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[Drama 2017] Because This Is My First Life 이번 생은 처음이라

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@stroppyse hahaha I too need to reduce what I'm watching, there's so many dramas airing at the moment.  I usually take the initiative to write up comments, but these days I'm quietly lurking between threads and occasionally commenting lol.  I love the friendship between the girls, it kind of fills the void I had from watching Age of Youth 2 haha. 

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@stroppyse Ups, you are right.:crazy: I mixed up the letters. I meant SJ with JS.

I agree with @Jillia's point of view that JH's mother has failed as a mother. Yes, she is the traditionnal housewife who has authority over her children and a little influence on her husband but like @Jillia pointed out, she failed to protect her daughter, to love her enough so that JH wouldn't think, that she is not needed. JH's words were really telling: "SH was the first person who told me that he needed me."  

Besides, I was bothered by the phone conversation between the mother and JH. The latter was more reminding her of her duties (like f. ex. washing). Yes, you could sense that the mother was worried, however her words were creating a wall between her and JH as the latter was not able to express what she was experiencing. The mother didn't let her speak what was really happening. She has in the end no clue what JH is really doing. She has this vision: JH is in her flat and she needs to behave very well. That's why there is no deep and real conversation in the end. Her mother has a certain picture in her head but she doesn't see further than that. I hope, it is understandable what I am saying.

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7 hours ago, stroppyse said:

 

I agree that there was definitely a level of tawdriness to the scene. However, it was also reality. She has to go back into work to entertain the client. Going back to work means putting on stockings. It smacks of long practice in getting ready on the fly to go when she's called, and having to put on a certain uniform to do so, and not thinking twice about doing that in the car in front of someone, much as someone else might put on lipstick or mascara in their car.

 

 

It was that scene that made me wonder if part of her entertaining the client has to do with entertaining them sexually and that's why she's carrying around condoms. We're not talking about the U.S. where it's less conservative, we're talking about a country that is more conservative, where they still treat single parenting as taboo. I also feel this air of unhappiness around her.  

 

I have to go back and rewatch the last couple of episodes because they were not fully subbed, but I need to understand how SH's friend knew her. From the first or second episode, I got the impression that he knew her.  I don't know, but she's another character that really makes me feel sad for her. She's trying to get into the boy's club at her organization and having to put up with a lot. UPDATE:  Found the scene--it wasn't subbed when I first watched it. So they had casual sex in the past--he doesn't know her and she doesn't know him. That is truly sad.

 

 However, from a reality standpoint, I have to say that I'm glad she is carrying a condom. One of the things that truly frustrates me about Korean dramas is the fact that they always have to have drinking and getting drunk scenes (try finding a drama without a drunk scene--impossible) and sometimes the ladies are passed out drunk. That truly bothers me because what message are they sending to young ladies? In their drunken state, they are truly at the mercy of others at that point. At least having a condom, if she's too drunk to fight the person off, hopefully she can protect herself from STDs.

 

Again, what I love about this drama and it's characters are they seem real unlike the other, too sweet for words female characters in other dramas.

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@bebebisous33 @Jillia ~ having seen some issues around favouritism in families, many times, the parents themselves are unaware of their actions till it is pointed out later by their adult kids. it sounds odd but it is like they were blind to their behaviour and didn't realize the impact of their actions. when the parents are aware and purposely doing it, thats a whole different ball game. in this drama, however, it doesn't seem like purposeful favouritism but more like unconscious favouring for a variety of reasons. sometimes, it can be something as simple as the brother was weak when he was growing up or that he was the baby. the mom does seem to have her 'mom' radar on enough for her to tell ji ho that if seoul is too cold, she always has a home to come to.

 

@stroppyse ~ yea, we were talking about soo ji but got the alphabets mixed up. hahahahah.. yea, better to write out the name so I remember. hahahahha... and yea, I agree with you that there is a lot of sexism and sexual harassment that happens and in some industries more than others and yea, even in normal settings, sometimes maneuvering around a male ego can be hard. however, sometimes when girls pull out the "woman card" as a reason for not able to climb up the ladder, it actually might have more to do with their lack of skills and leadership. again, I say this with lots of caution . so just to explain my view so folks don't misunderstand:

Spoiler

so when I was in uni, this girl who was in one of my classes once approached me at the library and struck up a strange conversation with me. she had noticed that I was in a group project with 3 other guys and wondered if I was having any problems. I was a bit perplexed but she explained that she had 2 male and one other female in her group and she found it very difficult to work with the lads. she didn't feel like she had a voice and felt like they weren't doing any work and she was left to do all of it. she attributed to it her being a girl and so wanted to know how I was managing.

 

I told her that in all my classes that semester, I was in groups where I was the sole girl and in one particular group, there were 7 guys. she was a bit taken aback when I told her that I actually had no such problems and we divided up the work and gave out assignments and each one had to own their work. everyone showed up for the assigned meeting time and we usually wrapped it within an hour or so and dispersed. I told her that the guys were all respectful but she just needs to be bit more assertive and very clear when it comes to dividing up the project work so that no one can bail.

 

she worried that if she was assertive, she may be seen as not very feminine or something -- because of my cultural bias (where we can be both traditional and very fierce), I had no clue what she was referring to and basically, was confused. anyway, when she kept asking if I had any problems, I told her that my real problem was that they acted like I was mother hen or big sister. hahahahha... mother hen where I have to settle petty ego kindergarten type squabbles (he did it! no, he was wrong!) or big sister where I am sitting and listening to their personal problem while silently thinking "please stop! I don't have energy or interest to listen to whatever is going on in your life." hahahahha... based on her reaction, I realized that mother hen/big sister problem was just because of my personality. hahahahah... :lol::lol:

 

anyway, she came back to me at the end of the semester and thanked me saying that she had figured out how to be assertive while being herself and still get the work done from the group and the lads actually turned out to be pretty good....

 

so part of me does wonder how effective ji soo is at getting her subordinates to do their work and why she is the only one staying out late in her team. and this is a problem that affects also men who are ineffective leaders......

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@Lmangla Yes, favoritism is a problem that parents are not aware of. But when it comes from the society itself, then I don't consider it as favoritism any more. In Asia, the boys have always been preferred over girls hence f. example in India, some get an abortion due to the gender of the baby or see the consequences in China as well. This preference of boys has a long tradition and since JH was raised in a traditional family, the mother has been trained to act and think like that. 

Fact is that her father wanted a boy, hence she was given this name that sounds so manly. Secondly, the picture shown on Facebook revealed that she had short hair. Then she likes soccer, also a sport very popular among men and boys. She used to smoke and we know that in SK, especially men smoke. See the number of male celebrities smoking. From my point of view, JH must have tried to act like a boy in order to get noticed and loved by her father but it never changed. Little by little, she has realised it and gave up.

But I must confess that patriarchalism does also exist in western societies, although thanks to the feminist movement that started in the 19th century, the perception of women has changed. They are no longer considered as inferior, although there is still inequity like salaries. The reason why I dislike the mother is because this drama reminds me a lot of my own path. Here this comment is going to be quite personal.

Spoiler

 

I witnessed in my own family (grandparents and parents), how unfairly the women were treated which really irked me. That's why I came to the conclusion, I would never let people treat me as if I were inferior. My own grandmother was never allowed to speak freely. One of my great grandmothers got divorced in a terrible situation. Even my own father had and still has the tendency to look down on my mother too. As a young child, I could notice it. Since my mother never had the chance to get a formation in her youth and she had her children at a very young age, she was very frustrated with her life. She had to depend on her husband, which she didn't like. But since he was the breadwinner, she had to accept her situation. Hence she put all her hopes on me. Therefore I was put in the same situation like SH. She wanted to live her life through me. From an early age, she taught me that I needed to study hard at school in order to go to college and get a good job. Naturally, I followed her advice because I was well aware, how unsatisfied she was with her situation but I came to realize that independence is the key for equity. Anyway, her mood got better, when she started working, but she only had little jobs as she had no real qualifications. As an obedient daughter, I wanted to please her but also wanted to gain respect among my family. The problem was that I didn't get to choose what I wanted. My mother always wanted to choose for me. It was always a fight against her and even my own father. The first big fight happened, when I was 10 years old. First foreign language, it had to be English but I wanted to learn German. German was not well perceived due to WWII. Later they couldn't understand why German was my favorite foreign language (since then, I've learnt so many foreign languages). So I had to play a trick so that my wish would come true. I acted behind her back by manipulating the file which I confessed shortly after. The teacher sided with me and influenced my mother to accept my wish. However this method really upset my family. This was one example among many others. I was treated quite harshly for not letting people to decide for myself. I had to fight for each important decision, hence I got the reputation of "stubborn girl". Notice that JH has been described like that hence I can relate to her.  Her running away looks a lot like my "manipulating the papers". Therefore I got a terrible reputation among my family. I was not obedient, hot tempered, stubborn aso. But each decision I made was not chosen in the heat of the moment. 

In the end, I could realize many dreams despite the critics: see now, I am living in Germany instead of France. Unlike my two brothers who were praised for their good nature and their humor, the situation has been reversed. In the eyes of my mother and father, I am the one who has succeeded in her life, whereas my parents keep criticizing my two older brothers in many topics: failed relationships, financial problems aso. On the other hand, I must confess that my parents helped me, when I moved to Germany. Both got aware that they couldn't stop me in the end. Another advantage of living abroad is that my mother can no longer meddle in my life.

 

Hence I can not accept the attitude of JH's mother. I can understand where her passive attitude comes from, but as a strong-willed woman like myself this is definitely a NO. This is also the reason why I can relate to our protagonist. But JH was actually more obedient than me... notice that she tried to please her parents as much as possible (see above). I was obedient, when it came to studies (a very good student) hence my parents couldn't complain in that matter but that was it.     

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@bebebisous33 ~ ah okay, I see where you are coming from. am a bit ambivalent towards the mother character but I like her for those quiet moments when she supports ji ho. can she do more? sure. but I don't dislike her per se as even good parents make lots of mistakes. is she a failure as a parent? need more story for me to take a call.

 

shifting gears a bit, is it my romantic side but did anyone else think that both see hee and ji ho's faces soften when they look at each other? kekekeke... :D

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@Lmangla The only time we see Se hee letting out a slight smile was when he is with her. First time was when they were at the bus stop, right after he finishes his neocortex story, he sends a charming smile on her way. It was sooooo cute. You can tell that i've rewatched that scene more than one time. Kekekeke

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kekekek... @kokodus ~ always love your fangirl reports. hahahah.. so good! :D

so was thinking about your earlier post:

7 hours ago, kokodus said:

I love this show's take on marriage. JH's monologue at the end of 4th ep was amazing. In this day and age, do all the couples get married out of love??  Its disney stuff, i say. Haha. The guy and the girl, need each other to fulfill their desires. Be it financial, in case of SH and JH or emotional in case of Won seok and Ho rang. JH says "we just want to live normally. To do that, we need to do certain things". Which really hit me hard. How we are forced to do things just to satisfy other people or more like to not be looked down by others. Why should we care about others while living our life? Sighhh. Can we be really happy by doing whatever we like and not get afraid of being an outcast?? For a girl like Ho rang who is insecure and has low self esteem, will getting married brings confidence?? For a girl like Soo ji, who is independent and is somewhat successful (acc to Ho rang), will getting married be a setback?? Why do people get married???

it is an interesting question especially in the modern age. for some, it seems to be an obligation (towards their parents), a checklist to mark off and the next stage to move onto (so you finish uni, get a job, get married etc)... or maybe it is because we are all romantics in one way and we need companionship and we like the sense of surety that occurs with a legal commitment. sure, not all last but there is the hope of the fairy tale right? 

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@Lmangla You know i never disappoint you people when it comes to fangirling. Kekeke.

I think the thing that bothers me is the societal pressure to get married before a certain age. What if we havent found our significant other before that age?? This totally reminds me of @Dhakra. A super successful person, if not married by a certain age is still considered as a failure. Sighhh. 

 

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13 minutes ago, kokodus said:

@Lmangla You know i never disappoint you people when it comes to fangirling. Kekeke.

I think the thing that bothers me is the societal pressure to get married before a certain age. What if we havent found our significant other before that age?? This totally reminds me of @Dhakra. A super successful person, if not married by a certain age is still considered as a failure. Sighhh. 

 

sigh.  see hee is considered as odd and not normal because he is content to be single. so, his marriage to ji ho in a way normalizes him. and for her, she gets to keep her pride and self-esteem by remaining in seoul. thought it was interesting that she said she wanted to get married at least once as if she thinks that she may not get the opportunity to do it again as she is unlikely to find a person as she has no job or title...

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On 10/18/2017 at 4:49 AM, bebebisous33 said:

Moreover, HR never talked directly to SW about marriage, she implied it with the couch but HR shouldn't have behaved like that. To me,  HR is way too emotional and selfish. Notice that in her anger on the rooftop, she only talked about herself: her body, her womb, aso. It was never about SW and his dream, his feelings aso. Sure, I can understand her disappointment but let's be honest: the way she talked about her future marriage, she really wanted to boast in front of the coworkers. She likes to be admired because deep down, she is unsatisfied. To me, she doesn't see SW's qualities. Even if he hasn't got a good job, he is so caring. He picks her up, when she finishes late. He will do anything to fulfill any wish from her. Yes, HR needs to realise SW's true value. She should stop focusing on marriage as a goal... because by thinking so, she could marry anyone in the end, as long as the partner gives her what she has been looking for: a big house where she can have children. With other words, love doesn't seem to be so relevant to her, if she keeps thinking like that.

I agree what was really telling for me is when he told her that she never considers his feelings. It's always him that has to worry about her's. I'm happy that he walked out, maybe spending some time alone w/out him will make her realize that she has lost her perspective on their relationship. I understand her disappointment too but it seems that she hasn't taken the time to actually sit down and talk to him about it. She's becoming resentful, expects SW to read her mind and takes the love they share for granted.

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the verbal fight scene between Ho Rang and Won Seok made me realize how difficult it is to be in a serious relationship.. we do say that in any relation communication is one of those things in a relationship but why some girls avoid asking or discuss things related with marriage? possibly because they don’t want to pressure their partners.. from that point the invisible wall will start to built... the perspectives and stand points will be clouded of negative thoughts.. Ho Rang’s outburst is normal, yes she was expectant of a marriage proposal but her action towards Won Seok is unjustifiable. Won Seok is at fault also, why did he talked those feelings with Ji Ho and Soo Ji as audiences... I guess the problem there is not the communication alone, they also don’t have respect for each other. 

Love and respect: they go together hand by hand, Co’z To Be Loved You Is To Be Respected.

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17 minutes ago, kokodus said:

I think the thing that bothers me is the societal pressure to get married before a certain age. What if we havent found our significant other before that age?? This totally reminds me of @Dhakra. A super successful person, if not married by a certain age is still considered as a failure. Sighhh. 

33! Thirty-three! It's the magical number! I have three good years left, otherwise I will officially join the failure club! And I don't even have a kitty anymore!

I have the feeling you guys from our +/- homethread compare the main lead with me pretty often. :D Well I admit there are quite some similiarities. Maybe a reason why I quit the drama :ph34r: Why watch somebody who at least got a chance.

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@Dhakra Nahhh. As long as we are content with our life, i think we shouldnt bother about what others think of us. Thats my whole point. And you should be honoured to get compared with Se hee. He is such a fine human being. Haha. 

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@kokodusEasier said than done. Especially when you don't have any siblings and are in charge of keeping your family name alive. Without a wife and kids, you are about to extinct your families legacy. So it's not just about what others think, it's also about the burden you carry yourself. 

Being a fine and decent human sadly isn't enough. So you can imagine how the male lead her must feel aswell, the mothers eyes are all on him. Do you want to know how often throughout the week I hear my mother say "When will I become a grandma?" :D 

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@kokodus @Lmangla why you so jaded about marriage, romcom girls!!! Perhaps these characters get married so they can get what they want.  Marriage is an enabler! hahaha

 

For JH, a place to stay in Seoul.  She wants to belong, be important to someone, to give herself a temporary solution to the bad situation she is in, hoping that in 2 years, she will figure out her life then she can focus on love.  For SH, obviously, a way to get his apt paid off.  For HR, a child and a home. 

 

I think what we are talking about is what SeHee is feeling.  We can be ourselves and live by our standards when we can be independent from things that control us.  For SeHee, it's money.  He doesn't want to be doing things according to others so to him, paying off the obligation of the home loan free him.   Once he is financially secured, he would be happy staying home with his cat, away from the demands of others.  He even wants to die at home.  He's emotionally dampened so he doesn't get pressured and affected by conventional reasons.  I think he is closest to nirvana than all the Kdrama characters I've watched. :lol:

 

People marry for a variety of reasons, our characters' are unconventional.  But is it really?  lol   Instead of focusing on why we marry, how about on the reasons why we choose to stay married?  Is love really the magic glue that bind two people together?  If not, why based the reason to marry on it?

 

@Dhakra he's just super picky. ahaha  Seriously, I think you want to reconsider watching this drama. It points out a lot of things we think about even if it's a little uncomfortable to watch.

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@bedifferent Hahaha i'm a person who wants every show to end with a wedding. My definition of a happy ending is for the leads to get married. So i only blame this show for making me ask such questions about marriage. Lol

 

Have to admit that marriage has become more like a business these days. Both parties involved signs up in hopes of getting something out of this "process". Financial security mostly, i guess. I think this drama is excellent for subtly calling out on this. Haha. 

 

 

 

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