“I must put on something decent!”

Disclaimer: Andrew told me to think of the blog as my personal journal to encourage me to write more. Let it be known that this is the outcome of that said encouragement, therefore I am not responsible for the sarcastic opinions contained here. I was given leave to complain.

For reference the joke I’m referring to in the title of this post is around the 16:46 mark, but you should watch the whole thing. It’s glorious.

Nothing says “cutting remark” ex post facto like MST3K!

When I took a job teaching teenagers in Japan, I knew I would have to be “careful” with my wardrobe. As I am a very modest gal to begin with and wore button-ups with ties as my work uniform for years, I didn’t think it would be too hard to stay covered up. I didn’t pack a lot of clothes, so when I began working here I grabbed a few ladies’ button-ups from H&M, as I was a bit strapped for cash. Come winter, I now wear the button-ups with sweaters.

Today, one of my company’s Japanese managers came to observe my class. He is curt in general, but on this particular occasion he did say one thing to me before hurriedly rushing out the door: that my neckline was too low.

Here’s exactly what I was wearing:


Channeling the Church Lady and criticizing my own immodesty. Is your wardrobe from SAtan?

Maybe I would have been less irritated if he had chosen to add something constructive about my actual job performance. Having my wardrobe labeled “immodest” compared to folks back home would be really funny if I wasn’t too preoccupied with feeling unprofessional and ashamed of being a woman. I’m trying to remember all those times I was jokingly referred to as a “prude” to make myself feel better. Ironic.

Since the only thing that was deemed important enough to tell me regarded my appearance, I was more than a little annoyed. Here’s all the snarky comments that have been stewing since then…

– I didn’t know Japan had a neck fetish, I’ll try to be more understanding now.

– So, let me get this straight. Low neck line = NO, porn next to the children’s magazines in the convenience store = Totally Cool.

– Also: tentacle porn… (don’t ask).

– Is that one freckle you can see under my throat really more tempting to teenage boys than my being the only buxom blonde they have ever met?

– What if my neckline was pickled?

– I can’t attach any more shame to my body than I already do!

– In a traditional society there are no neck lines. Women are actually rectangles. True story.

– If I wore a tie, just to make sure all the neck was fully covered, I’m pretty  sure that would go over badly as well.

– Is there a burka store somewhere in Tohoku where I can get really covered up?

– Maybe a diagram during training measuring the exact amount of acceptable throat visibility could have helped us avoid this.

– You should see what I wear to the grocery store.

– Hey at least now the kids are paying attention in class…

– If this gets Japanese men’s hearts racing, then I’m actually a little concerned about their health. Maybe there should be less coffee vending machines.

That explains it! No wonder the majority of Japanese men in their twenties live at home and have never been kissed; they are fearful of a woman’s collarbone.

– You know I’m still going to be a woman with breasts no matter how high my neckline gets, right?

– So Bikini Tuesdays are out then?

– Do I seriously have to bust out the safety pins if I ever want to wear this shirt again?

– I was worried my vocabulary reading was coming off as “too steamy.” Now I know its just my neckline.

– So sorry, the robot that fixes my neckline is in the repair shop.

– I guess I should have invested entirely in turtlenecks before moving.

– Believe me,  if I thought the teenage boys were getting a kick out of my clavicle, I’d be the first to sport a turtleneck.

– Mitch Hedberg said it best, “Wearing a turtle neck is like having a really weak guy try to choke you all day.”

– Seriously though, turtlenecks are awful. I’ve owned one never.

– I’m just sharing American culture.

– Is it my fault that the office place uniform etiquette for women is a mystery?

– Didn’t anyone, like your mother perhaps, explain to you how to speak to women, especially when it involves their appearance?

Feel free to add your our snarky comments! I’m sure I didn’t think of them all…

One comment on ““I must put on something decent!”

  1. Lanni Butterworth says:

    Put picture of massive nose bleed guy from Andrew’s blog about the pink light district in Sendai.

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