Meeting Mother and Sister for the Last Time

Sunday I met Good Man’s family (without Father, who’s in a foreign country) again. We were supposed to go for a drive in the country, which apparently meant a brief drive outside of Seoul to a restaurant called 하늘정원, SkyGarden.

While we were eating, Mother again pointed to the kimchi and said, “kimchi.”

Sister giggled, I said, “I know” and Good Man said, “Mom! She knows!” Good Man said, “When you come to America, we’re going to point to food and say ‘hamburger, pizza.'”

(I realized that Good Man has a voice that he uses with his mother. “Mom!” I still sometimes use the same “Mom” voice that I used years ago, so it’s not a shock, but it’s rather odd to hear coming from him.

At dinner he once again lectured his mother about something. I asked why he always talks to her but “doesn’t have a mouth” with me. He said that he doesn’t have to lecture me or disagree with me.

It’s time for him to move out, indeed. I don’t know how Korean kids do it. I don’t know how Korean parents do it. My parents were pretty happy when I moved out at 18. And living with them for six weeks or whatever this summer is going to be odd enough…)

Mother kept worrying that I wasn’t eating enough food. I was eating more than enough food, as there was a ton of it. At one point she said, “새우 맛있어요.” Shrimp is delicious. I don’t like seafood and I had explained why in the car.

(A long time ago I wrote that I’d be very happy with my Korean level if I could explain why I don’t like fish. Well, I can explain it all except for one word.)

I picked up the last shrimp and put it on her plate, as she’d been putting food on my plate. “새우 맛있어요,” I said.

I worry that Mother thinks I’m an idiot because I need Good Man to translate so much. She tends to say something without any context or warning, or puts my name at the end of the sentence so I don’t know she’s talking to me until I’ve missed what she’s said. Good Man has to translate a lot.

Mother, Good Man, Me, Sister

Good Man had something in his eye and couldn’t look at the camera.

Mother, Good Man, Me, Sister
When he finally looked, Mother was squinting. Oh well, at least Sister and I look cute.

After dinner we headed off to EMart to buy some things. “아만다, 굿멘 가족같이 뭐했어?” Amanda, what did you do with Good Man’s family? I started the imaginary conversation in my head.

“이마트에 갔아왔어.” Oh, we went to EMart.

“음…” Ummm…

“알아. 지금 가족인것 같아…” I know, I feel like part of the family, now.

(Yes, actually, this in-my-head-conversation was in Korean.)

After Emart (where Mother insisted on buying my space saving bags), we headed to Good Man’s house. I talked to Father, who told me to take care of Good Man in America, “because he doesn’t know very much.”

Sister gave me a darling little photo album with Polaroids in it that she’d taken last weekend. She’d also tucked a note in there, a note I read later. So sweet. I’m going to miss her.

Mother and Sister walked us to the subway station. We hugged and Mother, Sister and I all had tears welling in our eyes. Luckily, we parted before any fell, because had any one of us started crying, I think all of us would have. Well, all of us except for Good Man. I’m starting to be convinced that he physically lacks tear ducts.

Good Man comes from a good family.

Get It Together, Amanda
In order to get Good Man to smile in a photo, I usually whisper something really inappropriate in his ear. I couldn’t do that with his family there and I couldn’t stop giggling.

Good Man and Me