Be Nice

A strange thing happened this morning. It was so strange and so bizarre that I didn’t know what to do with myself. I even found myself asking my husband “Are we sure daughter is still here?”

You got it. This morning started off as usual. I got up very early, snuck quietly down the hallway, holding by breath as I tip-toed past darling daughter’s door, crept down the stairs and out the door, all the while praying I didn’t wake her. I went off to the gym, got my workout done, came home and alas…the house was still quiet and dark.

Strange, I thought. But somehow, so nice.

Not really entirely sure what to do with myself, I made some coffee and puttered around the kitchen. By the time the coffee was brewed and my milk warm, I realized that the house was STILL quiet, so I decided to sit down in front of the TV, open the paper and well…be civilized. I drank some coffee, relaxing, while reading the paper and listening to the news. Was it really 2007, I wondered?

Am I actually married and a mother of a 2 year old?

Is there a sleeping child upstairs?

Or is it November 2004? Is it all a dream?  Did the ghost of Christmas future come visit me and freak me out a bit and now he’s left? Or could my week be starting off this perfectly, this relaxing? This NORMAL?

Around that time was when I asked my husband if there was really a child in the house or what?

In the middle of wondering these things while relaxing as the Today Show came on, I stumbled upon an article on the front page of today’s Washington Post that is  MUST read for all KT readers because, well, it’s freaking hilarious.

Apparently a new law came into effect in Japan this past spring that entitles women who divorce their husbands to get half their husband’s pension when they retire…and get this….the divorce rate among newly retired men has shot up 6% since April. Now, this isn’t funny, of course. But the cultural attitude among these men towards their wives and their role as husbands, along with the quotes in the piece, make this a MUST READ.

Example:

“To be divorced is the equivalent of being declared dead — because we can’t take care of ourselves,” Amano said.

When his wife told him eight years ago that she was “99 percent” certain she was going to dump him, Amano said, the only things he then knew how to do in the kitchen were to fry eggs and pour boiled water over noodles.

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I’m not sure which part I like the best, the quote from our Japanese friend Amano, or the fact that his wife declared she was 99% certain she was going to divorce him.

Upon reading deeper into the piece, I learned that Japanese men view their job as husband and father to just provide for their families and have no responsibility towards emotional involvement in their families. Apparently they never tell their wives they love them, work is always a priority, they can get away with barking orders when they get home, and one woman is quoted saying she received her first birthday gift from her husband on her 60th birthday, he sent her flowers. At that time they had been married for over 30 years and had three children.

Shocking, I know.

What really seals the deal on this article, in my mind, is the fact that there is a National Chauvinistic Husbands Society in Japan, created to get men together to learn how to be nice to their wives. For real. The best part is that the association is made up entirely of men who have been nothing but chauvinistic pigs to their wives, teaching other men, how not to be chauvinistic, and learn how to be nice.

Huh?

Wouldn’t they learn more by having a few women in there to teach the course?

In case you think I’m making all this up, here’s the link, and remember….I got about 3/4 of the way through this article AND my cup of coffee this morning before my darling daughter arose. It’s gonna be a great day:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/25/AR2007112501720.html?hpid=topnews&sid=ST2007112501768

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