Evidently, Strip Clubs Like K-Pop Too!

No, I didn’t go to a strip club last night. Just wanted to get that out of the way. Yes, I have been to strip clubs in my youth – mainly watching female strippers (I have a lot of best friends who happen to be men) though one time I was dragged to watch male strippers for our first ever stag-ette. I mean, it was the ‘thing’ to do right? What the hell did we know? Believe me – after that one time we learned fast… Spa day, nice dinner, even out clubbing… there were a slew of things we learned as a group of women that we enjoyed over seeing male strippers. I’m not coming down on women who enjoy that sort of thing – I/We just found it somewhat boring.

I’m going way off topic…

Last night we were leaving our K-Pop dance class (we learned Twice’s TT – cute choreography) when we passed by a pretty well-known strip club (one level features female strippers while another features male strippers – it’s been part of our city’s downtown FOREVER!)

I’m listening to the music they have pumping out in order to draw attention. With some confusion, I looked at my 14 year old daughter. As if she could read my mind, she said, “Yeah… it’s k-pop. Hard Carry.”

I had to do a double-take – just to ensure I was not incorrect with my observation of exactly what type of establishment was playing GOT7’s hit track.

“Um…” I cautiously turned back to my daughter, “You, uh… know what that place is, right?”

“Well, yeah. I mean I can read. AND see the pictures.”

“Ah. Right… *Sigh* You’ve got to be kiddin’ me!”

“What?”

“I finally hear k-pop on the streets of my own city… and it’s from a strip club?”

“It’s not that big of a deal…”

“But it IS a big deal! On so many levels!!”

“Well, I like that song…”

“No, no, no… this is just SO wrong!”

“Calm down.”

This should be filed under “when my teenage kid was not shook but should be but I was hella shook…”

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I’m not an A.R.M.Y… Am I???

BTSconcert

C: You’re so an ARMY.

ME: No. I don’t think so.

C: Yes you are. Just admit it!

ME: Really, really not!

C: But you love BTS!

ME: True, I really do, but I just don’t see myself as an ARMY.

C: Why not?

ME: I don’t like the chant. I support it if it supports BTS but I personally do not enjoy it. I don’t own those light-bulb things… nor would I buy you one unless we’re at a BTS concert. Speaking of BTS concerts, I’m not sure I’d go unless it’s to take you. Concerts are just not my thing. The only way I support them is legit-purchases of their digital tracks, digital albums and well, the full L.O.V.E. Love Yourself album set. And that was for you!

C: So? You don’t need to do all those things to be an A.R.M.Y. If you like them truly for their talents and accept them for who they are, faults and all, you can totally be an ARMY!

ME: …

C: And by the way, it’s called an ARMY Bomb light stick…

Could my daughter, who is often found in moments of true maturity, even more than myself, be correct?

Lets back up for a moment…

I honestly never classified myself as an ARMY. And believe me, I am not against BTS’ fandom. I’ve just never ‘belonged’ to any fandom group before. Rather, I’ve been going along for the ride, supporting ARMY but not really being a part of it.

So it got me thinking, “What does it mean to be a BTS ARMY?”

I’m aware of the negative side. I’m aware of the fan-wars between ARMY and EXO-L, for example (as well as other k-pop fan groups). I’m aware of those who claim to be ARMY but only act out in hurtful and spiteful ways – whether to other ARMY members, other k-pop fandom members, themselves, or even BTS members should one or more member do something they feel isn’t right (as if they feel BTS members owe them something – for example, see past dating rumors of how these fanatical fans have reacted).

Is this negative side what made me think I’m not an ARMY? I thought about this. And my final answer is… No.

There will always be a dark side to everything – any type of subculture formed, even with the intent of the greater good, has a dark side. And I think it’s important to actually see these negative people as NOT a true ARMY. Yes, I’ll just go out and say it. The ones who are disrespectful and create division rather than coming together as a positive group and movement, should not classify themselves as true ARMY. I won’t list all the past examples – I did go out to do a bit of research and was quite disgusted with some of the incidences associated with said, negative fans. I felt the hurt BTS members must have felt during those times.

Begin the hate for anyone who may stumble upon my blog and disagree with me. But I stand strongly with this belief and I do not limit this to k-pop fandom.

So where does that leave me? Why do I not see myself as an ARMY (yet)? Maybe because it’s my age? Maybe I’m just not use to this type of fandom? Perhaps I’m just happy calling myself a fan who loves BTS’ music and supports their hard work and creativity? I don’t know. I don’t have an answer. Maybe in time I will call myself an ARMY.

I do know this… whatever label I may or may not feel comfortable with, I am thankful of great wonderful ARMY folks who I have befriended here. And I’m thankful BTS strives to put out good work and share their talents with us. I hope all seven of them are happy and wish them all the best! As long as they strive to do what they love and continue to be both human yet respectful as they have been, I don’t see why I wouldn’t support each individual member equally. Hwaiting!

Does he have an aversion to clothes???

C: Oh my God – they took of their shirts!!! Look! THEY TOOK OFF THEIR SHIRTS!!!!!

ME: Yeah – not surprised.

C: What do you mean by that?

ME: Seems like every time I see them in a video or performance, Wonho is shirtless or showing off his abs.

C: So? He’s hot!

ME: But all the time? Does he not like clothes? Does he have an aversion to shirts? I just want to know.

C: Whatever.

ME: No seriously… I’m just curious here. In Dramarama, the story line has some kind of time traveling thing, right?

C: Right.

ME: And they’re running away from these bad guys who are trying to track them down… and perhaps trying to reverse that awful car accident, correct?

C: Yeah – I guess.

ME: And then all of the sudden, there’s Wonho. In the shower. Showing a LOT of skin. As well as being very wet, I might add.

C: So?

ME: Well, what does that have to do with the story? What’s the point? It’s so random!

C: The point is… Kpop idols need to shower. They have very busy schedules but they are still human and it’s normal for them to clean themselves.

ME: …

C: …

ME: Wow. Seriously?

C: Shh. I’m trying to watch Wonho.

My off-spring, folks.

 

20 ml More

So it was a Friday evening – September 29th, to be exact. We met at The Loose Moose for after work dinner and drinks.

While waiting for RV, I took a look at their wine list. They had three options as far as quantity for the red wine I was eyeing. 5 oz, 8 oz of 1/2 a litre.

I leaned forward to Tai and asked, “Hey… I’m going to have two 8 oz glasses anyway. Is that around the same amount as 1/2 a litre? Would I be better off just getting the 1/2 litre?”

Tai pulls out his unit converter app, “Let me check…”

I wait.

“Oh yeah! You’re saving yourself $2! Annnd… you’re getting 20 ml more wine!”

“20 ml more?”

“Yeah! Hey – that’s an extra sip worth!”

So yeah… I got the 1/2 litre.

Tai’s logic was very, well, logical. How could I dispute it?

“Well… the truth is… actually… I’m in love.”

You know that scene from Love Actually? The one where the stepfather is trying to now be THE parent after the son’s mother dies?

And then the next scene we see these together, they have the following dialogue:

DANIEL: We can definitely crack this. Remember, I was a kid once, too. So, come on, it’s someone at school. Right?

SAM: Yup.

DANIEL: And what does she/he, feel about you?

SAM: SHE doesn’t even know my name. And even if she did, she’d despise me. She’s the coolest girl in school and everyone worships her because she’s heaven.

DANIEL: Good. Good. Well, basically…you’re fucked, aren’t you?

I loved how the father did not make any assumption of his step-son’s sexual orientation. Why would he assume Sam is straight when they have never had this talk before?

Let me tell you something, though. Talking to your kid about crushes and boyfriend/girlfriend relationships is not easy. Not easy at all. And it’s not that, I, as a parent, have problems talking to my 13-year old girl about it. It’s the getting her to open up to me part that’s not easy.

She’s at this age where everything is embarrassing. EVERYTHING! And she’s developed this physical tick in response to most of what I say. Some people call it the ‘eye-rolling syndrome.’ I just call it annoying.

The thing is last night, at the pub where we watched the Toronto Raptors kick ass in the NBA playoffs (see? I told you I like basketball more than hockey), I got to talking about what’s going on in her love life.

And I sort of pulled a Liam Neeson-Love Actually thing. I said, “So last year you liked so and so. What about this year? Do you have a crush on a boy… err… or girl?”

“Mom,” and of course she says this while rolling her eyes.

“What?”

“I’m not… you know.”

“What? Gay?”

“Right.” More eye-rolling.

“Okay – well, I didn’t want to assume! There’s nothing wrong if you are you know?”

“I don’t want to talk about this anymore…”

I probably screwed up that conversation. In fact, she is probably mortified – and hence will be in debt in the future from all the expensive therapy sessions I will have caused her.