Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Our Parents Meet

The day had finally arrived. My parents were to meet her parents and... well... I don't think anyone knew what to really expect, but happily the shit didn't hit the fan. I think the cultural differences and language barrier actually helped the situation, though it probably did make people feel more awkward than they otherwise would have felt. 

I'm sure nowadays people that picture the worst instantly flash back to this movie. 

I know some people worry about their parents meeting, but I wasn't particularly worried about it. Will they get along? Will they like each other? The reality is that their relationship started long before they met for the first time. They already know basic facts about each other like where they live, what the do for a living, etc. With each story or anecdote they get to know each other a little better. 

My parents probably had the upper hand in the food department. We decided to go to an Italian restaurant rather than a traditional Korean restaurant. Since I am the groom, it was my parents responsibility to pay for the meal. Jihyeon's father picked the most expensive thing on the menu (30,000 won). I am not sure if it was intended to be some kind of a test to see how my parents would react or if he just wanted the steak. Either way, my dad responded by ordering the same thing :).

As I said the cultural differences actually helped the situation more than hinder it. Traditionally in Korea when two Korean families meet for the first time much of the discussion centers around money and how much, how much will be spent on different aspects of the wedding, where the couple will live, what furniture will be bought to furnish their house, where the wedding will be held, etc. There was none of that. I told my parents of the cultural obligation for them to buy some gifts for Jihyeon's parents (in this case a Hanbok for her mother and a suit for her father and brother and a dress for her sister) and that they would need to part with some cash for these things, but other than that there was no talk of money. 

Jihyeon did an excellent job translating and did her best to keep the conversation flowing between both our parents. 

Overall I think the meeting went well. The only thing I was disappointed about is the restaurant didn't have doggy bags to put the left over pizza in :(

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