Today, like every day, I asked my students, “How are you?”
Although yesterday was Christmas, no one said a word about that. They gave their usual answers: “Happy,” “Hungry,” “Tired and happy,” “Very, very, very, very happy,” and “Angry.” Except one boy. One rambunctious eleven-year-old who occasionally has streaks of uncontrollable laughter that turn his face red.
He answered, “Solo Christmas . . .” with a jerk of his head that suggested dissatisfaction.
“Solo Christmas . . ?” I repeated.
Then it hit me what he meant. In Korea, Christmas is generally celebrated as a romantic holiday for couples. It’s not really about family time; it’s a holiday where couples go on dates. By saying, “Solo Christmas,” he was referring to his single status. He was lamenting that he had spent Christmas alone, without a date.
As an single female turning thirty in a month (who would love to be married), I found this answer from an 11-year-old boy pretty hilarious. “Thanks, Shane,” I said amidst my loud burst of surprised laughter. “I think that’s the first time I’ve laughed all day.”