Sometimes…you just need to tell the world how you feel—through writing! And a Youtube video!
That was Kelly’s response when I told her last week that I was in love with One Direction. I don’t know how it happened, or where it came from, but I admittedly suffered (am suffering) from an unmatched and unrequited affection for a quintet of crooning school boys.
It’s cougar time synergy (that 90’s reference courtesy of Jem).
HOLD UP. Too young for “cougar” status, but too old for Zayne to tickle my fancy. Could I possibly be alone in this misguided obsession?
Like most things I hold dear, I shamelessly touted my adoration across social channels in the form of YouTube links, lyrics quotes, and textual declarations of love. #storyofmylife. Rather than being met with ridicule, I was greeted with compassion from commiserating 30-somethings happy to partake in an ooze-fest of shared boy-band fandom. Co-workers were eager to share links of their favorite One Direction shenanigan-packed music videos. Facebook friends were finishing the lyrics of songs I was quoting in posts.
One Direction got me in touch with my inner 13 year old, and when she came out to play, she found the playground waiting for her, and her friends were all there. I feel like Britney Spears in the middle of her “not a girl, not yet a woman” conundrum. I am clearly not the target—as I do know I am beautiful (in my own way), and THAT outlandish confidence is exactly what makes me beautiful—yet I can’t seem to shake my brazen desire to watch them, mouth agape, drool slowly seeping between the space bar and the “B” key.
I’m entitled. For that, I instantly declared that Harry Styles deserves a throne of roses in the form of a dreamy-eyed fan-girl diary entry on our blog…and so I am giving him one, because I know Kelly won’t.
In sharing my daily One Direction fix with Kelly each day this week, I realized that, while she humored me, she did not share my enthusiasm.
What’s wrong with you Kelleh?!? You’re 23. Shouldn’t this be your thing…and not mine?
Then I thought back to the days of the Backstreet Boys, NSYNC, and 98 Degrees, when I was a high schooler of proper swooning age, mimicking their crafty hip-sway-step-sway-thrust dance moves in the privacy of my mother’s living room (oh, if she could see me in my own living room now). Once college happened, real boys happened and boy bands felt like childish things. I traded bleached-blonde tips and perfectly chiseled waxed chests for the likes of girly downers like Mazzy Star, Fiona Apple and Bic Runga.
The boy band nearly disappeared for me. Kelly must just be going through some in-between-too-cool-to-care phase now too—one that required me to explain to her exactly who Harry is and why he is deserving of her undivided attention. Who can resist Zayne, Harry, Louis, Liam and Niall? They’re just so playful…like cute little hamsters bouncing around in a little YouTube box.
So here I am, at the intersection of walk and don’t walk, and yet…there’s only…ONE DIRECTION.
I’d like to be the first to say: Congratulations on your youthful renaissance! It takes guts to post to the world about your boy band obsession. Some would call this ‘creepy’ or ‘pathetic’. I would call it an enlightenment! Like you wrote, I didn’t lend a proper ear to your cries of love and squeals of emotional bliss. But I know love when I see it. Consider your rose throne granted!
I mean, of course Harry is the one for you. Did you know that you two are both born in the year of the rooster, only, like, 13 years a part? The stars are aligned, Melissa.
Now, let me debunk any hesitations you may have about your feelings (which, based on your outward and unrequited love, you don’t have), But for one, you are not a cougar. Cougars are at least 46, have about nine tattoos (one of which must be a frontal tramp stamp that says something like, “Daddy Like” or has pictures of hummingbirds everywhere) and cougars missed the generally accepted social cue that perms are no longer a thing.
I was a cougar once. It was 2010. I was 19 in need of a Halloween costume that would make the sluts say, “Is she our age?” And make the boys say, “Did I see that lady asking for change outside Albertsons?” I curled and teased my thin hair into an electric explosion, dumped on blue eye shadow, bought black heels at the Good Will outlet, wore an ill-fitting cheetah print tank top, and topped it off with Rite Aid fake nails. It was truly great!
Where was I going with that? I digress. So what’s it like hanging out with 13-year-old Melissa? Have you been wearing more scrunchies and stretchy shorts? My 13-year-old self would never hang out with me. She’d be too preoccupied playing The Sims and kissing her Lance Bass poster. And style tips are out of the question. 13-year-old Kelly was all about slicking her hair back tight enough to reveal her receding hairline. That and wearing huge sweatshirts. We couldn’t even bond over fun high school things like puberty and cargo jackets. We’d have an awful time. No member of One Direction—not Harry, Lars, Neil, Zack Efron or Zayne would want to hang out me. Not then, not now.
But you plus Harry equals a match made by cosmic fate. Surf the double-barrel overhead tubes that are his man-made ringlets. Laugh as you share hair products and foundation cream. Sing softly into each others’ face until your voices run hoarse.
Well, in your courtship, I wish you the best. You’ve broken down “age barriers” in the name of love, and helped me realize that I can too fall harmoniously back in love with my one and only…Lance Bass.