Biz trip to Europe – part 2
I had arranged to meet with Jon, the investor, on the first evening of our arrival in London. He came to the hotel in his BMW convertible. He took me to a restaurant by the river, but I could hardly eat because of jetlag and the side effects of antibiotics. The cold of London winter was harsher than I had ever imagined. I felt stupid to wear a skirt and a wool coat. I should have worn thick wool pants and a down jacket.
After dinner, he drove along the river so I could see the iconic landscape of Westminster on our way to the hotel. He gave me a Christmas present in a long and thin box and said it’d warm me up a little. It was a full-size Hermès scarf. I surmised it was what he had believed young women wanted, having worked in the financial sector during the bubble economy and had many conquests. But the colors of the scarf were simple with black, gold, and white, which fit my taste and wardrobe. The extravagant scarf was incongruous to what I was, but the style was very much me.
Jon had been winding up his efforts on courtship with me by then, and it was probably the second to last of our meeting. I didn’t ever believe I hurt him emotionally, other than a tiny sting on his ego. I was one of his potential conquests, and I played along well while his attention lasted. He cared about me so much as knowing my style because it was hard for him to conquer.
In whatever-ship with Jon, I had a grip on power that women were generally deprived of in relationships with men. It was not the imbalanced power over a man or a woman, but it was a more defiant one that challenged the patriarchal rules in a relationship. I’d tell Miss Nagai about the dinner and the scarf to prove that women can have a good time instead of waiting for love that protected a fragile flower. But I also knew I’d be immediately dismissed for not achieving a marriage or a stable relationship out of it, for that is the only true happiness in her view of the world.