Sunday, March 25, 2007

Table Talk

Sometimes a Hawthorne blog just needs to relax and revel in the cuteness at the end of a nice spring day. Perhaps onechan is a little Pearl-like in what follows, interjecting herself into an adult conversation and all, perhaps not.


SCENE: Last night, at spaghetti place in YouMe [Dream] Town Plaza (a mall). CONSTRUCTIVIST, TSUMA, and ONECHAN waiting for food to arrive. IMOTO happily chomping on spoon. Somehow the conversation has turned to the concept of kawaii [cuteness].

TSUMA: A Japanese celebrity was saying on tv that the meaning of "kawaii" has changed over the years. It used to mean "kawauso"--pitiful--but lately it's become a word that Japanese teenage girls use to bond over. It's like showing you're part of the group.

CONSTRUCTIVIST: So is it possible to disagree over whether something is cute? Like, would you ever say, "kawakunai" [not cute]?

TSUMA: Kawaikunai.

CONSTRUCTIVIST: [realizing once again he has a lot of studying to do before taking the placement test in April] Yes.

ONECHAN: It's like gucha-gucha skaato. [TSUMA laughs.]

CONSTRUCTIVIST: What? What does that mean?


TSUMA: Wrinkled.

ONECHAN: Gucha-gucha skaato. Kawaikunai.

CONSTRUCTIVIST: [Pause, then gets it.] Ah, a wrinkled skirt isn't cute!

TSUMA: I wonder if that's what the older girls at the yochien have been telling her?


Would have staged this scene at Mostly Harmless, but have been doing so much daddy blogging there lately it was starting to read like a diary. Plus it would have completely overshadowed my not-quite-live-blogging the PGA and LPGA tournaments that are coming to a close today at Doral and Superstition Mountain, respectively.

Certainly Hawthorne appreciated the power of little kids to steal scenes--after The Scarlet Letter, did he ever give one a prominent and repeating role in any of his later novels? I'm too frustrated over the state of my internet access tonight and eager to check the golf results to answer that myself!

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