...about what seems to be most Korean marriages is that once a woman is married, it's pretty much the end of the road for her male friendships.
Even with colleagues at work, gone are the days of after-school coffee, bowling, and drinks (even in groups), and weekend excursions with co-ed friends become a high level of taboo.
Such is the case with my school nurse, and it bums me out. She was one of the more friendly people when I first came to the school in the spring of 2009, and we have had some fun together - two student trips filled with hiking, mekju-baji ("beer pants"), and melon bar shananigans with teacher friends, and then a really nice weekend excursion last Spring where she joined myself and a male PE teacher on a trip to Chuncheon for the mime festival. This was pretty rare - a Korean woman venturing out of town and overnight (the scandal!) to share a room with two male colleagues - of course, she got the King-sized bed and the two lads were relegated to the floor.
Clearly, we had been establishing a more and more clearly platonic friendship as the second year came and went, and we had a lot of fun together.
About a week after our trip, I set her up on a blind date with a friend - there wasn't a second date. Two months after that, I heard a rumour at school that she was engaged. A month after that, an invitation appeared in our office inviting all school staff to attend the wedding. I couldn't go, however, as I had a Saturday class that day. I gave her an Outback Steakhouse gift certificate at school after the honeymoon.
Since getting engaged, and even more so since getting married, this young lady has made herself as scarce as humanly possible at work. She used to join the PE teacher and I (along with her female friend at lunch) and now she sits either on her own or surrounded by as many women as she can manage.
When I asked if she would be joining the PE teacher and I on the grade 1 field trip next week, which would have been our third consecutive student trip together, she said that she wouldn't be going. When I countered with the suggestion that she might join us and some friends for a weekend get-away this Spring or summer. She issued the blanket statement of "I can't". Passing conversations in the hallway which last year would have included some laughs and catching-up are also dismissed or excused as quickly.
Honestly, we weren't that close, but it was nice to have her as a friend at work. Notice how I'm using the past tense. That makes me kind of sad.