In January, my mother-in-law dropped by with a matching pair of grey jogging pants and hooded sweat-shirt for me that she’d picked in in the Suwon market. The notable feature about them was that they had the words “LOVE KISS” printed all over them in bold black print and a white heart to punctuate it.
I wore them around the house and despite their crooked seams, they were quite comfortable. I even wore the shirt to school once to make EunBong happy, and the children (after making fun of me a little) enjoyed hearing the story that I got it from my “Jang’mo’nim” (mother-in-law). A few weeks later, they even asked if I would wear my “love kiss jang’mo’nim shirt” next time.
I’d kind of forgotten about those clothes, now that’s it’s getting warm, I hadn’t worn them in a while. Then, I noticed a new key-chain the other morning with two small cast bullets attached to the ring. On one bullet, the word “LOVE” was embossed and on the other, “KISS”. I thought maybe EunBong had seen it, and picked it up as a joke, but when I asked her she said, “No, my mother bought it for you.” She hadn’t noticed the words until I pointed them out.
The strange thing is, the only bit of English that my mother-in-law knows is “bye-bye” but she thinks it means “hello”. She had no awareness of the words appearing on either of the gifts she gave me. I looked to EunBong and said, “Maybe your mother and I have some strong Karma from a past life?” From the look on her face, I’m not so sure EunBong wanted to think about such a thing…