Super fan. Super fan. She’s super freaky.

Millions of red-faced, newly-boobed tweens beg mom to drive them to the ampitheater. Squished in the backseat, they freshen the pink marker on glittery posters, try to steady their racing hearts, suck remnants of after-school snacks from wiry braces, and dab an extra glob of Sassy Strawberrylicious lip gloss across their child mouths for good measure. The lights dim. The curtain’s pulled. As music floods the speakers, throngs of these sweaty maniacs are slapped stupid by the star on stage. Screaming, thrusting posters covered in misspellings high into the sky, they are vying against a few thousand peers for the spot as Mrs. Bieber Timberlake Hanson.

     I was this girl.


In junior high there was seldom a better night than one spent screaming and passing out in a fit of hormonal bombardment at an *NSYNC concert.  I was just recovering from a devastating blow ( a lesson in why a real girl can’t marry a Disney cartoon prince) when Justin Timberlake’s radiant, blonde jheri curl glowed hope through my TV screen. Romance wasn’t dead, after all. It was alive and kicking. No, really. Have you seen the boy’s high-kick-pelvic-thrust-twirl? Some might consider it a signature move. I was sure it was a proposition.


Equally enamored schoolmates in tow, I spent my parents’ hard-earned money answering the lead singer’s tantalizing call. The way he sang to me (through the television screen), the way his sad, puppy eyes begged my soul for a date (through the television screen) was enough to counteract the advice and commonsense my parents had instilled in me. I made posters, shiny and pathetic signs. I was certain that the pop star just needed to find me, so most posters included large arrows pointing downward to my head. The more concerts I attended the more detailed and thorough my signs became. When standard hearts and glittery stars, ‘MARRY ME, JUSTIN’ and ‘GOD MUST HAVE SPENT A LITTLE MORE TIME ON ME’ didn’t exactly stand out among the crowd, I assumed ‘TORI LOVES JUSTIN. IT’S ME, JUSTIN. TORI. MY MOM SAYS I’M SUPER PRETTY’ would hit the spot. And when that spot wasn’t hit, well, things took a turn towards criminal. I was singing the creepy you-belong-to-me tune before Taylor Swift was potty trained with poster masterpieces like’WANTED. WANNNTEDDD. DEAD OR ALIVE’ and ‘WHAT IF BRITTANY WAS OUT OF THE PICTURE?’. How many security guards does it take to tackle a 6th grader? Oddly, just one.

Years passed. I read enough books to understand the blah-ness of *NYSYNC’s ballad lyrics. I learned most of the bubblegum pop artists were in their mid-thirties. Then Timberlake got blasphemous and went for a buzz cut. Glitter paint dried up. I couldn’t make myself beleive that pleather was cool.The thrill was gone.

Pleather: Faux Cow Killers

But today, I’m faced once more with the urge to scream, shout, and throw a training bra on stage before I pass out. Sharpie posed dangerously close to poster board, the old, standard, super fan misbehavior is bubbling to the surface. The fine thing behind the frenzy?

Stop laughing at his hat, ya’ll. According to his lyrics he’s really sensitive. I head to The Grand Ole Opry tonight to witness the quiet awesome that is Ray LaMontagne. He sings. He fiddles his facial hair. He’s just geeky enough to never make eye contact. I suspect he is a part-time Park Ranger and possibly related to The Unabomber.Clearly you can see why I’m a fan. The only hiccup in my plans for a night with The Ray stem from expectations of social decency. I’m feeling quite conflicted about fine lines as they pertain to maturity and making-a-scene. Oh, Behavior. You never were much fun.

Good news is I’ve raised my standards since 1999. It takes a lot more than synthesized pop beats and dreamy hair to get this girl excited. In case you were wondering, it takes a beard and some folksy plucks of an acoustic guitar. Also whisper-singing doesn’t hurt.

Bad news is that the average Ray LaMontagne fan falls somewhere between hipster and tree hugger. Some wear bold-rimmed glasses and Italian boots while sipping macchiato. Others substitute patchouli oil for showers while rescuing orphan birds and recycling. As different as these types may seem, they share some very crucial traits. They are cool, calm, and grown.

My first instinct (albeit always the wrong answer) is to dress in flannel, stand on the sacred seats of The Opry, waive a few posters around, and finish strong with a hefty bra-to-stage toss. I went so far as to make said posters, just in case my last shred of good judgement gets lost en route to Nashville.






and if things got extra desperate…


Oh, shut up. That was clearly a reference to what I assume to be his rugged, lumberjack lifestyle.

     Tonight, I’ll call dibs on the passenger seat, try to steady my racing heart, suck remnants of  snack from teeth, and dab an extra glob of Chap Stick across my mouth for good measure. The lights will dim. Stagehand will cue the curtain pull. As music floods the speakers, I’ll be the sweaty maniac slapped stupid by the star on stage. Here’s to hoping hipsters and tree-huggers don’t mind a few girlish squeals.

Are you a super fan? What would your poster say?

56 thoughts on “Super fan. Super fan. She’s super freaky.

  1. Is somebody hinting at a Christmas present? A BIG bottle of horse tranquilizers?
    Yes, as the old phrase goes, youth is truly wasted on the young. All that energy burned over a guy who’s probably just too lazy to bother shaving. Use that energy for something IMPORTANT. Like going out and buying Star Wars 4-6 on Blu-Ray. Or scheduling your weekend around a Three Stooges marathon.
    You know, something IMPORTANT! ;)

  2. Yeah I love a well trimmed beard so I love him if I just don’t look at him while he sings. WOW. My sign would have a razor on it. With kisses though and smiley’s

    1. Hahahahahhahaha. I’m kind of in love with the whole lumberjack thing. We could play in the dirt and wear matching toboggans. Plus, he could save bits of meals in the beard. We’d never go without a snack :)

      1. I’ll make you feel even better. I’ll see your Harrison Ford Fan Club card with my Bangles ‘N’ Mash fan club membership, and raise you my Ann Jillian fan club membership! Or my Blakes 7 fan club membership. Or my (now defunct) Star Trek Mastercard…..

  3. He looks like he could be Donald Sutherland’s son. If Jim Croce came back to life (Be still my beating, ugly-loving heart) and my boobs found their way back home again, I’d surely consider flinging my lace-embossed demi-bra onto whatever stage he was on. Great post, as usual.

    1. THANK YOU, Boomer! I was gonna say he looked like a young Donald Sutherland, but was afraid of looking stupid. Well, stupid-ER!

  4. I had this little thing for A.J. from Backstreet Boys, questionably heterosexual cowboy hats notwithstanding.

    And I still love The Justin. And The Ray.

  5. Ok…I am TOTALLY in love with Keith Urban, this is public knowledge, I will see him live in exactly 6 1/2 days…LIVE…so I can relate to the above post. IN. EVERY. SINGLE. WAY. Stalking…pfffhhhhtttt, it’s just total undivided love baby, there is a difference….

    I think…

    1. Hahaha! My friend and I used to go to a coffee shop in Nashville every.single. afternoon because he would sometimes stop by. I wonder if he felt me eye-stalking him as he read his paper?

  6. I think instead of clapping you should just do the snapping fingers clap- and wear a black beret. Of course, they might not let you in to the Opry dressed like that-just let your arm hair grow out- he’ll like the nature girl look….

  7. Oh I’m going to have to come back and visit this one when I have speakers…

    I don’t think I’m a super fan of anyone, I must have grown out of it when I was a teenager.

  8. He looks pretty angry, Tori. Must need the love of a good woman/crazed stalker to show him the gentle in life.

    Have a great time! Just be respectful of your neighbors and make sure nobody is in range for the boob-backlash when you whip off the bra.

  9. What does it say about me that I always had this very problem with -e gads – DEAN MARTIN? And, I’m not that old. He was ancient when I was three, and I sat so close to the television in my fairy gown, because, you know, it would help him see me through his haze of alcohol, cigarette smoke, and television screen. THAT must be why I’m almost blind today.

    If The Ray doesn’t take note of you in Nashville, Tori, he’s just not worth stalking-with-the-intent-of-making-him-marry-you. Have a great time.

  10. Grrrr! I still get all upset at boy-bands. If only I had only spent a few more hours practicing choreography with folding chairs… or learning how to ‘play’ an instrument… or how to ‘sing’! *muttering under breath* So close… so very close…
    Seriously, though, Ms. N… I hope you have a wonderful time! :)

  11. So this post was me teen years VER BA DUM! Most hilariously put was “what if britney was out of the picture! ” I nearly died laughing at that! Of course I have no clue who this guy is but the pic of him with that hat made me think of a cheesy romance novel set in the 1800s. Star crossed lover meets lumberjack it actually seems very romantic in a yes I’m rich but let’s live in a a tree kinda way! I can’t see the videos you posted what does he sing exactly?

    1. Haha. I never thought of him as the romance-novel-cover-boy type, but you know what? It totally works! His most popular song was probably “Trouble”, but you should definitely check him out. I love just about every song he sings :)

  12. I hope you’ve realized dressing in flannel is part of the answer!

    I loved your sign suggestions. I’d really, really love you forever if you turned “Let Me Be Your Lumberjill” into a song. Pretty please at least consider it?

    I saw him a year or two ago at the Hollywood Bowl. It was adorable how quiet he was when he wasn’t singing. I can’t remember which act preceded him, but they were quite the contrast!

    1. I have been thinking about taking the plunge into the world of vlogging. Maybe a music video for “Let Me Be Your Lumberjill” could be a debut? Of course I probably need to find a camcorder… and some musical talent.

  13. I say go nuts and act like a 16-year-old. Why, you ask? Well, because I did it on Saturday night at a blink-182 concert. Me and my posse were easily 25 years older than 95% of the emo-loving crowd. This actually worked in my favor because I think most of them were afraid I was friends with their mom, so they allowed me to push my way up to the front of the stage. At one point, I turned to my husband and said, “‘What do you think it would take for me to get backstage?” Have fun!

  14. What a fantastic post! I absolutely loved it!! You describe so well. I liked Timberlake too – actually still like him. But I’ve never heard of Ray Lamontagne. Out of sheeeeer curiosity, I’ll now listen to his music.

  15. He’s pretty easy on the eyes. But he had me at the part when he’s talking about everyone being in a daze. Esp. now that I have to get up at 6 am to meet the middle school bus. I’m sorry I missed his singing, must have dozed off..

    Hope you had/have a blast. Does this mean your bloggy wedding may have a groom change??

  16. Dude. I once called my mum at work to pretend to be the aunt of my best friend to convince my mum that the aunt was escorting us to New Kids on the Block. And then, when my mum didn’t believe me, I snuck out to go to the concert anyway. New Kids on the Block. Seriously! I now prefer actually musicians, too. So, I guess there are a few good things about aging ;)

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