Thursday, September 11, 2008

#48 Dancing

I know, I know. You don't know what the hell I'm talking about. Let me explain. I have been noticing a scary and disturbing trend at weddings. Korean Moms know how to get down. I'm not talking about your usual bump and grind to Flo Rida. *shudder* No, I'm talking about something more serious. Ballroom dancing. As soon as that Celine Dion song starts playing, they run up in their St. John suit, red lipstick, perm sprayed within an inch of its life, Korean Dad in tow, and proceed to give Dancing With the Stars a run for their money. Ballroom dancing is all the rage among Korean Moms. They will even ballroom dance to non-ballroom dancy music. They are just that dedicated. It's a rap song? No problem, she'll just dance a little faster. More serious, dedicated Korean Moms may even move their precious plastic covered, embroidered furniture in the living room to make more room to dance. They do not learn how to do this by watching TV. They take ... are you ready? Lessons. Unlike you with your piano or violin, they do not quit their lessons when it gets hard, when they want to sleep in on Saturday, or when they do not want to go anymore. They dance until they can dance no more. Not only does ballroom dance come in handy at the weddings of other Korean Mom's sons or daughters to doctors and lawyers, it also distracts them and others from the fact that you, their child, are still single. No, the fact that you are dating a missionary, or trades person is not valid. To them, you are still single. The only trade that is marriageable in the eyes of a Korean Mom is carpentry. The only carpenter worth marrying is Jesus, and he died. Ballroom dancing at weddings eases the pain you have caused your Korean Mom through your singleness. As she dances, she is crying inside. Shame on you.

Every time a Korean Mom dances in public they are secretly performing in their own private dance recital. Korean Moms love recitals. That is why they made you perform in one every year, and whenever other Korean Moms came over to your house. To a Korean Mom, recitals are not only a way of showcasing their talent, it is just damn sexy. Yes. I just used Korean Mom and sexy in the same sentence. Shhh..there there, it's ok, let me hold you while you cry. Korean Moms feel sexy when they ballroom dance. When they do the waltz they feel like Britney Spears in her 'I'm a Slave for You' video. Hot and bothered. Face it, inside every Korean Mom is a little Richard Simmons dying to get out, hair and all.


Thanks to Bokumbop for the idea.

27 comments:

Julie said...

Oh my god! I choked on my Shin Ramyun when I read this! My parents have been taking ballroom lessons for a few months now, spurred on by my mom (of course)!!! She totally dances like it's a recital. Holy crap! Another homerun for Chiyo! High-larious!

Anonymous said...

You know what's so interesting about this blog is how there are so many differences between Koreans and Korean immigrants (Moms). It's like night and day, and yet, there is that underlying sameness. Fascinating.

All I can say is that the Korean moms in Korea I know are pretty unrecognizable from the descriptions given here.

db said...

Oh how I wish my Korean Mom-to-be (I'm getting married in February here in Seoul) would take Ballroom lessons and would insist, all ajumma style that there WILL BE DANCING AT MY SON'S WEDDING! Alas, there will be no Western style dance reception. So, we're gonna make up for it by having just a reception on the States after our honeymoon. Go Korean Dancing Moms, Go! (Roboseyo recently posted a dancing ajumma video you should DEFINITELY check out. You may want to post it as an example of a "recital" here!!)

Anonymous said...

I can't believe how accurate you are! Again, you are genius!

Anonymous said...

I can't believe how accurate you are! Again, you are genius!

Su Won said...

*cringe*

KP said...

I hope nobody tells my mom about this new craze. I've already died a million deaths watching my mother dance all 1960's gyrating style, doing aerobics classes, and even polka! I'm having a hot flash just thinking about it!

Cat said...

Wow. I am really surprised by the comment from 'anonymous' above. I live in Korea and recognize many, many of the Korean moms I know in this blog (particularly regarding the plastic-bag hierarchy and the obsession with bargaining and 'waste money').

I haven't seen ballroom dancing per se as a big trend here, but dancing in general, *definitely.*

I once got on a sightseeing boat in Gyeongsangnam-do that had a disco on its main deck (long story---and no I am not making it up). At 10 a.m. on a Saturday morning, the bass was thumping and these 60, 70, and, I swear, 80 year-old-women were on the dance floor getting down. It was awe-inspiring.

Anonymous said...

O-M-G. Was just at a korean wedding. O-M-G.

Discount Bento Mama said...

Bwah-ha-ha-haa! You bad girl! Making fun of your elders, aiigoh!

Seriously, I have no idea what my parents do on their down time since I am semi-disowned. When we talk, she mostly blasts me for being poor while everyone else in the family is in the top or near top tax brackets.

kijest said...

i'd like to nominate the below hates:
- handwashing vs. the useless/wasteful dishwasher
- tiny spastic indoor dogs
- hiding money
- comfortable shoes that don't match what they wear.
- crocheting (and then wearing the crocheted vests) and all intricate complicated handycrafts (my mom shadowboxes and handcrafts faberge eggs)
keep up the good work.
- housecoats.

Wife and Mommy said...

Hey, my folks took ballroom dance lessons some-twenty years ago! They must be way ahead of their time.

ngf said...

ballroom dancing...eh, that's ok...just hope it doesn't extend to any of the latin dances...

there are dance academies in china to produce the next uber ballroom dancers (like the olypmic work camps)...

Clammy said...

Dear god.. I've been witnessing this lately myself.. it's scary.. yet.. impressive!

Anonymous said...

In Korea, taking ballroom dance lessons is described as getting "choom-baram," and is supposedly a gateway for infidelity, specifically for ajumas.

I don't know what that means, but I assume it means that the ajumas go to "cabarets" to practice their dance steps, and end up meeting other ajussi's or something.

Anyway, another great entry Chiyo! That picture is perfect.

Alex C. said...

I love your blog. It's so funny! Keep it up.

Geniek said...

OMG, I wish my mom took ballroom dancing. Her idea of dancing is doing a fast, modified version of "arirang." Sometimes she sticks her thumbs out if she's really grooving. But the worst was at my sister's wedding when she pulled us all into a conga line. There was no beat to it...just this weird shuffle around the room, that eventually morphed into a choo-choo circle. I cringe thinking about it (someone's got pics too - argh!).

Thanks, Chiyo, for bringing up so many memories! I love your stuff!

Luiniliel said...

"The only trade that is marriageable... is carpentry. The only carpenter worth marrying is Jesus, and he died."

I'm not Korean, I'm sure I know a few other Asian type mothers who have similar demands though.

Otherwise, that train of thought made me laugh, and wonder... "hmm... what would happen if Jesus was alive..."

sandra h. said...

a couple of thoughts for future posts: korean moms like 1) feeding you, even if you're not hungry. or rather, esp when you're not hungry. as a corollary to that, korean moms like 2) all-u-can-eat buffets.

Anonymous said...

A friend (Korean, of course) linked me to your blog, and I think it's hysterical! It pretty much describes my mom perfectly!

My number one pet peeve about my Korean mom? She always knows more than I do, about everything. Just because she's my (Korean) mom. No matter that I am an MD (and she isn't) - she knows more than me about medicine too. Go figure.

As you wrote on one of your prior entries, my mom has always been obsessed with height (for men). My Korean dad is 6 ft 1 but my brother is only 5 ft 8. Aigoo. She failed him. (I should add here that my mom is 5 ft 2 and I'm 5 ft 5). My own son, almost 4, is pretty tiny. (My husband is also 5 ft 8). My mother just said to me the other day, "You're doctor. You research to find out how to make him tall. You don't want him to be short. Maybe he need some more hormones? You go do research this important thing."

The Clam said...

I agree with Sandra. My Korean mother-in-law insists of feeding me. She not only feeds me, but makes sure that I know that it's "out of love". My western jaw doesn't work as well as her, but that does not effect the feeding rate.

Anonymous said...

I love your blog (sent to me by my niece since we lived in Seoul for 4 1/2 years). It is so funny--and right on!

bokumbop said...

I think I'm not the bokumbop that suggested this, but can attest to the KM love of "cheun-cheun". I can see my mom vigorously doing the Chubby Checker twist in the kitchen.

Anonymous said...

I agree with cat,
"All I can say is that the Korean moms in Korea I know are pretty unrecognizable from the descriptions given here." is completely incorrect.

A Korean-Canadian, whose lived in Korea a couple of times, and whose parents still shuttle between two countries, I've had ample chance to study the differences between the KM in her native land and abroad. Some things are just impervious to geography. For example: Oh, you are so tall! You must be over 165(cm), what are you, 167? I'm going to find a man for you! (Actually I'm 164, -oh the shame! and once got blasted by my mom for admitting so. Aigoo, can't you just let someone say something nice about you without correcting them?)
Believe me, "supotsu dense" is all the rage in Korea too (they call it sports dance)--or perhaps I should say it WAS the rage about 4 years ago. Fads fade so fast in Korea, it may be considered too passe now. My KM was taking it at her local neighborhood health club.

Anonymous said...

aside from your pinpoint accuracy, i just wanted to say that you are an amazing writer. You own the genre of sarcastic/satirical writing!

Anonymous said...

Just started reading ur blog and love it!! my parents took ballroom dance classes too and my KD loves it more though. This is not for just the weddings, they go to many 'bu-bu mo-im's and especially during Christmas and NYE, it's like an Oscar nite to get all dressed up and have the moves and steps ready. ( don't know if u have the Christmas and NYE moims..)

My mom really showed her moves at my wedding with "not" the ballroom dance but real boogie down moves with her purrrty han-bok! Everyone peed on their pants!! Wow.. after that I wondered what all the ajussis and ajummas are doing at their mo-ims! lol

Ari said...

OMG thats so true! To this day my friends all references my mother's "Death Grip" from our wedding