Reflection

Hwanyobi Final Episode: “Don’t ever cry…” Because it’s not the end

A Reflection by Madgepop
Edited by Hwanyobifan

Part I

The entity known as the “Gaettongie”, “Decalcomanie” and “RnB” couple has come to an end.

Only on “We Got Married”, of course.

Hwanhee and Hwayobi bid adieu on February 8, 2009 to many adoring, mostly shocked fans, who got awfully taken aback with the couple’s sudden exit right after they entertained their very first house guest in the previous episode. Where is the fairness in that?

But enough of my ranting. The more pressing question perhaps is: how do you say goodbye to something so wonderful? Or let go of something that has occupied a huge place in your heart?

For people like me who lives and breathes Hwanyobi, imagining Sundays without them is woefully hard and terribly sad. Now it really feels like the end of an era for me.

For one last time, we see them at their abode–the Hanok–doing the usual things married couples do. Hwanhee, the husband, patiently waits at the living room as Hwayobi, the wife, lovingly prepares a feast for them to share. After receiving the mission card from that iconic mechanical gripper that it’s their last day and that the mission is left on their hands to decide – both grapple with sudden nostalgia and hurried helplessness. There’s so much to do and there aren’t enough hours in a day.

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Hwayobi makes an incontestable proposition:

“We must look like a real couple.”

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This statement I found myself disagreeing with. To me, they look very much like a real couple, a real married couple. They have effectively shown marriage as it is actually LIVED and not dreamed of. But then again, there is more to marriage than those little facets of everyday life. Marriage needs romance too. And more often than not, people imagine, yearn and long for romance – like in dates – where shameless, head-over-heels, public displays of affection come aplenty. Before it’s too late, Hwayobi wants to experience the mushiness of it all with her nampyeon; especially since Hwanhee is not exactly the “i-worship-the-ground-you-walk-on” type of guy.

Of course Hwayobi convinces Hwanhee with a lot of thought-provoking and forceful persuasions:

“Even a ghost’s wish is granted, and I am alive.

Think of it as purchasing the foods you have eaten until now.”

“I’ve always followed your words. Always cooking.

When you said not to do it, I didn’t.

When the food was salty, I bought the sauce.

When you asked me to sleep, I did.”

“Just think, have you ever treated me like a princess?”

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So tell me, how do you say no to all that? I believe it was the second she asked him if he ever treated her like a princess did Hwanhee realize that there’s no use in fighting against the great force that is Hwayobi. There’s just no point in playing hard to get because this girl is intent on playing hard ball. Everything she said makes sense and are, in fact, true.

Lesson to Hwanhee: never mess with the “Queen of Dangyunhaji”.

Part II

At last, the Gaettongie couple goes on a date. What could be more real and down-to-earth than a date at the mall? It’s crammed full of places for recreation and teeming with young people in love. Perfect for Hwayobi who wanted a crowded place to carry out the mission and terrifying for Hwanhee who’s laying his rough and tough image on the line. But it was a great chance for both to kick back, relax, have fun and get in touch with the real world although causing an unrestrained hubbub from fans and passersby. It actually looked like a scene plucked out of Rain and Song Hye Kyo’s Full House where the celebrity super star and his wife go out on a date and get followed by throngs of fans wherever they go. The only difference is that, while Rain’s character is unabashedly comfortable with PDAs, Hwanhee seems to be awfully embarrassed showing his humanity to the world.

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Notwithstanding the fact that all eyes were on them, they set out to do all the stuff that romantic dates are made of. They subsequently backhugged each other at the escalator, although Hwanhee’s was more of the I’m-gonna-show-you-what-a-real-hug-is headlock. They linked arms while strolling. They window-shopped and he bought her a scarf. He gallantly waited for her outside the ladies room and carried her bag (although he gave up minutes later and waited for her instead at the nearby resto – much to my chagrin). Those were just simple gestures of affection but it was transformational on Hwanhee’s part. One second he is “Korea’s Prince of RnB”, the next he is “Hwayobi’s hand bag guy”. Sure, the effort to make her happy is there. And much as he tries to maintain his last ounce of Korean-men’s pride, he simply could not resist being drawn to her. It’s as if she has this mystical hold over him that enables him to do more than he bargained for. I guess it’s because Hwayobi is persevering. She just doesn’t give up. She constantly challenges him to move out of his comfort zone and go into a world where there is much to be appreciated, where there are fascinating things to be seen and where there are amazing feelings to be felt. It also doesn’t hurt that she always makes him laugh.

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The 10-second silence during the piggy back ride was a moment of extraordinary poignancy for me. It felt as though all the noise and worries of the world were filtered out and the only sound they could hear was the sound of their heartbeats. It was a short moment, but it simultaneously conveyed a whole range of emotions from happiness, to sadness, to thankfulness, to simply not-wanting-it-to-end. “I want everyday to be like today,” Hwayobi exclaims. Why PD, why haven’t they done this earlier?

Part III

reflection6The “Couple Authentication Dinner” garnered the most laughs for me. It also brought out revelations and answers to questions we’ve always desired to know. Thanks to Yobi’s hilarious and inquisitive friends, Young-Ji, Gummy and Lyn. These three just cracked me up over their insatiable appetite for Hwanhee and Hwayobi’s fascinating state of affairs.

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The girls did not hold back on their interrogation on Hwanhee, particularly Young-Ji, who took it upon herself to be the audiences’ representative and Hwanhee’s mother-in-law at the same time. “Did you know we were coming?” she immediately barks as soon as they sat down. “Was the bike ride to show off your skills?” she boldly asks Hwanhee. She then asks about the kimchi pancake incident and forcefully tells Hwanhee, “You should apologize to her.”

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Whilst Young-Ji was on aggressive mode, Lyn was in the mood for romantic questions. She asks Hwanhee the question that got Hwayobi tickled pink and the rest of Hwanyobilandia in utter excitement:

“When was Yobi the prettiest to you?”

I was secretly hoping he’d say, “during the wedding photoshoot”, well because, isn’t a woman at her prettiest during her wedding day, I mean, wedding photoshoot? But I was satisfied with Hwanhee’s answer:

“when she cares for me, when she cooks, because she doesn’t look like the type of woman these days, which is very unusual”.

To me, that was sincere and heartfelt. It is comforting to know that those moments when Hwayobi made him the happiest, are the very moments that made her so beautiful to him. He is also very much aware that he’s not the only one mesmerized by her charms:

“I felt that many men noticed and they like her”.

Hwayobi, on the other hand, is not one who sits still while her nampyeon is breaking out in cold sweats trying to answer those tough questions. When Hwanhee was asked by Gummy on why he didn’t treat Hwayobi better, Hwanhee directed the question to Hwayobi, “Have I treated you badly?” and she replied, “No”. When everyone was picking on his “chicken-style” hair, she sprang to his defense and told them her heart went pit-pat when Hwanhee was wearing that chicken style hair during their “In Love with You” duet last December.

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Have they succeeded in authenticating themselves as a couple? Maybe. I think they pulled it off. What’s important is that, it was an experience they had to go through as a couple -like a rite of passage. Something they had to do before they make their exit. Young-Ji, Lyn and Gummy all gave reassuring words to the couple, especially Young-Ji, who tried to cushion the blow for the fans who still can’t believe this is happening, saying,

“This is not the end. When the couples are leaving, we can’t see them anymore; but we feel they are still living together somewhere.”

To be sure, we are left with a glimmer of optimism and hope, something which rang so true in Gummy’s words:

“Even when you meet a person different from your ideal type, more and more they become one and fall in love”.


Part IV

After spending most of the day surrounded by a drove of mallrats and a bunch of curious george, Hwanhee and Hwayobi finally find time alone at a park. Hwanhee, screwing up his courage, starts the conversation and explains himself:

“I’m not really bad. I only acted that way because I was embarrassed. I should have treated you better.” “I’m sorry all these days.”

Surprised by his sudden mellowing, Hwayobi laughs and jokingly asks him if he’s doing an “Imja version”.

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But the atmosphere suddenly became serious as Hwanhee tells her the lonesome plight that awaits him:

“I will feel very lonely when I’m eating alone. I’ll be busy soon but when I get some rest and I’m all by myself, I will feel very alone and will think of you”.

He also admits that the farewell would have been very “painful” if they were a couple for real; but then again they have this treasure house of memories and experiences which they would not have a chance of doing had they not been together. Hefty words coming from a guy who has trouble verbalizing the affections that he felt.

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True enough, it was their once in a lifetime chance of experiencing the world AND married life together. They were a highly unlikely but very riveting pair: the glum chum vs. the happy bubble; the complex/complicated guy vs. the winsomely caring girl. Both personalities intensely puzzling, but both undeniably perfect for each other. Even their friends agree that they were a very attractive couple. It was a blast watching them engage in a battle of wits and figure each other out. But it’s far more thrilling and touching to watch them iron out their disagreements and turn each other’s lives around.

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It was emotionally overwhelming when Hwayobi, in between sobs, tells Hwanhee, “Stay well.”

That just pushed my buttons, and my eyes were suddenly brimming with tears. Then quite unexpectedly she blubbers out,

“I am SO attached to you now”.

I’m just amazed at how easily she wears her heart on her sleeves. She so honestly and ever so bravely tells him how she feels, without reserve and without hesitation.

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Isn’t that the loveliest little pout? (Okay, I know I’m biased).

THE HUG This one is unquestionably my favorite scene. Yes, we’ve already seen them hug at Hwayobi’s concert upon the prodding of fans. But it is different this time. It’s the eyes-closed, hold-you-in-my-arms kind of hug. Although it was a hug of goodbye, it conveyed much warmth and tenderness. I don’t know why, but there’s just something powerful about touch and its effect on people. Probably because it’s a sign of reaching out; of letting in someone into your circle of trust; of taking the risk in getting involved. It’s the first time I saw Hwanhee hug Hwayobi like that. And I love how he just plunged himself right into that moment and willingly embraced this wonderful gift that’s bestowed upon him.

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The scene where they were walking along the open road, arms wrapped over each other’s shoulder was a perfect way to end the day. I initially wanted to have a last look at the hanok, but then they would have to empty the place and that would have made it sadder than it already is. I think it was better off leaving them walking their way back and imagining what it would be. It left open the possibility of a future, of meeting each other again, of still being a part of each other’s lives. I’m a die-hard romantic, so I’d say, there’s a lot more to look forward to from these two.

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In lieu of Hwanyobi’s final curtain, the PD gave us a first in WGM’s farewell episodes: the couple appearing TOGETHER in the backroom interview. Prior to that, Hwanyobi speaks about what they have gained from the whole experience:

Yobi: “Hwanhee is a dignified man as the old people usually describe. Now I realized, now I prefer guys who are not very expressive than the guys who talk too much like me.”

Hwanhee: “Now I know that a woman is different from a man. I have learned to understand a woman through Yobi. I used to be quite introvert and silent. I’ve become more cheerful shooting WGM.I have changed because Yobi treated me so well.”

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Changed preference, changed persona: changed-each-other’s-worlds. Need I say more?

What’s your reflection ?

8 Responses to “Reflection”

  1. rini February 2, 2011 at 10:02 am #

    i like the way u describe in this post 🙂

    • BeautifoolDreamer February 6, 2011 at 9:34 am #

      Welcome to this memoirs ^^…Thanks to Madgepop sis the write for the lovely post above. indeed reflective 🙂

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