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Food Brings People Together: Thoughts on Shall We Have Dinner Tonight?

(Via MyAnimeList)

Shall We Have Dinner Tonight? (저녁 같이 드실래요?)

(Webtoon 2015)

By: See-In Park

Do-hee Woo and Hae-Gyung Kim are two single, young working class individuals who have experienced some heartbreak over the years. The two happened to meet each other while dining alone at a restaurant. They become good friends that dine together every weekend and tell each other about their former relationships.

The concept of eating meals with a stranger is interesting because, in reality, one wouldn’t eat a meal with someone they don’t know unless they are on a date. Yet, I read in another book that scenes involving shared meals with characters are used for character development. So when Do-hee and Hae-Gyung are having a meal together, it allows the reader to learn more about each character through their relationship stories as well as their feelings and interactions with one another. By having this meal concept, it’s a clever way to drive the main plot along and to develop the romantic relationship between characters.

Personally, this webtoon helped me cope with my broken heart and so I recommend this webtoon to anyone dealing with some relationship issues. Every chapter is structured where they share a meal together (and the title of each chapter is a food-related word) and during each meal, they exchange relationship stories. They tell each other what went wrong in their relationship and while telling the story, they learn more about themselves and one another. While reading about their failed relationships, I couldn’t help but contemplate my own. I can relate to the character Do-hee Woo who got dumped by her boyfriend of eight years simply because they grew apart, even though Do-hee moved to the same city where her ex-boyfriend worked at in order to be closer to him.

In Episode 32: “Blood Sausage and Rice Stew [2],” Hae-Gyung says a quote that resonates with me. While eating, Hae-Gyung tells Do-hee some advice about her ex-boyfriend, “As you go on with your life, with each meal you have, he’ll gradually fade away from your heart.” Meals are a way to indicate time passing. In order to survive, you need to eat something every day. So by eating a meal, it’s another day of time moving forward and Do-hee’s heart slowly healing.

This quote grabbed my attention because I’m going through some emotional issues that make every day a bit of a struggle. I contemplated on Hae-Gyung’s quote for a bit and realized that he’s right. Even though heartbreak can make life a living hell, eating a good meal can make you feel better. Personally, I’ve been eating some delicious food and also sharing these food moments with my friends. Each meal I had so far has actually made me feel a little better. It may be a long time for my heart to be completely healed, but at least I know I’m moving forward while eating amazing food.

Shall We Have Dinner Tonight? goes on my list of awesome webtoons. It’s a “realistic” story about two strangers getting to know each other by having meals together. I also want to try this concept out, eating meals with strangers but instead, it would be more of sharing a meal with one of my fellow bloggers.

You can read Shall We Have Dinner Tonight? on Spottoon.


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