My 90 Year Old Dad Likes Kpop & This Says Something About Living Long & Joyfully

When I was starting out on this journey with my new sci-fi trilogy, Gentle Reader, I posted one of my log lines to social media:

The aliens are coming for us and they want our Kpop.  

One of the comments said:

They can have it. 

I’m sure he thought he was being clever.

But I saw it and I thought,

“How sad to be so dismissive of something that is so important to millions, and particularly to millions of young people.”

(Let’s just say that the platform in question gave me insight into the age of the commentor.)

My 90 Year Old Father Likes Kpop

So I thought I’d tell you a little story…

My father is 90.

Gail & Popster

Gail & Dad in 2009 right after Soulless released

People think he’s more like 70.

  • He still drives.
  • He lives alone (by choice).
  • He loves going grocery shopping and puttering on his boat (the boat that will never float).
  • His favorite thing when I visit is to go get Thai food or try a new restaurant.
  • He still looks a lot like a viking.

Yes, it’s good genetics, but I think one of the things that keeps him young is how open he is to new input and new sensation.

He’s always one to comment in the sunlight through the trees on a beautiful day, a stunning piece of architecture, or how delicious a piece of fruit tastes (and want to share it with me). No matter how many times he has had that drink, if it’s one of his favorite drinks. he’s always excited to have it again.

Of course he also complains. A lot.

Here’s a classic Popster story.

Driving him into a San Francisco hospital down Van Ness (which is under construction, Van Ness is ALWAYS under construction) we pass by City Hall.

Pospster, mildly happy: Isn’t it a lovely day? Aren’t those trees nice?

Self: Yes it is. Isn’t it?

Popster, mildly upset: This street is TERRIBLE! What are they doing? I told you not to take Van Ness.

Self: I only drive where the GPS tells me. But the whole city is in shambles right now.

Popster, pleased: Oh my, what a beautiful building.

Self: That’s not the opera house?

Popster: City hall!

Self: Oh yes, of course.

Poster, ruminating: I was washed down those steps once.

Self: Oh yes? What were you protesting? The Vietnam War?

Popster, still ruminating: McCarthyism!

Self: Oh right, you’re old.

Popster: I managed not to get arrested, though.

Self: Good for you.

Popster, ominous: That time.

And that is my father’s character in a nutshell.

Cute story, Miss Gail, but…

What does this have to do with Kpop?

At 90 my dad doesn’t sleep much anymore. Or when he does it’s at odd times.

At one point when I was overnight visiting, I woke up at about 4 in the morning and the TV was blaring incredibly loudly, so I wandered out to see if I could secretly turn it down, and…

He was watching Kpop.

And it was like 2nd gen too! Old school. He seemed to be enjoying it, or at least be intrigued enough to sit and watch it, head bobbing along slightly.

Self: Popster, you like Kpop?

Popster: Is that what this is? Fun isn’t it? It’s so bright and cheerful and different.

Self: It’s very popular. You’re quite on trend.

Popster: Am I? Well, that’d be the first time in 90 years.

So lately when he gets into my car, I will often play him Kpop.

He doesn’t like the stuff with heavy bass or too much rap, he’s more a ballad man. (BTOB over Stray Kids, for example.)

He’s delightfully charmed by it. I think because he’s quite deaf these days he doesn’t care that he can’t understand the lyrics (because he can’t determine them in English songs either anymore). And he’s interested in what “the young people” are into.

My feelings?

I guess this is an essay in how learning to enjoy, or at least not outright scoff and dismiss, something like Kpop can carry you into your 90s. How being open to sensation can keep you young and whimsical.

Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s okay to be witty, and cutting, and sarcastic, and even dismissive at times. But too much and it makes you numb, unchanging and stagnant, and that’s a kind of early death. If my father is a good counter example, might even leas to it.

So yeah, stay young, wear your sunscreen, floss your teeth, and give Kpop a chance.

Yours (thinking deeply about mortality these days),

Miss Gail 

More of me talking about Kpop?

10 Songs Behind the Tinkered Starsong Series & Why – The Divine Kpop Playlist (BTS, GOT7, BTOB)

10 Great Kpop Singers & Why They’re Inspiring (Tinkered Starsong Character Influences)


Divinity 36: Tinkered Starsong Book 1


Direct from Gail

The aliens are coming for us and they want our Kpop.

New York Times bestselling author Gail Carriger brings you a gloriously warm and unique scifi about the power of art, celebrity, and found family.

“Gail Carriger’s imagination takes center stage in Divinity 36, her homage to space operas, the highs and pitfalls of ultimate competition, and the celebration of home, friendship, found family, and the stirrings of first love.”

~ The Novel Approach

Find my books 

Direct | Amazon | | B&N | Apple | FoylesMcnally Robinson | Angus Robertson

Here’s a printable Downloadable Checklist of ALL my books!

Did you miss my latest release?

Want more sneak peeks, free goodies, gossip, behind the scenes info?

This goes to my Chirrup members, because I love them bestest. Sign up here:

Not into newsletters? Get only new releases by following Gail on Goodreads, Amazon or BookBub!

Miss Gail’s Tea Party

Tisane of Nifty 

Gail’s Dad (at 90) getting his very first mani pedi

Author Nibble 

I have a SUPER fun interview with Horn Books: 5 Questions with Gail Carriger About Divinity 36 – I talk about why I switched back to YA for this series.

Quote to Sip 

Quote Write Gail Carriger Dictation woes


Posted by Gail Carriger

3 Responses

  1. Patti Villavicencio said:

    My husband (69) and I (70) love K-pop…..Girls Generation, BlackPink, BTS….. and we also watch nothing but K-Dramas, especially period pieces!!! Thank you Korea!

© 2024 Gail Carriger
Site built by Todd Jackson