I’d like to start this post by talking a bit about One Direction: Harry, Louis, Liam, Zayn, and Niall. No, I am not a fan. I just happen to know all of their names because my younger sister has told me all about them. On multiple occasions. Niall is Irish. Liam is afraid of spoons. Louis once said that he would like to date a girl who eats lots of carrots. And I know all of this in spite of the fact that I really do not care.
She is what’s apparently called a “Directioner”. She listens to the music, she writes fan fiction, and, most importantly, she gets inordinately excited whenever anything that has anything to do with them pops up.
Of course, this is all perfectly normal for a teenage girl: obsessing over cute singers and actors and celebrities in general. And, in a more broad sense, lots of people display this kind of passion for something. Some people become fluent in Klingon and Elvish. Some people paint their entire bodies the color of their favorite sports team to watch the game from the stands. Some people shell out thousands of dollars to gain a complete set of their favorite collectible.
And you can bet that when it comes to their favorite person/group/thing, they all go over the top in expressing their love and adoration and undying affection. They stand in awe of his/her/their/its sheer force of excellence. There is nothing in the whole wide world better than their object of affection, and they will tell you so. For hours. Or days. Weeks? I wouldn’t put it past some of them.
Which brings me to my point: I am not one of these people. Once, while watching Jeopardy with my sister, a question about One Direction came up, and, just like that, she got excited. As in, we couldn’t hear the end of the question because of her reaction. She called it a “fangirl moment”. I called it “freaking out.”
Isn’t there anything I really like? Well, sure, but I have never felt that urge to squeal or scream or gush on and on about something for hours. When you ask me what I think of something I really like, I will tell you that I really like it, in those words. And then, in a calm voice, I will tell you about the reasons why I really like it and end by recommending that you give it a try sometime.”Fangirling” must make sense to all the fangirls, but to me it just looks crazy. And I think that this attitude probably shows here on my blog.
Just take a look at my book ratings. I hardly ever give out fives, or even four and a halfs. In fact, the average rating is currently 3.06. Or look at my reviews. I rarely say big glowing things like “this book is amazing” or “this guy is one of the greatest authors who ever lived”. I may explain what I liked about certain aspects, but when it comes to making a comment about the book as a whole, I tend to be very sparing with my compliments. A four star read (The Hound of the Baskervilles) was deemed “pretty fun”. A very rare four and a half star read (The Yellow Wallpaper) earned the praise “a really good short story”. Three stars usually falls somewhere around “average”, and it all goes downhill from there.
This isn’t because I don’t like books. I love books! Why else do you think I’m going through all this work to blog about them? It’s just a reflection of the sort of person that I am. When I read something, I always stop to think before deciding how to describe it. Is it the best book ever? Well, hold on, you’d better be really sure before you say something like that, I’ll tell myself. Are you absolutely sure that another book isn’t going to come along twenty years from now that will completely blow your mind? I’m always thinking “What if?”, always hoping for and even expecting something bigger and better just around the corner.
Besides, if I use up the word “amazing” on this one, what word will I use when I do find that something better? And if I start doing it all the time, what do I do when I discover something on the caliber of those rare five star reads? Instead of going on for pages and pages in an attempt to convey an accurate sense of how much I really, really loved it, I would prefer to say “I really, really loved it” and have that really mean something. I don’t fangirl, but when I get somewhere close to it, you know that it’s a very special circumstance.
I could read three star rated books all day long. I could even be perfectly happy reading a bunch of two and a half star books, simply because that’s how much I love reading. But if you prefer more excitement in your blog reading, you could always try imagining how my blog articles would read if I was a fangirl. Change all the “good”s into “great”s. Add three exclamation points after every positive comment. Imagine me squealing with joy as I review a three star rated book. Picture me jumping up and down and cheering at the four stars. And for the five stars, try imagining my sister meeting her favorite member of One Direction in person.
- The Five Stages of Fangirling, An Animation Illustrating the Five Stages of Grief as Experienced by Fangirls (laughingsquid.com)