Friday, July 13, 2012

Friday the Thirteenth

Today is Friday, July 13th. Leiya is flying to California today, arriving a couple of days earlier than Tetsu and I.

"Maybe the plane ticket was so cheap because it is Friday the Thirteenth."

"Hey! This Friday the Thirteenth will be a great day! It's Tetsu and my 32nd wedding anniversary!"

Yep. Tetsu and I were married 32 years ago today. How long ago that seems. We met within months of my arrival in Japan and dated for two years. At first we could barely speak to each other because of my poor Japanese and Tetsu's non-existent English. (It is still non-existent by the way.) We double dated with a Japanese-Venezuelan couple who spoke to each other in Spanish and by a very round-about way (two translations... from Japanese to Spanish, from Spanish to English) somehow communicated. Talk about Lost in Translation! Often I would carry a Japanese-English Bible with me and would try to point to words I wanted to convey (not all 1 Corinthians 13).

About a year into dating Tetsu started bringing up marriage.

"Um... No. You're a nice guy and I may be falling in love but I do not plan to spend my life in Japan."

For another year we dated and at regular intervals I refused Tetsu's proposals. I could think of all sorts of reasons why marriage wouldn't work! I did not want to live in Japan, Tetsu had never even been to the States, he wasn't Christian, I planned to return to America in two years, we barely understood each other. One of the words I taught Tetsu during our dating months was "impractical".

"The idea of us marrying is just too impractical!" And so we dated...

Our dating revolved around Sundays when we both had the day off... but of course I attended church.

"Okay. Let's meet at a coffee shop near the church in the afternoon."

Later it became,

"Okay, I'll meet you at the church gate after the service."

And gradually attending church together became part of our dating routine. Tetsu was baptized the year before we were married.

The next step was to introduce Tetsu to my family, so he joined me on one of my trips home.

"OH~~!" said everybody. "Tanya's bringing a boyfriend from Japan! Is this something serious?"

Yes, and no. I really felt it was necessary for Tetsu to see where I had grown up, experience what type of atmosphere I had lived in, and meet my friends and family before we could think about anything long-term. Just my telling him about my life before meeting him didn't seem enough...

So Tetsu and I spent one week together in the States while my family waited for us to spring important news.... and we went back to Japan without a word being said.

"What was THAT all about?" was my mother's comment.

But a couple months later I did accept Tetsu's proposal and we were married later that summer. I'm sure many people thought we were being impractical, still a language barrier there... but our families never expressed opposition.

Today's picture is of our wedding invitation. Again, I knew that none of my American friends were going to make it to our wedding, and many had never and might never meet Tetsu, so I wanted to include a picture.

By the way, the invitations were sepia colored when ordered... We're old but not THAT old.  Maybe we are... Who ARE those people?!

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