We went to a going away/birthday party for friends of ours yesterday held in the playground of girl1’s school.
The couple is a Japanese women married to an Oregonian guy with two children near my girls’ ages. Near enough that we could play sometimes, but not frequently.
This event was an oddity for me; a party where I knew only a few people. They had invited their daughter’s classmates and families; people who go to girl1’s school, but as they are in a higher grade level I’ve never spoken with anyone.
Also, there was a smattering of Japanese friends of the wife, all of whom I’ve “seen” before but never met.
So I talked to the two people I knew, and then tried to branch out and meet the american mothers (I don’t do strange fathers) that I knew went to girl1’s school.
So this is my modus operendi: I shuffle up to a person or duo, wait for a lull in their conversation and ask a question like “so which one is your daughter?” or “So how do you know “name of friend’s daughter” ? Or something like that.
Casual conversation ensues for a short period of time.
What do you think, is this a USian way to do it? Or should I characterize this is a particularly Kirsten way of meeting people?
Meanwhile, Naoto in tow, I did the same thing with a Japanese mommy (with the intention of passing the conversation off to Naoto. I know he won’t start talking to strange Japanese women on his own). That worked okay, too.
But. Besides Naoto, there was one other lone Japanese daddy there, obviously not talking to anyone else.
So I was like “dude, why don’t you go talk to that guy?” to Naoto. Who was like, “no way.” So I thought about trying out my “sidle up and pass conversation off to Naoto” strategy, but the problem is, I can do that easily enough with a Japanese woman, but NOT with a Japanese man. It’s just different. So I tried to get Naoto to do that, but he flat our refused. He said Japanese men don’t do that.
So I argued/teased him about it, until he told me a strategy that he could live with.
Have me sidle up to the group of Japanese mommies and start talking to them with Naoto in tow. Introduce myself so that the mommies would have to introduce themselves, whereupon, the wife of the lone Japanese guy would probably say something like “and this is my husband so-and-so” and then I could say “really? this is my husband, Naoto” and we could all laugh awkwardly and then the two guys could talk to each other.
I mean really. How silly can we all get? *Looks around* Yep, still high school.