Thursday, August 21, 2014

Confessions of a Middle-Aged One Direction Groupie

Attention: People of the male persuasion may find the descriptions in this post disturbing.

It wasn't long ago that I was an old fuddy duddy, grudgingly watching Cody Simpson performing at the Capitol building in Lansing during Silvers Bells in the City. He was a punk who looked like he just turned 12 and he wore these ridiculous purple pants that sagged down to his thighs. The young girls in the audience were yelling, “I want to marry you, Cody!” I was yelling, “Pull your pants up, kid!”

I'm not sure what has transpired in the few short years since then. Maybe it was my girls' evolution into teenagers that fueled my passion for the “younger” music scene, but somewhere along the way, I fell in love. Not with Cody Simpson, you pervs. I fell in love with a much older, sophisticated group of boys: One Direction.

Oh, my heavens, I have 1D fever so bad, it hurts.

My girls introduced me to 1D that same year. I heard my daughter talking about the boys in 1D and, attempting to get in on the conversation, I asked, “Oh, which classroom is that?”

My daughter's eyes rolled so far back in her head that I'm sure she caught glimpses of her pubescent brain. “They don't go to our school, Mom! It's One Direction!” Soon I became acquainted with their first hit, “What Makes You Beautiful” and I. Was. Hooked.

Extremely catchy song, adorable boys from England and Ireland.

No going back.

It was over.

Stick a fork in me, I was done!

Since then I've been following them right along with my girls, fueled by an insatiable appetite for their music, their latest videos, their newest albums, and their adorable accents. Maybe this has something to do with the fact that I married into a British family, I don't know.
My girls tentatively accepted me as a “Directioner,” and they still think I get a little carried away sometimes, but since I'm willing to take them on road trips to see 1D in concert, they have little room to complain. Except when, during the concerts, I shriek, “Will you marry me, Harry?”

However, I am getting “older.” My constitution isn't what it once was. I'm not in great shape, not used to screaming at the top of my lungs, and my middle has expanded to make me look a bit like the Stay-Puft marshmallow man. These little quirks proved to be a hassle during our recent One Direction escapade.
For 1D's most recent concert in Detroit, the girls and I chose to stay overnight so that we wouldn't have to drive out of a grid-locked downtown Detroit after a late-night concert. I got a pretty good deal at the Renaissance Center Marriott, so we booked a room.
Here's one thing I learned: do NOT stay at the Renaissance Center unless you have trained for a triathlon and have a degree in physics. I'm sure the place is an engineering marvel, but I would personally like to strangle the architect with a pair of control-top, reinforced pantyhose. I'm pretty certain that we parked somewhere in Canada and dragged our luggage through all four towers until we finally found the elevators to our oddly-shaped room in the middle tower.
From now on, I think I'll opt to stay at a nice, rectangular-shaped building that has all its doors facing the parking lot, preferably one-story place; two stories, max. When you get to be my age, taking a swift-moving elevator to the 35th floor tends to throw off your equilibrium. I staggered to our room, certainly turning a lovely shade of chartreuse, and immediately took some motion sickness medicine, hoping it would kick in before I had to take the elevator back down to go to the concert.
The girls and I got ready for the concert – they looked adorable in their 1D gear. However, in my skirt and 1D t-shirt, I looked a bit more like a black, white and red bowl of jello with a smattering of 1D insignia here and there, especially over the parts of me that tend to jiggle the most. However I did get a very nice compliment from a middle-aged, gold-toothed gentleman as we walked past him on the way to the concert: “Cute Mama.” Um, at that moment, I was extremely thankful that there were literally thousands of people walking to Ford Field along with us.
Speaking of walking, it was only eight blocks from our hotel to Ford Field, but again, being of slightly more portly stature than most 1D concert-goers, I found that by the time I reached the concert, I had a terrible rash on my thighs. About half-way through the concert, I felt my slip...slipping, so I ran to the bathroom where I discovered that it had indeed lost all of its elastic. What were my choices? I certainly didn't want to wad the thing up and stuff it into my purse. It was useless anyway and I didn't want to be seen carrying a piece of lingerie to the trash can, so I neatly deposited it into the other receptacle conveniently located in all women's bathrooms.
The concert itself was fabulous, despite the fact that an Amazon-sized woman deposited herself in front of me, and that buying water and pizza required a small business loan, and that every time I put my hands up in the air, I hit the girl next to me in the butt, and that at the end of the concert, I had such severe chatter in my ears that I sincerely thought I had gone partially deaf.
After the concert, we were all herded out like cattle, along with the Tigers fans who had “conveniently” exited Comerica Park at exactly the same time. When we finally reached our room at the luxurious Ren Center, we discovered that we had gotten neither the rollaway bed we had requested nor the refrigerator. The yogurt we had brought for breakfast spoiled, and my two teenage girls and I shared the king-sized bed, hoping for a peaceful night's sleep in preparation for the next day's activities.
What were the next day's activities? You may ask. Why, nothing but stalking staking out the hotels where the band might be staying. Our first tip was that they might be at the MGM Grand. We took the People Mover, a fun yet terrifying little contraption, which dropped us near the MGM Grand. We joined a small group of girls who had parked themselves on a small triangle of land facing the back side of the hotel where there were five or six tour buses parked. And we just sat. And watched. And nothing happened, except that my girls caught sight of Drake, who was also staying at the MGM and performing in Detroit, along with Lil Wayne. I have no idea who those people are; my heart belongs fully to 1D and partially to 5 Seconds of Summer, the opening band for 1D for the second year in a row.

So we spent the better part of the afternoon on a wild goose chase, following their scent, pursuing each Twitter clue, tracking each tip and chasing every group of screeching girls when they suddenly dropped everything and sped to a new location.

We finally ended at the Westin Book Cadillac, dehydrated and high on diesel exhaust fumes. We discovered that some of the One Direction crew was actually staying there and we all got our panties in a bundle when we saw them come out with their 1D backpacks and start loading up the tour buses. But sadly, we never saw Niall, Harry, Louis, Liam or Zayn. The hotel manager eventually came out and told us, in no uncertain terms, the stars were not staying at that hotel. We ultimately gave up, as it was late in the day and the boys were likely already over at the arena, preparing for the evening's concert, and I had to pick up my other kids from their weekend locations and make the hour and a half drive back to Lansing.

When we picked up my 2nd daughter who stayed with a friend in Ypsilanti, she got into the van and told me, “Mom, you have lipstick on your teeth.”

My oldest daughter, who had been chasing and fangirling and shrieking and running with me all weekend, spoke up. “Oh, yeah Mom, that's been there all day.”

I'm so glad we didn't meet One Direction.

However, let me leave you with these photos. If there was no other reason for me to be a One Direction fan, these pics would still convince me:



  1. I'm kinda creeped out right now and you gotta know, it takes a LOT to get me there .... ;-)

    1. Ha ha - Sorry for not posting a warning at the beginning. I should make this post "for women only!" Unless it just creeps you out that I'm a fan of One Direction - not many guys like them!

    2. From now, I will give fair warning if my posts contain TMI!


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