It was a little surreal to have my mother pull out her phone and explain that she heard a song on the radio that she loved but it was in a language she didn’t recognize. She was able to record it on her phone and play it for me and I squinted, not recognizing anything either. There were some English lyrics, sure, but sporadically sung.
My mother explained to me that she’d been trying to google the lyrics for days now but couldn’t find the song. I suggested we use an app to figure it out. As the screen bounced and finally recognized the song, it showed that it was a song by K-pop sensations: BTS.
While I thought this encounter would stand alone as a strange occurrence in my life, I had no idea that this was just the first step of my mother’s foray into the world of K-Pop, idols, and catchy Korean songs. This wasn’t just some isolated incident, this was my mother’s rebirth as ARMY.
I personally don’t actively look for K-pop. It’s alright, I guess. And the dancing in sync while in crazy outfits can be pretty impressive, sure. And, though it’s not my thing, its fanbase is more than big enough to consider me an outlier. And that’s totally fine.
I was just surprised that my mother was now, technically, part of that fanbase.
Once she figured out the song that played on the radio, she went right ahead and downloaded the song. And she didn’t stop there. I suppose it was the catchy beat and everything that hooked her in because she went and downloaded the album where that song was. And then she went and downloaded the rest of them.
This was still pretty calm. We knew the change happened when we’d be riding together in the car and a song would play and she’d start to hype herself up. “BTS!” She’d cheer and turn up the radio before singing and dancing along.
That was when my siblings and I knew: Our mother is ARMY.
Now sometimes when I get home, I hear BTS coming from her room when she’s working out or just relaxing or doing work. And it’s kind of surreal but amazing at the same time. Now I can finally say something like: I hope they come here one day. And not for me, no. For my mother.
Do you have any ARMY origin stories? Let us know!