The Golden Ring of Entitlement

Busan, South Korea

August 3 1987
Class and Mr. Moon is gone and Mr Cho too. I had some 보신탕* and got measured for my gold ring**. 59,000 won. I was pleased. My parents called last night for some chat.

*'Tis the season for the dog meat stew, eh? Feels like I'm eating it almost every day.

**Mr. Shin was trying to show some gratitude and/or bribe me to be happy so I might stick around longer. Kind of like a 3-month performance bonus. So he and I went to a jewelry store and picked out a gold ring for me. He had more input into the selection than I did, but in the end "I was pleased."

Looking back I strike myself as someone with a misplaced sense of entitlement. As if the ring was my god-given right. As if it was owed to me. It's not like people went around giving me jewelry back then (they don't today either...). But I can't find anywhere in my journal where I wrote about gratitude. In fact, I distinctly recall being pissed off when I went to pick up the ring and it wasn't exactly the design I had ordered. I was convinced Mr. Shin had gone back and changed the order to be more like the one he had liked, possibly even a cheaper one. A conspiracy!

If you've been following this series for a while you are probably expecting me to post a picture of the ring. Alas, I don't have it. But to tell now what happened to it would be to spoil the excitement of November 1987.

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