Monday, March 17, 2014

The Secret Life of a Fangirl

It’s strange to think that I was not always as open about my fangirlishness as I am now. In fact, for a long time I was far too embarrassed to ever post links to my blog on my Facebook, or anywhere for that matter. I felt like I had to hide my true self to be cool. Last night, after listening to another fangirl rant, my digsmate reminded me of how I used to think I was so odd for being interested in bands. Now, the idea is laughable, but it wasn’t always so…

In the lead up to the 29th of April 2010, my favourite band – The Killers – ran a countdown on their website. What it was counting down to, no one was sure, but it sure captured the attention of fans worldwide. A slowly unveiling image of a billboard, overlayed with a tune to which another layer was added every day, the band were certainly up to something.

Twitter was abuzz with speculation over the news, and I had just started to follow a few fellow fans, meaning that I had people to discuss the excitement with, oh boy! I was sure that when the countdown finally reached zero, I’d be planted in front of my computer screen, awaiting the reveal. Never did I think that the perils of a social life would strike. Invited out with a group of new friends that I was eager to impress (Mariska, if you’re reading this, you were one of them… remember that first time we went to Spur?) And as time drew closer to 8pm (reveal time) I wondered how I was going to make my escape in time. I mean really now, what was I supposed to say? “Thanks guys, I had a great time, but my favourite band are making an announcement and I have to go see what it is.”? In retrospect, that’s exactly what I should have said, but instead I invented an essay that I had to finish, and sped home in record time to catch the announcement.

I suppose you could say that I was hiding who I really was, to look cooler. And that’s not where it stopped. Twitter became a place where I could speak to people on the other side of the world about things that interested me; things that people I knew in real life didn’t care about. It was my haven. But I was so worried about seeming odd, that I locked my Twitter account, for fear that anyone I knew in real life would find it, and see how odd I was.

Months before, I’d roadtripped to Cape Town for the sole purpose of seeing The Killers live in concert. But had I told anyone? No, of course not. Those who I did mention the concert to, got my standard “They were in Cape Town when I just happened to be there, so I went to see them.” No, that was a lie. I had gone with the express intention of seeing the concert. But, of course, that wasn’t cool.

I was the girl who would turn off her music when someone else entered the room, because what if someone thought that listening to the Bee Gees was odd? I’d quickly switch back to Katy Perry. “What were you listening to?” “Oh, nothing.”

So convinced I became, that I had long conversations about how gosh-darned odd I was with the only friend who I thought might not think that I was that weird (Lauren – you did fly across the world with me to see bands, so perhaps we’re the same level of odd?). “It’s not that you’re odd, it’s just different interests.” But did I listen? No. Do I ever listen? And so came the day that I decided to go cold-turkey on all of my favourite music for a week. No talking about them, no posting on Facebook or Twitter about them, no counting down days until I was going to see Kings of Leon live. I lasted 24 hours.

So what changed somewhere between the end of 2011, and March 2012, when I was to be found screaming and jumping up and down because I had just booked ticket to see my favourite band in England? Was it that I stopped caring what others thought? Was it increased self-confidence? I don’t need anyone to think I’m cool, because I know that I am?

Yes, I flew to England to see my favourite band. Yes, I did it twice. Yes, I’ve met people that I knew through Twitter in real life, and they’ve become actual friends (Amii, Jess, Ryan, Sinead, Emma, I’m looking at you lot and so many more). Yes, I fangirl over Doctor Who and Lost, because they are amazing. No, I was not drinking tea during my break at work the other day, I was watching a live stream of Coldplay. Am I ashamed to fangirl on Twitter? No. Do I care if you lot all read that my most recent Tweet is an analysis of the similarities between ‘You Raise Me Up’ and ‘Danny Boy’? No. Hell, even my bosses follow me on Twitter. Do I care that you don’t think it’s cool that I like Westlife and Johnny Cash? No. Am I keeping it on the down low that I made my dinner last night whilst listening to Cliff Richard? No. Why? Because if my interests are stupid, then so are yours. Then surfing, playing rugby, modeling, photography, running, gyming, making out with your boyfriend, dancing, drinking, cooking, sleeping… they’re all stupid too. And are they? Why no, no they are not.