White Day Weekend

Good Man has been working too much lately. (What else is new?) He was in Busan from Tuesday morning to Friday afternoon this week. I wasn’t sure when I was going to get to see him again, so I started calling him my Weekend Boyfriend.

Thursday night I talked to Jennifer, who asked if we were doing anything special for White Day. Jennifer digs romantic holidays. Good Man and I bought each other cheese and RAM for our birthdays and didn’t even exchange Christmas gifts, so of course I said, “Nope, nothing special.”

But Friday evening, I was having dinner and drinks with Master and Sabumnim the Man, so we could become friends. I really wanted Good Man to come.

Good Man returned from Busan around 4:30, came to my house, took a nap, and then headed to taekwondo with me. Although he won’t admit it, I know he just wanted to get home, change his clothing (Busan was an annonved-at-the-last-minute-no-time-to-pack trip), shower and sleep. But instead he went with me. Good Man is a Very Good Man.

We got there late, so I didn’t play soccer with the rest of the class, but we chatted with Master. Master had invited his brother’s family and a hubae (junior classmate) as well.

Master’s Brother walked in and introductions were made. He said to Good Man, “You speak Korean?”


“Oh, wow. Good.”

I laughed and said, “He’s Korean!”

Master’s Brother looked so surprised. “Really? You’re Korean?” It seems that Good Man was dressed “like luxury,” so Master’s Brother thought he was…Chinese? Korean-American? Japanese? I have no idea.

Master’s kids were being wonderful, like always. When their cousin showed up, Master’s Son ran up to her and sort of followed her around. I think he’s got a little crush on her. I was hanging out with Master’s Daughter cause she’s so darn funny, clinging to me, whispering things I couldn’t understand. At once point I said in Korean, “I speak English.” I switched to English. “I speak English.”

I knew she wouldn’t understand; she’s only 3 Western age. But I wish I had a video camera at that moment. Her eyebrows knitted together just a bit, then she managed to raise both eyebrows out to the side. The look on her face said it all. “What the heck did you just say?”

Dinner was huge. We had jokbal, bosam, and tangsuyuk (with the side dishes that those main dishes entail), a large bowl of fruit cocktail that kept getting refilled, mandu, apples… Master’s wife just kept preparing more and more food. At one point Master said, “Stop cooking!” But she didn’t.

The entire evening was, as always, wonderful. But there are two points of conversation I’ll hold in my heart for a long time.

At one point Good Man and I were talking. I was telling him how Master met his wife, how she waited for him when he was in the military, how she went to a women’s college. Master asked what we were talking about. I said, “Remember when we were drinking 동동주?” I explained what we were talking about.

Master was surprised that I remembered the conversation so well. I said, as best I could, “You had a lot of love in your voice. So I thought your wife was very lucky.”

Master grinned and his wife blushed a bit. I think those two really, really love each other and have a good marriage. It makes my heart happy to see them.

At one point, Master started talking to Good Man about something. My name kept coming up, but apparently I misunderstood the whole lecture (Good Man said so later). I left the room for a few minutes and came back to find Master toasting Good Man.

“Did he just give your his seal of approval?” I asked Good Man in English.

Master shook his head, “Amanda, it’s a secret!” He made Good Man promise it was a secret.

“Um…Master, when I talk to my mom, she always says, ‘Does Master like Good Man? If he does, then I like him…'”

“Ah, yes, OK!”

Master’s seal of approval. I couldn’t ask for anything more.

The rest of the weekend was nice, too. We watched Juno and went to a nice Italian restaurant near my house. It’s on the 42nd (top) floor of a building and overlooks the city, so it’s quite pretty. A nice brunch this morning followed by a bit of Korean practice on the subway (where I accidentally said someone had “multiple personalities”).

Really, the fact that Good Man joined us even though he hadn’t been to his own house since Monday morning—so much better than any candy, toys, or notes Good Man could have given me.