When Stephanie asked if I would write something for the end of the year, I was both flattered and freaked out. I am a KNewbie, having only been part of this amazing world/black hole for a little under a year. My first anniversary falls in early January and SaraG has promised that we will celebrate with cupcakes and prosecco. So, in early celebration of all I have watched, listened to, and read, here are some highlights from my first year.
A cold Friday night sitting in SaraG’s basement, a cool glass of wine in one hand and bowl of popcorn within easy reach, I sat, wondering what I had gotten myself into as the opening scenes of Flower Boy Next Door played on the large TV, trying hard to read the subtitles while also following the action. I left, four episodes later, not sure if this was going to be a long-term relationship. A bored Sunday afternoon one week later, I found it on Hulu and suddenly I was pulled in, watching multiple episodes until I realized hours had passed…the beginning.
Furiously watching dramas late into the night, early in the morning before work, (at work, whoops), any chance I got. Making my way through Boys Over Flowers, Oh My Venus, Healer and It’s Ok That’s Love, wondering why I kept putting up with the wrist grabs, the open-eyed kisses, the amnesia, and the never-ending angst.
On a ski trip with friends to Steamboat and curled up on my bed in the hotel room gripping my iPad, unable to stop watching Queen In Hyun’s Man. Shedding my first KTears even though I had researched the ending in attempt to deal with the stress.
Discovering the Kchat Jjigae podcast and spending three and a half glorious weeks listening to all the old episodes while walking the dog. It was devastating to catch up and it’s still my favorite walk of the week when a new episode comes out.
SaraG spent months trying to get me interested in Kpop, it finally stuck with my long awaited “discovery” of BigBang and T.O.P. and my world has never been the same.
It was at some point around this time that my sister coined the famous #klife. She would kill me if I mentioned her name but she would like to receive credit for the creation.
Discovering that Bang Bang Bang is a great song for getting psyched up for difficult work meetings and tennis matches.
Multiple conversations with my parents/family that consisted of “You are going to NYC to see what?” “Why?” The anticipation of waiting to see BTS live at KCON NY, oddly proud of the fact that I knew all of their names and then the reality of seeing them live.
Discovering Topsu and meeting Stephanie in person…might have been one of her most embarrassing days but I thought it was pretty awesome.
Trying so hard to convince SaraG that we should go to KCON LA…didn’t work (2017!). Starting our first simulcast drama together (W) and realizing that it would wrap up the week before we left for South Korea in September.
A frantic 6am phone call to SaraG after realizing the Dorian Gray musical tickets had gone on sale and they might sell out before I got back from walking the dog. They didn’t.
Discovering that while you can’t watch kdramas camping in the Colorado backcountry with no wifi or cell service, you can download a lot of fanfiction to your kindle before leaving home.
It was also around this time that I learned I could go a couple of days without watching kdrama…resulted in my first freakout to SaraG that I had lost my love for all things K. I hadn’t.
Realizing, exhausted after hours and hours of flying, that our taxi driver was driving us past the main square and palace from the opening scenes of Queen In Hyun’s Man, seeing Junsu perform live, in person (including a glimpse of his tightie whities), drinking coffee at GDragon’s cafe on Jeju, following the same steps as T.O.P through the BigBang A to Z exhibit in Seoul, watching the fangirls eagerly waiting outside of JYP and wondering if we really did see someone from EXO enter the SM building (SaraG says no, I say yes).
Returning to the US with an extra suitcase and a T.O.P pillow, missing banana milk and so ready to return. Recording a special episode of the podcast and even more surprising I actually enjoyed listening to it once I got past the sound of my voice.
Feeling a mix of pride and concern by the number of completed dramas on mydramalist, tempted to calculate the percentage of the year I’ve spent watching but decide it would probably be better not to.
Spending Friday nights in SaraG’s basement room realizing at 2am that we had spent three hours on YouTube.
Freaking out to SaraG over text because I spent the whole flight back east not watching anything that had subtitles, or involved cute boys in tight pants singing and dancing or reading fanfic…wondering if I was over #klife.
I’m not and hope I will never be. While I can go over a week now without watching a drama episode, sooner rather than later I will have watched all the BTS Bangtan Bombs. I own two shirts, one that says “Jin Eating’ and another that says “T.O.P is Mine” (there might be more but two is all I’m willing to admit to at this time). In a passive aggressive move over the creation of #klife, I purchased my sister a BTS duvet cover for her birthday…a week later it’s still on her bed.
Over my first year I have come to realize that while my family now accepts that #klife isn’t going anywhere, I don’t think they will ever understand…and that’s ok. Through, depending on your view, this new world or black hole a good friend has transitioned to best friend and KBestie. I have made a number of new friends that are always happy to squeee over the most recent Bangtan Bomb or introduce you to new groups (KpopontheDL, just for you I have a New Year’s resolution to learn every member of Seventeen). I’m writing this post listening to BigBang’s MADE, a group I didn’t even know existed at this time last year but are now in constant rotation on multiple playlists. I’m not sure I will ever forgive SaraG for not forcing me into this world four months earlier so we could have seen them perform live. Here’s hoping we will see them in the KFuture.
#klife #4ever #nevergoingtoend