Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The day my heart stopped.

Okay, that sounds a little dramatic. Rest assured, it didn't actually stop for like, medical reasons. It felt like it'd stopped because I was shocked by someone I'd seen on the street.

Seven years ago today, while in studying at Harlow in England, I was staying in London with my folks for a long weekend. It was a Monday morning and we were out looking around Bond Street at all the super expensive, fancy shops. As we walked along, I noticed some photographers on the other side of the street, taking pictures of someone from a distance on my side of the street. I joked to my parents, "oh, they're probably taking photos of some obscure British celebrity, we'll have no idea who they are."

As we passed by the shop window, however, I glanced in and felt my heart thud in my chest. I'd felt like I'd had the wind knocked out of me and I know I turned as white as a ghost. In the store was one of the members of the Irish group Westlife. Now, I know I'll probably get lots of fun poked at me for liking a boy band, but I don't really care!

I first discovered Westlife while on vacation in Ireland in 1999 and had been a fan ever since. Living across the pond made it difficult to get CDs and merchandise a lot of the time, and I had to pay a small fortune to get things shipped from the UK. But it was worth it to me.

So when I saw Kian Egan in the window at Dolce & Gabbana I knew it had to be fate. That out of all the British celebrities that happened to be in that store while I was walking by, it was one that I actually knew of and completely adored. I saw them starting to leave the store and my mother encouraged me to go talk to him, but I said "no, no, I don't want to disturb them." But then I thought, "...when will I ever get this opportunity again? To meet him? I won't." So I went for it.

I said "excuse me" and told him I was a big fan from Canada and I'd been following his group for years long distance. He seemed surprised that they had fans in Canada and was impressed that I'd been so dedicated in my following. I asked him for a photo and he agreed, while his girlfriend (now wife) Jodi chatted with my mother. I thanked them for stopping to chat and wished them a pleasant day, and as you might be able to see in the second last picture below, my face was beaming with happiness and shock.

When I went home a few days later and did a search, sure enough, I found the paparazzi photos online on a fan site. I couldn't believe it and immediately saved the photos and emailed them to my folks. Some of them are below. To say that it was one of the most memorable moments of my time in Harlow is an understatement, and I felt really fortunate to have met such a lovely young man who I've admired for years. So, haters gonna hate, but how many of you can say you've been in the tabloids? :)

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