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Friday, April 20, 2012

Ceremony...another one?

 I am learning that I should not put away my formal attire in Japan. As soon as I do, it’s time to go to another ceremony. I’m not a big fan of wearing suits and ties. Over the years, I’ve learned to associate wearing a suit with events that make me nervous/anxious. For example, I would wear a suit on a first date, to attend a wedding, to go to a funeral, or to go to a job interview. Wearing a suit meant that I would be experiencing stress. Up until recently, I had only one dress shirt and tie. Erika knew that I would need to dress up more frequently as soon as we moved to Japan. She was right. It’s a good thing that we purchased many of my formal clothes at a second hand shop in Federal Way. I purchased a fancy Italian suit for $25. I have a colorful collection of shirts and ties in the closet and many reasons to wear them.
Since I moved here, I have attended many meetings, ceremonies, and events that required a suit. Recently, I joined the entrance ceremony at Anan Elementary School in Shonai.  This ceremony welcomed the 1st graders to their new school. It was amusing to find that it took 5 minutes for the faculty to figure out where I would sit. I think it had something to do with ranking. I ended up in the middle of the front row. Looking out into the audience, I saw many serious looking people with neatly tailored suits. However, when I looked at their feet, I saw that they were wearing non-fashionable slippers. Some of these serious looking people were wearing red slippers, yellow flip flops, and white tennis shoes. I was hoping that I would see the principal wearing bunny slippers. It was funny to see the contrast, but I did my best to keep from laughing out loud. The good news was that I managed to stand and bow at the proper times unlike the graduation ceremony. The atmosphere was cheerful and the 1st graders didn’t have to endure a long line of boring speeches. The new students smiled which was a welcomed relief. I have no idea when the next ceremony will be, but I’m sure it won’t be too far into the future.   

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