Today I went to a middle school reunion. It was great-there was an amazing buffet(PORK RIBS!!!), loads of teachers(I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing), and last but not least I got to meet all my old friends. When I walked in with my friend, we said hi to everyone, got our food, and sat at the table that our other close friends were sitting at. We were all having a lovely conversation and talked about our lives, who we were dating(I’m currently dating my foldable sofa-bed), and of course, about old times. It was then when one of my friends mentioned how I used to be approximately a year ago. I do admit that I was crazy back then(compared to my current state)-obnoxiously being flirty, wearing weird makeup, trying to be friends with every single person so that I could be liked by everybody…etc etc.
My friend said, “Remember that time you showed up wearing a green sleeveless top with tassels at the bottom? Everyone thought you had gone mad!”
(I’ve looked all around my house for the top…but I failed to find it, so here’s a similar one that I found on the internet.)
It was a strange moment for me. I was trying to figure out whether I should laugh along and agree with her(and the rest of the kids sitting at the table) or be sassy and assertive. At first I thought, ‘What was so wrong about me wearing that top..? I actually like that top!’ And then I started slowly chewing my pork ribs(ugh. that’s a distracting word.) and thinking and over-analyzing(typical Konni). It made me really uncomfortable.
On my way back home from the reunion, I came to the conclusion that their(my old friends) culture and their experiences are too different from my own for us to have the same standards for what clothes are “crazy”(if there are any at all). Is showing your shoulders a crazy thing to do? Sure, that top wasn’t plain, but I would never call it “crazy”. I grew up in London and all my life I’ve been so attached to the idea that I should not be influenced by Korean standards of clothing, and that I should be the less conservative person. (I’d like to clarify that I don’t mean to say that all Koreans are conservative and that people on the rest of the planet are less conservative. I’m referring to the majority of people, and to the notable differences in popular culture between Korea and other places like the UK.) I think it was rooted in a sort of guilty pride that I was different from the other kids who had spent their whole childhood in Korea. It was my identity, and it still does remain as a part of me.
I didn’t wear that top to look ‘cool’ or necessarily to attract attention. It was just who I was back then. I’ve never regretted wearing that top around. I guess it shocked my friends, though.
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