Today Yumi’s brother Koji and Seiko were married at the Hotel Osaka Grand. Though admittedly most of the attention was on the bride, I did stand out like a sore thumb being the only gaijin at the event (and the only white person some of the family had ever met in person I was told). Before the ceremony, I found myself in a hotel room with Yumi’s family. Yumi had left the overcrowded room to get some air when suddenly her mom and all the obachans (aunts) began changing clothes. There I was caught in the middle and with no easy exit. I didn’t know which way to look, so I did my best to stare at my shoes until I was finally able to slip out. Even signing the guest book presented a problem. Guests used their family seals and I held up the line as the staff tried to figure out how to get my name into the book without a stamp. The ceremony was wonderful. It was Western-style service with a rented pastor and choir (though I think I was actually the only real Christian in the room). At the reception, I finally had a chance to be introduced to the new bride and the rest of the family. Everyone made me feel very welcomed, though there was one ojichan (uncle) in particular that seemed to pay more attention to me than the rest. Often when I turned toward the front of the room to watch the gushing and somewhat inebriated speakers, I would see him looking back at me smiling. Yumi thought it was funny that he seemed to be studying my every move, from the way I held my fork to the way I drank my beer. A little self-conscious, I finally excused myself to have a cigarette and he followed me to one corner of the room. He also lit up and gave me a big warm smile. I wish I could’ve said something in Japanese but all I could think of was “atarashi macara-ga hoshi desu” (“I need a new pillow”) which was about the only Japanese Yumi had taught me and hadn’t proven too useful yet. Hopefully, I will have a chance to meet Ojichan in the future. Seemed like a really nice guy.