I was reminded today of a post I wrote in 2013 called When Seoul Meets Indiana. I totally forgot about this post and after rereading it today, I had a good laugh and actually teared up a bit. It was good to remember some of what I wrote and it inspired me to write a second post regarding the same subject: my international relationship with K.
K and I have been together going on almost 8 years. Every day I can’t believe how long we’ve been together. To borrow that old phrase, time has absolutely flown by. We are so much older and, perhaps, wiser than when we first started dating and I was just 18 and he was 24. We were totally different people back then and have changed for the better. Dating someone from another country, who grew up in a different culture and society, is an interesting, difficult thing to do, for both of us. We’ve had to learn a lot of give and take and have had huge fights and disagreements along the way. We’ve had heartache and joy and sadness and smiles. K is my best friend and even though we don’t always get along and sometimes we find each other gross and weird, we can’t imagine life without one another. Not to mention, we have grown even closer as devoted cat parents. I am not the only crazy cat person in our household. He is just about as crazy about Chester as I am.
That being said, our life together is a really unique fusion of cultures and not just Korean and American culture. It gets more complicated than that, as I’m sure it is for everyone. I come from a German Catholic family, well Irish and Scottish on my mother’s side, but I was raised among conservative Catholics. I had heard of Korea before meeting K, but didn’t know much about it and had never met anyone from Korea before. I met K at an international festival at my sister’s college when I was a senior in high school and he was a junior in college. I knew he was special the first time I saw him. He was performing hip hop dancing at this festival and it was totally adorable and kind of hot. I was not intentionally looking for a Korean man to fall in love with. It just happened.
I think to myself all the time how interesting our life together is and I want to share some things with you that I’ve noticed have emerged from my time with K thus far. Probably the biggest thing I’ve noticed is my change in diet. As I wrote in my previous post, I eat a lot of rice. Well, I’ve come to eat a lot of things I would never have even thought about eating as a kid. Have you ever had cuttlefish? I have! They are awesome when they are shredded and dried like jerky. Chester can’t get enough of them either. Dried cuttlefish are apparently like potato chips in Korea.
I’ve come to know and love various Korean dishes, not all, but many.
I remember once when my dad came to visit and we took him to a Korean restaurant and he was shocked to see me eating a squid tentacle 😀
I have learned the strangest aspects about beauty. I found out about sheet masks probably before most people in the US. Wearing one is relaxing, but it looks nothing short of terrifying.
I have grown much more confident in who I am and have fallen in love with Korean fashion, beauty products, and makeup. When I was still a kid living at home, you wouldn’t catch me taking pictures of myself, let alone posting them. K is always giving me the confidence and love to know that I am beautiful the way I am. He also introduced me to many brands and pretty things that I probably never would’ve found out about on my own. He’s helped me to come out of my shell, so to speak.
I think K has helped me to find my unique sense of fashion and to be a more confident me. In the meantime, I think he has grown accustomed to not feeling like he has to dress up all the time. When we first started dating, he would always dress to impress and he still does look great every time he goes out. Now at home, he just wears whatever and so do I. I know some of that is just being together for so long, but I’d like to think some of my extreme casual style has rubbed off on him 😀
We have an incredible amount of inside jokes as well, most of which stems from The Office and Family Guy. I love that no matter what line I throw at him, he knows what I’m talking about and usually gets a huge laugh and vice versa 🙂
Well, I think that’s enough for today. I’m going to go back to crocheting my niece’s dress! It is turning out so well 😀