[Drama-induced Shopping] Growing the impossible
by Guest Beanie
The first thing I ever really, truly,
wanted needed from a drama was the beautiful Pig-Rabbit. How could something be so cute? And fluffy? More importantly, how could I get one? I remembered my disappointment when I couldn’t have Kim Sam-soon’s stuffed pig (at that time, from the other side of the world, it was impossible) so I vowed to not let history repeat itself and immediately looked everywhere for a Pig-Rabbit to call my own.
I found an incredibly sketchy website that sold it and, without even thinking about asking the owner of the card — my mom — for permission, I simply ordered it. Now, as soon as I clicked on that Buy button, I suddenly came to my senses. Why was I spending so much money on a stuffed toy? Why was I spending so much money, on a sketchy site, with my mom’s card, simply to buy a freaking (albeit uber-cute) Pig-Rabbit plushie? I still blame Jang Geun-seok (Hwang Tae-kyung, really) for that momentary lapse of reason.
I was freaking out as passages of the article on phishing scams I’d recently read flashed through my mind. What would I tell my mom? How could I explain to her what a Pig-Rabbit was and why I desperately needed it in my life? As fast as I could, I contacted the website and asked them to cancel the order. I never got a reply, but thankfully, nothing was ever charged to my mom’s card. My Pig-Rabbit need, however, was somewhat fulfilled when a friend bought me a cute, tiny keychain plushie. (She later told me she’d thought she’d bought a full-sized one, but the website had somehow scammed her… I didn’t even want to ask which website it’d been!)
The Lonely Shining Goblin
After that, I swore to myself I’d never lose my head over anything drama-related, and that I wouldn’t spend money on stuff I could really do without. Thus, I painfully coveted that beautiful tear-shaped necklace from 49 Days, Enrique’s panda hat, Dok-mi’s entire wardrobe, Dokko Jin’s skull scarf, the gorgeous “You Bastard”… you get the idea!
Things seduced me right and left for years, but I always told myself I didn’t actually need them so I never caved in. That is, until Goblin came around. Given my background, you’d think I’d go crazy for those cute Goblin and Reaper plushies (honestly, I did, and I’m still hoping someone, someday will surprise me with those), but what did it for me was that gorgeous buckwheat field. I’d never seen buckwheat before, and I’d only heard of it because I like to eat soba and gluten-free recipes, but as soon as I saw that field… something clicked within me. The need again!
Seeing as I’m definitely not a flower person, I wondered if it had something to do with Gong Yoo oppa just standing there (because we all know he makes everything look astounding), but there was just something else about it that pulled me in.
Therefore, I asked my aunt, who works with plants, for some buckwheat to grow. I even showed her a clip from the drama so that she could see how beautiful it’d look. She explained that we have no buckwheat in my country, and that even if we could find it someplace else, the tropical weather conditions wouldn’t be ideal. I was so sad! I’d already imagined myself sitting among the pretty white flowers, maybe even sitting on a bench like the one in the drama.
My aunt probably felt my disappointment because she told me she’d find a way to get some buckwheat to see if we could make it work. I told her not to worry about it, that I’d merely asked her because I wasn’t aware it only grew in specific places, and that I’d just look for a buckwheat field if I’d ever had the chance of returning to South Korea.
A couple of months later, I received a call from my aunt, asking me to come out of the house since she wanted to show me something. I opened the door… to find a wooden bench right there! My aunt explained that my grandpa had heard her talking about the buckwheat field I wanted and the bench that she’d seen on the drama clip I’d shown her so, without even telling her, he’d asked a friend to make one for me. I was so incredibly happy and grateful! I wouldn’t have my buckwheat field, but I’d have my lovely Goblin bench, which I placed on my backyard and decorated with fake plastic flowers (the only kind of flowers my cat won’t eat!).
Another couple of months later, weeks into my longest hospital stay, my aunt told me that one of her friends had brought us a bag of buckwheat seeds. She’d been checking with all her foreign friends to see if someone could bring us some in order to surprise me while I was cranky, in pain, and desperate to go back home. I was excited about it, but at the same time a bit skeptical. We waited several weeks for something to happen, I even left the hospital, but our project seemed to be doomed for failure.
That is, until one day my aunt texted me a picture of the tiniest, cutest leaf! I was amazed by that little leaf, which later turned into several leaves, which later turned into flowers. Buckwheat flowers in a tropical country!
Now, I always try to pay attention to whatever message the universe is trying to send me, and when I saw those pretty flowers, I knew the previous connection I’d felt was because I simply needed to see them bloom when they did. Seeing these pretty flowers flourishing when they weren’t really supposed to, made me feel like I, too, was thriving.
So, even though I still stop myself from buying basically everything I see on dramas (even Subway!), I was, and still am, grateful for that almost-worldwide search for buckwheat because I’m sure not even Go Hye-ran’s entire closet could give me as much hope as these tiny, simple flowers do every time I look at them.
(I’m not above buying a pair, or 10, of Oska socks, if someone ever finds them!)