Saturday night okaasan told me that in November, one of otoosan's subordinates from the company is getting married, and that she and otoosan are going to be their formal go-betweens at the wedding ceremony. Sunday afternoon, they would be coming over to the house for lunch. Well, when I woke up on Sunday morning and went downstairs, there was an entire table covered with food that looked a little more "special" than that we normally ate. I walked into the tatami room (which as far as I had known was only used as okaasan's art studio) and saw the table set with really nice dishes. In addition, extra cushy zabuton (cushions) had been set out. When I saw two pairs of really nice slippers out by the stairs, I realized that this was something special.

When the couple came in, they all sat down and basically just talked for eight hours. After about two hours I went upstairs to do some homework. When I came back downstairs a few hours later, otoosan was completely wasted! His communication inhibitions had clearly gone out the window. When I came in he immediately launched into explaining to the couple the story of how when okaasan wasn't home (when she was working at the hospital) I prepared his dinner for him. He went on about what a good human being (ii hito) I was, and then said that I was his "American daughter", and that he loved me just like he loved his real children. I didn't know how much of it was the sake, but I was really touched and happy when he said that. I guess after about a month of living with the Saitos, it's really like a family. I'd like to think that they no longer treat me as a guest, although I'm sure in some respects, that's not really the case.

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