Every so often, Jieun will ask me a question that I can’t help but feel is a test, and worse, one that I’m doomed to fail. The problem is that I’m a literalist when it comes to questions, or really language in general. Ask me a question, and I’ll assume the proper response is an (honest) answer. But that’s not how Jieun works. Sometimes, even frequently, when she asks a question, the proper response is not an answer but some sort of affirmation. It’s up to me to figure out what the right kind of affirmation is. I suck at it. I’ve gotten better through the years, but that just means I’ve progressed from offensively awful to merely poor.
I remember one time, it was either before Abby was born or shortly after, and Jieun turns to me and asks, “Do you expect me to be the primary caretaker of our children?” Hmmmmm. That’s the kind of question that seems to have a “right” answer. Which one could it be? I have a 50-50 chance of answering correctly, but the consequences of a wrong answer could be disastrous. Besides, the actual answer doesn’t matter so much as how I answer it, and I had no idea how to answer well. I was paralyzed.
Jieun, seeing my deer-in-the-headlights look, laughed and rescinded the question, telling me that the right answer was yes, that she wants to be the primary caretaker. (Would you have guessed that? Honestly? I’m glad I kept my mouth shut. Truth be told, I should shut up more often.)
I was reminded of this last night, when, in the middle of watching some Korean drama (SN. While watching, she smiles and laughs throughout. I haven’t seen her react like that since she re-read the Twilight series. You read that correctly. Re-read) she turns to me and asks, “Do you want to love and cherish me forever?”
Hmmmmm. I’m still not an expert on women but I’m pretty sure the correct answer to that question is “yes”, which I said. But more importantly, why is she asking that? What is she thinking? What does she want? Man, I don’t know. I just kept my mouth shut again and she didn’t follow-up, but I have to confess, I’m a bit confused. And a little worried.