Hidemi’s Rambling by Hidemi Woods

Singer, Songwriter and Author from Kyoto, Japan.

Hidemi’s Rambling No.362

on September 28, 2011

As it’s near to my birthday, I remembered my sixteenth birthday. I had been trying to be popular all the years in junior high and high school, which was excruciating because I had been acting someone totally different from me. By the time I became sixteen, I had been the class clown. On my birthday, a lot of friends brought their presents to school for me and I received them even from the girls in other classes that I didn’t know so well. I got the biggest number of presents of my life that year. I came home with full of bags and opened them with my mother. When we were done and looking at all the gifts, my mother made an unreasonable suggestion. She said that I should give one of them to my younger sister. Since they were my birthday gifts, I said no. Her suggestion grew into an order. I didn’t understand why my sister could have one of them on my birthday. My mother explained it was because she felt pity for my sister who didn’t have any while I had plenty. To me who kept insisting it was my birthday, my mother began to threaten that there would be a punishment from God for this. I gave in and my sister took a present away from me. In Japan, if someone gives you something, you must give something back to him or her later as a courtesy. In my case, a record amount of presents meant a record amount of requital. For the following year, I’d had to give a birthday gift to each one of them who gave me one. My monthly allowance wasn’t enough because I had a few or more birthdays in a month. It was a horrible aftermath with struggling to raise money. Being the class clown never paid…

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