3.355 Mak Guksu

Cycle 3 – Item 355

25 (Tue) December 2012

Mak Guksu


at Jangwon Mak Guksu

-Yongin, Gyeonggi, Republic of Korea-

with the Family, Mom + Dad

Before meeting W on that fateful day, I was set up on many seon.

DID YOU KNOW?  A seon (선) is a blind date, usually arranged by parents through mutual acquaintances, ostensibly for the purpose of marriage.  Backgrounds have already been vetted and approved, so if the principals agree then it’s all good to go.  Seriously.  W and I met on a seon in April, and we were married in September.

On one occasion, as my mother recounted the story over dinner, I’d come back from the date indignantly proclaiming the woman to be “ugly” or “disgusting” or some words to that effect.  Indignation was a common reaction to most of the women – not W, of course – that my mother had pimped for me under similar circumstances.   Sometime later, my mother attended that woman’s wedding, being distantly acquainted with her mother.  My mother returned to report that she was “beautiful” or “radiant” or some words to that effect.  By that point, I’d already forgotten which one she was referring to.  Whatever.

So this evening, when we had arrived at the restaurant, that woman had been standing behind the counter, apparently.  It turned out that the restaurant is owned by the woman’s older sister, which is how my mother knows of the place.  The younger sister helps out on occasion, apparently.  In any case, she never appeared again during the meal, depriving us of the opportunity for objective confirmation as to whether she is ugly/disgusting or beautiful/radiant – I’m guessing somewhere in between, leaning heavily towards the former.  When W speculated that the woman was hiding in the kitchen after recognizing me at the door, my mother expressed her doubts, noting that I’d degenerated beyond recognition into such a fat disheveled slob of an old man during the intervening years.  Thanks, Mom!

Incidentally, the mak guksu was terrible.  Nothing to do with the ugly/disgusting woman.



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