Tue Oct 03 23:20:02 2000
To: newsletter
From: "Peter M. Rivard"
Subject: Inappropriate Conversations

Hey, all,

      During second year (ninensei; 8th grade in US) class at Manyo today, pairs of students came up to me and did their little target dialogue for me, and everybody who didn't will have to do it next time, so I was not surprised to see Gertrude and Alice coming up to me just after class, Gertrude shoving and prodding the shy Alice, as usual, to talk to me. I was surprised when Alice cupped her hand around her mouth, secretively, so I bent over, and she whispered in my ear, all giggly, "Do you like me?," and then almost fell all over herself giggling and blushing. What could I say? "Yes, I think you're very nice." More giggling and blushing. Very cute. Later, leaving Go-chu (my other school) after dark, with the sky slightly lighter along the horizon, darkening to pure electric blue at the level of the perfect sliver of moon, almost setting, and still more to pitch black with bright stars directly overhead, I said to two girls in front of the school (in Japanese) "Tonight is very beautiful" ("Kyo no ban wa totemo utsukushi desu, ne"). To which they very happily replied, "Thank you." Did I actually say they were beautiful? Any input from you Japanese speakers out there? I don't think that would have been appropriate, though it was well received. Of course, I then laughed embarrassedly and said (in English) "Not you. The night" and (in Japanese) "The moon and the sky [gesturing] are beautiful." They looked disappointed, so I added, "but you are also cute" ("sorekara, kawaii desu") which brightened them up considerably. Probably also inappropriate, but I didn't want to leave them feeling insulted after the previous slip up. As I was driving out, the principal walked by, looking at the sky (didn't look down as I drove by) and seemed to have said the same thing (about the sky) to the girls.

Yup, I'm a ladykiller.



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