Tuesday, December 1, 2015

2nd-Generation Fangirl & 5 Seconds of Sanity

I'll just go ahead and call it what it is: An obsession.

My youngest daughter has one. There's no helping her; it simply has to run its course.

I blame myself really. Although, I'm not sure obsessiveness is hereditary, especially when it comes to these types of obsessions.

My own started sometime in junior high. I remember it as clearly as yesterday.

I lay on my belly on the green carpet of my oldest sister's living room floor, my eyes glued to her TV. She had cable, a luxury unavailable at my parents' home in the country. More importantly, she had MTV, a relatively new channel that devoted 24 hours of its air time to playing music videos.

My senses feasted on a steady diet of Journey, Pat Benatar, Loverboy and ... this group of gorgeous young lads with perfectly Aqua-Netted coiffures, better make-up than Christie Brinkley and beautiful British accents. They called themselves Duran Duran.

By the time I got home that afternoon, I knew all of their names: Simon LeBon, Nick Rhodes, John Taylor, Andy Taylor and Roger Taylor. I knew their birthdays, birth places and marital statuses. (That's an impressive feat when you consider Google wouldn't be a thing for another 30+ years.)

My cousin, Jill, and I once stayed up until 4 a.m. (on a school night, mind you) writing fan mail to our favorite Duran2 members and dreaming about the day they would hold those letters and read OUR WORDS. (We never mailed them.)

Sometime between my first year of junior high and my first year of college I had amassed a giant collection of Tiger Beat pinups, posters, albums, VHS tapes, cassettes and, yes, even a CD, all related in one way or another to Duran2.

One Sunday afternoon during my freshman year of high school, I opened the entertainment section of the Omaha World Herald and found a small ad announcing that Duran2 would be performing "one night only" in Omaha.

Oh my God. These gorgeous men were bringing their heavenly music to my home state. I had to go. I just had to.

Unfortunately, my mom and dad didn't see things my way. It was on a school night. Tickets were expensive. Omaha was a two-and-a-half-hour drive. It wasn't going to happen.

And it didn't.

If memory serves me right I locked myself in my room the night of the concert and sulked about how I had been cursed with the meanest parents in the WHOLE WIDE WORLD.

I later discovered my parents had done this with each of my sisters, too. My poor sister, Kristi, had to wait until her late 30s to finally see Tommy Shaw play with Styx.

I eventually made it to a Duran2 concert, too. When the once-fractured band reunited for its 25th anniversary, Jill and I splurged on tickets to the group's performance at the Fox Theatre in Kansas City, Mo. (Where one of us may or may not have conspired with a few other spectators at the show to scream out, "I love you, John!")

Yes, we were pushing 30 at the time. Don't judge us.

Now I'm on the other side of 40, and my youngest daughter is stricken, smitten and afflicted with an obsession over a band she affectionately refers to as 5SOS (pronounced five-sauce) or 5 Seconds of Summer.

I never realized just how serious her obsession had become until tonight when she climbed into my car and said,  "You know the saddest thing that happened to me today? You know that great hotel I stayed at last weekend when I was in Dallas for FCCLA? Well, guess who's staying there right now?"

"I don't know, who?"

"5SOS. They're at my hotel. What if they're staying in the same bed I slept in? Leaving little pieces of their DNA all over. ... Why couldn't they have been there when I was there?"

I couldn't help but laugh. Mostly because she insists a few little pieces of 5SOS DNA would allow her to clone their singer, Luke Hemmings. But partly, too, because she seems to be suffering from her own "Meanest Mom In The World" situation.

Several weeks ago, she came into my room to announce that 5SOS is coming to Omaha next August. These "gorgeous Australian boys that make heavenly music" will be performing in her home state for one night only!

le sigh

She intends to be there. Come hell or high water.

I've tried using the same lines on her that my mother once used on me. It's on a school night. The venue is a 160+ miles away. Tickets aren't cheap, and money is tight.

"You just don't understand!" she says before stomping away.

"Well, yes, I do," I say as my eyes settle on these silly characters hanging in giant poster form on my daughter's wall.

I have this sneaking suspicion she will find a way to get to see 5SOS. I truly believe she's going to will it to happen.

And if she doesn't, she just might find a way to follow through on her diabolical plan to clone Luke Hemmings.

Either way, I don't think she's going to give up as easily as I did. I guess if she does, I know what she'll be doing when she's 30.


Kathryn Harris is a blogger, journalist and author of the high-concept contemporary novel THE LONG ROAD TO HEAVEN, available now through Amazon in paperback for $9 through Christmas and in digital download for Kindle for 99 cents. 

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