I debated whether or not to post this wondering how relevant it was. However, given that he said his Korean mother-in-law was his “best friend” and the fact that some here are not Korean but have married into a Korean family I though, why not? Maybe some readers can relate?
(Image from The New Yorker)
Meet Ben Ryder Howe, self-described New England WASP (who’s ancestors’ stepped off the Mayflower) and contributing writer to The New Yorker and The Atlantic. Ten years ago, he was an editor at the once well regarded (and now defunct) Paris Review. Married to a Korean-American lawyer, he decided to get into business with his wife and mother-in-law to open a (gasp!) deli and convenience store in New York City. For eight years he went through the trials and tribulations of being an owner of a “Korean” deli while he worked full time at the Paris Review. Afterwards, Ben wrote a book about his experiences as a “Korean” deli owner that’s currently making the review rounds.
Interesting interview at The New York Times Style Magazine blog:
[Question] How did your parents react when they found out you bought a convenience store?
[Answer] I am from Newton, Mass. My parents are New Englanders. They were really excited and interested when they heard that Gab [my wife] and I bought the store. They could not have been more open-minded. However, to them, living with Gab’s family was kind of odd — a step backward. But for me, I learned that I like living with a large family. Kay [my mother-in-law] is my best friend and I spend more time with her than anyone else … even Gab!
The man ran a labor intensive deli/convenience store, worked crazy hours with a Korean mom hovering over him all the time. I’m amazed Ben was able to keep his sanity.
Ben considers himself an “honorary” Korean. Sure, why not? He’s certainly earned it the hard way.