* 한글 원본은 앞의 컬럼을 참조하세요.
World-class Husband Material Can’t Get Married ?...
I get many inquiry calls from Koreans living abroad, as before as ever, especially from would-be-parents-in-law looking for their kids’ spouse of Korean lineage.
I met him in person, who is in early 30s, and came here in Seoul to meet me nudged by his parents, as usual. His ‘spec’ (personal profile) was impeccable, i.e. graduate of a prestigious U.S. medical school summa cum laude; perfect balanced built; handsome visage like that of Tom Cruise, etc. The jobs he may take will earn him 700 K to 1 M in the first annual salary. He could be one of the top 10 bachelors among 7 million Korean single guys. He could be also one of the top husband materials world-wide.
“This son of mine, my no. 2 son, is perfect in many ways. Although my no. 1 son is also a top graduate of a medical school, he is overshadowed by his younger brother. He hardly disobeys me, although he grew up in the U.S. in a free and open environment. I guess finding him a spouse is the last thing I can do for him as his parent.”
“Your son is absolutely remarkable. He must be highly popular among people around him. He should have a favorite type of his own …”
“So far, he was only busy and engaged entirely in his study. And, he listens to his mom and dad so well. I told him to start looking for a spouse. So, by now he should be giving some thoughts on that.”
I wanted to give him an extra credit for his obedient personality especially with his parents, and his family background. His father is a well-established person himself, a descent of a prestigious family in Chung Cheong Area. His mother, who used to be a teacher, is a bright and active lady. Both of them graduated from prestigious colleges in Korea. The family settled in the U.S. as the father was assigned by his employer to the company’s office in the U.S.
Although the son grew up in the U.S., he’s got Korean mind-set and he said he would marry a Korean girl, following his parents’ wish. The parents frequently visit Korea for several purposes, including finding their daughter-in-law, and finally they came to me for help.
So far, I introduced to him matches once a year, for two years. Although he was still busy finalizing his study, his parents persuaded him to find time to come to Seoul to see the match for himself. His dates were also from prestigious families.
At his first blind date, the lady fell for him, and her family wanted him offering to support him financially for the rest of his life. But he was not that enthusiastic about this, and asked for some time to think it over. The lady’s family took this as a rejection.
Another year had passed. I got a call from his parents again. They said his son wanted to get married now. So, I introduced him a fine lady from a fine family. The parents liked her, but the son didn’t not.
“We liked her so much, but our son probably wasn’t interested in her. Like you said, Mr. Lee, he must have his own type that he is looking for. Maybe we were imposing too much, I guess.”
The parents didn’t mean to, but they sort of ignored his opinions as he was always busy, busy and they only talked with each other over the phone.
He had just one blind date during his short stay for about one week, and flew back to the U.S. with deferred expectation of meeting someone next time. Being a bachelor with such outstanding conditions, he would have, if he were in Korea, married long time ago, or at least there would be a long waiting list of women wishing to marry him. Liuving in the U.S, that is the biggest snag for him in getting married, I mean “marrying a Korean girl,” to put it exactly.
I share the feeling of his folks, who said “We are not sure how he would cooperate next year. Although we insist he should marry a Korean girl, we have to admit he is in fact an Americanized young man. We are not sure how much he will honor our wish. I mean he lives among Americans. Whether he will follow the ‘principle’ of marrying a Korean woman, it all depends on his own thoughts.”
For no reason, I feel sorry for his folks. If this young man comes here again next year, I will make him my first priority and do my best to find him a wife.
While things are under drastic changes in Korea, the Koreans living abroad still hold on to our traditional sentiments and way of thinking. Especially the first generation of immigrants have a stronger tendency than any other nationalities to marry someone sharing the same ethnicity and the language.
But their kids, or the second and the third generations are more and more assimilated to the mainstream. Maybe by the time those young generations become parents themselves, this pure blood marriage will have become much less commonplace. Actually a lot of Korean-Americans marry Chinese-Americans, as there is a large Chinese community near where Koreans live and they bond close ties.
I often suggest our singles in Korea, especially our outstanding ‘Gold Misses’ single ladies to look to overseas. There are quite a number of top-notch singles (Korean lineage) scattered across the vast North American continent, and fortunately many of them still want another Korean as their spouse.
In addition, elite singles living in Korea can be unpleasantly proud in heart and ask a lot from their would-be-spouse. But those fine singles living in the U.S. and elsewhere abroad are purer in heart, just wanting to meet another Korean single. I hope there is an Ojakyo (a legendary bridge between ancient legendary lovers) created over the Pacific Ocean and elsewhere.
There is no national boundary in love, and in marriage for that matter. However, still I like to see bright and good-looking Korean offspring abroad marry another Koreans, rather than other nationals.
More Koreans living abroad come visit me during summer vacation seasons to seek their or their children’s spouse. I am expecting to meet today a father in late 70s who wants to see me about finding a husband for his daughter. He says about her daughter as a graduate of a prestigious college and currently employed by a top-level corporation. I already got her photos her dad sent me, and she is so strikingly beautiful that she could be a movie star. I can hardly believe she is still single at her age in mid-30s.
“I tell her over and over that she has to marry another Korean. But, the Korean community where we live is only a small-sized group. There is a very limited choice, you know. Now I think more flexible that it’d be good enough to see her seeing just about anybody, not necessarily a Korean guy. But probably she was sort of brainwashed by my wish, so she is not seeing anyone. I feel rather guilty that I may have imposed my intention upon her so that she has not met a guy yet…”
“I am impressed you came all the way here yourself. The long flight hours must have been tough.”
“Only if I could find a husband material for my daughter, I would even fly to the moon… If it doesn’t work out this time, then I am ready to fly here again next time.”
This old and desperate father says his only wish left is to find a husband for his daughter. I really hope I can help him realize his wish for sure.