What lies beneath

I’ve posted a couple of times about this lady, and how madly envious I am of her … because in my eyes, she’s living the life that I never had.  I’ve spent half my adult life wanting to be someone like her: living with parents who loved her to bits, growing up in the country club set, and attending the best schools in Europe and Japan. 

A few months ago her beloved father died in an accident at home.  He was a really nice guy.  I had met him several times at various events, and liked him very much.  He was a well-respected figure in Kobe, a true pillar of the community, and a lot of people showed up for his funeral.  Recently I met up with one of the attendants, and was shocked to learn about the true circumstances of his death (sorry, I can’t tell you the details).  I was also shocked to learn a few other unpalatable truths about him that were pretty much common knowledge in the expat community.  For example, he was profoundly alcoholic and had run up massive bar tabs in every country club in Kobe.  He was also an unrepentant wife beater, and even spent a night in the lockup a few years ago when the laws were changed and domestic violence became an official crime in Japan.  Apparently his first words upon being bailed out were, “no-one told me the laws had changed here!  It used to be okay to beat your wife in Japan!”  (Well, it isn’t any more my friend!)  His daughter – the aforementioned young lady – was sent to Europe to get her out of the miserable domestic situation, and during her teens and twenties suffered from an eating disorder (which might explain why she’s so damn skinny now, but doesn’t explain why she’s so damm beautiful now).   Every time I’ve met her, I’ve ended up writhing in envy about her charmed life and her idyllic childhood.  But now I think that she must have been suffering terribly all along, even more so because she and her family had an image to maintain. 

We just never know what goes on behind closed doors, do we?


4 comments on “What lies beneath

  1. karen1945 says:

    I suppose it’s just as well we don’t, or we’d have no dream left.

  2. Petra says:

    No, you never do.

  3. Miko says:

    You guys don’t seem too shocked! I suppose I’ll be unshockable myself one of these days, but it doesn’t seem to be happening yet. People never fail to surprise me.

    Another vital truth I’ve learned: money can buy anything, at least in this land it can. I mean, how do you explain the fact that he was held in such high esteem in the gaijin community, despite being a drunk, a wife beater, and goodness knows what else? A lot of people shut their mouths, and looked the other way.

    And one more thing: obituaries are usually a bunch of lies, aren’t they?

  4. Jo says:

    Hi! I was just browsing Google and was directed into your page. I first read about your previous blog about the Eurasian girl that you envied. I couldn’t help but related to it. I am just 22 but is envious of so many girls my age who seem to have the perfect life (and they are not even celebrities!). I used to read their blogs, take a peek at their Facebook and google them. Most often than not, it really depresses me afterwards. I ALWAYS, ALWAYS compare myself to them, and end up being insecure, for they will always be better than I am. So when I read your previous entry, I was like “OMG, is this blog written by me?”. LOL. Then, I read this post and realized that nobody has perfect life. Maybe they appear perfect to us (outsiders), but there will always be a flaw to them.

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