12 Reasons You Should Never Meet Your Hero
You’ve read everything he’s ever written, seen everything he’s ever done. He or she has changed your life and the way you think. You share the same brain. When at last you meet, there will be an instant connection, and the two of you will become lasting friends — or better yet, mentor and mentee. At least, that’s what would happen if it weren’t for these 12 small problems:
1. You won’t make an impression. It may be hard to believe, but “I’m your biggest fan,” is about the least impressive thing you can say to someone who hears it almost constantly — in fact, I’m pretty sure the guy in front of you just said exactly that, and he’s got the tattoo to prove it.
2. You will embarrass yourself. So you’ve got to think of a new line and fast. Suddenly it’s your turn. You decide to tell that story about how your hero gave your life new meaning, but you immediately realize this story is long and uninteresting, so you stop and ask what you think is a really insightful question. He responds with a nod, which, you realize, is all it really deserved since it wasn’t actually a question after all, but now he’s talking to someone else — you missed your chance. Also, your fly is down.
3. He will be mean to you. This might be the greatest moment of your life, but for him, this is just another tedious stop on a press tour he’s contractually obligated to attend if he wants to get his paycheck and go home to his enormous but empty house. No doubt, the contrast between your happiness and his indifference will make him come across as mean. But he’s not mean, he just couldn’t care less about you!
4. He will be nice to you. Even worse than finding out your hero is mean is finding out he’s overly nice — like, eager to hear what you have to say. What, this guy doesn’t have friends? He cares what some know-nothing 20-something has to say about his seminal work of genius? How needy is this guy?!
5. He won’t care about the thing you care about. In fact, he may seem less familiar with his own work than you are. In his defense, do you remember that paper you wrote your sophomore year? No? Well, that’s probably about what it’s like for him, even if two million people read his.
6. He will ask you for money. Twenty dollars for his newest work didn’t seem like much, but when a millionaire is staring you blankly in the face with his hand outstretched, even figuratively, suddenly it seems like a lot. Like seriously, you can’t just let me have this? You can’t spare one copy for your biggest fan? What a miser.
7. He won’t remember you. If this is not the first time you’ve met him, it’s sure going to feel like it is. DON’T YOU REMEMBER THAT THING I SAID THAT ONE TIME ABOUT BEING YOUR BIGGEST FAN?
8. He will try to get rid of you. Assuming all goes well in your brief encounter, you won’t want to leave. And chances are you won’t, until he makes it abundantly clear he wants you gone. There’s nothing like the feeling of your biggest hero trying to be rid of you forever.
9. He will be far more interested in that annoying girl than he is you. Yep, the one whose LMFAO ringtone went off while he was talking. What could he possibly see in this dumb blonde that he doesn’t see in a fat nerd such as yourself? He’s only human, after all. Just be glad he’s not after your girlfriend, And if he is, well, console yourself with the fact that it’s happened to the best of ‘em. Charlie Chaplin borrowed his wife from a young JD Salinger. What, that didn’t make you feel better? Sorry.
10. He will have a wallet chain. Or some equally bizarre affectation that makes you question everything you’ve ever believed in. An ear ring, really? And are those Crocs?
11. He will seem surprisingly average. Unless you pictured your hero as a kind of short, aging guy with sunken eyes, you’ll invariably be disappointed by how simply human he is. He doesn’t exude an aura of greatness — in fact, he seems like a guy who watches a lot of sports on TV, leaving you to wonder: is this the pinnacle of mankind? Is this what I have to aspire to?
12. He won’t be your hero anymore. You’ll view his newest work with a sense of disenchantment — after all, he’s just some guy who was flip to you that one time. He’s pretty good at what he does, but I mean, whatever. He’s not like a god or something. There are no heroes.
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Will it feel the same when you tell me you love me over the phone? Will the peacefulness of those words still floor me from thousands of miles away?
I was conflicted. It felt like one eye was trying to look away while the other soaked it up. I felt the heat rise in my face. This was wrong. But it didn’t feel wrong.
Any nervous flyer knows the progression of descending panic: bile, sweaty palms, social awkwardness and self-induced sedation.
I know how it feels when the weight of darkness crashes down onto your chest in the middle of the night, and how you wish things would stop spinning because the axis seems tilted now. I know, love, I know.