Comic: Have you left the house today? (problems with dating a freelancer)

43 have you left the house today comic cartoon amwf amww japan living in japan foreigner husband is japanese texan in tokyo

If I’m freelancing from there is NO reason for me to change out of my pajamas. Like, they’re so comfortable (ok, so actually there have been several studies linking “dressing the part” and production when it comes to Freelancing, but shhhhh, no one tell Ryosuke).

I also have recurring problems with anxiety. It’s complicated. But especially living in Tokyo, where people will quite literally be like “oh my gosh, it’s a foreigner” and point to me (and sometimes come up and practice their English on me, which really, is nice, but I can’t deal with it all the time). While I get a lot of writing done at cafes and coffee shops near the house, if I’m feeling “vulnerable” that day, I won’t leave the house. 

Hence the Ryosuke coming home and I’m still in my pajamas. Sometimes in the exact same spot (also a comic).

He’s just jealous that I don’t have to wear a stuffy suit all day :) 

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Like these comics? Check out my comic books (on Amazon):

My Japanese Husband Thinks I’m Crazy: The Comic Book

and

My Japanese Husband (still) Thinks I’m Crazy

and

Confessions of a Texan in Tokyo

About Grace Buchele Mineta

I got into the writing business by accident. Now I live in the countryside near Tokyo with my husband, Ryosuke, where I draw comics, blog, and make videos about our daily life. Contact: Website | More Posts

29 Comments on Comic: Have you left the house today? (problems with dating a freelancer)

  1. Nah, I need to get up, wash my face and change before I do any freelance work. Although I just change into equally comfortable tracksuit pants and baggy sweater!

  2. Days where I can stay at home all day in my pajamas… I strike to carve them out in my calendar. Whether it’s working from home or a day off, there’s seriously nothing better than being in comfy clothes all day.
    I’ve also heard about the “dress up for the right mindset” but… nahhh. ;)

    • I have my “working headband.” So when I wear it, I work. When I’m not, I can take a break/hang out.

      So I still get to be comfortable all day – but I also have a sort of physical cue for separating personal/private work. But yes. Comfy clothes are the BEST.

  3. Not leaving the house for a whole day is a bad thing? If this is true, this would be a new “weird” thing that I hear about Japan.

    The previous “weird” thing I heard of was from a consultant from Tokyo who came to my company for some work. Over lunch he told us that as a hardworking Japanese man, on working days, he is not expected to leave work on time, he is supposed to stay in the office until at least 8pm, and then spend that hour or two commuting home. So if he shows up at home before 10pm-ish, he will get a proper scolding from his wife. That sounds so depressing. Does Ryosuke come home from work late at night every day?

    • Anonymous // 13 June, 2014 at 3:08 am //

      > Not leaving the house for a whole day is a bad thing?

      I suspect that Ryosuke needling his wife about not leaving the house isn’t prompted by her not fitting in some mold of the “traditional Japanese housewife.” Instead, it’s probably just concern for her emotional well being.

      As far as cultural stereotypes (norms?) go, there should be no problem with a traditional Japanese housewife staying at home all day.

      On the other hand, the “traditional Japanese husband” (e.g. my dad) — the salaryman — is supposed to go work every day. And work late, if necessary. And the traditional Japanese housewife (e.g. my mom) is supposed to accept that.

      My parents are in their 60s now — and retired. Couples these days are no doubt different.

      • I’ve noticed times are changing.

        But you’re right. My husband gets worried if I stay in-doors all day, because I like to be actively social.
        The day I drew this comic was after a “relaxing day,” where I just needed a short break from the world. Ryosuke knows I will NEVER fit the mold of a traditional Japanese housewife (and he doesn’t want to be a traditional Japanese salaryman).
        I wonder what this generation of young adults will turn out to be.

        • I get what you are saying, but will they really have a choice to be or not to be “traditional” salarymen? Does Ryosuke-kun?
          I am sorry that he has to stay at work/or at after-work-work for long, it stinks. Meanwhile, I see around me (here in the US), who are supposedly more in control of their lives thanks to “freer” US workplace culture, get laid off left and right (in their 40s and 50s), and lose their houses, declare bankruptcy, etc.–not to mention the vast majority of them (men and women) juggle multiple wage- (not salary-) earning jobs to barely make their ends meet (or not).
          Looking at their struggles (and often, resulting disintegration of their families), “traditional salarymen and housewives” actually sound like privilege, not curse.
          Having said that, I would still hate obligatory socializing (I don’t drink)! :-)

          • I get what you’re saying. The lifetime employment system in Japan is great for a lot of reasons (security, less back-stabbing in-company, expectations, etc) and kind of not great for a lot of reasons (if you do get fired- it’s so difficult to find a new job, people are promoted by age not by skill set, etc). And it is wonderful that Japanese companies typically pay a “living wage” right off the bat.

            I think both are complicated.
            I’ve never held a traditional job in the states (all part-time stuff) and my parents loved their jobs, so I haven’t really experienced the down side to the American job market (aside from how difficult it is for grads to find jobs/people who have been laid off). I’m sure when we move back to the states we will be plenty annoyed with little things…

    • It is not a “weird thing in Japan”. The “stay at work to impress your boss” phenomenon is extremely common in major western cities e.g. London, New York, where competition for jobs is high and the work culture is cut throat. Media covers it now and again, don’t know why you think it’s a Japanese thing.

      • I think it is common in America to stay late to impress your boss – but there aren’t as many “mandatory drinking parties” and stuff. About twice a week, my husband is required to stay after work (for 4 – 6 extra hours) for small-scale drinking parties at an izakaya bar with his collegues and bosses. He’s not allowed to skip.

        So he’s staying late to impress the boss (sort of), but not actually getting any work done. Just repetative socializing.
        I think that’s what realgunners was talking about.

    • Yesssss. Both of us dislike it.

      He’s supposed to get off work at 6:30 – and only has a 20 min commute. So he’s SUPPOSED to get home at like 7pm most nights. That never happens.
      Last night, as he was trying to sneak out the back, his boss called him back and, well, he ended up getting home at like 10:45.

      I’ve heard that some wives get worried if their husband comes home early – like he’s missing out on drinking parties/networking, but I would rather have my husband home. And he would rather be at home relaxing and snuggling, rather than pouring drinks for higher ups.

      I think he’s just jealous I get to wear my PJs all day~

  4. I suppose for me, that’s one of the perks of looking Japanese.
    Despite living in Texas my entire life, I’ve been told my English is great :/
    (and asked if I was in middle school [college student here], but that’s another ballpark).

    • It gets extremely annoying fast, when every now and again someone who is “kind” to you by complimenting you on your native English. The assumption that you are foreign because you aren’t white, especially in a nation where minorities are born in significant numbers…

      • I do believe that they think they’re being sincerely kind. It’s one of those things were they say it on the rare occasion, but the person they’re saying it to hears it all the time. I definitely believe that America is reaching a turning point in social “acceptances”, if you will.

    • Anonymous // 12 June, 2014 at 9:19 pm //

      Oh my gosh this is so annoying!!!
      “This exam must be so difficult for you since you guys are not even used to writing in English.”
      “Your English is so good.”
      and my favorite “Do you know what does *insert very simple word* mean?”

      • It is annoying, but I can’t fault the person entirely. In my mind, t’s more of a societal problem. I can usually tell when the person is being sincere, so I can’t be mad at them. I feel like it’s more out of ignorance than anything.

    • Hahaha. Oh man. I’ve been lucky enough to always look older than I am (never younger), but I have a friend who still gets carded for buying energy drinks and stuff (thinking she’s under 18) – and she’s 29. She gets so frustrated.

      • Oh wow, that sounds very frustrating! It must be nice looking older than you are :) Surprisingly, I’ve never been carded at movie theaters, even though my friends with me were.

  5. I am living the exact same situation here! I just graduated and I haven’t got a job yet, so I spend pretty much my whole day at home applying for jobs. It is nice to be able to freely manage your time and working from the comfort of your home, but man, I believe I am getting tired of it. I start longing for a more active lifestyle, if you know what I mean.

    Well, looking at the bright side of it, I manage to workout everyday, which is something I would never have time to do if I was working in a office!

    • I’m still looking for a regular job, but my visa hasn’t come through yet. It’s kind of frustrating. I’m trying to look on the bright side (plenty of time to blog & I get to wear PJs all day), but staying at home all day for more than a month is pretty awful. Ugh.

      I have been able to work out quite a bit, though, same as you. It’s nice.

  6. I don’t know why I can’t see the comic :( using safari on my phone

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