At The Nonakas

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All hitched and ready to run 14 January 2009

Filed under: Us — thenonakas @ 7:57 PM
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Jill here.

Well, we are officially married. Yuki and I signed the paper (after some minor complications that I won’t disclose for quite a while yet) and turned it into the ward office on 1/11.

Which reminds me! A certain someone asked me just how we’d ever met and I thought perhaps I’d better share the story. Yuki moved to Seattle in 2001 to attend a year of ESL and then enter college. He’d done a year at the military university in Japan for officer training (as per his parents wishes) before standing up and saying that he really didn’t want to do that; he wanted to go to America and have fun. 😛 I moved to Seattle in 2002 to attend the UW, just as he had entered SCCC. Through the guilt-tripping of our dear friend Lois, who I had met in Japanese classes, I was dragged around to Kaiwa Table in 2003 or so. Kaiwa Table was a group of folks who met up at UW to practice Japanese or English (kaiwa meaning ‘conversation’ in Japanese) and Yuki came as part of the local Japanese community. And so we met.

I thought he was odd. Still don’t know just what he thought of me, though in general, people seemed to be either amused, baffled, or annoyed by me upon first meetings, so you could probably take your choice of those three. He was 23 at the time and the only of our friends who could drink; he was older than all of us, went to a different school, and worked (ahem, less than legally) at Safeco, which meant he only showed up from time to time anyway. But we were in the same group of friends and so we were automatically ‘friends’ by association.

In 2004, we both were headed back to Japan for a visit and Yuki apparently thought it would be a good idea to fly home to Seattle together, come August. I was less thrilled, but couldn’t think of a feasible way to refuse and so I gave him my flight number and he booked himself up for the same flight. We met only twice, as I recall, in Japan that summer and even then only in the company of friends, so I dismissed him as usual, busy having my own crazy Japan experience, living and working with seven guys from America, Canada, England and Australia at an illegal eikaiwa (English conversation school). Eventually the day came that we were to fly back, though, and I met him at the airport, along with one of our other friends who kindly came to see us off. After she left, he got busy trying to switch our seats so that we could be together. I was praying to myself that he would either pass out on the plane or that I would be able to and imagining nine hours of awkward conversation. We got on the plane. We got settled. And we started talking.

I think I remember us mostly talking in Japanese at first – which was probably the last time we’ve ever had conversations in Japanese, unless forced to by being in a group of Japanese people – but eventually we switched more and more into English, as I recall. At any rate, we discovered that we could actually talk to each other. For hours. And hours. And, long story short, we walked off the plane holding hands.

Of course, things weren’t all that simple in paradise and neither of us brought up what holding hands might mean. And, of course, he was leaving two days later to move to Montana for university. So we met up that night and I, freaking out, called my friend Lois to come with us and act as a buffer. Perhaps he was put off by that but I didn’t hear from him again until the next day when I texted him and asked about him leaving. We made plans to go out and went to B&O in downtown Seattle. Still neither of us had the balls to say what was going on, so we dithered and ended up going to Golden Gates in North Seattle. We walked around for a long time, each caught up in confused hesitation, and finally (I may have goaded him – I can’t recall but it seems like something I would do) he worked up the nerves, gave me a kiss, and we figured out that apparently we were in like.

We went to the 24 hour Starbucks in Lake City, got some caffeine to stay up, and hung out back at my place talking and being silly until three or so in the morning. Then he really had to go, since he was leaving the next morning for Montana. I drove him home and then, less than ten hours later, he left.

For the next two years, we did long distance between Seattle and Montana. I would drive to Montana at least one weekend a month the first year, then we got down to just school holidays, mostly. He would take the miserable greyhound bus over for Christmases and summer vacations, and I would drive 8 hours across Washington, Idaho and Montana on Friday evenings to spend Saturdays with him before driving the 8 hours back on Sundays. Then I moved to England for graduate school and the time difference went from one hour to nine hours. Then he graduated from UM and went back to Japan and the time difference flopped again to 8 hours in a different direction. We didn’t talk much during that period, exchanging occasional emails and nothing more. He would try to call and I would mostly get short with him, struggling with the stress of my life at Oxford. But after a year, in 2007, I finished up my course and moved back to Japan. It took another half year before we lived together in the same city. After three and a half years of long distance, we finally made it. And now, just after a year of living together in our teeny-tiny one room apartment, we have tied the knot.

Now we just have to get out of here and on to some place new! 😀

Ah, but first I must get back to translating. Yet another massive project. This one at cut rates and a deadline that I didn’t really want to agree to anyway. The things we do for money. Just dream of an apartment with more than one room, Jill. Keep dreaming.


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