Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner?

What a great Saturday we had this weekend. Most of my delightful high school class came over for a send-off dinner before they all headed off to college, and boy did we have the best time ever. Tom (from left) is going to Canada to study Business Administration, and Allie, Selena, Camille, and Annie have each gotten themselves a spot in some top-knotch Korean universities.

Dinner was super yummy and very globally well-rounded. We ate topoki (made by one of the girls), Thai curry and Blackberry Jalepeno Chicken (by me), and we even had a real garden salad (super rare treat) with Hidden Valley Ranch mailed straight from the heart of central Kansas (thanks to Bonnie and Grandpa Klein, an even  more rare treat). We got to teach the kids a game of cards afterwards, after assuring them that cards is not a game for only “old people who are gambling”, which hindered their interest at first. Cards were taught (and dominated) by Josh–he beat us all badly.

To be straight with you, I was a little apprehensive going into the evening; I was kind of worried that they might be a little shy coming to my house. This was their first time doing something like this “with a foreigner”. I think they wondered about that too–one of them was so cute; she messaged me beforehand, “I’m nervous because I wonder, do I wear shoes in your house?” But once the door swung open, my fears were put to rest. The girls and Tom each came in with generous gifts for us and all the energy of any group of  high school graduates about to leave for college. Selena made herself at home while she prepared her very awesome topoki on my stovetop and the rest hung out in my livingroom. Josh became popular quickly as they realized that his role includes being the funny one out of the two of us. In fact, I may or may not have heard that there were some crushes that developed (one way and quite innocent of course) on my studly hubby over the course of the evening. We laughed a lot, listened to K-pop (one of my gifts was a new 2NE1 CD) and gave out our best college pointers, including encouragement to have fun while avoiding soju (yep, not holding my breath).

I definitely think my favorite part of the night was once we said our goodbyes and were standing in our doorway while the girls put their shoes on, Selena stepped in front of me, and demanded, in a playful but also probably her pouty-est tone, “Hug me”. To hug a Korean is a rare gift, and I was honored to get to give each of my girls a squeeze after Selena had her turn.

Each one of these lovely young people mean so much to me. I’ll truly miss them, and can’t wait for their trips home to Yeosu in the future. Mom can do their laundry, and I can have more reasons to have the best of guests in my home.


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