Japanese follows. 日本語は下に

Today I am thankful for everyone around me.

I saw in many emails and on Facebook that this past weekend seemed to have been a “Friend and Family Weekend” in the States. I am not sure if that was ture, but that was exactly what my weekend had been.
On Friday, I met a very good friend of mine whom I haven’t seen for about half a year. He is much older than myself, but one of the older friends who I see very regularly. We had both been busy and had gone through a lot individually, so I fell out of touch. It was a great catch-up dinner. (And the food was great, too.)

The restaurant he chose was very coincidendally housed in an old, classical-looking building, which I had been eyeing for my potential restaurant location (in case I should open a restaurant myself… which I don’t have any plan so far… but just in case). The 2-story building had been so under-utilized that I was wondering why nobody would buy it and convert it into something fancy. Well, someone had the same idea, obviously. It’s just…. now it’s pink.

On Saturday afternoon, there was my high school reunion. I am not going to count the years after graduation. Who cares?
I was so reluctant to go, but my best friend literally dragged me to there. Thank you!
My reluctance was derived from two reasons, in afterthought:
(1) My college reunion was so not fun. People had changed so much, and I only saw very snobbish people flashing their gold, or very humble people who were about to fade into the background. I wasn’t sure where I belonged.
(2) My self, my identity, my character was so unestablished back in high school. It’s almost like, people who knew me back then knew me before I was born. Does that makes sense?
I did not know who I was back then, what I wanted to do, what I liked. The only thing hasn’t change was I spoke English back then, I speak English now. People remember me by that, how funny.
(Oh, and there was the third reason… (3) I am not married.)
But I realized my mistake when I went there.
My high school friends, 150 people who came yesterday (out of 450), still feel like my buddies who I grew up with. We all became who we were, fighting, joking, studying, agonizing over ourselves, together.
Out high school was rather special that, due to the education system in Japan, we belonged to the top several percentile in terms of the achievement level, which means we all came from the similar family background. But it’s a public school in the suburb so that there was no son and daughter of super-riches. We were all so naive in a good sense, and we all had to study hard to get on with our lives (no family advantage).
My first year classmates used to be especially close. And it still feels to me that they are my brothers and sisters.

… Anyway, after I recuited several single/DINKS girls as my dinner-mates, I went to visit my sister’s family.
My baby niece had grown so much since the last time I saw her!
As you can see, it was truly a Friends and Family Weekend for me.
何故か先週から「Friends and Family Weekend Special」という広告メールを色々な会社から受け取り、アメリカではどうもそんな週末があるらしい、と薄々感じていたところでしたが、今振り返ってみると、まさに私の週末にピッタリのタイトルでした。
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