Veni, vidi,vici. They married by eloping
by night to overcome the parental denial.
They had a happy married life and had six children.
“You need live together at least 10 years to know who your spouse is.”
In 2014 I met the wife of Mr Euh Chang Ho in his wine bar near the Oryu subway station.
“If I count the time from your living before the marriage, you have lived almost 30 years here. Do you have any special reason for not moving that long time?”
“It is not because I did not move but because I could not move. Because we had 6 children, there are too many things to be done to make a move. I even could not imagine the move.”
Their love story is so dramatic as some movies showed around. I pondered how and why. I reminisced the time I met the spouses of Mr Euh the first time around 19 years ago.
On the autumn day in 1995, I organized a couple meeting event called “Love Boat.” It was kind of group meeting where a group of men meet a group of women. It was somewhat unprecedented at that time because the society was quite conservative.
There came 100 women and 100 men. In that meeting Mr Euh and the woman belonged to the same group. In that evening the group members got so well that they had after-meeting. When the time came to return home, Mr Euh and his partner got taxi and went along because they had their home in the same direction. They talked a lot while in taxi and walking the short distance till her house, and they felt that that there is something in common.
As they got closer to the woman’s house, Mr Euh suddenly suggested.
“I like you. I want to go steady with you.”
He was not accustomed to that kind of actions. As he tried to turn around, a huge thing was in front of his face like a humongous rock. The humongous rock was the woman’s father who came early to meet the daughter. The father of the woman found the couple together when he came out to meet her. The conservative father reprimanded the man severely, and the man narrowly dodged the place.
The woman was employed by a certain military information unit in Seoul as a civilian military employee, and the man was a wine sommelier in a five star hotel in Seoul. They got closer after their first strong impression in the first meeting. The opposition, however, from the woman’s family members got stronger than ever. The parents of the woman who did not understand the works of “wine sommelier” thought that the man was a low class concierge in a hotel.
They began, however, their tryst secretly. They met every day while they were commuting on a subway tram between the woman’s work place and the Oryu-dong station. At last they were found out by the woman’s parents. The woman was a real beauty, and thus there were many marriage proposals to her who had a safe income source. Many men from researchers in Daeduk Science Complex, employees from corporate companies, and other professionals, made a line by proposing to her for marriage. Therefore, the woman’s father who did not understand the value of the man destroyed the self-esteem of the man.
“You do not deserve my daughter anyways.”
“You had so many good men at that time. What did you like about him?”
“I could confirm that he was the man who would look at me, and love me.”
“When the opposition from family members are strong, you could have given up. What was the reason for not giving up meeting him?”
“I do not know. I simply did what I wanted. I thought that this was the love that I should get involved.”
Her parents mind was focused on a researcher from Daeduk Science Complesx. When the daughter did not listen to the parents, the father got exhausted and started beating at last. Her mother began to beat her with a wood stick that is believed to expel the bad spirit. Sometimes she got forbidden from going outside.
When the man heard about the rumor that his lover would marry a researcher, he felt that he would lose the lover forever. So he eloped with her in the dark night one day. They had a shelter in a house which was owned by the commander of the man when he was in military service. Of course, the family of the woman got frustrated much, and thus two of her uncle who was detectives at that time began to search out her. The detectives were first heard that the man was a hotel concierge, and such a low class concierge hijacked their niece. When they inquired about him in the company, they heard that the man was an example of employees and recognized for his “wine sommelier” know-how.
Finally the detectives found out the eloped lovers, and made the woman return home.
“After you let her return home, come to her home to get parental recognition officially. At that time I will help you.”
So the eloper lovers said bye-bye to each other, and decided to see what will happen.
After some days the man boldly entered the tiger’s den. The father of the woman was humongous compared to the man’s 170 cm height.
“This is the final stuff I can say. Never meet my daughter any more. If you do not follow my advice, nobody would know what would happen.”
The man, however, got successfully entered the house by lowering his stature under the shoulders of the woman’s father.
In the house, the father found the man unexpectedly, and asked two sons to kick the man out of the house. The two sons grabbed the man, and pulled him out of the house while the man held the water faucet tightly. After a while the water faucet got bent, and the man was pushed out of the house.
Afterwards he advanced continuously, and the woman liked the only man who would love her forever even she had to go through the contempt and disregard from the family members. The loving couple’s intent was strong, and finally the father of the woman decided to accept the man with the help from the wife’s brothers. When the man was entering the house for a formal recognition, he remembered those days he was kicked out again and again, and proclaimed in his mind.
“Veni, vidi, vici”
They became husband and wife by the marriage officiant Mr Choi Hee Jun, the famous singer at that time. The six children were born as a crop of their marriage. They got within 30 top families who had the most children in Korea. Who said that you need become parent to know the mind of parent? By the time when the 4th child was born, the father-in-law died. The son-in-law cried much for the sorry and thankfulness of his father-in-law.
“It was natural that the father-in-law was against the marriage. I think I would oppose much more the marriage if my daughter tries to marry a man like me.”
What will be the meaning of marriage to the spouses who have lived for 18 years together and had 6 children?
“Recently many couple divorce easily saying that there is too much deep division in character. I think that you need to live at least 10 years to know that. At that time you would understand at least vaguely how you met your spouse and why you loved your spouse.”
“May I call it meditation or in a Buddhistical term “a passage to find the truth? I do not know exactly”
The man is taking the brunt of real life to raise the 6 children who are from three years old to 18 years old. He has two jobs; one is wine merchandizing business during day time while the other is managing a wine bar in a refurbished warehouse in the evening.
“I think I have to live like this because
I had the 6th son so late.
I accept this kind of my destiny as a man.”
It was beautiful to look at the back of the spouses when they go together happily away.