The Underpinnings of Confidence

by Kimiecat — March 5, 2012

On March 12, one day after the earthquake I received this email:

Hi Kimberly,
There was huge earthquake yesterday.
I have not experienced such big before.
Are you OK?
Everything is fine?
If you could see the schedule we have offered,
please let us know whether we would borrow your power.


I had been locked up in my house for two straight weeks and then started flying all over hither and yon doing shows with Elmo from Sesame Street to entertain kids. I went to some pretty far flung places, including Shin Urayasu, which had a lot of liquidification damage as you can see here from my friend’s blog The Tokyo Reporter. It was really upsetting seeing the damage there knowing it was a mere fraction of what had happened up in Tohoku.

Cheney mentioned Marie Colvin, a heroically brave woman whom I am nothing like, except in one tiny way. After the earthquake on March 11th I bought ridiculously expensive fine lingerie. Not immediately after, but about a month after, while ping ponging across the city, I started having flashbacks of my grandmother saying, “always wear clean underware you never know what’s going to happen.” Clean got translated into downright fancy. I cannot speak for Ms. Colvin, but for me, frivolous underpinnings were anything but (butt?), they became the foundation of my new confidence.

It’s not that I never had nice underware before, of course I’ve had some, but I hadn’t ever purchased any in Japan and certainly not with a “no matter the cost” attitude. I picked exactly what I wanted and bought it all…all of it. And yes, the price made me gasp, but it was about one tenth the amount of money I had raised for earthquake relief. Splurging so I could wear something pretty if I was going to be crushed to death by falling buildings AT ANY POINT wasn’t so hard. Also, it wasn’t the fancy undies that were the real pleasure but allowing myself to have fun after weeks of being scared, sleepless, and worried. Allowing myself to spend time, interact and chat with the salesgirl and to forget for a little while that the world sucked a lot. I took just a little time to slow down, think about exactly what I wanted and look at pretty feminine things. She had fun, I had fun.

When I bought that underware it felt like a step back to normal. It was the first time I was really enjoying shopping in a long time. Shopping is something you are supposed to really enjoy in Japan, especially Tokyo, all of the women’s magazines I have ever read told me so.

With my lovely new underware on I started really enjoying other things I couldn’t/wouldn’t before…like cafe lunches alone and exploring the city. On those days I started dreaming up some goals for the future, buy an iPad, expand my work as a voice actor, get back on stage, and start an art salon evening. And as of last week I managed to cross everything off my list, it has been an incredible year of getting my feet back under me creatively.

So, on March 11, I’ll be buying a new set of nice undies. I’m not quite ready for the eye popping prices of La Perla like Marie, but I might be ready to make a new list of eye popping goals to conquer. If anything happens on that day or any other I’ll have on my very best underneath it all.

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