Before Harry Styles’s groundbreaking solo career, One Direction took the world by storm.
If you were a huge fan back in the day like me, then you’ll remember the great 2012 scare of Harry possibly breaking away from the band when his song “Don’t Let Me Go” was leaked. Sure I felt guilty every time I listened to it because it could’ve meant the end for One Direction, but it was (still is) a bop.
Or what about the Adventurous Adventures of One Direction? Video Diaries? Mr. X? Calling everyone and their mother a carrot? I know it’s years later, but still, only OG fans will remember that last one!
When I think about it, there was nothing normal about being an early 2010’s 1D Stan. I mean, what other artist has held a seven hour live stream for the release of an album? More importantly, what “normal” fanbase tunes into an entire seven hour live stream where 5 boys proceeded to make fools of themselves (The Payne Train, anyone?).
Either way, I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. Some of my favorite memories stem from One Direction. Like any fan back in the day, I did some truly crazy things. While I know I wasn’t the craziest fan by far, I definitely did some wacky things not many other people can say they did. For the sake of this article, I’m going to skip most of the unbelievable concert happenings or you’d be reading for a lot longer than you imagined. Instead, I’ll focus on two individual moments of pure insanity.
In 2014, I was blessed enough to have fourth row tickets to see 5 Seconds of Summer and One Direction perform at MetLife Stadium. To this day, if you ask a One Direction fan what the best concert of the 1D era was, chances are they’ll say one from the Where We Are Tour. It was the best of both worlds with the two iconic bands playing. But what made it even more iconic for me was the fact that I hit Liam Payne with a stuffed turtle. Yes, you read that right - I hit THE Liam Payne
with a turtle beanie baby. Did I actually mean to hit him? No. I was aiming for in front of him, just to catch his attention because I didn’t want to be rude and hit him. I made my little sister Celia go to “concert throwing bootcamp” in our backyard where we practiced throwing stuffed animals across our pool. But, bootcamp clearly didn’t help my aim as I wound up hitting him square in the shoulder (on beat with the song, might I add), which caught his attention better than I could’ve hoped for. Unfortunately, Celia was the worst videographer and somehow missed this life changing moment, instead filming the guitarist. Thankfully, a Youtube clip exists so whenever I’m feeling down, I can just rewatch it and laugh (skip to timestamp 0:49).
2015 was a rough year for One Direction fans. March saw Zayn leave the band which led to a 18 month hiatus announcement in August. Last time I checked, that was 65 freaking months ago. Just in case anyone cares, they were a performing band for a total of 56 months, so that’s pretty heartbreaking to a One Direction fan. But, I made the best out of crappy 2015 when I took a trip to England. The friend I was staying with knew about my One Direction obsession and convinced her mum to drive us to both Wolverhampton and Holmes Chapel, the hometowns of Liam Payne and Harry Styles. Simply visiting wasn’t enough though. My friend made a joke the night before our trip that if I could find either of their addresses, we could drive by their houses. My jetlagged ass took the challenge and pulled an all nighter searching for them. In the end, it paid off. Through a lot of stalkerish digging, I found Liam Payne’s home address. When we woke the next morning and I shared it with my friend, I think she was both impressed and scared. It didn’t matter though, because as promised, we drove by and saw his family home (don’t worry, we didn’t ring the doorbell because that would really be crossing a line). Be reassured that the trip to Harry’s hometown was a lot less intense. It’s a well known fact that
Harry Styles used to work in a bakery, so that’s where we went. The pastries were delicious, plus the staff was ecstatic to hear I had traveled across the ocean to visit and didn’t mind sharing some Harry stories. Overall, it was a pretty memorable trip.
I know to a bunch of you, these experiences make me sound like an absolute lunatic. But, I know there are also a bunch of you who can relate. Looking back on it, it wasn’t necessarily the fact that it was One Direction, but the excitement and happiness moments like these brought. Besides, telling people I hit Liam Payne with a stuffed turtle is a great conversation starter.