Thursday, April 25, 2013


HAPPY BIRTHDAY, HANSOO KWON! My husband of just-over six years, my beau of nearly eighteen years, the love with whom I've made, a life, is Hansoo. We all have had a past; we have all fallen-in-love, or lust, with perhaps more than a few who we then, unceremoniously, have dismissed from our lives. Or maybe we've relegated those "exes" to a "friend only" status. What makes someone a "keeper"? What creates a partner? Certainly, timing. I think if I'd met the rather un-yielding Hansoo in my teens or in my twenties, it would not have worked out. Why? Because I was not looking to be "partnered", indeed, the loving partner I had--a deeply introspective and kind man named Peter, I most likely, did not deserve--I was rather flippant about commitment, ("Flippant About Commitment", great title for a memoir of my 20's)and dashed off to Atlanta, leaving behind a young-adult life of college and post-college theatre, long, romantic walks on the beach (a cliche', but true) with Peter, and my family, for a city I perceived as "huge", and for new, wild-blue adventures. And so many, many, years later, Hansoo and I, found each other. But by the time we found each other, I was a better version of me: able to commit, after many years of leaping from one love to another, I was in a place where I was looking for the kind of love, that would last. It certainly helped that Hansoo is very different from any other person I'd dated: he's exotic, obviously, but he's also a business-person at heart, a pragmatic, let's-solve-this-kind-of-fellow. A "Keeper" is someone who--even when they do not understand you-- makes an effort to love you, anyway. It helped that I'd already had a few of those what I call "wild-blue" moments. Recognizing him from an indie-bookstore, and then refusing to call him when he offered me his card at the nightclub(I never gave my number out), I was nonetheless, very impressed. Extremely handsome, and with great legs (he was wearing casual clothes, which included slightly-above-the-knee-shorts when we met), he had graduated Ga. Tech, which meant he was incredibly intelligent, but his graduation had been only a couple of years earlier, which meant he was younger--much younger--than me. I tried to discourage him, I really did, remarking to him: "You know, we can't go out because number one, you're a LOT younger than me, and I'm not comfortable with that (he interrupted to claim I looked "about 30"(I was actually almost 39)) I continued:"I'm Bisexual, and that's never going to change; and you look Korean, and I'm not, and that means your parents wouldn't approve, so why don't we save ourselves a lot of time and trouble--I just got out of a bad relationship, and I'm not looking to get serious (that was a lie, I was "looking"))...." He was calm, and said simply, "Uh, I was thinking lunch...Could we just have lunch?" After a few days of yakking about this "really cute, smart engineering-management guy" as I described him to my gal-pals, I finally called the number he'd given me, and left a message with his roommate. I actually did not want to talk to Hansoo; instead, I wanted to pretend I really was not that interested, as I was indeed, very interested, but did not want Hansoo to think I was all-hot for him (I was). When he called me back that same hour, I was on the other line, and so when I picked up (this was 1995; there was no caller-id on my home-phone)I was very surprised, but I took a breath and then answered in a deliberately flat, disappointed tone, "Oh, it's you..." to which he replied "You don't sound very happy to hear from me..." And then, my integrity kicked in and I heard myself say, "I was trying to sound like I'm not interested..." "What? But, you called me....let's just have lunch..." That did it. A "Keeper" doesn't give up. It ended up being a late-night "lunch", and it was "Steak n'Shake", and I had every item that was meat-free, including cream of broccoli soup, french fries, salad, cottage cheese, and fruit, and I washed that all down with a chocolate malt; He had a steak-burger, fries and a coke. I insisted on paying for us both. A "Keeper" indulges you, and your whims. We went from dating, to me crashing at his shared-apartment (God Bless Jerry, his very kind, tolerant, now-former-roommate), to us moving into an apartment together, to us searching for and finding our first house, in August, 1998. Which I helped make a home...for he and I, and our first doggie,an Aussie we got in May of 1997 named "Frisco", and then "Louie", our Golden Retriever, adopted (October, 1998) from Golden Retriever Rescue of Atlanta (GRRA). We later moved to the house we currently live in, and married in 2007, in a ceremony beyond dreams. It is no small thing, that I married. I was a true Marriage-o-Phobe. (Read all about our wedding, in this same Blog:simply search the Archives(Archives are located below and to the right of this column) for my "February, 2007" entries.) We have a multi-generational household now, which includes my in-laws, "Omma K", and "Appa K", and their two "grand-dogs": "Afton" (a rescue GSD, whom we adopted from "Big Canoe Animal Rescue")and "Agent", a troubled male GSD, who was only an hour away from being euthanised when a family in Covington rescued him, and offered him for sale to us. A "Keeper" sacrifices, for those he loves. It's been a long time, and the man I originally found so adorably funny and cute, still is. A "Keeper" helps you laugh, even when you've suffered. We've survived terrible losses(his Hominee'(maternal grandma)June 14th, 2007); my Grandma Dorothy (paternal Grandma) October 22nd, 2003); my beloved Theya Helen (August 14th, 2007);I also lost two maternal Aunts within 2 years of each other--both to sudden, unexpected, Pancreatic Cancer: Aunt Helen Harnett, June 14th, 2001, and Aunt Mary Prince, May 23rd, 2003);we lost "Frisco", at almost-11 years-old, when we learned she had advanced cancer, and would seizure/suffer a painful death, unless we "chose" euthanization for her--hardest thing I've/We've ever had to do; we lost "Louie" later--who lived to nearly 14--to a brain infection, and we held him, just as we did "Frisco", as he passed.) But also have found tremendous, sweet joys--in our nieces, in our extended-families, in our own "furry-kids",the aforementioned "Afton" and "Agent" and in the making of every day, anew. A "Keeper" puts Family, first. I've seen Hansoo grow even more, into the capable man I always knew he was, the kindhearted man I know he can be, and the romantic man, he always is. He has supported me emotionally, artistically, financially, and when I was quite ill in the past--physically, as well... We continue to work on our Spiritual connection. A "Keeper" believes in You, even when his beliefs in other things, are still evolving. As I've often said: I think there are a lot of people you can fall-in-love with, but there are very few, you can make a life with. Here's to You, Hansoo. My wonderful chef-husband, my cheerleader for my writing and acting, "Daddy" to our fur-babies; inclusive son-in-law, and brother-in-law, to my family-of-origin. You rock, Hansoo Kwon. Peace, kids.


Lydia said...

This made me cry! It is such a fascinating and very beautiful tribute to your husband and he most certainly deservesBig Happy Birthday Wishes from visitors to your blog. Here's mine

(((Big Happy Birthday Wish to Hansoo)))

Don't Feed The Pixies said...

well happy birthday as well

there's so much that is down to chance in relationships - you could meet the right person but at the wrong time or as the quote goes: two people sitting in the same room might never notice each other, whilst two on opposite sides of the world can't be kept apart

Glad you found someone and many more years to come

Lisa Nanette Allender said...

Hi Lydia-- what a sweeet thing to say!
Hope life in lovely Oregon (I swear, I'm going to get out there sooon) is treating you great!

Meli Falcon said...

My dearest cousin,

This is my favorite entry.
I love you.
You are right.
Timing is everything.
I needed to read this tonight.
And I'm really glad I did.
You're the best.


Lisa Allender said...

Meli--THANK YOU for stopping to read...I love ya,kid. :)