Monday, January 26, 2009

"How do you say 'stuff our faces' in English?"

The only little one who showed up for our family lunar new year gathering. She is the hardest one to get close to and I was convinced for a long time that she hated me but today we got along pretty well. It always helps to include holding her upside down repeatedly. It's not traditional to bow to your elders to pay your new year's respects on a yoga mat, but we put it there to cushion our knees. I went to my aunt's and uncle's home in the suburbs with my cousin and his wife and we arrived at about 11am so that we could help prep for lunch. Bowing first, then eating way too much food. At some point, my cousin's wife and I hid in a bedroom and took naps. My cousin told me on the car ride over to be prepared to just take whatever crap I was bound to get from my aunts and uncles b/c today is the day where you take it all nicely, no fighting or getting upset. I thought I had dodged the bullet, b/c only one of my three pairs of elders said anything about getting married as they gave me my new year's money.

But I didn't dodge the cannonball. After one of the families left, and an entire bottle of whiskey was drained, I was summoned to the adult table. Two uncles in their 70s, drunk, manned the interrogation. One asked, "are you even TRYING to meet someone?" when I promised him that I would get married if I actually met someone worth marrying. The other said, "do you have a lover? You do, don't you? I feel like you would." I said no, and explained that often there are interested men but I just don't share the interest. I think that my family thinks that I'm some kind of mutant freak that is unable to even meet people. Confirmed when the latter uncle asked, "are YOU a weirdo?" when I told a story about a weirdo who wanted to work with me here. Thankfully, they were so drunk that they got sidetracked on a tangential discussion so I was spared the rest of the fire.

But it was still wonderful to spend time with my family, since it's not something I ever get to do on a regular basis or will get to do for most of the rest of my life. I realized that this was the first time I bowed to all three of these aunts/uncles since I've never been in Korea for new year's. I was reminded again today that I could never be doing this well right now without them, on so many different levels.

Time for some sleep. Tomorrow I hit the road again to return to the country for one more week of paper time.


elizabeth ross said...

a very happy new Ox year, my dear one

Unknown said...

Lovers seldom arrive too soon... and seldom leave too late.