I ran into this middle-aged or older Japanese lady in the Gold’s Gym lockerroom who I sometimes see in the morning, and she said hi to me.
Today, we were changing at the same time, and she randomly asked me if I was married. (This convo took place in Japanese, of course, but I’m translating it)
Roxy: No, I’m happy single!
lady: Ah, it’s better that way, you know!
Roxy: It is?! (I was surprised, because most older Japanese people I’ve talked to always encourage hurrying up and finding a husband).
lady: Yes! You’re young and free. As long as you can make enough money to live by yourself, you can survive!
Roxy: I agree. From hearing stories from my friends, it seems like it’s nothing but trouble.
lady: well, Japanese men don’t help the lady at all, right? What country are you from again?
Roxy: I’m from the USA. But you see, American men seem to get out of work earlier, like 5 or 6, so they have the time to come home and cook or clean or whatever, but Japanese men work overtime until late at night…
lady: …so they just want to come home and sleep and don’t have energy for anything. There’s no conversation! There’s no conversation between men and women! It’s a big problem! The girl is so lonely.
lady: Don’t marry a Japanese guy!
Roxy: LOL!! O_O; But if everybody thinks that way, there’ll be no more kids in Japan.
lady: I know, fewer people are getting married these days.
Roxy: Actually, compared to 7 years ago when I first came to Japan, I seem to be seeing more and more FATHERS walking around with their kids, rather than just the mother. Don’t you think?
lady: That’s because the mothers have to work too, in order to keep the family afloat!
Roxy: oh… By the way, are you married?
lady: Oh yes, hahaha! I’m an old lady, 69 years old, you know. I have one daughter who’s 40, and a granddaughter in high school.
We continued on a bit, but I thought that it was interesting that she shares the views of many younger people. And then I JUST HAPPENED to read this newspaper article about how the Japanese birthrate lowered another 0.2 percent compared to last year, and the average age of marriage went up from 30 to 31 or something.