Woo hoo for new blogs! Boo for it being 1:30 AM and after all of my recent Hanson shows. Maybe some time I'll make a sort of catch-up post for all of the stuff that's missing so far. Not today, my friends. Not today. Here's something I recently wrote after one of those generic you've-been-to-more-than-one-hanson-concert-therefore-you're-crazy comments. Kudos to you if you make it to the end without falling asleep.
Normal, over-achieving student + _____?_____ = Crazy, obsessed sidewalk sleeper.
I’m not sure exactly when or how it happened, but I’ve recently noticed that I’m a crazy Hanson fan. Maybe I redeem myself a bit by acknowledging this fact, but one can only hope. Ok, so it’s not like I woke up one morning in a panicked realization that I had been sleeping on sidewalks and ambling barefoot through cities completely unaware; it was more of a process over time. I’m curious, though, how one makes the transition from your average, overachieving teenager, churning out A+ papers like it’s a job, to your average, crazy Hanson fan, driving hours and hours on no sleep, forgetting to eat, walking barefoot in big cities, and churning out A+ papers inside a tent after sleeping on a sidewalk (I lie here. No matter how many times I drag Shakespeare along for the ride, I can’t make myself do homework in line). Clearly, something’s been going around, and I’ve caught it (see, it even weaves itself into my off-hand humor—and if you’re not a Hanson fan, you’ll have no clue where the joke lies in that statement).
But seriously, what could possibly have the power to turn a seemingly normal, intelligent person into a mock-lunatic? My first thought is that “darn good music” should fill in the blank, but that simply isn’t a good enough answer. After all, if that were true, wouldn’t more people who have heard Hanson’s music be crazy just like me? What is it that turns some of us into diehards and leaves others unscathed? It’s almost drug-like in nature. It’s not the simple craving you get for cake-batter ice cream, that, if over-indulged, leaves you sick and praying to never as much as hear the phrase “cake-batter ice cream” again. It’s more like a drug addiction, like there’s something addictive in the sound waves, something at a pitch that only some of us can hear, but when heard, we’ve got to have more. I know I’m not helping the perception of my sanity with this analogy, but it’s close. Eleven concerts, seven states, and about a zillion hours of driving later, I’m still craving more. I swear someone should create a documentary about it all because it would be an interesting study. It’s not like I’m alone in this behavior. I’m not the one nut of the bunch that Hanson knows by name, like my non-fan friends tend to think. Oh no, far from it. I know people who have been to plenty more concerts than me. In fact, I’m fairly mild as a Hanson fan. There’s a core group of people that travel to just about every show, camping out on sidewalks regularly. Outside of that core group are hundreds and hundreds more who, like myself, camp out on occasion and go to all of the concerts near (ok, relatively near) them when they can.
Case in point: the earliest I’ve ever arrived in line for a concert is right at 24 hours before doors. There were 42 people already in line when I arrived. I’m not trying to rationalize my behavior, but my point is that there’s an army of us; I’m not the lone lunatic in the bunch (though those do exist in more extreme forms—but that’s another discussion for another time, and I’d rather not overwhelm you when you’re just starting to realize the extent of my craziness). And most of the people I know who do these things are smart adults with college degrees, good jobs, and all-around common sense. Whatever it is, it’s an interesting phenomenon that takes all of us normal people and turns us crazy. I won’t complain, though. Honestly, I don’t care if I somehow stumbled onto some radioactive Hanson CD that made me crazy, because I like it this way. True, it’s a bit of a drag when I’m walking into class after 48 hours of being awake, 20 of which were spent driving. But believe it or not, it’s worth it in my mind. As long as I’m not reaping some type of physical or emotional detriments, and my grades are staying up, I’m not seeing a real problem. If I flunk out of school, lose my job, am unable to pay bills, or start sleeping on sidewalks for fun in my downtime, by all means, color me crazy! Get me some help! But if the only source of harm and negativity is coming from bashing from people who think I’m nuts, then I say bring it on. No offense, but I almost pity the people who think I’m nuts because it’s obvious they’ve never felt a passion that could match my passion for Hanson for anything, or else they’d understand.