Having fallen in love with an apartment listing last Sunday, U and I went back on Saturday to actually look at apartments in our proposed new neighbourhood. We had been worried all week that the apartment would have been already snatched up, but to our delight it was still available. The agent took us to see a total of five places - all the same neighbourhood, same number of rooms, and roughly the same amount per month but still the variation was surprising. The low light was the place up a flight of stairs stinking of alcohol above a 24 hour convenience store... and the highlight was the listing we had fallen in love with. It was even better than we had hoped and we fell even further in love.
We decided, therefore, to declare our love for the apartment and propose. This being Japan nothing could be straightforward and reams of paperwork must be submitted. The first step requires us to apply for the apartment. Before we could do so, however, our young and very bouncy real estate agent got serious all of a sudden.
"What is your relationship?" she asked with a bland smile. I looked at U and he just looked at his hands, so the agent repeated her question "Are you married?"
"Umm, not yet." stammers U.
"Do you have a date set? A specific date and location?" Suddenly her perkiness is gone as she examines us closely. I stick with saying nothing and U mumbles a negative. Real estate woman gives us a last searching look, as if expecting U to propose to me right then and there. When that doesn't seem forthcoming she gives a long drawn-out sigh and announces that if we aren't married and have no immediate and concrete plans to be so, we'll each have to submit separate paperwork.
Then we had the fun of announcing to U's parents that we plan to live in sin. His father took the announcement stoically, simply nodding and then making positive sounds to my comment that this was the norm in Canada. U's mother, however, was less easily convinced. Her immediate reaction was to propose to me. Urmmmm...
And so the expectations mount. Any wonder my stomach isn't happy with me?!