[Don’t ask me where this post came from. I think my brain has rotted from watching too many dramas.]
So you’re on your way to work one day, rushing to the bus stop because you’re late, and something nags at the corner of your mind. It has to do with your slightly dowdy short haircut, you think as you cross the street, your sudden burst of goodwill and patience toward others. Then there’s the recent string of bad luck you’ve had: man trouble, financial trouble, family trouble—
OMO! That fancy car just missed hitting you and suddenly your nose is inches from the pavement. You get up, fuming. Okay, what kind of jerk—
The kind of jerk who is now striding across the asphalt toward you, dressed in clothes so expensive you wouldn’t know where to buy them, with sunlight glinting off his sunglasses, his watch, his shoes. His hair is perfectly styled, his face perfectly chiseled by the hand of God (or perhaps a plastic surgeon). He stops in front of you. The only thing more deafening than your heartbeat is the intensity of the epithets he starts to heap on your head.
That’s when it hits you: you’ve landed yourself in the shoes of a kdrama heroine, and the only way home is a Happy Ending.
DON’T PANIC. (Don’t get too excited either.)
In the new branded handbag draped over your arm (didn’t notice that yet, didja?) is a handy survival guide for kdrama heroines, left for you by the kdrama fairy godmother. Yes, she is the one responsible for the over-representation of Cinderella stories in kdramaland. The Powers That Be put up with it because they need her services too much to argue.
Ten Laws of the Kdramaverse
(Yes, only ten. You figure out the rest. Also, your fairy godmother takes no responsibility for variations on the kdramaverse in your particular case. Use your plucky and indomitable spirit to deal with them. And your brains, if you get to keep any.)
- Mouth-to-mouth resuscitation is a sign that you’re fated. You are so fated that the universe itself is forcing you to kiss. So think carefully the next time you’re about to do CPR. Unless you want to marry the guy lying unconscious in front of you, don’t save his life.
- Your true love will most likely misunderstand you, yell at you, abandon you by the side of the road (probably on the way to meet his beautiful ex-girlfriend), try to kick you out of the house, and/or tell you you’re ugly. Don’t worry though, these are all signs that he’s losing his heart to you – he just doesn’t know it yet.
- On the other hand, a total prince is going to show up in your life soon. He will be gorgeous, kind, and will see your worth when no one else does. You’ll become friends. He’s going to do incredible sweet things for you, but sadly you’ll never know about half of them. He’s going to break your heart at some point, not because he doesn’t love you, but because he does – because against all appearances, he’s not the one for you. You probably won’t take this advice, but don’t get too close to him. You’re only going to feel very guilty later. Instead, share the wealth and set him up on a blind date with your single best friend.
- Although you are a poor worker who lives in a tiny apartment, you will inexplicably find your closet full of the latest brand-name clothes and accessories. Don’t question how they got there and just accept them – they’re a gift from the Powers That Be. Think of them as extra help on your quest, like finding bonuses in a video game.
- Do wrist exercises for ten minutes before bed each night. This will strengthen the tendons and muscles, which is necessary because your wrists are going to endure a lot of grabbing, pulling and squeezing in the near future. Also stock up on vitamins.
- Keep a face towel handy in your bag once you start dating your non-prince. You might get a face full of ice water from your future mother-in-law any day now. Look on the bright side – it’s good for your skin. Just make sure to moisturize afterwards.
- You’re also going to have to face another enemy once you become Official: the jealous ex-girlfriend. Be prepared for cruel and often incomprehensible behaviour, often with a bafflingly entitled attitude that would imply she was the girlfriend and not you. Don’t believe anything she says, and pray every night that she leaves to study abroad. Also, don’t stand for any wishy-washy stuff from your guy just because the ex guilt-trips him. Stand firm, but if he proves trustworthy, trust him.
- This one is technically against the rules, but this fairy godmother is tired of heroines standing like dead fish when their hard-won hero is finally kissing the daylights out of them. Kiss him back! Fortunately the newer girls have been taking my advice. Heh. The Powers That Be still don’t know who is giving them these subversive ideas, so keep this between us, okay?
- You’re going to face a large conflict, probably a result of the vast difference between his status and yours. There will be separation, and tears. Drink lots of water and send each other mushy text messages every night. If he disappears and cuts off contact for an extended period, focus on your work and plan a different revenge, one for each month he’s gone.
- Enjoy your Happy Ending! And try not to mind too much if you end up there there because of a strange turn of events, or a series of unbelievable coincidences, or if your love story became a thriller, a horror story or a family drama there for a while. This is the kdramaverse, after all. The magic is inexplicable.
And also… the spell is over, Cinderella. Don’t cry too much, and try to think of it as a beautiful dream.
Oh, and you can keep the bags and shoes.