Directioners, I’m Giving You 5 Days

Are you a person over the age of 21, or a teen who isn’t into One Direction? Come on over. The internet is getting scary, and you’re in a safe place.
I’m much, much too old to actively dislike One Direction. I’ve heard probably three or four of their songs on the radio, and I could name three of the boys by first name without looking it up.
Well, two of them. Because this week, Zayn left the group, and now big chunks of the internet are going nutso.
Okay, adults and teens who aren’t into One Direction, I’m still talking to you. We need to give these kids five or so days to sort out their feelings. You hear that, Directioners? You have the better part of a week to deal with this.
Here’s my thinking. I was never the boy band type, but I know what it’s like to really love a pop culture phenomenon. I cried during the Friends finale, and I still miss Parks and Recreation. If a celebrity has a baby, I probably know what that baby’s name is. I can still tell you what day Bennifer was supposed to get married (I remember because it was my birthday, but still). So while I can’t directly relate to posting tear-streaked selfies because Zayn isn’t in the band anymore, I do get where these kids are coming from.
This is why we have to let the One Direction fangirls make a fuss now, as long as they don’t drag it on forever. It’s easy to laugh at teenagers for caring so much about things that don’t really matter. But how many times have you gotten upset or cried about ridiculous things? Probably quite a few, if you’re being honest.
Also, I bet if you talked to the kids that are sick and pale with grief over this, most of them do have other things going on in their lives. I’m sure plenty of these girls have to study for an Advanced Placement Chemistry tests, volunteer at their church’s day care, and worry about their sick grandfather. It’s easy – too easy – as an adult to look back at the time when you didn’t have bills to pay and a career to build, and get angry at your former self for not appreciating how good you had it. But then think harder. I was in an all-honors and AP schedule, was always participating in some sort of school activity, had to meet my school’s volunteer hour requirement, and worked a part-time job on top of it. I may not have had as many financial responsibilities, but I still felt like I was busy and stressed. Not to mention, at any given time a teenager could be having problems with their friends or family; it’s not like having no or few financial worries means having no worries at all.
So if these kids distract themselves by getting really, really into a boy band, why make fun of them for it? I know plenty of grown men who are crazy obsessed with a football or baseball team. There are comedy nerds who can break down the style of every stand up on the circuit. Even on this blog, we’ve received (and deleted) a few comments saying “why are you writing about this? Aren’t there real problems in the world? Don’t you have anything better to do?” Listen. If you can’t take a half hour out of your day to watch a stupid tv show, obsess over a boy band, or write a blog post, that’s probably pretty rough. I just don’t think there are that many people who take every single free moment they have and use it for the betterment of the world. It would drive you crazy and leave you dull and joyless. I mean. Even the people writing those sassy comments are taking ten minutes to find a post on Google, read it, hate it, and comment on it.
Something these kids really love is changing, and they’re sad, and I’m not going to make fun of them for it. But I stand firm on the five day thing. You can think about it and get a bit bummed beyond that, but in terms of public outpouring of grief, I’m not going to give you a full shiva period. If you’re still crying in your school hallway by the end of next week or posting heartfelt collages six times a day, I’m going to assume that you’re projecting your feelings about your parents’ divorce onto One Direction, and kids, you should probably deal with that before it deals with you. Go ahead and make a great big noisy fuss right now; it’s fine. But get back on track within a week. I know everyone thinks you’re just some dumb kid who only cares about this stupid band, but that’s not why I think you need to let it out then pull it together. It’s because I know that you care about other things, too; that you have tests to study for, work to do, and a life full of thousands of horrible and wonderful things other than this one band.


5 thoughts on “Directioners, I’m Giving You 5 Days

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