Gam has an affinity towards all things Japanese. She studied Karate in Asia, taught in the States, rocks a mean kata and has an entire apartment littered with oversized geisha wall hangings and sake sets–rivaled only by cat toys and that one photo of me sitting naked on a log when I was 3. Don’t ask.

So, when my weekend plans happened to involve an impromptu get together with an old friend who just happens to be half Japanese, it makes its way into conversation.

“So what big fun do you have planned for tomorrow?”

“Oh–I’m just meeting an old friend for coffee. Nothing big.”

“You’re going on a date?

“No, Gam–it’s not a date. But he is half Japanese.”



“Well, you’d better get prepared for this!!”


“You’d better believe it. Ok. Now listen carefully to what I am about to say to you.”

“Okay . . .”

“Now. You will go on your date. And you will put on your lipstick, and this is what you will say to him–”


“Co-mee-chi-wah. That means ‘how are you’ in Japanese.”

“Gam–he speaks English.”

“Jenny, are you writing this down?”

“Yes Gam.”

[I’m lying.]

“As I was saying. You will sit down across from him and you will say to him, Co-mee-chi-wah.”

“Gam. He doesn’t speak Japanese.”

“Now you repeat it back to me.”

[Sigh] “Co-mee . . . Gam. I’m sorry, I really didn’t write it down.”

“And you wonder why you are single?”

That day, I learned how to say “how are you,” “nice to meet you,” “thank you,” and “you are very handsome” in Japanese. None of which I tried out on poor Thomas. Maybe next time he comes back to CO to visit, if only to make him laugh. If only to tell her I tried. And if only to remind myself why I am still single. 🙂


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