Friday, November 6, 2009

"American" Lunch

I've always hoped I would grow up to be a hospitable adult.

Instead, I'm a very private one. I say instead not because the one naturally excludes the other but because my mind often uses the excuse of privacy and shyness to justify myself against the feeling that I both want to be and ought to be more generous in offering my opinions, presence, food-creations and home to others in formal acts of hospitality. My choice of husband offers no hope for constructive rehabilitation; he's not very hospitable... or even sociable most of the time... (I'm stating; not criticizing. He nodded when he read it...)

But - people have been so hospitable to us for months here - have taken us out to eat, to tea, to see sights, invited us over to their houses, and taken us shopping and explained how to eat poisonous nuts in small enough quantities to not die ( that was valuable advice; for instance, Malachi should not eat more than one) and so, I took the plunge, and invited two of the ladies from our apartment complex to our apartment for lunch today.

And I think we all enjoyed it. I enjoyed it, and Malachi went crazy. And I felt that I was an adequate (if starkly American) hostess. We talked about: linguistics of course (Sunny is an English teacher) and how children learn language, and feminism and the western habit of changing your last name when you marry (this they do not historically do in Korea, and they think it's an odd practice to give up your fathers name, and applauded me for keeping my father's name as well as taking my husbands - it was a conversation with lots of cheering in it, but I don't know why...)

It went well...This was the older of the ladies, with her son "Min-Su." (Her, I know only as "Min-Su's mom")

And this is my friend Sunny's daughter "Tey-Hee" (on the left) and the other ladies' daughter (whose name I sometimes think is also Min-Su, but must be different but I can't distinguish's an ongoing mystery, and one that i fear will get more and more frustrating)

Tey-Hee will be 1 next month. Note her gypsy-skirt!

My friend Sunny (English name).

Malachi was overwhelmed, but elated.