Tuesday, September 18, 2007


I had a very busy day yesterday but nothing that was worthy of photographing.

Tetsu started working in the yard and he worked and he worked and he worked! It's almost scary when he gets started (but it takes a lot to get him started.) He was pulling weeds, spreading gravel, washing the patio, installing lights, digging up flower beds, hauling garbage etc. etc. Like a good wife, I tried to look supportive. This is good wife by Japanese standards I'm sure. As long as one person is busy, the rest of us around have to look supportive. In my humble American opinion, I can see this principle in lots of windows in Japanese life. Sometimes it's not exactly the effiecient way to do things but it is the proper way. The PTA president and vice president work like demons and the rest of us come to all the meetings but no one says BOO or does anything. But we are all very supportive! This is true for neighborhood meetings, business meetings etc. People come but not much is accomplished or it's all been decided before the meeting anyway and we all just show up to feign interest.

On another tangent... One year when Tetsu and I were both visiting at my brother's house, one of the pipes broke in the backyard and the area was flooding and there was a huge mess. My brother and Tetsu got out the shovels and were digging major holes in the lawn and pulling out the pipe in parts and trying to refit pieces and make repairs. They were covered in mud. Well, my mother and sister-in-law and I watched for a few minutes but then announced we were on our way out shopping. My brother didn't think twice about it. What could three women do in the pit that was already filled with mud and water and Tetsu and himself? Nothing. But Tetsu was completely flabbergasted that we insensitive females would leave the menfolk in such dire straits to go out shopping. It didn't matter that we couldn't contribute to the solution, we should be standing around wringing our hands and making sympathetic noises and offering to wipe their brows or something. It was support and sympathy that we were supposed to provide and then eternal gratitude when the problem was solved! I just thought it interesting the way "support" was valued.

So.... yesterday I couldn't just sit and quilt of course. I handed Tetsu ice tea occasionally and jumped to do small jobs like hand him a screw when he "needed" me. I also had to assure him that I was suffering alongside him and I chose to do my own labor inside the house. Washed all the floors, and the doors and the screens. Vacuumed everything vacuum-able (including fans and bookshelves) and overheated the vacuum cleaner so that it stopped working for about an hour. Also in washing the screens I managed to loosen a faucet and Tetsu who was just getting ready to call it a day, had to turn off the main water valve and start doing some plumbing. He was not happy with me. Just as the faucet was at a usable point, the electricity went out but we determined the whole neighborhood had had a blow out, not just us. Tetsu and I were sweaty and dirty but I had guests coming in about a half hour so it was a cold shower for me! What a day!

Finally work was finished, the house and yard looked great and Tetsu could go off and "play" while I had my guests. BUT... he got a call from work saying there was an emergency so off he went to repair that damage. My poor husband! I'll have to make a great dinner for him tonight and tell him again how wonderful I think he is. Now THAT'S called support!


meggie said...

As usual Tanya, a lovely post, bringing smiles to my face. I love that photo of the two of you. How sweet!

Lindah said...

Neat photo! You 2 are very photogenic! As it relates to support, I'm just curious if the situation over there is the same as it is here...wifey must hand screws and nails etc to hubby, go and fetch other needed tools--and then put all away and clean up. BUT, hubby does NOT do the same for wifey as she accomplishes endless projects. :-D And cleans up after herself. hee-hee

Nadine said...

Oh, this is such a nice post - and photo - ! I love reading you, each morning. It's always, funny, inspiring, and surprising !
THANKS, Tanya !

Hugs & smiles,

anne bebbington said...

It's fascinating to read your 'take' on your adopted country and its ways Tanya - lovely photo of you both

atet said...

Tanya -- as always your post made me smile. Thank you!

The Calico Cat said...

Tetsu & I must have the same gene... It takes a bit to get me going, but when I do... (In the yard that is - I am pretty o.k. in quilting...)

Shelina said...

Wow what a day for both of you. Made me tired just reading about it!
I was a PTO president at my daughter's school, and that support thing pretty much works the same here too. The few do the work, while the rest are supposed to show support and admiration.

teodo said...

Tetsu is a Treasure.
ciao ciao

Bellydancingknitter said...

I was laughing a lot reading your post on support.

I feel the same way, if Im doing housework, I have to either have everyone else look as busy, or offering support!

That was a lot of vacuuming!