I’m pretty sure this drama is out to kill me. Because at this point I’m so madly in love with Young Shin and Jung Hoo that the slightest touch or look sends me over the edge.
I spend my days mulling over scenes, imagining possibilities, and come Monday and Tuesday I skip to work and back thrilled to know that I will get to see them. I get goosebumps seeing their gifs on tumblr. I break out into random, possibly maniacal looking grins. My chest constricts. My heart races.
This is love, right? Should the hubs be jealous? I know I sound like a crazy person. And maybe that’s because I AM A CRAZY PERSON. But I can’t help it.
I’m not going to talk about their hands. Or the fact that they’re so devastatingly beautiful that I find it almost intolerable. Or the fact that I almost can’t bear to re-watch scenes because the Feels cause physical pain sometimes.
And just when I dared not hope for more epic Feels, in episode 12, Song Ji Na whips out one of those K-drama staples that almost always gets to me–The Feeding Scene.
You know what I’m talking about, right? When lovers, friends, family gather around the table and share a meal. In K-drama food is never really just about food. Whether it’s a humble pot of ramyun or a spread of a dozen side dishes, the food is a vehicle for the giving and receiving of love. It’s communion with one another. Preparing a meal for someone is an expression of love, and welcoming them to the table is opening not just your home but your heart. To offer someone something to eat is the most basic of human kindnesses, a small gesture that can mean the entire world. It’s sustenance not just for bodies but also for souls.
No wonder the person on the receiving end of that meal is often shaken to the core. Most often it’s the lonely and vulnerable, the empty and sad, the castaways, the drifters, the angry and vengeful, who are most affected by the kindness they don’t expect to receive at the table. It’s the shock of feeling valued, of your presence being worthy of company, of your body being worth nourishing for no other reason than just you being there. Such unconditional generosity is humbling.
These are the Feeding Scenes that move me the most.
So here we have Jung Hoo, lonely and needy and vulnerable, madly, recklessly in love with Young Shin, harbouring the dark secret of his hidden identity and their shared tortured history, sitting at the table being fed a meal that he helped prepare (rather hilariously) and that she cooked for him.
They play as they prep. And it’s usually in rom-coms that this kinda thing is a bonafide mating ritual, filled with sexual tension. But here, while it’s totally squee-worthy and comic, it also tugs at your heartstrings.
He can break into Fort Knox but peeling an onion mystifies him. Why? Because the boy has never prepared a proper meal, much less eaten one with real people, in so long. The closest he gets to company is ahjumma’s phone calls, which despite saying the contrary, he deeply welcomes while tucking into his staple meal: take-away fried chicken.
It’s a far cry from the last time we saw him at this very same table in episode 5. He was so unnerved by the simple comfort of a shared home-cooked meal that he could barely swallow. The words “I will eat well”, a phrase that gives reverence for the meal and the people who made it, stick in his throat. When was the last time he had a chance to say thank you to anyone other than a delivery boy?
The others chat happily, at first oblivious to his discomfort at being surrounded by such warmth. But then Young Shin’s dad does the caring parent thing of asking why he’s not eating, and he can barely stomach it, a painful reminder of his own isolation and loneliness.
And then he says this perfect line:
It’s the god-honest truth, the depth of its meaning only known to him. It’s a simple meal, but it’s a feast to him.
But what a difference falling in love makes! When he sits down to eat in episode 12, he still isn’t used to saying “I will eat well”. But he’s so happy just to be there that he radiates joy. He even teases her, preying on every cook’s need to want their meal to be liked. (Of course, Young Shin doesn’t know that he’d swallow dog food for her.)
Our boy has slowly come into his own, letting his love for another person lead him to where he can be fed and nourished properly.
And then he let’s out that awesome, delicious chuckle. And they play footsies under the table.
(Shut up, they totally did.)
And then we all know what happens next, right?? But I won’t go there.
Let’s save that for when Sarah and I return for our Feels discussions. For now, I’m off to dinner 🙂