January 2006 – Multiple girlfriends (not mine)

In most of the stories on this blog I write about my adventures with teaching, my life in Japan, or how much karaoke and beer I enjoyed the night before. However, from the end of 2005 one of my roommates had an interesting story happening which I never wrote about at the time (for reasons that will quickly become obvious).

When I moved in to my company apartment in 2004, Palmer was dating a youthful Japanese woman who spent a LOT of time in our apartment. She had a key and came and went whenever she felt like it. I’m sure this was a good arrangement for her and Palmer, but it annoyed Azeroth and I. The worst situation was when I had The Penpal over for some private time, and Palmer’s girlfriend came out of the shower wearing a towel. To be fair, Azeroth and I were not the world’s best roommates, but Palmer’s girlfriend, even though we liked her, was a regular source of stress at the apartment.

Near the end of 2005, Palmer broke up with his girlfriend and hit the rebound market pretty hard. He was tall, confident, fit, and fluently bilingual, which are all good qualities when you are on the prowl in Japan. Over beers we had learned that he was interested in two different female students at our branch. Note: for those who haven’t been reading, we worked at a conversational English school, so the students were mostly adults. Both of these ladies were in their 20s, and were regulars at our NOVA branch.

I guess he was working his charms on both of them to see if something would pan out. Somehow he managed to end up dating both of them at the same time!

NOVA policy strictly forbids teachers from interacting with students outside of the classroom. Most of the teachers did anyway, with the knowledge that if the supervisors didn’t catch you in the act, they probably wouldn’t say anything. In this case, Palmer WAS a supervisor. It was risky, but both of the students were aware of the policy and the position that they were in, so they were very good at keeping things quiet. This was convenient for Palmer, both for not getting in trouble, and it helped keep his two girlfriends from finding out about each other!

This arrangement presented some interesting situations. We would have one of them over to hang out at the apartment, and the other one would be over the next night. When he would be out with one, he would be very careful where he went. He had a very distinctive appearance, so it was easy to spot him in a crowd.

The most stressful situation happened at work; he ended up having both of his girlfriends in the same VOICE class (open conversation classroom) at the same time. He told us later that it was the longest 40 minutes of his teaching career!!

I’m not going to make any judgements about his behaviour (let he who is without sin…). I can say that it helped make life more interesting for not only Palmer, but his roommates Azeroth and I for the few months that this arrangement lasted.

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