“It’s not ‘Bandfic’,” she exclaims, her hands raising up and down in that gesture of tweenage exasperation. “It’s Bandom.”
“OK, I got it,” I assure her. “So what’s bandom?”
“A type of fandom devoted to bands.”
I raise an eyebrow, waiting for more.
“My bandom is affectionately nicknamed The Emo Quartet. Which consists of….”
“Panic at the Disco, Fall Out Boy, My Chemical Romance, and Twenty-One Pilots?” She nods her head in response. I kind of like the music my daughter plays as she bops around the house.
“Yep. But Twenty-One Pilots fics are really rare. So sometimes it’s the Emo Trinity.”
“Gotcha,” I say with a nod.
“There’s also Halsey, and everyone in my bandom loves her, but she’s not in my group.” The words start falling out of her mouth a little more quickly and she starts pacing by the table. “I’m not sure why she isn’t in my group. I mean everyone thinks she’s wonderful, but I think the reason might be because nobody knows how to say ‘five.'”
“Oh,” she plows on, seemingly unsure of any knowledge her father might have just passed on. “There’s also, for example, One Direction and 5 Seconds of Summer bandoms as well,” Trinity continues.
“Most members of a bandom have a Tumblr devoted to their bands. They post pictures of the band, usually. Some write fanfiction.”
“OK, wait a second,” I interject. “Is a bandom the actual band, a group of fans, or an individual fan?”
“It’s a group of fans and sometimes the groups don’t mix. Like, nobody wants to talk to the 5 Seconds of Summer bandom. Most of the 5 Seconds of Summer bandom is like, really stupid.” She takes a breath to calm herself. “They call it Punk. It’s really not Punk.”
Punk means The Sex Pistols, The Clash, and The Ramones, to me. Trinity’s favorite band is Green Day. I trust her judgement about what constitutes Punk. “Tell me about fanfic.”
“There are two types of bandfic,” my blue haired daughter begins to explain.
“Hey! You told me it wasn’t bandfic.”
Trinity smiles, patiently. Apparently explaining this whole thing to someone not in the know resembles trying to teach a dog about physics. “Bandfic is a subsect of bandom. Bandom is the whole thing.” I nod, not willing to say something and risk a dismissive eye roll.
“There are two types of bandfic,” she continues. “AU and Normal. Most people write AU, or alternate universe, stories. Normal is hard to explain so let’s stick to AU.” Apparently, I’ve exhausted her willingness to explain things to an old guy, hip as I may be.
“In AU, a multiple of things can happen. The stories I see most often are a band 1) in high school or college, 2) as vampires(!), and 3) something called Character X Reader. The high school stories have the members react with each other at that age. Vampires is pretty obvious. Character X Reader is when the author interacts with the band members. It’s not like people write fics for fun. They write it for the ships!”
I fight the urge to interject, to try to regain some measure of cool capital with my daughter by knowing what ‘shipping’ means. I just keep on listening.
“Shipping is when you like the idea of two character in a relationship. It can be a friendly relationship, but really,” she flips her bangs off of her forehead, “who are we kidding? One example and a very, very popular ship in my bandom is Ferard, the shipping of Frank and Gerard from My Chemical Romance.”
I pause for a moment, wondering how much I really want to know about what my daughter is reading online at age twelve. Then I think about what I was reading at that age and get over it.
“Another term around shipping is OTP, One True Pairing, or OT3, with three people. Basically, it’s like your favorite pairing. My personal OTP is Petekey, the shipping of Fall Out Boy’s Pete Wentz and My Chemical Romance’ Mikey Way.”
I swallow, nod, and smile, thinking that my quota of interesting things I’ve learned about my daughter has been filled for the day.