A little tenderness, for Japan

Posted on
May 12, 2011
Posted in: Events

There are times, when I travel, that I see behavior that makes me want to scream. Like yesterday morning, when a gaggle of young, mobile, healthy tourists refused to get out of an over-crowded elevator to make room for my husband’s grandparents (who eventually walked down five flights of stairs rather than wait for the next lift). I actually proceeding to run down to the ground floor to scrutinize the group in search of someone limping or hobbling, and planned on yelling at every single one of them after confirming they were healthy, but I didn’t make it in time (Perhaps it’s all for the best, because I suspect I would have lost my nerve.)

Or when I was in Italy a few weeks back, exactly at the same time that the tsunami happened. And while shopping at the Campo de Fiori in Rome, I saw this exchange between a vendor and a tourist:

Vendor: Where are you from?

Woman: Japan.

Vendor: (Handing a her a tiny dried tomato). Try this. It’s flavor explosion. Hiroshima Nagasaki BOOM!

Woman: …

Had my jaw not been dragging on the floor, I might have yelled at the man (even though I know how pointless it is to yell at a Roman. Yells to an Italian are like the sounds of a plane to someone who lives near an airport: they simply don’t hear it anymore).  The tourist in question, showing no small amount of restraint, thanked the man for the tomato and walked quickly away.

Here is the idiot in question. Because of that dear woman's grace, he is not on the ground, bleeding.

I would like to think that I could have handled it that well, but I know I wouldn’t have. Perhaps I would have screamed, no matter how futile it would have been. Though, far more likely, I’d have written a Dick Move! or three, raged to Rand about the events, and found myself acting excessively polite in hopes of making up for the shaved baboons that I often see pushing each other on massive transit. And, as I often do in the face of such douchebaggery, I may have found myself humming the song “Tenderness” by General Public (if you aren’t familiar with it, please watch the video immediately. Let no one say the 80s were not magical).

That song comes to mind when I think of that Japanese tourist. Because at that moment? She didn’t need some asshole making callous remarks. She needed a little tenderness.

And it is with both that woman and that song in my thoughts that I tell you about the benefit my friend Mimi has put together. It’s called The Sun Always Rises (clever there), and the proceeds will be going to Japan’s Red Cross. There will be some fantastic performances, music, drinks, and drumming groups. If you are in the Seattle area on SATURDAY, MAY 21st at 7pm, I strongly suggest you get yourself to the ACT downtown. Tickets are only $25, and I am positive there’s not a better use of your money (Nope. Not even cupcakes.)
So, if you are free and in Seattle next weekend, please consider going (or donating to Japan’s Red Cross directly if you are not). It’s sure to be a wonderful and inspiring night. And a great way to show a little tenderness.

Leave a Comment

  • Nicely done and thank you. And now to be “that guy” the benefit is on Saturday May 21.

    • Everywhereist

      I do not know precisely where I got the dates that I got stuck in my head. Changing them now.

      • 21. 12. Dyslexic. Potahto. But thank you (and Mr. F.) very much for helping to spread the word.

        I remain horrified by the “Hiroshima. Nagasaki. Boom.” comment. I almost think he thought he was making a connection.

  • I am speechless by the “Hiroshima. Nagasaki. Boom.” guy. I mean, I’ve said some stupid things by accident before, but I don’t think I’ve ever gone out of my way to be clever and come up with something so overtly insensitive. Or at least I hope I haven’t.

  • Thank you for the plug. I recall sometime in the 90’s when Japanese products were all what people talked about, some American politician some place made a remark in his speech about how the atomic bombs were American made and Japanese tested–he meant it as a joke. It aired in Japan on several news stations and I believe this man got in a bit of trouble but I was pretty shocked. Some things are just never funny.

More from The Blog

On Instagram @theeverywhereist

  • Whoa. Rand received this rather remarkable gift from someone at a conference and it's led to a lot of discussion in our house about the verisimilitude of it. Also, is it weird that people are constantly giving us likenesses of ourselves?
  • Little dude learning to skip rocks on a crystal clear Bavarian lake. Traveling with @wilreynolds & @norapreynolds is the best. #randtookthis #nofilter #bavariansunset #latergram
  • We visited an Abbey where monks brew beer. Somebody's photobombing us. And this was before the drinking. #randtookthis
  • Just visited my step-mother for the first time since my father died. She gave me a box of photos, many which I'd never seen, including this one of my grandfather on my parents' wedding day. This image of him, his face obscured by smoke, is fascinating to me. In my lifetime, I'd never seen him pick up a cigarette, ever.
  • Cheers! Not sure who was more excited to toast over dinner here in Bavaria. Both Rio And Wil look equally psyched.
  • This again. Off to Germany. Really nervous to see Dad's final resting place for the first time. But this guy has been super supportive. So grateful for him. #thisagain #randaldineselfie #selfiesonaplane
  • My husband's grandfather hugged me goodbye after we had breakfast today, and said, "Take care of my little boy." If you need me, I will be crying forever and ever and ever.
  • Geraldine lost her voice (from recording her AUDIO BOOK!) and so made this handy card to take around at the #Mozcon Local afterparty. #randtookthis
  • Geraldine's uncle, Andy, explains to her, in his Cockney accent, how her book was very well written, even though "half the stories were rubbish." Of course her aunt never would say that you can get bubonic plague from cats... No way. (he read a preview copy - final version comes out May 4th) #randtookthis #everyonesacritic #allovertheplace
  • This is Kevin Eastman (of Eastman & Laird fame)'s actual frickin' studio. He mostly does interviews and photoshoots here, but I'm pretty sure 13-yr old me would be FREAKING OUT if he knew I'd seen this in person. #TMNT #randtookthis #turtlepower

All Over The Place

Pre-order my book now and I promise I'll never ask you for anything again.

Pre-Order Now!