Friday, August 11, 2006

Battle Report

Last night, I did battle with my personal demon who I’ve named Plurghemay, hell-demon of low self-esteem. I entered Umezono with the intent of a) seeing Emi-san, 2) talking to Emi-san (preferably in Japanese), III) asking her name, and shi) noting her reactions to determine if she has any interest, or if I should discontinue pursuit while she’s still comfortable with me as a customer. I am pleased to report a 100% success rate, by which I mean everything went wrong.

I entered the restaurant and caught a brief glimpse of her while she was speeding away (most waitresses at Umezono zip around the room rather than walk, and Emi-san is the fastest), so no eye contact or greeting. Another waitress seated me at the sushi bar, which is standard for single patrons, but this time the corner position which allows better viewing of the room (what I’ve come to think of as the haku-jin corner) was occupied by an elderly Japanese woman. I was seated with the other rednecks at the opposite end near the TV, the worst place for observation and interaction.

Serendipity was taking the night off, so all my orders were taken by other waitresses. I tried not to be too obvious about looking around and tracking Emi-san’s movements, but I wanted to be ready in case the chance to interact came up. I saw her approach the sushi bar from my left, and I thought about how to interpret her possible actions. Ignoring me completely – not good, but she’s busy and shouldn’t be taken as rejection. Talking to me when I don’t need service – good sign. Placing a hand on my shoulder (she did that once before) – very good sign. Bazooka barfing – less encouraging.

Instead she stepped behind me and began MASSAGING MY BACK! Yes – short of an unsolicited BJ offer, that has to be the most encouraging sign possible. I enjoyed the sensation of her tiny but firm hand rubbing up and down my spine for a moment, then decided this was the proper moment to turn, look her in the eyes, and ask her name.

I managed the turning part okay, only to discover she was holding a quiet conference with another waitress and didn’t realize her tray was rhythmically rubbing my back. So much for signs. I ate my meal, keeping an eye out for her, but she stayed busy helping the other customers. Whenever I needed anything, it was always another waitress that attended to me.

While waiting for the check, I started watching the baseball game on the Japanese channel. Except for the close-ups of the players, it looked exactly like a baseball game in America, down to the plethora of advertising signs covering every square centimeter of the baseball diamond, all of which were in English. Naturally, Emi-san took this moment to do a ninja teleport to my side, drop off the check, and ask if everything was okay. I said it was very good, but she had already given me my smile and was moving away by the time the sentence ended. It was the only contact I had with her all night as she was in the kitchen when I left.

To recap:
Bad: last night’s excursion completely failed to bring me any closer to any of my goals.
Good: dinner was nice, and I left with all of my limbs intact.


annush said...

Alright...I am first so LISTEN TO ME AND ONLY ME :)

One. Go back to Umezono on a Tuesday (for whatever reason people are less likely to leave the house then)

Dos. If some other waitress attempts to take your order, ask for Emi-san especially. If you go somewhere often enough, you are allowed to ask for your favorite waitress.

Trois. Make small talk while you order. The more menu savvy you are, the less chance for interaction. Pretend it's your first time there.

Vier. Use her name. People like to hear their names being used.

Cinque. After you order, casually ask her when her shift ends and if she would like to join you for coffee/a drink/casual sex.


If that fails, you can bring her to the cellar.

patti_cake said...

I am getting frustrated just READING it so I know it has to be frustrating for you. I went to Umezono's website, some of the food sounds quite delish!

Tony said...

You may just have to be honest with her. The next time she asks if everything was ok just say No. And then, she'll pause, ever so briefly, and you'll have the opportunity to tell her how much you've been wanting to talk to her while you tighten the straps that will bind her in your basement.

Tracy Lynn said...

I second Annush. And it could have been worse. It's not like she spit on you.

Angie said...

I kind of like Annush's plan. Just don't give up!!!

mal said...

aw what the heck! just keep at it. The worse that can happen? you get a good meal....

Hang in

Spider Girl said...

Just don't give her a link to your blog, Grant.

Hey, why am I on your Blasphemy list again anyway. Have I discombobulated you, or rather, not enough? Enquiring minds want to know, dearie.

Enemy of the Republic said...

Back rubs build self-esteem; BJs do not; however important they may be. I think you stand a chance with this fine lady. Listen to Annush.

Grant said...

annush - you're girly opinion is cute, although completely without merit. :p

patti_cake - it's all good there, although some things just don't appeal to me (like the giant block of unflavored tofu).

tony - honesty has killed better men than I.

tracy - maybe she didn't deem me worthy of her spittle.

angie - you women obviously have no empathy for us guys.

mal - the worst that can happen is we both die in a bizarre murder / suicide pact. Remember, you did ask for a worse case scenario.

spider-girl - the blasphemy tag is just my way of indicating who has updated their blog within the last 24 hours.

enemy - you'll notice the guys aren't exactly jumping for joy over Annush's plan. I think it's because they understand.

PBS said...

Hey, that's a good start. Nothing went wrong, the timing just didn't work right then. Annush has organized a great battle plan for you!

Enemy of the Republic said...

Okay then, the guys know and we females are clueless. I relent. I haven't dated in years anyway, and I was never very traditional in my approach or reception. My belief is this: it's there or it isn't, and if it is, you go for it. If it isn't and you want to get laid, then blindfold yourself and go to. Generally men have been forthcoming with me, even shy ones, and since I was generally nice, I gave them a try. But some things don't work out.

I have never known a woman who isn't flattered by genuine male attention--I'm not talking sickos, but guys who just want to get to know the person, no matter how hidden the sexual want may be. So what is stopping you or is that another one of my idiotic questions?

Kira said...

That's totally ironic. You get up the courage and are determined to speak, and nothing works.

All I can think of is that if I were a male and Emi-san was my crush, I'd probably rather start gnawing off my left calf muscle and vote for Bush than demand her to be my waitress and corner her. I know that the girls have great intent there, but...I like the method better that you go to eat again for dinner and try all over in the same method you were planning tonight. That way you don't get so nervous that you barf on her or kill somebody.

Ok, women, go ahead and stone me for not agreeing...but it's just NOT that fucking easy to run in and be all smooth and chat up a woman, esp a woman in this situation. I think slow and steady will be at a pace that he can do more readily. I know that'd be MY pace if I were hitting on a waiter at my favorite restaurant. Well, that'd be my pace...AND I would wear a magnificent cleavage shirt every time I went into the shop. If words won't work, dazzle them with titty. Try the cleavage shirt, Grant!

Seven said...

Not being able to distinguish between the rubbing of a tray and tiny effective feminine fingers troubles me a bit, but here is my advice.
Ask her to teach you the teams and players in Japanese baseball. Do not show her your basement. When the baseball lessons are complete invite her to your house to watch baseball while cuddled on the couch. Do not in any circumstance ask her if she would like to have casual sex as Annush suggests. This is peculiarly American and rarely effective.
Ask her instead for meaningful sex and the opportunity to father her children.
Good Luck and remember where you learned these things.

lauritajuanitasanchez said...

Nothing is an accident. The tray rubbing your back was AS good as Emisan rubbing your back. Trust me. Last night was a success.

Deepak Gopi said...

Nice to meet u

Leesa said...

Okay, you at least know not to listen to annush. I normally don't read the comments but did so for this blog entry. In summary, I think if you use any of our suggestions, you will go down in flames (sticking to the battle-report lingo).

Two different cultures - you are definitely going against the odds. Dating is hard enough without these differences. But you know Japanese and a lot more than I do about her culture. This could be very flattering to a woman, if she thinks you are doing extra work for her. Of course, it could creep her out and add mace to her next shopping list.

I am pulling for you, grant!

Prata said...

This has worked for me in the past back in Nam and Taiwan. You can request without much issue a specific waitress, for reasons such as banter and or preferred service style. That has gotten me closer to the table girl that I wanted to talk too, especially back in Nam.

If you have a problem doing this, because of embarassment that may arise? She will see it as an indication that you 1. don't want to embarass her with just snatching her from the floor to chit-chat, and 2. you have a definite interest in seein/speaking with her in particular. Upside, you may never have to eat at the place against if she takes offense, but that's typically not the case.

You have poor luck though, and may not want to try it. ^_^

Grant said...

pbs - women. :p

enemy - I have definitely met my share of women who don't like sincere and polite interest when the attraction isn't mutual, but I don't think that will be the problem here. There are many cultural issues, and I want to make sure I don't make her feel uncomfortable with my advances.

kira - bad timing, as always. I tried again last night, but a group had reserved the Tatami room and she spent the entire evening in there.

7 - I assumed that, since she's Japanese, she spends her evening in the woods karate-chopping logs, so that would explain the hard edge on her tiny, delicate hands.
And, when she shoots me down, I will definitely remember who gave me advice. :p

ljs - massaging me vs. hitting me with a tray because she didn't notice or care - I don't think #2 is quite as encouraging, but good optimism on your part.

leesa - thanks. From what I've learned about the Japanese, nothing in their culture is going to make this easier. Fortunately I'm patient, and I'm hoping she is as well. She's older than me and has to deal with dumber rednecks on a daily basis, so patience should work in my favor.

prata - I would feel uncomfortable with that just because it may be seen as a slight against the other waitresses, most of whom are very kind and hardworking.

Melissa said...

Fingers crossed for you, bubba. Remember to be patient. It took you this long to work up the sack to do it, it might take a bit longer to actually implement your plan.

Kerry said...

Women can be such confusing animals. Maybe she's waiting for you to be more forthcoming with your interests. Some are like that. Point blank ask her out for dinner or drinks.

If she declines... that doesnt mean she's not interested. Continue stalking her and eventually she'll give in or you'll get tired of it and find some other hottie :)

Liz said...

It could have gone far worse than that Grant. And no fair leading us to believe she was massaging your back.

I really don't think she has any intrest in you from what you said. If she did, I think she would be sneaking smiles and such to you. Nows when I am told about the different cultures and they do not do those things.

hellbunny said...

I agree with the others.Get back there Grant.Remember you always regret the things you never do.

messiah said...

just a thought.

speak in the english.
women like foreign accents.

(speaking badly accented japanese to show how dedicated you are may precipitate a tragedy)

or, ask if she'd be willing to help you with your pronunciation, over coffee, dinner, casual sex.....

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