So, if you haven't read the book, a geisha is an entertainer of men. These men are usually older and hire geisha to attend their parties in order to enjoy their presence. And, geisha don't marry. Their life is their work. Wikipedia puts it best when explaining the nature of the relationships between geisha and the men they entertain:
"Geisha engagements may include flirting with men and playful innuendos; however, clients know that nothing more can be expected. In a social style that is common in Japan, men are amused by the illusion of that which is never to be."
After reading the enthralling book, Memoirs of a Geisha, I have started to see similarities of these geisha/men relationship in my own reality. Most of my male encounters these days are with older, married men, due to the nature of work I am in. I am one of the only younger people around so these men, like I referred to in my previous entry, just take to me. It has blown my mind how they can be so over the age difference, life experience difference, and um, they are married difference, and just dote on me, telling me I'm beautiful, getting borderline mushy at work parties after a few drinks and just simply helping me when I just need a man to get it done.
The thing that blew my mind about the book is basically the same, these men hiring geisha are mostly all married, much older and have lived totally different lives. However, they have this need and yearning and love for young women. Then you look at Bible times and so many leaders in the Bible had several wives. Its an ancient practice no longer accepted now, but I clearly see these remaining whimpers of desires in the grown men around me.
For example, one man at work, with a position similar to Sayuri's Danna (Danna... man who supports a Geisha for a length of time) from the book, called The Chairman, is a friendly 50 year old man that is funny, takes time to listen to his employees, a bit scattered, but has a good heart and is someone I can call a friend. He makes no effort to hide that he thinks I'm attractive or that he enjoys my presence.
One day I was having an awful day. I was stressed from work but the main thing bothering me was the night before due to exhaustion I had a major distaste at my house... a bookshelf fell while packing up items to decorate at a wedding for that weekend, breaking a ton of my decorations, some handmade, and I had no one to help me put everything back together and clean up the remains. It made me feel so utterly alone. The Chairman walked by my office, stopped in and asked me, "What's wrong?" Those two words were all it took and the whole story and a river of tears just came tumbling out of me. Chairman listened and offered to help me get all the remaining items to the event, help unload and set up so I wouldn't have to go it alone. And he did. In the pouring rain. For an outside wedding.
You can call it friendship, and yes, it is. But now after reading the book and seeing into these relationships of the past, it seems a bit different than friendship. That day he was different than a friend. He didn't want anything more than friendship but enjoyed his ability to bail me out and be the hero of the day. And whatever illusions he had in his head.
My question is (other than what should I establish my hourly entertainment rate at... jk) do other women experience this in their life? Where do you draw the line? Should I cut off friendship knowing these guys are borderline geisha lovers? And how the heck did I get classified in the geisha group rather than the wife group? (Not saying I want to marry these old dudes, just saying why is the male attention I get from the old married and not young single.)
Maybe because I'm not chomping at the bit to get married. Maybe because I break up with my sweet boyfriend after two years because I don't know what love is. Maybe because I see the sweetness in these married men and am glad I have at least someone to turn to when everything crumbles to the floor and I'm alone with a smoking car or furniture to move or broken pieces of home decor all over the floor.