I begrudgingly embrace this fact.
I AM VERY, VERY, VERY OLD. (45)
I spent last Sunday at an event with some Japanese college students. The day was fine. Everyone did their jobs. We took a lunch break together.
(Free food always tastes better!)
I was surprised when a pretty college girl looked in my direction. In fact, she glanced my way more than once.
(And, she did not look like she wanted English lessons, my friends.)
One of her friends joked, “Hey, you should go over there and talk to him (me)?”
(My hopes along with my Grey, Grizzled, And Gaijin-fueled ego got bigger!)
I rarely talk to women; er, they rarely talk to me. It comes with being Grey, Grizzled, And Gaijin (A Slang Term for Foreigner).
She shook her head.
THE WOMAN; WITHOUT MISSING A BEAT, SAID, “NO WAY! HE’S A ‘GRANDPA.’”
(And, my hopes of (insert whatever) were CRUSHED. )
Worse, an older woman next to me laughed at me. I mean she LAUGHED and LAUGHED. I wanted to tell her off.
But, I didn’t.
You see the older woman sitting beside me was (is) my lovely wife.
After the event, my wife and I were driving back to our home. We had another good chuckle about my ‘would be’ mistress.
Alas, I am ‘stuck’ with my wife.
(For the record, I love my wife a lot. She loves me “a little…(mostly on payday.” (lol))
I mentioned to my wife we were like ’old shoes.’ We go together.
My wife really laughed.
“HEY, I COULD CHEAT ON YOU! I AM A MAN AFTER ALL!”
(MY CLEVER WIFE, LIKE THE COLLEGE GIRL AT THE EVENT, DID NOT MISS A BEAT.)
“BUT, YOU’RE A ZEBRA.”
Why a ‘zebra’ you are thinking…
When I first got married, I worried about cheating on my wife.
Well, not really worried…
But I wondered if I would not end up like some of the other married long-term expats who I knew. I assume most men who cheat on their wives don`t intentionally set out on such a path.
NOW, I DON’T WANT TO PAINT THIS STORY AS IF EVERY LONG-TERM, MARRIED FOREIGN MAN IS CHEATING ON THEIR WIVES.
(At least, I hope they don’t.)
Still, it happens.
I knew (and do know) folks who went down that dark path.
(Most of their wives know. And, they don’t seem to care. But that’s another post.)
“WHAT IF I CHEATED ON YOU?”
(MY WIFE LAUGHED.)
“YOU ARE A ZEBRA. YOU MIGHT LOOK AT THE LION(ESSES), BUT YOU WOULD NEVER EAT THEM. YOU LOVE VEGETABLES.”
“BUT, WHAT IF THE LION(ESS) COMES AFTER ME?”
“YOU ARE A ZEBRA. YOU ARE FAST ENOUGH TO RUN AWAY.”
It bothered me that my wife thought there was ZERO chance I would cheat on her in our marriage. I was a red-blooded American male after all!
(There is ZERO chance I would cheat on my wife. I don’t have it in me.)
TOO, I HAD SEEN FAR GREATER MEN THAN I DESTROY THEIR FAMILIES AND OWN LIVES WITH INFIDELITY AND STUPID LIFE CHOICES.
Yet; my wife was/is no fool. She also reminded me she would end me if I cheated on her.
(Back to my opening story)
While the pretty college coed mocked me for being “old,” I realized something.
SHE WAS YOUNG.
Young in years.
But, more, she was young in life (experience).
(As in, she had little to none.)
I watched her interact with her friends for the next few minutes as I finished eating my free bento. They talked about fashion, college classes and their karaoke plans.
And, I realized something else.
For as much as I lament getting old(er), I am glad my wife are like ‘old’ shoes, and that:
I AM CONTENT TO BE AN OLD(ER) ZEBRA.