “A Keeper”. Lovely story.

Very cute story! Much cuter than mine (a guy I was kinda sorta dating off and on — a completely messed up relationship (to put it extremely lightly) — actually introduced me to my husband and sort of set us up, lol. How do you explain that to your kids? My excuse is that the Kunming scene is kind of small and everyone knows everyone else!) … although ours does have its cute elements too, once we got past the initial meeting. Maybe I’ll tell the whole thing on my blog come our anniversary … see, you’ve started a trend!

Happy anniversary, I hope there are many many more in store for you down the road.

Oh Sara, what a lovely way to share your soul and mate with us! Ten years later… I want to hear this again, okay, over coffee? (or a bottle of wine, tequila– take your pick)!

He is your Mc Dreamy, your Mr. Big “wink”!

Happy Anniversary Sara = ) sorry I am late getting over here!

No worries..my husband surfed sofa city a few times but usually made his way into bed after he “THOUGHT” he knew I was sleeping…

What will you do? Will you celebrate this weekend? Get a cake for the both of you to share?

Tigermama – Yes we have plans!! We are going out next Weds. since that is Ryoheis day off (and I’m taking off work!) We aren’t doing karaoke – but we both LOVE IT! Esp. me… I feel I may hog the mic!

Jessica – Ohh! I want to hear/red your story! It sounds really interesting! When is your anniversary?

Girl Japan – Haha ok… coffee/tequilla date in 10 years… I’ll probably need it by then lol

We are going to Kobe’s Nunobiki Herb Garden http://www.shinkoberopeway.com/
for the day on Weds. I get free passes through work and a 1500 yen coupon off the restaraunts so it should be fun! We haven’t had any sofa nights yet – we actually made a promise to eachother that we would try to sleep in the same bed even if we were angry… we’ll see how long that will last lol

What a sweet anniversary post!
Have a wonderful anniversary! ❤

We had ours last month and we went up to Kobe 🙂

Corrina in Kagoshima
(http://www.flickr.com/photos/rei_rei/)

What a great post! Congrats on the anniversary. xx

Corrina – Thanks!! Ohhh what did you do/see in Kobe!!

Midori – Thanks sweetie! Hope things are going well with you!

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