Society | Feb 26

The Unspoken Rules of Adult Conduct: When Apologies Aren't Enough

TOKYO, Feb 26 (News On Japan) - Continuing from the previous installment, I am Karina, a 33-year-old mother living with my husband Ryuuki, who is 30, and our two children, Rikuto, 5, and Noa, 2. During a family gathering at the beginning of the year, Ryuuki's cousin Ran was being asked by relatives, including my husband, about when she was planning to get married.


I was taking care of the children and overheard the conversation. From that day on, Ran's attitude, who had always been kind, changed dramatically. Until then, Ran's mother, who loved children, had been taking care of our kids several times a month. Now, she said she could no longer do so. Officially, the reason given was her mother's poor health, but recalling Ran's irritated demeanor at the New Year's gathering and the way she ignored us when we left, I suspected the real reason was that conversation.

After being ignored during the final greetings at the New Year's event, I thought Ran was upset about the comments regarding grandchildren and marriage, so I brought it up with Ryuuki as soon as he got home. He seemed to think he was just making casual conversation. While admitting that topics like marriage can be sensitive and that we might have been at fault, we also felt that Ran didn't need to be so angry. Even if she had an unpleasant experience, as adults, we thought it was normal to at least exchange basic greetings and conversations as part of family relations, right?

Although Ryuuki and I both thought he hadn't said anything wrong, the fact that we could no longer rely on her to watch our children meant we had to apologize. The next day happened to be Ryuuki's day off, so we quickly bought Ran's mother's favorite sweets and visited Ran's house. Ran's mother greeted us with her usual kind smile as if nothing had changed. She had heard from Ran about refusing to take care of our children and apologized for it.

Ran still seemed angry, avoiding eye contact with us and responding only with "yes" to our mature attempt at an apology. While my husband might have brought up a rude topic, I wondered about Ran's behavior as an adult and as a relative. We had apologized considering future family relations, yet Ran's seemingly childish attitude only increased our feelings of distrust.

To be continued in the next installment.

Source: MDPR


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