Meeting Yumi’s family for the first time just days before our marriage was a little unnerving. They had expected her to move back to Osaka after finishing college, not stay in America and marry a gaijin. First impressions would be important if they were ever going to accept me. So I offered them a beer in Japanese (about the only thing I knew how to say). Everyone seemed pleased with my attempt. I handed her mother and aunt each a bottle of Budweiser. They looked confused. Panicked, I went to get Yumi to translate. They spoke briefly and then she left for the kitchen and retrieved 2 glasses. Damn! Not off to the best start. But her family were very appreciative and, smiling at me, they each took turns saying “Budweiser”. So I smiled and repeated back “Budweiser” holding up my bottle and we laughed. I was just thinking that I must be making a great first impression when Okaasan suddenly darted from the couch to her suitcase. She took out a gift for me still in the department store bag. It was a printed t-shirt. I held it up and blushed. Apparently, my good first impression was not enough for her to continue to hide her displeasure over our marriage. In giant purple and black letters were written the words “F*ck Off!” and “no good”. I glanced over at Obachan. She just smiled back, holding up her bottle of beer and said “Budweiser.”