In Time with you
As I watched this episode I kept reading comments about how slow this story was unfolding, how nothing was going on. I beg to differ. The drama doesn’t have a very big concept, there’s no evil that needs to be vanquished so that our two heroes can get together. At this point it’s not even guaranteed that they will end up together, because ending up together isn’t really the end all and be all of these two friends. They already are together in the ways that count- they share their dreams, passions, disappointments, heartbreaks and even the difference between pads. They’re already walking life together in parallel lines, and they’re not even sure that they want to intersect, but like two lines that intersect they’re afraid that they’ll end up losing that easy companionship and be forced to move away from each other.
The day after You Qing’s birthday starts off with work as usual for Li Da Ren with him being flirted upon by that pouty-faced girl at work that I can’t seem to like. You Qing on the other hand has a little dialogue with her imaginary Li Da Ren telling him how she’d often thought that she goes through the day waiting like luggage to be picked up.
Before work she goes to buy coffee and ends up leaving her bag behind (we find out later on that as much as she’s cool and collected at work, she’s pretty scatterbrained and often loses her stuff). As she’s walking away from the coffee shop she’s called back by a pretty boy/man so that he can give her bag back.
The most interesting part of this scene is actually not something that can be seen. The background music changes quite suddenly into the song from Carmen- l’amour est un oiseau rebelle (Habanera). Which is interesting because it’s a song that warns a man not to fall in love with her because then she won’t listen and if she loves him then he best beware.
As hot boy/man and You Qing are about to start talking, Lala, You Qing’s coworker and her ex’s new girlfriend has called out to her. You Qing at this point doesn’t seem to mind the fact that she’s interrupted her, rather more that she’s called her Jie (older sister) and thereby marking her as OLD.
As it turns out, You Qing’s new assistant is being introduced to the office staff. When the current assistant stops in front of You Qing’s office she tells him that You Qing is actually quite nice with a good personality, and just her face seems arrogant so therefore don’t worry about being mistreated. Turns out new assistant is Cute boy from the coffee shop. He introduces himself as Nic and hopes that they’ll work well together. You Qing is just thunderstruck that the guy that she’d seen earlier is now the one who’ll work the closest with her.
At night, You Qing is still at the office working overtime and is feeling quite harassed when her mom calls to remind her to bring her seal so that she can sell her stock before it drops. That’s when she finds out that she has lost her seal and though she looks for it with some help from Nic, she can’t find where she’s placed it.
At work Li Da Ren is still trying to act dense around pout girl but she isn’t letting him and purposely starts calling him Ge in front of the coworkers and asking for the payback date he owes her for her help from last time. He tries to wiggle out of that promise by inviting her and everybody he manages out to eat, but she tells him later that she won’t accept today’s dinner as the compensation.
It’s late by the time that Da Ren get’s home but his mom is still awake and trying to paint as a method of relaxation to help her cope with the fact that she’s had another fight with Tao Tao.
She’s Da Ren’s little sister, a rebellious 20-something going through a rocker phase, perhaps as payback to her princessy mother. She feels that by rebelling against her mother who keeps scolding their dead father who treated their mother like a princess during his lifetime she’s protecting her father. But Da Ren points out to her that perhaps treating mom like a princess was dad’s happiness. And perhaps mom scolding him is her way to hold on to him and remember him.
Da Ren goes up to his room and as he’s finishing putting up a postcard on an impressive map of the world on his wall, he gets a call from You Qing. They banter as they usually do about each other’s single status and You Qing asks him for a favor for her friend who couldn’t find a ticket to go to a business trip.
While they’re talking You Qing’s Mama comes in and starts searching through her daughter’s room and closet for the misplaced seal despite You Qing’s protests about her invasion of privacy, (moms will always be moms be their children 10, 30, or 50).
YQ’s Mama hears her talking to Da Ren and tells her to tell him that she wants to see him soon and that he should come eat with them tomorrow. You Qing hands her mother the phone so that she can mother him herself and she walks down the stairs to lie down with her dad in front of the tv. When Mama comes down she starts chiding her daughter about the bad taste in men she’s had so far, especially when she has such a prime example of a great man as her best friend.
Mama starts asking her why she hasn’t gone out with Da Ren, but You Qing can’t take it and she stand up to shout ” Li Da Ren is FOREVER MY FRIEND!!!” and she stomps off to lie down in her room.
The next day starts off bizarre for You Qing. She’s not awake but she’s not completely asleep, she starts thinking that Da Ren’s outside her house yelling at her to get a move on or they’ll be late to class. As she’s shouting “DA REN HEEEELP!!!! I CAN’T FIND MY BAG” she opens her eyes. It was a dream remembrance, things like that probably had occurred during their college days.
Turns out that bizarro dream had been triggered by Da Ren’s voice talking to her mom. Her mom is complaining to Da Ren about You Qing’s habit of losing things and Da Ren just says that he trusts that You Qing will find it in the end. Mama slyly recommends that they become more than friends so that he could stay with her forever. she asks him, “don’t you like her? Just whisper it to me.” You Qing acts like she hasn’t heard anything and comes down to sit across form her mother and Da Ren.
As she walks in her mom and Da Ren guiltily turn away from each other, pretending that the conversation they’d just had never happened, She makes faces and complains about waking her up early and they laugh because it’s not, it’s already two in the afternoon and unlike her Da Ren has already done a lot on his day off. It’s cute that Da Ren is the one that’s helping Mama create a facebook, it’s like he’s the son she never had. Of course, Mama doesn’t let Da Ren go without inviting him to eat.
While they’re waiting Da Ren ends up staring at You Qing and can’t answer her when she’s asking why he’s smiling while staring at her.
Next ensues the cutest non-couple supermarket trip ever. they walk together talking about their week, he mentions the girl who is hitting on him, she tells him he’s slow if he hasn’t even held hands with her. etc. When You Qing starts looking at the different sanitary napkins he asks her what she’s studying so hard about since they’re all just napkins, she snaps, of course they’re not, there are day time ones, nighttime ones, long, medium and short, and ones with wings and others without them…lol… He just looks at her and grabs one to look at, and she snaps back out of her lecture mode, and tells him not to touch it, while pushing him away and sending him to find the rest of the groceries.
While they walk home Da Ren tells You Qing that pout girl calls him Ge and he doesn’t understand what it mean, is she flirting because she likes him, is she trying to seduce him for something or is he just misunderstanding her intentions by a long shot. You Qing starts laughing, saying that maybe the Ge is unsettling him because it makes him feel old, at that moment a neighbor calls out “You Qing Jie” and You Qing’s laughter vanishes in smoke and all that’s left is a very strained smile and a “don’t work to hard” while trying to walk away quickly. Now Da Ren is the one who’s laughing. You Qing complains that people shouldn’t start calling other Jie or Ge until the person is at least 50.
Turns out that Da Ren can’t stay for dinner but he’ll come back soon for it. You Qing tells her parents who had started to protest to let him go after all he has a hot date with a young girl to attend. Everybody just stares at her- it sounded surprisingly envious. She ignores their looks, she turns around and starts putting the groceries away.
Later as she’s putting on a beauty mask You Qing starts to think about the men that she knows that are eligible to date and with three she’s completely put off, then she thinks of Nic, and although he has all the qualities to be quite the catch, she can’t get over the fact that he’s five years younger than her. Then as she thinks about who might fit, the thought wanders in that out of everybody the only one that is+ completely compatible in age, looks, income and character is Lee Da Ren, but she quickly banishes the thought, after all “he wouldn’t ever like me.”
Meanwhile Da Ren goes to his date, but it turns out to be a date with his mom to see a local theater play. The story he’s gone to see is a story about two friends who stayed only friends for over twenty years and wrote letters to each other, clearly showing how much they cared for each other but never confessing. However the woman dies and the guy has gone to pick up the box where she’s kept all his letters and he confesses that he’s loved her all this time and is so sorry to lose her.
Da Ren and his mom are touched by this story, his mom openly weeping and he discreetly wiping a tear away. And they’re not the only ones, man I felt my heart become crushed with this story, it was amazing truly amazing the older guy’s feelings were so palpable that I felt my heart constrict so hard it hurt.
After the show Da Ren and his mom are waiting for the actor, turns out they know each other. Mom starts scolding him about the sad ending, saying it’s horrible, etc. The actor just laughs and says that’s good that she’s had that reaction, because sad things make a person think more. Da Ren sends his mom off on a dinner with the guy.
He stares a little at the seesaw inside and then immediately calls You Qing, “hey do you have leftovers?”
When he gets to her house, Papa, Mama and You Qing are waiting for him. He truly seems to belong in that household, he loves them and they love him in return, and though both Mama and Papa had at one point wished that they’d get together as a couple, they’ve more or less resigned themselves to the fact that at least Da Ren and You Qing will be friends forever.
Papa starts asking him about the girl, and this turns into advice session Confirming Love 101-Before anything Timing is Everything (or his relationship with this new girl may turn into another one like You Qing- Friends forever), and then there are three things to confirm love
1) hold hands for more skinship and to find out if she likes him or not, since if she doesn’t then she’s more likely to slap his hands away.
2) When you hold hands there should be a electrifying “boomzzz ” feeling
3) if 1& 2 are a go then Kiss!
Oh gosh Mama and Papa make me laugh so much. I think they’re the cutest parents ever in the whole drama universe.
After everybody finishes their late night snack/dinner, Mama and Papa have gone to sleep and the kids move their chat to the living room where they sit in arm chairs drinking coffee and just chat. Da Ren tells You Qing about the play he’d gone with mom and how much it had struck him. You Qing moves to sit next to him and she asks “how long have we known each other Da Ren?” and he replies “14.” She sighs, “what a scary number 14.”
After all that coffee You Qing needs a restroom break. They continue talking even with You Qing in the restroom and Da Ren leaning against the restroom wall just outside. (You can seriously only do this with extremely close friends with whom it doesn’t feel more than awkward) You Qing starts talking about how she panicked earlier while she thought about how much ahead he was in finding his partner than her, and that when she thought of all they guys she knows there is none that she wants to bother pursuing a relationship with.
Da Ren stands up and leans on the frame of the door and asks her what kind of guy does she want, he’ll help her. She says that she wants a guy that has a good income even if it’s lower than hers that’s alright, she wants a guy with ambition to move forward, she wants a guy that she can truly talk to besides saying I love you and please pass the salt. Da Ren listens and slowly and I think more than half seriously he says ” Why does it sound that the most appropriate guy for you is me?” She is so shocked she finishes her business quickly and opens the door as he’s about to continue talking. She is pissed that he took what she said and made it into a joke since she was saying it seriously.
They continue their chat in the garden where they start talking about being alone when they’re old. You Qing hopes that when she is senile he’ll still be her friend. Da Ren says that You Qing needn’t worry since he’ll move in to an elder’s home with her to take care of her until the end.
The next day work continues normally for You Qing and Da Ren. Both are attacked by the flirty coworkers. You Qing finds out that Nic has organized her office and though she’s not happy that he messed with her messy system she can’t say anything with him smiling at her and giving her a coffee to start her day off well.
At work, Da Ren sees that pouty girl is actually not feeling well because of cramps he’s extra nice and finally gives in to her proposition for a dinner alone. Because of this he can’t go to the theater with You Qing who has gone to see the play he’d seen the night before.
This time at the play You Qing starts seeing herself and Da Ren as the main players. She’s struck by the sentence ” Possession is the beginning of losing.” for example having youth is the beginning of becoming old, having beauty is the beginning of losing it, and possessing love, is also the beginning of losing it.That’s why the friends in the play never tried to possess that love, and instead showed their love through letters, You Qing sees this as coming through Da Ren’s mouth and her own.
As the end plays and You Qing is still trying to recover from the tears that had fallen, someone calls out her name without the honorific Jie- It’s Nic, he also went to see the play. A nice coincidence.
Nic says that he was struck by one specific sentence, ” Possession is the beginnning of losing” but he says that he doesn’t agree with the sentiment. Because even if possession means losing, and loss is inevitable, he feels that it’s better to have had that brief time of memories together than none at all.
Their plans to go out to drink are canceled when Lala calls You Qing crying brokenheartedly. She calls because she’s scared that she’s ruined her relationship with Henry because of a fight. She is quite lonely and just needed someone to vent to. You Qing feels awkward at some points but she tries to be as helpful as she can be to Lala.
The next day she’s looking for her seal in her bag and she finds that her bag’s inside cover has a hole and some things have fallen through. In there she finds a picture of an old boyfriend, a key to another’s apartment, an earring from Henry. She looks at these items. And thinking back to her comment from the beginning she thinks in voice over that maybe she’s not luggage waiting to be picked up after all, it’s more like she’s a bag with many stories to tell.
This drama is really all about the characters. It’s about their growth as people, as friends, and as good partners. Every time I watch it I get this feeling of fragility and strength, it’s paradoxical, I know, but it’s what I sense in it.
I love our main characters and I feel that Nic and Pouty girl (i don’t know why I don’t like her, I just don’t) are necessary, because through their relationship with these I think they’ll realize what it is they truly need from a life partner.
They are not innocent teenagers falling in love for the first time. They’ve had heartbreaks and family troubles and they’ve gone through it together. I think that as Papa said, Timing is Everything and unfortunately for Da Ren and You Qing they haven’t had the perfect time to explore their feelings for each other besides friendship. And as they grew closer the fear of losing that closeness should they break up has kept them from pursuing another form of relationship.
I don’t think that when they realize that they do in fact love each other, the relationship will be deeper persay, it’ll just have an added dimension. I think that what they already have is a deep love relationship but so far they’ve maintained it as an Agape love.
I know that I didn’t mention him in these two recaps but I was hit quite hard by the taxicab driver that has appeared to both You Qing and Da Ren. He has colon cancer and doesn’t have a great prognosis, but he’s not bitter. To You Qing he pointed out that relaxing and taking time out to enjoy the people in your life is the best thing to do, and to Da Ren, after dropping off Pouty Girl after the team dinner that Da Ren paid for, he asks him if, She were the last girl he’d date and live with before dying, would he still hold her hand or would he choose another? This guy he’s got perspective in life and though it might have been forced upon him because of cancer, I think that he’ll make Da Ren and You Qing think about his comments and how it applies to them.
On another note, the music. okay I actually really like the softness of the music, it adds an introspective quality to the drama. However today I was really jolted awake in the beginning with that decision they made to include Carmen’s Habanera in the moment when she met Nic. Is it a warning that she’ll not love him? but doesn’t that mean that she’ll end up hurting the one she loves? I’m really not sure that that was the best decision for a song in this story, since it’s not a makjang style drama where she’ll end up getting Da Ren killed because he loves her… it’s just not that type of story… so I don’t know if that choice was really the best…