Confessions of a Fangirl

“I really wish to meet them, to become great friends or more.”

During my first year of college, I wrote poetry about “enlightened twats” and short stories named after Smiths songs, which of course I thought was the most obscure and artistically genius thing I could do. I wore vintage wedding gowns from the ’20s that I bought off eBay for $2.99 plus shipping—this was in the early naughts, before eBay exploded with vintage sellers charging a fortune for a polyester crapsack—and listened to the kind of music that my friends said sounded like “weird noises.” I was anti-pop. I was anti-establishment. Anti-everything. Whatever.

The week before finals, I stayed up for 30 hours straight working on papers, and when I was done, I went with my friend to the local Safeway to get some snacks. While I was waiting in line, I picked up a weekly gossip rag and flipped through it. I came across a short article reporting that 19-year-old Taylor Hanson—’90s heartthrob and Hanson’s singer-keyboardist—had tied the knot with his 18-year-old girlfriend. This is the part where I e-avert my eyes and e-hang my head in shame: I immediately started crying. I was no longer an enlightened twat. I was a 13-year-old fangirl.

I was crying when the cashier scanned my one-liter bottle of ginger ale and my bucket of Planters Cheez Balls. I was crying when she asked me if I wanted the magazine. I was crying when I told her that I would put it back. And I was crying when I didn’t put it back and just stood there instead. I only stopped when I realized that my friend was eventually going to find me crying in the supermarket and he was going to want to know why. When that happened, I would either have to (a) lie to him or (b) explain that I was crying over the guy who sang “MMMBop” when we were in seventh grade and, oh yeah, I still secretly believed that I would one day meet him and he would fall in love with me and confess that when he was a shy, lonely 13-year-old boy writing love songs for Middle of Nowhere, he always imagined someone exactly like me, but never thought in his wildest dreams that she was actually out there.

But there’s more. And after I show it to you, I’m going to have to burrow my way into the mines of Moria where the freaking Balrog lives. The summer before ninth grade, I sporadically chronicled my love for the Hanson brothers in my diary. I present these entries to you, in all of their manic, misspelled sincerity.


Dear Diary,

I read in a magazine that June is the month of making dreams come true for Capricorns, meaning me. I usually don’t believe in these things, but lately I’ve been having this feeling of unsettlement that I know won’t go away until I fulfill my dreams of becoming a widely acclaimed singer/songwriter/keyboard player. I know I won’t feel complete until I’m sitting there at the Grammys with small beads of sweat forming at the anticipation of finding out whether my name is in that envelope.

Another dream of mine was to meet Bush, who are four incredibly talented men in their 20s. But as shallow as I am I decided I would trade them in to meet Hanson. I secretly think Taylor Hanson is like my soulmate or something. Even though this means nothing, he’s 13 like me & plays the keyboard like me. I just don’t know if he writes the majority of the songs. Hanson are incredibly talented too. I seriously am serious about meeting them. Taylor has inspired many of my songs. (Isaac also did. I just thought I should mention him.) I really wish to meet them, to become great friends or more with them, to live a long full life, and to become a top-of-the-charts musician with a great band that I will stick with. I really hope my new band will finally be formed & come together & start performing this summer. Please God, if you are up there, listen to me & help me out.

Dear Diary,

I got my period the 2nd time & it’s horrible timing. Tomorrow is the day there is a party at one of my parents’ friends’ house. The only thing I’ll do that day is jump in the pool. Do you think I still can do that if I have blood dripping? Probably not. Oh well.

I think I am officially obsessed. Obsessed over the Hanson brothers. Every other minute is concentrated on them, their good looks, their funny personality, their great hair, great songs, music, lyrics, etc. I can’t get them out of my head, no matter how hard I try. Ugh! One of my dreams would be to meet them and become great friends with them or even more. Pretty dumb, huh? Actually it’s not. They are my idols, practically my role models. They’ve inspired me & I really look up to them. Who knows? Maybe miracles do happen! Bye!

I got my hair cut real nice & contacts. Funny how a lot of things are based on looks, huh? Sometimes, I feel like there isn’t a single person out there who will understand or get to know me. Feels like I’m alone in this world. I’m always constantly helping others through sticky situations, consoling, giving advice. Then I present my life to be flawless. And yet, it feels like I’m screwed up the most. Seems like I can’t get an hour with parents without feeling like I’m gonna break down. Sometimes, they make me think & feel like this world we live in is all about money. Being some hot-shot doctor. Making my dreams die instantly. Like I never could accomplish them. Everyone, even my best friend Diana, thinks I don’t have what it takes to be a famous, talented musician.

I want to make my dreams reality. I want to fall in love, get an albulmn out, and tell my parents “I told you so.” Prove to the world that maybe I’m not another mistake, another immigrant. Sick of feeling savage. Feeling in second place, sick of obsessing over Hanson. Sick of daydreaming, fantasies, and cute guys who break hearts. Sick of being underestimated. I need someone so desperately to hold on to. To love me & understand me. Please I need someone to help me.

[no date]
Dear Diary,

I don’t know what’s wrong with me these days. These past few months, come to think of it. One minute I’m so happy, the next I’m breaking out into tears. I feel like I’m destined to become my parents. Shrewd, bitter people. I want to follow my dream, which is music. How can I do that if my parents expect me to become a Harvard grad? When everyone sees me as a shy egghead. When even my best friend doesn’t understand.

Sometimes I look at the Hanson brothers & I think what it must feel like to be them. To have talent, skills, supporting parents, money, a nice house, and good looks. It’s like a packaged deal they were granted. I feel so foolish for thinking these stupid thoughts. Wish me luck & 3 miracles or at least the first miracle.

  1. Very successful career in singing, songwriting & keyboard playing
  2. Meeting the Hanson bros. & becoming friends or more
  3. Getting the chicken pox scars off my body

Just a few minutes ago, I was angry & so sad. Now I feel like a giddy little kid again. Trying on a new coat & hugging my mommy & daddy. Felt like I was 7 again. I only feel remorseful that I may never meet the Hanson brothers or have a record deal & a CD that will be chart topping. Too bad. But thank you God, for blessing me with a semi-charmed life.

Well it’s final. I won’t see Hanson perform. So what? I don’t know. But I feel like there is no reason for me to live anymore. No purpose left in life. Isn’t this sick?

Hanzhi’s mom & Jing’s mom called me pretty, should I be proud? Just a few days ago I was so mad that I would probably never meet the Hanson bros. or get a record deal. I feel only sadness now. Oh well. I will try as hard as I can to achieve success. I won’t let anything get in my way. I swear.

I feel pretty darn ugly now. Hanson is the farthest thing from my mind. Just a few hours ago, I had a conversation with my mom. A real one, one that I haven’t had in years. I told her so many things that I’ve kept bottled up for years. I don’t know if she heard all I was trying to say, but at least she listened this time. I still have so many things that I could never tell her in this lifetime though I hope that my love of music will not be just a stupid dream. I need it to become a reality soon, before, I fear, it’s too late.


And now, before I show you my last diary entry about Hanson, I should explain a couple of things. At some point, I decided I was going to make one of the Hanson brothers fall in love with me by writing them the most brilliant, witty, intriguingly dismissive letter I could possibly write. When I didn’t hear back from them, I started writing letters addressed to their parents because I figured, Well, they probably have waaaay more free time to spend carefully reading fan letters!

Here’s one such letter:


Diana & Walker Hanson & co,

First off let me warn you: don’t you dare send me some silly fan club form! Secondly, I want to congratulate your boys on finally achieving their dream, and you, for helping them to do so. Also, the point of writing to you was that I figured Ike, Zac & Taylor would never get the time to read my letter with their insane schedules. Of course, they should feel free to read it at their heart’s desire. (Being sarcastic.) Besides, I’ve already written a letter to them & I’m expecting a fake autograph sometime soon.

Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that I completely respect & admire your sons for their musical talent & their dedication to family and God. They have deeply inspired me to try & work hard at my own dream of musical success. However there are 2 things about your sons that bother me & I greatly resent. First of all, what’s with their one-too-many love songs? How old was Zac when he decided to write a song about pining for a girl? When he was 10? Are they writing fiction stories? Isn’t music all about writing from the heart & to be in touch with your soul? How could your sons possibly grasp the idea of falling in love at their delicate young ages? The fact that they dedicate most of their songs to girls sickens me beyond belief. Second of all, I don’t want to offend anyone or put you down, but I so completely & sincerely think there are another group of Hansons in this world who have the same talent & ability, but may be too “ugly” or don’t have the money or support that you’ve given your sons. I pity those who struggle whenever I see your sons on TV or hear their song on the radio. Not to say that your sons haven’t struggled for fame & recognition, but I guess we oughtta face facts. Those screaming girls aren’t screaming at the concerts because they are so overwhelmed by that “great song ‘MMMBop.’” They’re going crazy because they are in bliss from seeing the long blond hair & sparkling eyes. I mean, you stick your sons there a year later with a pot belly & a shaved head & I promise they won’t need to fear getting mobbed again.

Before I end this “cruel” but honest letter, I really want to tell you how lucky your sons are for having such great parents. It is incredible how supportive & flexible you are with your children. Encouraging them to believe in God & following their dreams. I wish my parents could be half as supportive as you are to your sons.

I hope that this letter will be read by someone, anyone. I hope I will have made at least a little difference & impact in that person’s life. I hope, if this is Diana & Walker Hanson reading this, then you can urge your sons to tell all their obsessed fans to get over it. Hanson, or any other group for that matter, is not worth being obsessed over because you can’t spend a part of your short life devoted to some cute stranger. Lastly, I wish you & your family luck in future albumns, friends, obstacles, and even girls.

Forever & Always Truthful,
Jenny Zhang

You see, in my calculating little brain, I thought, Hey, if I insult the Hanson brothers to their mother, she will show them my letter and then maybe they will become intrigued by my hot, hot insolence and become obsessed with me.

I waited for a reply. The days were not days, but like endless stretches of unorganized time that existed solely to stop me from becoming Taylor Hanson’s girlfriend, Zac Hanson’s fun older sister, and Isaac Hanson’s confidante. And then, like every rabid, uncompromisingly obsessed fan at one time or another, I was betrayed.

I came home one afternoon to find a letter from the Hanson Fan Club. Even though I knew in the back of my mind that the “Hanson Fan Club” meant I was probably getting some kind of generic form letter, the part of me that believed in miracles, that believed great things could happen just because you want them to, still believed, as I tore open the envelope, that I would find a handwritten letter to me from Taylor, Ike, and Zac telling me how their mother had told them to read my letter and, boy, were they glad they did, because I was the most interesting person they had ever heard from and, P.S., was I as physically gifted as my BEAUTIFUL MIND had led them to believe?

Then I opened up the envelope, saw it was a generic form letter, and the part of me that believed in everything started to die. I kind of lost it. I went into my mom’s room and stole a tube of lipstick from her makeup bag and drew penises over all my Hanson posters. I drew Xs over their eyes and wrote “I HATE YOU” across their faces and then I drew some more penises. Then I tore it all down, crumpled it into a big ball, spit on it, stomped on it, and even considered pissing on it, but I lived in a carpeted room and I knew that I would suffer way more than the Hanson brothers would. Then I proceeded to write the most spiteful, rage-filled letter I’ve ever written to anyone, including people who have ACTUALLY wronged me.

I’m not sure I can replicate what was in that letter, but be assured that I used every single insulting variation of “penis,” “vagina,” and “asshole” that I could think of. A sample sentence likely included phrases like “you worthless sacks of shit” and “you sicken me to my core.”

This is what my diary entry looked like that day:

And then I finally got it. I was in love with a manufactured product, and it wasn’t OK anymore. I made that manufactured product my own, the way we all do, and my love for it wasn’t any less f’realz or meaningful, just in the same way that you can read a book or see a movie or hear a song and feel like it was created just for you, so you could be forever changed. But I got to a point where I wanted more than just a relationship with a product, and that frightened me because it meant I wanted real relationships with real people, and real people are fucking flawed! They will sometimes disappoint you or even hurt you, intentionally or unintentionally. And they belch and fart too much.

Which is what’s so fun and intense about obsessing over famous people: they aren’t real. Taylor Hanson was whatever I wanted him to be, and what I wanted was for him to never marry anyone (except me, OBVI). So when the reality of his life finally intruded on the fantasy of mine, I cried. I wonder if that isn’t partially why Beliebers cry when they finally meet Justin in the flesh—the collision of fantasy with reality is just too terrifying. I cried because I loved my fantasy too much. It gave me so much pleasure to imagine how lonely Taylor must have been, and it gave me pleasure to imagine being the one to unlock that loneliness. I cried because my first celebrity obsession manifested itself at the same time that I was trying to articulate what I wanted in my life, which was to be adored and talented and adored for being talented. I cried because it was hard to figure out how to be accepted by my family and my friends and how to assert my profound need to be my own person. I cried because I found it easier to fantasize about how all of this would be made possible if I could just get one of the Hanson brothers to love me! I cried because I wanted so badly to experience the feeling of being in love. I cried because, even though I was no longer 13, I was still susceptible to comparing my life with what little I knew of other people’s.

Though I am way too old to believe that my teenage fantasies will save me, I still find myself taking comfort in them. A few weeks ago, I stayed up all weekend watching Hanson videos on YouTube and I came across a clip of Taylor forgetting the lyrics at a concert and then endearingly asking the audience to help him, and suddenly I was all, What a magnificent person, I wonder if he and his wife are going to get divorced, even though they have four kids. He would probably be more intrigued and fulfilled by someone really creative and unhinged like, um, me. When I told my roommate that I was writing an essay about Hanson—in case she was wondering why I was blasting it every morning—she told me her that her friend had interviewed Zac for the A.V. Club a few years ago. Immediately, I thought, I am only two degrees of separation from Hanson!

You knew all along I was going to do this, but to quote from “MMMBop”:

You have so many relationships in this life
Only one or two will last
You go through all this pain and strife
Then you turn your back and they’re gone so fast
And they’re gone so fast
So hold on the ones who really care
In the end they’ll be the only ones there
When you get old and start losing your hair
Can you tell me who will still care
Can you tell me who will still care

I can tell you who: ME. I still care. I will always care. ♦


  • thefondest February 17th, 2012 7:44 PM

    CLEARLY YOU JUST NEEDED TO COME TO TULSA. You basically aren’t a Tulsan if you don’t have at least one story of seeing a Hanson brother.

    • sydnerain February 17th, 2012 9:23 PM

      Fellow Tulsan here. I can agree to this; I’ve seen Hanson twice and so have most other Tulsa kids. It’s kind of weirdly common around this part of town.

    • Jenny February 19th, 2012 5:59 AM

      WHA WHAT WHAT? Good thing the internet did not exist when I was thirteen because had I known this, I would have probably robbed my neighbor’s and hopped on a plane/train/any type of moving vehicle you can pay for with stolen money.

  • Chloe Elizabeth February 17th, 2012 8:05 PM

    I found this story semi-adorable. And semi-heartbreaking. I would totally have treated his marriage like any real break up. A few solid nights of ice cream and romantic comedies can greatly change one’s outlook on life.

  • maureen7 February 17th, 2012 8:06 PM

    I have a question though. Remember that song from middle of nowhere,yearbook? yknow, where did johhny go? WHERE the actual hell did HE GO? I remember listening to that song when i was like 7 and thinking it was super mysterious and creepy. My older brother told me he just missed picture day or something, but that’s not an interesting enough answer for me.

  • stylepukka February 17th, 2012 8:07 PM

    that last picture scan reminds me of when i wrote in my diary on how i sucked at soccer and life and how much my parents hated me. and afterwards when i realized it was really really stupid but it helped me realize how stupidly unserious it was.

    gahhhh i love rookie and how it brings back so many goodbad feelings.

  • Pri February 17th, 2012 8:17 PM

    Lovely and heart warming. Thank you for this.

  • queserasera February 17th, 2012 8:21 PM

    This is amazing. Few years ago I sent tons of creepy fan letters to Steve Carell and Tina Fey but I never got anything back. Sob. Also, reading my diary from just a few years ago makes me cringe and embarrassed but you had the guts to post it online for all to see! Wow, thanks for sharing!

  • AliCat February 17th, 2012 8:32 PM

    This is actually so amazing it hurts!! I completely burned through my VHS of From Tulsa to Tokyo In the Middle of Nowhere when I was a wee fangirl and truly understand and relate to your lust for those three sweet cherub angels.

  • ferguson February 17th, 2012 8:43 PM

    I love, love, love this post. It’s so good to reflect on these things, and I think the lesson that we often idealize and obsess over the unknown is important to keep at the front of our minds.

    Also, Hanson was my first concert. I was pretty in love with them, and…still am today. When I’m in Tulsa, I typically drive by their recording studio and stay on the lookout around town. And just to get creepier, in my earliest stages of obsession, I made my parents drive by the Hanson home. I wish you could have been in Tulsa to stomp right up their doorstep and deliver your letter. ;)

  • Tyknos93 February 17th, 2012 8:53 PM

    Jenny your articles are rocking my world. I read through my old journals alot as well and get so shame-faced at how lame and melodramatic they are.

  • amyyyyy February 17th, 2012 9:37 PM

    I’m 24 now, but I still have a giant box of hanson fanfiction sitting in my bedroom at my parent’s house.

    I didn’t have a boyfriend until I was 17 because I HAD ZACHARY WALKER HANSON.

    From age 9-16 I would sit and write all of these insane tales of meeting them by chance or growing up with them or our parents working together – all leading up to Zac and I falling in love and sharing our lives together.

    I remember in one story I was in a love triangle with Zac and Aaron Carter. My parents died and I moved in with the Hansons. Aaron and I grew apart and he was furious. I wrote all these unrequitted love letters from Aaron to me – finally Zac had to intervene but it led to a kidnapping (yes Aaron kidnapped me). Zac and the rest of the Hansons had to rescue me. It was an epic tale of true love.

    OH! I had another one where Taylor was in love with me but I was in love with Zac. It had been 4 years since we had seen one another and I was backstage at one of their shows. Eventually Taylor leaves the room and Walker Hanson walks in on Zac & I making out. He freaks out and makes a scene. Then Taylor walked in all heartbroken and dejected and I had to go out and talk to him and he quoted Save Me to me.

    ANYWAY This piece reminded me so so so much of myself and I really love that you wrote this. I love that you shamelessly scanned your diary and I love that you still get upset when you think about ANY of their wives. I think I wore black the day Zac married Kate.

    What a life.


    • Jenny February 18th, 2012 4:47 PM

      OMG your fantasies are INCREDIBLE. ESPECIALLY THE ONE INVOLVING AARON CARTER AND ZAC. I’m crying with joy and bald, bald delight.

    • Wallis Kate February 18th, 2012 7:07 PM


    • Anaheed February 18th, 2012 8:30 PM

      Do you still have those fanfics??

    • Pashupati February 19th, 2012 3:38 PM


  • MissKnowItAll February 17th, 2012 10:02 PM

    Oh Jenny, I feel your pain.
    PS- What is twat? Sorry, too lazy to go on Urban Dictionary.

    • Jenny February 18th, 2012 4:46 PM

      Ha ha, it means “vagina!”

  • Mags February 17th, 2012 10:11 PM

    Minus the Hanson obsession these entries read just like my diary entries. I’m so glad to find I wasn’t alone in my insecurities when I was 13. Thank you so much for sharing.

  • Sonja February 17th, 2012 10:52 PM


  • aliastro February 17th, 2012 11:25 PM

    I loved this article. That letter made my day! Remember this:
    What was that all about?

    Also, who knew they all got married super young and had a bunch of kids??

  • hellocat February 18th, 2012 12:09 AM

    I love Hanson so much. I’ve been to two concerts. I love all their stuff. Their past two albums are amazing. They’re still around, and their music has soul. I can’t explain my deep love for this band. Watch their documentaries that they’ve made. They’ve been through so much and they’re still just doing what they love. And this article is hilarious.

  • Susann February 18th, 2012 3:12 AM

    Absolutely amazing! I can sort of relate to that and I’m impressed by your courage to even post your diary entries!

  • Sarah_Colee February 18th, 2012 6:13 AM

    I found this post to be adorable yet heart-breaking at the same time. It still made me smile all the same. I can totally relate to this, because when I was 10 I was adamant that once day I’d marry Orlando Bloom or Lee Ryan from Blue. I because fixated on this one idea; I even remember wearing a locket around my neck with their faces inside it. It sounds so creepy now that I look back on it haha. I had my dreams shattered and soul crushed once I managed to get my head around the fact that Orlando Bloom was already married and I’d probably never meet Lee Ryan. Oh to be ten years old again! Great post! Definitely one of my favourites!

  • saramarit February 18th, 2012 6:14 AM

    Right there with you on the Hanson love. I had extensive scrapbooks, stickers all over my school books, posters all over my room. I listened to Middle of Nowhere every day and night for at least a year.
    When I was 13 I transitioned to a love of early 90′s grunge rock and I think it helped me a lot!

  • theaterbex February 18th, 2012 6:41 AM

    I relate to this so much. I don’t think I’ve ever had such a long-lasting obsession, but even my short-lived obsessions have coincided with and provoked feelings of uselessness.

    I’m still a fan of Team Starkid, but I used to be BEYOND obsessed. When I went to see Starship, I gave Brian Holden a copy of a one act play I had written and my number. I had a fantasy that he would love the script, call me with ideas, and we would develop the play into a full-length musical, falling in love along the way. When none of this happened, I concluded that I was a useless writer, an unattractive person, and incapable of ever achieving success in theatre and beyond. I was seventeen.

    It’s still hard for me to admit this obsession and my unrealistic fantasies, especially since they controlled my life only a year ago. I think I’m more grounded now – able to view the world realistically and understand that success will come from me and not from the people I obsess over. Yet in a way, this provokes melancholy. I haven’t had an obsession since. I haven’t felt that sense of giddiness that goes hand in hand with obsession and fantasy. Realism protects me from intense disappointment and despair, but it also robs me of a high.

    This month’s theme has left me feeling nostalgic and also empty, devoid of intense feeling. I don’t know how else to put it.

    • Moonshoes February 21st, 2012 7:24 PM

      Oh gosh you have met Brian Holden? I’m so jealous!

  • giov February 18th, 2012 8:34 AM

    I just went on a Wikipedia spree and hey! Taylor’s wife is a capricorn! It could it totally have been you! Also, how weird is it that at least two of the Hanson brothers ended up marrying girls they met at their concerts? I want to read those girls’ diaries. Actually, I want to be those girls. Hanson were the first tape I got when I was 7 years old.

  • mangachic February 18th, 2012 10:07 AM

    Awwww this was amazing and beautiful

    • Jenny February 18th, 2012 4:49 PM

      NOT AT ALL! But it’s kind of funny that I thought I was going to win a Grammy one day…

  • erin February 18th, 2012 10:55 AM

    I don’t think I was ever this obsessed about a celebrity… When I was little I wanted to be just like Avril Lavigne. I also lurved the Backstreet Boys and N’sync. I also really loved Aaron Carter and I used to make this really crazed joke that if I married Aaron Carter, my name would be Erin Carter. Ohhohohoho, was I a funny little girl.
    Never wrote any fan letters though, but in my later approaching-preteen years, I had several glorious posters of Jesse McCartney on my hot pink walls.
    This was a great article.

  • erin February 18th, 2012 10:59 AM

    and wow, just looked up pictures of Hanson, and they’re freaking good looking! now and then. fangirl tenancies are very justified.

    • Jenny February 18th, 2012 4:49 PM


  • Ifonly37 February 18th, 2012 12:00 PM

    This is amazing. I just saw Hanson play a show Thursday night, and it was UNBELIEVABLE. My best friend and I are in our 20′s and we still turn into 13-year-old girls whenever we see them. They actually got better looking (if that’s even possible) and they really are a great band. They just have so much energy and love for what they do. And they’re funny! Bonus!

    After all the screaming, dancing, singing along to every song, and continuing to rock out to Hanson on the drive home, my friend and I finally looked at each other and said, “Wait a minute, we’re not ACTUALLY in love with these people we’ve never met.” Haha

    But I still consider Taylor Hanson my first love.

  • moonflower February 18th, 2012 1:38 PM

    I never really understood the psycological side of fangirls, but now I’m finally starting to get it. Thanks! xx

  • Laia February 18th, 2012 5:10 PM

    i mean, i called my mom freaking out when i read in a tabloid that dave grohl was expecting a baby with his wife.


    this is SO real.

  • Missy February 18th, 2012 7:05 PM

    This is such gold AGH.

  • issy February 18th, 2012 11:07 PM

    oh my gosh this is so so so amazing/creepy/amazing. i have – up until a few years ago – considered myself the biggest hanson fan evorrrrr. i really don’t know why i kept liking them past the age of 13 but i really did. i even went to see them play when i was 16 was so nervous when i got to meet them that i threw up on zac. SMOOTH.

  • Emma S. February 19th, 2012 9:17 AM

    Jenny, this is the greatest thing ever. You deserve a medal for this kind of honesty.

  • laurenblossom February 19th, 2012 2:52 PM

    THIS IS WONDERFUL. I can relate to the craziness and it made me laugh alot. I love Rookie <3

  • hanalein February 19th, 2012 8:33 PM

    this… basically explained my life in junior-high

  • bestie February 19th, 2012 9:42 PM

    i have adored all your written works so much jenny, but this is pure gold. i just want to cry and listen to hanson until the tears go away.

  • benji February 19th, 2012 10:14 PM

    This was like my life when I was 10 but switch out Taylor for Zac. Swoon.

  • M. February 19th, 2012 10:37 PM

    This is amazing. It’s like you burrowed into my “secret drawer” – definitely not a secret – and found my 10th grade diary. Scary.

  • ellatot February 20th, 2012 12:39 AM

    I just want to say that I also cried over Hanson when I was 12. I remember it was because my dad changed the channel while I was watching them on Oprah. I was so upset that I locked myself in the toilet and cried my eyes out. I think I came out after a couple of hours.

    Wow. The things that Hanson made us do!

  • hollywouldnt February 20th, 2012 10:11 PM

    This was an interesting read for me. I guess I come from the other side of the fan spectrum–I never obsessed (much) over Hanson in 1997. I was nine and it seemed out of the realm of possibility to even see them play, much less meet them. And now as a 20-something, I’m in a car following this band more often than not. It’s kind of ironic to think of how much you wanted to meet them and never had the chance. I never thought I’d meet them and now I can’t seem to stop.

    Here’s my blog if you want to check out a different perspective.

  • Hannnah February 21st, 2012 4:25 PM

    I never knew any of the words to “mmmbop” except for “mmmbop” before – I feel so enlightened!

  • Raebbies February 22nd, 2012 6:34 AM

    OMG when i’m angry thats how my journals look like. i write HUGE words that look like i’m screaming into my journal

  • airplanes.books February 22nd, 2012 4:52 PM

    “But thank you God, for blessing me with a semi-charmed life.”

    thank god you unwittingly or intentionally quoted that third eye blind song. this is so angsty 90s!

  • KayKay February 24th, 2012 12:49 PM

    So so so so true. I think that anyone who’s ever had or has a celebrity crush can relate to this. And your point about a fan’s image of a person and the reality of it and everything clashing, I was thinking about it just the other day.
    My dad then said that “perception is reality”, so however we see things, is our own reality. There is no reality, but we each have our own reality, our own thoughts, identity, mind.
    Fans do tend to build up a god-like image of the celebrities they love/adore/worship and imagine what life would be like if you met them (been there, done that!), but at the end of the day, we have to realize that they’re just normal people and that we’re infatuated with a product.
    And wrote that beautifully and honestly. This is just what I needed to read, to help get over my own celebrity obsession in a safe and healthy way. Thank you!

  • meltheresa February 28th, 2012 5:51 PM

    I totally just tweeted this to Hanson with a plea for Tay to send you a message. This kind of courage deserves major recognition. God knows I had the same experience with the Jonas Brothers when I was 14, which isn’t nearly as intense as Hanson fangirl experiences.

  • kshilling February 28th, 2012 7:15 PM

    I suppose this is where I tell you that I took my devotion to Hanson to the streets, on rollerblades. Which resulted in an epic arm fracture after attempting the sweet move seen in 3:29 of the video.

  • allie March 4th, 2012 8:04 PM

    This is perfect.
    I never got that angry about Hanson but I did write a poem and send it into my local music mag. It was all about how everyone thought taylor was hot whereas I though Isaac was the hottest and everyone who didn’t agree with me was wrong.

    I wrote a letter to Fall Out Boy – and I was probably 19 (or older) by this stage – it was along the lines of “I giev up, I am dumping you, why do you hurt me like this” kind of thing. Amazingly, I never heard back.

  • mybirdynest March 5th, 2012 9:34 PM

    A bit late to the party here but I just needed to say this was pure brilliance. I got to meet Hanson a few months back, and beforehand, I texted my Mum to say how nervous I was, and she wrote back,
    ‘Why are you nervous? They’re just like old friends.’
    I then began crying on the train, shrieking by myself, ‘THEY ARRRRRREEEE!!’
    Bands really bring out the insanity without warning.

  • MissKnowItAll March 6th, 2012 7:43 PM

    Exact same story for me with One Direction.

  • kiml March 12th, 2012 1:41 PM

    This article was amazing. I am sure 98% of the populace that has ever been a teen girl can relate to this.

    I had a fan letter returned to me (I guess I had the wrong address or something.) I mailed it in secret and I still have it in my drawer. By the time it got back a few weeks later, I didn’t even want to think about it anymore. That was mildly heartbreaking.

    Recently, I found the postcard I got back from the TV show I was (am?) obsessed with, printed with signatures of the cast. 10-15 years later, I tweeted a twitpic of the postcard to one of the actors. I was expecting him to be like, “Oh, wow, you still have that? You must be the best fan ever. I will mail you my real autograph. What is your address?” Instead he replied, saying something to the effect of I should be happy I got anything. That hurt a little, too.

    Have you read I Think I Love You by Allison Pearson? It’s about the same thing, but in the 70s with David Cassidy. This reminded me so much of that.

  • Crisss March 17th, 2012 2:30 PM

    While I was reading this article I started to think in myself and my teenage days, have to say I really miss those days. Before I met Hanson I was like, I don’t know, kinda lost! I mean, I was 15 and though is pretty early to know what to do with your life, I must say I had no clue! The relationship with my parents was, not bad, but just not good enough, al least with my Mom…anyway, I remember the first time I saw this boys on tv I was like…She’s a pretty girl! hahaha who’s to say that eventually I was going to fall in love with him!…They changed my life in so many ways! I must confess I never really think about the possibility to marry one of them, I mean, I live in Mexico that makes everything more difficult, but I always though that maybe someday I would meet them and I don’t know, work with them even If I didn’t even know what I was going to be when I get older. I remember the first time that I cried because of Hanson…I was listening to I Will Come To You, I remember that I had a really bad day, so when I heard this song I started to wondering where the hell were them? I mean, I was lonely and feeling like crap and that songs talks about being with you when you need it, it was pretty sad knowing that they won’t be there when I need it! lame…Now I’m 29, I still don’t have a clue of what I want in life (so sad) but after all this years Hanson’s music have always been there with me and I have to admit it, I would LOVE to work with them hahahahaha but I’m sure that will never going to happen…

  • vanguardinspace April 14th, 2012 12:15 AM

    After reading this, and the comments, I’ve realized that I’m normal! In middle school, I went through this first with Zac Efron and then with the Jonas Brothers (particularly Nick,) which, at 17 is difficult for me to believe. I planned my wedding with Zac (I called him by only his first name, because, you know, we’re on those terms) and wore a necklace with his picture around my neck. I figured out the exact age when our seven year age difference wouldn’t matter anymore…18 of course…and made a countdown to it. I even mailed my friend a picture of Zac Efron wearing a blue tracksuit standing in front of a white wall side-by-side with a picture of ME wearing a blue tracksuit standing in front of a white wall mimicking his pose. She still has it up on her wall, and we laugh about it every time I come over to her house.

    I’m not sure exactly how or when I began to like the JB, but there was a particular song of theirs that I would listen to every time I had an argument with my mom and decided in my angst that NO ONE in the world understood me. This got me hooked and led to full blown obsession. I would spend hours locked in my room, sitting on the floor in the dark, listening to their songs and alternating between sobbing and headbanging, overcome with the sheer emotion that I believed was being transferred from Nick Jonas’s heart to mine through the music. I just KNEW that if he met me he would fall in love with me, and that he was my soulmate, etc. I don’t have space to write about my experience of realizing that he was a human…but thanks so much for posting this.

  • allie-oop April 16th, 2012 12:15 AM

    I cannot believe you’ve written this. Still love Hanson, and I’m pretty sure my old diary is eerily similar to yours. Thanks for this…and as a fellow Taylor lover, I know how you feel.

  • Thatu April 19th, 2012 3:30 AM

    The funny (and sad) part of all of this is that I’ve been reading your articles and fiction – yours specifically, Jenny – and one thing led to the other and all the time I got the same feeling I always get when I read wonderful things written by someone wonderful.
    I hate you, I hate you deeply; why do YOU get to be talented? Why do YOU get to achieve your dreams and be successful? I love everything you do and how you did and how strong you are, therefore I hate you.
    And then, I found this and, even though those entries were written when you were 13, not 23, I finally felt like I could breathe.
    Sure, I laughed at you quite frequently during the whole thing, but also – it wasn’t that I was happy to see you exposed; I just really felt,for the first time in years,that, yeah, sometimes you start hating on those “it gets better” messages because everything is so sucky , you can’t believe them. And I see you not only “felt” helpless but that you WERE actually helpless and silly and arrogant like, well, me right now.
    And that’s what made it so wonderful. I can be awful today and amazing tomorrow too.
    And, if your lifetime goal at 13 was to be adored and admired – you got that, ok? It’s not over one article or anything, I’ve managed to become a real psycho in the last three hours. I’m sending your parents hate mail any day now.

  • Stacey May 10th, 2012 1:22 PM

    This completely explains me. I wish there was some sort of drug I could take whenever I felt my inner fangirl come out and all those feelings would just go away.

    Just when I think I’m this super, cool, anti mainstream person (because I am), I get hooked on a young pop boy band. One Direction, I hate you.

  • inward_fangirl May 17th, 2012 10:50 AM

    Hearted a million times over :D Shall also put this in my Pocket to read and re-Read Later :D Hanson! Fangirling! Angry scrawls in a teenage diary!

  • Schuyler May 22nd, 2012 8:34 AM

    I really love what you wrote. You know the kind of songs you listen to and feel like it’s dedicated to you, or merely shares the same heartache you bear? It’s like that. I really do feel for you.
    When I was thirteen, I had so many crushes. And whenever I do think about them, like the others, I would imagine our epic love story and believe we’ll be together forever. It was weird, I know.
    And then there was a time I found out something really disturbing and earth-shattering about one of my crushes and I was just shocked.
    I should’ve known.
    I think I was one year old when Hanson were really popular, so yeah, I’m not so familiar of them. Still, I think Zac (did I spell his name right?) is kind of cute. If he was still a teenager in my generation, I’d probably be head over heels for him.
    You are inspiring. You should know that.
    B.T.W. I found a notebook from who-knows-when and written there were informations about my crushes (birthdays, blood types, etc.) and there were even pictures. That was creepy.

  • katiebell929929 June 7th, 2012 1:17 AM

    I feel like this with One direction alot….. Thank you for making me feel a little less crazy :)