Ey! What a dinner the other night.

As I’ve been saying, everything is a bit cloudy for me as to whether I will be back in the States or here over the next while. So many good friends of mine have been giving me a series of “farewell dinners”. It’s actually becoming quite a scam, in a way, because I have the brief extension!

One circle I traveled in about 5 years back had some unusual expat characters. Especially, one woman from Canada who is, for all intent and purposes, one of the largest negative gossipers in Tokyo. Let’s call her “X”.

Ms. X is a friend of a friend. So for some time now, I have just looked the other way about transgressions, which are numerous. It’s someone I have seen rarely. Maybe five times in the five years.

Here’s her M.O.:

In gossiping about people, take some fact, large or small, and twist it into a negative. Even better, when the matter might be something that actually is a little sensitive or bad. This is a woman who never puts herself down, despite her numerous flaws, so she must get some sense of satisfaction out of doing it [to others.]

I realized she was a problem from Day One. But I only came to realize what a real problem she was when I met someone else at an expat party about two years later. I met a fellow from New York and introduced myself. He said, “so you’re Rick!” Well, yes. He knew “all about me” and the source was Ms. X. (The Eikaiwa world is very small here.) I was astounded at some of the stories.

In turn, it apparently didn’t take long later for this fellow, we’ll call him “William”, to learn that Ms. X had a bunch of tales to spin about him behind his back. Based on zero truth, or quarter truth. I think she might have been instrumental in getting him canned from a job. (She herself has been dismissed from at least two for her bad social habits. Those are two I know about from close associates.)

I feel bad, because this a friend of a friend, and people pick their own friends. But by the same token, why should I be the victim? So 6:30 went to 7:30, 8:30, 9:30 and by sometime after 10—when she started ripping into America and Americans—I let her have it.

This was incredibly discomforting, because it’s someone who really should just act her age, which is a number that in these years is considerable.

The part that makes me feel relieved–the catharsis–is the fact that she got told. She got told. And I didn’t back down. I really wish I had done it several years ago; there are some people you just have to with. Now, she can go badmouth me all she likes. After all, there were [from now] the heated words in the Suizeriya when she got told what a nasty gossip she was, who takes misheard conversation and parts of facts and makes lies out of them. To hurt people.

How would this woman ever have survived the Plymouth Bay Colony?