Saturday, January 17, 2009

Sins of the Fathers

During an emotional visit to Pearl Harbor’s U.S.S. Arizona Memorial years ago, I recall being surprised and somewhat offended at the presence of Japanese tourists.

My initial reaction was, "How dare they?" Turning to my companion, “That would be like my traveling to Hiroshima wearing my high-school cardigan.”

OK, so I wasn’t even alive when the attack on Pearl Harbor occurred, and yes, I drive a Toyota. But, Dad was a WWII Navy man prior to our family’s relocation to Los Alamos…. where my ‘68 high-school yearbook depicts a group of smiling teenagers sitting astride replicas of Fat Man and Little Boy. Never mind that my father was merely a security officer for the then-Atomic Energy Commission.... I’m enormously proud of the work those men (and women) did ~ and continue to do on the “Hill.” (I’ve digressed, but you get the irony.)

So there in the middle of a Hawaiian funk I missed it, but later learned that those “interloper tourists” at the Memorial were spotted silently weeping.
Color me, ashamed.

Fast-forward, 2009:
A chronic nail-biter, I’m reduced to concealing my 10 ragged stubs under a pretty acrylic coat. French tips, if you must know. :)

Unfortunately, this disguise requires bi-weekly maintenance; hence, my carrot-and-stick dilemma. Am I the only lady of a “certain age” who feels uncomfortable patronizing the Vietnamese nail salons that have cropped up everywhere? I mean, come on! Seems we go to sleep and viola’ the next morning, here’s another!

Call me paranoid (OK, I’m paranoid), but I’d enjoy the experience lots more if it didn’t involve some impossibly pretty techie taking my hands in hers … shaking her head at the chewed cuticles … then giggling with her co-workers in a foreign tongue for the next 45 minutes. One might reason, they’re just recalling “Meet the Fokkers” … I don’t think so.

Once after being nicked by a tech’s Dremel tool (without benefit of an "I'm sorry"), I made a note to ask Hubby… did he pick up any Vietnamese dialect during his 60’s tour of duty? Then, “You suppose they’re too young to understand ‘Charlie’”? Always the Tolerant One, he just shakes his head … you don’t even want to go there. (I hate it when he’s right.)

So, I originally began this post a couple months ago, but really want to say that I’ve found a new Happy Place to take my fingers. Yes, it’s apparently owned-and-operated by Vietnamese, but these folks speak mostly English and giggle lots less. In fact, my favorite tech is a lady about my age with a sweet, sweet soul. We visit about many things, but our histories stay hidden. I reckon that’s for the best.


  1. Gosh, I have to come back to "digest" this post- there are so many thought provoking ideas. Glad you found a place you are comfortable in - that's important.

  2. It's amazing how a little time going by can color our attitudes. I enjoyed these last two posts. I was alive when Pearl Harbor was bombed but was only 5 years old, but I remember the war and how everybody hated the Japs and Germans. Now when I go to Hawaii and see Japanese people all over the place because here are a lo of them there, I don't think of them as Japs at all. I've even been to Germany and didn't feel any hatred at all for the people there. I had a wonderful time.

  3. lot. There were a lot of them there. Should have proofread. lol


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