Okay, so hospitality. In my family, hospitality is a touch and go thing. The American members of my family are kind of like “my house is your house”. If you want something to drink, just fix it rather than ask for it. We’ll ask you if you want something to eat and tell you where to find it.
But my Korean aunt has a completely different idea of hospitality. I spent Saturday at her and my uncle’s house with my brother and cousin’s husband. We were helping them move heavy items into the store she’s about to open. I was feeling tired and grouchy and was ready to go home at 11 a.m., but everyone wanted to eat.
Okay, I could do that. I was kind of hungry after all. So we all headed to a restaurant called Fat Cow. I know, I know, not the best name for a restaurant, but I really did feel like a fat cow when I left. I don’t really like people paying things for me so I was surprised and a little pouty when my aunt insisted on buying us all lunch as thanks for helping them. I caved because I think of her as a second mom and you don’t argue with moms. Much at least.
We were sitting outside with our lunch, arguing about just about anything and everything we could think of when I realized I needed to refill my drink. I went to stand up to go to the drink station. My aunt, who was sitting next to me, pushed me back in my chair and took my cup away from me. I didn’t realize how strong she was, but again, she insisted on getting my drink for me.
Several hours later, when we were back at their house and chatting about anything and everything and my cousin’s husband fixed their water heater and a sink, my aunt appears with two plates of taegigogi (a Korean pork dish) and leaves of lettuce for us to snack on. I wasn’t going to touch it. I really wasn’t, but when you go as long as I have without having Korean food, you gorge yourself.
In other words, my aunt showered us with attention while we were there. It’s been a long time since I felt so pampered by family and I’d be tempted to tell my other relatives they could learn a lesson from her, except then they’d expect the same from me.
Do you have a relative who spoils you rotten every time you see them?