It's funny how real life tends to mimic cartoons for us. This morning, they showed the Doctor's Disorders episode of Danny Phantom, in which Tucker is terrified of hospitals. Lo and behold, somehow we get roped into going with Mom to visit teach a woman in a nursing home, which is not unlike a hospital. I don't remember ever really hating hospitals, but it was very uncomfortable there. Athena said it was one of those things where you don't realize how much you hate a place (like a hospital) until you have to go there. It was especially bad for Athena because she's a germophobe, and today was turning out to be one of her more germophobic days even before we left.
The woman was very nice, though, so it wasn't all bad. I just have a hard time being with old people. This is where the Japanese word "nigate," which basically refers to something that, while you don't hate it or are necessarily afraid of it, you can't really deal with. Or something like that.
Mom also seems to be remembering how to get the Twins to do anything--bribery. Today she spent a little bit of time trying to talk us into going to Seattle for Thanksgiving, and she said that if we went, we would get presents. Now if she could just guarantee us we'd get presents we'd like... it probably still wouldn't work. We're very stubborn.
There were actually two things I consider to be useful that came out of going around with Mom today (not including buying groceries). One is that we got confirmation (from Mom, kind of in passing) that Steve is in fact biased against the Japanese. Apparently his uncle was taken prisoner by the Japanese in World War II and ended up being on a ship that was destroyed or something, and because of it he's always hated the Japanese war ethic. I've bashed Steve enough lately, so I won't go too much into it.
We've actually suspected him of being at least somewhat anti-Japanese for a while. He has a few books on evil things the Japanese did during WWII on his shelves (though he also has some Japanese children's books and a Japanese Book of Mormon and Bible), and sometimes he would let little things slip that indicated he thinks less-than-favorably of the Japanese.
I had been thinking about it recently, as we've been faced with the possibility of spending Thanksgiving weekend with his family. Because if there's something in him that caused him to hate the Japanese, and continue to dislike them after spending two years serving a mission in Japan, there must have been something in his upbringing or something that would have affected his whole family. And if he's hating the Japanese for something they did to his uncle before he was even born, I can only assume he's not the only one still hating them.
I could be wrong, of course. The rest of his family could be much cooler and more forgiving. But the idea of being two Japanophiles thrown into a situation where we're potentially surrounded by anti-Japanese sentiment doesn't sound like a fun one. We shall have to discuss this with our mother.
The second, and more important productive thing about today is that we did get to talk to Mom about Halloween costumes. Not only that, but when we told Mom that the reason we wanted to know if she and Sarah wanted costumes was to earn money for a Japanese PS2, which would now be a business expense, she asked if, should they decide they don't want costumes, she could give us the money as an early Christmas present. Actually, Mom's pretty nice about giving us anything that's work-related. On the one hand, I'm very excited, but on the other, it's still a little early to be counting chickens. She has to talk to Steve first. I must say though that we're not too proud to stay here if his answer is that they'll give us the money if we join them for Thanksgiving.
When we got home, we had a surprise in the mail, but that deserves its own entry, because I got permission from the sender to copy the letter. I thought it was amusing anyway. Suffice it to say that tonight I'm thankful for thoughtful little sisters, as well as Honeycombs cereal, cookie dough, Kansai dialect, and pandas.