Guys Finish Last
name is Jeff.. and I'm a 'Nice Guy'."
that's right ladies and gentlemen. I'm a nice guy.
hate being a nice guy. I really do. I
hem and haw for weeks about a situation when anyone with
a teaspoon of common sense is able to come to a decision
in a matter of nanoseconds and then when I do do it, I don't
do it the way I should.
many of you wrote that I should just drop Aya like a bad
habit. I should have. I wanted to. God,
I wanted to. But I didn't. How did I finish
it off then, you ask?
well, I followed a good suggestion one of you offered in
the comments section of last week's
poll which said that since I couldn't get through to
her phone, email her a "must talk" email. If that
doesn't get a response, send that "sayonara" email.
So, I sent her the "must talk" email and she responded
fairly soon, apparently she got her computer fixed right
after my last entry. She asked if it was about "break".
Hmmm... either she's inviting it, or she wasn't as clueless
as I thought. She did have some inkling that I thought
she was totally dissing me.
wrote me some stuff about how she could perhaps try harder
in relationships, coming close to an apology but never hitting
the mark. Damn, that shit pisses me off. People who won't
apologize. And no one can tell me anything about how it's
all cultural or some bullshit like that, because everyone
apologizes for everything here, even if it's not even remotely
their fault. Serioulsy. Japanese acquaintances have apologized
to me for the weather, geography and population density
of the cities in Japan.
anyway, that was it. I knew it. I wrote her back and told
her to meet me at my apartment at 7:30 pm that night. I
had planned a trip to Osaka with my neighbors weeks before
for that afternoon and I couldn't bail. The time was important
because this is past the time she says she has to be back
home (keep in mind that she's 21 years old). I wrote to
her that I had to see her tonight for sure. We must
talk. If your significant other tells you that he/she needs
to talk to you or needs you for any reason, you drop what
you're doing and go to him/her, right?
emailed me back and refused to see me that night.
then read over every email and letter she had sent me and
looked at every picture she had given me before composing
my "sayonara" email.
I wanted to tell her that I completely wasted my time with
her. I wanted to tell her that she was made me fume with
anger and frustration. I wanted to tell her how hard I tried
and how she put no effort into it at all. I wanted to tell
her that she ruined our relationship.. and our friendship.
I wrote how I'd value the time we spent together and even
recounted a couple of the more tender moments and told her
how I'd never forget them. I apologized to her for things
she come banging on my door or call me right away and beg
me to take her back? Did she write me back immediately and
apologize for being such a wench? Nooooo..... most certainly
not. She wrote back to tell me that she was angry. Yes,
that's right. Angry. She said that I don't understand Japan,
Japanese culture, or her (in that order). She said
that I was too critical of her family and her "back
home by 7 PM lifestyle". She also brought up about
four minor incidences in the past which ticked her off.
When couples argue, why in the hell do women
(sorry for the generalization, ladies, but in my experience
this is all too true) bring up every little thing that
the man has ever done to piss her off? This, at least, seems
to be one thing which crosses national borders.
now she's justified in being angry at me. Yes, that's right.
I'm the bad guy. Nice guy is the bad guy. Somehow I can't
figure out how this happened.
wonder how it would have been different if I had taken a
different approach or had a different temperament with her.
Should I have been more domineering or forceful? Should
I have given her more gifts (hell no!!) or called
her more often? Would that have made a difference? In our
final letters, if I was more angry or more accusational,
would she have taken a less defensive stance or would she
have recognized that she was at fault (entirely, entirely
friend, Matt, is in Europe in the peace corps. I have many
fond memories hanging out with him in coffee shops trying
to get our writing careers off the ground while trying to
figure out women. He's very intelligent and thoughtful and
he is one of the few people whose opinion I really trust
and respect. Our correspondence is sparse, but after he
read the last entry he wrote me an email and the following
is excerpted from it:
there's one thing you gotta learn about women is that they
don't like nice guys. I mean, this is a general rule, it
doesn't apply to everyone, but it's true. The minute you
get too nice to them, they lose all respect for you; if
you treat them sorta okay, they like you more."
think this is true for almost everyone. Every now and then,
you need a reminder of the rules in relationships. It's
the "play hard-to-get" philosophy. To find someone
who doesn't fit into this generalization is really hard.
And to find someone in Japan who doesn't fit
into this mold is nearly impossible. I should have made
this connection before. Surfaces and pretending are all
too important to them except for someone who's been thoroughly
Westernized, and Aya has not.
seems ridiculous to think that in order to win someone's
affections you have to feign indifference or worse. But
he's right. Most of the time we can't make relationships
think I was too nice to Aya. Too forgiving. Too allowing.
If I was a little more rigid earlier on, maybe she would
have made more compromises and less complaints. Maybe she
would have told her mother that we were dating. Maybe we
would have been able to go out more. Maybe she would have
had more respect for me.
glad it's over, but I'm wondering what went wrong. What
could I have done? Yes, yes, I know, I can't change somebody,
but I could have fudged the dice a little bit by 'pretending'.
Right from the start I was always too honest with her about
my feelings. Maybe if I'd played the game a bit more I could
have made this last longer or made the ending less.. grueling.
I think that I should I think I should have never broken
up with my x-girlfriend from California. She was as
close to perfect as I've ever found. What the hell was I
thinking? So what if we're separated by an ocean...
big fucking deal.
going to send her a belated birthday gift (her b-day was
just a couple days ago). Not in some lame attempt to get
back together with her, but hopefully just to reestablish
contact with the only woman I've had a relationship with
who hasn't driven me absolutely crazy... and the only girlfriend
I've ever had with whom I never had to pretend.