Friday, January 11, 2013

How To Get Boys To Like You

I have been having periodic insomnia since the Hanson concert I attended last September. Strangely enough it has been accompanied by an unshakable feeling of melancholia. My stomach won’t stop churning and I just feel down. So, after another sleepless night and a bit of a google it occurred to me that I still have an immense crush on Taylor Hanson. Can this be possible? Can it be that someone who adorned my pre-adolescent walls could still be playing on my mind like the chorus of mmmbop fifteen years later? Unfortunately, this seems to be the case. As the first strains of Thinking of You floated across the aged and mostly overweight audience of the Enmore theatre I was transported back to 1997. Ah, 1997, when I was ten and an amazing weekend meant a metal slinky and a staircase, a time when a well put together outfit meant that your scrunchie and your leggings matched and “make up” meant body glitter meticulously applied to your temples; those were the days! I do however, remember this golden era of my life being tinged with sadness, the kind of incurable sorrow caused only by the most intense of crushes.

I think it needs to be said that crushes in the nineties were not the same as crushes now. Take Justin Bieber for example. Any ten year Belieber can simply youtube his name and watch endless hair flicking, hip gyrating videos. Bieber’s songs can be immediately downloaded and listened to at any time and from anywhere in the world. In the nineties a crush on a pop star was a full time job, requiring blank cassette tapes to be in your tape deck at all times so that when the songs you loved came on the radio they could be immediately captured with a synchronised depression of both the triangle and circle buttons. CD singles were purchased in the lead up to the album release (at between 5 and 10 dollars a pop) and then the full studio album was acquired for $30 – most of which you already owned in cd single form. One had to get up at 6am on a Saturday morning to watch rage in the hopes that the video clip for “I Will Come To You” would be played. This often meant sitting through hours of clips from bands you didn’t like such as Whigfield and Mousse T (who, for the record, both sang embarrassing words like ‘horny’ and ‘sexy’ which always caused me to blush deeply if either of my parents were around) in the hopes of catching four minutes and nine seconds of Hanson bliss. Yes. Nineties crushes were more involved, and therefore, better and more important.

Rewind fifteen years and my most prized possessions were my Hanson posters. This was back in the day before the advent of twitpics, google image search or cheap colour printing; meaning that each full sized poster had to be hunted down with multiple copies of TV Hits, Smash Hits, Girlfriend and Dolly being purchased. To place even more strict parameters on this treasure hunt each magazine would only have one full sized poster lurking at its centre, these were double sided (which helped a little with the odds of striking it rich). The scarcity of posters featuring the three long-haired crooners, coupled with the fact that my annual income was approximately $200 meant that each poster was priceless. In the end I had about twelve, so really I was pretty much the nineties version of a tiny millionaire. Weirdly enough I diligently applied Lipsmackers to the Hanson brothers’ lips every night before bed, which meant that the lips of all the boys on all the posters were translucent. One day my mum asked me, with a wry smile, if I had been kissing my posters. Mortified I told her that I had simply been allowing them to sample my large Lipsmacker collection and she left the room. As soon as she was gone I tried to remedy the situation and upon taking down my favourite poster (crimped hair, blue background and bubbles) discovered that a whole nest of huntsman spiders was living behind it. Maybe it was the delicious scented lip gloss, but I had a sneaking suspicion it was the lure of Taylor’s penetrating gaze, those spiders were as close to heaven as they’d ever get.

My love for Taylor was unshakable, but I was no fool. I was entirely aware that I would never have him. So I did the next best thing a girl could do – I found someone who looked similar to him and transferred all of my pre-pubescent, creepy stalker love onto them. I won’t name names but I will say that Taylor2 had flowing golden locks and caught my bus. He was a mighty high school student, while I was a mere fifth grader. I must reiterate that the nineties was an innocent time before technology, so when I say “stalk” I actually, LITERALLY mean stalk.

I would catch Taylor2’s bus every day, and when the bus route changed so that we no longer caught the same bus I would just catch his bus anyway and walk the extra two kilometres to school. I was the only girl on a bus that went to an all-boys school. Mmm, subtle. Years passed and I entered high school (yes, this is a stalker love story that spans years; the type of crazy with which I am infected is deep-seated and patient). And still I caught his bus, patiently waiting to be more than five feet tall and to maybe, vaguely, resemble a woman. Unfortunately for me, I am still waiting for either of these events to occur, so after four years of having a crush on Taylor2 and looking no taller or more womanly, I decided that the whole thing had come to a head and I must reveal my undying love to him. So I looked him up in the phone book and I wrote him a letter. Keep in mind I am probably thirteen years old at this point and anyone who has been thirteen years of age will know that this is the most awkward and embarrassing time in a person’s life. I, for one, was constantly afraid of judgment and rejection. Enter the crazy. I didn’t handwrite (or type, which would actually have made more sense) this letter, I CUT OUT LETTERS FROM THE NEWSPAPER AND GLUED THEM ONTO A PIECE OF PAPER. Yes. I wrote, what could only be described as, a “ransom-style” secret admirer love letter. Oh dear.

But wait, there’s actually more. In the letter I included an email address for an account that I had set up at astroboymail, which was a thing at the time. If I’m not mistaken, the username was “rockstar” (which was actually a step up from my original email address, and I asked him to email me. I anonymously told him that I loved him and asked him to email me - girl’s got game! I don’t know what I expected, probably something along the lines of:

Hey! Is this that tiny girl from the bus who looks like either a giant baby or a midget adult? The one who has been staring at me for the last four years? I sure hope so, because damn! Nothing’s sexier than a lurker. From Taylor2.  

Anyway, I added him on ICQ and continued to give him cryptic clues as to who I was until he tired of me. Or MSN was invented – I’m not sure which one it was.

So there you have it, my little foray into stalking – before the phrase was a socially acceptable, harmless form of voyeurism. I’d like to say that I never did anything like that again but that would be a lie because into my teen years I committed innumerable ring-up-hang-ups (the stalker’s bread and butter) sent one boy a MIX CD anonymously (incredibly creepy) and cast love spells on people (oh god!). I still wonder if this was just some odd quirk that I had, or if other people got this caught up in crushes, but at least those people knew how I felt – even if they did sleep with a night light from then on.

Note: I blocked Taylor2 from viewing this post. So if you are seeing this via Facebook you are NOT him L.



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