Even if you’re not a girl under the age of sixteen (or the parent of one), chances are you’ve at least heard of the pop singer, Justin Bieber. In the last three years, he has gone from an anonymous Canadian teenager to a globally recognized superstar. At the mall, it’s hard to walk ten feet without seeing his face on a piece of merchandise – even on coffee mugs, which makes no sense to me. Since when do twelve-year olds drink coffee? I suppose they could be for adults… but that’s a thought too horrifying to contemplate.
There are dozens, if not hundreds, of websites dedicated to the adoration and idolization of this eighteen-year old boy. Over zealous Bieber fans, dubbed “Beliebers”, can’t seem to get enough of him. I know, because my thirteen-year old daughter, Meghan, is one of them.
Those that have a Belieber residing under their roof know what a test of patience it can be. For those of you that don’t (lucky bastards), I’ll give you a glimpse into my hormonally charged world. Here are the side effects of living with a Belieber:
1. Barnes & Noble induced bankruptcy:
Meghan knows no limits when it comes to books on the subject of Justin Bieber. Even though the kid is barely old enough to vote, he has already written an autobiography entitled First Step 2 Forever. There have also been dozens of books written about Justin by other authors. That’s right, I said dozens – and Meghan wants them all. That doesn’t mean she gets them all…. at least not until she gets a job to help support her Bieber habit.
And if the books aren’t enough to satisfy your Belieber’s obsession, there are also magazines. Do you know how many teen magazines are out there? Thankfully, not as many as there are Bieber biography books, but certainly more than there were when I was a teenager. And most of the magazines have Justin somewhere between the pages, which means more pictures and posters for Meghan to add to her bedroom walls. Her room is a veritable Bieber shrine…. all Beliebers that come to worship must leave their purple sneakers at the door.
2. The shrieking….oh God, the SHRIEEEEKING!!:
I am constantly assaulted by ear-piercing shrieks at the mere mention of Justin’s name. Every commercial, TV appearance, or music video with that kid in it causes Meghan to emit a sound that just misses the frequency of a dog whistle…. which is unfortunate for me because that means I can hear it. If I need hearing aids before I’m fifty, I’m suing Justin Bieber for damages.
That clip was just thirty seconds…. try listening to that for THREE YEARS.
Meghan and I were driving in the car recently, and all of the sudden she let out a shriek that made me think I was about to run my car into a parade of babies and kittens. I frantically looked around to find the cause of her apparent panic attack, nearly running my car off the road in the process, but saw nothing.
“WHAT? What is it?!” I asked, with my heart galloping in my chest.
“Justin Bieber’s new song is on the radio!!!” she exclaimed while bouncing up and down in the seat beside me.
Have you ever seen that show 1,000 Ways to Die? I bet the makers of that show never considered death by Top 40 hit song.
3. Your nose can run, but it can’t hide:
Given Meghan’s voracious appetite for Bieber merchandise, when he came out with his perfume, Someday, I knew she would want it. I also knew that it would offend my Chanel No. 5 sensibilities – I was right. The sweet concoction wafts through the house, and seems to find my nose no matter how far away I am from where it was sprayed. And when it does inevitably find me, a migraine usually isn’t far behind.
4. Play it again, Sam. And again…. and again…. and again….
Meghan doesn’t seem to ever tire of listening to Justin’s music. EVER. His lyrics and music have been pounded into my brain with repetition so relentless, it borders on torture. You need to get a confession out of me? Play Justin Bieber’s song, Baby, a couple dozen times, and I’ll tell you anything you want to know. I get down on my hands and knees and thank the inventor of the iPod everyday because without it (and the accompanying headphones), I would surely have found my way into a straight jacket and a padded cell by now.
5. The countdown – it’s like Dick Clark on amphetamines:
The countdown begins when Meghan finds out that Justin Bieber is coming out with a new single, album, or video. I thought it was unbearable when she had to wait two weeks for his single, Boyfriend, to come out, but now she has to wait almost two months for the release of his next album, Believe. Thanks a HEAP for announcing that one so early, Justin. Every day that ticks slowly passed, I know I will hear her excitedly announce, “only __ more days until the new Justin Bieber album comes out!!!!” And more than likely, that announcement will be punctuated by a shriek that makes my ears bleed.
I guess there are worse fates for a parent to suffer, and certainly worse boys for my daughter to idolize. Despite Justin’s amazingly rapid rise to fame, he seems to be well grounded and good-natured. He visits sick kids in the hospital, puts on concerts at impoverished schools, and lends his voice and support to a lot of charities – namely the “Children’s Miracle Network”, the “It Gets Better Project”, and the upcoming movie “Bully”. He’s like the teenage boy version of Mother Theresa.
Maybe his extraordinary empathy for the poor, sick, and tormented children of the world is a byproduct of his own humble beginnings…. or maybe when you have more money than god, you just enjoy throwing it around a little. Whatever the reason, I hope Justin Bieber stays as sweet as his headache producing perfume.