Buy Me Slippers = I Love You

This scene from episode 11 is the turning point for many viewers, the moment in the show where all doubts about Dong Hoon’s feelings disappear and in their place awe and marvel at this very nuanced, yet very deep love story.  In @justamom’s very own words: “I came into My Ahjussi totally not expecting a love story. I thought it was some kind of thriller, something similar to Misaeng or Signal. And then BAM! it hit me out of nowhere around the time Dong Hoon said, “buy me another pair of slippers.”

By @africandramalover from Soompi

Ki Hoon has been antsy through out the episode because Yoo Ra has not responded to his texts, but from min. 38, he descends to Antsy: Petty Level 3. He looks around the bar for an easy target for his anger. His brother Sang Hoon comes into view. Sang Hoon and the other Ahjussis are enjoying the rock snails treat from Jung Hee. Earlier in the day, Sang Hoon had spent time smiling into his phone instead of cleaning up their office. Ki Hoon rags on him about how sloppy he is at work….

Sang Hoon isn’t having this! NO WAY! He tells Ki Hoon not to dump on him, and instead go to Yoo Ra instead of looking into his phone for her text messages etc….

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Ki Hoon is being his usual erratic and impulsive angry self, especially because Sang Hoon is saying the truth. Sang Hoon even notices a tear forming in Ki Hoon’s eyes and claims victory for making him cry. Ki Hoon stomps out for a smoke.

He (obviously) doesn’t light it. Yoo Ra texts that she’s home but heading straight to bed. Ki Hoon huffs and puffs and…., finally runs down the street. As he runs he tells himself, “Go. If you miss her, run over there!”.  His aging Ahjussi bones can’t handle it, and he hails a taxi.

Why I kept track of this erratic dude is because it had earlier been noted on this forum that Ki Hoon is like the ID (Sang Hoon the Super Ego and Dong Hoon the Ego). I watched his behaviour as an indicator of what Dong Hoon’s subconscious reaaaalllly wants to do, and of how Dong Hoon will behave in later scenes.

The ID is the impulsive and infantile and unconscious part of our psyche. It responds immediately to the instincts. it remains infantile and isn’t affected by reality or logic. It operates on the pleasure principle. When the ID achieves its demands, we experience pleasure, when it is denied, we experience “un-pleasure”.

Sober Dong Hoon is the Ego. The Ego operates according to the reality principle, working out realistic ways of satisfying the ID’s demands, often compromising or postponing satisfaction to avoid negative consequences of society. The Ego considers norms and social realities, etiquette and rules in deciding how to behave. Often, the Ego is weak to the headstrong ID.

Ki Hoon gets to Yoo Ra’s apartment, runs up the stairs, finds her puke, cleans it up, then goes in. She’s wound up, “crumpled” because she had a horrid day on set. The director ripped her a new one. Ki Hoon listens, and to “straighten her” like they’d agreed, he tells her “I LOVE YOU.” She says, ” I don’t feel straightened out at all.” Ki Hoon leaves and throws the puke he cleaned up in the bin.

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Of course, the confession is real, but Ki Hoon throws it in as a way to heal Yoo Ra instead of being straightforward.  In another scene, Dong Hoon confronts CEO Do Joon Young in the office and punches him. He lets it rip, asking Joon Young why he told Yoon Hee about the discovery of their affair, etc.

While watching this part and Dong Hoon’s scenes onwards, it dawned on me that Dong Hoon is behaving exactly like Ki Hoon earlier in the episode. He’s fighting with the CEO in the office, shouting so loud that everyone on the floor can hear. He’s punching Do Joon Young when he really wants to square it out with Yoon Hee and Ji An. Dong Hoon goes back to his cubicle and notices that the slippers that were in his drawer are not there any longer. He eyeballs Ji An in the best way his soft self can as she drinks coffee at the refreshments area.

NB: At this point, Dong Hoon had snubbed Ji An when he found out she took his bribe for her benefit. He then discovers about Ji An’s life and her murder charge. They have not had a conversation since he snubbed her. They’re just orbiting around one another in the office. In the evening, he watches out for her outside the bar as he tries to smoke and look at his phone for her texts.

(After the fight in episode 9, the dynamics have altered slightly. Dong Hoon is not the one who needs healing, Ji An is now the one in need.)

In Dong Hoon’s next scene (around 55:45 mins), he runs up to Ji An. His inner petty comes out. Dong Hoon is finally throwing a tantrum. He goes off on her about the slippers.

DH: What did you do with my slippers?35650151_10156087819445412_6227253153822

JA: I was embarrassed, so I threw them away. I came to my senses when you hit me.

DH: So you threw them away? Am I not good enough to receive slippers from you?

DH: Did I treat you that way?

JA: Would you have worn them? Listen to me carefully. When we get to work tomorrow, fire me in front of everyone. Say that I’ve been harassing you and that this isn’t the first time. Say that in front of everyone. Say that you warned me after I tried to kiss you, but I misinterpreted your pity and made another move on you. Tell them everything.

DH: I won’t say anything.

JA: It’s true anyway. I mean it. It’s going to be uncomfortable working in the same office anyway, and it seems like the company wants to get rid of me, so fire me yourself. I have nothing to lose.

DH: I won’t! I’m too old to immaturely fire you for liking me and I feel sick thinking about firing you and then ignoring you when we run into each other in the street. I have plenty of people I feel uncomfortable facing. I can’t stand to have any more. I can’t, because I feel sorry for myself for putting up with people like that………… I’ll treat you the way I treat Chief Song and Deputy Kim, without any spite so treat me the same way. And be nice to people. Isn’t it basic etiquette to treat people nicely? Why do you act like that? Did someone commit an unforgivable sin against you? I know the other employees didn’t treat you nicely. I’ll make sure that changes, so do better from now on. I’m going to see you finish your contract term and I’m going to hear that you’re doing well at another company. And then in 10 or 20 years when I run into you again I’m going to greet you warmly. I won’t avoid you because I feel uncomfortable. I’m going to face you with a smile. Let’s do that. I’m begging you. Let’s do that.

Then he pokes his finger in her direction and tells her, “Buy me another pair of slippers!

I laughed my head off at this love confession. He’s so cute, poking his finger in her face like that and stomping off!! hahahaha! Ji An is left dazed, looking at him.

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The parallels:

  1. Ki Hoon checks for texts from Yura. Dong Hoon checks for texts from Ji An, debating how to talk to her.
  2. Ki Hoon dumps on Sang Hoon. Dong Hoon dumps on CEO.
  3. Ki Hoon runs to Yura. Dong Hoon runs to Ji An.
  4. Yura wants to be fired.  Ji An tells Dong Hoon to fire her the next day.
  5. Ki Hoon helps Yura to deal with her work environment.  Dong Hoon says that he’ll make sure Ji An is treated better at work and will finish her contract at the firm.
  6. Ki Hoon confesses to Yura. Dong Hoon confesses to Ji An.
  7. Earlier in the episode, Dong Hoon tries to smoke outside the bar while thinking about Ji An. Ki Hoon also smokes while thinking about Yura.
  8. Ki Hoon says, “I Love You.” Dong Hoon says, “Buy me slippers!!

I’m not sure if Writernim had created the three brothers as the three expressions of the human psyche, but it is mind-blowing how well they fit! The writer also repeats the actions of one brother in another’s scenes, most importantly being the scene where Dong Hoon is running to Ji An (the public phone) but stops to take a taxi. That was foreshadowed in this episode with Ki Hoon running to Yura. Hehehehe!

19 thoughts on “Buy Me Slippers = I Love You”

  1. One more observation about the slippers. When Ki Bum told LJA they better leave (Ep 13 sandwich dinner), she said she needed one more day. What did she need the additional time for? The next day (after she left) PDH found the slippers in his drawer.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wooow, it’s true! and you know that right in episode 14 at the beginning when he starts looking for Ji An, he leaves the slippers on the desk without caring if others see it and then when one of the employees asks him if he bought new slippers, Dong Hoon thinks about if he should hide them or not but at the end he puts them on the floor for everyone to see and that made me think that from that moment on he is already accepting his feelings for her, like he doesn’t care if others notice it and that he really loves her.

    Super interesting!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. And I just noticed something else in that episode too and that’s when the employees start saying that Ji An killed someone and that’s why she left, Dong Hoon is like disappointed because of course they are talking bad about her and then he looks at the slippers and that made me think of the reference of thinking about the love he has for her, like saying: I understand her because I love her

    Like

  4. I had already written an extension edition of this to show that the love line exists. Please go to Soompi Forum to take a look: https://bit.ly/3pKyLMK

    Actually, KH and YR’s plots just the writer uses DH and JA’s plots to change a little bit to write down.
    Thus, in other words, DH and JA’s plot is truly a love story because its plots can be used to become another love story. (KH and YR’s)

    Liked by 1 person

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