This is a story of a magical kingdom far, far away . . . where every single K-drama you have ever watched in your entire life takes place.
Dear K-drama fangirls, if you want to live in this world (which you can't because it doesn't exist and as hard as it is you must remember this so you don't end up with your laptop as your sole companion for all eternity), then keep these guidelines in mind so you fit right in.
1. YOU'RE POOR.
("Why am I so poor?" Goo Hye Sun - 'Boys Over Flowers')
You're not just poor. You're dirt poor. Let's face it, the female protagonist is always poor because the majority of K-dramas follows the most popular storyline of all time--yes, Cinderella. But no worries. You'll be marrying rich and sometimes, your super wealthy man buys you a cell phone, either because you can't afford it or somehow you managed to buy one but lost it (good job). I don't know what this symbolizes, but the cell-phone present sure happens a lot in K-dramas.
2. AND YOU'RE ADOPTED.
("Soon Shin, I am your mother." Lee Mi Sook and IU - 'You're the Best, Lee Soon Shin')
You can't only be poor, you must also be adopted. Basically, you're going to have a hard time.
3. If you're rich, you're a
(Wang Ji Hye - 'Protect the Boss')
Let's say you're not poor--this only means you've unfortunately been kicked aside to the role of secondary female. Thank goodness you're pretty and rich and fashionable, but you ain't getting the guy you want, which will make you so mad that you'll do very mean things. Shame on you.
4. Hate first, then love.
(Lee Dong Wook and Lee Si Young - 'Wild Romance')
You are absolutely not allowed to love somebody unless you hate them with all your heart first. That's just how it works. You like someone and he kind of likes you back? Well guess what--that's not going to happen. Make a list of all the people you hate now because one of them will end up as your soulmate (and I don't mean a Death Note list).
(Yonghwa - 'Heartstrings'; he's the one!)
5. The "one night stand"
(Park Shin Hye and Yoon Si Yoon - 'Flower Boy Next Door')
No, this doesn't mean what you think it means. This is an innocent one night stand because K-dramas do nothing over a rating of PG-13. This world has many secluded motels with one bedroom--just one (this is very important)--to increase the chances of you ending up there with your love interest because your car broke down in the middle of the night and there are no cell signals. Despite this opportunity, absolutely nothing will happen between you two so don't get too excited.
6. The love square
(Yoon Kye Sang, Gong Hyo Jin, Cha Seung Won, Yoo In Na - 'The Greatest Love')
When you are born into this world, everything is preordained into divisions of four. These two guys and these two girls will be involved in an intricate love square. No exceptions. Well, maybe a love triangle thrown in here and there if there's an odd number of participants.
7. The dramatic turnaround
("What do you mean you're not my real mother?" re: you're adopted)
In this world, it's only polite to say something drastically life changing when the person involved has their back to you because then, they will get to dramatically turn around. It's no fun telling them any other way--and besides, they want to do the dramatic turnaround. Go ahead. Try it. It's fun, right? When someone turns their back to you, it essentially means, "Tell me something that will make me so surprised I need to turn around and stare at you with super wide eyes to the accompaniment of dramatic music--like NOW."
8. The wrist grab
(Jang Geun Suk and UEE - 'You're Beautiful')
The wrist grab is closely associated with the dramatic turnaround except it's more physical. All men have this rite of passage, which involves showing off their manliness by grabbing a girl who is walking away from them by the wrist and dramatically turning her around. (A word of advice: To ward off undesirable male prospects, wear spiky bangles. Take that, masculinity.)
9. "Insert MV here"
(Lee Jong Suk - 'I Hear Your Voice')
When you are overwhelmed with emotions, a song you hear following you around a lot in your life will come right on cue so you can cry to it--probably in the rain. You will have many MV moments like this with nothing else going on for an entire length of a song just so you can convey how much you are in pain.
10. The ambush kiss
(Yonghwa and Park Shin Hye - 'Heartstrings'; why are both their eyes open...?)
In this world, men have absolutely no self-restraint when it comes to initiating a kiss. Overcome with sudden passion, they will grab you and kiss you--probably while you're saying something or after a dramatic wrist grab, maybe even both! However, after this initial grab-and-kiss ("the ambush kiss"), they will have used up all their energy and stand there for the remainder like a statue. You are so shocked that you're still too preoccupied with closing your eyes as slowly as possible to kiss like a normal human being, as well.
Now that you've read the guidelines for the fictional K-drama world, please realize it's actually of no use to you and come back to the real world!