Ji Hyun-woo reports for army duty
girlfriday: Aw, another one goes. Ji Hyun-woo, aka time traveler and In-hyun’s man Kim Boong-do, enlisted today for active duty.
javabeans: Predictably, the big question fans and reporters are asking (literally to his face) is: What about Yoo Inna? Ji Hyun-woo was pretty evasive, as you might expect of him, saying merely that he spent his last day with his family and that his last exchange with Yoo was to promise to return in good health. Boilerplate interview response. Although really, for once I feel like he can’t be annoyed at the questions since he’s the one who made the big public media to-do in the first place.
girlfriday: Right? There’s no confessing your love publicly and then going, What’s with all the questions? Ha.
javabeans: Don’t get us wrong, celebrities obviously have a right to privacy. But when you make the grand gesture expressly because it’s a statement to the public—as in, I love you so much I’m doing this even knowing they’re going to go crazy!—you figure the subsequent curiosity is part and parcel of your romantic moment.
girlfriday: I totally get why she didn’t show up to see him off, but I half expected him to give another declaration, you know, for bookending purposes. I like my narrative closure.
javabeans: Also, you have to assume that part of his reasoning behind making the big announcement was because he knew he was going to the army, and by outing their relationship just before his enlistment, there’s an element of “Mine!” to it.
girlfriday: Well yeah. It’s Hey, all other dudes! Don’t you think you can try to woo her away just because I’m in the army! I’m watching you!
javabeans: I’m not going to be quite so cynical to suggest he also did it to tie Yoo Inna’s hands… but you gotta admit that the big side effect is that it ties Yoo Inna’s hands.
girlfriday: Um, yeah, there’s no getting out of this relationship now. He goes to army, she waits.
javabeans: When you consider how seriously Koreans take their army duty, it would practically be a career-killer (okay, maybe career-maimer) for her to dump him before he’s officially out. The whole army-duty “I’ll wait for you” motif is such a huge part of the culture (and pop culture), and leaving a dude while he was serving is (1) basically every Korean guy’s worst-case-scenario fear, and (2) therefore the worst thing a girlfriend can do.
girlfriday: It’s as ironclad as marrying her, pretty much. Obviously, considering that the guy has to GO to army, it’s not like I feel bad for her. It’s just a separate set of pressures for her because leaving him would automatically make her the bad guy.
javabeans: Even if they mutually wanted to separate, they’d probably have to wait till he’s out anyway (isn’t that what Choi Ji-woo did, wait till Lee Jin-wook was out and then quietly end it officially?). It’s like waiting till the kids are in college before you divorce, only the kids are Korea. Watching. Judging.
girlfriday: Don’t break oppa’s heart!
javabeans: So is the real question then “Is Ji Hyun-woo super romantic, or is he just totally shrewd?”
girlfriday: Can I pick both? Because he does seem to be smitten with her, but also, you can’t deny it’s handy to have 49 million pairs of eyes making sure your girlfriend’s staying true. Just sayin’.
javabeans: No pressure!
girlfriday: Suddenly I want to send Yoo Inna a fruit basket or something. Girl’s gonna have a long two years.
javabeans: But just think of the welcome she’ll get: army abs!
girlfriday: Worth it!
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