Today at the mums-and-babes cafe, we were discussing TV watching habits. Most of the young mothers admitted that they had no other way of winding down at the end of the day except to sit and watch the goggle box. (Personally, I think that Japanese TV programming is puerile, and almost never watch it. I’d rather curl up with a good computer.) And because Japanese men work very long hours – often arriving home around midnight – and because it is considered very rude for a wife to go bed before her husband turns in, there is usually nothing else for a housebound mother to do after the kids have been fed, bathed, and put to bed.
One of them told us that she always sneaks in a precious half-hour watching her favourite drama every evening, but as soon as she hears her husband’s key turn in the lock, she sprints up, switches off the telly, and gets busy doing something else. She never, ever wants her husband to catch her watching TV when he comes home. When we asked her why, she said “because he disapproves of my having fun while he’s out working hard to support us” (I hope he never finds out about Little Piggies Cafe, ‘cos she has a lot of fun with us!). Well, fair enough. Besides which, it’s his TV anyway, bought and paid for with his money … therefore, he alone has the right to decide who gets to watch it, and when. Her respectful attitude is becoming uncommon in Japan, and we all praised her for being such a good wife. Still, I wouldn’t like being dictated to like that. It’s bad enough that I can’t sleep on my own futon sometimes, because of a certain male chauvinist puss.