White Day, for those of you not East-Asia-side, is a greeting card holiday invented by Japanese candy companies. There, Valentine’s was repurposed as a day where women would buy sweets and chocolate (or make them) for the men in their lives. White day, March 14th, was subsequently invented as a payback day, where men in turn give chocolates or candy to the ladies. It is also celebrated in Korea, because Korean candy companies also enjoy money, and were like, “Why are we not in on this racket?”
As I left school today, a cadre of 4th graders bolted to me, as they often do, to say hello, realize they have a small repertoire of English beyond “hello,” and then stand around idly grinning at me. We talked a little in Korean, and just as I turned to go, one of my former students spotted me from across the playground and made haste. He arrived, huffing and puffing up in my grille, and produced the above giant lollipop.
“I’m not a girl,” I casually mentioned, in both English and Korean, just in case it wasn’t clear. He shook his head, remarked that this was okay, and pushed the candy forward again. Never one to turn down free candy, I accepted, he bowed with an enormous grin, and scampered off into the distance, happy as could be.
In summary, I think I just agreed to go steady with a Korean 7th grader.