[S20S] “The Lazy Cat” on Fangirling as a Secret Life, a Hobby not an Obsession

Welcome to Something by 20-something! In this blog feature, I also interview some fellow yuppies about their hobbies and interests — aside from life after college, career, relationships, and general adulting. This blog feature aims to share real-life stories and insights on “The Real World” by 20-somethings so we, other 20-somethings of the world, can learn more about each other and have a better understanding of our uniqueness and diversity.

For today, I interviewed my longest standing friend (15 years and still counting!) who would rather be called “The Lazy Cat” about her life as a Kpop fangirl and a famous fanfiction writer.  The interview happened on October 16, 2015 from 8:45pm to 11:03 pm on Messenger. #millennial

Because the interview was rather lengthy, I edited out some parts that went off topic (Hahaha.) without signal or indication. Also, for the purposes of this interview, Super Junior = SuJu = SJ.

 

life of a kpop fangirl, kpop fangirl problems, confessions of a kpop fangirl, super junior fangirl, kpop fans can relate, kpop fans psychology
Credits: The Lazy Cat

 

Mailan
Hello, The Lazy Cat. Thank you for your ~graciousness~ in granting me this interview. I’m very excited about your story. *smile emoji*

The Lazy Cat
No problem. I’m excited too. HAHA.

Mailan Falculan
How do you feel today?

The Lazy Cat
I have a headache, perhaps due to doing nothing all day but staring at a screen either reading or watching something, but it’s all good.

Mailan
Well, on the other hand, I just got home. Makati traffic is HAHAHA. I walked a mile.

The Lazy Cat
What did you ever do in your past life to deserve Manila traffic? HAHAHAHA.

Mailan
I’ve always known you as a fangirl. But for those who don’t, who clearly are everbody else, kindly tell them about your fangirl self.

The Lazy Cat
Anyway. Oh dear. Uh. I’m bad at introductions, especially when it involves introducing my fangirl self, because this has always been like some kind of ~secret life~ that I prefer not to disclose immediately with 99% of people, but… hey, I’m a fangirl. Been one for almost nine years now. To be more specific, I’m a K-pop fangirl. To be even more specific, I stan Super Junior.

Mailan
Why do you consider your fangirl self like a ~secret life~?

The Lazy Cat
Because I can’t be bothered to explain myself LOL. Apparently, despite Kpop’s popularity in the Philippines, it’s still quite unusual to find Kpop fans in most places. I say this because in pretty much ALL workplaces I’ve been to, most people found my Kpop stanning either weird or obsessive. So I decided to just shut up about it and keep it to myself HAHAHA

Mailan
Haha! I understand. *smile emoji* What has kept you a loyal fan of Suju for so many years?

The Lazy Cat
Contrary to the what most people think, there is so much more to them than just their physical appearance and catchy songs. Even as a fan, I would acknowledge that not all of their songs are good or suitable to my taste (though of course, that doesn’t mean they don’t have really good songs). I’d also say that not all members are handsome or good-looking enough to immediately catch everyone’s attention. However, what I like about them is their brotherhood. They’ve been friends for more than a decade by now, quite similar to you and me and our other friends from high school. I relate to them in that sense. Plus they have different types of personalities that I can also relate to. They aren’t like other stars who have prince/princess syndromes just because they’re famous. Some of them are complete geeks and trolls like me and a lot of other real-life friends I know. On top of all that, they show genuine love and care to their fans, and not just through their words. Not many fans can say that their idols treat them to coffee, ice cream, cakes, give them high-fives, handshakes, troll them on social media, and so on. Well, I can. :))

Mailan
Wow. I didn’t know that SuJu is like that.

The Lazy Cat
Most people don’t, so it’s okay. And I can’t be bothered to explain this to all people I meet, which is why I prefer it to be a ~secret life~. Of course I will have no hesitation to blabber nonstop if a person shows genuine interest in getting to know them. *smile emoji*

Mailan
They sound like Taylor Swift to me. At least how nice she is daw to her fans.

The Lazy Cat
Mhm, I have heard of that about Taylor Swift, and I like that about her too. Though I wouldn’t really compare her to SJ. HAHAHA.

Mailan
Why do you think some people become “fanatic” over an artist or band?

The Lazy Cat
It differs from person to person, of course. Some are in it for the music. Some are in it for the good looks. It never hurts to have eye candies that you can ogle all day err day, with no consequences. But most fans I know usually have the same reasons as me. They find something they can relate to with that artist/band, and that’s more than enough reason for them to be a fan. For others, they say this artist/band saved their lives.

Mailan
I see. *smile emoji* What’s the craziest thing that you did because of SuJu?

The Lazy Cat
HAHAHAHAHA Are we really gonna go there? Okay.

Mailan
Nobody will know who you are. HAHAHA. Well, except our friends who can definitely guess who you are.

The Lazy Cat
HAHAHAHA Well our friends already know these crazy things I did, so here goes…
I don’t know what’s crazier. Flying out of the country just to see their concert, or not resting after work just to queue overnight for event tickets. You be the judge.Don’t worry, I judge myself too.

Mailan
They’re equally crazy. HAHA.

The Lazy Cat
I thought so. HAHAHA.

Mailan
Has fangirling affected your relationships with your family, friends, people?

The Lazy Cat
My family doesn’t really get it. I don’t expect them to, but there had been times where I had to lie to them to hide some of the crazy things I’ve done for SJ. My mom doesn’t approve of me spending so much on them as well, which is understandable. I let her nag on, but I still spend on them like the pasaway child I am. As for friends, I don’t think so. All of my close friends understand, or if they don’t, well, they don’t bother me about it and just accept me the way I am HAHAHA I love you all for that.
People, on the other hand, well… yes, I do find it difficult to socialize with new people because as I’ve said earlier, they always find me weird or obsessive.
I also get annoyed when they make off-handed, ignorant remarks about Kpop/SJ, which makes it even more difficult to be friends with them OTL.

Mailan
So it’s really your friends who support you in your fangirling?

The Lazy Cat
Yep. Some close friends are fellow fangirls too, so they don’t just support, they ~understand~ HAHAHA.

Mailan
That’s good. *smile emoji*

The Lazy Cat
*kiss emoji* HAHAHA.

Mailan
HAHAHAHAHA.

The Lazy Cat
You know naman you’re one of the friends I’m referring to, so yes. :))

Mailan
I’m a fan of Bigbang and 2ne1. You know that. But not a big fan like you are with SuJu.

The Lazy Cat
It’s hard to find friends as hardcore as me when it comes to them.
The good thing is that we’re all connected via the Almighty Internet. So even though I haven’t actually met someone who’s as hardcore as me in real life, I have met tons of friends on the internet. Some of them, I’ve already met in person and are also my close friends now. This fandom has helped me not only find people who can understand, but also friends that I now meet and talk with regularly *grin emoji*

Mailan
Does this friendship or closeness in the Internet really translate well in real life? Are you as close as you are when face to face?

The Lazy Cat
Yes, surprisingly. Of course, it didn’t start out that way. There was some awkwardness during the first few meetings, but since we met up so often, had sleepovers, met SJ in person together, becoming closer in real life is unavoidable. One of them, I met when she was in high school. She’s now graduating from college. I also went overseas for a concert with her. In fact, I just saw her and another close fandom friend just yesterday. HAHAHA.

Mailan
Makes me jelly. LOL~

The Lazy Cat
We must meet up soon. Speaking of which, sama ka sa Baguio? HAHA. Or hindi keri kasi may classes ka?

Mailan
KELAN Let’s talk about that later HAHA.
Has your fangirling affected your taste or standard in men, especially that you’re fangirling over a male group?

The Lazy Cat
*CRIES* YES, IT HAS, SADLY. I sometimes think I will never be able to find a boyfriend because my standards are ridiculous. :)) :((

Mailan
How ridiculous is this? What’s in your list?

The Lazy Cat
*sighs* Of course, I take looks into consideration, as shallow as that may sound. But I don’t require them to look like oppas*, because that’s impossible, even though I joke about it sometimes. :)) I do require them to be either smart or talented or BOTH. :)) But I think brains would be the most important factor. I’d like someone I can be comfortable with, but at the same time, someone I can learn from. (like SJ)

[*oppa = “older brother” literally in Korean, used only by females. Is also used as a term of endearment to one’s boyfriend]

Mailan
This is why we’re friends. HAHA *heart emoji*

The Lazy Cat
HAHAHA IKR heart emoticon

Mailan
Tell me about the time that you were disappointed in SuJu or ELF*.

[*ELF = Super Junior’s official fan club]

The Lazy Cat
There’s quite a lot to say about ELF, lol. Although I love how our fandom has been standing strong for 10 years now, some of them still don’t fail to annoy me with their immaturity HAHAHA There’s been an issue regarding adding new members to SJ back in 2007-2008. Fans were against it, and showed great disrespect towards the supposedly new members. It was eventually confirmed that they wouldn’t be added to the group. One would expect fans to calm down by then, but until now, even though it’s been years, some fans are still being assholes towards those members. *squint emoji*

Mailan
How about a time that you were disappointed in SuJu? Has there been a time?

The Lazy Cat
As for SJ… one member had a hit-and-run issue back in 2009. Thankfully, there had been only minor injuries, but still. He has shown sincere remorse for it though, and while I acknowledge that what he did was wrong, I do believe it’s still forgivable.
I guess one of the things I learned from them is knowing how to forgive, and keep loving. *smile emoji* It’s not just once that I felt hurt or disappointed by them, but eventually, I still forgave them and kept supporting them. Not sure if this counts as me being too biased, but I’m happy with my choices. HAHA.

Mailan
I see. How about you? What do you regret the most in your 9 years of fangirling?

The Lazy Cat
I don’t regret much. I had my immature moments too, but I don’t think they were bad enough for me to regret them. I believe that the decisions and actions I’ve done has contributed into shaping what I am now. And I love myself the way I am HAHAHA so no regrets. *smile emoji*

Mailan
If there were no SuJu, do you think you would still fangirl over some other artist or group?

The Lazy Cat
Probably. But I’m not sure what would lead me to them. I was led into Kpop by SJ, so I can’t quite imagine being into Kpop if it weren’t for them. I’d probably still be stuck in anime. :))

Mailan
You’ve been a fangirl for sooo long. What are your biggest realizations about fangirling?

The Lazy Cat
It’s a hobby, not an obsession. After hearing comments saying that I’m obsessed, I did give it some thought. Was I /really/ obsessed? Do I need to stop, or somehow tone it down? The answer was no. It was something that made me happy. More than most things. Why would I stop doing something that gave me the happiness others can’t? As long as you’re still actually sane (because I know fans who probably are not), there’s nothing wrong with it. As long as no one gets hurt, then we’re all free to fangirl all we want.

Mailan
Wow. That’s a new perspective to it. Really makes sense. Hmm.

The Lazy Cat
Most people don’t see it that way, since they’ve never been in a fangirl’s place before. Which is understandable. :))

Mailan
I know you’re also a fanfiction writer. Tell me about it.

The Lazy Cat
It started with wanting to see my OTP (One True Pairing*) in other situations aside from what we already see. You already know I like boyxboy pairings. I already did since my anime days, so it translated into my fangirl life as well. It’s pretty harmless, even my boys ship themselves LOL, but what started as “imagining otp doing this and that” grew into a creative outlet that allowed me to pour real-life realizations and frustrations into.

[*favorite romantic pairing in a fandom]

Mailan
Who’s your ultimate OTP?

The Lazy Cat
EUNHAE *heart emoji* Eunhyuk & Donghae. They even have a sub-unit of their own called D&E. They’re /that/ real. HAHAHAHA

Mailan
What do you MOSTLY imagine your OTP doing?

The Lazy Cat
I like to put them in situations far from what they experience in their celebrity lives. We call this AU, or Alternate Universe. We put the idols in a high school, college, or corporate setting–whatever you want, really! In my case, I’ve even written them in a dystopian setting HAHA. But I enjoy them most as a pair of cute high-schoolers experiencing first love with each other. HAHAHA.

Mailan
Where do you draw inspiration from for the plots of your fanfictions?

The Lazy Cat
Everywhere? It’s quite random actually. There was one time, I was just sitting at a cafe, trying to work on a chapter, but I ended up writing something new because I was eating a lemon square. The lemon square made me write about its taste, and eventually, the surroundings. Then it turned into a full-blown fic with illustrations courtesy of my graphic artist friend from Italy. HAHAHAHA.
There were other factors that influenced that particular story as well, but yeah, the lemon square was something I really wanted to write about. LOL.

Mailan
Hahaha. O..kay. That was pretty random.

The Lazy Cat
I know. They just pop in my mind randomly, really. =))

Mailan
How long have you been writing EunHae fanfictions?

The Lazy Cat
It’s been 3 years. It’s actually on and off. I really started back in 2008. But I dropped everything and didn’t write again until 2011. But I consider the actual fic-writing “career” to have started in 2012. LOL

Mailan
What motivates you to keep on writing fanfictions?

The Lazy Cat
Actually, I’m no longer that motivated HAHAHA but in the past, I guess it was the fun and thrill of creating something, pouring out your heart into it, and actually being recognized for what you do.

Mailan
Are you like a famous fanfiction writer? :))

The Lazy Cat
Would this make me sound cocky? HAHAHAHA But three of my stories have been featured on the homepage of the site where I post my stuff. *shy smile* HAHAHAHA.

Mailan
To give us a better idea of how famous you are, can you give us exact figure, like page views or subscribed readers?

The Lazy Cat
My most popular story has 53,210 views as of today. It’s at 17 chapters, and far from being completed.

Mailan
What’s it about? *smile emoji*

The Lazy Cat
It’s the dystopian thing I mentioned earlier. It was inspired by a prompt I saw about a world where people get inked with the name of their soulmates at the age of 18. So the concept really isn’t all that unique, since it was a fic prompt. But I guess my version, with the dystopian world and all, made it different. I hope? HAHAHA.

Mailan
Do you see yourself being a published novelist minus the fanfiction?

The Lazy Cat
I’ve thought about it. In the past, I never considered it, but after all the recognition, I wondered if I really do have what it takes. Right now, my confidence is still low though because of my sheer inability to finish stories longer than 12 chapters :(( :))

Mailan
You’re unable to finish stories more than 12 chapters because?

The Lazy Cat
I’m not really sure. I get distracted by new ideas. Like, I have the story all planned out in my mind, but when it comes to actually writing it, I lose motivation halfway and I’d either start on a new story, or just stop writing for months. It makes me sad, actually.

Mailan
What’s your advice for people who want to write fanfictions?

The Lazy Cat
Read and practice. You learn writing through reading and practicing. And not just fanfiction, read actual novels too. I’d have to say that some fanfics are obviously written by people who have only read fanfics all their lives. So if you want to be good, start reading the good ones. Go for the actual published stuff. *smile emoji*
But of course there are good fanfics too, which might actually be better than some published stuff. HAHA

Mailan
Yeah. Published stuff has gone through an editorial board, which is its advantage. But I agree there are some promising fanfic materials too. I used to read Harry Potter fanfics. HAHA

The Lazy Cat
OMG. Which pairing? HAHA.

Mailan
HarryxLuna? HAHA. I also like stories about Harry’s kids’ generation. Cool stuff.

The Lazy Cat
Ooooh. I have friends who read HarryxDraco. Since, you know, boyxboy is popular in my fandom. *shrugs* HAHA.

Mailan
Dramione was really good too. HAHA *heart emoji*

The Lazy Cat
HAHAHA I have seen people shipping them alright.

Mailan
Yes. HAHA. So this ends the interview. Two hours. Whew. Thank you for your stories, The Lazy Cat. *smile emoji*

The Lazy Cat
No problem! It was fun. *grin emoji*

Mailan
Really new perspective and inside info about the fangirling world. *smile emoji*

The Lazy Cat
I’m glad to have provided that. Hoping many can read this to lessen the prejudice against fangirls. *smile emoji*

Mailan
I hope so too. Finally, do you have any message for me? HAHA. Last words?

The Lazy Cat
I have a question. If I manage to finish a fic (like novel-length, since this is what I can’t do at the moment), and be really proud of it, would you read it? HAHAHA. Provided that it’s PG-13 at most =))

Mailan
HAHAHA. Yes. I actually honestly trust in your writing skills and creativity. *smile emoji*

The Lazy Cat
Okay. I love you *kiss emoji* HAHAHAHAH

Mailan
Me love you too *heart emoji*

The Lazy Cat
*heart emoji*

 

——-

This ends my interview with The Lazy Cat.

  1. Have you ever gotten into Kpop?
  2. Did your friends approve of your Kpop-ping?
  3. Do you have a secret life?
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