I'm a fairly poor blogger; thus, it's unlikely I'll ever update on any sort of schedule. Sorry. **hangs head in shame**
Recently a friend asked to see what I'd written here as an author and she found it amusing that I began this series with How We Met as opposed to something more logical and more practical like who the hell we are. I suppose this is something a normal person would do. While I have the capacity to be reasonable, I find the concept of "normal" to be fairly boring.
I'd rather start off with a bang. For example, when I think of "who we are" I think in terms of how he ruined my pre-maritial penis collection by filling in the last slot himself or how he was so popular at a local brothel that the "hostesses" began paying him.
My friend pointed out that normal (there goes that word again) people begin with their biological origins and the impact that had on their lives. I'll begin with The Husband first... this is a very personal story, but it's essential to knowing who he is. He is a full grown man and I don't care if he'd been poky-dotted or pinstriped, I would have married him. That he's Asian, Japanese, is incidental.
The Husband was born in a small town on the northernmost island of Japan. He was a product of love rather than an arrangement and many of his relatives say that this is why his parents' marriage was doomed from the start. Love is inherently illogical and when one lives in a harsh environment, one probably needs to think more rationally when choosing a mate.
His mom was the 12th of 12 children, the unwanted bonus baby. Sadly, despite her innate intelligence, she was deemed only useful for one purpose: to catch a wealthy man. Hence, most of her post-adolescent years were spent sitting in a window wearing a kimono while her brain slowly died. When my husband speaks of how her brilliant mind was wasted, I feel like crying.
On the other side of this little town was a struggling farmer and her FOUR children, two from her first marriage and two from her second. My father-in-law was a child of the second husband; thus, he carried the surname of his mother's first husband. He, too, had a brilliant mind, but with things the way they were, the only position he could find was that of an elementary school teacher.
These two people met, fell in love, more or less eloped and planned to spend a happy life together. Everyone else said their love-marriage was cursed. Their first son, The Husband, was born early in their second year of marriage and though they struggled, they were fairly happy. Unfortunately, due to a series of miscarriages, The Husband was an only child for a very long time and as they were dirt poor, his only joy was running after the baked potato truck (like the ice cream truck in the USA) whether he had money or not.
Eight years after his birth, his younger brother was born. Finally, he had a sibling or so he thought. Sadly though, due to the illness that eventually took his mother's life, he became an eight-year-old father instead. He was responsible for feeding, changing and bathing the baby. He was also responsible for cooking while his father was away. While he was at school, he feared for his little brother's life because he knew better than anyone else that his mother could not care for a child. At the time, he thought she was a selfish bitch and he hated her. He didn't realize she was dying. The Husband not only took adult responsibility at home, he did so at school, too. In no time at all, he became the smartest kid in town.
When his brother was three and he was 11, his mother died in a large hospital in a nearby city. The Husband watched her suffer for five days and he was there when she took her last breath.
For a year after his mother's death, he and his father struggled to raise his little brother. His paternal grandmother tried to help, but she had problems of her own. Eventually, a marriage was arranged between my father-in-law and his dead wife's second cousin. The day she came to their home, their lives changed for the better.
Since his brother was so young, he had no real memories of their mother, so the transition was fairly easy for him. The Husband though still had to deal with the lingering resentment he held towards his biological mother AND he had to find a way to enter a GOOD high school, otherwise, he would be doomed. At age 12, he decided to devote all his energies to the pursuit of learning.
He eventually went to a decent high school nearby and somehow managed to enter one of the famous National (former Imperial) universities. As expected, he was nearly perfect as a student and he got a position soon after graduation. He worked hard, but ultimately he couldn't stand the dead-end life. Then he did the unthinkable: he QUIT. No one in this country walks away a life-long secure job like that. Well, he did.
He found a program that would get him to America, a country he actually despised at the time (he has no great love for it now either), and off he went. He studied hard and eventually decide to enter the university in my hometown. Again, he was the perfect student and he quickly received a master's degree. I didn't meet him until he was nearing the end of his doctorate.
When he wasn't studying, he was playing basketball. Though he a few inches short of six feet, he was fast and he could jump. The brothers also enjoyed banging into him. They didn't know how much physical pain he could take and many of them were deliberately cruel. He played every day and he used to have a Raizo-like body (it helped that he was starving at the time, too).
Until the day he realized he loved me, he said that he never ever understood why he chose to study in the Deep South. For a man who grew up in a place where winter lasts for eight months, it was crazy to go to such a hot, humid place. Anyway, after love took root, he decided that he went South in order to find me. Cupid is crazy because I wasn't even in the US for five of the six years The Husband was living in my hometown.
Our impending marriage came as a huge surprise to the Japanese community in my hometown. It wasn't because I was black. That was irrelevant. Instead, no one other than his roommate (Mr. Discretion) knew he had any interest in ANY girls. They thought he lived to study and to play basketball. It's intriguing how people only show you what they want you to see.
Furthermore, given that he is 100% Japanese, heart and soul with all the trappings, there really wasn't a rational reason for him to marry a black woman. Date? Yes. Screw? Yes. But marry? Illogical. As a guy at the Japanese immigration office said, "You two must be in love because there's absolutely no benefit in having a marriage like this." We're fine with that because love is enough for us!!!
If you're bored, I can skip over my origins. :D Crazy Blacks + Crazy Indians = Plain Craziness. This formula is self-explanatory.
Photographing The Husband is like trying to photograph an extinct species.