The gray hair is actually growing on me, and I think Kim Bum wears it well.
One single lady down, one (two?) more to go!
SONG OF THE DAY
Kim Bum-soo – “그대와 영원히” (With You Forever) which is sung in this episode. [ Download ]
EPISODE 12 RECAP
Sang-mi arrives in the apartment lobby just in time to see Shin-young, who’s here to offer Sang-woo a friendly shoulder to mope on. She recalls Sang-woo telling her about his ex and realizes Shin-young must be the woman, and follows them upstairs, where she hesitates in the hallway.
Inside the apartment, Shin-young asks about the source of Sang-woo’s depression — does he really like that woman that much, even though she’s married? Thinking that the woman’s son is a young child, Shin-young’s surprised to hear he’s a university student. They commiserate over their age-related love problems, though Sang-woo says Shin-young’s situation isn’t as bad as his own. At least she only has to get over the age gap; she’s not dealing with a spouse or child.
Shin-young confides that Min-jae’s mother came to see her, and the encounter left her feeling awful. Sang-woo points out that from a mother’s point of view this makes sense; this is one of those subtle examples that demonstrate how well these skewed-age couples are matched, because they think in similar terms. Sang-woo says that in her situation, it would have been better to bow her head and shut up, not talk back. (In a “traditional” scenario where the boyfriend’s mother is much older, this behavior would have been automatic, but with these confusing age differences, Shin-young was confused about proper etiquette.)
Belatedly, Sang-woo sees that Sang-mi had called, and calls her back. He invites her over to drink with a friend, which she declines while hurrying away from his apartment, not wanting to be caught here. Knowing her personality, Sang-woo suspects she may actually be calling from the lobby, and hurries down to catch her.
Sang-mi runs into her son in the lobby, who is here to pick up a misdirected package. She urges him away quickly, not wanting Sang-woo to find them here together, and therefore the lobby is empty when Sang-woo gets there.
Disappointed, he returns upstairs where he and Shin-young drink more. Half-joking and half-serious, Sang-woo asks whether he and Shin-young should marry, in an effort to forget his Love That Cannot Be. Shin-young does not approve and hits him over the head with her bag.
Sang-woo reminds Shin-young that this is her doing — she cursed him to fall in love with a married woman with a child and a bad temper. (Well, the curse was only partly true, since Sang-mi’s hardly ugly and fat.)
Shin-young clocks the seriousness of Sang-woo’s expression and asks whether he’s really thinking of marrying the woman if/when she gets divorced. He answers yes.
At home, Da-jung says her last goodbye to Shin-young as a roommate; from tonight, she’ll live with her parents until the wedding. A bit traditional of her, but Da-jung has a traditional streak in her.
Da-jung thanks Shin-young for putting up with her childishness, and tells her, “I’m so glad I don’t have to come home to a dark house or wake up alone anymore.” She wishes Shin-young luck with her romance as well.
Shin-young answers that she’s happy with living alone for now, but after Da-jung leaves, she looks around the place and says, “It feels so empty all of a sudden.” (And then farts. HAHA.)
Shin-young’s team celebrates another great broadcast, this one bringing in a 19.8%. The good news doesn’t last long, however, because Myung-seok has officially been added to her team. Shin-young complains to her (frankly wimpy) boss — she brought in highly rated program, so what’s the point in adding him? The deputy director makes bland excuses that this is “to make an even better program,” which of course Shin-young doesn’t buy.
Myung-seok can never let Shin-young enjoy her moment, and adds that the reason for her high rating is the timeslot — in fact, she should have produced a 25% if she were any good.
It sucks to be in the middle of an old boys clubs, doesn’t it? (I can identify with this on a personal level and it makes this storyline a little hard to watch without dramatic spikes in blood pressure. It’s infuriating, even if I do think Myung-seok is motivated by more than competitive spirit; I wonder if he’s got a bit of a thing for Shin-young and is acting out in a misguided schoolboy sort of provocation, like pulling braids or calling her names. But Gilbert Blythe he is NOT.)
The happy couple anticipate their wedding, and Ban-seok makes sure to size her finger perfectly, since he was so frazzled last time and couldn’t figure out what size to buy.
Ban-seok’s father gives his request (read: command) for the traditional bridal gifts to the groom’s family, which you can think of as a modernized dowry. It seemed earlier like the parents were letting them off easy; they said they have everything they need, so they just wanted a set of clothing per parent. Ban-seok obediently writes down the name of the brand, and Da-jung recognizes them as exorbitantly priced designer labels — in fact, one garment costs nearly 15 million won ($13,000).
Immediately, Ban-seok gets back on the phone to tell his father to pick something cheaper, overriding Da-jung’s protests that she’ll get blamed. True enough, right away she gets a text from Ban-seok’s father.
The father meets her at Ban-seok’s apartment, intent on delivering her a dressing-down. Ban-seok speaks up for his bride, but his father barrels right over his timid protests. In fact, in punishment for Ban-seok’s insubordination, now he’s doubling the order — TWO sets of clothing per parent!
Da-jung knows there’s no point fighting and agrees. However, she does ask him to stop referencing how old she is, because every criticism begins with the qualifier “At your age,” and it makes her feel bad.
In response, he doubles the order again, making it FOUR garments each! Ban-seok is about to have an apoplectic fit, but Da-jung agrees readily, saying with an edge to her voice, “I’m the top interpreter in this country. I’m capable of doing that much.”
Da-jung holds in her anger until she sees Bu-ki, to whom she complains fiercely. All told, eight garments from this brand adds up to about $100,000! Bu-ki makes a sly suggestion, telling Da-jung of a friend who had received such outrageous requests for the bridal gifts that in the end, the bride had given fakes. Too bad Da-jung can’t get away with this, since Ban-seok’s father is the type to get the gifts appraised straightaway.
Feeling miserable for the way his father treated Da-jung, Ban-seok gives her his bank book, seal, and PIN. He wants her to buy the gifts with his money. Da-jung protests, insisting she can afford to do it herself. Overcome with guilt, Ban-seok vows, “I’ll love you lots for the rest of my life, and I’ll treat your parents really well, I promise!”
This has an unexpected reaction: Da-jung starts to tear up, and runs into the bedroom before she bursts into tears. Ban-seok worries, but she cries, “I’m so happy, I can’t believe it. To be this happy, I must really have been lonely all this time. I’m so happy right now, my heart feels like it’s melting.” She grabs him in a hug and declares, “I love you so much!” He returns the sentiment.
Hilariously, with this issue settled, their minds turn to other thoughts, namely that they’re together alone in his bedroom. Demonstrating more of his elephantine grace, Ban-seok jumps on top of her, then nearly falls off the bed in his haste to undress.
Unfortunately for them, Dad re-enters the apartment in search of his forgotten cell phone, sending the couple scrambling to regain their composure. Ban-seok tries to act like nothing is up, but his father takes one look at his mussed hair and knows what they’ve been up to.
After his father leaves, Ban-seok returns to the bedroom, thinking to resume their liaison. Too bad Da-jung has found porn in his closet! He flings the magazines under the bed and insists is his only stash from years ago.
She accepts this, but she’s not in the mood anymore and she’s got an appointment to keep, so Da-jung leaves. Poor Ban-seok.
The presence of Myung-seok in Shin-young’s team meeting brings everyone down, aggravated by the fact that he summarily kills everyone’s story ideas.
Shin-young takes a break to drop by Min-jae’s studio and asks for a song to calm her spirits. The universe chooses that moment to have Sang-mi call her son, thereby ensuring that those spirits have got to remain ruffled for a moment longer.
Shin-young admits that she had met Min-jae’s mother, who is dead-set against the idea of them dating. Her declaration that she likes Min-jae seriously may have been the “wrong” thing to say to her boyfriend’s disapproving mother, but it makes Min-jae happy.
What bums her out about the parental opposition is that it’s not because Shin-young has a dozen divorces to her name or is a gambling addict — those are things she would understand. But it’s purely that she’s older than him, which is nothing she can control. Therefore, “It feels too unfair to step back because of that.”
Sang-mi has developed the habit of dealing with Sang-woo in passive ways; too uncertain to see him in person, she still comes by the apartment lobby occasionally and checks the mailbox. Today she finds a box containing pearl earrings and a note from Sang-woo saying that he’d like to see her before his next flight next week.
She runs into Shin-young in the lobby, who takes this opportunity to try to get along better. Shin-young asks to have lunch or tea together the next day, because she wants to tell her something. Sang-mi is not very cooperative and tells her to say it here. Shin-young answers, keeping her voice respectful, “I’m going to keep dating Min-jae. I really like him.”
Recognizing that this merits more discussion, Sang-mi agrees to meet her at her work cafe the next day. Shin-young receives her with warmth, not perturbed that this is obviously Sang-mi’s strategic choice to keep Shin-young on the defensive, since she has to be careful not to make a scene at work.
What follows is a verbal duel between the two women, cloaked in cold pleasantries. Sang-mi asks how it feels to date a student — do they have things to talk about? (Implication: You old thing can’t possibly communicate easily with a younger man.) Shin-young replies that she likes it; she offers advice, and Min-jae fills her in on youthful topics of interest. For instance, she has told him, “You never know what life brings, so pay some attention to your studies. I’d like if you could write music for movies, and later also lecture at university.”
Sang-mi says that she’s getting too far ahead of herself. Shin-young replies that Sang-mi must have wanted to tell Min-jae a similar thing. (Implication: You can try to deny it, but you agree with me.) Sang-mi comments that this makes it seem Shin-young is viewing Min-jae through mother’s eyes. (Implication: You sicko.)
Their voices are even and polite all through this, even as Sang-mi says that she wouldn’t date a 24-year-old if she were 34. Shin-young agrees: “I fell in love, and that man happened to be 24. What could I do?” Sang-mi is annoyed that none of her barbs are making an impact, so she retorts, “You seem quite sly.”
Shin-young is interrupted by Na Young-hee, who is essentially playing herself as a glamorous veteran television actress. Na congratulates Shin-young on her successful show, heaping on the compliments, and even asks for Shin-young’s autograph — her niece’s dream is to be a broadcast reporter and is a fan.
Sang-mi sits by with a sour expression on her face. She’s loath to admit, however grudgingly, that maybe Shin-young isn’t a horrible loser fox out to ensnare her innocent lamb of a son. (She lets slip that she knows who the woman is, which directly contradicts her previous statement that she doesn’t watch television. She’d said it as a jab at Shin-young, making light of her profession. Shin-young gracefully lets this slide.)
Of course, it turns out that Na Young-hee was sent by Shin-young’s colleagues purposely to make an impression on Sang-mi — it’s like Da-jung’s “get-married-scheme” in reverse.
Shin-young asks, “What was Min-jae like when he was young?” Sang-mi counters, “Isn’t he still young?” Shin-young replies, “No, he’s not. He’s a man to me.”
A seeming truce is struck when Sang-mi and Shin-young meet again, this time to show the latter baby pictures of Min-jae (and those really are Kim Bum, too cute!).
Just when you start to think that Sang-mi is warming up to this whole relationship, she introduces Shin-young to a gaggle of young ladies, all students, who join them at the table. Soon it becomes clear: this is Mom’s revenge, haha. Not to be outdone, she has brought these girls here — all Min-jae’s childhood friends and classmates — to point out just how silly it seems for Shin-young to be dating him. In fact, he used to date one, and Yuri explains that they’d agreed to marry each other if they found themselves both single at 29.
Shin-young says she’s intending to introduce Min-jae to her mother soon. Sang-mi says, oh-so-politely, “Has she had her 60th yet?” (Sixty is a big birthday in Korea.) At that age, that makes her like a grandmother to Min-jae.
Shin-young forces great big laughs, smiling a too-big smile, because what else can she do?
When she sees Min-jae later, she brings up Yuri, muttering childishly that he should just date her then. She denies that she’s being jealous, but Min-jae knows better.
She’s here because she needs to pick out a song to sing at Da-jung’s wedding. As she tinkers with the keyboard, Min-jae looks at her intently, then tells her softly, “I’m going to propose to you within three years.”
Ban-seok presents Da-jung with a ring, sighing that it was incredibly hard to pick a design. He tells her she can exchange it if she likes, and I’m sure all women would like to be able to decline graciously that No honey it’s fine — but that is one damn ugly ring. So she says sweetly that yes, she will return it, but softens it by adding, “Thank you, I love you!”
However, trying on her wedding dress makes her think she looks even older, so she hies herself to the plastic surgeon’s office for a quick-fix remedy. Seeing the Botox needle gives her pause, but upon recollection of her father-in-law’s criticism, she goes through with it.
Over a mother-son dinner, Sang-mi tries to steer Min-jae’s interest toward Yuri, whom she talks up as pretty and sweet. Min-jae turns the conversation to his father, who is currently staying with his family and is preparing divorce papers.
Min-jae senses that his mother is hiding something from him — she’s looking happier these days and is even dressing up. When Sang-mi makes a pointed comment about Shin-young, he gently warns her, “Please don’t insult her.” He says that he’d treat her boyfriend well no matter his age, which is probably setting him up for a difficult challenge once the truth comes out about Sang-woo.
The next day, Sang-woo surprises Sang-mi in the grocery store (he’d been coming by often in hopes he’d run into her), since she doesn’t call him. They sit down for coffee, and he suggests that they have dinner with her son: “When you divorce, I want to propose to you. I’m serious.”
Surprised, Sang-mi takes a moment to respond, and the news isn’t good for Sang-woo. Her husband begged for forgiveness, and she decided to take him back. Sang-mi advises Sang-woo to do the same and get back with his girlfriend. He doesn’t see that as a possibility, since his ex is in love with another guy, “and I’m in love with you.”
Hurriedly, she cuts him off and pleads with her to get back with her, “for my sake.” She admits she was attracted to him, but her family is more important to her.
The three friends have one last dinner as a trio of singletons, where Da-jung stuffs her face. (She had dieted to fit into her dress, and now her face is wrinkly.) Warning her friends about looking older in a wedding dress, she urges them to take pictures now while they still look their youngest, either with their top marriage prospect or even solo. They can always photoshop them later. Haha.
And then they hit the karaoke room. (Impersonating… is that 2NE1? Sorry, I’m not up on my idol groups.)
And then, it’s wedding day!
The only hiccup comes when Bu-ki, walking down the aisle with Shin-young, recognizes Ban-seok’s father and her expression darkens, as does his. What can this mean?
Otherwise, all goes pretty smoothly. At one point Da-jung starts to tear up, so Shin-young grabs two spoons and makes funny faces to keep her from bursting into tears.
Shin-young gives a congratulatory address for the bride, starting off by saying that Da-jung has been often asked why such a smart, successful woman like her wants to be married so much. This speech takes the place of her usual voiceover:
Shin-young: “Da-jung is someone with the desire to share love. More than getting married, she wants a friend to eat together with, to walk the street with, to grow old with. Rather than being alone in an empty house, it’s much better to be with someone I love, who loves me. Living together, you may feel disappointed in each other and fight, but isn’t accepting all that what marriage teaches you? Our sweet Jung Da-jung — I hope you’ll live happily the rest of your life. This has been UBN News’ Lee Shin-young.”
Next, Min-jae steps up to give the address for the groom, and puts a frown on Ban-seok’s face by taking credit for this marriage as his frequent dating coach. LOL.
Min-jae: “Hyung showed me how much of a beautiful, courageous, and wonderful person you can turn into when a man loves a woman. It makes me think that I want to become an impressive person for the person I love now.”
With that, he starts to perform the song posted at the top, called “그대와 영원히” (With You Forever). It’s a Yoo Jae-ha song from 1987, but I actually prefer this version posted here, Kim Min-jong‘s version from 1996, because it feels more sincere. Lyrics here. [ Download ]
I love that as Min-jae sings, Da-jung and Ban-seok smile through clenched teeth and mutter to each other that this was supposed to be a song for them, but he’s using this as his own love confession! Ban-seok worries — what if Min-jae forces him to sing? He can’t sing!
His worry was well-founded, because Min-jae presents him with a microphone and forces him to sing. He’s bad, but it’s cute.
The mood is lively, and the event progresses to the festivities, where Shin-young catches the bouquet.
Meanwhile, Sang-mi finds out that Sang-woo has given his notice to move out of the apartment. She thinks to herself, “I miss you,” and calls him to ask why he’s moving. Sang-woo answers that it’s difficult on him, adding, “I love you, Sang-mi. Please take care.”
He asks to see her one last time, and when she starts to decline, he gives the name of the wedding hall in hopes that she will come to him.
Shin-young and Min-jae linger in the hall after everyone leaves. He asks what they should do tonight, and she suggests that they can hang out at home, eating dinner and watching a DVD. She’s thinking of a simple date, but Min-jae thinks with more seriousness, and asks meaningfully, “Can I sleep over?” She thinks for a moment, then answers, “Sure.”
Sang-mi arrives at the wedding hall to find it empty, and lingers for a moment. As she leaves, Sang-woo steps into the hall, and is so relieved to see her that he grabs her in a hug.
Shin-young wanders out in time to catch them kissing, and recognizes them both.
Finally, a connection between the two couples! This has got to be awkward, particularly given how coldly Sang-mi has treated Shin-young. On the other hand, I wonder if this will give Shin-young insight into Sang-mi’s dislike of her. While I think Sang-mi’s attitude is perfectly believable just as a mother, I have to think there are self-loathing aspects tied in there.
Sang-mi and Shin-young are complete opposites, but by the same token, you could look at them as alternate-universe versions of each other. What could Sang-mi have been if she hadn’t accidentally gotten pregnant at twenty and had to marry a man who doesn’t love her? Min-jae has pointed out that Sang-mi is particularly harsh against career women. Normally I hate (hate HATE!) the “You’re just jealous” rationale applied to women (because it actually marginalizes valid reasons, since the jealousy argument paints women as irrational and emotional creatures and dismisses everything they have to say with one fell swoop — throwing the baby out with the bathwater). BUT, this is one of the few times where I feel it’s probably true, and built into Sang-mi’s character.
- The Woman Who Still Wants To Marry: Episode 11
- Park Jin-hee: Calling Shin-youngs everywhere!
- The Woman Who Still Wants To Marry: Episode 10
- The Woman Who Still Wants To Marry: Episode 9
- The Woman Who Still Wants To Marry: Episode 8
- The Woman Who Still Wants To Marry: Episode 7
- The Woman Who Still Wants To Marry: Episode 6
- The Woman Who Still Wants To Marry: Episode 5
- The Woman Who Still Wants To Marry: Episode 4
- The Woman Who Still Wants To Marry: Episode 3
- The Woman Who Still Wants to Marry: Episodes 1-2