If you asked me before about this drama I would have probably answered, “typical rom\com\co habiting theme that is kdrama”. I have been shown the fast pace introduction of the story, how the lead pair had met and turned their tenant-landlord relationship to the next level which is contractual marriage. But one thing the drama did not prepare me was how the writer has given much thought to show the detailed emotions of the people involved in the lives of our lead characters. I mean this was a drama that has been promoted as a light story with romance and comedy surrounding the theme of the plot. I am familiar with such storylines and I am not anticipating that there will be scenes that my heart will squeeze with understanding the levels of emotions how marriage impacts parents. Episode 5 is a very nice heartwarming story and shows what every parent undergoes when his\her child took that step towards marriage.
Se Hee and Ji Ho have been trying to be practical financially about not having a wedding ceremony. I understand that it is less pressuring to skip some traditional concept of what wedding is. In a modern day where people opted to have simple weddings, it is the best solution for average working people. Some just registered their marriage contracts and that’s it. But then young couples forget that marriage or wedding is not only about themselves but also about involving those people who are closest to them like family or friends. In this story, a parents’ feeling should also be considered at least. It is not about the expense per se. It is not about gifts exchanging between two families. It is about understanding a parent’s emotional turmoil when a daughter or son finally decides to settle down on their own thru wedding. It is as if the bond that tied them to their parents’ protection had been cut or shortened for they will now form a new bond with another person. A parent will always be a parent to a child but a child will never stay a child to their parents because they too will be a parent to their own child.
Ji Ho could not understand why her mother who has been the silent and understanding one between her parents is giving her a hard time by asking to have a proper wedding when they have no money to spare. Even her father who is hard to please is accepting their decision to skip wedding ceremony. Se Hee’s mother is also in agreement with their decision unlike his father who is also adamant in having a proper wedding. For him as a father, he want to welcome not a stranger but a family member and seeing them in a wedding ceremony will probably feel like they have accepted her wholeheartedly.
In the end JiHo and SeHee decided to have a wedding ceremony but adjusting the expenses to the minimum amount that they can afford. Everything will be split in half as theirs is a contractual marriage. They don’t even plan on registering the certificate. A two year contract and they will part ways. That is how practical their association is and how clear the arrangements are between them. Of course, they are not anticipating that emotions between two contracting parties will be affected as they live as man and wife pretending in front of their friends, co-worker and family. Only fools would not know that arrangements like this is not as easy as it seems to be, or being indifferent emotionally.
Just like when the wedding day happened. Only then Ji Ho understand why her mother is being difficult. She happened to read the letter her mother wrote to Se Hee. It was a touching letter of a mother letting go of her precious daughter. A mother’s worries for a daughter that soon will be someone else’s wife. A mother’s feelings of remembering how she protected her daughter and how she in her small ways have cheered and supported her dreams to be fulfilled. It is not really about Ji Ho stopping being a writer and letting her write again in the future if she needs to, if she wants to but the thought of Ji Ho entering a new life with a man she chose to be with. That hoping this man will also protect what she as a mother has protected and continue to care all these years. Because there is fear in every mother or every parent when their child finally take a step towards marriage. That their lives will be better and perhaps different to the lives they had for themselves. That they will be happy and be loved.
I teared up realizing that Ji Ho had misinterpreted her mother’s thoughts and feelings. It was there all along if Ji Ho just look beyond her mother’s stubbornness about her wedding plans. When she said that she hoped Ji Ho would also have a daughter just like her, it was her stubbornness as a daughter that hurt her mother’s feelings the most. She should have understood her, knowing how she is silently enduring being a wife to a patriarchal husband. She should have known better as a daughter that her mother would have worries when it comes to her own decision of choosing a husband. Though it is contractual and a secret, it is real for those people that loves her. It is not as it seems to be…after all.
She can’t stop crying. Her mother knows her best. It was in the letter that Se Hee finally got to read just before the wedding starts. He is supposed to be with her, not to stop her cries but just to stay with her until she stops crying. And he did. He extended his hand towards her and ask her to go together inside the wedding hall. They will both take that step together.
More than the story of their first step to marriage, this episode has enlightened the viewers about a parent’s real feelings when one of their child marries which often has been ignored or neglected by young couples thinking it has nothing to do exactly with their parents. I want to applaud the writernim for showing this side of the story. It is heartwarming.