Monday, October 14, 2013

Sometimes, I Wonder How We Haven't Abandoned Our Friendship...

I have this one friend. She's a year older than me (she's currently a senior in high school), and we've been friends for 11 years. Up until three-and-a-half years ago, we lived across the street from each other (I moved to the other side of our town, so we still see each other, just not as much). We've played games like Sorry!, House, and Kickball together, we've fought and promptly made up a day later, we've watched the older Disney Channel/Nickelodeon shows together.

I'm comfortable around her because, despite the fact that she's made fun of my anime/video-game/Asian obsession for 11 years, she's...made fun of me for ELEVEN YEARS.

She's never going to get into these fandoms, I know; even today, she was joking that I need to be "cleansed" of these obsessions and that "Asians are ugly." (I'm making you guys hate her more and more as I continue typing, aren't I? Please don't hate her...)

Well, do you want to know another reason why I'm still friends with her? Yes, she's like my family, but she's also like my family. My relatives, overall, think the same general thoughts as her when it comes to this topic. (Although, my grandma did say that her brother - he lives on the other side of the freaking country - watches Korean movies... Yay!)

Most of my friends think this way about one aspect of my Asian obsession. My anime-watching friends like that I watch anime, but think it's strange that I listen to Japanese/Korean/Chinese music and watch K-dramas and eventually T-/J-dramas. My..."normal" (really nice, some of them very religiously devoted)/musical friends think all of this is weird, but accept it. They groan, "Really, Pam?" when I bring up anime/dramas/music; they roll their eyes; one said that Lee Min Ho's English is inexpressive when I showed her part of Heirs. But they listen nevertheless. One thinks that IU is pretty and that Park Jung Min looks adorable on his Beautiful album cover.

Then there's my next-door neighbor. I guess she goes under the "normal"/musical category since she is "normal" overall and plays the oboe. She's eleven, and at the end of the summer, I got her into the Avatar: The Last Airbender fandom by making her watch Legend of Korra. Yes, she watched the sequel series before the original...but she still is currently obsessed with it. She thinks Mako's hot, that Bolin, Momo, Appa, Milo and Aang are adorable, that Sokka is hilarious, that Katara is pretty, that Zuko is ugly in the first season (but looks a lot better in books 2 and 3), and that Jet is just plain ugly. (Her opinions.) In her opinion, this interest is totally fine, and it's fun for her.

Seriously, she's obsessed with Sokka's cactus-juice bit.

Every time she Facetimes me (she's eleven and addicted to texting/facetiming me.), she knows that I'm likely doing something on my computer that has to do with Korean people. Again, she also thinks that my obsession is the weirdest thing ever - whenever I start playing K-pop while babysitting her and her brother, she makes this hilariously creeped-out expression - but she also accepts it as part of my insanity.

Where am I going with this?

Well, part of the inspiration for this post was my conversation with my longtime, Anti-Asian friend when she came over to my house today to hang out. I tried - and failed - to explain why I listen to K-pop. She asked how I was able to listen to music I didn't understand and then proceeded to say that she doesn't think Asians are attractive (*pulls out picture of Luhan* Just try to say he's not at least a little attractive :P).

What also inspired this was when the eleven-year-old living next door Facetimed me after this friend left. I told her how said friend doesn't like any of this stuff, to which said eleven-year-old asked, "Why are you friends with her, then?"

When you consider that I was only part of the fandoms of Kingdom Hearts, Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh!, Sly Cooper, and others (Power Rangers and that kind of crap...I spent a lot of time following my brother around growing up, okay?!) when I was five and she was six, it makes sense that we were able to become friends based on just having fun with each other over playing childhood games.

But then I remember my friend, Jang Yi, and think this: I can never put these two in the same room, because the only thing they'll be able to agree on is that Drake & Josh is funny.


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