Now, the above statement is a laugh in itself, as the Japanese are so modest that they refuse to admit that they even love their spouses. To them, admitting it is an embarrassment, and seen as showy, immodest, or forward. Often, I'll ask my students (fully knowing what the answer will be) a question like: 'So does your wife cook well?' to which the reply will always be, 'No.' whether she, in reality, cooks well or not.
Tonight, though, feeling a bit amorous about Jono coming tomorrow, and a bit lazy about wanting to actually do real teaching, decided to have a conversation about love. I wanted them to tell me about how they met their spouses, as well as advice for relationships. Just for fun.
Their answers made me DIE! We laughed so loud and so hard, but often, the advice, though worded poorly (if their English teacher would only actually teach instead of muck around) was good, good stuff. Worth sharing.
"Misokatsu. Misonikomi. At Yamamoto-ya in Chunichi Bldg. In Sakae. Eat there. It is Nagoya special food."
(in essence, she wants me to feed Jono, possibly noting that the quickest way to a man's heart is, in any language, through his stomach)
"You should do natural. Wendy is very cute. Please have a natural action and attitude."
(basically, be yourself)
Aiko (with two pieces of advice):
"Don't show your navel to him!"
(as I had just demonstrated what a six-pack was)
"You need to feeling for believe to himself. You have to feeling to believe him - trust."
(trust him, which was, by chance, the best advice I received the whole evening)
"Request 100% percentage to your lovers. Don't request 100% to him. Don't expect perfect - he can't get. I, Jono, you want 100%... don't."
(Yama, who chooses not to try to improve on his spoken English, is my lowest speaker, but after a bit of questioning, I recognized that he was advising me to not expect 100% from anyone. in the end, the advice was that nobody is perfect)
"Having kind.... heart. Take care of him. Use a tenderly heart."
(later, when I asked Takako if she treats her husband with a kind heart, she replied with a fierce 'no!')
Now, there was much more noted in this conversation, as the events of my love life have become a favorite conversation with my ESOL learners. This night, though, was all about them, an their great advice, which made me laugh, think seriously, and be glad for such fortune in my life.