In Defense Of Never Meeting Your Music Crush

Everyone walking the planet likely has a crush on a celebrity of some level. There’s something so exciting, mysterious and untouchable about them. Celebrities are presented to us as perfect humans, who don’t make mistakes, don’t have bad days, and can get past heartbreak in a week. These individuals seem so awesome, admiration often turns to fantasizing about one day getting close enough to get a hug and some small talk.

However great that may sound, I don’t think it’s a good idea to meet your celeb crush. I may sound crazy, but back in the day, I met mine and it, well, crushed me.

Time travel back to the year 1999. The Backstreet Boys were the hottest boy band on the planet. “I Want It That Way” was top of the charts and I was crushing HARD on Nick Carter. If there was any doubt that I shouldn’t like him, it was squelched when I bought the Millennium CD at Best Buy and tore into it the second I got in the car. I flipped straight to the band liner notes and there was Nick. His shiny blonde semi-bowl cut and perfect photoshopped complexion staring at me. Heart flipping, I started reading.

“First of all I want to thank YOU. Yeah you, the one reading this right now.”

Cue jaw drop and out of body experience. Holy. F-ing. Shit. Nick Carter was talking to ME through his liner notes! I was in 100%. I would have it any way Nick wanted. Months later, I spent all my savings on front row tickets to the Millennium tour when it rolled through town. The band came in on light up surfboards, they sang all their hits, and I secretly hated the Make-a-Wish girl who got to walk onstage and hold Nick’s hand during a song. Yes, I may go to hell for that, but this was NICK CARTER and it WASN’T me holding his hand.

Fast forward years later to my first editorial assistant job at Tiger Beat magazine. At this point the BSB were on a break and Nick was attempting to launch a solo career. I was past the pinnacle of my crush, but when my editor offered an in-office interview with Nick, I screamed, “I’ll do it!”

A week later, I showed up to work in my favorite dress and boots with fresh hair and make-up ready to meet the guy I had pined over, written about in my journal, and fantasized would one day be face-to-face with. I even had my Millennium CD ready for him to sign. The door to the office opened and there he was, except it wasn’t the Nick I was expecting.

I wanted to see the polished, professional, dreamy guy I fell hard for in the Best Buy parking lot. What I got was a guy who had clearly just rolled out of bed. Those shiny golden locks were shorter, greasy, and unwashed. When he said hello, I saw how red and puffy his eyes were. His skin was dull and scruffy. Then I realized that foul, stale cigarette smell assaulting my nostrils was coming from MY CRUSH.

My fantasy bubble burst and I was devastated. He didn’t care about the interview. He went through the motions of answering corny crush questions and bland song inspiration inquiries. While he eventually warmed up, signed my CD, and took a photo with me, I didn’t feel the elation I was expecting after he left. I was let down and kinda pissed that my devotion and time was all for a shitty photo with a dirty boy bander and a signed CD. Sure he wasn’t going to see me and decide I was “the one,” but I felt, as a super fan, I deserved more. This makes me wary of meeting any spotlight crush I develop.

The reality is, Nick Carter is not a bad guy. He had his struggles, he went to rehab, and has pulled himself out of a dark time in his life, I met him at the wrong time. Just take note, that your face-to-face time with your own music crush could potentially be less than stellar. There are only so many minutes in the day and so much time artists have to be “on” and look as close as they can to their glossy promo photos. It might not be as bad as my experience with Nick, but my advice: it’s better to not be crushing before you get your chance to say hello.