Cultural Differences

The woman who works in the office at work is Japanese (as in actually born and raised in Japan). I’ve posted a couple of stories, years ago, about a few times when she had a little trouble with our language or ways of doing things, such as this example. After things are explained to her, she usually questions why things are done, or said, that way.

I rarely have the answer.

Yesterday, however, the tables were turned and I was the one left wondering why she said something that she did.

I have been congested and coughing for almost a week now. Well, yesterday I was in the tech room and I felt a sneeze coming. There were no tissues in the tech room, so I tried to hold it in. I was only partially successful. A little bit of snot came out. I looked around, found a paper towel, and wiped my nose.

It was bleeding.

I held the paper towel in place and walked to the office to get a tissue because the paper towel was rough and hurting my nose. She asked what happened. I told her. Then she said, “It’s probably from all that porn you watch.”

Ummm…. what?

First of all, I don’t watch porn. Not anymore, anyway. Although, even when I was younger I only watched a couple. It’s not that I have anything against porn, it’s just that I don’t care about any sex that doesn’t involve me.

Second, even if I did watch porn, I sure wouldn’t do it at work. Having my coworkers around would be a pretty big mood killer.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, why would watching porn give me a nose bleed? How would watching porn give me a nose bleed? What connected the two things? Did I even want to know the answer to these questions?

Probably not.

So, I just let it drop and walked away. When I got back to the tech room, one of the techs, who saw me walk out holding the paper towel to my nose, asked me what happened. I told him. Then I mentioned the comment made by the woman in the office.

“Yeah, that’s a thing in Japan apparently,” he told me. “In just about every anime that I’ve watched, any time a man sees a woman naked, their nose starts gushing blood.”

Again… why? I would think that if watching porn was going to make a man start gushing fluids, it wouldn’t be blood and it wouldn’t be coming from his nose. Unless, of course, the bloody nose is supposed to be a metaphor for that.

I suppose the easiest way to get the answers to these questions is to ask the woman in the office about it. I won’t be doing that, however. I realize that she’s the one who brought it up, but, depending on the answer, it might make for an uncomfortable conversation for me to be having with someone who is technically my boss.

I think I’ll leave well enough alone for now and hope someone reading this will tell me in the comments.

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It Shouldn’t, But It Does

I’ll admit that when I was younger, I was a very bad sore loser. I would get incredibly angry when I’d lose at something. It was especially bad when I’d lose at a video game against one of my brothers. This was especially vexing for me because they’re both better at video games than I am. Well, in general, anyway. I’m sure there’s a video game out there that I’m better at.

As I’ve grown older, that sore loser streak in me has lessened and, for the most part, is gone. I still have those moments, though, where it rears its ugly head. Take this morning, for example. Well, the morning I’m writing this. Not the morning it’s being published…

I was playing Madden.

I called a pass play. None of my receivers were open, so I had my quarterback start running the ball. He gets a yard or two past the line of scrimmage and a defender comes up to him. In an attempt to evade the tackle, I hit the button to spin away.

That’s not what happened.

Instead, despite being past the line of scrimmage, he threw it to the receiver assigned to that button where it was immediately intercepted. Plus, to top it all off, they threw a flag for me illegally throwing the pass. On every other Madden game I’ve ever played, it wouldn’t let you throw it once you got past the line of scrimmage. Now, it penalized me for doing it even when that’s not what I wanted to do in the first place.

I know that it shouldn’t have bothered me. After all, it’s just a video game. Plus, I was winning by a pretty good margin at the time. It ended up not making any difference in the game, but I still found myself yelling at the TV screen. Thankfully, I had already dropped Baby E off at school, so she didn’t hear me tell the Xbox what it could do to itself.

It only took me a moment to regain my composure, but I still felt crappy for losing my cool like that, especially over something so trivial. It shouldn’t have bothered me, but it did.

It’s Finally Over

I’m no longer a cheer dad.

Her season is over and, unless she changes her mind, Baby E has said that she doesn’t want to do it again next year. That is quite all right with me.

Not only was it expensive (we had to pay league fees, money for her uniform rental, buy her accessories like hair bows, pay admittance to get into the games that she cheered in, and admittance for her competition), but it was also incredibly time consuming. For the first couple of weeks, it wasn’t bad. Just a couple of practices during the week. Once the season started, however, it turned into three practices a week, plus a game on the weekend. On top of that, the two weekends before competition, they added an extra practice on the weekend.

It was too much. And,that’s from me, the guy who only attended games and competition. Mrs. Revis took care of all the practices (not because I didn’t want to or anything, but because practices started before I got home from work). It ran my wife ragged. She’s even more glad that Baby E has said that she doesn’t want to do it next year.

Obviously, a lot can happen between now and then. Maybe she’ll change her mind and want to cheer again. I certainly hope not. But, if she does, her daddy will be there cheering her on.

P.S. For those of you wondering, her team won the competition for her age group. Baby E will soon get a jacket that proclaims that they were the “Grand Champions” for our region.

The Body in My Backyard

When I came home from work yesterday, I had to bury a body in my backyard. Unfortunately, it was not the body of one of my enemies. No, it was my daughter’s fish, Kiki.

This was actually the second Kiki. We were able to find a good enough replacement for the first one before Baby E even noticed that something was seriously wrong. She noticed that Kiki suddenly looked a little smaller but my wife and I told her that Kiki had lost weight because she was sick. I don’t know if she bought that completely, but she went along with it.

This time, however, she saw Kiki 2.0 laying on its side, not moving, before we could try to hide it from her. I stuck the net in the tank and the fish moved away from it, but not much. Baby E was crying when I left for work. I tried to calm her down by telling her that Kiki was still moving, therefore was still alive. She knew, though. She knew Kiki wouldn’t last much longer.

Sure enough, Mrs. Revis texted me about halfway through my work day to tell me that Kiki was no longer with us and my daughter was inconsolable. I called and talked to her for a few minutes. It was heartbreaking.

“I miss Kiki!”

“I don’t want her to go!”

“We need to get another fish and name it Kiki too!”

It took a lot of work, but between us, Mrs. Revis and I calmed her down. Now the problem was what to do with Kiki. With the first Kiki, we flushed it down the toilet and Baby E was never the wiser. This time, she kind of flipped out when it was suggested. I said that maybe we should put Kiki in the river behind our house. She didn’t like that idea either. No, we had to bury Kiki in the backyard.

“That way Kiki will always be with us.”

So… that’s what I did.

She was more calm today. She was still sad about her fish dying, but she was able to talk about it without crying, which was good. I don’t know how much more of it I could take.

I can handle anything you throw at me, but not that. Watching my child weep uncontrollably is one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. What made it worse is that there was nothing I could do or say that would make it ok that her pet had just died.

I don’t even want to think about what will happen the first time someone she knows passes away. If I couldn’t handle this, I sure as hell won’t be able to handle that.

At Least One Thing

When it comes to parenting, everyone is different. What may be right for some will be wrong for others. Despite what haters on the internet say, there is no surefire method to raising your children. We each do the best we can and pray it’s good enough.

Or, at least, that’s what I do.

I don’t know if I’ll ever really know how good of a father I am. My beautiful princess will be turning 6 next month, so I still have a long way to go, too. I suppose I’ll leave it up to my wife and daughter to be the judges on that. There aren’t many people’s opinions that mean a whole lot to me, but those two are certainly the most important. No matter what, out of everything that’s happened since she’s been born, I know for a fact that I did at least one thing right.

Every time we drive past a water tower, Baby E will say, “Look, Daddy, a water tower! That’s where the Animaniacs live!”

That’s a win, my friends. That’s a win.

Following Orders

On Friday, I was sent an email by the head man of the company my company contracts with. He told me that he wanted me to send a particular radio to their offices in Mexico. Getting emails asking me to ship stuff is nothing new or out of the ordinary. What was out of the ordinary was that the package was going to Mexico.

Let me explain why that’s out of the ordinary.

About 2 years ago, I shipped something to Mexico that got held up in customs for reasons that were not really explained to me. Because of this outrageous offense, we were told that we weren’t allowed to ship to Mexico anymore. That was fine with me. Less work that I have to do.

So, when that email came in on Friday, I found it a little odd. I was actually going to question it until one of my managers, who was CC’d in on the email, responded to it. Now, any package being shipped internationally requires specific paperwork in order to get through customs. I’m not allowed to fill this paperwork out because I’m not a manager. She is. And her email response contained an attachment with the customs paperwork.

Since both of them seemed ok with the shipment, I went ahead and did it.

Apparently, that was wrong…

The package once again got held up in customs. I got a new email from Mr. Head Man today asking for a copy of the shipping label on the box so he could try to identify the problem. Because it shipped out already on a different day, it wouldn’t let me reprint the label, so I sent him a report that the software did let me print. My team lead, who wasn’t included in the original thread but was on this one, voiced my original concerns and said that he thought we weren’t allowed to ship to Mexico. Mr. Head Man responded with, “Well, then why did you ship it?”

As Cloud would say, “….”

At this point, I was doing my best to keep my inner Samuel L. Jackson from escaping. It was extremely tempting to go to his office and yell, “Because you told me to, MOTHERFUCKER!” I need my job, however, so I stopped myself.

My team lead, to his credit, replied with my response, minus that last word of course.

Now, instead of admitting that he played some part in what happened, Mr. Head Man told us that we needed to put measures in place to prevent something like this from happening again.

Yes, you read that correctly. He said that we needed to put measures in place to prevent something like this from happening again. The tool conveniently forgot that the only reason I did it in the first place was because HE TOLD ME TO!!!!!

I have no problem getting bitched at when I’m the one who screws up. So, for example, if I had sent that package to Australia instead of Mexico, go ahead and chew me out the whole day.

But don’t come bitching at me because you screwed up.

Deuces

My wife and I were sitting on the couch watching TV. From across the house, I hear my daughter yell, “Daddy, come here!”

I go to the kitchen, because that’s where it sounded like it came from, but she wasn’t there. I peeked around the corner and saw the bathroom light on. So, I looked in. There she was, sitting on the toilet. Was she out of tp? What else could it possibly be? I asked, “What, honey?”

 “What’s 2+2?”

That’s what she made me get up off the couch for? So she could ask me math questions while she was on the toilet? “Don’t worry about it, Baby E. Just finish what you’re doing.”

“Come on, daddy. (Grunt) What’s 2 + (Grunt) 2?”

“You don’t need to worry about what 2+2 is right now. The only number 2 you need to be worrying about is the one you’re dropping in the toilet.”

Baby E fixed me with a blank stare while I hear my wife laughing in the other room. Ah, the joys of parenthood.